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#968453 - 06/03/08 06:48 PM Customer Privacy at Teller Window
Tricia Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 458
Smack dab in the middle of IL
My tellers have expressed concern about customer privacy at their teller windows. Tellers are often finishing up with a customer's transaction even after the customer leaves. Another customer comes in and comes straigth to a teller window. The teller politely asks the customer to have a seat and she will be right with them as soon as she finishes what she is doing (completing a previous customers transaction). However, the customer continues to stand there at the teller window, most often able to see customer name, account numbers, etc.
We are trying to come up with a tactful way of telling the customer to sit down so that the teller can finish another customer's transaction. We don't have a very big lobby where we could rope of a section in front of the teller windows. We've thought of possible a sign as they come in or to put at the teller window when a teller is working on finishing up with another customer, but are having a hard time coming up with the right words.

Does anyone have any suggestions? We are concerned about customer confidentiality, but know we need a tactful way of dealing with the customers concerning this issue. Thanks for any suggestions.
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General Discussion
#968564 - 06/03/08 07:59 PM Re: Customer Privacy at Teller Window Tricia
chenin Offline
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chenin
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,120
Not sure how big your lobby is, but if you had a sign in the center, several feet in front of the tellers saying "Please wait here for next available teller" that might work. Customers that are used to just walking up may need to have the sign pointed out a few times to get the message. The teller can inform them she is not quite ready but if they wait by the sign they will be helped as soon as possible.

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#968600 - 06/03/08 08:27 PM Re: Customer Privacy at Teller Window chenin
Tricia Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 458
Smack dab in the middle of IL
Thanks Chenin for your response. We have thought of such a sign, but our lobby isn't very big and I am not sure it that would work. Our waiting area is only about 6 feet from the wall to teller line.

The teller has told the customers to please have a seat and she will be right with them, but they just stand there and say something like, "that's okay, I'll wait here" (in view of confidential information).

I'd like to say to the customer who refuses to take a seat something like, "If this was your account information and I was finishing up with your transaction, would you like some other customer to see your confidential information? That's what I thought. Now sit down and wait until I am ready for you!" But I know that doesn't sound very tactful, does it?!?
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Life is the willingness to be yourself and live in harmony with others. - Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott

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#968632 - 06/03/08 08:54 PM Re: Customer Privacy at Teller Window Tricia
chenin Offline
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chenin
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,120
No, not tactful! Could you imagine the look on their face? Priceless!! You could put in one of those machines that you take a number and have a seat until your number is called...That may be why they won't take a seat, afraid someone else will come in and go before them.

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#968800 - 06/04/08 12:45 AM Re: Customer Privacy at Teller Window chenin
Deputy Dawn Offline
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Deputy Dawn
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 484
Pennsylvania
Just out of curiousity, but what sort of work are your tellers doing for a customers transaction after the customer has left the window?

Our tellers have a side counter area at their windows and anything they are working on gets turned upside down when a customer approaches the window. They return to what they were doing when they don't have a customer.

We also have little signs with arrows that say please see next available teller that they put on the counter area in the front of their window if they are unavailable

something similar to this

http://www.bankersonline.com/bankerstore...roducts_id=1132

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#969097 - 06/04/08 02:52 PM Re: Customer Privacy at Teller Window Deputy Dawn
Tricia Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 458
Smack dab in the middle of IL
Chenin - We thought about the "take the number".

Working girl - Our tellers also open new accounts. So they may be finishing up that work and they will put it to the side, but if they are running the transaction through the teller machine when someone else walks up.....

Another instance is when a business drops off their work and a teller is putting into their teller machine, they can't put it aside in the middle of the transaction to wait on another customer (you must finish one transaction on the teller machine before you can start another).

We do have signs that say "next teller please", but if the teller is at her window, that doesn't always stop the customer from hanging around at the window.

Thanks for the suggestions. Anyone else?!?
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Life is the willingness to be yourself and live in harmony with others. - Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott

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#969115 - 06/04/08 03:00 PM Re: Customer Privacy at Teller Window Tricia
JacF Offline

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Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,719
PA
You may want to look at your transaction workflow and see if you can put more of the data entry and validation in front of the cash back and receipt generation. By doing so, the customer's transaction would be finished and out of view (or much closer to that point) when they walk away from the counter.

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#969178 - 06/04/08 03:48 PM Re: Customer Privacy at Teller Window JacF
texasbanker123 Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 27
^yup. rather than focusing on ordering your customers to stay away, focus on "delaying" the initial customer until his transaction is complete. just don't give them the cash/reciept until the transaction is complete and hidden from view.

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#970179 - 06/05/08 07:07 PM Re: Customer Privacy at Teller Window texasbanker123
Christina Offline
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Christina
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 145
Midwest
Often, we become so familiar with our jobs that we forget the customer's perception of what we do. Customers certainly don't want to sit and wait to deposit their birthday check from Grandma. They want to walk in the bank, make the deposit, get a receipt and leave when they are finished, just like they do at their other banks.

If you have tellers who wear many hats: teller, new accounts, commercial deposits, you may want to consider your branch layout or your sineage.

For example, could business deposits be posted away from the teller line by a dedicated staff member? This position could be rotated or shared.
Do you have a desk to open new accounts? Is there a desk area to open accounts? With checking account competition so high, opening an account at the teller line doesn't seem too inviting for the customer.
Do you have small name-plate size signs that say 'next teller please'? If so, you may want to get a 'counter stand' size sign that would hold an 8.5x11 sheet of paper with something to the effect of "Next teller please" or "Posting commercial deposits, please wait for next available teller" "Teller currently helping other customer, please wait for next..." or "Teller balancing, please wait...." You get the picture. Creating a larger barrier will get the message to the customer.

One message you dont' want to send, however, is the one that says "stay over there, this paperwork I'm doing is way more important than you." Be sure your tellers are greeting customers as they enter the branch, even when they are finiship up a transaction. Something like "Hi Frenchie, one of us will be with you in just a moment..." Acknowledging the customer immediately will make the customer feel wanted and is also good security behavior.

Lastly, sometimes we get so routine in our jobs, we develop bad habits. Spend some time observing your teller line and watch what they do as they post transactions. Maybe you'll find a solution just by observing.

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#970301 - 06/05/08 08:35 PM Re: Customer Privacy at Teller Window Christina
SloBanker Offline
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SloBanker
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 23
Kansas
Originally Posted By: Christina

Lastly, sometimes we get so routine in our jobs, we develop bad habits. Spend some time observing your teller line and watch what they do as they post transactions. Maybe you'll find a solution just by observing.


Great Advice!
Our institution had some of the same concerns.
We recently made a few subtle changes that ensure the current customer does not leave the window until the entire transaction has been processed. The last step for the teller is to give the customer their receipt and/or money while asking if they need anything else.
This has also helped cut down on teller errors! The teller does not accidently confuse different transactions!
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