Tag Archives: training

A CSR at Every Desk

by Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional


Jeff Rendel

In 2015, a related article — “A CEO at Every Desk” — explained how front line leaders – in our customers’ eyes – are the CEOs of every “moment and transaction.” When our customers meet our front line more often than they visit with our executives, it makes sense that leadership for customers is local. Many bank leaders designed training sessions and systems to create an executive presence through all levels of their banks.

Fast forward two years later where a feature in one bank’s Statement of Values read, “We all hold the title of Customer Service Representative.” This bank realized that “the CSR in all of us” must appreciate that every customer adds to a bank’s success and we must value that contribution in how we go about our daily duties. “Regardless of how often we actually see customers,” the bank’s CEO said, “We must design our day around the question, ‘How will I serve my customer?’”

How do the various levels and departments of a bank integrate this CSR presence of mind in daily duties? Here are some recommendations.

Front-Facing Leaders. For tellers, call center agents, loan officers, branch managers, and any bank leader who works with customers every hour of the day; your mission is simple: Serve your customers, build great relationships with your customers, and increase your customers’ financial well-being. In the end, we want our customers to profit as a result of their relationships with our banks. Always be on the lookout for ways to be good news for your customers, building their financial security one experience at a time.

Behind-the-Scenes Leaders. While deposits and loans build the business base for our banks – accounting, human resources, card processing, IT, and more keep the gears in motion. These leaders serve customers with their skills that ensure a seamless customer experience. Accuracy, staff expertise, and uptime are just a few ways that service to customers extends beyond the branch. Some might argue – with much success – that behind-the-scenes leadership is increasingly important in a mobile world where fewer customers visit our branches.

Executive Leaders. While everyday interactions with customers are less common, vice presidents and C-Level leaders have great influence on how a bank serves customers. Frequently, schedule time to visit branches and meet some of your customers. Often, some old-fashioned “lobby talk” can reinforce or clarify what management reports divulge. Also, meet with your front-facing and behind-the-scenes leaders and describe how their roles benefit customers and your bank. It’s encouraging for them to understand that front line and back office operations are significant. Lastly, consider adding “How does this affect our customers?” to every meeting agenda. A few banks even arrange for an empty seat at every meeting, representing “the customer,” a reminder for executives as they plan for their bank’s success.

Our customers are vital to our banks. Regardless of our titles, the results of our jobs all flow to delivering economic value to customers. “We all hold the title of Customer Service Representative,” says one bank. As leaders, may we always remember – and act upon – the drivers of success for all of our banks – our customers.

Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with banks that want entrepreneurial results in leadership, sales, and strategy.  Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 banks and their business partners.


Free webinar offered on FDIC insurance regulations

FDICThe Iowa Bankers Association and Promontory Interfinancial Network are offering a free 45-minute webinar, designed for all levels of bank employees and executives to freshen up on Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance regulations. There are two opportunities to attend the webinar: 10 a.m. on Feb. 28, and 2 p.m. on March 2. It will include a Q&A segment to address specific concerns. The webinar will be presented by Joe DiNuzzo, a former attorney with the FDIC and an expert in FDIC insurance regulations. A certificate of completion will be available for all attendees. The FDIC continues to examine bankers’ understanding of deposit insurance rules that apply to third-party agency accounts. Click the dates above to register or email contactus@promnetwork.com with questions.

NEW OnDemand Training – Just in Time for MLO Registration

moneyUnder the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act), banks are required to ensure that their Mortgage Loan Originators (MLOs) are properly registered with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLSR). Each fall, every MLO is required to renew their registration between November 1st and December 31st. The SAFE Act requires all employees who are MLOs be informed of the registration requirements. In addition, Regulation Z requires all Loan Originators (LOs) including MLOs be properly trained to perform their jobs and to understand the prohibitions under the law. As you are working on registration renewals, are you confident that your LOs and MLOs have received the training required under the SAFE Act and Regulation Z? Worry no longer! The IBA has developed OnDemand training just for this purpose. This comprehensive webinar defines who is a Loan Originator, who is a Mortgage Loan Originator, MLO qualifications, prohibited activities, registration renewal requirements, LO compensation rules, and an overview of state and federal regulations. The cost of this training for IBA members is only $150.

To purchase this valuable training, click here or go to the Iowa Bankers Association website and visit the Compliance section. Select OnDemand Training and then click the link to register. As with all the IBA OnDemand training sessions, banks can reuse the training for annual, period or even new employee training at no additional cost.

Effective and affordable way to train staff with ABA Training

ABA-Training-Small-RGB-webAre you looking for an effective and affordable way to train your staff?

ABA’s extensive suite of online training delivers unmatched content in an interactive, digital format that responds to the industry’s changing demographics. Flexible and cost-effective, online training offers high-quality and engaging  learning experiences that leverage ABA’s broad network of experts.

ABA offers two types of online training to suit your learning preferences. Self-paced online courses are taken entirely on your own schedule, and facilitated online courses offer group collaboration and a virtual instructor with fixed start and end dates.

ABA Training offers courses in business banking, commercial lending, compliance, mortgage lending, retail banking, marketing, wealth management and trust, executive education and more.

Click here to find out more about how ABA Training can educate your staff.

Know, Like, and Trust – Great Relationships that are Built to Last

 by Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional

Jeff Rendel

Jeff Rendel

Know, like, and trust: the main ingredients for sales and service success. As bank professionals, we’re tasked with building deep customer relationships in order to provide outstanding service and seek opportunities for customers to consider new products. Looking for a relaxed way to develop relationship-building skills into your daily habits? Acknowledge that when others know you, like you, and trust you, they’re more likely to do business with you. Here are ten ways to add to your skill-set right away.

  1. Be a name dropper. Introduce yourself by name first. Ask your customer’s name. Use their name during and to close your conversation. It’s a great way to show you care about your customer, making his or her experience more personal.
  2. Smile and be open. Smile at another and they’ll smile back (well, most of the time). Keep good eye contact through your conversations. Face your customer so you don’t seem to be turning away. Be fully present for your customer as a display of your interest and commitment.
  3. Adjust to your customer’s style. Every transaction and interaction is different and requires you to “shift gears” professionally and personally. If your customer is in a rush, today’s all about business. If she needs more time, slow down. Commit to one customer at a time.
  4. Find a personal point of connection. A lot of business is gained when discussions aren’t about business. As you visit with customers, you’ll learn about kids, grandkids, sports teams, schools, churches, vacations, and more. Take an interest in what interests your customers. Your customers will open up and allow a meaningful relationship to develop.
  5. Be clear with your questions and answers. Listen for your customer’s exact need. Pause for a second before responding (your customer might have another thought). Ask your customer if your answer was helpful. Continue the back and forth nature of a good conversation to provide your customer the right information for a successful experience.
  6. Explain exact benefits. Details matter, but results matter most. How much money will your customer save? Will dealing with the bank be easier? How does your customer win with a new product or service? Remember, it’s all about the customer.
  7. Get feedback from your customer. What is your customer’s opinion about the new product you’re discussing? What do they like? What hesitations might they have? What would cause them to say, “Yes?” Your customer’s answers help you provide the right service and guidance.
  8. Be confident in your skills. Your customers expect you to be the expert in financial matters. They want your professional recommendations. When you see a chance for your customers to earn more, save more, or do business a little more easily, tell them. They will appreciate your leadership on their behalves.
  9. Serve first, sell second. Relationships take time and you won’t close a sale at every encounter. However, you can expand a relationship every time with a commitment to serving your customer first. When their time and situation is right, your relationship will a major factor in their decision-making.
  10. Say, “Thank You.” It’s simple, powerful, and all too often overlooked. Thank your customer for being a part of the bank. Thank them for their new business. Thank them for their continued business. Thank them for considering your bank. They are responsible for your bank’s growth and success: Thank them.

It’s been said that the highest level of business is an act of friendship. All things equal, people do business with people they like. Be a friend to every customer by committing to becoming the kind of professional they know, like, and trust.

© 2015 by Jeff Rendel. All rights reserved.

Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with financial institutions that want elite results in leadership, sales, and strategy.  Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 financial institutions and their business partners.