Most industry publications target institution management. Yet, there's another important group that needs information about retail banking issues -- your branch personnel. For them, Affinion produces a free client newsletter that speaks specifically to frontline staff, keeping them up-to-date on issues that affect their jobs and offering valuable tips to improve their sales and customer service skills.
Here's an overview of topics from recent issues. (If you would like a copy of any of these issues, or if you need to change your quantities, click here.)
Just for Laughs
We'll pay you $20 for your true story of workday humor. Click here to submit your story.
A golf pro from a local country club came in to make several deposits to the club's account. After the teller finished counting all his deposits, she paused and said, "It looks like everything is up to par."
-- Judy Whittaker, First Southern National Bank, Stanford, Kentucky
We have a customer who calls frequently to ask for his balance and for a list of all checks that will post to his account for the day. He recently called our bookkeeping department with his usual requests. The woman who answered the phone gave her name, and kindly asked, "Can I have you?"
-- Audrey Spurling, First Bank of Montgomery County, Mount Ida, Arkansas
A customer came through the drive-through to make a deposit. She was eating and speaking to the passenger, who had a fast-food bag on her lap. As the teller looked a little more closely, she realized that the "passenger" was actually a mannequin!
-- Sarah Hall, First Federal Savings & Loan of Port Angeles, Sequim, Washington
A friend asked me for help in balancing her checkbook. When I figured out that her balance was short by $100, she insisted I must be wrong. She asked, "Can't they take out the box with the money I deposit and count it?" She thought we used safe deposit boxes to "house" our customers' funds. We had a good laugh after I set her straight.
-- Karissa Brigham, First Independent Bank, Vancouver, Washington
A customer called and wanted to know how much a bond was worth. When I asked her for the month and year, she answered, "January 1990." Then I asked her for the denomination and she said, "Catholic."
-- Susan Diamond, U.S. Bank, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
A very nice-looking man approached our head teller's window to purchase a cashier's check. Since our club account members receive these checks free, our teller asked him if he was a member of the "Golden Ugly" Club (Golden Eagle Club). The man replied, "I sure hope not!"
-- Shawn Grady, Atoka State Bank, Atoka, Oklahoma
A customer came in with several rolls of coins, and, in keeping with procedure, we ran them through the coin machine to verify the amount. The coin machine came up with extra coins in each denomination. When the customer was told this, he responded: "I never know how full to fill the wrappers."
-- S. Sue Boone, First State Bank, Manchester, Iowa
One day, a woman came into the loan department to make a payment. As she was writing her check, she commented on a 5-foot tall plant in our department. "My, that plant sure has grown. The last time I was in here, it was only about knee high. What have you girls been feeding it?" The secretary stared at the woman, momentarily speechless, then answered honestly, "We really haven't fed it anything." After the lady left, we all began to laugh hysterically. The plant she was referring to was artificial!
-- Sherry Ruddick, Farmer's Bank & Trust, Blytheville, Arkansas
One day, I was working the drive-through window when my fiancée came through my lane. I had gotten a haircut the day before, so I asked him, "How do you like my hair?" "It looks good," a man's voice answered. Only it wasn't my fiancée. I had the wrong speaker on and was talking to an older construction worker behind the wheel of a truck. As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, the next time the construction worker came into the bank, he gave me a wink.
-- Carrie Marling, Prosperity Bank, Jacksonville, Florida
A customer came in to cash a check on a business account. When the teller told him that this account requires two signatures, he replied that there were two signatures. He had signed it twice.
-- Michelle Rhoades, First Community Bank, Conway, Arkansas
I was having a very frustrating day, the kind where the harder you work, the worse it gets. I had batched my checks and sent them to proof, only to get a call later asking if I were okay. I replied, "Not really, why?" The caller laughed and explained that instead of putting "211" on my batched checks, I had put "911"!
-- Brenda Powell, One Valley Bank of Mercer County, Princeton, West Virginia
I live in a small town with only one bank. One of our tellers recently received a business letter postmarked "Pensacola, FL." It was addressed as follows:
Citizen's State Bank
'Bout halfway down main street
Cheney, KS 67025
-- Denise Masterson, Citizens State Bank, Cheney, Kansas
A new teller was presented with two $100 bills. When he inspected the bills, he noticed the watermarks differed. When he shared this with the more experienced teller beside him, the teller suggested that he use a marker to detect if they were counterfeit. He marked one of the bills and noticed a bold black mark! The teller became alarmed and brought it to the attention of the teller who had suggested marking the bills. "Why don't you try marking the bill again," replied the experienced teller. "But this time use a marker with the counterfeit-detecting ink."
-- Ashly Beckham, Frost National Bank, Corpus Christi, Texas
I opened a new lock box for a customer one day. As I was inputting her information, I asked her if she would like to name a deputy. She said "yes" and gave me the name of our local county deputy sheriff.
-- Teresa Stith, Bank of Edmonson County, Brownsville, Kentucky
A man was talking to the president of our bank about a new loan when our president asked him for his Social Security number. Immediately, the man reached into his mouth, pulled out his false teeth, and tried to hand them to our president. Since the customer was a veteran, his Social Security number was engraved on his teeth. Taken aback, our president stammered, "Thanks, but I can read it fine from here."
-- Patsy Massey, Union Planters Bank, Marshall, Arkansas