From teller to customer service marketer

So you think a teller’s job is only about taking deposits and payments and handing back cash? Here is why you’re wrong.

Providing customer service to members doesn’t have to all about reading deposit slips and processing transactions. True customer service can be about so much more when you view it from a different perspective: the marketing perspective. Think of the marketing efforts to reach members outside the branch. Why pass up the chance to inform them when they’re right in front of you?

The problem is, when most branch employees hear marketing they immediately think sales, and many customer service representatives didn’t take the job to be sales people. Marketing can also be about promoting a positive brand image and offering the best customer service. So just how do you move beyond the “sales pitch” to giving full customer service as a marketer? Take a few tips from the pros, be your best self, and most importantly, listen to your members—all these steps lead to what we call the Customer Service Marketer.


From job interviews to pitching a business plan, one piece of advice that runs through all of it is to be positive. Show what you’ve done and what you’re doing in a positive light, and with a positive demeanor. It’s pretty hard to promote your credit union is friendly to it’s members if the tellers they interact with on a daily basis seem brisk or unhappy to help.

Another great piece of advice taken from sales teams is to set both small and large goals. There may be lofty year-end goals or large goals for your latest offer, but these large goals can oftentimes discourage the team. Creating smaller goals gives employees a metric that is both attainable and quickly measurable. Like tracking daily goals for upselling direct deposit, which then leads to a quarterly goal for the branch.

Lastly, what worth is sharing if members can’t easily find out more or sign up for what you’re offering? Make sharing easy for all involved, both employees and members, by having printed material and follow-up details. Allowing members to take part in services and offers that benefit them is the biggest reason to share in the first place.


Pitching new services to members can be easy for some, but completely daunting to others. The best way to start is by preparing for the strongest pitch you can think of. Planning and practice can lead to increased confidence when it’s time to talk to a member.

For managers, the best thing to do is properly communicate what your team should share with members and ideas on how to share it. Setting an example is also very important. Your team can see how marketing and customer service go hand in hand by watching you do it.

At the same time, it’s good to remember that positive examples don’t only come from management. Trust in a team and know that everyone interacts with credit union members in their own way. Invite team members to share how marketing works for them, watch them in action, and ask advice to improve. Remember that rejection will happen to everyone, statistically more often than success. Don’t let, “no” make you give up; instead think of what can be learned for next time.


Customer service is ultimately about your members, right? No matter if you’re depositing a check or talking about a new service they can sign up for, it’s important to know your members and what they need. Sometimes this can be done by simply seeing the types of transaction they’re doing, other times you need to create a dialog and listen to what they say.

Think about yourself as the customer and how you would respond to services you’re sharing. Does every member need every service the credit union has to offer? Definitely not. But at the same time, most members don’t know about many of the services they can benefit from. That’s where a conversation can lead to customer service marketing.

Looking at their current or past transactions could prompt you to share a useful service. Ask sincere questions about their lifestyle and financial needs. Listening to their response could give insight into other services that might be additionally advantageous.

Remember that no one wants something just because you said it’s good, they want what benefits them. So while you can add what makes services unique to the credit union, it’s most important to say why they are useful to the member.

Ben Prager

Ben Prager

Prior to forming Prager Creative, Ben worked with design studios, branding firms and advertising agencies to push great strategy and design for all his projects. His experience with all aspects ... Web: Details

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