Member Survey Results

In 2010, in an effort to better understand our member’s financial needs and perceptions of the credit union, we sent out surveys to 20% of Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union’s (SoAFCU) membership base. We received back a statistically significant 3.5% response rate, which is over 350 responses. The survey had over 30 questions, which allowed the respondent to rank services, provide feedback and express their opinion on strengths and weaknesses. The results of this survey were compared to all previous SoAFCU surveys (1996, 1998, 2001, 2005), as well as industry standards. From these comparisons we were able to identify areas where SoAFCU is doing well and areas of improvement.

There was an incredible amount of information we were able to gather from the survey, but for the purpose of this summary we will only focus on the major issues. The entire management team and the board of directors reviewed the results of the complete survey. The survey responses were instrumental in developing future plans and were a major part of our planning session in the fall of 2010.

First, where did we score well with you?

  • The highest scores SoAFCU received, out of all categories, was for our staff’s performance with all scores at 4 in a scale of 5 (give or take .2 points). Members scored our staff highest in the friendly and courteous category, while the weakest score was in knowledge of services.
  • 93% of all respondents indicated that our service meets or exceeds expectations.
  • When asked if our members would recommend us as a financial institution, 82% indicated they would, 14% indicated they may or may not and only 4% would not recommend us.
  • Our locations scored high throughout the survey; a small percent of the member base continued to express their desire for a North Pole location.
  • Our e-Teller usage has doubled, we believe due to our great new system, and there has been a marked increase of members preferring electronic delivery of notices and statements.

Where are our opportunities for improvement?

  • The area with the biggest opportunity for improvement related to our hours. Although 62% of our respondents thought our hours were fine, 18% would like better Saturday hours and an equal 18% would like later weekday hours. Only 10% felt we needed Sunday hours. The total is over 100% because you could select more than one option.
  • When we asked for suggestions for improvements in access/convenience, 54% asked for better and expanded hours. This is double the 2005 survey response.
  • When we specifically looked at location preferences for Saturday hours, all four branches (we included Johansen even though it has not opened yet) scored fairly close with Geist being the most popular at 65% and Gillam being the least popular at 41%.
  • When asked for suggestions for improvements for products/services, 38% of members wanted more electronic services. Although this is down from the 45% in 2005 survey, it was still the leading suggestion for improvement.

What decisions were made as a result of the feedback from this survey and how will SoAFCU work to improve?

SoAFCU began many initiatives in 2010 and moving forward on into the future that should resolve or mitigate concerns raised in this survey.

It is also important to keep in mind why our members select a financial institution. The graph “Factors in Choosing a Primary Financial Institution” below shows the results of that question in the recent survey:

We were also interested in what services we could possibly offer in the future were important and would be used by members, which the graph below addresses:

Our objectives for 2011 are numerous. The ones that have some relationship to the survey results are:

  • We will open a new branch at our Johansen location half way through 2011. Once open, the branch will provide us with the opportunity to provide expanded hours during the week and on weekends. Keep in mind each of our current locations have major limitations with such things as size, access, parking, drive-ups and services. Our hope is that our Johansen location will not have any of these limitations.
  • Our e-Teller system is being improved by our core processor sometime in 2011, and we will implement the new system as soon as it is available. More detail will be coming out in respect to these improvements.
  • Access to images of your loans and deposits through e-Teller will be much improved in the beginning of 2011. We will allow you access to receipts, deposited checks, deposit agreements and loan documents.
  • Increased emphasis and additional training will be provided to our employees to insure their knowledge of products and services are up-to-date and complete.
  • We will begin offering periodic seminars on a variety of different topics once our new location is open.
  • Our new Prestige group began in November of 2010, and is expected to expand during 2011.
  • We have completed a SoAFCU application for iPhones and will be releasing one for Androids in early 2011. We will also work on expanding our mobile banking options for members in 2011.

We will continue to send out these surveys every few years to insure that we continue to encourage member feedback and to provide us with important insights and recommendations from our membership base. Please contact us with your thoughts concerning the results of our member survey.