Perhaps nothing—processes included—determines the long-term success of a credit union more than its culture.
Robyn Galtieri, contact center and operations director at $2.4 billion asset STCU in Liberty Lake, Wash., provides a “who we are” and “what we do” snapshot of her contact center’s culture—a vision implemented two years ago to increase accountability and improve results.
Galtieri’s cultural profile included three steps:
1. Show up. This is about more than “having a rear in a seat,” Galtieri says. “It means showing compassion, listening, and encouraging members and each other.”
Boiling it down even further, Galtieri says it’s about “being here and nowhere else, which isn’t easy when the majority of your employees are millennials in the age of smartphones and Facebook.”
“I can’t kid you: We are always a work in progress,” she adds.
To measure contact employees’ degree of involvement, the credit union conducts after-call surveys that target members’ thoughts about how the contact center rep interacted with them, as well as the effort required to serve their needs.
2. Be available. Again, this means more than what might initially appear. “It’s really about asking questions and listening for spoken and unspoken meanings,” Galtieri says. “It’s really about building trust.”
Galtieri notes that being truly available is especially important because members like to engage with their credit unions, sometimes calling just to say, “Happy New Year,” or offer a thank you for their good service.
That’s quite a contrast from the big bank where Galtieri worked earlier in her career: “Trust me, that never happened” there, she says.
To measure availability, STCU provides its contact center employees with regular call coaching and monitoring, and holds its contact center employees to a 75% availability metric.
“It’s just simply putting the ability in their hands to manage their time effectively and set a target that says, ‘You can control this,’” Galtieri says. “They can’t control how often or when members are calling, but they have complete and total control over when they’re ready and available to serve the member.”
3. Offer remarkable service. Galtieri defines this step as “being mindful that we’re all whole people with life stories that impact how we show up.”
In other words, members won’t always put on their best face when they’re hit with problems or frustrations. “So when a member calls and they’re angry, they’re not angry at you,” Galtieri says. “There are other things going on in their lives that impact them, and that allows for us to have grace and space for however that member shows up in that moment.”