Fancy working with high-powered clients to help their businesses grow? Debbie Wilckens gives us the lowdown on the challenges and rewards in keeping clients happy.
I want to know about
I wanted to work directly with clients, understanding how I could help them to develop their business by understanding what they wanted to achieve and suggesting ways for them to improve their processes.
My training was a mixture of working in a client facing role, within a retail bank, having an economics degree and attending specific client skills courses within my company. I had to deal directly with client queries and complaints within the retail bank and then I attended specific courses, where I learnt new skills. It was then through my daily role that I was able to apply the skills learnt. So all the theory I picked up was backed up by real-life practice.
I don’t really have a typical day as it will be driven mainly by particular issues that my clients have. If I could make it typical, it would be reviewing my client’s business flow to see if they have traded new products or markets, which would allow me to discuss it with them. If there were issues, then I would follow up with relevant teams to make sure they were resolved and then check that the client was happy. I would also organise visits to see my clients to review their business or deal with any queries that they had.
I get to meet a number of people from interesting backgrounds, which allows me to see how business is done elsewhere within Europe. My business area is so diverse and changing, that there are always new ways of doing things so you have to think on your feet and be prepared to keep learning, which suits me!
I have found the biggest challenge for me has been moving up through the various levels in a company. In order to move ahead, you need to demonstrate experience and maturity, which is gained through exposure to different things. Getting this exposure means that you have to persuade people that you are good enough and that you should be included. I have overcome this by being enthusiastic in trying different things, getting involved in projects/meetings outside of my ‘normal job’ description and being vocal with my opinion.
Client relationship is a rewarding and fun, especially when a client is happy with what you have delivered and you see their business grow though your input. The banking world is a dynamic environment where no two days are the same, so it provides a fantastic challenge.