Featured Image for the blog: Vibrant Credit Union Partnered with Sharpen to Streamline Operations and Improve Banking Customer Satisfaction

People bank differently than they did 10 years ago. And, what impacts banking customer satisfaction will continue to shift 10 years from now, too.

Some 65% of members now interact with their credit union through multiple digital channels. And, one study from The Financial Brand found branch visits are projected to decline by 36% through 2022.

Financial institutions have to change up their operations and move to cloud business models to keep up with the demands of modern members.

Vibrant Credit Union grabbed ahold of this idea early and launched themselves to the forefront of a rapidly changing industry. They’re a credit union who’s always done things differently. From the empowering work environment they’ve built for MSRs to the VW bus turned ice cream truck in their parking lot, they revolutionize how employees work and how members bank.

Vibrant overhauled their credit union operations and MSR experience to fit the needs of modern members.

The worst decision you can make is a slow one when you’re trying to improve your member experience. So, Vibrant’s leaders opted to act strategically fast. They invested in updated processes, new technology and new roles for MSRs for a better member experience. (And they saved a ton of money while they were at it.)

As a partner along the way, they chose Sharpen, who shares their people-first frame of mind.

“I think branches in general, and banking, are going to be an interesting thing the next 10 years,” said Vibrant’s CEO Matt McCombs. “The world’s shifting quite a bit. It’s shifting from heavy physical use to a digital space. But I think consumers are still interested in what those branches look like. Not so much the size of the branches, but really, what’s the uniqueness of them?”.

Vibrant found their unique niche to drive better member experiences in video banking. The credit union partnered with Sharpen to power video banking kiosks in each of their branch locations.

They centralized MSRs in one location so they could help more members regardless of their geography.

Now, no matter what location a member walks into, they instantly have an MSR ready to help them, McCombs added. And by instantly, we’re talking average member wait times of less than sixty seconds.

Centralized banking increased operational efficiency and left room to scale.

Consolidating bankers under one roof simplified Vibrant’s operations and put about $1 million back in their pocket each year.

With Sharpen’s omnichannel platform powering the video kiosks, Vibrant’s bankers can work from a single corporate office. And work is split equally among all of their bankers.

Sharpen’s platform routes incoming video calls to the next available agent. Rather than having one branch with overburdened agents and long wait times while another branch sees hours of downtime, MSRs’ time is optimized.

“What we’ve looked at, from a technology standpoint, or from just a delivery standpoint,
is ‘how do we leverage both a physical space, have people involved, and migrate to a digital world as well?’ So, everything we’re doing from a technology standpoint, or an interaction standpoint, is still people-centric. But we’re trying to leverage the efficiencies that technology gives us,” McCombs said.

Using technology to centralize their banking model lets Vibrant streamline how they hire, train, and deploy more bankers, too. They were able to redeploy traditional MSRs into new roles while still handling the same interaction volume for members.

“We were able to go from, you know, 25 bankers down to 14 bankers and handle the exact same volume with the same experience,” McCombs added.

Better yet, this approach helped them successfully scale from 8 branch locations to 17.

With the added efficiency and savings, Vibrant can grow services for their members.

With their added savings, Sharpen’s nimble product, and more employees to support other aspects of the business, Vibrant can continue to scale efficiently and responsibly.

“Being able to find an initial savings is a really big deal, but the bigger impact, for us, is looking at the way in which we believe the world is shifting,” McCombs said. “The next 10 years, how do you make sure that you have the technology in place to scale? And that’s the bigger item for us.”

“If we’re able to do the same volume with fewer individuals we can redeploy those individuals that we’ve moved into other activities in the organization,” he added.“ It also allows us the ability to scale up. So, if you’re able to leverage efficiency and streamline how things are, you’re talking on the banker side for us, almost a million-dollar savings. I mean just shy of a million dollars. I think $865,000 was the savings that we have in recognizing the same interaction volume. That’s a lot of loans.”

“The goal of what we’re trying to do is constantly provide more value to our members, and give that back. So, any sort of income that we make, how do we inject that back into our members and add value back to them?”

So yeah, that near million dollars, it allows us to really fuel the business and grow and add value for our members every single day.” – Matt McCombs, CEO of Vibrant Credit Union

Vibrant Credit Union fuels banking customer satisfaction with a people-centric vision and a hard-and-fast focus on improving the lives of their employees, their members, and their community.

“You’ll hear that a lot, that we change lives,” he said. “The other piece that we say pretty frequently is ‘if you can have a happy, healthy employee base, it makes happy, healthy members, which makes a happy, healthy community.’”

Want to learn more about Vibrant’s story? Head over to their customer case study to see how partnering with Sharpen helped improve banking customer satisfaction and change how their members bank. Find it here!

We originally published this post on December 19, 2018, and we updated it for new insight on October 16, 2019.