The Results are In: How to Use Member Journey Data to Drive Growth & Retention

October 9, 2018 Co-op Solutions

Polaroids Portrait Shots Laid Across

There are many reasons to seek a clearer understanding of your members’ experience. Here’s one that really counts: while 80 percent of CEOs surveyed by Bain & Company believed they delivered a superior customer experience, only 8 percent of their customers agreed.

Building strong relationships through a thoughtfully-conceived, well-executed and well-received member experience is the surest route to gaining trust. And in the digital age – where every transaction and impulse is captured, analyzed and followed up on – true insight beats anecdotal knowledge every time. If you really want to know what your members value, what they don’t and how they’re interacting with your credit union, member journey mapping is the place to start.

To get a clearer picture of the member journey – and to offer a head start to credit unions wanting to learn more – CO-OP partnered with Mastercard Advisors to commission a nationwide survey of 1,200 credit union members this past spring. The research analyzes 2,000 individual member journeys to get detailed insights into the member experience – and to try to uncover opportunities, strengths and pitfalls in the daily interactions credit unions have with the people they serve.

The full results of the survey – including a downloadable 50-page report – are available at

Here are some of the key highlights of the research:

1. Member Interactions Can Build (or Erode) Loyalty

The survey measured the performance of 13 key member journeys, such as applying for membership, making a service complaint, initiating a balance inquiry or starting an investment account. It also considered impact: how both positive and negative performance influenced future behavior. One of the key takeaways across virtually every member journey was that a good experience can build loyalty while a bad experience can significantly decrease it. For instance, 58 percent of members who experienced high levels of stress or anxiety from a negative member journey said they would decrease their business with their credit union. Conversely, 64 percent of members that experienced an exceptionally positive experience said they felt increased trust with their credit union.

I’m glad I made the decision to invest at the credit union,” one member said about a positive experience opening an investment account with his or her credit union.

Member journey mapping research reveals the importance of providing a good experience at each interaction and the aggregate impact that has on long-term member relationships.

2. Emotions Fast-Track Results

Perhaps most interestingly, the research reveals how emotions affected usage and trust. Feelings of excitement and happiness, or anxiety on the opposite end of the spectrum, enhanced both positive and negative impacts on future business and trust.

For example, when member journeys went well, 47 percent of members who were experiencing mid-to-low emotional levels said they would increase their business with their credit union; 50 percent said they felt increased trust.

Negative journeys led to similarly “enhanced” results. One of the lowest performing member journeys across the board was a credit union’s response to a survey complaint. Not only did that lead to some of the highest levels of negative emotions reported but 85 percent of members reported that they had told someone they knew about their bad experience. In fact, 6 percent of members told more than 20 people about their negative experience! This shows how a negative member journey not only impacts your credit union’s reputation with members but also outside your member-base.

Connecting the dots between all three components of the member experience – performance, impact and emotional load – helps credit unions put member journey data to real use. By looking at the various components of the member experience and then following through to their impacts and emotional payoffs, credit union strategists get a wide-angle view of how members feel about their credit unions and why.

From there, it’s possible to fix individual issues – by providing better follow-up on fraud reporting, for example, or offering a more seamless mobile experience. Credit unions can also consider the broader issue of sentiment. Can you reduce the anxiety members feel when they’re applying for a mortgage or dealing with a declined transaction? Can you build happiness and excitement into the loan application process?

Mapping your member journey can be illuminating, even inspiring. Soliciting feedback from your members is itself a point of connection. “I hadn’t thought about my credit union in a while,” one respondent told MasterCard researchers. “This survey helped me realize how much I value it.”

The original article The Results are In: How to Use Member Journey Data to Drive Growth & Retention can be found on Insight Vault.

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