Training Top 100 Best Practice: Every Interaction at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union

This sales training is driven by employee understanding of basic member service skills, and the ability to identify and communicate additional product and service opportunities based on each member’s unique needs.

Throughout 2019-2020, approximately 500 Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) employees—nearly half of all 929 employees—attended Every Interaction sales training. This initiative is driven by employee understanding of basic member service skills, and the ability to identify and communicate additional product and service opportunities based on each member’s unique needs.

Program Details

Every Interaction is an all-day course required for Member Service departments—Branches, Call Center, eServices, and Mortgages. Employees attend Every Interaction as a follow-up session to Building Member Dreams, which was adapted to an introductory sales and service session in the New Employee Program and is part of the credit union’s Grow the Dream framework. That framework was developed by the Learning and Talent Development (LTD) department in collaboration with leaders and subject matter experts in Member Service departments. Grow the Dream consists of five steps:

  1. Identify needs
  2. Introduce the product
  3. Communicate benefits
  4. Offer to open
  5. Address hesitations

In Every Interaction, employees complete various hands-on activities that challenge them to grow and apply the sales and service skills they learned and practiced the year prior in the Building Member Dream Program. To ensure real-world application, initial sessions of Every Interaction were customized and offered exclusively to department trainers and leads, who implement continuous on-the-job training with Member Service employees. These sessions were the first of their kind and have contributed to greater collaboration and alignment of content between Learning and Talent Development and Member Service processes, procedures, and learning.

After Every Interaction, employees complete a worksheet, setting a personal goal as it relates to their development of comfort and confidence in sales in offering additional products and services to members. This includes how they will keep themselves accountable and daily action items to achieve their goal. Once completed, the facilitator collects the worksheets and later sends them to each participant’s manager. These worksheets are used in coaching sessions with managers. Managers and employees also share these goals with department trainers and department leads for further support.

Results

In 2019-2020, approximately 500 member-serving employees attended Every Interaction, either as an annual requirement or in the New Employee Program. Since then, managers, department leads, and department trainers in Member Service areas have reported improved comfort and consistency in employees offering additional products and services during member interactions.

Every Interaction contributed to the credit union’s strategic initiative to deliver superior service and member experiences in the following ways:

  • A Net Promoter Score of 70 percent
  • Employee annual training hours of 37.52 hours, surpassing the goal of 34 hours
  • Member interest savings surpassed the goal by nearly 35 percent
  • Member dividends earned surpassed the goal by nearly 200 percent
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine, owned by Lakewood Media Group. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training Top 100 and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 29 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.