Become a Personal Banker
It's personal, yet not so personal. Personal bankers who work with customers with a customer service focus typically work at bank call centers.
Still, the goal is the same as personal bankers in branches: sell the bank's products and services, and develop relationships with customers. Most banks recognize that despite the Internet and other non-human ways people do business these days, most people still want that human interaction, especially when it comes to critical matters like their finances. People still want to feel they are talking to someone who cares, and is looking out for their interests in the long run.
Banks want personal banking associates to provide that kind of relationship.
This means that personal bankers should comfortable discussing the many products the bank has to offer and advising customers which ones are right for them.
This also means that these positions are still considered primarily sales jobs, so personal bankers need to understand that, and be OK with all that sales jobs have to offer. In customer call centers there will be less need for personal bankers to make cold calls, but salaries may also be lower than in branches where personal bankers may be required to originate sales and customers on their own.
Because banks are expanding their hours, personal bankers may be required non-traditional banking hours such as evenings and weekends. Also, a great deal of the personal banker's day will be spent on the phone, so if talking on the phone isn't something you enjoy, you should look more at branch work, where there will be face-to-face contact, and less phone time involved. Customer service personal bankers will most likely focus on individual customers rather than commercial or business accounts.
The job outlook for personal bankers at call centers is good, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calling for better than average growth in the number of jobs available by the year 2018. While most jobs will be in branches, call centers and their use are also expected to increase.
Most banks do not require a college degree for personal bankers. A high school diploma or GED plus one to two years of customer service and sales experience are usually all banks require. Banks will then provide on the job training. Some banks may require additional classes in federal banking regulations.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
The primary skill personal bankers/customer service reps should have is good communication skills. As mentioned, this kind of personal banker will spend the majority of his or her day on the phone. So it is very important that he or she have excellent customer service skills, and good phone etiquette. The bank will also expect the personal bankers in call centers to have excellent sales skills and abilities. Customer service reps need to be able to discuss sensitive financial information with customers, honoring customer confidentiality, and remaining helpful and courteous at all times.
The personal banker will also need to be very knowledgeable of the bank's products and services, as well as all federal regulations related to them.
The personal banker should have good math skills and organizational skills as well. At call centers, this person will need to be able to serve customers and process all of their requests while still answering the phone, juggling many responsibilities.
Personal bankers in call centers usually make less money than those who work in branches. This is because sales are call-driven, and do not require the same degree of effort on the part of the personal bankers. Call center personal bankers usually earn an hourly wage. They may also receive some commission on bank product sales.
Call center personal bankers earn an average annual salary of about $26,000. Some personal bankers can earn much more, while some can earn as low as $21,000 to start. Here's the latest salary information:
Potential Career Paths
Depending on the size of the bank, call center personal bankers can be promoted to supervisory positions. Personal bankers can also be promoted to positions in branches, where their earning potential is greater. Personal bankers can also transfer to other sales positions within the bank, such as loan originator or mortgage loan specialist positions.
Call center personal bankers who obtain college degrees can also become managers.