Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm not sure customer service is for me

One cool thing about working as a teller is that it is giving me a chance to explore a professional identity I hadn't had the chance to consider.  Like it or not, banking is a LOT about sales and customer service.  I took the job because I figured, what the heck, I'd like to be around people more.  And I do like that part of the job.  We have regulars come in, we get to chat with them about lots of different business; I get to learn about the challenges of retail, or accounting or consulting from our clients.  That's cool.

But not all of our clients are like that.  Sometimes they are having a bad day, some of them are jaded with the banking industry, sometimes we really screw things up for them.  And I am supposed to be nice, positive and helpful will all of them.  I don't have much of a problem smiling and saying, "Why don't I have you speak with my manager about this?" but it really makes me wary of who is coming through the door next.  Sometimes they don't want to speak with a manager, they are busy and believe *I* should be able to deal with their problems, or they take offense that because I can see enough of their financial identify, I will suggest products to them. (In their defense, might not be very good at this part yet.)  This isn't the major interaction I have with people, but it really dampens my enthusiasm for seeing other clients walk through the door. 

Much like my thoughts on research, I either need to figure out a way to deal with the downside of this job, or accept that customer service and sales are not for me.  This possibly doesn't seem like a major leap, but Clontech is currently trying to recruit a Ph.D. to a sales position in my region.  I was contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn about the position, and am very confident that No, that's not where I want to take my career.

On the other hand, as a teller I get to learn more about what is called Operations, which is a job I might be more interested in pursuing.

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