One of my job responsibilities as a ‘Relationship Associate’ at Verity is to make service calls to members who have recently opened an account at our Alderwood branch. The first call usually happens about 2 weeks after the account is opened. I ask the member if they have received their checks or debit card and answer any questions they may have about their new accounts. At this time I also take the opportunity, after having reviewed their accounts, to offer the member other products or services that may fit their needs. This call is always well received. The member realizes that we are following up on the new account and they’re appreciative that we want to make sure they’ve received their checks or debit card. A second call is placed about a month later, without the guise of a check up, to offer others products. Again, having reviewed their accounts, I determine the products that are advantageous for each member and explain how they can profit from them. While these calls are solicitations, and beneficial for the credit union, we have the member’s best interest at heart. Many members don’t have their accounts structured to optimize their return; some because they don’t know, some just don’t care. Either way we want to educate our membership and contribute to a positive banking experience. However, in this day and age people, myself included, are conditioned to be suspicious of sales calls. These second calls aren’t as well received, and sometimes people are stand-offish, especially those who don’t understand our cooperative nature. Are these calls then giving members reason to see us as though we’re only out for profit? Are members equating us to banks? Are they more of an annoyance than a service? Such is the dilemma of the service call. Nevertheless, I propose that while these calls might not be appreciated by all, we must continue in our endeavor to educate and provide superior service. Those that value our efforts will remain loyal and committed members and those that don’t yet regard these services as highly as others, will recognize their value in time.
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