Wednesday, I had the honor of listening to Denise Wymore and Ron Shevlin speak during a session at the Partnership Symposium in Fishers, Indiana. In a lively debate (Ron and Denise ROCK), they discussed how to most effectively measure a person's propensity to promote/advocate an organization based on his/her associated relationship. I am convinced they'll never agree on the best mode of measurement, but they generally agree that there is immense value in evaluating and determining the factors that wow consumers enough to a) create brand loyalty; b) generate word-of-mouth referrals; and c) support a sustainable business model. In essence, if customers like doing business with an organization and feel confident enough in their related experience to tell their friends about that experience, you have the makings of a pretty good thing.
Generally speaking, do you enjoy doing business with your credit union? What do you like about it? What do you hate about it? What would make you like your credit union so much that you would tell your friends and family, "you just HAVE TO join my credit union - it's awesome!"? What would make you tell all of your friends "my credit union sucks"?
One of the hardest things for people inside an organization sometimes is understanding that their customers/members don't always have a strong emotional response to their relationship. It's also one of the hardest things to overcome. That numbness comes from the errand-izing of that organization's business offering. If doing business with an organization is just an errand to a customer, a chore that is done simply because it must be, what's the likelihood of that person telling his/her friends positive things about that organization? How probable would it be that this customer base has any loyalty whatsoever to that organization?
To me it's all about the expectation creation. If a customer expects something to suck, and their experience is even marginally better than sucky - you may very well have a satisfied customer. If a customer expects first-class, top notch service and receives very good, but not out of this world, service - you may very well have an unsatisfied customer. Marginally better than sucky could, depending on the expectation of the unique customer, be more satisfying than very good service. It's all about what the customer expects to get out of a relationship.
I think credit unions have largely done a very good job at serving members' current needs and setting service standards based on the loftiest common denominator of expectations. I am on the inside, though. So you tell me - what can a credit union do to consistently evoke a positive emotional reaction from you when you visit? How can we "wow" you into becoming a stronger credit union advocate/promoter?