This past weekend, we had reason to celebrate. Not one, not two, but three of our credit union partners were launching one of our solutions. At some of these credit unions, we had been working with their team to coordinate all factors involved for more than a year. This was good news, for their lending department, their members, and us. For one partner, we had just completed twenty training sessions with their entire staff. Their team is excited and we are all ready to make it happen!

And then, on Friday afternoon, the server platform powering the service began experiencing severe problems. Our final training session ended up being an exercise in improv and apology, as nothing worked! It was still an engaging time, with good questions posed and explanations given (though the “in action” part was a bit lacking). Needless to say, we were concerned.

Our servicing partner was made aware of the problems and began investigating the root cause. At around 10 p.m., we were told the necessary fixes were put in place and it should work fine.

So we tested from our end and continued to see residual problems. Uh oh. Do we just hope all works fine and stay quiet? Beg forgiveness if a credit union reports problems?

No way. We view our credit union relationships as partnerships. Trust is at its core. The thing with being a trustworthy partner is that you have to communicate the bad news as much as the good.

That’s what I did. It was a crap e-mail to have to send on a Friday night. I explained the issues the platform may be experiencing and suggested a delay of their launch, if possible. My biggest concern was an issue on our end would be seen by their members as a problem with the credit union. How would the members know the difference? The system is branded to their name, so, it represents them.

Due to the timing, they were unable to delay launch activities. Luckily, we have not heard of any member complaints or other issues. The platform is functioning as it should be now. All’s well that ends well, in this case, at least.

I want our company to be known to our credit union clients as, “that business which isn’t afraid to give us really bad news, even on a Friday evening.” As a credit union, do you have any partners you believe would give you bad news? Does it inspire lower or greater trust?

I’m interested in various perspectives and stories you may have of similar experiences. Don’t be afraid to use the comments below!

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