Friday, April 6, 2018
I am just nearing completion of a kitchen renovation; for those of you who that have ever renovated a piece of your home, you can relate to the fun of living through a construction zone. Surprisingly, the construction was actually the least stressful part, mainly due to a patient and understanding contractor. The main issues I ran into was with suppliers who failed to address a simple fundamental business concept: SERVICE! My new Samsung dishwasher came complete with a faulty part that caused it to leak and (thankfully) display an error code. Calls to the warranty department were met with roadblocks after roadblocks, with staff not really caring about relationship building or developing loyalty, instead following a scripted process that made little sense. A simple repair of a $50 retail part after three weeks turned into a moving truck taking away my new dishwasher--apparently, that was cheaper than having someone come and repair the unit! As I still await my refund, I can’t help but think the process does not have the best interests of the customer in mind. I don’t have a dishwasher or the money I paid for it a full month after I purchased the unit.
I am simply one of millions of customers that purchase Samsung products and I guess my business is not important. After all, the company’s main focus is on driving profit and meeting share price expectations for its shareholders who are not necessarily their customers. They must produce quality products otherwise sales would suffer, but why neglect the service? Sales and service should compliment one another, adding customer value. The problem lies with ownership! I have little influence over Samsung polices, procedures, products, services, or staffing. I am a consumer so I simply consume the goods produced by the company if I like them, and that is where it ends.
The Credit Union model is fundamentally different, a fact which most members are likely not even aware of. To use the services of a credit union you must first become an owner. You purchase your shares which then provides you with access to all the products and services the credit union offers. The shares you pay makes you an invested owner with also means that you have input on how your credit union is run and ways in which it may be improved. Most members simply want to avail of the products and services--and there is nothing wrong with that--but it is always nice to know that, as an owner, your opinion is valued and taken seriously. I know I wish my concern on my dishwasher could have been heard or taking seriously but that was not the case.
The vision statement of LECU was changed to focus on assisting members reach their financial goals with their best interests in mind. The focus is on people, not profit, and initiatives, such as low fees, more services, and a strong focus on advice, are put in place to support this vision.
In the most recent member survey, members indicated that 97.2% were satisfied with their relationship with LECU. In the word cloud that was captured when members were asked why they feel this way, the word service was prominent in member responses. Members are the owners; the purpose of the staff is to serve the owners daily and ensure they assist them in meeting their financial goals. It is vital that we continue to have the necessary policies, procedures, and standards in place to continue to provide superior service.