I often use the story of the bank employee who finishes 50 years at his
He thinks a minute and then answers: "Air conditioning."
I recently got a similar surprise when from an old friend who has been a
We were talking about the changes in the industry, and he mentioned E-
"Since we can now leave messages on the screen as to what we want and
"We just type in our business, send the message out at a stroke to as
"It saves the bank a bundle."
I was thinking: Isn't this something we could have done years ago,
Making the most of the telephone can be a quick and easy way to boost
Let's look at the example my friend gave.
A phone call requires someone to pick up the phone on the other end; my
All too often we play phone tag until we find the person we want. But
People who teach telephone skills for a living offer tips like these:
*Those who field calls should identify themselves, take down the
*If the call is a complaint, the rep who takes it should assure the
For example, the rep might repeat some aspect of the complaint, or
*Put a smile in your voice; it enhances communication.
We all know that when we are grumpy, our bad humor carries through to
*Finally, a bank might want to initiate a mystery shopper-style program
Here are some other steps to help you get more bang for your telephone
*Do a periodic audit of phone calls made from the bank's offices to see
*Reexamine policy on collect calls, and restrict them to people
*Check to see if all leased equipment and lines under contract are being
*Consider the pay phone can a potential profit center.
Some programs can connect pay phones to a bank's basic lines. The pay-
The bank makes money without stirring up the ill-will that some hotels
Each of these steps is a little one, but they can add up.
As the late Sen. Dirksen observed, "A billion here, a billion there, and
Mr. Nadler is a contributing editor of the American Banker and professor