Are Credit Unions Afraid to Do Market Research with Their Members?

Are Credit Unions Afraid to Do Market Research with Their Members?


As VP of Product Design for a software CUSO, I get asked all the time to consider ideas for enhancements and new features for our core software products. Usually they’re really cool ideas, even if we don’t always have the time or resources to say yes to everything that comes down the pipe.

But sometimes the requests really leave me scratching my head. Recently someone asked me to hide a feature from their staff, so they wouldn’t know it was available and accidentally spill the beans to their members.

I’m not talking about something expensive, or something in conflict with other products the credit union already offers. That I could understand. But this was something FREE, both to the credit union and to members, that didn’t even require any fancy configuration or complicated setup, and no risk at all to the credit union. If someone is interested enough to actually wonder about it, shouldn’t that be a clue you might want to at least consider offering it?

Similarly, we also get requests from time to time to stop telling members about features via the articles we post on the online banking login page. “Don’t tell my members about how they can do that,” they say. “They might start getting ideas!” Isn’t that the point? Why not benefit from some free market research? How are you going to know members are interested in something if you don’t ever ask them about it?

Personally, I think surveys are a waste of time…how about just paying attention to the things people are talking about? And how much better if they stumble across it through a channel you control, rather than someplace out in the big wide world? Rather than waiting for you to get around to considering it, maybe they’ll just up and take it…from your competition.

So why don’t credit unions take advantage of free market research, even for things they don’t offer yet? Reach out to me; I’d really like to know!


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