Jan 25 2016

Member Effort Benchmarking: Measuring Ease of Use

Service failures are not fun, but they are instructive. While it’s still important to track factors like member satisfaction and Net Promoter Score, Filene sought to test the value of using a member effort score. Three primary research questions guided our analysis:

  1. What does “good” member effort look like?
  2. Once we realized that mortgage lending and new memberships took undue effort: How can credit unions improve their mortgage lending, problem resolution, and new membership processes to resemble that of consumer lending?
  3. Can a member effort score help credit unions track progress to improve core lending and member engagement?

While credit unions have good reasons to track satisfaction and Net Promoter Score, understanding how easy it was to complete a transaction can offer more actionable feedback. We found wide variety in ease-of-use scores among the 16 credit unions. But some common themes and recommendations emerged:

  • Lending benchmarks. Credit unions excel in consumer lending but do not do well if a member applies for a mortgage or joins the credit union via the web . Mortgage lending, regardless of channel, scores poorly. Credit unions should identify their own consumer lending best practices and seek to replicate them across mortgage lending.
  • Improve handoffs. Poor performance from web-initiated mortgages and membership applications, with poor handoff and subsequent communication, is negatively impacting members’ willingness to give future business to the credit union.
  • Mortgage status checks. If mortgage volumes are high, establish an accurate online communication hub to communicate the status of the mortgage loan.

Filene thanks our generous supporters for making this important research possible.

Report Number 385