Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union…Very Innovative

Yesterday was a full day. I had a job interview in the morning. My current job in the afternoon and birthday day dinner with the in-laws kept me busy till about 7pm. Then I helped my Mother-in-Law buy a computer and dyed my wife’s hair (I don’t think it’s a secret). The best part for me was the job interview. I usually hate job interviews but today was very different.

The position is the Web Administrator for the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union. If you look at the site you can see that it is in great need for someone to fill that position. Why I liked it so much was their current move towards a very non-traditional approach to financial services. All their newer branches feel more like a Starbucks than a bank or credit union. The floor of each branch is wide open with a warm brightness. They have added a lounge style café area. Multi-media was visible everywhere. The coolest part…no teller counters. Instead they have these little islands where members have their transactions processed while standing right beside the employee. Their goal…remove the barriers between members and employees. You really have to see it to see what I mean. If I get the job you will be able to check out their website to see what I mean.

In my few minutes in the branch here are some of the observations that I made.

  • Community motivated. When you visit the branch you feel like it is more of a meeting place then a business place. This fosters relationships between the company and the public. Also with no queue lines people stand in loose groups instead of linear lines. There is a human experiment if I ever saw one.
  • Trust inspiring. Have you ever visited a bank and wondered what they were doing with your account or what they saw on that hidden screen. By being able to stand right next to the person processing your transaction it removes the unknown and therefore adds trust.
  • Team oriented. No one really has a station so to speak. Every teller, it appears, has a computer that they are responsible for but all the other service/sales representatives float to whatever desk is available. This removes the tendency to hide from customers and to stay in the game 24/7. That is always encouraging to the rest of the team.

I don’t know about you but I think these are three musts for the church. What can we learn from Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union? What are some ways that we can remove the barriers between the churched and the un-churched? It’s just something to think about.