The focus of credit union contact centers has changed a lot in 20 years. While once they emphasized helping members perform transactions, today they focus on helping members deepen their relationships with their credit unions. Our guest in this episode is Terri Panhans, VP/contact center solutions for CUES Supplier member Harland Clarke based in San Antonio, Texas. Panhans talks about how things have changed and what the changes mean in terms of the skills contact center agents now need, how to measure call center performance, and more. Special thanks to our episode sponsor, Harland Clarke.
In the show, Panhans says the contact center of the past was “more transactional in nature, really more viewed as a back-office function—one that was necessary, but it wasn’t perhaps driving value or being a part of the strategy of the credit union. Now I see that it is evolving into an engagement center and members’ expectations really drive that. … Many times, they will define their impression of the credit union by the experience they have when the contact the call center.”
Panhans provides two great checklists in the show—one for the skills credit unions should look for when hiring contact center agents and another about things to consider regarding contact centers when setting a credit union’s overall strategy.
The show also busts the myth that younger members don’t ever want to use the phone to talk with their financial institutions. Panhans says, “The desire among all generations of a personal interaction with their financial institution … has never been higher, especially in the event of an emergency or an issue or needing to specify a problem outside of the self-service channels.
“You need to offer the channel of choice and your members are going to decide which one that is,” she adds. “You can’t pigeon-hole or put members into one channel and expect that just because that’s what you think they should use, they will.”
In the show, Panhans also describes key performance measures that work well for today’s contact center and how to collect those measures.
Be sure to tune in to the full episode!