“I’ve had loans, I’ve got a mortgage, I’ve been there myself. People trust me.”
Katie Bellingham gets a warm welcome at Barclays
Let’s start with an admission; maths was never my strongpoint. I was always more
interested in talking to my friends at school. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t end up working
in a bank. Or at least that’s what I thought.
I spent time this week at Barclays meeting Customer Service Advisors. You know, the
people who meet greet and help you when you walk in? Turns out you don’t need a
degree in maths, you just need a positive outlook, some life experience and the ability to
listen. Turns out they’re people just like you and me.
As I walked into the branch I was greeted with a cheery ‘Hello, can I help you with anything
today?” This was more than I expected already. This didn’t feel like a cold financial
institution, this was a relaxed and confident woman. I knew I could trust her.
“I’m looking for Salma”
“That’s me, you must be Katie”
A few moments later and we were sat down chatting and I felt quite at home.
“Meeting people and putting them at ease; that’s what we’re here for to be honest. You
meet people once and they can turn out to be lifelong customers. They want to feel
comfortable and meet someone with a bit of life experience. Someone who can see things
from their point of view.
Most customers are looking for someone to let them know that they’re in the right place,
that they’re going to be looked after, and that they’ll be given the best advice. We offer
empathy and reassurance.
Applying for a simple loan can be a really big deal, especially if you haven’t done it before.
I’ve had loans, I’ve got a mortgage, I’ve been there myself. And I think they can see that.
People trust me.”
So, what keeps you at Barclays?
“It’s everything really. There’s bags of opportunity to progress your career here, and you
are genuinely well supported in the role. Another thing Barclays seem to do really well, is
technology; I love showing customers cool, new things that make banking easier for them.
The main point I’d want to stress is that it’s not really about numbers, financial products or
tech, it’s about people. I’m a customer too, I know how it feels. So I suppose, it’s the fact
Barclays create the environment for me do a good job by helping people.”
This is starting to sound like a job I could do and, importantly, one I’d enjoy. Give me the
bad news then, what are the hours like, what qualifications do I need?
“There’s no bad news” Selma took out a job description to show me.
“Look there’s nothing intimidating on here at all. It’s a big bank but it’s not stuffy and
corporate. Everything we do at Barclays is shaped by our values – Respect, Integrity,
Service, Excellence and Stewardship.
If you know your own community well, care about people, can talk ‘on a level’ to different
characters and help people get the services and products they really need, you’ll be great
at it. Honestly, you’d be a natural!”
Are you saying I talk too much?
“No way, there’s no such thing. I work five mornings a week, sometimes at weekends, It
fits around my life perfectly – but the only days I worry about work are when I have a sore
throat. The job is all about talking. Well, relating to people, giving the right advice, helping
people, and a fair bit of talking”
If you’re confident, chatty, polite, can think on your feet and have a few years of real life
under your belt, you could be a Customer Service Advisor. You don’t need to be a financial
whizz, just a friendly, chatty, helpful person. A person like you. Click here for more information and to apply for roles in your area.