By Steve Miller
Vice President, Client Services & Sales Development Coach
Like many businesses, INB likes to have other organizations do things that we’re not experts at. For example, we hire companies to maintain our web infrastructure, build and install our signage, and provide behind-the-scenes banking services. But there’s one service we’ll never turn over to someone else . . . that’s customer service.
We provide most of our customer service at our branches. Our doors are open for anyone to walk in and do the simplest transaction to spending time with a loan officer or our tax specialists. But the truth is, more and more people do their banking online. Deposits, payments, balance inquiries . . . most of our customers handle these things on their own from their computers or phones. And when these customers need help, they often turn to their computers and phones for answers. And sometimes they use their phones the old-fashioned way and make a call to the bank.
To make sure we have staff ready to provide customer service to the people who call, we’ve established a centralized Customer Care Center.
As in Our Branches, Staff Key to Providing Service
The three employees in our Customer Care Center are an extension of our branch staff. I’m charged with assuring this group supports an INB goal of providing all customers with the best experience possible. We want customers to know and trust them just like they know and trust our branch employees.
The Care Center staff includes:
- Christina Webb has been with INB for 10 years and in banking since 1998, but of her job in the Care Center, Steve says, “This is where she always should have been.”
- Katie Hughes had been an INB banker (branch staff) before stepping into her role as a Customer Care Center representative. Steve says, “Katie has a phenomenal presence even on the phone. She is early-on in her career, but has great knowledge about banking and INB that she uses to help her customers.”
- Mike Wallace worked in our Deposit Operations area before taking a position with the Call Center. This background has made him exceptionally suited to work with customers who have questions about using online banking. “He’s well on his way to becoming a banking expert,” says Steve.
Chris, Katie and Mike make it a goal of always seeing each customer for their uniqueness. They adapt to our customers rather than asking them to adapt to us. In most instances, this staff can immediately provide a customer with the information they need. By providing basic information such as an account balance, our branch staff isn’t interrupted while helping another customer who is visiting a branch location. When they get balance inquiries, our Care Center staff has the time to not only provide the account balance, but help the customer set up an online banking account to get this information on their own, any day, any time.
Only Goal: Excellent Experience
Our centralized Customer Care Center also handles the same or similar questions day after day. Our branch staff might get certain questions very infrequently, making it more difficult to provide you with a quick answer. Yet by consistently getting a question or addressing a problem, the Care Center can quickly respond and get customers on their way.
We’re always looking for ways to serve customers better, and we believe our Care Center helps us maintain our high standards. If you have questions, I hope you’ll contact me.