Fairfield County Bank: Partners, Every Step of the Way

fairfield county bankFairfield County Bank was not actively looking to change core providers upon arriving at an annual banking conference a few years ago. But by the time the conference closed, Dan Berta, President of Fairfield County Bank, had a different opinion. “A current COCC client suggested that we meet with their provider of banking technologies, with the concept that our bank and COCC could become strong partners. After that conversation, we realized we owed it to ourselves to at least consider making a change.”

In 2013, Fairfield County Bank began an extensive RFP process for a new core provider, one that was employee-led and managed. “We engaged employees from across the institution to look at different vendors.” continues Dan. “In the end, the employees were a big part of the reason we selected COCC. It was certainly a company I wanted to go with based on reputation, but we would not have made this selection without the support of our staff.”

Fairfield County Bank underwent a seamless conversion due to the commitment of two well-organized teams. “The conversion was a success for many reasons — first, our employees were equally engaged in the conversion process, as they were in the selection process,” explains Dan. “Next, we identified an individual within our organization who had an extensive background in core conversions to be our onsite lead. Then we were assigned a conversion group from COCC who practically moved in with us.”

Fairfield County Bank made a commitment to embrace new technology that would change their institution. Any conversion is a big deal,” highlights Dan. “We had been with our previous provider for 50 years, so it was a significant step. We teamed with COCC to rebuild our entire customer relationship process.”

Fairfield County Bank and COCC: Taking the next steps, together

“One of the things I really like about COCC is their à la carte philosophy,” says Dan. “Certainly their core systems and ancillary services were the big reasons we selected them, but the ability to add on capabilities and functionality like Executive Dashboards, Call Center, Contact Management and more can make all the difference in remaining competitive with larger, national institutions.”

Having recently passed the one-year milestone for core conversion, Fairfield County Bank has further technology advancements in the queue. “We’re not super-regional, but we are much bigger than a one-or-two branch operation. As such, we have the opportunity to take the lead on a few things, including having two individuals dedicated to Cash Management,” continues Dan. “When we decided we wanted some additional functionality, COCC stepped up. They never said ‘we can’t do that.’ Instead, we heard ‘yes, that’s a great idea – how can we work together to get that done?’ Thanks to this flexibility and a committed partnership with COCC, we are ahead of our peers.”

In their Call Center, Fairfield County Bank can quickly get a holistic view of a customer the moment the phone rings. “We leverage Contact Management as a service tool, immediately confirming who the customer is and what they have with us,” outlines Dan. “To easily access and navigate data makes it possible to engage with our customer and to share information seamlessly for future conversations. In the year ahead, we look forward to integrating Executive Dashboards.”

Common ground, common philosophies

“Our sales pitch to potential customers includes the benefits of local banking with local decision-makers. As a result, we believe in echoing this philosophy with the people we select as partners.” concludes Dan. “COCC matches perfectly with our organization — they are a cooperative, locally based and, like Fairfield County Bank, have significant expertise in their field. I have only one regret about partnering with COCC — it was something we should have done much sooner.”