How to improve credit union member service representative retention and reduce hiring needs

Hiring and retention is tough right now, especially for consumer finance customer service teams, including credit unions.

That's not surprising - a credit union member service representative's job can be tough and stressful, especially when economic times are difficult and customers are under pressure.

Member representatives are taking incoming calls, meeting outgoing call quotas, learning scripts, managing accounts. They're therapists, compliance experts, savvy communicators, household budgeters, and more.

They have to navigate new and changing regulations, member hardships, issue resolution, and the dialer and CRM all at once. 

It's no wonder turnover is high.

But attrition is a vicious cycle. It causes managerial time sinks as leaders constantly recruit, hire, onboard, and train new representatives to keep up. It gives the remaining representatives harder jobs, leaves teams with low morale, and produces missed opportunities for proactive improvements.

So how can credit union member service ops leaders mitigate attrition and its impact on their goals? 

Improve your representatives' workdays

The good news is there is an answer: Make your representatives' jobs easier.

Start by evaluating time. What takes a lot of time, but isn’t that fruitful? What eats into the workday but doesn’t make it into their paychecks and commission? All of that makes their jobs worse — less fun, less productive, less fulfilling — and keeps you from reaching your goals. 

As an example, let’s say you found that you had two minutes of note-taking time per call and 20 calls a day per representative. With 30 representatives, that’s 6000 minutes of wrap-time per week that could be better spent as talk time.

Boom. Automate call notes and you've relieved your representatives of hours of administrative drudgery and stress.

The more time your representatives spend on calls, the more opportunities they have to be effective, and the more effective they are, the more positive their jobs get.

Not only could that result in improved retention over time, but it also reduces your hiring needs right now, while keeping your goals and outcomes at the forefront of your operations. 

Support representative effectiveness

If you could sit by every one of your representatives on every call, you'd show them how to capitalize on each opportunity to achieve a key outcome, such as experience scores and payments. 

You can't be there all the time. But you can use technology to coach your representatives through calls so they experience less stress and more success.

A real-time representative assistant can increase effectiveness without adding managerial time. In fact, it can save ops leaders time in several areas: 

  • Improve outcomes with existing representatives
  • Reduce ramp time
  • Proactively address training needs
  • Automate compliance adherence

All of these changes create opportunities for representative effectiveness, helping you achieve key outcomes in the same amount of time or less. 

Bottom line: Representative attrition is normal, but by improving productivity and effectiveness, you can do more with the talented workforce you have right now.