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Meet The Finalists For The 2024 Innovation Series: Member Experience (AI Edition)

This year’s member experience solutions provide insight into new AI technology for credit unions.

Think of it as Shark Tank with a credit union spin, and it’s just been renewed for another season.

The 2024 Innovation Series from CreditUnions.com and Callahan & Associates is underway. Every year since 2018, this series has offered a select group of suppliers 10 minutes each to impress an audience of credit union decision-makers. It’s simple: Each vendor pitches its offerings and attendees vote on their favorites.

The Innovation Series was a hit from the get-go and continues to grow in popularity. This year’s focus areas include member analytics, fraud, lending, member experience, and payments.

Read on for more from this year’s member experience finalists: Cambio, Direct Link, Glia, and Tethr. Plus, make sure to join us for the Innovations In Member Experience webinar. Register Today! 


Aviary AI by Cambio

Describe your innovation. 

Blesson Abraham, CEO, Aviary AI

Aviary AI is the first outbound AI sales team designed specifically for credit unions. Aviary’s human-like voice agents automate calls, including welcoming new members, promoting card activations, and cross-selling relevant products. This proactive automation frees up employees time, allowing them to focus on initiatives that strengthen member relationships more significantly. These voice agents are powered by private Large Language Models (LLMs), ensuring the privacy and security of member data.

What opportunity or challenge does it address? 

Outbound Calls are Inefficient, Leading to Missed Opportunities: Many institutions rely on internal staff to initiate proactive calls to members. Due to staffing and operational limitations, these calls are often not completed, resulting in lost revenue and engagement.

Adopting Generative AI in Highly Regulated Industries is Challenging: To remain compliant and to prevent the exposure of member PII to general-purpose models like ChatGPT, Claude, or Gemini, most credit unions shy away from these technologies. These models are not specifically designed for the highly regulated financial services sector and lack the necessary transparency for institutions to maintain compliance.

Outbound Calls Often Lead to Complex Interactions: Automating the workflows that follow a call, such as opening new accounts, card activation, or renewing an insurance policy, may seem straightforward but involves coordinating multiple systems to complete. This complexity makes automation challenging.

How does it increase member value? 

Credit unions can utilize Aviary’s voice agents to boost revenue, enhance PPM, streamline operations, and increase member engagement. It empowers credit unions to connect with more members, ensuring they have the chance to utilize the full array of credit union services.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors? 

Aviary stands out as the first solution of its kind to utilize generative AI for member outreach. Aviary employs proprietary, private LLMs fine-tuned with credit union data. Furthermore, the voice agents are designed to know when to speak and when to listen, managing interruptions and handling escalations.

 


Direct Link

Mark Vanderpool, President, DirectLink

Describe your innovation. 

Directlink is a conversational AI banking platform tailored for community banks and credit unions. It is designed to provide 24/7 customer service, advanced AI-driven insights, and seamless integration with existing banking systems, all managed through a simple no-code interface.

What opportunity or challenge does it address? 

Directlink addresses the need for Community Banks and Credit Unions to enhance digital engagement, improve operational efficiency, and offer personalized customer experiences without significant investment in IT infrastructure or specialized staff.

How does it increase member value? 

DirectLink enhances member value by offering round-the-clock access to banking services, personalized financial advice through AI, and robust security features that ensure the safety of members’ financial information and transactions.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors? 

Unlike other platforms, Its no-code AI management allows for rapid customization to meet specific member needs, setting it apart as a leader in accessible and adaptive fintech solutions.


Glia

Describe your innovation. 

Jake Tyler, AI Market Lead, Glia

Glia’s ease of use, efficiency, and effectiveness have helped to differentiate it from other providers in the credit union space, enabling financial cooperatives to more easily and efficiently grow their business by improving service and deepening relationships with members, all while utilizing the latest technology. Automation, combined with the ability to shift interactions between channels, has helped countless credit unions reduce wait times, boost member loyalty, and increase satisfaction across the organization.

Glia’s Unified Interaction Management (UIM) is reinventing how credit unions interact with their members, where AI is one of three core pillars to UIM. This inclusive service approach breaks the limitations of traditional contact center platforms with disparate solutions to offer truly seamless member experiences and new levels of efficiency.

Glia’s UIM platform fully integrates Digital Customer Service (DCS), traditional Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) capabilities, and automation (customer and agent AI) all under Glia’s patented ChannelLess ™ architecture.

What opportunity or challenge does it address? 

Credit unions consistently struggle to boost efficiencies and improve satisfaction for staff and those they serve. Leveraging UIM has proven to lower bandwidths, increase conversions, and greatly improve member service and employee satisfaction for credit unions across the country.

Key features include:

  • Automation: Glia’s platform leverages automation to streamline processes, reduce workloads, and improve response times, ensuring a more efficient customer service operation.
  • Unified Interactions: Glia’s platform empowers businesses to unify customer interactions across various channels, eliminating confusion and providing a seamless experience for both customers and agents.
  • Adaptive Channel Shifting: Businesses can effortlessly shift the volume of interactions between Voice, Digital, SMS and chatbots, simultaneously increasing revenue, operational efficiency, and loyalty.

Leveraging UIM has proven to lower abandonments, increase conversions, and greatly improve member and employee satisfaction for credit unions across the country. Glia helps more than 500 credit unions banks, insurance companies, and other financial firms improve efficiencies, facilitate a better service experience, and drive powerful business results.

How does it increase member value? 

In addition to improving the member experience, Glia’s UIM platform increases value in numerous ways.

  • Automation that can improve contact center efficiency and volume. Glia’s AI  also leverages virtual assistance to help members get answers faster and more accurately with pre-programmed responses.
  • Ease of deployment and integration enables credit unions to hit the ground running at their own pace with proven fintech pre-integrations, minimal IT involvement, and staff training.
  • Seamless FI-centric solutions increase staff effectiveness and interaction velocity with easy-to-use software designed for financial institutions.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors? 

Glia’s ease of use, efficiency, and effectiveness have helped to differentiate it from other providers in the credit union space, enabling financial cooperatives to more easily and efficiently grow their business by improving service and deepening relationships with members, all while utilizing the latest technology. Automation, combined with the ability to shift interactions between channels, has helped countless credit unions reduce wait times, boost member loyalty, and increase satisfaction across the organization.


Tethr

Steve Trier, Chief of Operations and Product, Tethr

Describe your innovation. 

Tethr recently released CSATai, a machine learning model that predicts a satisfaction score for every member conversation. It analyzes the words members and agents use within the context of the conversation to determine how members feel about their experiences. Contact center and member experience leaders can view a specific transcript to see the factors that impacted the member’s satisfaction or use the CSATai dashboard to monitor big-picture satisfaction trends.

CSATai eliminates the need for credit unions to rely on low-response rate surveys to measure member satisfaction. It allows them to gauge how each member felt about their service interaction in near real-time and address controllable factors to improve the member experience.

What opportunity or challenge does it address? 

Credit unions typically measure member satisfaction using survey data, but only a small percentage of members who had a service interaction complete a survey. Additionally, the people most likely to submit a survey are the ones who had either a highly positive or negative experience. This can lead to a “squeaky wheel gets the grease” effect, where member experience leaders make decisions based on what they’re hearing from their credit union’s most vocal fans and critics while missing out on learning from the majority of customers who don’t submit surveys.

CSATai enables MX leaders to measure the satisfaction of every member who had a service interaction, regardless of whether they submitted a survey. This gives credit unions greater insight into the factors impacting member satisfaction and allows them to prioritize the changes and initiatives that will be most beneficial to their members.

How does it increase member value? 

The true value of CSATai lies in its ability to uncover the reasons members are satisfied or dissatisfied so credit unions can take appropriate and timely action. By identifying factors negatively impacting member satisfaction, credit unions can proactively follow up with members, hone their agent coaching, and address issues with products, services, or processes. Making these targeted changes based on the voice of the member enables credit unions to maximize loyalty, reduce churn, drive revenue, and strengthen their reputation as trusted financial institutions.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors? 

CSATai is a proprietary large language model based on a deep learning artificial neural network and trained to predict customer satisfaction. Tethr trained CSATai on millions of survey responses and their preceding interactions, then worked with opt-in customers to further fine-tune the model using their conversation data. As a result, CSATai predicts CSAT scores with a high degree of accuracy and will be further refined as it ingests more conversation data.

Tethr’s CSATai customers can access an out-of-the-box dashboard with actionable CSAT insights, including their top drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, top associated reasons for dissatisfaction, and agents or teams with the highest percentage of satisfied or dissatisfied scores. This allows MX leaders to quickly identify and act on opportunities to improve member satisfaction–and drive a return on investment through reduced contact center operational costs, reduced member churn, and increased member lifetime value.

This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
February 21, 2024

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