May 21 2019

Member Experience and Service Excellence, Part 1: Member Compatibility and Operational Transparency


In this age of self-service, how can your member experience keep up—let alone outshine the competition? We explore two strategies: (1) focus on who you serve and how you serve them; and (2) transparency on how you show what’s behind your processes to enhance experience, build trust, and increase understanding.

Dennis Campbell
Dennis Campbell
Dwight P. Robinson, Jr. Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School
Report Number 476

Executive Summary

The hallmark of the credit union experience is superior member service. Historically, the credit union sector has outperformed banks across a wide variety of measures of customer and member satisfaction. But according to the 2018 American Customer Satisfaction Index Finance and Insurance Report, that gap has closed. Credit unions’ average Net Promoter Score (NPS), a measure of customer loyalty, has declined while the average for banks has risen to meet it. In a world where consumers expect that most financial institutions will offer them the same basic experience, how can credit unions compete?

Consumers are increasingly looking to interact with financial service providers through self-service technology, making it difficult for credit unions to differentiate on in-person service. In order to improve member experience in this environment, leaders must first understand what the “member experience” is and how to map, measure, and improve the interactions and touchpoints that shape it. The payoff can be huge—enhancing member experience can boost member engagement and increase member loyalty, expand a credit union’s share of wallet, attract new members, and drive overall growth. 


In addition to the research report, utilize this workshop guide to help your credit union define the experience it wants to deliver to members.