You’re armed with the perfect interview questions, pre-employment tests, and skills assessments. Unlike the staff you’ve inherited, you’re determined that your new hires will be highly engaged, high performing employees ready to give outstanding member service.
But, wait! Have you tried coaching your current employees to perform the right skills and exhibit behaviors in alignment with the organization’s values? If you do, you’ll be surprised how your current staff is capable of transforming your branch/department culture and, in turn, your bottom-line.
Research shows that high performing credit union employees possess common skill sets and behaviors that set them apart. In short, they advocate for the members, and they appreciate the members. The good news is that these skills and behaviors are not intangible personality traits, but are the result of measurable skill sets that you can coach to.
Use the following list to coach employees on how to advocate for the member.
Member Advocacy (Selling Skills)
- Be knowledgeable about the transaction.
- Engage in casual conversation or “small talk” to get to know the member’s needs.
- Ask questions to help understand the member’s individual needs.
- Explain the member’s options.
- Provide a payment quote and explain all that is included in the quote.
- Offer a product or service other than the one the member asks for that will improve the member’s financial life.
- Explain how additional products or services will benefit the member.
- Take the application, offer to take the application or send one, or offer to follow up with the member to make an appointment even if the member did not complete the application process.
- Remind the member of the benefits he/she would receive (e.g., save money, save time, earn more money, reduce stress/hassle, have peace of mind) or compliment the member on his/her wise decision.
- Offer to follow up if the member gives an objection such as, “I have to think about it, ask my spouse,” etc.
- Offer his/her name and contact information or a business card to the member.
Use the following list to coach employees on how to show member appreciation.
Member Appreciation (Service Skills)
- Greet the member in a courteous way.
- Use the member’s name.
- Make eye contact.
- Ask if there was anything else he/she could do to help the member before concluding the transaction.
- Thank the member.
- Sound enthusiastic throughout the call (call center).
- Stand to greet the member.
- Convey professionalism in his/her body language.
- Introduce himself/herself unless already acquainted with the member.
- Use words that indicated enthusiasm and a willingness to serve, such as “How may I assist you?”
- Accompany the member back to the lobby or convey professionalism in his/ her body language or speech (offer a handshake or other professional departing message).
- If the member gives an objection about price (“I can get a better rate elsewhere”), ask where and what the other rate is to ensure the member is getting the best product/service to meet his/her needs.
- Treat the member as an individual and not “just a number.”
- Make the member feel like a respected and valued member of the credit union.
- Comfort and empathize with the member if he/she comes in or calls in with a problem or encounters a problem during the transaction.
- Solve the problem if the member comes in or called with a problem or encounters a problem during the transaction.
High performing employees don’t become such by accident! You can use our research to help identify successful behaviors and coach to them. For more information on behaviors of high performing sales and service staff, request a downloadable copy of our Filene Institute research here.
“Go for it gang! You know where to find me.”
– Mike Neill
Michael Neill is the President and Founder of ServiStar, a company he started 20 years ago. When he isn’t traveling across North America to train credit union leaders, you can find him in the kitchen making his world-famous “Mikey Que” Sauce.