Enhancing Customer Service and Complaint Resolution at First West Credit Union

Discover how the collaboration between First West and HSO has significantly enhanced First West’s member service operations and complaint resolution processes

Enhancing Customer Service and Complaint Resolution at First West Credit Union

First West Credit Union (First West) stands as one of Canada’s largest cooperative financial institutions, with more than 270,000 members and more than $18 billion in total assets and assets under administration. Committed to fostering financial confidence, First West operates 45 branches under four local brands: Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings, and Enderby & District Financial. Facing challenges with a decentralized complaint resolution process, First West sought to streamline operations and deliver consistent member experiences.


First West’s industry-leading member satisfaction has long been one of its differentiators in their market, and First West’s employees have built a reputation for going above and beyond to resolve any member complaints. However, First West identified significant inefficiencies with their complaint management process, which was decentralized across their different member-facing brands. First West knew they needed a technology solution to enable a better complaint resolution process that could ensure consistent member experiences across all its brands and support its employees in driving member satisfaction.

Selecting Microsoft Dynamics 365 as the Solution 

Recognizing the need for a robust system, First West chose Microsoft Dynamics 365 due to its integration potential with Microsoft 365 and its comprehensive capabilities. It was clear to First West that Dynamics 365 could offer a clear path to drive efficiency gains in back-office processes and ensure consistent member experiences.

Engagement with HSO

Upon Microsoft’s recommendation, First West partnered with HSO to implement Dynamics 365. HSO’s expertise in credit union operations and close relationship with Microsoft made them the ideal partner. HSO collaborated closely with First West to elevate customer service operations and complaint resolution processes.

Peter Goth, Global Blackbelt FSI, at Microsoft Shared “When we started this project, our guiding principle was to ensure that Microsoft, HSO and First West Credit Union were all accountable for the outcomes that First West identified during the RFP process.  In holding to that principle, HSO has been delivering the project ahead of schedule and adding capabilities that drive even more value for First West.   

Microsoft is incredibly proud of the partnership between all three organizations that has enabled these outcomes.”

Transformation Achieved

The implementation of Dynamics 365 brought significant improvements:
  • 1

    Streamlined Complaint Handling

    Dynamics 365 automation and a dedicated complaints team enabled First West to follow a consistent process across its multiple brands, resulting in faster resolution and improved member satisfaction.

  • 2

    Adherence to SLAs

    The implementation of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) ensured timely resolution of complaints, with an average turnaround time of just 30 days. This commitment not only exceeds First West’s obligations but also fosters stronger trust among members. After adopting Dynamics 365, First West was able to improve its overall complaint resolution rate and thereby make strides forward in one of the factors that contributes to member loyalty. 

  • 3

    Enhanced Member Experience

    Dynamics 365 provided visibility into complaints, allowing First West to monitor key metrics and identify insights for member-wide service enhancements. This resulted in improved member experiences and greater loyalty.

“HSO played a pivotal role in our transformation journey by not only providing invaluable expertise but also guiding our team through challenging conversations when needed. Their partnership was instrumental in shaping our success. To have all of that completed within six months is astonishing.”

Keiko Nitta Director of Member Advocacy

Continued Success

Since the successful implementation of Complaints Management, First West has collaborated with HSO to deploy the Advisory Hub and Member Discovery process which have enabled more than 2,600 member discoveries in less than a month after launch, helping First West’s employees to provide more insightful advice and personalized services to meet members’ needs.

The Advisory Hub and Member Discovery process are projected to save employees a minimum of three hours each month. Currently, First West is in the process of implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, aiming to elevate their marketing capabilities, deepen member understanding, and tailor advisory services even more effectively.

Additionally, First West is exploring the utilization of Microsoft Copilot, with numerous use cases being piloted across the organization to determine its potential value in enhancing their operations and member experiences.


Success by the numbers

“Partnering with HSO has enabled First West to make an immediate impact creating better experiences for our members and our internal teams, powered by HSO’s real-world experience and insight, we replaced our legacy CRM system in less than a year, which is an extraordinary achievement in our industry.”

Darrell Jaggers Chief Transformation Officer

"And it’s only the beginning of First West’s journey to harness the potential of Microsoft Dynamics 365 – with HSO as a key strategic partner, we’re poised to implement transformational capabilities that will take our member experience to another level, ensuring we stay ahead of the curve in creating value for our members and achieving unparalleled member satisfaction." - Darrell Jaggers, Chief Transformation Officer

The collaboration between First West and HSO has significantly enhanced First West’s member service operations and complaint resolution processes, leading to efficiency gains and improvements in consistency with the member experience. By harnessing the power of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and leveraging HSO's expertise, First West continues to innovate and deliver exceptional service, driving forward their growth as an organization for the benefit of their members, and creating a future where everyone can flourish.


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