Responsible Banking

Meeting a changing banking landscape with an omnichannel workforce

With almost half of Canadians using only digital channels for their banking transactions, online services have become the focus of banks who want to meet changing consumer expectations. But what about the other 50% who either prefer face-to-face interactions or simply don’t have access to online services? With the enormous cost savings that increased digital channels can offer their bottom line, many banks gloss over good old-fashioned high-touch customer service, leaving in their wake a rising number of people who are either unsatisfied or under-served.

Innovation Credit Union, headquartered in Saskatchewan, believes it’s their responsibility to meet the needs of 100% of its customers. Dean Gagne, Chief Disruption Officer says, “Some of our members prefer digital channels for their banking transactions, so we offer a wide range of excellent online services. However, there are still many other members who want in-person services in their communities, so we’ve found ways to continue offering this in spite of the changing landscape of financial services in Canada. It’s our responsibility to offer both because every member matters to us.”

In an age of bank layoffs, restructuring and dialing back customer service, Innovation has chosen a different path. This path, which Gagne refers to as “simply doing the right thing for all of our members”, also has tremendous benefits for Innovation staff members. Where big bank closures throughout Saskatchewan have left many people looking for jobs, Innovation has actually ramped up employee retention with a retraining initiative that empowers staff to learn new, innovative ways to meet members’ needs across the province.

Innovation’s CEO Daniel Johnson refers to this initiative as an “omnichannel workforce,” explaining that, “omnichannel encompasses all of the various ways that members can interact or do business with us, including in-person, telephone, through our Mobile Advice Centre, online channels and even social media.”

Innovation’s omnichannel workforce is backed by a vigorous staff training program designed to ensure that staff is ideally positioned to meet and exceed members’ changing needs. The result is a very engaged, highly trained team poised to help members at every possible touchpoint.

Are Innovation staff members excited about this? You bet they are. Jodie Carleton, Senior Member Service Representative at Innovation’s Frontier branch says, “I really feel like I am using my skills and training to help our members. I enjoy speaking with them in the branch and in the many other ways they choose to connect with us, whether it’s via phone, text or even Twitter. Members tell me that having so many choices makes them feel like Innovation cares about their needs. Being a part of something so positive makes me excited to come into work every day.”

Gagne says, “At a time when banks are limiting how and when they can serve clients, we are ensuring that we are able to help our members whenever and wherever they are. If that means an online chat after branch hours or responding to a direct message on Facebook, our front-line staff will be able to help all our members no matter how they approach us with their inquiry. We are training our staff to be versatile and proactive instead of waiting for members to walk through the door.”

For longtime employees, investing in retraining staff helps them to feel continuously valued and engaged. As banks often push longer serving staff out with early retirement or restructuring programs, Innovation continues to invest in their existing staff who have the most to offer in terms of experience and understanding of its membership.

Furthering their commitment to Responsible Banking, the omnichannel workforce is another example of how Innovation is leading the way in making banking an accessible, affordable and enjoyable experience, in all of its channels and communities.

About Innovation Expand/Collapse

Headquartered in Saskatchewan, Innovation Credit Union provides a full range of financial services to over 52,000 members including individuals, businesses, and organizations across the province. In 2018, its membership voted in favor of becoming a federal credit union that will enable Innovation to do business anywhere in Saskatchewan and all of Canada. Through the lens of Responsible Banking and innovation, Innovation Credit Union reinvests its profits into delivering economically viable solutions for all Canadians to access mutually beneficial and affordable world class financial products and services – wherever and whenever members need them.

Our Purpose Expand/Collapse

At Innovation Credit Union, we strive to redefine banking by helping Canadians simplify their lives and reach their financial goals by reinvesting profits into our members, our communities, and our people. Now that’s Responsible Banking!

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