EDMOND, OKLAHOMA — Hers is the human voice at the other end of the line.
“Thank you for calling Citizens Bank,” comes through with an effortless lilt.
That sincere ‘thank you’ belongs to Eullene Kiespert.
She is a lifeline to the bottom line at Citizens Bank of Edmond, with a voice that sounds like she’s always smiling.
Between calls Eullene told us, “I’ve had customers say, ‘my gosh. you always sound so happy,”
Eullene took the phone operator job at Citizens Bank 15 years ago, after nearly 40 years of experience in Edmond banking.
She learned the importance of good manners early on.
Her opinion on what sets any business apart rests on courtesy. “Anybody can cash a check or make a deposit,” she said.
It’s a little slow on a cold weekday, not lile some days when the call numbers go over 300 before quitting time.
Still, there’s plenty to keep her busy: reports, address verifications, and a continued devotion to another voice belonging to the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis Presley.
“Oh gosh, yes,” agrees Eullene, who has several pictures and mementos from her life as an Elvis fan around her work cubicle.
But when the phone rings, Kiespert has one job.
“My job is to have them smiling before you hang up the phone,” she says. “I want to give them a warm, fuzzy feeling.”
A few years back Eullene got an award for her customer service.
Long before that, bank executives like Jill Castilla knew what kind of a valuable asset a friendly voice could be.
“She’s part of our brand,” says Castilla. “In many ways, she is our brand.”
Eullene could have retired years ago like her husband but she enjoys working here.
She likes the callers, even if it’s a wrong number.
Kiespert recalls one caller who, “I barely said hello and he started balling me out. ‘I haven’t got my airline tickets yet.’ I laughed and said, ‘excuse me sir?’”
The bank brought in new computers and a new phone system but they didn’t prove a problem for Eullene.
For her, the job didn’t change.
Being that friendly voice hasn’t ever been a problem.
Eullene Kiespert got her first banking job in Edmond in 1962.
She works out of the Citizens Bank branch at 1st and Broadway in downtown Edmond.