A bank’s customer call center is an important component to delivering speedy and reliable customer service. Call center agents must attempt to quickly resolve customer issues and complaints that involve money and confidential information. Because a company’s image and brand are heavily influenced by its level of customer service, banking call centers are crucial to building customer relationships and retaining customers against competition.
Call centers are often the first place bank customers call for immediate answers to questions regarding their checking and savings accounts, loan applications and credit cards. It is the call center representative’s job to actively listen to, troubleshoot and resolve customer problems and concerns. Representatives are also responsible for identifying and escalating customer issues to the appropriate bank department, as well as executing banking transactions and cross-selling products or special promotions.
A call center representative’s work shift varies and can take place during the morning, afternoon or evening hours depending on call volume. Though call center professionals typically have their own cubicles, their work environment can be noisy and hectic due to the high volume of calls that are received on a daily basis. As a result, banking call center jobs can be stressful if there is little break between incoming calls or if the representative must deal with upset customers.
Because bank call center jobs are sedentary and repetitive, there is a risk of developing muscle strain or repetitive motion injuries. Extensive hours in front of the computer can also create eye strain, headaches, as well as neck and back pain. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, customer service departments are slowly allowing their workers to work remotely from home to allow more flexibility during their shifts.
In addition to a high school diploma, banking call center representatives should have excellent listening and verbal communication skills. Speaking clearly and succinctly are essential to providing effective customer service on the job. With the growth of the Internet and online communication, representatives should also have a firm grasp of spelling, grammar and email etiquette. Some banks prefer that call center applicants have fluency in a second language, such as Chinese Mandarin, Korean or Spanish.
The BLS expects 13 percent growth for customer jobs in all industries between 2012 and 2022 and the expected growth for telephone call center professionals matches that overall average. The BLS expects the best job prospects to be in outsourcing call centers. In-house customer service jobs, as in banking and finance, typically pay more than jobs in outsourcing centers. Consequently, competition will be stronger for these in-house positions.
BLS slots banking call center professionals under its Customer Service Representative category, and quotes an average yearly wage of $30, 580 and an average hourly wage of $14.40. However, the website Simply Hired underscored the wide range of salaries in this specific profession when it listed the average annual pay as $42,000 in July 2014, only to drop it to $27,000 only a month later. Salaries for banking call center jobs may differ based on location, years of experience and employee benefits.