Altura CU Finds Time is Right for Homegrown MRM
RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- For Altura Credit Union, effective member relationship management (MRM) technology is all a matter of timing.
The $900 million CU built its own MRM system after deciding that systems offered commercially were too complex and all too often went unused by the front-line staff.
"In our experience, MRM systems are rarely used or simply abandoned any time employees are required to toggle windows or use hot keys to go back and forth or activate special inquiries," says Ron Woodbury, Altura CU's executive vice president and chief information and administrative officer.
"So what we've done is build our own solution that has the key member interaction information running around the edge of the actual production screen. That way, the employee has that information right there at the right time," Woodbury says.
In its first iteration, the home-built solution dubbed AApBox (Altura Application Box) lists electronic services the member is eligible for, but currently doesn't use, such as the credit union's Money Talks IVR system and its Pay Day Direct (PDD on the screen) direct deposit service.
A tracking system that helps determine the primary reason for the visit ("That's not always evident by the actual transaction we perform," Woodbury observes) and cross-sale opportunities also are built into the first release.
Account opening and call center reps are the first users. A second release that will include more formal training is expected to be rolled out to more staff, including tellers, later this summer.
The first release was intended to allow Woodbury and his staff, which includes four programmers, to get feedback from users and fine-tune the system. The information pushed to and pulled from AApBox will become more complex in future releases, the credit union says.
But perhaps not too complex. "Our core processor, Symitar, like most core processors, provides a nice, robust CRM system but in most cases, they're more complicated than what we really need," Woodbury says. "We just wanted a few simple, elemental data so our staff could make some decisions on the fly while helping members. Too much is overkill."
More functionality and product offerings will be added as time goes on, including e-statements and ancillary products the credit union offers, such as insurance. Bigger monitors are on the list, too, since the standard 15-inch screens don't easily accommodate the MRM information around the edges, Woodbury says.
"We're going to go with 18- or 20-inch screens,"
"We're still in the first phase," he adds. "We want to make sure we don't increase our system overhead while we go ahead and find the best way to mine our MCIF database and other offline databases to determine the next best product for that member household.
"What we've always wanted to do is have the information that we're going to present or capture on behalf of the member available through the entire process, at the right time," Woodbury says of Altura's do-it-yourself attitude. "We're not a big shop. This is how we can best use our resources."