CEO Discusses Responsiveness

Theresa Mann, President and CEO, Discusses Responsiveness in 2016 Holiday Message

December 15—Responsiveness. As I begin to write this month’s message, I am multi-tasking.  I am sitting here on hold for the fourth time waiting to speak to a representative from a large sporting-goods store about the mess that is in my basement which was supposed to be a ping pong table.  Did I mention that it was a surprise for my son for Christmas?  Not anymore.  After a botched delivery and a failed assembly that took three days and two companies, they now say it is broken.  And, I have not been able to get a call or email back from said sporting-goods store in over a week.  Pick it up, replace it, or just keep it here for decoration.  And what about my son’s gift?

You have heard these stories before, and typically the consumer only gets recognition and at times remuneration after 50,000 people hear about their experience. It was my first tweet, I will have to admit, but it felt good to hit the “post” button.

When I actually get to talk with customer service people, I always tell them that I am in the service business, and I fully understand what it takes to help people each and every day – real people, like me, who are angry or frustrated about a situation that we may or may not have caused. As the CEO, I have to figure out how to ensure each of our members receive a positive experience with an engaged service representative.  So we teach, train and tell our staff that perhaps the most important thing they can do to help a member with a problem is to actually acknowledge the problem.  Which means respond to the inquiry, pay attention to the problem and follow through until a solution is reached.  It really does not matter whose fault it is.  Service businesses must have their channels set up properly to track the customer’s journey from start to finish, and ensure that precious customers, who have many options, feel like they matter.  Because they do.

This is why we’re excited about the direction we’re heading in 2017. In early November, the Senior Executives and Board of Directors met for a thoughtful and invigorating strategic planning session, in large part dedicated to the member survey results we received earlier this year. We are excited to be shifting things around to focus even more on you, the member, and your experience from start to finish. We want to ensure that whether you’re making a withdrawal from your account or applying for a mortgage, you don’t receive an experience like the one I’m currently entangled in (still on hold, by the way). Banking is a commodity and so many options now exist for you to choose how and when you bank, which is why we hope you choose a place that cares about your experience, your time and your money.

From all of us to all of you…happy holidays and all the best for a happy new year!


Theresa B. Mann