Most financial institutions have heard of and considered adding universal bankers to their staff. These jack-of-all-trades representatives fill the roles of both a teller and a personal banker, serving as a diversified representative who can handle a wide variety of requests and tasks in a variety of settings.
The benefit of the universal banker is clear: customers of your financial institution receive a consistent experience across their interaction with your financial institution. Rather than being transferred multiple times, having to re-state information they already told a prior representative, and any confusion that happens among these handoffs, an interaction with a single universal banker is seamless and consistent — and delivers high user experience scores, which drive your financial institution’s bottom line.
Despite these benefits, many financial institutions struggle to train, retain, and fully implement a universal banking staff. Consider these barriers and solutions when you think about your universal banker staff.
Making a Case
Sometimes, the biggest barrier to a successful universal banker staff can be internal resistance. Whether from floor staff or leadership, a universal banker threatens the status quo by challenging the siloed abilities of historically trained representatives. Furthermore, training a universal banker staff takes work.
If you’re able to successfully attribute universal bankers to customer experience scores (and attribute high customer experience stores to a stronger bottom line), you can make a strong case for building and growing this team.
Most positions at financial institutions include a short month-long or six-week training plan, where employees are learning the ropes and getting an understanding of their job duties. Simply put, the idea of training being “finalized” for universal bankers should be put to rest, and a mantra of continuous training should be adopted.
In order for universal bankers to be successful, they need to regularly learn and re-learn new skills, get updated with new iterations of internal technology, and constantly learn. By adopting an attitude of constant improvement, you can make your staff more flexible and develop a culture of innovation.
Retention of Skills
Perhaps the biggest challenge of the universal banker position is to avoid comfort zones and to retain a diverse set of skills. Make sure you have incentives in place for employees to continuously try new things and take on new challenges with customers in order to stay diversified and engrain a wide breadth of capabilities.
Additionally, mixing up staffing positions and partnerships helps employees learn from each other. Employees should regularly challenge each other to try new skills, or brush up on skills they’re a bit in experienced with.
By avoiding silos and sticking to the value add of the universal banker of providing a consistent experience (and single point person) for a customer, your staff will naturally challenge themselves and become more skillful and expansive employees.