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Established in 1935 as the U.S. Veterans Facility Federal Credit Union with Federal Charter #242 (the second lowest charter number in the state of Mississippi), Gulf Coast Community Federal Credit Union now has a community charter that includes anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Harrison or Hancock County, Mississippi. The credit union's stated vision is to "create a culture of knowledgeable, empowered employees passionate about helping people fulfill their financial dreams." To help them realize this commitment to their 10,000+ members, Gulf Coast has partnered with Better Branches Technology, the credit union movement’s leading provider of branch visitor queuing and workforce management software.
The Gulfport, MS-based credit union was using spreadsheets to manage their employees at their three branches but this traditional tracking and scheduling method was an inefficient process at best. According to Tammy Miles, Vice President of Operations at the credit union, “we found that spreadsheets were overwhelmingly problematic for tracking member visits and staff activity.” This led them to Better Branches and their industry leading Better Lobby/New Accounts and Branch Appointment Calendar modules. Miles explains that “we knew that we needed the New Accounts module and we were sure that it was a great fit for us, but we waited to roll it out until the Branch Appointment Calendar was ready.”
Working closely with Better Branches’ experienced development team and project managers, Miles and her staff were delighted with the collaborative effort. She notes that “Better Branches is a great company to work with because they are so open, friendly and flexible. They think outside the box and really listened to our input and ideas.” By the time the project was completed, Miles describes the relationship “as like family!” The Branch Appointment Calendar system, which provides a credit union-wide, branch specific appointment calendar for each employee which makes the creation and updating of member appointments fast and easy, was particularly important to Gulf Coast Community Federal Credit Union because their loan officers and members are accustomed to working via appointments versus walk-ins.
In action, the new system has proven to be a great success with employees, members and senior managers. “Our staff just loves working with the system” enthuses Miles, “because it is very intuitive and offer great features and functionality.” Members enjoy using it because it significantly reduces their wait times and did away with the old lobby clipboard sign-in system. The senior management team appreciates the system’s robust reporting capabilities, as well as the tight integration between the New Accounts and Appointment Calendar modules. Miles states that “we now know exactly how long each and every member waits to be served and how long our staff members spend with them. But just as importantly, we can track every referral and all of our cross selling efforts.”
Miles, who has twenty plus years of credit union experience in a wide range of positions, has seen many vendors come and go over the years. However Better Branches stands out as a “true partner that shares our vision of helping members and always striving to be more efficient.” The new software has expedited branch service levels to new heights and improved sales results for Gulf Coast and “let members know how important they are to us,” says Miles. She concludes that “we loved working with Better Branches – they are extremely organized, great communicators and helped us implement a platform that reduced our costs, improved member loyalty and increased our sales.”