Credit Unions Top of the Consumer Satisfaction Heap

December 30, 2013

Credit unions in Maine and across the country continue to hold a high reputation in customer satisfaction, resulting in a 3.7% increase this year over last year’s ranking in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

For 2013, credit unions have an ACSI benchmark of 85–significantly higher than the bank rating of 78. Banks may have inched upward by 1.3% from 2012, but credit unions’ increase in the approval rating –at 3.7%–was triple that of banks, according to the cross-industry survey of customer satisfaction.

“Credit unions continue to be recognized as trusted financial providers that put member service first,” said Paul Gentile, executive vice president of strategic communications and engagement, Credit Union National Association. “The credit union cooperative model centers around helping consumers improve their financial lives, and these survey results reflect how important that is for consumers in today’s challenging economic environment.”

Maine CU League President John Murphy echoed those comments, adding, “Maine credit unions are about helping members and have a long reputation and history of doing so. These findings reinforce the fact that members appreciate that.”

Free checking and lower interest rates are among the reasons why the credit union rating rose, ACSI reported, and the historically better member experience continues to buoy service ratings. Courteous and helpful staff notched a score of 93–higher than the bank rating at 91–followed by quick and efficient transactions at 90, where banks stood at 88.

“Credit unions continue to benefit from a very strong emphasis on customer service,” David VanAmburg, ACSI director. Credit unions’ local feel and the ability of staff to make members feel valued and welcome also are reflected in the results, he added.

Credit union members do believe their current credit union offers competitive interest rates (85), compared with bank customers who ranked their institution at 73.