How to Develop Contact Center Employees for a Stellar Member Experience

Your call center experience will leave a lasting impression on current and potential members. You’ll need impeccable levels of member service and that starts by creating employee buy-in to the credit union’s culture.

With that in mind, leaders from five credit unions offer insights into training and supporting remote workers to ensure successful member service:

Unitus Community Credit Union ($1.7B, Portland, Oregon)

What is your advice for how to train and support remote workers to ensure the best possible member service?

Corlinda Wooden, SVP and chief retail officer (pictured left): We feel strongly that a blend of classroom, one-on-one, and hands-on training is the key to success. We can offer these on-site or virtually. We have a robust training model that includes an experienced specialist assigned to the new employee as a dedicated mentor and coach through the first 90 days.

There are several learning opportunities during this period. The new employee is invited to participate in a call review and calibration meeting, observe a forecasting meeting, and participate in a member feedback review discussion.

Furthermore, at Unitus, we have a strong coaching and development culture consistent across the organization’s member-facing teams that include formal one on ones, observations, a robust quality program, and team meetings each month.

Additionally, we learned early on that we needed to add non-coaching check-ins via video and chat strings to ensure high morale and connection among the team. Working remotely can feel isolating at times, and we have received feedback from our employees that this extra effort means a lot to them.

Empower Federal Credit Union ($2.9B, Syracuse, New York)

What is your advice for how to train and support remote workers to ensure the best possible member service?

Erin Fuller, SVP and chief administrative officer (pictured left): To encourage employee longevity, we require new staff to come in and do the training on-site. Then, all staff is required to be on-site for five days a month so we can maintain culture, relations, and training. What days are up to the manager, so there’s a lot of flexibility built in. In HR, we do that on Mondays.

NorthCountry Federal Credit Union ($913.1M, Burlington, Vermont)

What is your advice for how to train and support remote workers to ensure the best possible member service?

Abbey Welch, call center manager (pictured left): Communication is so important to go over questions and concerns. Developing relationships and rapport is critical. Being intentional about when, who, and how you communicate is a necessity.

Training is also essential to success. You must have the ability to support your team on many levels, including with job aids, hotlines, and the ability to share screens within the department. This has all proven to be helpful to our member resource team. We train by reviewing actual calls and identifying coaching opportunities, which also allows us to recognize great performance as part of the feedback loop.

State Employees’ Credit Union ($53.1B, Raleigh, North Carolina)

What is your advice for how to train and support remote workers to ensure the best possible member service?

Jared Benesh, EVP of member experience transformation (pictured left): We’ve found managing a remote workforce necessitates more communication and visibility. We’ve worked hard to engage our staff and encourage our leadership team to be creative in terms of connecting with their teams.

We operate on 24/7 availability. As we look to enhance our coverage and scheduling, the flexibility of working from home is an advantage. The best advice is the simplest in that you must create a team environment and keep all team members equally engaged. Ask for feedback and encourage the team at all levels to take ownership in improving member service.

Langley Federal Credit Union ($4.5B, Newport News, Virginia)

What is your best advice for training and supporting remote workers to best ensure successful member service?

Nicole Baker, VP of sales and service (pictured left): Constant engagement through conversations and coaching goes a long way in keeping your teammates informed and happy in their remote positions. You must find ways to help them to keep growing and learning in their positions or you will lose their interest.

Call centers have evolved to include traditional and non-traditional structures, and in an increasingly remote work environment have become a critical element of the member experience. What was once seen as the bottom of the totem pole is now viewed as a prime position for many credit unions. Learn more: How Has The Pandemic Changed Call Center Management?

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Posted in Oregon, Top Headlines.