Kindness Pays

January 13, 2022

Categories: Financial Goals, Financial Security, Tips

By Laurie Baker, President and CEO

We live in challenging times.

When we posted notices in our branches in 2020 announcing adjustments due to COVID-19, who could have foreseen that we would still be navigating a pandemic nearly two years later?

I like to think that we have learned a lot over the past 22 months: about ourselves and about each other. More and more, the words “kindness,” “compassion,” and “empathy” have been creeping into my conversations, both in my personal and professional life.

When I am out and about in our community, I am increasingly aware of how we interact with others. Although it’s impossible to read people’s expressions due to masking, you can still gather a lot from tone of voice and body language.  People are on edge. There is a tendency for kindness to be an afterthought in this world with big question marks: When will life return to “normal?” or, “Just what is the “new normal?”

In talking with my counterparts in the financial industry, our discussions inevitably turn to the current state of our businesses. There is not a business on the planet that has not been affected by the pandemic, with many experiencing labor shortages and disruption. 

All businesses have been forced to look at how they serve their customers in this current situation. At The Summit, we want to make sure that your member experience is always a satisfying one, respectful of your valuable time. Throughout the pandemic, we have been receiving an increased number of your phone calls to Member Services. With that, we recognize that there has been an increased wait time involved and we sincerely thank you for your patience as we work to answer questions and help as many members as possible.

That said, the pandemic has propelled us into creating new ways to use technology to engage with, and get information to, our members. We have several new or enhanced features to serve you in a way that works with your schedule, no matter where you are.

Over the past nearly two years, we have developed some great online and in-app resources that are available exclusively to our members. Many of your questions can be answered quickly and safely online. Check out our FAQ page on the website.  Our website has evolved into a wonderful resource with tools, regular articles, and a popular blog. The Summit App (download through the Play Store for android users, or the App Store for iPhone* users) allows you to safely check your balance, deposit checks, transfer money, pay bills, and more. Live Chat is a feature that allows you to chat with a financial specialist in real time using your keyboard and is available both on the website and in-app.

Almost anything you need to accomplish by a visit to a branch can be done through our Virtual Branch. Launched in July of 2021, The Summit is the first credit union in our region to create this service. Increasingly popular with our members, our Virtual Branch allows you access to your accounts and the opportunity to talk to a financial specialist (via Zoom) during normal business hours from the comfort of your own home or office. You can become a member of The Summit, open a new account, apply for a loan, and more! Our Virtual Branch is a great option for those who don’t have the time to drive to a physical branch for an appointment or would rather socially distance and still take care of their finances.

Thank you for evolving with us through this challenging time and I encourage you to check out some of these new features that will make your life easier and more efficient. We look forward to continuing to offer you the service that you have come to expect with respect, kindness, and compassion.

It’s important to understand that we are all in this together.

*Apple, the Apple logo, Apple Wallet, iPad, and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.