Banks and credit unions work with numbers every minute, of every day, from opening until closing. The financial industry is in essence a numbers game. So metrics and measurements should not scare the vast majority of professionals working in financial industry. As a result, many banks and credit unions employ market research to aid their decision-making. Market research, much like the financial industry, is all about numbers and digging into why numbers go up and down. Market research provides financial firms with the data and consultation necessary to help drive bottom-line numbers. It’s much like un-peeling an onion.

Bank and Credit Union Metrics

Below are 5 metrics that banks and credit unions should be tracking on a continual basis. These metrics help guide banks and credit unions to improved customer loyalty, greater share of wallet, a stronger employee culture, and a superior bottom-line.

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Who am I? NPS is one of the most popular loyalty statistics in not only banking and finance but across all industries. It is calculated by asking the respondent how likely he/she would be to recommend the bank using a scale of 0 to 10. Scores are categorized into three groups (promoters = 9 and 10, passives = 7 and 8, and detractors = 0 to 6). The percentage of detractors is subtracted from the promoters to arrive at an NPS.

How do you track me? A full-scale quantitative study (400 completes or more) is needed to confidently predict NPS. It is recommended that a telephone survey to a random set of customers be conducted to calculate NPS (it can also be done online if the team is willing to accept sample bias). An image and awareness non-customer study can give you insight into competitive NPS ratings as well. Here is a blog post which provides more information on NPS.

  • Closed Account Drivers

Who am I? This metric is calculated and tallied to help banks and credit unions understand why customers and members are closing particular accounts. From there, banks and credit unions can create talking points and language for front-line tellers to handle the most popular reasons for closures in order to reduce terminations.

How do you track me? Using a quick pulse survey (approximately 100 completes) will give your financial institution a strong grasp on popular reasons for account closures. Ideally, this study should be a monthly tracker, comparing drivers from month-to-month and testing new initiatives to counter-act closures. Here is a case study on account closures completed at a large bank.

  • Cross Selling Frequency

Who am I? This metric is the percentage of time that customer service reps (CSRs), member service reps (MSRs), or other platform personnel discuss or cross-sell other types of accounts during the time of sit-down. For example, if a customer comes in to discuss questions regarding free checking, the CSR should take the time to discuss the benefits of paid checking accounts, savings accounts, or other services in order to increase the number of customer accounts at the bank.

How do you track me? Exploratory research using mystery shopping can track this metric to some degree and be compared wave-to-wave. It is recommended that the financial institution pursue a follow-up phone call methodology. Banks or credit unions pass a list of members that recently had a CSR or MSR experience in the last 24 to 48 hours to a market research, and the research firm uses its data center to follow-up and ask questions about cross-selling among other items. Here is a case study on mystery shopping completed by RMS.

  • Primary Financial Institution (PFI) Share

Who am I? PFI share is defined as the percentage of customers that name your financial institution as their primary one. This is typically the institution where the customer holds their primary checking account.

How do you track me? All banks and credit unions know what PFI is, but very little actually know what percentage of their customers use them as their PFI. So is the fact that you have 175,000 checking accounts good or bad? Are 90% of those checking accounts non-primary accounts for users? If so, how does that change your deposit account marketing and strategies? This PFI metric will answer those questions for you. A strategy that many financial institutions employ is bringing in new customers through rate promotions and cross-selling them on other products and services in hopes to convert them to a PFI user down the road. Here is a case study for an image and awareness study.

  • EmPulse Score

Who am I? The EmPulse is a proprietary score created by Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) to define overall employee satisfaction and loyalty within a bank or credit union. The EmPulse score is calculated by using a combination of importance and satisfaction ratings in a series of 52 branded questions.

How do you track me? EmPulse studies are done completely online using invitations and follow-up emails sent directly to employees. Scores are tallied and the bank or credit union is provided with a question-by-question breakdown of scores which can be compared to all financial institutions across the United States. Here is a blog post which discusses the EmPulse process.

Are you a bank or credit union interested in learning more about any of these 5 metrics? Contact Sandy Baker, our Business Development Director at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) at or by calling 1-866-567-5422.