A credit union MSR’s (unofficial) wish list

Bonuses, gift cards and extra time off are three can’t-miss rewards for a service rep’s stellar performance on the job. Without doubt, they’ll be appreciated. But there are additional offerings you can make to these vital CU call center workers — and they’re apt to be just as well received!

  • Ongoing Training

Smart member service representatives know they can be transformed into great ones if their manager is willing to take the time to uncover their hidden strengths and foster professional growth. Whether your organization’s MSR job description emphasizes service, sales or some combination of the two, it’s important to provide the educational foundation necessary to ensure uncompromised, individual success.

Every employee is entitled to a career development plan that assesses each individual’s talents then provides ways to perfect these talents and compensate for any weaknesses.

Some MSRs are geared primarily to service. They are nurturers who can empathize with others, make members feel appreciated, resolve problems and retain business. Teach these more cautious employees everything they need to know about effective communication, call control, phone etiquette, conflict resolution and rapport building.

Keep them current on the latest trends, policy changes and rules. The more they know about any given situation, the more independent, effective, and productive they will be.

Other MSRs exhibit a definitive flare for sales. With some solid coaching and sincere encouragement, MSRs possessing an assertive, competitive personality can often readily convince members to consider additional services. Boost the potential for their rate of success by role-playing, providing incentives and offering to lend extra support when needed.

  • Improved Communication

Some people seldom provide specifics when giving directions, relaying information and answering questions. They speak in odd generalities, and may seem to leave out entire verbal paragraphs when sharing their thoughts. These are big-picture individuals – their need to focus on results dominates their world and makes them uninterested in fine points. This mindset is most commonly seen in leaders, sales personalities and other intense competitors.

However, typical MSR personalities need details. They simply can’t afford to take chances, make broad-based assumptions, or be wrong. Be sure to offer them ample guidance, clarification and direction. Service personnel can provide better service, solve problems or avert a possible member-related crisis if they have a clear understanding of situations and objectives.

Encourage managers to make lists, assemble thoughts, stay accessible, and provide thorough instructions and guidance to the MSR team.

  • Flexible Schedules, Telecommuting Options

While working non-traditional hours or from home is not everyone’s idea of a perk, it ranks highly on most service personnel’s list of enticing benefits. As generational shifts occur throughout the banking world (as well as every other industry!) more emphasis will be placed on a heightened corporate social responsibility.

New generations of workers are increasingly insisting that companies respond to their strong desire for life-work balance, and more relaxed work settings can help employees achieve this.

While a company’s lack of flex schedules or telecommuting options may not be the underlying factor in an MSR’s decision to leave, it can certainly influence it.


Good MSRs will thank you not only for tangible rewards but also for those that can’t be wrapped in glittery paper or presented with fanfare. One of the greatest gifts you can give your MSRs is an ongoing effort to ensure they will withstand the rigors of their job and succeed.

Be creative! Find out what really motivates your MSR personalities to do their best, stay loyal and increase productivity. Arrange brainstorming sessions or casual lunches where ideas can be exchanged, objections raised and goals reassessed. What do these employees really enjoy? Once you know, show them how they can have more of it.

If the culture is right and the appropriate compensation is in place, MSRs are more apt to perform at their highest level. However, CU call center leaders need to recognize the unique needs of their staff, as well as any personality differences and behavioral changes, in order to best determine how to maximize those performances.

Though excellent customer service is vital to a credit union’s long-term success, it does not just happen by accident. It’s the result of a conscious, continuous effort by managers to develop, implement, and refine procedures so as to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of their staff.

Carolyn Eagen

Carolyn Eagen

Carolyn Eagen is an Account Executive with Sogeti USA, a Capgemini Group Company. Carolyn and Sogeti help clients identify a best practice approach to complex business challenges through advanced technology ... Web: www.us.sogeti.com Details