Menton Bank had historically focused on corporate businesses, an its share of the retail consumer banking business ha declined in the face of a aggressive competition from other financial institutions. Menton Bank’s new focus is on customer service, trying developing a stronger consumer orientation at the retail level. The goal is to seize the initiative in marketing the ever increasing array of financial services now available to retail customers (Lovelock, Wirtz, pg. 521) Key Facts
* The head of customer service representatives (CSRs) has stepped down and the position is open. * Karen Mitchell, 24 year old customer service representative, who had applied for the soon to be vacant position of head CSR * Mitchell has been with the bank for three and half years. * She had applied for the position of what had then been called head teller a year earlier, but the job had gone to a candidate with more seniority. * Beside Mitchell two other candidates had also applied for the job. * Against all criteria used in the past, Karen Mitchell would have been the obvious choice for head teller. She was both fast and accurate in her work, presented a smart and professional appearance, and was well liked by customers and her fellow CSRs. * Nature of the teller’s job had been significantly revised nine months earlier to add a stronger marketing component. * CSRs were now expected to offer polite suggestions that customers use automated teller machines (ATM’s) for simple transactions. They were also required to stimulate customer interest in the broadening array of financial services offered by the bank. * Problem with Mitchell “she simply refuses to sell.” * The other two candidates were Jean Warshawski, 42, an other CSR at the Victory Square branch; and Curtis Richter, 24, the head CSR at one of Menton Bank’s Small suburban branches, who was seeking more responsibility. * Karen Mitchell
* Under the old scoring system, Mitchell had been the highest scoring teller/CSR for four consecutive half years. After two half years under the new system, her ranking had dropped to fourth out of the seven full time tellers. * Mitchell ranked first on all but one of the operationally related criteria (interactions with customers, where she ranked second), but sixth on selling effectiveness. * Mitchell had informed them, respectfully but firmly, that she saw the most important aspect of her job as giving customers fast, accurate, and courteous service. “I did try this selling thing but it just seemed to annoy people. Some said they were in a hurry and couldn’t talk now; others looked at me as if I were slightly crazy to bring up the subject of a different bank service than the one they were currently transacting. And then, when you got the odd person who seemed interested, you could hear the other customers in the line grumbling about the slow service” Mitchell said. * Jean Warshawski
* She started working as a part time teller at Victory Square some three years previously, switching to fulltime work a year later in order, as she said, to put away some money for her boys’ college education. * Warshawski was a cheerful woman with a jolly laugh. She had a wonderful memory for people’s names, and Reeves had often seen her greeting customers on the street or in a restaurant during her lunch hour. * Reeves noted that she had initially performed poorly on accuracy and at one point, when she was still part timer, had been put on probation because of frequent inaccuracies in the balance in her cash drawer at the end of the day. Although reeves considered her much improved on this score, he still saw room for improvement. The Customer Service Director ha also on occasion reprimanded her for tardiness during the pas year. Warshawski attributed this to health problems with her elder son who she said, was now responding to...