Banking is a service sector that deals with customers coming in for financial transactions on a daily basis. The people working in the banks are representatives of the respective banks and are turned into the faces of the banks. It quite rarely happens that the higher authority officers or Managers deal with customers directly and it’s instead the clerical cadre or probationary officers who handle most of the customers in any bank on a regular basis. The customers, who have kept their money or have certain financial interest from the bank, seek a virtuous service and behavior from the employee in return. The more the customers are happy with the services of the bank, the more they would utter positive word of mouth about the bank, resulting in increasing business for the bank.
The Indian Banking Personnel Selection or better known as IBPS is the body responsible for selecting these clerical cadre or probationary officers for the member nationalized banks in India. Recently, the IBPS has called off personal interview round from the clerical cadre selection procedure, keeping in mind the announcement of PM Narendra Modi, on abolishing personal interview from all the Group C and D posts in the government organizations. Hence, the IBPS has left with no choice but to depend fully on the written test (prelims and mains) results, to select the candidates in the respective posts of clerical cadre. Though, the body is toying with the idea of Psychological tests and is validating its importance in the present day context. Banking is not all about learning the technicalities or terms about the sector, but involves a requirement of higher degree of human values and emotional qualities in the employees working.
Works in bank that requires psychological and emotional strength
- Customer Service: The bank employees, on a daily basis, need to handle hundreds of customers. Depending on the position and validity of the branch, the number of customers and workload increases. The employees must keep this in mind that they need to serve the customers in the office hours, no matter what they are going through personally. They should remain emotionally and mentally strong and focus on their work while serving the customers in the bank.
- Customer Retention and building customer loyalty: Apart from making new customers, it is the job of the Probationary officers to retain their old customer base. In order to do that they would need to understand requirements of each and every customer of importance and talk with them to build loyalty. They need to develop faith in the customers about the services offered by the bank, so that they don’t get away with their money to some other bank.
- Policy introduction and informing about it: The banks offer quite a many schemes and policies for its valuable customers time and again. The working employees of the bank must have information about those in tip of their hands and once they get a chance to deal with a potential customer, they need to apply that to bring business.
- Feedback from the customers: The clerical and officer level employees in the bank are responsible for taking feedback about certain facilities offered by the banks to that of the management level. This helps the management to understand better the requirement of the customers and their expectations from the bank, which in turn help making new policies and schemes for the customers.
- Liaison between the bank and the customers: The employees of the bank are the faces of the bank and the customers majorly deal with them. Hence, they should be on the toe to make the image of the bank better for the customers so that they return to the bank as loyal customers.
- Attracting new customer through word of mouth: Better services means better word of mouth promotion for the bank through the customers and thus the employees must keep in mind the services that they provide to their customers must look like they are getting profited with it in a long run.
- Maintaining Credibility and act responsible: The customers believe in the employees they deal with in the banks. It is important to build this connection and maintain this trustful relationship with the customers through understanding their requirements and act accordingly. The candidates must analyze situations, keeping themselves in the shoes of the customers often.
- Complaint registration and working it out: The complaints from customers are part and parcel of the banking job and the employees must take it positively and try to improve on it. They should work and better the services instead getting demoralized and canny about the complaint after doing so much for the employees.
Qualities needed in bank employees
As the banking sector requires customer services in part of the employees on a regular level, they must possess some inherent qualities before joining the sector.
- They should have good interpersonal skills and must have empathy towards the requirements of the customers.
- They should not be rude or behave badly with customers, while dealing with them on financial matters and should be an active listener.
- They should have good communication skills, not only with the customers that they deal with but also with the people and colleagues they are working with.
- Problem solving and complaint handling arising from the customer’s end is also important among the employees working in the organization.
- They must be timely, accurate and appropriate in their approach towards work.
In order to asses these qualities in any candidate, the recruitment body should focus on their psychological skills and thinking through conducting a psychological test, after the written tests. They should be judged according to their problem solving abilities and solution finding in real life situations through hypothetical questions in the psychological test. This would help selecting the best candidates among the lakhs of aspiring candidates, who apply every year for the vacancies filled by IBPS in nationalized public banks.