FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Jon Patrom, Retail Sales/Marketing Officer
Greenbrier, AR: In an effort to better serve and guide its business customers, First Service Bank has become the only banking operation in Arkansas to align with The Emmerich Group, the country’s foremost community bank training organization.
“Banking is more than just waiting for a customer to ask for a product or us trying to sell them a product… it is much more than that,” says Darla McJunkins, FSB Market President & Loan Officer, who was also among the first class of graduates. “We see the certification as a means to develop a relationship with our customer as a financial advisor for their business. That entails creating a relationship where we regularly keep in touch with our customer … not just at renewal time. This is where a well-trained banker can make all the difference for the customer by providing useful information to them on a regular basis.”
Seven FSB team members completed their 10-month training during the 2020 inaugural session. That involved a nearly 130-hour commitment of time involving weekly and monthly online classes and seminars, as well as homework assignments, role-playing exercises, and a series of written and oral exams, culminating in becoming certified as an Accredited Banking Professional (ABP) by The Emmerich Group.
The focus of FSB’s new ongoing commitment to staff excellence is to elevate the expertise of team members across all departments to be able to better advise their business banking customers on key issues including asset protection, risk mitigation, loss avoidance and ways to enhance profitability.
“Our belief is that by enhancing customer confidence in our education and expertise as business advisors, we are meeting our mission of #FirstServiceStrong in an even more impactful way,” McJunkins said.
The bank plans continue the program going forward. A class of seven new students is already scheduled for 2021.
About First Service Bank
First Service Bank, headquartered in Faulkner County, has been in operation for over 50 years and has locations in Clinton, Conway, Dermott, Flippin, Greenbrier, Little Rock, Marshall, Mountain View, Shirley, and Yellville. Our mission is to provide high quality, fairly priced financial services while providing a fair return to our stakeholders. Our vision is to create experiences that exceed expectations while creating an atmosphere where our personal and business banking customers can feel at home.
About The Emmerich Group
Over the last 25 years, The Emmerich Group, Inc has worked with over 300 banks and thousands of bank executives to give them the tools to achieve consistent, predictable,
short-term and lasting, long-term results, and by sharing the secret systems of the top 5 percent community banks in America. Participating community banks see dramatic changes in culture and achieve a level of performance they never dreamed possible.
“Banking is more about waiting for customer to ask…we don’t view ourselves as just salespeople,” says Darla McJunkins, FSB Market President & Loan Officer, who was also among the first class of graduates. “We see the certification as a way to develop true whole financial advisors for our business customers. That entails creating relationships and keeping in touch regularly…not just at renewal time. That’s where a well-trained banker can make all the difference.”
Business customers will notice a number of changes and enhancements to their service. Most important, McJunkins notes, is the heightened level of contact. “In the old days, we might have only reached out at renewal time. Today, we’re more about being proactive by contacting our customers at least once a month to check in, either by phone, email or a personal visit.”
Achieving the high level of performance transformation taught through the program isn’t easy, but McJunkins knows it’s been worthwhile. She has already heard positive feedback from business customers.
“I’ve been in banking for over 24 years,” she says. “Going through the program caused me to reevaluate my whole thought process. I admit I was skeptical. But I can tell you that what our graduates learn not only makes us more well-rounded financial advisors…it will be very beneficial in helping us promote our customers’ financial stability, profitability, and future success.”