Posted on July 3,2018
Ahmed Makkawy shared with us in his #MyDowntownRochMN interview that the customer service at Think Mutual Bank helps make his Downtown experience stand out. We sat down with PJ, the Branch Manager at the Downtown location, to learn about Think Mutual Bank.
Samantha: Hi PJ, thanks for chatting with me today! Ahmed had mentioned how much he enjoys working with you; can you tell me a bit more about that and what customers should expect when they come into Think Mutual Bank?
PJ: Think Mutual Bank’s mission is to provide a peace of mind to everyone we serve and to help them build a better life. We focus on putting the customer at the center of everything we do and ensure we are asking the right questions to help them achieve their financial goals. Some people may misinterpret recommendations and bankers asking questions as being “sold to”, but that’s just not the case at Think Mutual Bank. There are no numbers or goals behind what we do. We empower all our employees to take care of the customers’ immediate needs, while also asking the right questions to make the best possible recommendation for our customers. At the end of the day, our company’s success is measured by our customer’s success.
Samantha: As the Branch Manager at the Downtown location, what does a typical day look like?
PJ: Well, I don’t really have a typical day because I have many different responsibilities. I previously spent 10 years as a banker, but recently took on this position Downtown two years ago. I oversee daily branch operations, hire and coach all branch staff, serve our customers and work on company projects and decisions. I prioritize not only helping our customers first hand, but also continuing to listen to them and make changes around their feedback as we continue to grow. Wherever I need to be to help provide a better customer experience is where I’ll be.
Samantha: You mentioned switching to the Downtown location two years ago, as an employee, what do you enjoy most about the location of the Downtown bank?
PJ: The Downtown branch just feels so alive with all the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) events going on and new businesses continuing to open up around us. The traffic is constant, and we are continuing to grow! I was born and raised in Rochester, so seeing the growth of diversity Downtown alone in these past years is very fun to see. At Think Mutual Bank one of our big focuses is stewardship and giving back to the communities we serve. Along with corporate donations and sponsorships, we encourage our employees to be involved in the Rochester community and help to support them as they generously give their own resources. We value giving back to the community, which is why I feel we attract so many great individuals to work here.
Samantha: You’ve been working in the banking industry for over 10 years now, what an accomplishment. What is something that would surprise most people about banking?
PJ: Many of the old perceptions of having “banker hours" and “taking it easy” are long gone. The banking industry is ever changing and very competitive. At Think Mutual Bank, we can’t just sit back and wait for people to come to us. For example, we are always getting questions about credit. The great thing about Think is that we empower our employees to review and understand credit reports when making loan decisions. It’s not just a click of a button waiting for someone else to tell you yes or no. Think Bank serve close to 100,000 plus customers every day and because of our direct underwriting experience we are able to bring a lot of value to our customer service. Within the industry, we take a straightforward and simple approach to banking and I think that’s what sets us apart.
Samantha: With a customer base of more than 100,000 customers daily, I’m sure you’ve had some interesting experiences… any you can share?
PJ: One time we had a coin deposit of roughly $4,000…yes, a coin deposit of that much. The customer brought in four of those huge coke bottles filled with quarters. Luckily, we have coin counters too!
Samantha: I’m sure they were thrilled with that deposit! Now, before you go, any chance you can share the code to the safe?
PJ: Oh sure! It’s just your pin number backwards. Totally kidding, that rumor is a total fallacy.
Samantha: Darn, so close! Thank you so much for sharing with us today, PJ!