Outbound call queuing technology is riding piggy-back on existing collections software, under the innovation of a credit union here that was looking for a low-cost way to automate sales follow-ups.
NAFCU this month substantiated SunState FCU's efforts, awarding the CU first place in the Association's Annual Innovation Showcase Award for its Personalized Lead Queuing System.
Previously, SunState FCU employees managed its own sales leads and calls through Microsoft Outlook, a method that too often resulted in missed leads and zero accountability, according to Daryl Pressley, business development administrator at the $133-million CU.
Employees needed a system that would keep sales leads fresh and automatically remind them to make the calls, he continued.
Instead of spending bigger bucks on a new, third-party system, Pressley and co-designer and developer Robert Hart, vice president of marketing at the CU, worked with the IS department to reinvent something they already had.
They relied on the outbound call software from their existing collection support package as a platform for the new sales lead queues.
And, to prevent sales representatives from mistakenly calling members in collection, the CU assigned specific queues to collectors and other queues to member service representatives (MSR), tellers and branch managers.
Now, each MSR, teller and branch manager has one personal queue of sales leads, categorized by type-a high-priority, customized lead called "HotQ," in addition to specific types such as follow-ups to auto loans, and year-old and month-old account openings.
"Representatives now make higher quality sales calls based on the leads being more personalized," Pressley said.
Employees can plug their own "HotQ" into the system by entering the type of sales call, be it an auto loan or credit application follow-up, making comments, and then setting a date for the reminder to appear on their screen.
The Personalized Lead Queuing System automatically populates and prioritizes leads by type, delivering pop-up screen reminders to employees when they log in every day.
If an employee books an auto loan with a member, for example, that same employee can be reminded to check in on that member in 18 months, as that is the average life of an auto loan at the CU.
Personal leads not used within one month are automatically moved into a general queue, which is open to any employee. "If reps call everyone in their queue, then they can call from the general queue," Pressley explained. "This way, we always have leads for reps to call."
MSRs Have Positive Reviews
"Member service representatives like the fact that they can develop a relationship with the member, that the leads are fresher and that there's a reminder that they have leads to call," he said.
The Personalized Lead Queuing System lends a helping hand to SunState FCU's developing sales culture and associated index system, which tracks and rewards employee activities, Pressley said. Also supporting the index system are a cross-sales platform, time keeping system and a spreadsheet and analysis program.
"Managers like the system because they have a way to track and measure sales-related effort," Pressley added.
The Lead Queuing tool was in the works for about six months before it was launched in April, Pressley said.