Although Horizons North Credit Union ($74 million, Northglenn, Colorado) is not a large institution, it does have a big technology presence.
“We are considered small for our industry, with just over $70 million in assets and approximately 7,800 members,” explains Krista Burnell, Vice President of Organizational Development.
“However, I don’t believe that our members see any differences between our offerings and that of larger financial institutions. For example, between last year and this year, we have added Remote Deposit Capture, personal financial management software, and new state-of-the-art online and mobile banking channels with an additional level of security for our members.
“We are also excited for some new rollouts this year, in the realm of rewards checking that we will be introducing to the membership in the fall.”
Burnell says that while being able to offer big-name products is important, it’s the delivery that harvests loyal members.
For instance, she recalls strategic moves the credit union has made to optimize account openings and increase overall efficiencies.
“A couple of years ago, we made a change to our new account opening process. Previously, we had a new account officer who would see the members, open their accounts, and help with all of the details of a new account. The member would then move on to a loan officer if they had a need for a loan.
“Our management team got together and decided this process was both inefficient and inconvenient for our membership. We changed our staffing model and we now have Financial Service Representatives who are available to members to open accounts, and are also trained to complete a loan from start to finish.
“This opportunity not only proved to be a benefit to our membership in regards to efficiency and time, but it also gives our staff a much broader understanding of a new member’s needs and where we might be able to help.”
A formal sales program
Supporting employee efforts is a formal sales program, which was primarily established to support the credit union’s goal of providing superior service excellence, says Burnell.
“Our sales program is based upon points and each product is given a point value for our Member Service Representatives on the teller line. As long as an MSR refers the designated amount of points per month, then they have reached their goal and are eligible for incentive on closed products. For our Financial Service Representatives, they must be a minimum loan volume dollar amount to be eligible to earn incentive on cross-sold products.
“Providing good service means that you are informing your members about opportunities that will benefit them. Our staff does a great job of informing our members, versus making a sale just for the benefit of themselves.”
Burnell says that although the credit union is still small enough to track sales and service manually or anecdotally, plans are in the works to implement a new sales and service survey for next year.
“We believe constantly receiving that feedback is important, which is why right on the front page of our Website you can find a feedback button where members are encouraged to share stories, questions, or concerns.”
These messages are sent directly to the credit union’s CEO, she says.
“We understand that issues arise and without receiving feedback, we sometimes don’t understand the impact on our membership. That is the benefit of belonging to a small credit union. Our members’ voices are heard and change is made accordingly.”