Learn why we have changed the job title of our admin support from ‘Client Service Representative’ to ‘Financial Planning Assistant’

For most, job titles are like emblems of power and authority. It is our second label, next to our name, that we wear with either pride or indignity.  It is a mistake when some employers say that a job title doesn’t matter. It does matter. Maybe not for a company’s internal environment, but externally, (i.e. potential career opportunities and societal recognition) this takes a huge impact in one’s position.

Recently, a VBP employee raised the concern of the job title we had given our team members through our Suggestion Box—an online form where all employees can anonymously submit concerns and suggestions for the purpose of improving the company and employee welfare. They wrote:

“Hi, I would like to suggest to change our name from Client Services Representative to ‘Financial Planning Associate or Assistant’…anything other than CSR.

You see when I share my job position with other people, they would automatically think I’m a call center agent as CSR is a common title in call centres. We are proud of the work we do and we feel that it is so much more than being a call centre agent.  By changing the name, you will actually boost employee morale. Many employees feel the same way about this, and since the business is growing, it’s high time for VBP to build our own strong brand—not associating us with anything like being a call centre company.

We want to attract people for the right position, and I believe changing our titles can make a huge difference. Hope DC and DD will read this or the management. Thank you so much.”

Here in the Philippines, being a CSR is often regarded to as a customer service representative, similarly, a call center agent. Being a call center agent is not really highly regarded and oftentimes even stereotyped as a no-brainer job.

Charmaine, VBP’s Head of People and Culture (HR), agreed to this change. According to her, having the appropriate job title gives us more leverage when presenting ourselves and communicating with others. Cha also added the following points:

  • It speaks of our knowledge, expertise and success;
  • Boosts employee motivation;
  • Differentiates VBP from other companies. We are not call center agents;
  • It may make it easier to apply for loans as banks are more inclined to approve loans since we are in the financial planning industry;
  • ‘Financial Planning Assistant’ title describes our roles or responsibilities way better than what a ‘client service representative’ title does.

Using the Financial Planning Assistant title reflects the actual nature of our business—a back office solution specialising in financial planning services. It takes extensive training, and the range of responsibilities is not a piece of cake. So acknowledging our staff’s skills and expertise by giving them the right job title is just fitting.

And as much as we value our company’s branding, we also value feedback from our employees. We listen to their sentiments and encourage them to continue living one of our core values: