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ARLINGTON, Va.-According to the most recent NAFCU Flash Report, about 76% of credit unions operate a call center. Of those, 90% said they only maintain one, while 9% have two and just 1% have three or more call centers. Even though credit unions are spread throughout the country and around the world, the Flash survey uncovered that most call centers (62%) were located in the Eastern Time Zone. Twenty-two percent operated on the Central Time Zone. Only 7% were located in the Mountain Time Zone and 9% in the Pacific. Just a handful operated call centers outside the time zone of their headquarters. Of Flash respondents, 46% said that staffing has been their greatest challenge. Thirty-four percent cited service as the biggest challenge; training followed at 13% and other (mostly technology costs) was at 7%. The median full-time employees in call centers came to 12 with three part-time employees. The call centers had been around for a median of eight years, but one credit union said it had operated a call center for 60 years.

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