Someone who wants to become a phone banker usually needs to complete a short training course to get familiar with an organization. This can be followed by making calls under supervision for further training, and eventually phone banking independently. It is important to be aware that this term can refer to two different careers. Telephone bankers assist customers of a bank over the phone when they have inquiries and concerns. Another type of phone banking is used in advertising and political campaigns to get out the vote and encourage people to support a specific initiative or party.
In the case of telephone banking, the bank usually provides a seminar to familiarize people with policies and procedures. Once someone has become a phone banker, there may be scripts to follow in customer interactions to ensure consistency. The job can involve handling confidential information, and as a result it may be necessary to pass a background check. Beyond that, there are no specific requirements, although it can help to have experience in the financial industry, and a degree in a subject like communications may be beneficial.
Telephone bankers need to be able to resolve customer service problems quickly and appropriately. While in training to become a phone banker, staff learn about the different situations that can arise and the various options for resolving them. For example, a bank may have a policy to waive late fees on request if a customer has a good history and made a genuine mistake with a bill. Likewise, escalation of calls to supervisors may be necessary for more complex issues that the telephone banker cannot resolve.
Political phone banking usually requires completing a short course for the organization, but not always. Some people work as volunteer phone bankers. They may be able to start phone banking by logging onto a website to access phone numbers and a script to use when calling. Someone who wants to become a phone banker as a profession may find it helpful to get a politics degree and experience with campaigns. These can help when applying for job openings.
Being personable and having good communication skills can be important for someone who places political calls. Parties and causes want their representatives to make a positive impression on voters. Training to become a phone banker can include discussions on handling abusive calls or situations where voters are hostile, to defuse such situations quickly and resolve the call to move on to the next task.