Using Data To Improve Members' Service Experience

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Credit Union: Affinity Federal

Nominated by: XP Systems, Moorpark, Calif.

Nominated For: Data Driven Member Analysis

Kurt Snyder calls it "The Affinity Experience." But data-driven member analysis by any other name results in increased levels of member knowledge and service.

"How do we make services better for our members?" asks Snyder, vice president of information technology for Affinity Federal Credit Union. "The important thing is to understand how to reach those members at every single touch point."

For Affinity, the foundation of that knowledge comes through application of core system technology from XP Systems, Moorpark, Calif. The $1.3-billion credit union collects member data from numerous sources to create on-screen member profiles. Tellers serving those members have service records available at a glance and can do everything from making personal inquiries about other family members to cross-selling products.

"We have the information and assure better follow-up to inquiries, concerns and service issues," says Snyder.

A system's success is determined by ease of use and comprehensiveness of the information. The XP Systems' core system, which Affinity has had in place since July 2002, excels on both fronts, Snyder says.

As a browser-based system, the XP solution is easier to use and more intuitive in its applications, according to Snyder. This enables staff to more easily master the software and use by making it easier to maneuver.

One Touch Point

"There should be one touch point for the entire organization and this system is it," says Snyder. Affinity also applies a "blended services" approach to its system, which is the real key to its success. Affinity has several CUSOs, including subsidiaries selling insurance products and investment services.

In the past, Affinity member data showed up on separate systems for each enterprise, making member profile development difficult. With the "blended services" system, member information screens contain not only credit union data, but also information on products and services used through any of the CUSOs.

The more comprehensive picture promotes greater cross-selling opportunities, binding members more closely to the credit union and making them more profitable, Snyder says.

"I don't know that members necessarily realize there's a difference with the system other than, we hope, enjoying better service," Snyder says.

The XP system also has proved a boon to back-shop operations in terms of program integration, Snyder suggested. The credit union can more easily capture and integrate data, which reduces redundancies, lowers costs and improves sales opportunities, he says.

The personalized screens also allow the credit union to monitor employee data collection and cross-selling activities. "We can see if we have a training issue or process problem and rectify those problems easily and quickly," says Snyder.

According to Snyder, one of the XP system's best features is that its capacity exceeds it current level of operations. That's the antithesis of most such situations, where the software is written as it's needed and it's usually the users, not the system waiting for the other party to catch up, he observed.

"It's a very open system capable of so much more than it's currently being asked to do," says Snyder. "The challenge is bringing the people, not the software up to speed."

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