CU Hopes Tool Will Amplify Profitability by 25%

AUSTIN, Texas-Amplify FCU here tossed out a forsaken, high-maintenance sales system in January for a solution that takes the bull by the horns.

The new Econiq frontline sales solution "listens" to all member activity and records it on any third-party system across the CU. Econiq then identifies sales opportunities in real-time and coaches frontline staff from the sidelines. The solution is provided by Burlington, Mass.-based Econiq.

That's a far cry from the CU's previous system, which staff had virtually abandoned after three years, Pierre Cardenas, SVP-retail at the $535-million CU. "Employees had to learn how to use that system, but eventually they just stopped trying. With Econiq, employees simply resume their normal interactions with members within the systems they're used to using."

"Our previous system never gave us the kind of lift we've gotten from Econiq in just two months," he continued. "I told the previous vendor I want my money back. Econiq automatically records each cross-sale, each transaction and each conversation from all employees. No longer do we depend on the good faith of our employees to manually record those interactions as with our old sales and service system."

Staff would forget to record an interaction or might record it inaccurately, he said. "For example, we had trouble telling which employee actually made the final sale. Or we couldn't tell which employee loaded a member into e-statements because that information was in a separate system."

The old sales system also reported activity separately by department, such as loans or new accounts, he said. That prevented Amplify from easily knowing when to suggest a loan to a member who'd recently opened a checking account.

In contrast, Econiq wraps itself around any third-party system and records all interactions in that system, Cardenas said. Econiq was launched quickly and easily, with no back-end integration required. Currently, the solution is recording activity from the CU's core system, including teller and new accounts platforms, and the loan origination system.

Econiq also picks up on member interactions ignored by the old system, Cardenas said. That includes interactions such as problem resolution, answering questions about a loan payment or reviewing a notary document-the types of interactions that comprise at least one-quarter of all member activity, he said.

Now, Amplify knows what happened in each step of any interaction, he said. Econiq reports transaction length and each step of the transaction. "We can see who actually sold the product in the end and which are our top sales people and branches." Trend and comparison reports are delivered in colorful graphic format. "We can also track what top employees did in each transaction to understand why they were so effective," Cardenas said. Econiq, then, helps Amplify establish best practices that other employees can learn from.

At the same time, the CU now has the data it needs to support a solid employee sales incentive program. "Before, we had trouble tracking the sales of each employee," explained Cardenas. "Now, we have a clean way to pay incentives."

Econiq "lives on the side of the employee's screen," he said. "Employees open up the transaction system and Econiq comes on with it. They can see if they're in first, second or third place throughout the day."

By July, Amplify should be able to confirm whether Econiq will keep its promise to bolster profitability by up to 25% by improving sales, efficiency and reporting, Cardenas said. To identify trends, the CU needs six months of sales history from the approximately 60 employees and five locations that Econiq tracks.