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  • Posted on October 17, 2017

    Do surveys show us anything new?

    Rob is General Manager of NZCU Auckland which has been providing finance and banking services to the people of Auckland for over 50 years. His whole career has been spent in this industry and he has a wealth of knowledge about helping people better their financial wellbeing.

    As a not-for-profit registered credit union, NZCU Auckland is licenced by the RBNZ and owned and controlled by its customers to provide banking, savings, loans, and insurance products. Profits belong to the customer/owners - not corporates, overseas shareholders or the Government.

    Do surveys really show us anything new?

    I am always amused when I read about “scientific” surveys that claim findings that the rest of us always thought was just common sense anyway. Like the survey that found that eating too much mashed or fried potato wasn’t good for your health; or the one that found out that if you start another relationship after breaking up with your previous partner, you were less likely to dwell on your ex; or the one that found out that the majority of under-25’s in trouble overseas call Mum first for help – really!! We didn’t know all that already?

    I had similar thoughts of amazement when I read that a Consumer NZ survey found that “a majority of Kiwis believe they are being over-charged by their bank for fees and other charges” and that “82% of New Zealanders thought the profit made by their banks showed customers were being charged too much” – really, we didn’t know that too??

    You would have to be either a social hermit or the CEO of an Australian bank not to know that. It’s hard to go past any BBQ or after match drinks or coffee in the staff room without hearing someone complaining about being “ripped off’ by their bank or having to put up with slack service. Such discussions usually end with a frustrated sigh and “they’re all the same so it’s no point changing.”

    Well, all banks might be the same but not all banking services are the same.

    For centuries credit unions have been taking people out of the clutches of finance predators hell-bent of depriving them of their hard earned money. With a philosophy of “people helping people” they have successfully enabled anyone from all walks of life to better themselves financially at a cost far less than elsewhere. But it’s not just cost where people benefit. It’s about how they work with their customers to achieve that goal.

    Fundamentality, credit unions are co-operatives which means that whenever someone opens an account or takes out a loan, they become an owner of the business – just like the farmers who own Fonterra. Therefore, the owners and the customers are the same unlike the banks and finance companies that most of the frustration identified in this survey is directed towards. Staff of credit unions work for the customers rather than a bank or their faceless shareholders.

    Net Promoter Score

    And this is not just a wish list or some far-off goal – this is what the customers of credit unions tell us. Some credit unions are very keen to find out exactly what their customer/owners think by conducting Customer Engagement Surveys. These are genuine surveys that rate the likelihood of customers to recommend the credit union to family and friends. This is based on the sensible theory that people will only recommend something they believe in and are satisfied with. The results of these surveys are measured by what is called a “Net Promoter Score” (NPS)

    NPS is an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and measures customer loyalty. It can be as low as −100 (everybody hates you) or as high as +100 (everybody loves you).

    NZCU Auckland has been conducting Customer Engagement Surveys for almost three years with thousands of customers and our NPS has ranged from 47 to 67 with our average over this period of 51. Now, you might say that this isn’t anything spectacular but to put it into perspective, the developers of the metric claim that an NPS of +50 is world class.

    Now let’s get back to the banks and this insightful Consumer NZ survey. While the results didn’t surprise us, they shouldn’t have surprised the banks either because that’s what their own research has been telling them for years. The average NPS from surveys conducted by banks in New Zealand is just 15!

    So the next time you experience poor service from your bank or hear anyone else complaining, remember there is an alternative – one that is available to everyone and one where you have a real say in what happens with your money.

    It’s as simple of checking us out at www.nzcuauckland.co.nz - and how you could claim at your next coffee break that you own a bank!!