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ENDICOTT, N.Y. – For Visions Federal Credit Union, exceptional member service is the name of the game and high-tech service delivery is firmly stamped on the top line of the playbook. So when the $1.6 billion, 20-branch office credit union heard about Lobby Tracking, its interest was piqued. Lobby TrackingT is a Web-based lobby management system that can streamline lobby traffic and provide detailed reporting on lobby activity. Credit union management can access real-time views of multiple lobbies at the same time and determine which employees are assisting members, how many members are waiting for service, how long they’ve been waiting, and how long it takes for an employee to, for example, open a checking account or complete a loan application. “Our initial purpose with the system was to track the length of time a person is in our lobby. We do a lot of surveys on customer service, and tracking wait and transaction times is part of our long-term plan to get people in and out more quickly. We used a clipboard before. This automates the process and keeps our member information private,” said Frank Berrish, Visions FCU president/CEO. “Our credit union is very automated, so the [sign in] touch screen in the lobby doesn’t hurt our high-tech image.” Visions FCU has installed Lobby Tracking in two branches so far and is rolling the software out gradually to the remainder of its branches. In addition to monitoring wait and transaction times, the credit union uses the software to anticipate staffing needs, according to Berrish. Reports generated by the system enable the credit union to determine busy locations, busy days and time periods, and which products and services need extra manpower during those times. The Lobby Tracking software was developed in-house by Texas Trust Credit Union, headquartered in Grand Prairie, Texas, and has been in use by Texas Trust CU for about 16 months. Visions FCU purchased the software a year ago, and shortly thereafter, Texas Trust CU spun off a separate division, Trust Data Solutions, LLC, which now markets the product. “The trending in statistics is the power of the program,” said Greg Varnell, Trust Data Solutions chief operations officer. “You can anticipate staffing for particular areas, as opposed to making a decision based purely on foot traffic. You know how many members are visiting on a given day and what they are coming in for.” Another valuable feature of the software is its ability to identify coaching opportunities for credit union employees. Community Resource Credit Union’s Network Manager Tamara Hudson explained, “Let’s say we review the average time our primary financial officers (PFOs) spend with a member. If 10 PFOs have average assist times of 12 minutes and two have times of 22 minutes, then we see training opportunities.” Baytown, Texas-based $187 million Community Resource CU has two branches and is building a third. They went live with the Lobby Tracking software the first week of August 2005. “Trust Data Solutions installed the in-box product in two days, and then we manipulated it to meet our requirements. The product gives you the groundwork for everything you need,” said Hudson. One feature Community Resource CU modified was the pop-up checklists the software uses to remind credit union employees to complete certain tasks while assisting members. “For example, if someone comes in and wants to do an address change, a checklist will remind the PFO to change it for all other associated accounts and to ask if there is a new phone number, e-mail address, etc.,” said Hudson. “The pop-up reminders can be easily modified by the end user. The reminders are especially helpful on services employees don’t handle often.” “Lobby Tracking saves time for our employees,” continued Hudson. “We did not have a sales tracking mechanism in place before. We were writing [all our transactions] down by hand. Now, we update our account database from Symitar each morning, and when a member asks to see a PFO about an account, the system pulls up that account number and populates the screen with all the other names and accounts attached to that account. Employees don’t have to type in that information. It also helps them quickly identify cross-selling opportunities.” The software will run on any system – Windows, Linux, Unix, etc. The open source platform allows for easy, cost-effective implementation utilizing open standards, according to Trust Data Solutions’ Varnell. “The real benefit of it being a Web interface is that it is very easy to use. Most users are comfortable with Web interfaces, and IT does not have to do any difficult maintenance on the system by editing code,” said Varnell. “It runs in a browser so everyone on the network can access it with no installation necessary on each computer.” The software costs $2,500 for one credit union branch, and $1,000 for each additional branch. The annual licensing agreement for 1-5 branches is $2,000 per year; unlimited licensing also is available. While staffing branches, simplifying employee tasks, identifying employee coaching opportunities and flagging cross-selling opportunities are all valuable benefits of the software, member service appears to be its primary selling point. “If a member calls upset and wants to speak to the EVP, because they waited for 45 minutes and didn’t get the help they needed, we can look up who the PFO was, what steps he or she took to help the member and how long the service actually required,” said Community Resource CU’s Hudson. Varnell and Berrish also mentioned the value of accessing that information. “If we have a complaint, members are comforted that we can access information that substantiates their complaint,” Varnell said. “If we see that a member waited too long and left without being assisted, we’ll send out a gift card with a note attached telling them we value their business.” On the other hand, sometimes employees should get the benefit of the doubt. “Occasionally you get a complaint that a member waited an hour,” said Visions’ Berrish. “You look it up and find that it was really only 14 minutes.” [email protected]

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