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CU's High Ranking in Customer Satisfaction Index Spotlighted in National Media
Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:30 AM

Tuesday's news of credit unions' high placement in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has garnered national and international press attention. The Washington Post and Time MONEY Magazine noted that credit unions scored above other financial institutions in 10 customer experience benchmarks.

The Washington Post commented that Americans are much happier with credit unions, which held steady with the second highest industry score of all, coming in just behind televisions.

Banks, the article noted, slid 2.6 percent from 2013. The dissatisfaction with banks is led by less competitive rates and fewer branches and ATMs—areas in which credit unions excelled at No. 1. Smaller banks registered the greatest decline in satisfaction with 4% drop.

"Leaders in these industries might also want to work on how quickly financial transactions are completed, how courteous and helpful their staff are with customers, and how easy it is to understand information and make changes to accounts—all factors that got poorer scores this year," the paper noted.

"As banks try to get fees and aren't successful at doing so, they have to cut costs—reducing the number of branches, downsizing staff—which results in lower satisfaction scores," ACSI Director David VanAmburg told The Washington Post.

For consumers who agree with the findings, Time MONEY offered this advice: "Feeling unsatisfied with your own banking relationship? You could take a cue from the results and go to a credit union for a far better shot at happiness. Most people are eligible for membership to at least one."

Diverse media such as the Tulsa, Oklahoma, radio station KRMG-FM 102.3 and KRMG-AM 740, Crain's Detroit Business, and the international publication Co-operative News covered the survey results.

In addition to featuring ACSI's rankings on the front page of its website, Co-operative News cited Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle's reaction to the news.

"Credit unions are steadfast in their dedication to member services, in large part because credit union members are credit union owners," Nussle said.

The Birmingham (Alabama) Business Journal tapped Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, for his reaction as well. "The ACSI score further demonstrates the relevance of the credit union movement and how credit unions stand out among other financial institutions," La Pine told the Business Journal. "Our research finds that when a consumer becomes familiar with a credit union, they join. ACSI's report shows that once they join, they love their credit union."