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Gratifying work for customer service officers

Published on Thursday, 01 Mar 2012
Photo: Nora Tam

Many have experienced long queues at banks, leading to a growing number of people resorting to telephone banking. 

Derek Lo Chun-shek (below right), a Citibank Citiphone officer, thinks a user-friendly internet banking platform and efficient phone banking, as well as branch services, are key to the future of the financial industry.

"Good customer services that exceed expectations can make us stand out," he says. "We hope customers will come back and do more business with the bank." 

Lo was fresh out of university when he started out as a Citiphone customer officer in 2008, but before long was promoted to assistant manager, and then, last year, to acting team leader. "As a newbie, I got a lot of training. The bank provides structured training that includes new-hire orientation, service quality and compliance workshops," he says. "More role-specific training, covering products and system knowledge, is also provided to help colleagues build up a professional repertoire."

He adds that a mastery test must be passed before work in the position can begin, and that this is followed by a one-month in-house training course to familiarise the appointee with operations.

On top of a university degree, an applicant also needs professional qualifications, such as the Hong Kong Security Institute Licence Examination Papers 1, 7 and 8; the Insurance Intermediaries Qualifying Examination Papers 1 and 2; and MPF papers to permit them to do customer service.

Customer officers must be helpful, enthusiastic, service oriented and good team players, says Lo. "The most enjoyable part of the job is when we receive compliments from clients, and when we feel that we are solving clients' problems," he adds. "Our job is to handle incoming calls from affluent-segment customers, handle transactions on investment and insurance products and promote investment products."

Lo adds that the challenge is to strike a balance between good customer service and productivity in his daily work, adding that it takes time and resources to offer good customer service, which can reduce efficiency.

Good performers with experience will be promoted. "The next step in my career is customer service manager," says Lo.

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