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Customer Advocacy is a Competitive Advantage

Forrester Research is a global research and advisory firm that provides insight and guides clients on business, technology, marketing & strategy decisions in a few different industries including Financial Services, Retail and Healthcare.  They are well considered and well sought after thought leaders. 

Customer Advocacy

For the past 10 years Forrester has been highlighting the importance of Customer Advocacy — as being critical in the eyes of Customers of retail financial services. They define Customer Advocacy as being the perception held by Customers that the firm they do business with does what’s best for Customers & not just what’s right for the firm’s own bottom line. Forrester considers Customer Advocacy as being the key driver of loyalty at retail financial services firms which in turn, yields the most sustainable revenue growth for financial services firms. Last year, in their most recent report Forrester suggested that while Customer Advocacy, has always been a smart strategy it has now become an imperative. Demonstrating Customer Advocacy and showing an obsession while both serving and delighting customers is an unbeatable source of competitive advantage Forrester believes, which can survive technology-fueled disruption and provide disproportionate growth. 

Customer Advocacy when demonstrated, makes clients and account holders feel that their financial services provider truly acts in their best interest and that makes those customers want to invest more, borrow more and buy more from that firm. Free Cappuccino or Free Pens will Not have the same impact.

LegacyTracker is all about showing and providing Client Advocacy – for your Client but also their families.

You can get their report here 

2013: How US Customers Rate Their Financial Services Firms

For 10 years Forrester has shown that customer advocacy — the perception on the part of customers that their firm does what’s best for them, not just the firm’s own bottom line — is the key driver of loyalty at retail financial services firms

2012: How US Customers Rate Their Financial Services Firms

When customers feel that a financial services firm acts in their best interest, they are willing to invest more, borrow more, and buy more products from that firm. We call this corporate trait “customer advocacy” — the perception on the part of customers that a firm does what’s best for them, not just what’s best for the firm’s own bottom line

2011: How Financial Services Firms Win Loyal Customers

Marketing leaders at top-ranked financial services firms have found the secret to loyal customers. Forrester calls it customer advocacy: customers’ perception that a firm does what’s best for them, not just what’s best for the firm’s own bottom line.

2010: How Canadian Customers Rate their Banks

Forrester’s research shows that a key driver of customer retention and deeper customer relationships is a trait we call “customer advocacy,” the perception by customers that a firm does what’s best for them, not just what’s best for its own bottom line. When Canadian customers rate their primary banks on customer advocacy, credit unions come out on top, followed by President’s Choice Financial. Four of the big five banks get below-average scores from their customers. 

 

 We think we are a good fit !

Credit Unions Core Values

Credit Unions Core Values

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today in Canada there are approximately :

326 Credit Unions working with approximately 5.3 million members in approximately 1,741 different locations who also happen to contribute approximately $35.6 million in the form of financial donations, scholarships in kind donations and volunteerism to the communities they work with.

The Brand Attributes & Values that Co-operative Banks and Credit Unions all share that make them a little different have to do with the importance they give: Community, Participation, Social Responsibility, Customer Service, Ownership, and ..Profits for a higher purpose.

It’s a “here to serve attitude” which we both appreciate and share. 

Co-operatives and Credit Unions ensure members are front and centre given that those members are also the Shareholders which also explains why most often… fees are a little lower, interest on savings are a little higher, Giving Back to the local Community is a Bigger priority and those who might be under-served elsewhere are often served very nicely…thank you. 

Not unlike many financial organizations today, however, the challenges are many for     Co-operatives and Credit Unions: 

  • How to Differentiate in a very busy marketplace
  • How to attracting younger generations (including heirs/next generations)
  • How to maintain or improve member retention by meeting member needs
  • How to show innovation
  • How to continue to show relevance and value
  • How to do more/be more with existing clients

Unlike their larger competitors, Canadian Credit Unions also have to work hard to maintain that higher member/customer satisfaction rate that the Annual Ipsos Best Banking Awards Survey has bestowed upon them for 9 years straight by being First in Overall Customer Service Excellence. The Pressure !

LegacyTracker offers many benefits for users (and their families) which all centre on simplifying, safeguarding and sharing important information that can make a difference. It’s a Personal Financial Management Tool that goes beyond Finance and into Estate Planning and being prepared for a What if scenario that no one wants to think about. It’s about working towards reducing the alarming growth in Unclaimed Financial Assets that are estimated to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $63 Billion + in North America.

That’s why we think offering LegacyTracker to Members would be another Big way that Credit Unions can demonstrate Customer Advocacy.

Customer Advocacy as defined by Foresters  is shown when customers feel that their firm does what’s best for them, not just the firm’s own bottom line 

Customer Advocacy is a really BIG deal that many of us are looking for today. Foresters for the last 10 years has indicated that it’s a key driver of customer relationships and loyalty in the retail financial service market which yields the most sustainable revenue growth. In their most recent report, Foresters has suggested that Customer Advocacy is not just a strategy but an imperative now and a necessary competitive advantage.