My Working Day: Adnan Faisal on making an “emotional connection” with customers
Adnan Faisal joined the bank as an apprentice almost seven years ago and now works as part of the Money Mentor team in Mayfair, Central London. He explains how he’s been supporting customers during lockdown – from creating a space where they can share their “concerns and anxieties” to offering practical budgeting tips – and tells us his favourite place for car-spotting at the end of the day.
My alarm goes off… at 7am on a working day, but it tends to get snoozed until about 7.30am!
My morning routine… sees me wake up, have a shower, then have some eggs and toast for a bit of energy. I take the bus to work from Battersea to Mayfair. I used to get there for 8.45am, but since coronavirus, we’ve been operating on shorter hours from 10am to 3pm.
My main responsibilities as part of the Money Mentor team… include helping customers who come in with queries about their accounts, advising people on how to budget, boost their credit scores, save for a new car or help them understand how to achieve their financial goals.
I am able to be my natural self while supporting customers. I get such a kick out of helping people each day, understanding what they need and identifying a way to support them
Money Mentor at Barclays UK
My day-to-day working life has changed since the start of coronavirus… because at work we’re seeing far fewer customers face-to-face and are dealing with more queries on the phone and over email. I also have to be very careful while travelling to work, because my parents are diabetic so I worry about bringing the virus home. It’s become a case of: the crisis has happened, so how do I protect my family and help my customers?
I’m supporting customers during lockdown… by offering emotional support as well as giving people budgeting tips. I’ve had people phone me and ask: “I’ve been furloughed – how can I afford the things I used to?”. I think people appreciate the opportunity to share their concerns and anxieties, human to human. In some cases, customers have told me how they’re feeling depressed stuck at home, and I’ve tried to offer ways they could break out of their normal lockdown routine to introduce a bit of change.
I was drawn to my role at Barclays… because I knew I wanted to go into the financial sector. I thought it would be stable, but I also knew I’d be able to help people. I joined the Post Office to get some relevant experience, and then joined the bank as an apprentice. It’s been nearly seven years now and I still really value the opportunities I have to help people manage their money.
The crisis has happened, so how do I protect my family and help my customers?
Money Mentor at Barclays UK
My proudest moment at work… was when I won the Moment Banker of the Year Award in 2019 – a Barclays award from our regional manager. It was really touching to get that recognition, especially as I was quite new to the area. I think that was one of my proudest moments, for me and my parents.
The most difficult part of my job is… when you can’t help a customer. There are certain things that are beyond your control, for example if a customer buys a house, makes the payment, and then something happens and they have to pull out. That feeling of helplessness and frustration is hard because you make an emotional connection with your customers.
The thing I love most about my job is… the freedom Barclays gives you. I am able to be my natural self while supporting customers. I get such a kick out of helping people each day, understanding what they need and identifying a way to support them.
If I wasn’t working at Barclays… I’d be training to be a lawyer. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but just couldn’t because of my financial circumstances.
When I get home from work… I spend some time with my family or go for a drive. I love my car and I find driving therapeutic. Me and my friends have a catch up while driving along the River Thames and into Knightsbridge – we love seeing all the international cars.