I haven't blogged in a long while and I sincerely apologize for that. I have been so so busy in the office and pretty much occupied over the weekends. I always told myself to write, even if it was just a short post, but i never got around to doing that. Well, that is until now. For the past one month, I have been relieving my Customer Service Officer (CSO) in the office. That desk is FULL. And to worsen matters, I had no real knowledge of the job functions required of me. Let me just take you all back a little. At first, the plan was that I would be the one to relieve her. So everyday when I returned to the main branch from my cash center, I quickly went over to her desk and tried to learn one or two things. It was tedious to say the least because at that time, I am so tired and everyone is in a hurry to close and leave the office. After a while, my boss said that i wouldn't be the one to relieve her, so i jejeli relaxed on the learning and continued my normal job. A few days to when she was to begin her leave, my boss changes his mind and decides that i would be the one to relieve her after all. Na so i picked up my notebook again and resumed the "come back from my cash center and learn thingy".
While on the CSO desk, I constantly need to pad myself with extra doses of patience both for internal customers (my colleagues) and external customers. It's almost as if some customers are sent to try your patience. Once, an elderly man came to make a deposit. After filling his deposit slip, he asked me to confirm the account number on the system to know if it was correct. I checked it and it wasn't correct. I told him. He instantly flared up and said: "I have been paying money into this account almost everyday and to simply confirm the account number on the system, you cannot. You are a novice, bla bla bla". I was just looking at the man and didn't say a word. Upon checking the text message on his phone, he realised that he wrote a figure wrongly. He corrected it and I confirmed that it was the correct account number and he left. I just shook my head.
For some people, they will enter the bank and forget the account number they want to make the deposit into. Such people walk over to the CSO's desk and ask the officer to check on the system and assist them in getting the account number. It is possible to do that, but it can be difficult especially when the names are common. For instance, a guy walks in and says: "Madam, please help me look for the account number of Mr Adamu Abubakar, he opened his account in this branch", sometimes, they will not know the branch. Helloooooo, there can be a million and one Adamu Abubakar names as account holders in the branch. I no fit abeg, before I give you the wrong Adamu Abubakar's account number and you will say na me give you. I politely explain to such people and tell them to call the owner of the account to re-text his account number.
There is so much to do that some times, I don't get to eat until after the close of work. I remain very grateful to the CSO's in our other branches who would always respond via office chat or calls to rescue me. "massive hugs to you guys". I knew nothing about how to open accounts, issue ATM cards, cheque books and all that.
But, I'm proud to say that i learnt them albeit under a lot of pressure. Sometimes, customers are delayed, especially if there are lots of them that need my attention. I adopt the first come, first served basis and apologize profusely for the delay.
Now on to my colleagues: the marketers. Hmmmm, this ones give me headache almost on a daily basis. I got to see some of them in a whole new light. Before I became the relief CSO, my relationship with them was just there: Hi, Hello, Could you help me check my customer's balance?, things like that. But being on that CSO desk, I have realized that some of them are just not it at all. We all know their major duty is to convince people to open accounts and maintain a relationship with such customers. I know it's tough out there with the competition and all and I appreciate the effort they all put. I would however like to appeal to the marketers out there to do a thorough job on the account opening packages before handing them over to the CSO to open. Help us to do our own jobs ehnnn abeg. We are there to serve these your customers when they come in to transact business with the bank.
I always have issues with two of our marketers. Once I see an account package and either of there names is there as the account officer, my EXTRA CAREFUL antennae goes up. :-). There is always something wrong with the packages they bring in. I always find errors such as the intended account holder not signing in the required places or not filling the spaces on the account opening form where basic things like "date of birth", "occupation", "next of kin" etc are supposed to be. And my dearly beloved marketers will rush and drop the account package for me to quickly open the account. They would always say "Che, please hurry up with this one, the customer needs his account number and cheque book / ATM card immediately". I hear you. Shay i will formulate "date of birth" and "next of kin" for your customers abi. "smh". I have had to call back these same marketers a lot of times to show them the unfilled parts, and remind them that these information are important.
I understand that they are under a lot of pressure to meet their targets and all that. But I am also under a lot of pressure to deliver quality and prompt service to the customers. I have shouted at and argued with these two ladies and they still repeat the same mistakes. "insert tired look". We always make up, but the cycle continues. Mehnnnnnn, I can't wait for the CSO to resume and take over her duties from me, so I can be rid of the marketers.
This past one month on this desk has been very challenging but interesting too. Unlike the Tellering or Cash Officer's or even the Funds Transfer desk where at the end of the day, you know you have closed your books for that day, on the CSO's desk, work no dey finish at all. I learnt to do my best for the day, handle the ones that are top priority and leave the rest for the next day.
P.S: I throway 3 GBOSA's to all the CSO's out there. Una dey try no be small. And I appeal to every bank marketer and even workers out there. Please do your jobs thoroughly to enable your colleagues do their part without too much stress.
P.P.S: Sorry for the long post. I just needed to rant. :-D