Joanne Busack is based out of the Marine Credit Union (MCU) Eau Claire, Wisconsin branch. In her newly created position of Service Advisor, Joanne said her job is “helping people to grow.”
Joanne started at MCU six years ago at the downtown Eau Claire branch. Prior to that, Joanne work for 17 years at a bank. She said she started as a teller and worked her way up to a banker and eventually the branch manager. “I was promoted at every stage up to the branch manager,” Joanne shared. “It was fun learning everything. It stuck.”
“I lost faith when they started to treat their employees and customers as a number,” Joanne shared. She said she remembered a husband of one of the other bankers she worked with worked at MCU. “He had such a passion for helping his members. He had such a feeling of gratitude and gratefulness solving and making a difference for the members.”
Where does Joanne get her passion to serve? Joanne recalled her mom teaching her that “customer service is everything.” Her mother was a nurse who was passionate and caring. Joanne shared a story of her mother taking her into a bank and asking her to “just listen to the way (they) talked to the customers. I could feel that caring and passion for wanting to help them.”
So … Joanne applied at MCU. “I don’t have any regrets,” she said. “Not at all. I wish I would have done this sooner.” Joanne shared that when she learned of MCU’s mission from the executive team who interviewed her, she told them, “I want this position. I’m driven. I want to be a part of this team.” And, when human resources called and made her an offer, she asked the person if she could yell. “I was excited,” Joanne explained. “It was a brand-new journey with a new company.”
“You can train anybody, but you can’t teach customer service,” Joanne continued. Recalling that time in the bank with her mother, Joanne said, “You have it in your heart, or you don’t.”
In customer service, Joanne said it’s important to not be looking to be “right,” but “looking to help (members) get into a better place.”
The same as her mother, Joanne learned that listening and having compassion applies to banking as well. “The best thing you can do with a member is to listen to that member,” she said. “What are they saying? Listen to their voice and their tone. Show empathy and come to an understanding of how to get out of this.”
“Sometimes,” Joanne added, “all they need is to be heard.”
Joanne said sometimes there has been a lot of “finger pointing and yelling.” “It’s okay,” she would tell them. “Let’s turn this around and make this a better situation for you.”
Joanne said she learns about the members by listening, by watching their body and their reactions. “It’s teamwork with members,” she said. “It truly is. In six years, I have built so many awesome and phenomenal relationships with members. Not all of them started out that good.” Joanne said it was important to remember that they aren’t angry at you, but at the situation. “Our members are pretty awesome,” she added.
Joanne, a Credit Union National Association certified financial counselor, said it’s important to listen with an “empathetic heart.” She continued, “Each situation is unique and different.”
“I thrive on solving member situations,” Joanne shared. “It gives me total satisfaction helping get them on a better financial path, putting them in a better situation. The more complex … the more I thrive,” she added.
“Sometimes there are things we can’t do,” Joanne said. “But there are things we can. Customer service is everything.”
“I truly enjoy what I do,” Joanne continued. “I hope that every new and existing employee feels that compassion. It’s such an honor and a blessing to love what you do.”
Outside of work, Joanne and her husband share a love of hunting and fishing. “I’ve loved fishing since I was a little girl. My dad used to take me,” Joanne shared.