Banks are set to win the war on customer satisfaction. Here’s how to stop them.

first_imgIn the intense battle of competition between financial institutions, credit unions have long held a winning hand: better service. It’s an advantage most credit unions promote, emphasizing their ability to do a far better job than the banks in meeting the needs of individuals. There’s just one problem. It’s not true. As found in the Finance and Insurance Report 2018 from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), banks are now on par with credit unions for customer satisfaction, with both institutions earning an ACSI score of 81. It’s the first time in ten years that the scores have been equal. But what’s even more chilling is how that came to be. While the customer satisfaction score for banks remained steady year-to-year, it dropped by 1.2% for credit unions. Meaning consumers are losing faith in credit unions, but not in banks.  Now, if that’s got you worried, good! Because you should be. Banks have closed the gap on credit unions and it only looks set to continue. Unless action is taken now to reverse the trend, there will soon be little reason to join a credit union. What can credit unions do to remain competitive? The first step is to understand why the gap has closed. And this comes down to the fact that there are many aspects that contribute to customer satisfaction. While credit unions win in some areas, such as in-branch courtesy and helpfulness (do note they lead by only one point), banks outperform credit unions in areas that are increasingly important to today’s consumer, such as quality of mobile apps. As consumers rely more on digital and less on in-branch visits to complete their banking, interactions outside the branch will make a much bigger contribution to customer satisfaction. Which means credit unions need to create a consistent experience across every channel. An experience that is as good as it is in their branches.Elevating the cross-channel experienceThe key is to look at the brand as a whole, then determine whether the same level of quality is experienced at every touch point. Identify the gaps in the total brand journey, then address them. Take your website, for example. Your website should be seen as a highly-valued resource; one that positions you as an authority of financial well-being, a pillar of the community, and an advocate of the credit union movement. It’s the perfect vehicle to energize members and non-members. But do visitors enjoy the same level of quality as they do when they engage in person? More specifically, do they come away from your site feeling the same way as someone who has just visited your branch? If not, think about the ways you can easily improve the interaction. Whether it’s more user-friendly navigation, updating content for greater relevancy, or reformatting to a responsive design, sometimes the simplest update can drastically improve the entire experience. The same goes for your mobile experience. If after using your app members don’t feel the same level of fulfillment as the do once they’ve left the branch, then there is work to be done.Don’t forget the restWhile improving the digital experience is essential, it’s important to not neglect any of the other channels in the process. A small oversight may be all it takes to disappoint members. One often overlooked area is membership cards. Are your cards presented to new members in a way that makes them feel valued and special? Or are they handed over with very little wow-factor? It is these seemingly small areas that can provide huge opportunities to extend the high service you offer in branch. And don’t forget to leverage your strengths in inventive ways! If members enjoy the advice your in-branch staff provide, consider running events or seminars that allow members to learn how they can better manage their finances. This gives your credit union the opportunity to further engage in-person – something you know your organization can do well – while providing significant value to the member. It also provides an opportunity to extend your offering, particularly online. Possible avenues include webinars for people who are unable to attend in person or featuring success stories of attendees on your blog. Act now or forever hold your peaceWhile these are just a few considerations, the most important take-away is credit unions need to start fighting back with a consistent brand experience. The banks are muscling in on credit unions’ turf, and unless they evolve to meet consumers’ changing needs, credit unions will be left far behind. We’re not ready to let that happen – but the question is, are you?References: ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ben Prager Prior to forming Prager Creative, Ben worked with design studios, branding firms and advertising agencies to push great strategy and design for all his projects. His experience with all aspects … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Greek Australian and team recognised for helping young drug addicts

first_imgGeorge Hatzimanolis and his team of Youth and Family Services workers were recognised for their hard work in helping young people and their families cope with and get rehabilitation in their drug and alcohol, and mental health issues. The Youth and Family Services team from Odyssey House Victoria – of which Mr Hatzimanolis is the manager – where awarded the Excellence in Services to Young People for their work on the Building Resilience in Community Schools project as part of Drug Action Week. The Odyssey House Project Building Resilience in Community Schools places an experienced worker in community schools to provide at risk young people, their families and social workers with professional non-judgemental support and information regarding alcohol and drug use. Community schools are an alternative education setting for young people who do not fit into traditional mainstream schooling. “These are kids who are – what we consider – high risk and [in most cases] it’s their last chance to remain engaged in education,” explains Mr Hatzimanolis. The program was awarded for its ability to recognise the need to implement alcohol and drug treatment services in community schools. “Odyssey House has been funded to place a clinician into these schools to work with these young people,” Mr Hatzimanolis tells Neos Kosmos. “We work with 56 per cent of the students of these community schools, and we are currently working with three community schools around Melbourne. “53 per cent of these students attend counselling weekly, out of the 53 per cent, six per cent of our clients are homeless yet still attend school, so we’re talking the really high risk young people.” For the past 10 to 15 years, Mr Hatzimanolis has noticed a significant difference in young people battling their addiction with drug and alcohol issues. He says as in the past, people would come into the centre with an addiction to one drug – say alcohol, marijuana or heroin – and they had the skill and knowledge to help, nowadays he is noticing a rise in poly-users; young people who take a high volume of a variety of drugs. He says this is posing a challenge for the counsellors who are noticing a rise in mental health issues because of this. Mr Hatzimanolis tells Neos Kosmos that another challenge can affect children of ethnic communities, explaining he finds it difficult to get people involved in the programs who have a Greek background. “They like to deal with it themselves,” he says of loved ones with a Greek background who have family members battling an addiction. “The problem with a lot of these young people is that their parents are struggling with their own issues as well so we try to link them into specialist services for them as well.” Mr Hatzimanolis adds that the Greek community tend to send the person with the drug or alcohol issue back to Greece with the impressions that they “come back fine” without a drug and alcohol problem. “What they don’t realise is that drug and alcohol doesn’t discriminate; drug and alcohol are everywhere. “When you are a drug user you will find that drug it doesn’t matter which country you are in, so what they do is send them back to Greece to their uncles, aunties, grandmothers and grandfathers but they tend to find themselves back in the city and they tend to continue their drug use and this doesn’t work. They need to be linked into a specialist service like ours. Odyssey House is one of the largest drug and alcohol misuse organisations in Victoria. It provides a comprehensive range of community-based treatment and support services to address alcohol and other drug problems, along with any associated mental health, vocational, health, relationship and family issues. Participation in these programs is voluntary and people wanting help can self refer. If you are dealing with a loved one with a drug and alcohol issue, Mr Hatzimanolis says: “make a phone call and get some advice and to get agencies in the region that they are able to link their son or daughter or loved one into and it’s about them looking after themselves. “We can’t force people to attend counselling sessions, a lot of time we find it’s just about us giving support and advice to their parents and that advice is looking after themselves and how to deal with a young person living with an addiction.” For more information on Odyssey House visit Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more