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IM Offers Behind-The-Scenes Way To Serve Membership

I just read the Credit Union Journal article on the use of instant messaging (IM) (CU Journal, Oct. 22). We began using the AOL Instant Messenger approximately five to six years ago internally, precisely for the reasons cited in the article.

Staff who are unsure of an answer or need information can obtain it without the member in front of them knowing they are doing it. Often, they access our call center staff-our most rounded, well-trained staff members-for such answers.

It's also useful when the person you're seeking is on the phone-they can receive and respond to an IM without being interrupted or having to respond to voicemail. We replaced AOL with a more secure, in-house version about two years ago. Our staff just couldn't operate as effectively without it.

Steve Swofford, CEO

Alabama CU

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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