The Positive Side of 'This Isn't My CU?'

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ATLANTA-When "guests" of a shared branch don't perceive a difference between their own CU and the host credit union, the branch manager is running operations effectively.

Successful managers work with employees to make sure high levels of service are delivered seamlessly to all members, including those who are not members of the host CU, stressed Craig Beach, SVP-marketing and business development for CO-OP Shared Branching. He said surveys prove managers' efforts to make every member feel equal pay off.

"We have surveyed guests, or non proprietary members, at a shared branch and asked them which credit union they are a member of," explained Beach. "It's interesting. They often get this funny look on their face and as say, 'Well, this one.' That's exactly the reaction a good branch manager is working to achieve."

What's primarily responsible, Beach said, for making all members feel comfortable at the branch, are managers who make certain front-line employees are well trained on how to work with shared branch members. "It sounds cliché, but you can't emphasize training enough inside the shared branch," Beach stated. "The stellar branches are the ones that continually upgrade the knowledge of their tellers, making sure they are aware of any new situation regarding guest members."

New tellers receive a great deal of the attention, Beach said. "They are the most challenging for a shared branch. Cross selling a guest member is not allowed, but we know most tellers are told to cross sell. So with new tellers, the credit union has to carefully train these employees to quickly recognize guest members and not push additional services."

Beach said branch managers should strive to make sure transaction times are the same for proprietary and guest members. "After all, the goal of any branch manager, whether they run a shared branch or not, is to make sure members leave feeling they have been serviced well, the credit union cares about them, and that a CU is different than a bank."

For info: www.co-opfs.org

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