2020. These four numbers invoke numerous emotions. Looking back, 2020 has been a year we won’t soon forget. We started the year like any other, with server upgrades and technology dreams of the year to come. By March, our 2020 dreams shifted in a way we never imagined. With news of a pandemic shutdown imminent, our institution prepared for an unprecedented situation. Never before had we been faced with closing our doors to our members for their safety and sending our staff to work in remote locations. However, here at LFCU our members and staff are our first priority so we “made service happen” safely and securely.
Nearly one year ago on March 17th, instead of enjoying some leprechaun shenanigans, we sent everyone who could perform their duties from a remote location out of the building. Within two days, adjusting literally overnight, 70% of our staff began working remotely. Our frontline staff continued to serve our members through the drive through, communicating digitally with staff outside of the building.
Just a little tech-support help desk humor.
While we had some initial hurdles of providing service (cough…the phone wouldn’t ring…cough), our staff proved their dedication to our members and LFCU, adjusting to almost weekly changes, all with grace and enthusiasm in an uncertain time. We had to change the way we communicated internally. We could no longer walk to the office next door to get questions answered, so we began utilizing secure video meeting spaces as well as internal chat to provide instant communication across our work areas. LFCU employees banded together to provide our members with the level of service they have come to expect. We tapped into utilization of our our digital services such as eSignature through DocuSign, online lending, online forms for things like skipping loan payments and address changes, our business texting platform, Zoom meetings with lenders, and much more to connect with our members without being able to meet in person. We also hauled an office full of equipment out into our vestibule and created a “micro branch” for those members who couldn’t use our digital services. We explored every opportunity to find innovative ways to safely serve.
Behind the scenes, our technology staff worked to maintain our security and remote procedures, ensuring our members’ data remained protected as our workplace continued to evolve over the year into a hybrid of in-branch and remote.
While we were able to serve our members, we also realized several of our internal products would no longer serve the needs of our institution in the changing climate. While the first half of the year we refined ways to serve our members digitally, the second half of the year was spent researching and upgrading our internal products, laying the groundwork for some efficiency improving changes. We also got to work planning for things outside of our regular wheelhouse. A self-serve, technology focused financial resource center, implementing an ATM, instant issue debit cards, and upgraded digital banking platforms will be some of the member facing projects you can expect to notice on our immediate road map.
As LFCU staff and members alike move forward into a new year, we embrace the changes we have navigated in the past 12 months and are eager for the things yet to come. We consider our members financial well-being with each upgrade we make. We are excited to continue to maintain a sound and secure network while providing you with top-of-the-line digital services to assist you in achieving financial independence. Here’s to 2021!