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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.