I enjoyed reading about the use of personal teller machines at Coastal CU and at Mid-Hudson Valley CU (CU Times, April 23, 2008). I think they offer the opportunity to merge the teller line and the call center. We have tried that. Tellers have wait time between members. During that time they take calls from our phone switch and back up the call center. On Sunday our supermarket tellers answer all the phone center calls because Sunday is a slower day for tellers and the call center is also slow.

The tellers at SAFE CU are our best sales staff. The branch tellers make thousands of product referrals to our platform staff. Those referrals result in many sales. The tellers also handle a lot of transactions and see many members. We first began our sales efforts in the call center. We soon saw the call center break records month after month by selling new checking accounts, new credit cards, loans of all types and a host of other services. We then asked why we couldn’t replicate that success on the teller line. The vendors will imply that tellers don’t sell. That may be true, but it is easy to change to a successful sales program if you change the tellers’ job description and provide them with training and product knowledge.

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