People Love Their Credit Union

The Credit Union Satisfaction Index (CUSI) has edged up, according to the customer experience measurement experts at CFI Group.

CFI Group’s 2018 year-end Credit Union Satisfaction Index (CUSI) is 86, as measured on a 0-100 scale. CUSI is calculated based on feedback from a panel of 497 respondents who have a current financial relationship with a credit union.

Credit union satisfaction historically has run several points higher than the bank satisfaction barometer. Banks had closed the gap to 2 points in 2016, but the gap has widened again to 6 points in 2018.

Members who experience a problem with their credit union are significantly less satisfied than those who do not.

Those that have had a problem within the last 60 days are less satisfied with the credit union experience, less likely to remain a member, less likely to use additional services, and less likely to recommend the credit union to others.

“It’s really about resolving member problems,” says Sheri Petras, CEO of CFI Group. “Of course, you’d like to eliminate member issues completely, but that’s not realistic; there will always be some members who experience issues. And we have found that a third of those members never report the problem to the credit union. The challenges for the credit union, then, are to run member feedback mechanisms that capture unreported problems, and develop the processes needed to deliver rapid and effective problem resolution for members.”

Credit unions face a competitive environment.

A report by CUNA shows that overall credit union membership has increased each year since 2012. And for the first six months of 2018, the total number of U.S. credit union members grew 4.3%. Yet, the number of credit unions continues to decline, down from 6,680 in 2013 to 5,594 midway through 2018.

To thrive in 2019, credit unions will need to compete beyond just rates and fees by providing an exceptional member experience.

Competing on Rates and Fees is Not Enough
It is difficult to offer rates and fees that are substantially lower than competitors. It is understandable, then, that only 18% of credit union members choose a credit union because of attractive rates and fees. Good rates and fees are a given. 

Credit Unions Must Develop a Rapid Problem Resolution Process Members who have an issue or problem within the last 60 days are less satisfied and less likely to remain a member. Credit unions need to develop processes that quickly and successfully address member issues.

To obtain the complete 2018 year-end Credit Union Satisfaction Index report, visit