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I have been working at BMO Harris Bank (More than 10 years)
Good benefits. Vacation, sick pay, paid holidays, 401k, FMLA, insurance, dental, vision. Comparable to other companies. Although the insurance keeps going up. Most of the people I work with are very nice and helpful.
1. Sales--We are no longer here to help the customer. We are here to sell. The sales quota is very high and very difficult to attain. If you don't meet your sales quota, you are put on probation. The employees are forced to put referrals through, but do not have any control after it's submitted. Yet, my job relies on dollars booked. This is incredibly stressful and is setting us up for failure. The managers shame the employees when not meeting their quota. They come up with contests/games between different teams that makes me feel like I'm back in grade school. These contests let everyone in the building know how many referrals you put through. 2. Universal Banker-- Please, there is no such thing! Everyone cannot possibly know everything! Years back we had departments. When the customer called and chose number 4 for the loan department, they got a representative that was experienced in loans, mortgages etc. When a customer calls now and chooses number 4, they receive someone who knows a little about accounts, atm & debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, bill pay, IRA's, car loans, home equity loans and lines, mortgages, health savings accounts. The customer thinks they are getting an expert in the mortgage department, there are no more departments. Therefore, there are no experts. Therefore when customers call they receive incorrect information because, again, everyone cannot possibly know everything! At least one third of my day is correcting mistakes made by other reps. I'm constantly apologizing for our mistakes. A lot of these mistakes are costing the bank money. These days a customer can call us 3 times, ask the same question and get 3 different responses. Horrible customer service, but then again we are not here to help we are here to sell. Back in the day we use to win customer service awards, not anymore! 3. Time limit--We have a time limit on all our calls. Without giving any secrets away, let's just say, it's not enough time to verify the customer, assess the problem, figure out what system to access, find the procedure (if you can), read the procedure (3 pages long), take care of the problem, AND, have a great conversation that will lead to a sale. This is also the reason incorrect information is given. The reps need to get to the next call, forget about finding the procedure and reading it that will take too long and then your talk time will suffer. 4. Technology--Our systems are very antiquated. They take forever to make a decision and update systems. However, they are terrific in fixing things that don't need fixing! Thereby causing more problems. The real problem, I feel, is that they don't want to spend the money on updates. These problems all lead to a revolving door. Our new hires do not stay long. This also costs the bank money. The 1st Commandment in Business is, take care of your employees and your employees will take care of your customers. And on a personal note, many long time reps are disappointed in having to work weekends. When we first started, we worked weekends for years until a regular shift opened up. Now we are treated just like new hires. Everybody needs to work weekends. Bring back seniority.
Advice to Management
Dear Management, Please read this and take it to heart. Take away the sales quota. Let us decide if we want to make more money. Some of us are great at selling, others are great at customer service. You lost a lot of great customer service reps because they were not sales people. Shame on you. The stress of trying to keep your job when you are not in control over whether or not the customer qualifies for a loan leads to unethical practices that lead to termination. You know what I'm talking about. You want to win the JD Powers Award? Bring back the departments. Bring back the experts. Don't limit our time with the customer. Let us have those great customer conversations. Allow us to flourish. Believe in your employees. Take care of your employees and your employees will take care of your customers.