Self-Help Call Management Delivers Advanced Features to Non-Technical Users, Improving Member Services

Bay Federal Credit Union is a full-service, not-for-profit financial cooperative based in Santa Cruz, CA. While “the customer is the boss” is an ideal that most companies never come close to achieving, it is quite literally the truth for credit unions. It has members, not customers, and those members own the credit union. Bay Federal provides personal and business banking services to its members in the Tri-County area of Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito counties.

“Phones are like breathing. People just expect them to work.”
– Blaine Pack, Chief Technology Officer, Bay Federal Credit Union.

The Challenge

By mid-2001, Bay Federal’s phone system — a collection of antiquated key systems and Centrex service — had become a barrier to improving member service. Bay Federal initiated a search for a new system that would not only improve productivity, but also be completely reliable. The new system also had to be easy to implement and manage, as Bay Federal’s aggressive expansion schedule included installing a new LAN and WAN, adding a dedicated call center, and adding a new retail branch, all within eight months.

“Before, maybe two people in the company knew how to use all the features of the phone system. Now everyone can take advantage of the whole system.”
– Blaine Pack, Chief Technology Officer, Bay Federal Credit Union.

The Solution

An exhaustive evaluation convinced Bay Federal that ShoreTel’s distributed, integrated, and scalable solution offered more features with a lower total cost of ownership. ShoreTel’s flexibility and ease of use and management meant that Bay Federal could be more responsive to credit union members and adapt more quickly to changing market conditions. ShoreTel Director streamlines management tasks — including moves, adds, and changes — into a single, Web-based interface, eliminating service calls that once ran about $2,100 per month. Other benefits include:

  • Savings organization-wide with toll bypass and elimination of the expensive Centrex service. Inter-branch calls that once cost in excess of $1,500 a month are now routed across the credit union’s IP data backbone.
  • ShoreTel’s switch-based hardware has no single point of failure, resulting in the very high availability essential to any financial institution.
  • ShoreTel’s Call Manager delivers extensive call-control capabilities to even the most non-technical users. Incoming calls are less disruptive, increasing productivity and allowing for branch operations that look more professional to visitors.
  • ShoreTel’s open, distributed platform supports of a wide variety of analog, digital, and IP phone sets. Even within departments, bank staff can pick their preferred phone sets.
  • The workgroup capabilities in the ShoreTel Call Manager have an even greater impact on productivity, making it easy for people to collaborate on the fly and to provide timely service to members.

“There is a huge hidden cost savings if callers can get right to the person they need without being transferred all over the place. ”
– Blaine Pack, Chief Technology Officer, Bay Federal Credit Union.

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