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Michigan Credit Union League

How Community Choice is Staying in Touch with Senior Members During Quarantine

Since mid-April, team members at Community Choice Credit Union have made more than 2,600 phone calls to their members over the age of 70.

These calls are the credit union’s way of remaining connected with a group of members who may be self-quarantining alone. Whether the calls lead to a chat about life in general, or just a promise to call back again next week, they’re made with the sole intention of making a human connection. In addition to the phone calls, senior members have also received a postcard offering encouragement and support.

MCUL talked with Community Choice’s Molly Salvi, organizational communications manager, and Candice Furlong, risk management specialist, to take a deeper look into the campaign and its reception.

MCUL: How did you go about identifying members fit for the call?

MS: At Community Choice, our Give Big culture is based on relationships and helping others.

A few weeks into the Stay-at-Home order, we noticed how much we were missing the human connection that we’ve grown accustomed to. Our team members talked about Zoom calls they had with family and friends, and nationally, we started to see campaigns encouraging positivity.

We thought about how we could show our concern for members and let them know how much we miss them. We realized there was an entire group of members who were no longer going to be able to make their weekly, and sometimes daily, social visit to a member center, and many of those members are quarantining alone. That’s when we realized how important calling to check on our members over the age of 60 was.

MCUL: Was there a plan in place on how to guide the conversation, or an overall sentiment Community Choice wanted to convey?

MS: We provided a casual outline for the calls so team members felt comfortable as they started making the calls, but knew it wouldn’t take long before the conversation took off.

Our true objective of the call was simply to ask, “How are you?” We understand that, right now, those words mean more than ever, especially as they replace handshakes and hugs.

MCUL: Do you know about how many members were contacted?

MS: Within the first eight weeks of the initiative, we have been able to connect with about 45% of our senior members. That equates to more than 3,600 calls!

MCUL: What was the reception like and what kind of feedback have you gotten?

MS: We’re not sure who has enjoyed the calls more – our members or our team members! The response has been fantastic. Team members who have made the calls have shared stories that have made us laugh and warmed our hearts.

CF: The members are so appreciative of the calls. Some do not have ATM or debit cards, others no longer drive, many are not confident using e-Banking, and some are just lonely and appreciate friendly conversation.

I spoke with a 94-year-old woman who was shocked by the call. She was surprised that we cared enough to check on her. We had a great conversation about how she’s feeling and how she’s “got a lot of life left.” She asked about my family, adding that she would keep us in her thoughts for continued good health.

While assisting another member, he shared that his kids have been too busy to assist him with setting up Google pay; they tell him he’s “hopeless.” I was able to help ease his concerns about online safety and security and helped him set up his account. He was so appreciative of the call, explaining that he was embarrassed to call the credit union for help.

MCUL: How has this campaign changed at all over the last few weeks?

MS: Truly the only change we’ve made is extending the call campaign. Initially, we committed to making calls during April and May, but with the great response we’ve had, it makes sense to continue the calls until we connect with all our senior members.

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2020-06-02 00:00:00