Are you a helpful sort? Do you enjoy the little warm feeling you get from helping someone out? You might fit the bill for a career in customer services in banking and finance then. There are lots of types of clients to help out here, whether it’s helping individuals dig their way out of their confuddled state of mind about their account, smoothing over any tricky questions or complaints with individual and private clients, or facilitating good business relationships. Here are a couple areas that you could flourish in with your charm and intuition:
Relevant areas of finance:
There are hundreds of customer service representatives working for retail banks. A large chunk of these roles are in call centres, with customer services officers on the phones to answer queries and deal with complaints.
In the branch, customer services roles also involve helping customers with their queries about their accounts, any complaints they may have, and the services and products available to them. This will be mostly on a face-to-face basis.
Customer services roles in retail banking will also involve some administration tasks such as processing transactions for customers. So accuracy and organisation is important too!
Relationship management could be seen as the more elite end of customer services. Relationship managers hold positions in funds, wealth management organisations, investment banks, professional services firms and consultancies. The focus is to ensure client loyalty by building up good rapport with each client and that they are getting the right services and products for their needs.
One of the main aims of relationship management is to ensure clients are completely satisfied with the services they receive from the bank or financial organisation. That old mantra of ‘the customer is always right’ certainly doesn’t shrivel away once you progress beyond your part-time student job days!
The responsibilities of a relationship management role often branch out way beyond answering client queries. In some companies relationship managers are essentially financial advisers, which means it’s essential they have in-depth industry and risk management knowledge and credentials (usually a finance related degree and a suitable professional qualification) to provide sound, bespoke advice to their clients when they meet them. (Alas, the customer is in reality not always right…and these guys have to advise accordingly on the best financial moves to help them steer clear of trouble!)
Within the wealth management divisions of specialist financial advice companies or funds, the clients will be High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs – i.e. extremely wealthy people), who are regularly prominent, influential figures.