Laurie Murphy has worked in the customer care center at Citizens Union Bank for 15 years and she is still as bubbly and enthusiastic as she was on her first day.
“Caring is the most important quality we have,” says Murphy. “You have to care about the person on the other end of the telephone line. I care about our customers. I know when their babies are born, when their kids go off to college, and when they get their medical tests back. Because we care, they trust us. If I don’t care, then I’m going to be like one of those credit card companies that put you on hold for 30 minutes and then make you talk to an electronic voice.”
Murphy says another way CUB cares for its customers is by solving problems with one phone call rather than customers being passed around to different departments or having to call several times.
“One call and you’re done,” says Murphy. “Our customers don’t have to be transferred from person to person and tell their story several times.”
What would mom want?
Katrina Rogers, CUB’s customer care center supervisor, says she believes her team treats every customer like a family member.
“I ask myself, ‘If it were my mom coming into the bank, what would I want them to do to take care of her,’” Rogers says. “Then that’s what we do.”
CUB’s customer care center solves a wide variety dilemmas for its customers including questions about online banking, account management, bill paying, enrollments, identity protection, lost debit cards and just about anything a customer struggles with.
“Sometimes customers can’t eloquently put into words what they need,” says Rogers, who has worked at CUB for three years. “You have to have an investigative mind to help them sort out their problem. You have to really listen. You can’t be someone who thinks they have the answer before they even listen to the customer.”
Rogers, who is responsible for training, coaching, and scheduling in the customer care center, says “it feels more like family at CUB than a business.”
Caring comes naturally
Murphy, a single mother of two, says it’s easy to care about customers because CUB nurtures a culture of caring for its employees.
“I have a special needs child, an autistic son,” Murphy says. “CUB is very family-oriented and flexible. I am full time, yet work a 32-hour shift. There are not a lot of employers out there who would work to accommodate you like this. And I’m not the only one at the bank with an autistic child. Because we are part of the CUB family, the bank supported us by getting involved in National Autism Awareness. Leaderships said absolutely they would get involved.”
“The best thing about working at CUB is they take care of us,” says Judy Seeders. “My husband had an issue at the first of the year and I wasn’t sure how long I’d have to be off work. They told me to go be with him. Everything was fine.”
What it takes to be a customer care employee
Seeders, who’s been a CUB employee for 11 years, says that successful customer care employees have to be peaceful and be problem solvers.
“They have to have a lot of patience,” she says. “They have to treat our customers like they themselves want to be treated. If you can’t do that, then you’re probably not the right person to work in customer care. When a customer is upset, which doesn’t happen here that much, you have to remember that they’re not upset with you, they’re upset with the situation.”
Seeders is an expert at showing empathy with a can-do attitude. She was selected by her peers at CUB to receive the T.I.G.E.R. Award in 2016. T.I.G.E.R. stands for Trust, Interdependency, Genuineness, Empathy, Risk and Success.
“I was shocked when the award was announced,” Seeders says. “I usually have no trouble talking, but I was speechless. I could not say a word. I was so pleased. The award could have gone to a whole lot of people at CUB.”