credit union call center reps
By Brad Powell

One credit union had a significant and very successful business in the credit card space. But the credit union had a problem: Its process for taking credit card applications was complex.

There was an array of different systems: one for member information, another one for making and communicating decisions, one for taking applications online, and another one for taking applications through branches and telephone contact centers. There were a lot of moving parts.

The credit union originally sought to make its application process simpler, from a system perspective. Simpler systems are easier to maintain, to improve, and to keep up with compliance. And they wanted to achieve some staff efficiencies.

Simplifying the systems had the potential to improve the efficiency of their member service staff. If telephone representatives and branch staff could save just a little time on every application, there would be significant savings. And the credit union could in turn serve more members.

In the end, the credit union’s system simplification saved a significant amount of time. In the contact center, call times have dropped 10 percent. In branches, application processing times are down 35 to 50 percent. You can imagine what this meant to the credit union.

But how did they do it? There were three primary drivers:

1. Knowledge

In the past, the credit union would struggle with all the steps that were required to process an application. For example, sometimes they had to verify a member’s eligibility for certain offers. Other times they had to determine what scripting to use, or which compliance disclosures were needed. On top of this, training new personnel was complicated. This all burned time and resources.

To address this, the credit union built all of the knowledge that a telephone representative or branch staff needed into the system.

The representatives didn’t need to worry about whether they were using the correct compliance language. They didn’t have to worry about whether they had the correct script for talking to the member. They didn’t need to call up a separate checklist to track all the elements of the application. Instead, all these elements – and more – were now in the system they used for every application.

The system now walks representatives through the application process, allowing them to walk the member through, step-by-step, with no delays or interruptions. Knowledge is now at the representatives’ fingertips. App times and training time is way down.

2. One-Stop Shop

Before this project was completed, a representative had to:

- Validate that the member was who they said they were
- Enter member information into the system
- Obtain an approval decision
- Execute balance transfers
- Set up an automatic payment plan

These tasks required the use of several different systems. That meant the rep had to navigate all these different systems, which wasted time and resources. Do you remember the last time a phone rep told you, “It will be just a moment, I’m waiting on my system?” Or maybe, “We’re almost done, I just have to flip to another system?” I bet you do. That was what was going on here.

The CU’s solution didn’t rip and replace the various systems involved with each task — that would have turned the project into a monster. Rather, it integrated the systems with an easy-to-use flow.

That meant reps had one set of instructions and one workflow to follow. With the system handling all the heavy lifting, the representative could concentrate on servicing the member quickly and providing a great experience.

3. Follow-Up

In the past, despite its success, the credit union did not exactly excel at follow-up. This meant that members did not always know whether their application had been approved. So the members did what you would expect them to do: They called back to check.

This generated additional calls and call times for applications that had already been taken and decisioned. The credit union knew that if its reps spent less time on these questions, they would save time and service more members.

The solution was to automatically communicate with members via text or email after the application. It let them know if they were approved or not. It kept them in the loop. It answered the common questions members would have as they went through the application process. And as expected, that freed up the reps to work with other members.

When the credit union added up the effects of a knowledge solution that serves as a one-stop shop and keeps members in the loop, it was clear their representatives were working faster — at least 25 percent faster.


Compliance and Your Credit Union

Does your credit union:

• Face an daunting burden of regulatory requests?
• Struggle to manage the multiple experts inside and outside your organization who must respond to exam requests?
• Use email for regulatory communication -- possibly opening yourself to legal discovery?
• Receive the same request more than once but provide a different answer each time?

If these challenges sound familiar, Axiaware's new credit union compliance software product, Redboard, could help.

Learn More About Redboard