Feedback from our Member Workshop

Following our Purpose Project completed in 2021, we are committed to engaging with our members on an annual basis on the twin themes of Inclusion and Innovation.  This is an opportunity for us to hear directly from our members on how we can be a more inclusive and supportive organisation that meets the needs of its members and how innovations can help deliver that.   This is part of how we deliver on our values and commitments as a purpose-led, ethical, co-operative organisation.

This year, the Forum met online on Wednesday 22 November. 11 members took part in our the online workshop. Topics discussed included:

Service & communications: exploring how we can better serve our members’ diverse needs

Products & services: testing ideas around the new childcare loan, homeowner loan & new saving product

Tools & support: how useful are the tools and support for managing members’ money

Democracy & engagement: what might make members more likely to get involved

Members were invited to vote on 5 statements:

Comments and discussion

“I came to the credit union through my trade union looking for somewhere safe, ethical to invest money. I’ve always found good quality and reliable products through my union”

Comments on our ‘digital first’ approach

“I like to be able to do digital, although I can appreciate there may be sometimes when you do want to speak to a person”
“(The digital service) has been great. It suits how I use the accounts that I have. I’ve not had any situations where I needed to speak to someone, and the digital side has been very quick and efficient every time I’ve used it”

Comments on App

“I’ve used the app -it seems pretty easy to use”

“Works well for me – only used it for limited stuff so far, but it’s easier than (Members Access)…so for me, it’s been ideal”

“I’ve had a look at the app. I found it worked well, once I’d received support to register”

Comments on ideas for a new savings product

“In my opinion, the Credit Union isn’t particularly for big amounts of money or (high interest) rates. It’s for people who possibly can only save a tiny bit, but want to get into the habit of saving that”

“I think the prize-linked account will appeal and encourage people who wouldn’t normally save to start saving with a prize as an incentive”

“Maybe better interest for an account that can’t be touched for a time period… 6 months etc?”

Comments on Idea for a new Childcare Loan
I do really like the innovative idea of the play now pay later childcare loans on. I know a few of my have been telling me how much they have to work to just cover the cost of the childcare. I think that would be really beneficial so I think that’s going to really help”

Comments on the new Homeowner Loan product

Overall, positive reaction (from those who it would be relevant for)

I do like the look of the homeowner alone. I happen to be a homeowner and currently looking at a new porch, so that would be of interest to me”
“If there’s an opportunity to to borrow with a better rate, I would certainly be interested”
“I have a number of friends who might be interested in joining in response to your Homeowner Loan idea”

Member referral scheme comments

An enthusiastic response to the suggestion of a ‘refer a friend’’ scheme, a few suggestions for different mechanics, e.g.:

“I’d feel a bit guilty taking the cash, perhaps a charity donation for referrals?”

Comments on member benefits
“I used the benefit calculator and found out I was eligible for child tax credits”
“I used the wedding photography discount offer”

Comments on joining the board/getting more involved:
Mixed reaction – time being a barrier for many, but also some perceptions that perhaps the board is not for everyone:
“For me personally, it’s having the time to volunteer as I have two jobs, which is why you probably have older people volunteering when they retire”
There was strong support for the idea of a member advocates network: e.g a group of supportive members who we would meet with semi-regularly online to share updates on our latest developments and share ideas and resources to grow membership.

“I’d be interested in being an advocate”

Comments on communications

“I find the emails very friendly and easy to read”

“The welcoming friendliness of the CU is one of my favourite things about it”

Next steps

We would like to say a huge thank you to all our members who took part for their valuable input. We will be following up on all comments and insights from the session, and taking this feedback into account as we develop our plans going forward. 

If you are interested in taking part in future member workshops like this one, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Mel Phillips to register your interest. 

Or, if you have any suggestions or feedback that you would like to share, we would please feel free to get in touch with us at anytime.