The sunsetting of Citadel's bank-by-phone system greatly impacted their third-party costs and the overall member experience. This opened the door for the team to leverage conversational AI, finding a partner in Posh.
Citadel Credit Union ($5.4 billion assets) serves 250,000 members in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania. They are a credit union built on the unshakeable promise to serve those who work every day to build a better future. For over 85 years, they’ve delivered a breadth of financial services, expert guidance, and innovative tools to help strengthen and grow businesses, families, and local communities. ‘We are your Citadel, and we are Building Strength Together.’
Citadel found after the sunsetting of their bank-by-phone system their members did not shift to using online banking for assistance but rather continued to call resulting in increased call volumes to the contact center and third-party overflow provider. The team was hopeful that behaviors would change, however, after 12 months, the financial and member experience impact made it clear that they needed to find a new solution.
“We wanted to provide our members more than they had before. We also needed to find a solution that would allow us to decrease call volumes, improve member experience, and reduce costs,” says Pam Krupansky, VP of Member Experience and Sales.
Citadel’s staffing strategy includes a third-party provider. The third-party provider is leveraged for peak call times and after-hours. Although it has been a good strategy for Citadel, they found after the sunset of their bank-by-phone the additional call volume to their contact center significantly impacted their third-party provider costs. In addition, 30% of the calls handled by the third-party provider are sent back to the credit union for further assistance. Therefore minimizing the number of total calls again was key to helping with costs and overall impact on the contact center staff. In addition, the overall member experience was impacted, affecting Citadel’s Net Promoter Score.
In reviewing possible solutions, Citadel had the opportunity to view different options including the possibility of conversation AI. The team quickly embraced the idea of not only replacing their old bank-by-phone but also leveraging conversational AI to assist all members calling the credit union. The credit union was on a mission to figure out how to reduce calls to the contact center, to include those that could be sent directly to specialty groups such as collections and new member onboarding, reduce costs, and create a greater member experience.
Citadel partnered with Posh to strategize and deploy their ultimate vision in serving all their members. Citadel’s conversational AI vision was not just about cost savings and 24/7 answers, it provided Citadel a competitive advantage through call flow management. They wanted members to be immediately routed to the most skilled employee to provide relevant products and services to new and existing members. They wanted to be able to route calls to the right departments without sending the members through a multitude of IVR menu choices. They also wanted to create custom flows for members who were flagged for specific groups such as collections and new indirect lending members.
The credit union launched Adel, Posh’s Voice 360 product, in October 2021. Adel greets all callers and provides immediate answers when asked and transfers callers to humans when needed or if their account is flagged for a specific service.
“The biggest problem we had to solve was making it easier to get to the right agent without a lot of friction,” said Krupansky. “We can now get the call to the best-skilled employee to handle the task.”
Additionally, Adel offers an added layer of security. Members calling from a registered phone number can be authenticated by using their member number and PIN, which ensure members' data remain safe.
Adel’s ease of use has contributed to the team’s overall success. The staff has been trained on how to properly manage Adel behind the scenes, supporting immediate communication needs without the requirement of an IT ticket or a program manager.
Since Adel’s launch she has handled:
Adel has been working hard to serve the members of Citadel. A year after deployment Citadel reduced the cost of overflow calls to the contact center by 63%. The credit union went from $1.5 million in the contact center annual spend to $389,078. Adele’s performance provided Citadel the confidence in handling member questions they were able to eliminate third party after hour support.
“People were calling but not always receiving the help they needed, they could only really answer basic questions. Ultimately, calls would be rerouted back to the credit union,” Krupansky said.
By implementing conversational AI which included banking transactions, Pam and team observed an improved member experience faster than expected. The credit union’s contact center Net Promoter Score (NPS) shot up six points. They were able to provide a streamlined service to members, reducing friction and increasing satisfaction, all without disrupting or increasing the staff structure.
In addition to cost savings, Citadel has seen an increase in overall sales. Callers sent directly to the new indirect lending onboarding group has allowed the team to focus on not only onboarding but also deepening the relations. The team has successfully converted 17% of these new members from a single product account to a multiple product account. This has also allowed the call center to spend more time engaging with callers creating an opportunity to expand their financial journey with other helpful products and services.
“We improved our net promoter from 63% to 70%, it was a really nice jump,” Krupansky said. “We saved money, we stabilized our staff and we increased our NPS score.”
Adel is the digital team player the Citadel team has come to love. Adel manages repetitive tasks that open their employees to better relationship building and consistent revenue generating conversations. The change in the employees ability to serve the member and decrease in calls to the 3rd party provider has resulted in the NPS score increase.
“We chose Posh for their proven track record of streamlining the customer experience and the ability to customize our voice, so our members have seamless and consistent service no matter the channel,” said Krupansky. “Not to mention, we continue to be impressed by the level of partnership we’ve received from Posh. Throughout the entire process, Posh has felt like an extension of our Citadel team.”