Accelerating Credit Union Membership Growth: Guide to Leveraging Outsourced Call Centers in the Philippines

Published: April 25, 2024
Image shows how outsourcing accelerates credit union membership growth

Unlike traditional banks, credit unions are nonprofit financial cooperatives owned, operated, and managed by their members. Their goals typically include providing financial education and outreach to communities, assisting small businesses in getting funded, and helping ensure higher savings and reduced fees for individuals.

For a credit union to thrive and continue providing top-notch financial services for communities, driving membership growth should be a key priority. Credit unions can attract and retain more members by partnering with call center companies in the Philippines.

Understanding the Power of Outsourcing for Accelerating Credit Union Membership

Business process outsourcing (BPO) refers to delegating administrative and support functions to a third-party provider. Credit unions, which are typically smaller than the average bank, may not have the resources, workforce, and expertise needed to scale their operations, limiting the services they can provide for their members.

Through call center outsourcing in the Philippines, credit unions can improve customer support and expand their reach to more communities. As a result, they can enhance their reputation and even encourage more people to become members.

Why Should Credit Unions Partner With a Call Center in the Philippines?

People often turn to credit unions for lower loan rates and increased savings. At the same time, they expect the same level of quality service they find from traditional banks and financial institutions.

If you want to enhance your customer care services without significantly increasing your overhead costs or overwhelming your in-house staff, working with a BPO company can be the ideal alternative. Here are just a few of the reasons why credit unions should consider hiring a call center provider in the Philippines:

A mini infographic shows the reasons why a credit union benefits from outsourcing to a call center in the philippines

Achieve Greater Efficiency and Scalability

Driving membership growth is crucial for the continued success of a credit union. With its cooperative structure, credit unions provide a cycle of mutual financial assistance for its members, with one person’s deposit and savings helping to fund another’s loans and vice versa.

However, adding more members will also mean more work for credit union staff as they manage multiple accounts and facilitate financial transactions. Instead of piling a heavier workload on the shoulders of your core team, consider outsourcing back-office support functions to a Philippine call center.

You can improve efficiency and productivity without compromising service quality by delegating administrative and non-core business processes to offshore professionals. At the same time, you can boost member acquisition without worrying about disrupting your existing operations. Your BPO partner can help you quickly upgrade your workforce and accommodate the needs of your growing credit union.

Tap Into a Talent Pool With Cultural Affinity and Linguistic Proficiency

Credit unions are customer-centered organizations. Their competitive advantage is providing the close-knit community vibe many individuals and families seek from their chosen financial institutions. Because of this, credit unions must be selective when shopping around for a call center partner, choosing to work with one that can replicate the warmth and hospitality of their cooperative.

Hiring a call center in the Philippines can be the ideal strategy for credit unions hoping to improve customer service. The Southeast Asian nation has deep historical and cultural ties with the United States, which means that most Filipinos will be intimately familiar with U.S. culture and can cater their approach to American preferences.

As a multilingual country, the Philippines has a large talent pool of English-proficient professionals who can communicate effectively with your credit union members. Filipino call center agents are also naturally warm and empathetic, making them ideal customer service workers, especially for financial service organizations dealing with sensitive cases.

Enjoy Cost-Effectiveness and Operational Flexibility

In addition to better customer support and scalability, outsourcing to call centers in the Philippines can help credit unions gain cost savings and greater flexibility. One of the main challenges credit unions face is lacking resources and capabilities to expand their operations for new members.

Through offshore outsourcing, credit unions can take advantage of the lower labor and living costs in countries like the Philippines, enjoying the same quality service at more cost-effective rates. If they need to scale their operations up or down depending on fluctuating consumer demand, they can reap the flexibility call center companies provide.

How To Grow Credit Union Membership Through Outsourcing: Key Strategies for Success

Are you ready to outsource to a Philippine call center? Before you make any hasty decisions, here are some essential best practices you should follow to help you make the most of your outsourcing arrangement:

Select the Right Call Center Partner

To officially kick-start your outsourcing journey, shop for a BPO provider that meets your goals. We recommend identifying your specific needs first (what particular gaps you want your outsourcing partner to fill) and then making an informed decision by evaluating the following criteria and considerations:

  • Available Solutions: Does your ideal BPO partner offer customer service, back-office support, and billing and collections? Or do you need more specialized call center services like data analytics and AI development support?
  • Pricing and Payment Terms: What is the breakdown of costs for your outsourcing arrangement? Will your teams be paid per hour, project, or after achieving a particular outcome?
  • Industry Expertise: What industries has your BPO provider previously served? Do they have experience handling credit union accounts and other financial institutions?
  • BPO Locations: Would you prefer to keep your outsourced operations onshore, offshore, or nearshore?
  • Talent Pool: Does your BPO provider have access to a high-quality talent pool of candidates that meet your particular requirements and qualifications?
  • Service Level Agreement: Do you have a clearly defined and outlined contract that specifies the terms and conditions of your outsourcing partnership? Are your goals and expectations aligned from the start?

Handle Integration and Training

Once you’ve found your ideal BPO provider, the next step is facilitating training and integration for your outsourced team. This ensures that your Philippine call center agents are well-prepared to field all possible inquiries, issues, and problems that come their way. Here are just a few of the training options available for you:

  • Trainer-Led: The trainer will learn directly from your trainers and receive certification. They will then pass on knowledge and information to your agents.
  • Trainer Sit-In: The trainer will learn alongside the first batch of agents and pass on knowledge to the next batch.
  • Immersive Training: You will train the agents exclusively. This setup is ideal for accounts that handle confidential and sensitive information.
  • Self-Paced Training: You will provide a knowledge base or online course for agents to learn independently. A supervisor will oversee your team’s progress.

Track and Optimize Your Outsourced Team’s Performance

To ensure the success of your outsourcing arrangement, you and your provider must agree on the particular goals and objectives you want your team to achieve. The best way to attain sustainable results is by setting realistic KPIs and metrics to monitor the progress, performance, and continuous improvement of your BPO team. 

Here are just a few of the sample KPIs you can set for your offshore customer support agents:

  • Average Response Time: How long does it take your agents to answer an inbound call on average?
  • First Call Resolution: What percentage of customer service tickets are resolved on the first call?
  • Average Handling Time: How long does each agent spend handling a call on average?
  • Transfer Rates: How many inbound calls get transferred or escalated to another department?
  • Call Abandonment Rates: How often do callers hang up while on hold with your customer service team?

How Credit Unions Can Overcome Challenges and Mitigate Risks When Working With a Philippines Call Center

Of course, much like every other partnership, an outsourcing arrangement has its fair share of challenges. Here are some of the considerations you’ll have to make to minimize risks and overcome obstacles when hiring a Philippines outsourcing call center:

Addressing Data Security and Privacy Concerns

According to a 2023 IBM Report, financial institutions like banks and credit unions are among the sectors most targeted by data breaches and cyber-attacks. The finance sector incurs $5 million in costs to address data security problems.

Credit unions handle sensitive information, including members’ personal and financial data. As such, it’s critical for them to choose a BPO industry partner that adheres to the strictest data privacy and security protocols and invests in top-notch cybersecurity measures.

Your ideal outsourcing partner will educate your in-house and offshore team on data protection guidelines. They will easily recognize scam warning signs and be vigilant in monitoring breaches, proactively identifying gaps in your security before cyber attackers have a chance to exploit them.

Managing Cultural Differences and Communication Barriers

One potential risk of working with an offshore BPO provider is navigating cultural and linguistic barriers. Although Filipinos are typically bilingual English speakers, some words or phrases may have different meanings or connotations in their culture—these are called “Filipinisms.”

To facilitate a smooth partnership with your call center in the Philippines, try to be aware of these cultural differences so you can more effectively communicate with your team. The good news is that Filipinos are generally quick learners and ready to accommodate your requests. With the proper training, they can neutralize their accent, adopt slang relatable to your customers, and personalize their approach for every caller. 

Maintaining Service Quality and Consistency 

When members entrust their savings and financial transactions to a credit union, they’ll anticipate the same (or better) service quality they get from traditional banks. To meet customer expectations, credit unions must invest in call center outsourcing to provide the best possible experience for their members.

In previous sections, we mentioned that contact centers use KPIs to measure the performance of their support teams. Additionally, outsourced specialists also measure the ROI of your customer experience strategy, allowing you to look beyond call handling metrics and see the bigger picture. 

Their goal is to help you quantify whether your CX approach is helping you attract and retain members. By continually tracking these data, they can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your processes and guide you in improving your strategies.

What’s Next for Credit Unions? Future Outlook and Opportunities in Philippines Call Center Outsourcing

Now that we’ve explored the best practices for utilizing outsourcing for membership growth (as well as how to address potential challenges), what’s next for credit unions? What does the future look like for the continued partnership of BPO companies and smaller financial institutions?

Exploring Emerging Trends in Outsourcing and Technology

As innovations emerge, credit unions must keep up with the times and find ways to integrate these technologies into their existing operations. Thankfully, your outsourcing provider can help you gain access to these top-of-the-line tools and software and guide you through implementation.

Here are some of the ways outsourcing and technology can work together to improve customer experience for credit union members:

  • Provide a seamless banking experience across channels through omnichannel support.
  • Optimize each customer touchpoint with human-centered AI design.
  • Offer automated and assisted onboarding for new members.
  • Embrace diversity and allow members to converse with you in their preferred language through multilingual support.
  • Use cutting-edge technology to monitor data breaches and prevent credit card fraud.

Potential Avenues for Further Leveraging Call Center Outsourcing

Although contact centers are typically associated with customer service tasks, credit unions can turn to BPO professionals for more specialized solutions. Here are just a few examples of specialized call center services in the Philippines you can leverage to your advantage:

  • Business Intelligence (BI) Outsourcing: Harness the power of data to fuel growth for your financial cooperative.
  • Data Science Outsourcing: Improve decision-making and provide personalized member experiences through data science.
  • Software Development Outsourcing: Develop user-friendly online banking websites or applications to boost membership growth.
  • AI Development Support: Accelerate artificial intelligence development projects by working with a qualified support team.

Anticipated Impact on Credit Union Membership Growth 

According to a National Credit Union Administration report, 53% of credit unions ended the second quarter of 2023 with more members than the previous year. However, many consumers also seek the convenience of online banking, which not all credit unions can provide. Among those with failing membership rates, 60% had less than $50 million in assets.

Working with a BPO provider can help credit unions and other small businesses keep up with the intense competition and strengthen their edge alongside big players in the industry. The right outsourcing partnership can help credit unions boost their membership growth in the short term and provide lifetime value in the long term.

Ready to Outsource to a Call Center in the Philippines? Work With SuperStaff!

The transformative potential of outsourcing for credit unions cannot be overstated. By exploring outsourcing opportunities, these financial cooperatives can provide their members with the customer service they deserve, enhance operational efficiency and scalability, and accelerate digital transformation.

SuperStaff provides comprehensive outsourcing solutions for small, mid-sized, and enterprise-level financial institutions. Let us assess your needs and create a customized BPO strategy to meet your goals. Contact us today for more information on our outsourcing services.

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