So lets hear from Amber Thompson who alongside her colleague Nic, is based in our Keswick office
Amber, how long have you worked for Lakelovers and what attracted you to the role?
I have been working here for nearly 12 months, I started in August 2016. I applied for the job because I enjoy working in Customer Services. I have done similar roles before. I live locally and it is a lovely office to work in.
In one sentence how would you describe your role?
To help guests at all stages of their holiday. I can be involved in simply answering a straightforward query for a potential guest to helping resolve a complex situation for an existing guest.
Describe a typical day for you?
- The first 30 minutes are spent in a Skype meeting with our colleagues in Windermere. Nic and I are based full time in Keswick so it’s a useful opportunity to speak face to face with colleagues and share important information. It’s a brilliant start to the day when we can spend quality time ensuring we understand what we’re all working on.
- Throughout the day we do keep in touch and we speak whenever we need to but essentially I know what I need to do. We have what we call agenda jobs where a mix of administrative tasks and project work is divided up between our team. This really helps as we all know what we need to focus on and it goes a long way to ensure that nothing is overlooked.
- Typically I will answer about 45 calls a day sometimes more. These can be a mix of all sorts including bookings. The work is so varied; it can be surprising the background work that goes into ensuring that bookings run smoothly. I think that we are pro-active. We like to think ahead so we will check bookings over a period of time to make sure everything is in place.
Describe some of your most challenging situations and how do you and your colleagues go about dealing with it?
- I would say the hardest situations to deal with can be when guests ring up and they are extremely upset. They can be upset for a variety of reasons. If people have travelled a long way and arrived at a property and they don’t like it this can be very hard to work through.
- Sometimes properties are simply not suitable, say for instance recently a guest booked a property that has 3 flights of stairs and this was not going to work for the clients, who had limited mobility.
So how do you deal with these situations?
- I really try to listen and keep calm. The most important thing for me is to try and help the guest. And the best way for me to do that is by not reacting, ask the right, questions and help the guest work out what is going to put things right for them.
- I try not to get into right or wrong when someone is upset as this does not always help. If I can calm the guest down and help them think clearly, we can then discuss things in a logical manner
- We may need to contact owners to find a solution. We are mindful that we are balancing the needs of holiday makers and owners. We want the best for all concerned and we never overlook the importance of that. Often when we contact owners we are trying to get an owners perspective, we know all owners are different and some can feel very differently about a situation. Each situation is different and we take each situation on a case by case as inevitably different solutions work for different people
- We try to keep our contact friendly and efficient. I would like to think we manage to do that.
That sounds challenging.
Yes, my role is challenging and its part of the job. I have lots of support and my Office Supervisor and other colleagues are always on hand to help and advise and step in if need be.
What do you most like about the job?
The variety. Each day is different and I am always learning something new. There is never a dull moment and my colleagues are brilliant. I really enjoy my job. Being based in Keswick is great but I also enjoy being part of a bigger team in Windermere. Lakelovers are a very understanding and flexible employer. I am taking a few weeks off in November to get involved in some charity work overseas. You may hear more about this over the coming months and we’ll be letting you know what I am doing nearer the time.
What’s the most frustrating part of your job?
Guests will often press for answers straightaway. If my team can’t speak to owners within what the guest perceives to be a reasonable window of time it can inflame situations.
How do you think owners could help you and the holidaymaker?
We will always deal with things directly if we can but we sometimes do need to hear back from Owners to help clarify things and give the go ahead for us to offer alternatives or a quick answer to a dilemma. We want to do the best for owners and often the quicker we hear back from owners the better. That would really help a lot.
You sound very professional in your approach.
I think all the Sales and Customer services team are. We know how important it is to get things right and we want guests to come back year after year. Out team is always getting good feedback so we know we’re getting a lot right.
Amber thank you for a sharing a day in the life of a sales of Customer services advisor with us…