Success Story

Financial Institutions Outperform M&A Integration Expectations

How they created efficiency, managed through the transition, AND improved the customer experience in the process

Illustration depicting smiling woman and reports around her.

IT integration is one of the biggest challenges post-merger companies face. Managing multiple disparate systems is highly inefficient, often creating significant redundancy across the organization while hindering collaboration. This is especially acute for customer-facing teams who suddenly have to staff every service application across both company tech stacks to meet customer expectations. Typically there is significant overlap in phone systems, Digital Customer Service (DCS) options, and AI-powered self-service solutions. This adds complexity and, all too often, confusion for customers when the haphazard blend of technologies overwhelms the support team.

Consolidating systems can be a long and daunting process, often leaving customer service teams in limbo as they support a patchwork of disparate solutions. With multiple systems to learn and manage, staff productivity often takes a nosedive during a time when the organization is trying to show new efficiencies. Plus, the extra strain on the customer service team can lead to higher turnover and staffing challenges. Worst of all, the customer experience often takes a major hit. Yet, many companies delay integration while they develop a game plan.

Notably, companies that accelerate integration of customer service technologies are showing surprisingly strong benefits and achieving measurable value faster. These successfully merged companies share a strategy beyond merely finding the most effective technology within the IT mashup—the better of two phone systems, multiple digital solutions, and the best chatbot. Instead they adopt one unified platform for all customer interactions, creating efficiencies in staffing, managing, and reporting.

Here we share the best practices from two extraordinary financial institutions that have faced the post-merger integration challenge head on, and have come out considerably better off. They are achieving greater service efficiency, an improved employee experience, and higher customer satisfaction scores.

Umpqua Bank logo
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$50B+ AUM
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Largest bank headquartered in Northwest
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300+ locations

Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank, a premier regional bank operating in eight states in the Western U.S., was already evaluating digital-first technologies to enhance the customer experience when it merged with Columbia Bank in early 2023. The bank did its due diligence on what the best solution would be between the two companies' tech stacks, and decided to onboard the Columbia customers onto the Glia Interaction Platform.

Umpqua had selected Glia and the Glia Interaction Platform to provide a seamless customer experience across multiple digital-first channels, chat, OnScreen voice, and online collaboration with CoBrowsing. This added live, real-time support to the bank’s ‘Go-To’ solution that enables 1:1 relationships between customers and bankers.

“We were looking for a vendor that would take our ‘Go-To’ service to the next level and satisfy our vision. The features offered by Glia allowed us to do that,” said Laura Livick, Digital Product Manager, Global Payments and Deposits for Umpqua Bank. “Plus Glia’s strong relationship with Q2, our online banking platform, enabled a smooth launch and a proven solution.”

Rather than halt deployment, the customer service team rescoped the project to include the merger and provide support for new customers coming into the Umpqua fold. “It couldn’t have come at a better time,” noted Livick.

In addition to providing popular digital-first options, the Glia solution helped relieve a big increase in call volume resulting from the merger. Umpqua saw an eightfold increase in chats for its commercial business, for example, allowing the bank to more effectively answer questions about the merger and online banking. For complex questions, Glia has enabled Umpqua’s service team to offer dual-cursor CoBrowsing, allowing representatives to not only share the screen with a customer, but also co-navigate the site.

“We are able to do every single transaction that you can do in a branch by using digital tools with our remote staff. We do consumer loans, open accounts, provide business loans—all of it. It’s all part of our strategy to let customers bank with us how they like, whether it’s through digital, phone, or visiting a branch. Clearly digital has become very popular.”
Laura Green, SVP, Director of Retail and Digital Operations for Umpqua Bank.

Customer satisfaction surveys prove this to be true, with a high 4.68/5 score after digital interactions. Umpqua hasn’t missed a beat, even through the merger, maintaining its ‘people-first’ mission and award-winning service.

Results

4.68

CSAT post-interaction

8x

increase in digital usage
WyHy Fderal Credit Union logo
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$300M+ AUM
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20,000 members
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5 branches

WyHy Federal Credit Union

As if one merger isn’t complicated enough, WyHy Federal Credit Union has completed three over the past two years. The Wyoming-based credit union is always looking for better ways to serve its members, adopting a number of digital solutions over time, including online chat, SMS, and an automated chatbot. As it was exploring video features during the pandemic, the WyHy team began to consider a more efficient way to manage its multiple services technologies and was inspired by Glia’s single Interaction Platform for all member channels.

“We had a call center vendor, a different chat provider, and a different SMS provider. It was super inefficient to manage all those systems to handle the different member communications coming in. We needed a better way to manage that and offer our members a great service experience. Ideally, we wanted to have everything under one umbrella,” said Eric Valla, Chief Information Officer for WyHy Federal Credit Union.

With Glia, WyHy has consolidated all interactions onto a single platform to reduce both costs and complexity. In addition to overcoming the challenges of managing its own array of disparate solutions, Glia’s seamless platform provided a technology blueprint for the credit union’s series of mergers.

The Glia Interaction Platform brings WyHy’s call center, digital service options and AI-powered self service together to simplify member support and streamline management. As part of the platform, WyHy uses Glia Call Center (GCC) for call-in phone support, Digital Customer Service (DCS) for chat, on-screen audio and video and Glia Virtual Assistant (GVA) chatbot for self service. WyHy is also using Glia’s SMS solution, fully integrated into the single platform.

“For our agents to be able to manage all interactions on one platform, in one window, has dramatically increased efficiency in terms of service and training.”
Tim Walters, Member Experience Manager for WyHy Federal Credit Union

WyHy has been able to handle large increases in call volume, especially from new members as a result of mergers, without increasing its support staff. Digital-first options have become popular and CoBrowsing has been especially successful in helping members with the more complex issues. The GVA delivers an easy, highly effective self-service option as well as after-hours support. Combined, this has helped the credit union become more efficient, while continually enhancing the member experience.

Results

12%

increase in member interactions

0

new staff added

10%

improvement in service levels

5%

decrease in abandonments after Glia call back feature
WyHy Federal Credit Union Results

12%

increase in member interactions

0

new staff added

10%

improvement in service levels

5%

decrease in abandonments after Glia call back feature

While each merger has had its own unique challenges, prioritizing customer-facing systems is always a best practice. Where conventional wisdom says to slow down and even pause strategic projects, these two financial institutions have driven tremendous value by proactively focusing on customer experience transformation. The Glia Interaction Platform integrates the call center, digital-first options, and automation, providing the agility and velocity they needed to quickly unify all channels across both organizations. Umpqua and WyHy have turned the post-merger technology challenge into an institutional advantage.

Graphic depicting the Glia Unified Interaction Management platform pillars: voice, digital and AI.

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Financial Institutions Outperform M&A Integration Expectations

How They Created Efficiency, Managed Through the Transition, and Improved the Customer Experience
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