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First Community Credit Union

First Community Credit Union (FCCU) was chartered in southeast Texas in 1954 to serve the employees of the Spring Branch Independent School District. 1988 marked the expansion to the Greater Houston Area as the credit union was granted a community charter. Over the years, First Community Credit Union has grown to become one of the largest credit unions in Houston; over $1 billion in assets. To better serve their 112,000+ members across 18 locations, FCCU has partnered with Better Branches to implement their full-featured Better Lobby Member Appointment and Mobile Booking Toolsolution.

While already a Better Lobby user, theAlief Branch was the first FCCU location to rollout this state-of-the-art branch appointment handling enhancement. Joy Gonzalez, Vice President of the Alief Branch, was tasked with managing the implementation. Joy has over twenty years of experience working at the credit union and has held numerous positions from teller all the way through management roles. Prior to Better Lobby, FCCU relied on traditional clipboards at smaller locations and Excel spreadsheets at their larger branches to track visitors. Joy recalls that “both of these methods were time consuming and inefficient, so everyone was very happy to get a new system in place that would boost our member service levels.”

Like numerous other credit unions across the US that use Better Lobby, FCCU’s branch visitors enjoy reduced wait times. Joy explains that “the system is color coded to show, at a glance, the exact status of every visitor. We set a ten minute threshold to warn us when someone is waiting past that time limit. That is just one of the many features that makes this system so member and user friendly.” Not only does Joy use the system to help her and her twenty five employees granularly track visitors, but the credit union’s senior management team is able to easily manage all eighteen locations from their desktops. Joy confirms that the system is so powerful that “we can track an incredible amount of traffic flow and visitor information: who visited which rep, how long they were engaged, why they visited and much more.”

FCCU has three types of member service representatives at the Alief Branch: loan officers, new account and member service personnel who handle hundreds of members and prospective members per week. According to Joy, “our employees love using Better Lobby and the loan and new account reps find it especially useful. Appointment scheduling makes everyone much more productive.” Productivity levels are elevated when everyone can plan their day and management can see who is available and what they are working on at any given moment. “Our reps know exactly why the member is visiting and they can be completely prepared ahead of time,” states Joy, “and the system makes it so easy to match reps to visitors that need a Spanish speaking staff member or to connect them with a specific rep of their choice.”

After FCCU experienced great results in improving service and reducing costs with the internal implementation of the Better Lobby/Appointment Calendar software, they decided to extend the functionality out to their members with the Better Branches’ Mobile Appointment Booking Tool. Joy points out that “setting up the online appointment booking software was just as seamless as setting up our internal calendaring system. The Better Branches team is extremely responsive and their technical support is awesome.” One of the features that FCCU likes most about the Booking Tool is that it automatically reminds members via text message or email to bring all of the information necessary to their meeting. Joy notes that “since using Better Lobby we have seen reduced complaints from members about needing to return to the branch because they did not bring the proper documentation with them.”

Better Lobby was designed from the onset to encourage referrals and cross-selling. For example, when the member does not have an FCCU Credit Card, the branch employee can make the cross-sell and quickly transfer them into the Better Lobby queue for an immediate appointment with a loan officer.  Joy confirms that “this system is great for cross-selling and it allows us to get the word out about our products and services which really creates a better member experience.” Referrals are seamlessly tracked within the system and reports quickly generated with a few mouse clicks; plus, incentives can be awarded accordingly.

With over a decade of experience working with credit unions across the country, Better Branches recognizes that each credit union operates slightly differently and strives to be flexible in their approach to each project. FCCU is a perfect case in point: “Better Branches’ developers were extremely responsive to our ideas and suggestions, and they have tailored the system to our desires,” says Joy. She adds that “I would give them a 10 out of 10 for both support and software reliability – I really can’t imagine a better partnership!”

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