A role of a leader is vital in promoting a positive and supportive work environment which eventually forms the founding pillars of every successful business. A homely working environment not only boosts employees’ productivity but also contributes to client and customer retention. Such an impactful work ambiance is especially important for sectors such as finance and banking, where customers hold the prioritized designation.
According to Amy Buynoski (Mortgage Banker), South State Bank has achieved all of the above aspects of providing a cheerful work ambiance. With almost 20 years of success in the mortgage industry, she is a top producing loan officer and a source of strength for homeowners purchasing a new home. Essentially, her customer-first approach has earned her several accolades and positive feedbacks within the finance industry. She ensures her clients are comfortable and informed through the mortgage process and is always available to listen and answer any questions. Amy understands the daunting and celebratory nature of home buying. Hence, it is vital to her that the process goes well and in a swift manner.
Harboring Customer-First Approach
Amy and her team joined the South State in 2019. From the very beginning, they have received tremendous support from South State and have successfully cultivated a homely atmosphere for the clients. The most vital aspect of South State is its characteristic of not treating customers like an application. Upholding a customer-centric approach, Amy believes it is important to be with a company that is as ‘supportive and cares about their experience’ as much as her team and herself.
Encompassing Challenging Times
With the dramatic unfolding of COVID-19, the entire Financial Services industry underwent disruptions on global levels. However, it allowed banks such as the South State to provide its clients with a more efficient experience through improved technology. The bank thrived in the evolving face-to-face aspect of the Financial Services industry with its exceptional technology features and personalized customer services to each client.
The current scenario requires clients to feel a more personal connection to their financial institutions, and South State takes pride in its ability to provide that in its every aspect. Since Amy and her team had to adjust their loan doing processes due to the impact of COVID, they were supported and provided the best tools to end 2020 on a great note. South State provided them with all the required tools to continue with their work. Amy and her team found ways to communicate without being in the same office as other staff. She kept open communication with everyone through zoom, teams, and the good old fashion telephone. They also remained competitive with rates by following the market and keeping up with the day-to-day news.
Positive Work Culture Cultivation
Amy believes that positive work culture is imperative. She tries to help each other stay positive during challenging days. With motivational signs and sayings throughout the office, Amy ensures open communication. This positive culture is further passed on to each client in every interaction to show they are just as valued and are a member of the team themselves. South State has implemented great mutual respect and admiration for each team member and their role on the team.
“When clients come to our office the first thing most people say is how they feel at home,” remarks Amy. She further adds it is important for each team member to know they are valued, and they will share that value with those clients, and partners, that they connect with during the workday.
Along with working at the bank, Amy resides in the community and volunteers her time and resources to help strengthen the community outside of South State Bank. She also enjoys volunteering at her daughter’s school and coaching their cheer team.
Simultaneously, Amy also focuses on uplifting the internal community of her office. South State conducts various down payment assistance programs to help first-time homebuyers, especially in the city limits of Atlanta. Additionally, Amy envisions to conduct classes for first-time homebuyers and for people thinking of purchasing a home.
Envisioning Vast Growth
In the next five years, Amy envisions South State growing and becoming well known throughout the region. The bank is constantly looking for the next direction in how to better it.
“I am excited about South State’s future. The Financial Services industry is growing more complex and more competitive with each passing day, and South State is striving to leave their mark for the long-term in this industry,” expresses Amy. She feels excited to be a part of a great institution like South State and knows the best is yet to come for the bank, its team, and its community.
Amy’s Candid Views of Women Business Leadership
According to you, how welcoming is the Finance Services industry for women business leaders?
It can be challenging to be a successful woman in what is still considered to be a male-dominated business. You will get knocked down and people will try to run over you. My advice to women is to dust yourself off, stand up tall, and don’t give up. If someone tells you no, do your own research and don’t take the first few no’s. Remember who you are and don’t let anyone change you. If you feel strongly about something that is in the best interest of your client, stick with that feeling and keep pushing forward.
What would you like to convey to those women who are aspiring to seek a career in the industry? For any woman looking to enter the Financial Services industry, I would highly recommend that opportunity for long-term personal and professional growth. Throughout my career in this industry, I have experienced growth in both aspects of my life and will cherish those rewards and memories long after the next generation of young professional women have entered the workforce. I would tell them if they have a dream, they can achieve it.
Also Read: The 10 Revolutionary Women in Finance, 2023