Rachel Walton, Head of Telephone Banking, takes us through a day in the telephony centres in Sunderland and Swansea.
How does your day start?
I have 2 small girls so most days start with me yelling things like Shoes! And Teeth! (whilst also trying to grab a cup of tea) but once my amazing childminder has taken over and I have finished all my calls in the 45 mins it takes me to get to Sunderland, I start most days with a round up with my senior managers. When I'm commuting to the Swansea office, it takes a bit longer but thanks to a very early flight from Newcastle I can be there from 9.30am. In the round ups, we'll talk about the day ahead; what's happening in the media, any key product/process updates, what the expected call forecasts are for that day, and most importantly - what we're going to do to ensure delivering great service is our number 1 priority.
What is a typical day for you, or is every day unpredictable?
The great thing about managing the Telephone Banking operation is that every day is different. For our customers, we're the first point of contact when they need to deal with an urgent financial matter, and with that comes great responsibility. Our consultants handle around 130,000 calls every week, and have to encompass a vast amount of knowledge. Every day we have fire ups, briefing sessions, team meetings, 1:1s etc - with our managers supporting and coaching.
How are the telephony areas divided? Do you look after a specific area of contact for customers?
Within my Telephony teams I have general banking enquiries, credit/debit card servicing, lost and stolen cards, online banking helpdesk, social media team and a lending team.
How has the removal of targets in telephony impacted your interaction with customers?
In April 2014 Telephony made the pioneering step to remove all sales targets, and focus purely on giving customers exactly what they wanted. Naturally, if a customer proactively came to us and requested a product, we would of course meet their needs, either by fulfilling the request over the phone, pointing the customer to tsb.co.uk or booking an appointment in branch. But it's exactly that - needs based sales on the customer's agenda.
How important is the role of the branches and local community to your role?
Telephony work hand in hand with our branches to deliver customers the type of banking experience they want and deserve. It's all about personal choice - we have to deliver a number of different channels to meet different customer's needs. With TSB being a 24/7 operation, it means we're always there when customers need us, but there are times when face to face contact is best. We often get calls from customers who are in or have recently visited a branch, but have a complex query that may need specialist attention - ie. online banking helpdesk or card servicing. We're all part of TSB, no matter what role or department we belong to.