Not everyone can understand the details, nuances, and challenges around today’s technologies. But Ram Ridgeway does.
As director of retail support at $3.63 billion asset Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU) in Beavercreek, Ohio, Ridgeway gained this understanding while moving up in the ranks of the organization during the past decade.
He describes retail support as “our back-office operations.” That’s a simplified way to say he oversees online and mobile banking, card products, the ATM and personal teller machine fleet, deposit products, and processing mailed-in checks.
“We look at our responsibilities through the lenses of supporting retail partners/employees, channel management, and vendor management,” Ridgeway explains.
Ridgeway considers the restructuring of retail support and its leadership team as one of his greatest recent accomplishments. Under his leadership, Ridgeway facilitated the consolidation of all partner inquiries to one team and separated card services and e-services, creating focus in each of these critical areas. He attributes much of the success to his team members.
“Our leadership team is great,” he says. “It exemplifies our core values of service, empowerment, accountability, and learning.”
Even though Ridgeway has fostered these great strides at WPCU, it’s clear he’s not resting anytime soon. For instance, his team is experimenting with using artificial intelligence to augment member inquiries to the call center. WPCU is experimenting with chat bot technology in its mobile app and Amazon Alexa to provide balances and transaction history.
All of these efforts come down to a basic human emotion: empathy.
“When we consider creating an extraordinary member experience, we focus heavily on member empathy,” Ridgeway says. “In other words, we ask, ‘What problems are our members facing, and how can WPCU help?’”
Ridgeway makes it a goal—in all areas of his life—to lift people up, such as his work with groups that assist the homeless.
“If you take the time to get to know and listen to people, the problems they face become obvious,” Ridgeway says. “This makes it easy to create empathy and want to find ways help.”