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Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union Expands Across Texas with Digital Customer Service

Digital-First Solutions Improve Both Online and In-Branch Member Experiences

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Challenge

digital-first service
Provide digital-first service to improve member experiences
member relationships
Deepen member relationships online and in-branch
leveraging digital assets
Fully staff the credit union leveraging digital resources

Solution

By adopting DCS early, GCEFCU was prepared for the pandemic and able to manage large increases in digital engagements
Glia’s digital-first solution has allowed GCEFCU to grow its membership base and expand throughout Texas over the past several years
‘Glia Stations’—in-branch video kiosks—have enabled remote experts to be available for members online and in-person at all locations, maintaining high satisfaction and strengthening member relationships

Results:

100%

Shared expert availability
across branches and online

17s

Average
Wait Time

70%

Membership
engaging digitally
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Over $1.2B assets under management
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50,000 members
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8 branches in Texas
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Numerous awards, including Best Member Experience 2021
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Serving school and college employees and their families across Texas
• 4 min read

Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union Expands Across Texas with Digital Customer Service

Digital-First for Lifelong Relationships

Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union lives by its service mission to ‘build lifelong relationships, one member at a time.’ This strategy has earned trust among members, fueling growth by attracting new school and college employees across Texas. Seeking to continuously improve the member experience and sensing a shift toward digital-first assistance, GCEFCU embraced Digital Customer Service (DCS) early as a means to deepen relationships.

While a simple online chat application demonstrated the potential of digital service, GCEFCU quickly realized that chat alone was not enough. The credit union shifted from a chat-only application to Glia’s comprehensive DCS platform in 2018. This enabled seamless digital service that, in addition to chat, included OnScreen voice and video, with CoBrowsing features to accelerate online engagements.

Challenge

digital-first icon
Provide digital-first service to improve member experiences
member relationships icon
Deepen member relationships online and in-branch
leveraging digital resources icon
Fully staff the credit union leveraging digital resources

Ready for the Unexpected

With Glia, GCEFCU can now easily transition members from chat to video, for example, for more personalized service or to help verify a member’s identity online. This seamless approach avoids the digital disconnect of asking members to start all over with a phone call when they are unable to complete their engagement within chat. Since launching Glia, digital use has increased to more than 70% of members now engaging online.

Aligning to the digital-first lifestyle helped GCEFCU navigate unplanned events, such as the pandemic, with online services that are familiar and are now preferred by many members. While other institutions scrambled to deploy digital service options during social distancing, GCEFCU was already up and running with Glia’s proven DCS platform, allowing it to immediately manage the large increases in online member engagements.

“One of my favorite things about Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union is that we are always ahead of the curve as far as providing the best products and services available. Glia has given us best-in-class service that allows us to stay at the forefront and be ready for what lies ahead,” said Elizabeth Thornton, member experiences manager for GCEFCU.

Driving Growth in Challenging Economic Times

GCEFCU has experienced record growth since expanding its digital offerings, achieving high average loan amounts per member compared to the industry. Katy Jernigan, Vice President of Operations at GCEFCU, attributes this to the credit union’s attention to each relationship and its focus on delivering positive member experiences, which are increasingly online. Strong member connections lead to more loans, mortgages, and insurance sales, as members entrust more business with the credit union. Glia’s ability to offer channel choice with seamless transitions strengthens those connections.

Online collaboration tools further streamline digital engagements, allowing service representatives to visually guide members online and even help them securely fill out applications for a loan, credit card, or mortgage. “CoBrowsing has really been huge for us. We are able to help members and proactively show them where to find the information or applications they need. You can see the frustration go away and members become more engaged,” said Jernigan.

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Flipping the Script: Digital Enhances the Branch Experience

After eagerly embracing Digital Customer Service to improve the online experience, the management team began considering how it could also enhance the in-branch experience to help expand beyond the Gulf Coast region of Texas to serve educators statewide.

“Texas is a large state, and we want to be the face-to-face credit union for teachers and education employees. We can provide most services online, but sometimes members want a bank that isn’t 500 miles away. So we are strategically expanding with new branches and increasingly looking at how we can enable micro-branches. Glia’s Digital Customer Service comes into play here,” said Jernigan.

GCEFCU’s management team saw an opportunity to bring the benefits of DCS into the branch to enhance the member experience. Leveraging Glia’s strong video capabilities, the credit union deployed kiosks or ‘Glia Stations’ in each branch to make remote experts—such as a loan officer in another location—readily accessible. Just as DCS enabled seamless, continuous assistance online, GCEFCU provided an OnScreen solution for branch visitors to avoid a real-world disconnect of sending a member away with no support.

Glia Stations

GCEFCU has since expanded the ‘Glia Station’ solution to also include mortgage and insurance support for branch visitors. This inspired the GCEFCU team to rethink how digital resources could further augment in-branch experiences.

With ‘Glia Stations’ the credit union is able to open smaller micro-branches that provide live, in-branch support equipped with remote experts who can help members with loans, mortgages, credit cards and insurance via video. This allows the credit union to quickly build resources in top regions, establish a presence and serve educators throughout Texas, even with limited staffing resources.

Poised for the Future

Digitally enhancing both online AND branch experiences with Glia is fueling growth for GCEFCU as it expands statewide. As membership increases, it continues to deliver high-touch services that build the lifelong relationships that have driven GCEFCU’s success from the very beginning.

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