When people describe a call centre as a terrible place to work , they are referring to places like the Commonwealth Bank. This bank will micro-manage you within an inch of your life. The advertisements for Customer Care Specialists gloss over the strict and very difficult to achieve KPI's that are part of your role in Direct Banking.
The advertisements never mention that calls cannot be >180 seconds regardless of whether it’s necessary. You must adhere to your rostered break times down to the exact second. This can be very difficult to achieve when you have an argumentative customer on the line. 80-100 calls is the minimum expected amount of calls to be answered each shift. You must also get 9-10 rating from customers that appraise the quality of your calls (anything <9 is a fail). You have to "connect" with customers by asking the most contrived and disingenuous questions. Even when your calls are perfect, your power tripping Team Leader will always find something trivial to nit-pick about and berate you for it.
It’s also not uncommon to stay back after a shift so your manager can go over your KPI's with a fine tooth comb or force you to complete yet another test. This is all unpaid too.
If you’re a graduate/just starting out a career and think this is a good place to work at- think again. Avoid working in their call centre at all costs. It’s a dead-end job and will not teach you any marketable skills beyond knowing how to quickly answer and disconnect a phone. The odd
I originally applied for a part time position and was sure I had aced the interview. I got a call and was offered a casual position and looking back now I shouldn't have taken it. There are no permanent positions in my area and too many casuals so I get maybe 3 shifts a month. I don't get paid for shifts and always have to chase this up so that I actually get paid for what I work as branch managers don't really care for casual staff, they're just a fill in. I've been trying to get permanent work since I started in 2016 and I have been unsuccessful at every opportunity so I will be leaving the bank for another company. I'm told I don't have enough experience but how do I get the experience if you only give me no work to get the experience?
Training is okay and all paid for but I haven't been shown crucial things about foreign currency and opening accounts for when I'm thrown in a smaller agency branch with 2 staff.
Pay is good, when I DO get paid. I recently got a new boss who is now the branch support manager for the region who is very supportive and will try to get me into permanent work (but there are 11 other casuals in the same boat).
With KPI's every branch has a different set up so I'm left looking like an idiot If I want to refer someone as I have to physically leave the tellers box to find someone available to see a customer. I don't know many CSS's or Lenders to refer to so I have no idea who to speak to half the time and customers want to always be served by the
ConsWorking casual means I will never feel like part of a team
Extremely difficult to get leave - forced to sell products to people who don't need them
While I hope that things have changed since I left the bank about two years ago my experience there still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
They were constantly riding us about how many products we were selling. In reality, if a person doesn't need a credit card, I do not feel that we should be trying to sell one to them... even if they can afford it on paper.
It was also extremely difficult to get leave as there was never enough staff to cover you when you were off. Just prior to leaving I requested ONE DAY off on a Friday over a year in advance. I was told that I would not be able to have this time off as a manager at a different branch in the area would already be off at the time (I was just a team member).
It was also an expectation that you work OT without being paid for it pretty much every day.
Last thing... while I was there they forced us to migrate all customers to service self service options. They achieved this and then hounded our branches for not achieving sales targets (which was due to significantly less foot traffic after migrating customers). Because of this we would make proactive outbound calls were we essentially trying to invite the same customers that we pushed out the door back in to 'review their banking' which essentially meant to try sell them more products. Quite ironic really.
While working here I often felt down and really not myself. Quitting and moving to work for a company who truly values their employees and customers was the best
I work Saturday and Sundays 12.15 - 9pm with a great team of 20-25 year olds as part of the General Enquiry department. On any given day we take over 100 calls ranging from simple balance enquiries to very complicated and technical issues. Everyday our calls are reviewed to ensure that we are adhering to strict security procedures; maintaining and exceeding our high standard for the perfect customer experience through building rapport, offering additional assistance and/or providing helpful information; and to find ways to make calls more efficient (<186 seconds).
My co workers are a great group of social and extremely bubbly young adults. The most challenging part of my job was to try and be less professional and to socialise at work, which goes against all my previous work experience working in professional restaurants.
Task related learning curves for me involved learning to be assertive towards customers and control calls by not letting conversation exceed 60 seconds so as to have 126 seconds to correctly ID, establish all enquiries and provide the customer with a benefit. For me the most enjoyable part of my job was educating customers, on how to bank more effectively, how to increase their credit interest and offering products most suited to their needs.
ProsPerfect job whilst i was pregnant. Incredibly good working conditions and environment, regular (mandatory) breaks and extensive support network.
ConsFinance is not a physical nor creative industry, no family time in this role as i work every weekend.
At typical day working on a project in the CBAs Institutional Banking & Markets is usually busy and can be confusing. For example your diary will be full of meetings and catch ups whilst the work-load stacks up. The best time to complete work in order to keep things moving is to WFH in the evening or come in a couple hours early. While managers will never directly tell you to work outside of business hours, there is still an unspoken, passive expectation to deliver. Personally found this uncomfortable.
The reason behind this is the lack of a systematic execution guidelines (i.e., milestones, processes, documents, etc), unrealistically tight deadlines, and miniscule product expert involvement in the execution. This left consultants and technology experts in a position to learn areas of the business in a level of detail atypical of a projects of this level of complexity and timeframe.
Having said that, as one of the said, it has been a tremendous opportunity to learn all aspects of the Institutional Lending business E2E in a level of detail most people would probably only gain in a 10+ career-span. The open dialogue culture allows one to engage other teams/individuals for knowledge on an adhoc basis which really helps to close issues and identify requirements, inefficiencies, areas to improve etc. That being said, there are often constraints wrt the right people being available.
ProsLocation, Interesting work, Open dialogue, transforming business
ConsOrganisation, passive management style, lack of planning
show how enthusiastic I am by being professional and providing people skills
speak out about team results and skills
Provide continues training to the staff to help continue great customer service.
Help the team work together by providing them with a tasks and coming up with an outcome. EG: new products, c/c to help customers when being stuck whilst away or unable to withdrawal emergency funds ?
Reduce Average Time monitoring whilst on the call center phones by making sure all staff are on the phones
Help staff when needed
what I learned was to listen
Observe and then make a decision if it includes me
Cross training, which helped my learn different procedures and systems
I also learned on how to manage my time more effectively
Focus on what i was doing at the time
Management , I released that every one is different and have different ways on how to deal with things
follow the manager on and embrace their new ideas
Sometimes it was hard when there was low staff , but I learned to just doing one thing at a time and encourage the team to work together.
The most enjoyable part was the people.
I am a people person.
Proslearn about the fraud Risk area, learn to detect, assess then action alerts through the system provided, this allowed and given me a better understanding on related trends, patterns and the Laws.
ConsI felt I wasn't given the opportunity to fulfill my secondment due to staff shortage, and I had to return back to my original position.
Productive and enjoyable when been awarded for a great job.
My typical day at work. Urgent customer files to be done for the day, attending telephone calls and maintaining a high level of customer service in a polite and accurate manner. Closing and opening accounts, Recording information, data entry,filling.
I enjoyed working at the bank because I had the opportunity to learn so many jobs/skills, such as filing, validating information, being a team player, listening to the needs of others when someone needed help. To ask questions when not sure how to do a task was significant. I learnt so much in the bank, staff training was something I ejoyed doing always. The ability to work with accuracy with attention to details,, made me feel I could do my job in a very efficientl and accurate manner.
I had excellent team leaders who were very supportive and very friendly. My co-workers were so friendly and so supportive. Excellent team environment to work in.
The hardest part of the job was when I had a rude customer over the phone demanding something to be done straight away. But I assisted that person in a professional and calmly manner.
The most enjoyable partof the job was when you feel confident you are doing and putting a 100% of your effort and of course getting recognition for excellent job done. Like rewards from my team Leaders.
ProsGreat environment, always having activities such as, Halloween day
A great culture within the workplace amidst a demanding environment, A thoroughly enjoyable and passionate atmosphere from a team perspective. I personally had a great rapport with colleagues and business units alike, and also took pride in being a constant point of reference whenever assistance was required, being reliable, dependable and conscientious, whilst upholding the organisation's commitment to customer service excellence. Communication and collaboration were imperative to sustain customer satisfaction, professionally maintained as a daily priority. Managing a reasonable work/life balance was definitely a highlight, fitting in outdoor lunchtime exercise whether it would be running, bike riding or playing social touch footy and basketball, or else regular indoor activities such as table tennis in the recreation room, reading newspapers/magazines/books in the office library during occasional standard breaks. I learned a great deal of resilience, perseverance and adaptability throughout the complexities of my specific role and tasks, gaining confidence and knowledgeable skills as per self-development, hence my longevity and experience being a personal achievement in itself despite my minimal qualifications having never obtained a degree/diploma, beforehand.
Hot desking - a daily reminder that you mean nothing
It's Game of Thrones time, corporate edition. The daily battle for a desk, hacking and slashing your way through the waves of zombies to get somewhere where you can sit, musical chairs if you will, but with excruciatingly slow wifi.
They like to tell you that its the 'new way of working', so you don't get 'stuck it a rut', 'mix it up', 'discover a cool new place to sit every day', 'we've made it exciting for you', 'we've done it for you', when in actual fact they did it to save money by not allocating the same number of spaces as there are employees. It's a cost saving measure and every morning it reinforces to you that mean nothing to the company, you are replaceable .
Teams naturally form and find a common area with each person choosing their own desk according to the team dynamic. Then comes the unrelated person who likes the 'mix it up' and the entire balance is thrown out. Sometimes you end up having to sit on a different floor, unused meeting room or corridor because all the desks get taken where you normally sit. Quiet teams end up next to call centre workers and the team spirit is broken by everyone wearing headphones to block out the constant noise. Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.
If you value your own space that you can set up for productivity and peace, don't work here. I'm guessing that therapy for hot desking induced anger can't be claimed on worker's comp.
The workplace was always ongoing with ensuring their staff were in a fun and enthusiastic environment, in which included table tennis and competitions
A typical day at work included ongoing phone calls, with either very rude or very nice customers, this varied each day, never knowing what is going to be given that day or what scenario will need to be dealt with. I have learnt a lot working where I currently am. I have a better understanding of home loans, personal loans and credit cards, in which I had little to no understanding prior to this job. It has allowed me to look at this job and the customers that I deal with, how it is like from the other end when someone else is struggling financially. The hardest part of the job is given a very abusive or impatient customer demanding for answers on the spot when I know little information on what to provide them. It can be hard to work around their attitude towards you, but with more experience I have definitely been able to work with his a lot better. The most enjoyable part of the job is trying to reach KPI's and target goals, with competitions and prices become involved once the targets are reached. Overall, this job is very rewarding allowing me to grow in customer handling kills, negotiations and being able to deal with customers in a professional and patient manner.
Customer Service Representative | Branch, MN | 22 Feb 2014
CBA is a very fast paced environment to work. If you are not trying your best at all times you will not succeed in growing within the company. You need to be able to adapt quickly to the constant changes of the work place and work well under stress. I personally have definitely learnt a lot of useful skills working for CBA for 3 years now and have had to opportunity to try a range of different positions. I find that now I'm working in the Branch network, it is easy to get stuck and a lot harder to progress. Basically nothing is ever good enough. If you have a good day then the next day you are ask to do better. I find that management aren't very encouraging and prefer to scare staff into doing better which is stressful and demotivating. Proper training isn't applied considering the amount of important procedures we need to do for our customers (Deceased Estates, International transfers, New businesses, Insurance, Financial Planning, Loans, Guarantors, Superannuation, etc). You are are constantly thrown into the deep end with no support.
At the moment CBA is going through a lot of changes (Branch closures, Sales structures, Management re-arranging, Staff procedures, etc). There is a feeling in the branch network of management pushing staff to their limits with the intention of forcing staff who can't handle the pressure to look for jobs elsewhere. They are doing this instead of following other banks like ANZ whom have publicly dismissed staff and have most of their call ce
ProsWe are ahead in technology.
ConsLots of unpaid overtime.
Questions And Answers about Commonwealth Bank
What is the interview process like at Commonwealth Bank?
Asked 12 June 2017
Unimpressed... The interviewers who are supposed to drive innovation methodologies and practices in the subject area (hence should be keeping abreast with latest developments) asked a technical question mentioning an outdated word and concept.
Answered 10 Sept 2020
It was just like all other jobs
Answered 26 May 2019
What should you wear to an interview at Commonwealth Bank?
Asked 21 Apr 2017
Corporate always they are very strict
Answered 6 Oct 2018
Smart business wear
Answered 12 Apr 2018
Does Commonwealth Bank have a staff discount? How much is Commonwealth Bank’s staff discount?
Asked 21 Apr 2017
Yes on certain products
Answered 14 Oct 2019
Yes but can't remember what it was when I was employed there.
Answered 26 Nov 2018
What is the company culture like at Commonwealth Bank?
Asked 26 June 2018
Culture is OK. A lot of it is talk though and not as much put into action.
Answered 28 Aug 2020
Generally its based on equal opportunity and a far go
Answered 30 Sept 2019
How should you prepare for an interview at Commonwealth Bank?
Asked 20 May 2018
Understand the values of the bank and demonstrate key understanding of basic finances and emotional intelligence