The Wave: Fay Zhao Fixes Problems04.20.2021
When Fay Zhao talks to a customer, she has a simple guiding philosophy that reflects the spirit and commitment of the Bank of Guam: “When we say that we will do something, we do it."
At the end of the day, if I have resolved a problem or helped a customer, then I am satisfied that I have done my job.”
A native of Shanghai, Ms. Zhao has been with the Bank for over 30 years, having started as a teller, moved to the wireroom, and, finally to operations for the past two decades.
“Most of my daily tasks involve helping other employees solve problems but having been here for as long as I have, many customers know me,” she says. “For me, working on behalf of customers is very personal. We want our customers to have confidence in us, whether we’re answering a basic question or helping them with a problem.”
In her position, Ms. Zhao, who lives in San Francisco, also interacts with larger banks on behalf of the Bank of Guam and its customers. As a result, she has insightful observations about how some big banks treat customer service. And she is not impressed.
“I recently spent 43 minutes on hold with a big East Coast bank,” she says, “waiting to talk to someone. And then, when I did, I was told that I couldn’t even get the basic information that I needed to resolve the problem I had called about.”
The reason? “I was told it was a ‘policy.’”
That’s not the way the Bank of Guam operates. “We answer the phone. We listen and then we do what we have to do to help the customer,” she says. “Our training is to do what we say we will do and to explain to the customer how and what we are doing.”
After the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 from March to June 2020 prevented on-site presence, Ms. Zhao has come to the Montgomery Street branch nearly every day, arriving early to take care of business that might involve the East Coast and staying late when working with Bank’s headquarters in Guam which operate with a 17-hour time zone difference.
“I love my job,” she says. “I don’t want to make my customers wait. If I can do what they need now, there is no need to wait 24 hours. When I deal with big banks, I often find that the ‘customer service’ people only know how to talk. They don’t know how to fix a problem. That’s not the way we do it. If there is a problem, our goal is to fix it.”