Measuring Ease of Use

Data shows that credit unions with true member loyalty enjoy higher net income, lower costs and faster growth than credit unions with less loyal, engaged members. There are a variety of “experience” elements that are important to members and help build loyalty.

Quality service, trustworthiness, products, pricing, and “ease of use” are the elements that are most highly correlated to loyalty. Credit unions have been measuring many of these elements for some time, but “ease of use” often gets overlooked. More credit unions are now measuring Member Effort Score (also known as Customer Effort Score) to capture ease of use as a part of their overall member experience (MX) program.

About Customer Effort Score

Customer Effort Score was introduced by CEB in 2010 in a Harvard Business Review article. The methodology was revised by CEB in 2013 after further research showed the need for adjustments to the question wording and scale.

The essential idea behind Member Effort Score in the credit union industry, is that reducing the effort required for your members to do business with you will result in fewer detractors and a better member experience, thus improving loyalty. In other words, the easier you make it to do business with you, the more loyal your members will become.

How do you determine where you need to reduce effort? Put simply, by asking members that recently interacted with you if you made it easy for them to handle their issue.

The scores, especially when segmented by the types of interaction (question, problem, technical support, etc.) or channel (phone, web, mobile), can highlight the areas of your business where members have to put forth high effort to get what they need done. Think of those times when you’ve had to call a service provider back multiple times to get an issue resolved, or you try to find a solution on a website…but you’re forced to call in and try to use the touch tone phone tree. High effort erodes loyalty.

We are often asked, is Member Effort Score better than Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Satisfaction (CSAT)? In working with credit unions, our data has shown that a combination of measures is most effective when building a member feedback or member experience program. NPS is, by nature, a relationship-oriented metric. When members consider how likely they are to recommend the credit union, all of their past experiences are rolled into the rating they choose. As credit unions analyze NPS and the comments that go along with the scores members provide, they are often able to uncover the root cause of service or product issues and make adjustments.

However, Member Effort Score is beneficial when used to measure member experience within a specific channel or touchpoint. Consider this, a member may have had a multitude of great experiences with the credit union and be highly likely to recommend. However, their recent experience with your online banking was very difficult and took way longer than they anticipated. This very loyal member, may indicate that they needed to put forth a lot of effort to use online banking. Imagine if this member continuously had issues with the online banking channel…one would guess that this would impact their overall loyalty at some point. Member Effort Score can be used as a spotlight to highlight current high effort experiences in your member journey. When used over time, it can provide an early warning signal to loyalty eroding, high effort interactions.

The reality is… a metric alone cannot provide leaders all the information necessary to improve the credit union. It’s how you use the feedback and take action that creates the impressive results that NPS, Member Effort Score, Ease of Use, or any other metric promises.
Interested in adding Member Effort Score to your program? Member Loyalty Group can help! Contact us today to learn more about our member experience program.

Note: This article originally ran on CUinsight.com on 2/8/16