Credit union finds efficiency doesn't have to crush customer service quality

Tools

By Frank Hayes

There's often a harsh tradeoff between efficiency and the quality of customer service, and that's especially felt at financial institutions. Automation can make banking functions much more efficient, but can also depersonalize them. But at the 140,000-member South Carolina Federal Credit Union in North Charleston, S.C., a workforce management system has improved both staffing efficiencies and customer satisfaction.

"When people contact a financial services organization, it's key to ensure that the most skilled representative is available in order to meet [customers'] needs," says Stephanie Ownby, management information services manager at SCFCU. That means having the right person in the right place at the right time to meet members' needs.

In November 2010, the credit union implemented the workforce management system from Verint Systems, which uses historical, transactional data to project future transactional volumes, and also integrated the system with the phone system to determine front-line staffing needs.

SCFCU can now schedule 200-plus sales and service employees within two hours, an 88 percent decrease in the time it previously took. The streamlined process requires only one employee to schedule all 18 branches in the network. "With visibility to contact center and branch workload and schedules in one place, we can look at everyone's needs, deploy resources where they are needed most and achieve much better utilization of the workforce," Ownby says.

Improvements on the customer side include a 10 percent increase in workload fit (how accurately staffing requirements are met), a 90 percent reduction in how long it takes to answer an average member call (down to 20 seconds), and a reduction in the call abandonment rate to less than 2 percent.

For more:
- see Bob Violino's article at Baseline

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