For 80 years, Skyward Credit Union has provided its members higher savings rates, lower loan rates, and smaller fees than local banks. Communicating with members is always a high priority for all financial institutions, but at Credit Unions such as Skyward, members’ extra-busy schedules made it even more challenging.
Skyward members—aviation experts with a tie to Textron Aviation— tend to be a bit more difficult to track down by phone or email than members of other credit unions. Due to the nature of their work, some may be busy working on the shop floor, while others’ meeting schedules prevent them from speaking on the phone or responding to email.
“Text Messaging provided a way to reach members who can’t get to the phone for a call, or to the computer for email, but could get text messages,” said Christy Bales, IT Project Manager at Skyward.
Being able to receive text conversations from credit union associates as well as initiate them in a secure manner has made members very happy, Bales said.
“Members enjoy communicating with texts, and they took to it immediately,” said Bales, adding it has made passing information back and forth much easier. Members can receive reminders about payments due, for example, helping them stay current and avoid late fees.
Increasingly, credit unions are adopting Text Messaging (or SMS) solutions because of its enormous popularity with the general public — 80% of professionals currently use SMS for business purposes according to research by The Local Project. To maximize the return on investment a Text Messaging solution might have, training must be fast, efficient, and thorough.
“Eltropy’s solution was easy for us to train our associates and to deploy. We were able to customize it, and overall training took about an hour with a little monitoring,” Bales said. “It was quick and easy.”
Skyward has been working with Eltropy for roughly a year. Approximately 10% of its members are regularly texting the credit union, asking questions, and responding to associates. In the coming months, Skyward expects to market the availability of Text Messaging more broadly to members and to also expand from 1:1 messaging to mass texting.
If all goes according to plan, many more Skyward members will experience the benefits of Text Messaging in 2021 and be able to keep tabs on their finances as well as learn about new CU offerings swiftly and without breaking their stride.