Making the decision to implement a core conversion can give credit unions a lot to deal with. Among the issues to reconcile is what—and when—to communicate to employees. Certainly employee engagement is important. Helping staff know what to expect can go a long way toward maintaining productivity and facilitating good, ongoing service to members.
Here are 10 things to tell credit union staff members when undergoing a core conversion:
Holding regular meetings is helpful so that you can keep employees updated in small chunks. Each week, let them know what key changes will be coming so they are not blindsided.
Focus part of your weekly meetings on the aspects of your conversion activities that will directly impact how your employees do their jobs.
Clearly identify what members will experience during each phase of the conversion. This is especially critical for people in member-facing positions.
Whether a change impacts employees or customers, let your staff members know how to work around any change or downtime in system functionality. Never just leave them wondering or sitting around with no options to get things done.
When telling staff about what things will change, also highlight what will not change. It can be reassuring to know that some things will be kept the same, but it will also prevent questions about changes that really are not even part of the process.
Any time that a part of your system will be unavailable, even just for a couple of hours, your staff must know. Be as specific as possible about when the downtime will begin so that employees can plan their work accordingly.
Similarly, let staff know how long any lack of system availability will last. Again, this can help team members plan their work and also communicate appropriately to members who may have similar questions.
If a delay occurs, let your employees know as soon as possible that the downtime may last longer than originally expected. Proactive notification goes a long way toward preventing additional problems.
Be as detailed as possible when giving instructions on new systems or features. This will get people working efficiently sooner and keep morale and member satisfaction up.
Your employees will have questions along the way. Make sure they know who to go to in order to get those questions answered.
There really can be no substitute for good communication when undergoing a major change like a core conversion.
Your employees are essential assets for your credit union, and keeping them informed goes a long way toward keeping them with you. When you cultivate engaged employees, you also cultivate satisfied members.
You know those times when you’re working on something real important? Your eyes are glued to that computer screen and your fingers are furiously clicking away at your keyboard as that ominous deadline approaches. It mocks your desperate plea for more time as it creeps up with undeterred determination. Then it happens.
The blue screen of death appears. You know what we’re talking about—your computer just froze and you haven’t saved in hours.
You pray that with a restart, a recovered document will appear. But what if doesn’t? Back to square one.
Yet, what if getting back to square one isn’t quite that simple? The same hopelessness can be felt among credit unions without an adequate disaster recovery plan, except they’ll have a lot of frustrated members to deal with, not just self wallowing because they didn’t hit save.
This could have been the case for Pocatello Teachers Federal Credit Union (now ISU Credit Union). This $17M CU started a June day just like any other—then their core software server stopped working unexpectedly and all access to the system ceased.
With the CU manager at lunch, the rest of the staff started gearing up to deal with the most pressing issues—hand-writing receipts and dealing with members who were understandably less than happy with the situation.
When staff reached Credit Union CEO, Melanie DeLashmutt, on her lunch break, her initial concerns centered on the potential loss of data and accommodating potentially irritated members. Turning to her data processor for help, she immediately called us.
DeLashmutt asked for our assistance with the situation. With a little diagnosis from our support team, it became clear that the server was the problem. CUDP then contacted the manufacturer, and although the system was under warrantee support, the manufacturer indicated that it still might take several days to diagnose and resolve the problem.
Unlike a frozen computer, how do you deal with the potential loss of an entire credit union’s data? What’s more, how do you deal with the challenge of putting a credit union’s business on hold for two to three days? Well, you turn to your disaster recovery plan and hope that the time, effort and money you put into it will now pay dividends.
Fortunately for Pocatello Teachers FCU, CUDP offers, as an available support feature, one of the very best disaster recovery systems in the industry for a very nominal cost. Even though Pocatello Teachers FCU operates an ‘in-house’ deployment of CUDP’s processing system, CUDP replicates all of their credit union’s data to two additional off-site locations, in real time. Once CUDP had been made aware of the situation, they quickly invoked the disaster recovery plan and setup an access to the replicated data at one of the off-site locations. Within 45 minutes of receiving the call, CUDP had established a secure connection for Pocatello Teachers to their replicated data and the credit union was back to business as normal without losing any transactions.
In retrospect, CEO Melanie DeLashmutt, stated “When our server crashed, I feared the worst—lost data, angry and frustrated members, irritated employees, etc. But CUDP had us up and running in less than an hour—with absolutely no data loss. It was really quite amazing!” DeLashmutt went on to add that in all her years in the credit union industry, she had never experienced anything like it.
Hit the save button for your credit union—invest in a comprehensive disaster recovery solution.
Websites and mobile apps all around us continue to try and give us everything at our fingertips in the form of a “dashboard.” Developers know that we continue to strive for easier ways to do things with less clicks, so they continue to give us what we want. Our smartphones are a perfect product of this and they are predicted to pass up the human population by the end of this year! Smartphones continue to make it easier to do practically everything from a single device, without the need of a computer.
Why can’t we have something similar in the credit union industry that makes things like account information more accessible in one place? Member Screens do just that—give you everything (and more!) that you need to manage a member’s account information from one convenient place. Photo or ID verification is available immediately from the Member Screen, allowing for quick confirmation of the member’s identity. A full history is also available for the selected member with images of recent checks and receipts.
From the same Member Screen you can also perform multiple transactions, rather than having to jump to a different screen. With how much we all use the Internet, it’s always a welcomed addition when a site can migrate pages of information into one place. Less clicks and more information in one place is what we want! Instant access to create new accounts from the Member Screens is an additional bonus—again cutting down on the amount of clicks.
Like the rest of our credit union system, the Member Screens are completely customizable. Custom fields and account types can be created to fit your credit union’s solutions preference. The Member Screens can also be customized with a theme that represents your credit union’s colors and brand! This customizability allows you to make our cutting-edge software match your credit union’s technology needs.
This full set of features provides us with an all-in-one Member Screen that simplifies the process of managing a member’s account. With all of this at your fingertips it’s obvious that Member Screen is the next best invention in your credit union system.
CUProdigy is in the unique position to help Credit Unions ‘Advance Beyond’ by providing a core processing platform that puts the member experience first. CUProdigy empowers credit unions with a comprehensive solution that is both robust and scalable.