Customer Service Advisor - Christine

How long have you been a Customer Service advisor?

16 months

What did you do before you became a Customer Service advisor?

I was a Customer Service advisor for 12 years with a different company. Before that I did 20 years at Empire Stores on fast phones taking customer orders so I have a lot of Customer Service experience. After finishing school I initially joined the Police Force but found Customer Service to be a better fit for me.

What attracted you to join the company?

I was made redundant from my last role and really wanted to continue working in customer service, so I when I saw the job here I applied even though it was initially temporary because it sounded like something I'd be good at and that I would enjoy. I was 56 so felt like I was out on a bit of a limb but I got taken on and then they asked me to stay permanently.

What does an 'average' day look like for you?

It's a mix of things from the start really. You'll be dealing with calls from lots of different people so you have to deal with the different problems in the right way and help as much as possible. The most calls I've done in a day is 99 which is a lot but I'd sooner be very busy than twiddling my thumbs. Some calls are very short, maybe only 3 minutes or so but some might take 25 minutes or more. You're dealing with each specific query at a time so you need to be able to adjust. I try to make everyone feel as important as I would want to be made to feel which I think is the key.

What's the best thing about being a Customer Service Advisor?

I love it when a customer will end a call by saying "You've really helped me". I do try and treat people how I would wish to be treated and I find it so rewarding knowing that I've helped somebody. People are good at saying thank you and are really nice on the whole. Even people who might not be in the best mood when you start the call, if you keep calm and are helpful half the time they're lovely by the end.

What's the biggest challenge you face in the role?

Initially, learning everything is a bit challenging as there seems to be a lot to take on all at once. When you know what you're doing it's a doddle and you can get on with it. We've recently changed our systems so it's a lot more simple and straightforward so that will help I think. It's a learning curve to start with which is always tricky but once you know the systems you can give people the help they need and it's much better.

Can you list 3 qualities that you think are important to succeed as a Customer Service Advisor?

  • Good listener - helping is impossible if you don't listen to the problem.
  • Empathetic - but also know where to draw the line.
  • You need to be a bit thick skinned, as you do in any Customer Service role. Most of the time customers are lovely but you'll get the odd difficult call - just remember not to take it personally.