By Jacob Bertram
Sales Management Marketing Student & Collegiate DECA Officer
Becky Shand’s Strategic Customer Service class brought all their money to Capital One this week. When I say money, I mean their knowledge they have been studying about customer service this semester.
The final project for our class was a tour of St. Cloud’s Capital One on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019.
“I try to schedule an industry tour every semester for my students,” said Becky Shand, instructor for the class. “Students get the opportunity to experience real life examples of what we learn in the classroom and explore future employment and career options,” she added.
The tour began with an introduction of our tour guides, most of whom are graduates of SCTCC. Jesse Provo, Operations Manager; Mike Clausen, Team Leader of High Priority Servicing; and Michelle Molitor, Assistant Coach-Chat Team are all graduates of SCTCC’s Sales Management Marketing program. Andrew Burkland from Capital Ones Human Resource department introduced us to the culture and heavy focus of creating a positive customer service experience for their customers. Current SCTCC student and customer service employee at Capital One, Abbie Wuertz, also assisted with the tour answering questions we had. Abbie is earning degrees in Sales Management Marketing, Business Management, and Finance from SCTCC.
We started the morning with coffee and donuts compliments of Capital One. After our sugar rush set in, Jessie Provo explained the mission statement of Capital One.
“Our mission statement outlines what we do every day,” said Provo. “Our statement is to change banking for good and dare to dream, disrupt, and deliver in a better way,” added Provo.
We were able to visit Capital Ones fitness center and coffee shop; yes, I said fitness center. Capital One has four personal trainers on staff along with a nurse that can help employees with their fitness goals. Health and wellness are key components of Capital One's internal customer focus and success.
Then we were off to Capital Ones second floor of the four-floor building. Each floor is designed after each of the four seasons found in Minnesota, and the conference rooms are all named after MN lakes.
Our tour guides shared with us the rewards, as well as the stresses and challenges, of working in a bank and servicing hundreds of customers a day. We learned how they develop very personal relationships with customers, as well as handling customer escalation situations, recovery systems, and how each associate has the ability to serve customers by going the ‘extra mile’ with their Surprise and Delight program, all concepts we have been studying and practicing this semester.
On this floor, additional amenities are offered to the employees to help them stay positive: break areas, game rooms, resting/nap pods, and coffee nooks. I know what you are thinking: how can a company be productive when all their employees are enjoying these added benefits? Well, the second floor is where calls come in from unhappy customers.
“There is a lot of added stress and emotions when dealing with people’s money,” said Abbie Wuertz. “These added benefits at Capital One are definitely helpful for me to be ready for every caller.”
Does this sound like a company you would like to work for?
Abbie Wuertz explains the extensive training that is offered to Capital One employees.
“First, there are two weeks of learning everything about Capital One,” said Wuertz. “Then they have you take one call a day and you get experience taking calls from customers.” Wuertz went on to explain that there are roughly four weeks of total training before you are added to a call center team.
Abbie has been at Capital One since June of this year. She enjoys going to her job every day. “I really like the environment at work since the people I work with are around my same age. I get to joke around and have a good time with my team every day,” said Wuertz. “I definitely use everything I learned in Strategic Customer Service class every day at work. You use customer service every day, so it is a very important skill to know and understand. My advice to new students is to never stop learning and be open to new things that are out in the world."
Every student in the class stole something unique from the bank. While many stole a sugary donut, each of us had a personal takeaway from the experience.
Aiden Escobedo, a first year student in Sales Management Marketing talked about what he enjoyed learning from Capital One. “I really like the mentality that is shown by all employees. You know they enjoy working here.”
“The coffee shop banking style in the bank was really interesting and unique for a bank to have,” added Nelson Anderson, Sales Management Marketing student.
“I liked learning about how employees can advance in the company and try different departments that might interest them,” added Jacky Bustillos, Sales Management Marketing student.
Everyone left Capital One very wealthy with knowledge about Strategic Customer Service on this final day of class. It was a fun way to “cash out” fall semester.