Only we set limits, whether we are a large or small office
SEB's local offices are some of the most important places for us to meet our customers. That is where we can make a difference, create meaning for customers and provide world-class service. But what does it look like in our local offices today? Caroline Alwén, Office Manager for SEB in Ystad, and Forest and Agriculture Manager for Region Syd, explains.
Caroline Alwén grew up on the Skåne countryside. It was natural for her to take on the position as Forest and Agriculture Manager for that reason. During an internship in high school, she ended up at SEB, which led to a summer job. After graduating, she applied to a position as Customer Service Advisor at SEB in Malmö, and the journey then continued to Private Advisor, Business Advisor, and now Office Manager.
What does an office manager do? What is it like to work in a local office today?
“I work a lot with visibility - if you are not visible, you do not exist. Therefore, I do a lot of networking and have meetings. I also work with recruitment - I meet and get to know people to create a recruitment network. It is just as important to us as business networking.”
Caroline emphasizes the importance of maintaining dialogues and contacts with employees and specialists at other SEB offices, as the local office consists of a small team and the specialists are not in the house.
“We do not want to become a bank in the bank. We are a part of all of SEB with all the super knowledge available in the bank. We cannot end up outside SEB just because we are a local office. The bank is a partner, with which local offices are involved and implement what they want to achieve. We are an important cog in the wheel.”
You are Forest and Agriculture Manager for Region Syd, what does that mean?
“It is a fairly new area of responsibility that I was given last autumn. We are five advisers who sit all over Skåne. The responsibility is to offer services, products and solutions for people with operations in forestry and agriculture. We also work a lot with networking and arranging customer meetings.”
There has recently been a great deal of digitization in our bank branches. What do you think about that?
Previously we had short opening hours, 10–13 on weekdays. Now we can be open longer and give each individual customer all our time and service. When a customer comes here, it is just "me" and my customer, and above all no crosstalk of other customers in the queue, as it was when we had the drop in.”
Caroline describes how the customer experience gets better when the customer gets all the time and service from the advisor, and that majority of people are very satisfied.
“We get the chance to take advantage of the business opportunity it means to see the customer in the eyes and find solutions. We can expand our business with customers based on their needs, and it will therefore be more exclusive.”
What is the best thing about being an Office Manager in a local office?
“Each role at the bank can make a big difference in customers' lives. There is a purpose in driving to work every day when we make such a big difference in our advice. The customers want to be challenged and see business opportunities, and we can start the dialogue. Only we set limits, whether we are a large or small office. We cannot forget that we have the whole of SEB’s toolbox to work with.”