COVID-19 Checkup Calls: Nymeo Reaches Out By Phone

The suburban Maryland credit union is calling members to offer assurance and advice.

 
 

CU QUICK FACTS

Nymeo FCU
Data as of 12.31.19

HQ: Frederick, MD
ASSETS: $281.6M
MEMBERS: 22,883
BRANCHES: 7
12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 4.2%
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 10.9%
ROA: 0.92%

Nymeo Federal Credit Union ($281.6M, Frederick, MD) is adding a personal touch to social distancing by calling members who might need assurance about their finances.

The community-chartered credit union that serves Frederick County and Montgomery County began making the calls on March 20 to members who had responded to an electronic survey Nymeo sent inviting people to let their cooperative know if they needed help. That outreach has expanded since then.

“We’re also reaching out to new members — accounts that have opened in the past 90 days — to ensure they’re comfortable with their accounts or need any additional assistance,” says Vicki Johnston, president and CEO of the suburban Washington, DC, cooperative.

Heidi Landaverde, manager of Nymeo’s Buckeystown branch, makes a reassuring call to a member.

Four of Nymeo’s branches are currently closed and the other three are drive-thru only, as its website advises. Assistant managers, tellers, and member service representatives are now making the calls from their offices and from home. 

The credit union made approximately 250 calls within the first 10 days of the initiative and expects the number to rise as it adds outreach criteria, for example, members who have savings but no checking accounts or holders of accounts opened in 2019.

Because many people don’t answer numbers they don’t recognize, Johnston says callers leave a lot of voice mails and follow-up with emails. 

Vicki Johnston, President and CEO, Nymeo FCU

“Yes, there have been some callbacks,” she says. 

Whether members answer the first time or call back, the credit union asks such questions as: How are things going? Is everything going well with your account? Do you have any concerns? Are you impacted by COVID-19? 

“We also explain what we’re doing to assist membership in this crisis,” Johnston says. That includes educating members about self-service options. 

The credit union also is offering loan forbearance, payment skips, and other help in addition to financial counseling and budgeting assistance.

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For those with whom the credit union has spoken, it has had some good conversations, Johnston says. Her best advice for how to handle such outreach is to always be looking for more.

“Treat these calls with the ‘what else’ approach,” Johnston says. “What else can I do to save this member time, money, or hardship?”

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