Survey Says: Despite Convenience of Online Access, Service at the Branch is What Satisfies Credit Union Members

TimeTrade State of Credit Unions survey finds members expect—and receive—highly personalized service

BOSTON—Oct. 5, 2017—TimeTrade, the leading provider of intelligent customer engagement, today announced the results of a new survey—The State of Credit Unions 2017—which show that credit union members still like to conduct business at a local branch, but they expect knowledgeable, highly personalized service from employees when they visit.

Despite the increasing pervasiveness of online banking sites and mobile applications, the TimeTrade survey of 2,000 consumers found that nearly half of respondents (46 percent) visited a credit union branch once a month or more, with another 25 percent visiting at least five times during the past year.

Those results are consistent with the finding that the quality of service at the branch is the most important factor for credit union members. Bank customers, on the other hand, in TimeTrade’s 2017 State of Banking survey said branch location and operating hours are the top considerations when determining where to do their banking.

Ranking the quality of service members receive at their credit union on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the best), 45 percent of respondents rated their credit union a 5, while another 39 percent gave their institution a 4. Those figures outpace the results of the bank customers survey, where only 33 percent rated their bank a 5.

Credit unions continue to do a good job of providing members with a personalized experience. Seventy-eight percent of respondents feel they have a personalized in-branch experience, compared with just 71 percent of bank customers. And 62 percent said that when they meet with a credit union representative, that employee is always knowledgeable and able to help them.

“Credit unions—like banks—face increasing pressure to provide the exceptional, personalized service that consumers demand,” said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of TimeTrade. “Fortunately for credit unions, their member-centric operating focus keeps them well-positioned with their target market. In the years to come, branches will be just one of the possible places for face-to-face meetings to conduct important financial business. This will enable credit unions to take advantage of their personalized, local relationships, which will be difficult for national bank brands to match.”

One way credit unions can continue to ensure that the right employees are available to serve customers who want to discuss mortgages, loans, retirement planning and other important matters is to offer them an easy way to schedule appointments with subject-matter experts, at a date, time and location of the members’ choosing.

Sixty-two percent of survey respondents said, for example, they would prefer to schedule an appointment with a mortgage specialist instead of going to a branch and waiting for someone to help them. Almost half of respondents said they would choose a credit union specifically because it offered the ability to schedule appointments at a convenient time and location. And 34 percent said they would be much more likely to visit a branch if they could make an appointment for a day and time most convenient for them.

And while they do take advantage of online banking options, credit union members have clear opinions about other new technologies. They are less enthusiastic about dealing with robo advisors or chatbots in place of knowledgeable human branch representatives. Sixty-six percent of respondents said they want to interact with people, not machines, at their branch.

About The State of Credit Unions 2017
The State of Credit Unions 2017 survey of 2,000 consumers was conducted by national survey firm SSI between April 21 and April 25, 2017. The free report is available for download.

About TimeTrade
TimeTrade creates conversations that drive business. The company equips businesses to provide personalized service to every customer, every time, creating a service guarantee that improves customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention, and increases sales growth. TimeTrade’s leading-edge Customer Engagement Cloud, an enterprise platform delivered through a worldwide cloud-hosting network, provides omnichannel and mobile application tools for managing the most critical part of the customer journey: the live conversation. It includes several tightly integrated modules for online appointment scheduling, queue management, and data-rich analytics and reports. The company’s patented cloud technology scales to meet the demands of the largest multinational enterprises as well as mid-size and small businesses, and undergoes independent SOC 2 type 2 security audits annually. More than 500 of the world’s most successful brands—including the largest banks, retailers, sales organizations and healthcare systems—rely on TimeTrade to power their live customer conversations and improve the customer experience, in person, by phone or online.

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