Competition from banks is fierce and getting fiercer. As credit unions grow, delivering excellent member experiences is a vital competitive edge that must also grow. Over and above other competitive differences and advantages, there’s no time for a credit union to rest on its laurels. “Our core value is and always will be: People helping people,” according to Lori Gallegos, EVP/COO First Credit Union, “and we must always look for ways to improve the relationship and enhance the value of the membership we provide.”
Prior to Sogo, First Credit Union was no stranger to customer research, but it had been gathering that research in a cumbersome way using a “mystery/secret shopper” type of program. This meant that First Credit Union members weren’t the actual providers of feedback, but one step removed from that feedback, filtered through third party shoppers. Also, survey questions were too extensive, and in some instances, answers were not properly addressed or cohesive as they often didn’t match actual comments. Additionally, lots of “YES/NO” questions were included, offering little qualitative value. Ultimately, the feedback gathered was hard to act on and didn’t provide a solid foundation for improving member services or increasing member loyalty.
A better way to collect valuable membership information was needed. “First Credit Union was initially attracted to Sogo by its simplicity of the software and its ease of use,” according to Mauricio Jaime, Regional Manager at First Credit Union. “Creating surveys and working on projects was simple, yet very effective.” After just seeing a few presentations spotlighting what other organizations were able to accomplish with Sogo, they were quickly convinced. First Credit Union wanted similar results. Sogo questionnaires were much easier to create, distribute, and analyze compared the previous third-party secret shopper methods, and results would be much faster and more relevant. And hearing directly from members was a special priority. After implementation, First Credit Union rapidly moved from a small feedback pool to surveys that reached all of their members using a multi-phase approach to better understand member need and jump start building relationships.
“We started with implementing surveys that are directed to members conducting regular transactions at the teller line. In addition, we have included surveys for members opening new accounts, members calling our phone center, members applying for loans in person and through our digital channels, etc.,” according to Jaime. First Credit Union is also leveraging Sogo Polls to gather employee feedback as well. “Obviously the best part is that we get to read all of the comments that our members and employees are giving us. This information is allowing us to implement strategies that can improve member loyalty by doing more of what our members love and doing less of what they tell us they dislike.”
This feedback helped identify what members valued and wanted — and how to address it in the gradual, progressive way that members felt was so important. This meant collecting ongoing feedback throughout the credit union journey to provide the intelligence needed to improve the member experience. First Credit Union can now segment and analyze feedback at each stage of the relationship — account opening, applying for a mortgage, using the mobile app, etc.
With Sogo, members can share their feedback more efficiently and directly through multiple touchpoints along the way, rather than having an overwhelming initial member experience. This allows the organization to help achieve their mission by finding the right balance to help members to make money, save money, and make banking more efficient.