Non-Member Surveys for Credit Unions | Product Development and Strategy

It's always easier to survey customers than non-customers. Customers have a relationship with you so they are more likely to respond, offer more feedback, and reply quicker. One of the more challenging parts of market research is talking to non-customers. How does our credit union reach them? Are they even willing to participate?

Opening up new markets and finding new customers outside of your current member base can help a credit union grow quickly. Although much can be said about selling more products and services to current members, you can only pull so much from that current member audience. The key to growth often lies in finding new segments of members and expanding the member base. In order to do so, you must first understand what non-members want.

Stacy is a not a member of your credit union. What are her needs? How does she choose financial institutions? What is her perception of your credit union? Find out with a non-member survey.

Financial institutions across the country work with credit union market research companies to survey this growth audience to create tactics and strategies through a marketing plan.

Unlike member surveys where credit unions can often rely on in-house resources to survey their audience, using an independent third-party with access to non-member contacts and expertise is often required to reach this new audience.

Non-Member Surveys for Credit Unions | Product Development and Strategy

Learn more about non-member surveys and the process below.


Why is a non-member survey important?

We break down the importance of a non-member survey into several components.

Factors in Choice

If the only market research you conduct is with your current members, you'll only see one half of the marketing and strategy puzzle. Consumers choose financial institutions for a variety of reasons. This can prove misleading in a member survey.

Let's say you ask your members why they chose your credit union. The top response mentioned by 20% of respondents was low fees. So this is what you've been marketing at your credit union for the past 3 years.

Does this mean that consumers who value high interest savings accounts or branch hours are going elsewhere? You don't know what you don't know. Although the results from your customer survey are enlightening, they are not showing you the full picture. What if we surveyed non-members in your market and found out that the top 3 reasons for choosing a financial institution were convenience, customer service, and branch hours?

By obtaining this new data you realize that by marketing low fees, you are only catering to a small percentage of the total consumer audience. By adjusting your marketing strategy to focus more on factors with wider appeal such as convenience, customer service, and branch hours you now open yourself up to a number of new potential members who value those factors.

The fact that you marketed low fees over the past 3 years pigeon-holed your credit union into acquiring a very specific type of member. By understanding what non-members want and need, it gives you perspective on where growth opportunities lie.

Target Markets

In addition to identifying these non-member segments, the survey can also identify geographical pockets in the market to focus your campaigns in. The survey may detail that significant opportunity exists in the Northeast and Northwest regions of your market area where usage of your credit union is lower. You may also find out that those in this region are significantly more likely to value customer service as a factor in choice. Using this type of analysis allows your credit union to create a strong tactical and evidence-based growth strategy.

Understand Image & Awareness

Members choose you and continue to do business with your credit union for a reason. But what about everyone else? Are they aware of you? What do they associate your credit union with? Do they have a positive or negative perception of your credit union?

All of these questions can be answered through a non-member survey. Some simple image and awareness questions help you understand whether the problem with growth lies in:

(1) Awareness (not enough people know about us...)

(2) Associations (people know us but they only think of us for...)

(3) Perceptions (people know about us but they view us negatively because...)


What is the process for a non-member survey?

Similar to all of our market research projects, a non-member credit union survey follows a very structured and organized process from start to finish.

(1) Proposal - we structure the scope, objectives, deliverables, timeline, and costs for you

(2) Kickoff - our team schedules a meeting with you to highlight the project steps

(3) Workplan - this guides our project with dates, deliverables, and responsible parties

(4) Survey draft - we translate your objectives into survey questions

(5) Test link - we send you a test link to view the survey as if you were a real participant

(6) Soft-launch - we run a test drive with a small sample to test the survey

(7) Full launch - our team opens the survey up to others now that the soft-launch is complete

(8) Analysis - we run our data quality checks to finalize the feedback for reporting

(9) Report - a comprehensive summary, recommendations, infographic, and charts and graphs

(10) Debrief - we'll walk you through the findings and insights we learned


How do we access non-member participants for a survey?

Although each credit union is unique based on the sample pool available to them, our credit union market research company uses a combination of panels and paid advertisements on social media to recruit respondents. We keep the survey short (3 to 5 minutes, 15 questions maximum) to ensure engagement and responsiveness is high.

Because we conduct studies across the United States, we have built a panel of participants who are willing to respond to future surveys. Depending on your market area, we are able to target these respondents for your study. Our digital marketing expertise allows us to target non-members through social media reach-outs as well. We can target specific geographies and types of people to display random survey ads and encourage a response. The combination of these 2 approaches help us return sample sizes of 200 to 400 surveys (or more).

Working with an outside market research firm gives your credit union the ability to reach this crucial non-member audience and obtain feedback separate from your brand. Your credit union is not identified as the sponsor of the research in the outreach to obtain unbiased and objective opinions.


Contact Our Credit Union Market Research Company

Drive Research works with financial institutions including banks and credit unions across the Northeast and across the United States. We assist with both member surveys and non-member surveys.

Interested in receiving a quote or proposal for a non-member survey?

Contact us at info@driveresearch.com or call us at 315-303-2040.

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