Powering a Multi-Channel Member Service Center

How Arkansas Federal Credit Union reduces abandonment rate and improves online member support with a high-performance communications management solution


Arkansas Federal Credit Union (AFCU), with more than 59,000 members and nearly $400 million in total assets, handles an average of 35,000 member contacts on a monthly basis. Facing an increase in abandoned calls and requiring more comprehensive analysis of its contact center operations, the credit union adopted a management suite of technology to enhance its member service center operations. By taking full advantage of the solution, including multi-channel functionality, voicemail self-service and automatic callback options, AFCU has reduced member abandonment from 15 percent to less than five percent. Since implementing the solution, the credit union has also upgraded its online support capabilities. 

The new system was instrumental in reducing the high percentage of abandoned calls plaguing AFCU, due to the software’s combination of communication management, voicemail self-service and automatic callback options. With the system, customers electing to abandon a call have their call records retained in the system. The abandoned call interaction is replaced by an outbound call that is managed in the queue as if the caller had remained on the line. The system automatically calls the member back and connects them with an agent. After initially helping AFCU to lower its abandoned call rate from a high of 15 percent to less than five percent, Apropos has also proved valuable in helping the credit union maintain a consistent abandoned call of under five percent for the past three years.

The contact center software’s reporting and tracking capabilities also enable AFCU management to analyze the productivity of the member service center in real-time. Supervisors assess which customers are in queue, determine average wait times and make staffing decisions to handle peak call times. They also use reports to monitor and manage contact center costs.

The system they implemented is Apropos’ Interaction Management Suite. According to Craig Savell, executive vice president at Arkansas Federal Credit Union, “Our ability to provide members with consistently high levels of service has been vastly improved by making Apropos the ‘hub’ of our customer support operations.” Apropos has played a significant role in helping AFCU optimize staffing and redesign the work flow within its contact center. Now that the credit union’s agents are more productive, the need to hire additional staff has been eliminated. “Even with inbound call volume increasing by 17 percent, Apropos has helped us control expenses, while our agents have generated an additional $40 million in loans,” concludes Savell.

Due to the growing number of AFCU members located overseas, the system’s web chat and e-mail functionality have become increasingly important to the organization. In addition to standard phone support, it uses these online channels to maintain and strengthen relationships with customers living outside the United States. Web chat and e-mail enable the credit union to track the progress of customer inquiries and distribute targeted messages more efficiently.

Overall, Arkansas Federal Credit Union deployment of Apropos’ Interaction Management Suite demonstrates the effectiveness of a financial services organization developing and executing a consolidated approach to multi-channel communications. John Cray, vice president of products at Apropos Technology, applauds AFCU’s approach, which focuses on the credit union building true one-to-one relationships with its customers: “Arkansas Federal understands the value of providing its members with a choice in determining how they interact with the organization.”

Register for “Getting Members to Use Online Services,” or another free online seminar presented by Apropos Technology to learn more about improving your member service center operations.



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