Amid crisis, bank equips front-line employees with answers

A new intranet section helps First Citizens Bank educate its front-line employees so they can allay customers’ fears.

A new intranet section helps First Citizens Bank educate its front-line employees so they can allay customers’ fears

When the bad news about Wall Street emerged in September—prompting federal officials to push for a bailout—internal communicators at First Citizens Banc Share bolstered their messages to employee.

The goal was less about reassuring employees about their job safety, and more about ensuring they had the answers anxious customers needed, explained Dawn Ronco, the company’s senior internal communications project consultant.

“We don’t want employees to feel ill-prepared or like they didn’t know what they were talking about,” Ronco said. “So we prepared them to articulate that our company is safe and sound, help customers understand FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation] coverage, and have [employees] do that in a very consistent way.”

The Raleigh, N.C.-based bank understood that if companies want level-headed customers during this financial crisis then they need informed employees—particularly those on the front lines of customer service.

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