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Communication is one of the most important functions credit unions perform with their members. It is especially important for a credit union that uses a “virtual” banking model to provide high quality service to members. As part of the “virtual” banking model, my credit union provides services to our membership through call centers, audio response and interactive voice units, and online banking. The call center is the personal touch point of the organization. It is the first time members will draw an opinion of us based on their experience with the call center.

Our call center was established in the 1980s at a time when banks did not place as much of an emphasis on call centers. When Internet banking became popular, electronic mail became another channel for member communications. Unfortunately, the technology between our call center platform and the Internet banking systems were not integrated. In addition, our call center agents had to respond to voice calls through one system and answer member electronic mail through another system. Because the voice system was immediate or interactive and electronic mail was not, priority was given to our call center channel over the electronic mail channel. As a result, the service levels we provided to our members for electronic mail were not as high as the service levels for our voice channel.

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