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Women in Business

Caroline Richardson Wants You To Slow Down

How Volt Credit Union’s chief retail and commercial officer learned to fall forward—and step back—amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Lillian Stone

Dec 08 2020 at 8 a.m.

Caroline Richardson
Photo courtesy of Volt Credit UnionCaroline Richardson is helping both Volt Credit Union and its members find a new normal.

Biz 417: How has pandemic your approach to customer service?
Caroline Richardson: The key question is this: How do we still take care of our members and give them the great service they deserve and expect? How do we take care of people the best possible way so they don’t have to skip a beat? The first step is communication. Communicate with your customers—we call them members—to let them know exactly what’s going on every step of the way. For us, that might be explaining alternative channels they can use. For example, members might be used to our lobby and drive-thru service, and they might not even know that we have other channels like our mobile check deposit.

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Biz: Has 2020 taught you any unexpected leadership lessons?
C.R.: 2020 has been a year of learning—and sometimes that means learning how not to do something. It’s also brought us to a more collaborative place. Now, we might bring everybody in to brainstorm the solution to a problem. Ultimately, you cannot predict anything in leadership. Things could be going swimmingly, and all of a sudden, you’re in the middle of a pandemic. Working together is critical at times like this.

Biz: Do you have any resources you’d recommend to our readers?
C.R.: We paid for our employees to download the Calm app, which is something that helps me as well. But something that’s really helped during the pandemic is to break away from work, even if that’s just for an hour to unwind and take a walk or a yoga class. It’s easy to get caught up in that busyness, but at [Volt Credit Union] we encourage people to go take their vacation knowing that we’ve got their back.

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