After spending 10 years working in the banking sector as a customer service and collections manager, the time was right for me to take that leap of faith to put my skills to use and find a new role. I came across a role at Ipserv as a customer service manager which after researching the company online was of real interest to me. During the interview process, it was clear that values such as teamwork, quality and being innovating stood out as real focus areas for the business from the interviews. This was amazing to see from a candidate perspective as it showed me that the employees at Ipserv embed the values the company was striving for. It is one thing for a company to provide corporate values on a website, but a completely different kettle of fish to be able to filter these values into the employees thinking, in, everyday working life. Seeing the passion embedded into the interviews, excited me as I am an individual who enjoys collaborating with different members of the organisation to come up with innovative ways to improve service from a customer service point of view or productivity.
On my first day of joining Ipserv, I was provided with a clear training plan to bring me up to speed with the various elements of my job role. I particularly enjoyed completing a course on Private Land Parking Administration, which provided me with an extensive understanding of the various parking laws, the principles of parking enforcement and complaint handling techniques. Now I have settled into the role, KPI targets have been set, to ensure I have clear focus and guidance on what is the key objectives for myself and my team in the coming year. Having this clear detailed plan ensures there are no hidden surprises and made the challenge of starting a new role much less stressful or worrying.
I have now been in the role for just over two months and I am still enjoying that feeling of learning new tasks and testing myself by being removed from my comfort blanket. What I have learned is that although banking and facilities management are two very different sectors, there are transferable skills and experiences that you will take with you in every role, so a key message is don’t be daunted by making a change, as long as you have the willingness to learn and listen, I feel everyone can be successful.
Looking back on my time so far with Ipserv I would provide any new starter with these simple tips;
1) Connect with people
When you’re starting out as the new person in the company, be yourself. Don’t put on an act. I wanted to come across as approachable and friendly. To do this I booked in meet & greet sessions with the teams so that I would start on the right foot with each of the individuals I would be working with. This allowed me and the individual to share skills, knowledge and expertise, building up confidence with one another. Connecting with people is a two-way responsibility.
2) Be prepared
Having applied to work for Ipserv, you probably know a good amount about the business anyway, but it often helps to do some more homework. For me, it was key for my understanding to learn the history of the company and how it is growing and what new sectors it is looking to branch out to in the future.
3) Focus on your goals
Like all employees, I am very eager to impress in my new role. What I have learnt is don’t set yourself unrealistic goals about how much you’re going to achieve in the first few months. Having large objectives in the back of your head is important but it is just as important to give yourself short term personal goals which are achievable and that you know will make a difference to the organisation.
4) Ask the right questions
Ask ask ask is my motto. Every day I spend 5 minutes at the end of my day mulling over the day that has just gone, thinking about the tasks I have done and what is on my schedule for tomorrow. To ensure that I continue to grow and learn, the following day I ensure to tick off any outstanding questions that I thought of the previous evening. What I have found is that asking questions to people has shown people a vulnerability which they have appreciated. I haven’t just guessed and muddled through and got it wrong, instead, I have taken the time to learn and listen. In my view, this has helped me already to build strong working relationships with my team members, my manager and colleagues within the business.
In my next blog, I will keep you updated on my progress in the customer service manager role and also discuss technology within customer service.
Thomas Goddard – Customer Service Manager