ABA Banking Journal - March 2013 - (Page 24)

Working smarter, harder, and Half the battle: successfully tackling the human element T he last thing a community banker wants to hear from a new customer is that he thinks he made a mistake picking your bank. Yet that’s just what Josh Guttau’s people told him one new commercial customer was saying. Staff had to go back to this customer not once, but twice to get essential information about his business. And he began having misgivings. “He finally said, ‘I’m not sure I want to bank with you guys if you can’t get these things right the first time,’” says Guttau. It might have been a sobering slap in the face. But for Guttau, president and CFO at Treynor (Iowa) State Bank, it was merely confirmation of something he’d already observed. His frontline staff worked too fast. “For some reason, they felt that they needed to be getting the client out the door as quickly as possible when opening accounts,” says Guttau. And they were succeeding at that self-imposed mission, he continues. “But they were speeding things up so much, they were 24 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | March 2013 leaving things missing so that staff in the backshop were having to fix all those items at the back end.” Managers scratched their heads. “We wondered, ‘Where is this attitude coming from?’” Guttau says. The bank was working with process experts from a firm that Guttau’s family had worked with on a project for a manufacturing company that it holds a part-interest in. The Guttaus asked them to adapt their techniques to the family’s $260 million-assets bank. In assessing the state of affairs at the bank on arrival, the consultants found that the frontline team had concluded that their job was to serve people quickly, “because everybody is in a hurry.” “Well, that wasn’t the case,” says Guttau. “This is not like selling people Ho Hos and Twinkies in a convenience store. This is their financial life we’re talking about.” So, one of the early fruits of the consultants’ work was clarification to the frontline that it’s not only acceptable, but desirable to spend more time with clients. Don’t think for a moment that Guttau and his advi- PhotoS: ShutterStock.com By Steve Cocheo, executive editor & digital content manager http://www.SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - March 2013

ABA Banking Journal - March 2013
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
Picture This
Don’t let Trojans infiltrate your customers
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Working smarter, harder, and right
Mobile Banking: 7 keys for success
Compliance Clinic
Compliance Inbox
ABA At Your Service
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - March 2013

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