Credit union call center or tech support? Is your answer both?

Member service goes far beyond transferring funds and cutting cashier’s checks. If your front line staff isn’t equipped to answer questions about the devices and channels you’re offering your products and services through it won’t be long before members look elsewhere for a financial institution that can support all of their needs.

A sustainable business model, adequate for today and tomorrow’s consumer, should be focused on banking products and services and technology proportionately. Your training program should also be equally focused in these areas to support your business goals. Similar to helping a member develop a basic monthly budget, guiding a member in navigating your mobile banking app and the errors it may produce should be routine member service.

An owner of an organization doesn’t expect answers like “it must be your phone. Our app works fine,” or “your browser isn’t handing the pop-ups correctly, you’ll have to call your Internet Service Provider for help,” when they ask an employee for assistance. Reminding front line staff of the difference between a customer and a member owner is key in any training and essential in explaining why they need technical competencies to perform their daily job satisfactorily. All staff should understand the people they work for, the owners of the organization, expect this level of knowledge.

Begin training with a simple 101 lesson. You may be surprised how many people don’t know the differences between internet browsers and why they exist. Try to speak in terms they can relate to, for example:

You could buy your favorite brand shirt at store A, B, or C. Each store offers you a different experience, different security, different layouts etc. One store may have a greeter at the door, another may offer a food service and one may offer price match guarantees, all different techniques to get you to buy the shirt there. Replace the shirt with a website and replace the stores with internet browsers and continue to explain some functionality of the browsers.

It may sound simple however if your organization hasn’t offered technical training in the past there could be employees hesitant or even scared to embark on the learning process. A multi-step training process starting with the basics will result in a more positive experience for everyone involved.

After the official training courses are complete consider a panel discussion at least once a month to stay current on trends, member concerns and tips or tricks employees can offer other employees. Panel members should include a senior member of marketing, retail and IT at minimum. It’s a great opportunity for staff to get questions answered and to bring to light any rising concerns at the management level. Before long, technical conversations will be daily lingo and part of the exceptional member service offered at your credit union.

Penne D. VanderBush

Penne D. VanderBush

With over 10 years of experience in financial industry marketing, and former VP of Marketing for the largest state-chartered credit union in Vermont, Penne joined the FI GROW Solutions team ... Web: Details