In today’s branching environment, credit unions are looking to evolving technology, innovative use of physical spaces, and new staffing strategies to help improve member service.
In Watertown, NY, $205 million Northern Credit Union launched 16 “smart offices” in May of 2014 to help step up its member experience. Smart offices allow members to complete account and loan applications with representatives via video conferencing and other technological connections. This is especially important during peak hours, when smart office professionals can handle complex requests and free up tellers to handle other transactions.
“It’s remarkable to see how seamless service is,” says Denise Lariviere, vice president of member solutions at the credit union. “You know whatever the member needs, [the smart office] professional has the skills and ability to have that interaction.”
In the first quarter of 2015, smart office transactions represented 55% of all new accounts opened and 59% of approved loan applications at Northern. Learn more in Is A Smart Office Right For Your Credit Union?
With $1.1 billion in assets and more than 68,000 members, South Carolina-based Sharonview Federal Credit Union is making major investments to provide its members with what they want: convenient locations AND robust online services.
When CEO Bill Partin joined in September 2013, Sharonview was building its virtual footprint with a goal to be “all electronic all the time.” However, under Partin’s leadership the credit union has taken a more holistic approach.
The credit union is putting money toward a website redesign and a tech overhaul, but it is also planning to build up to 10 branches in the next four years. Those new branches will incorporate technology that allows the credit union to better use smaller retail-oriented spaces and deepen member relationships. Read more in A Strategy To Build A Balanced Branching Diet.
Meanwhile, the Adopt-a-Branch program at Georgia’s Own Credit Union has been such a hit with senior managers, they’ve expanded it to others on the executive team.
A dozen leaders — including the CEO, senior vice presidents, vice presidents, and assistant vice presidents — have each “adopted” a branch, where they do their own jobs while watching others do theirs. But the intent is not to look over anyone’s shoulders. Quite the opposite.
“We started this program because there is no better way to learn about member needs than to experience them first-hand,” says Cindy Boyles, Georgia’s Own senior vice president of organizational development. “Being in the branch enables management to identify pain points or inhibitors to service. It allows us to gather valuable member and staff feedback and is a great reminder that we are in the relationship business.”
Learn more in How The Executives At Georgia’s Own Adopt A Branch.