Jasmine, on building a career in customer care at Experian
Jasmine, Senior Customer Care Representative, talks us through her role helping Experian’s Credit Expert and Credit Matcher customers and her ambitions for the future.
What has your career journey been at Experian?
I started in 2015 as an agent in customer service retentions and quickly progressed to a Senior Customer Care Representative role. I'm currently working towards becoming an Assistant Manager.
How is the team made up?
There are two core agents, with a senior agent. Each team has got their own managers, and then it’s the department managers.
What does a typical day look like?
My day varies because we’re on an 11-week rota, which regularly revolves. I could be on the 8:00 to 16:30 shift, or a 10:45 to 19:15 shift. As a senior, I try to be as flexible as possible. So I don't mind staying behind for a little bit if an agent in my team needs extra help. We do have overtime occasionally if agents want to work it.
The calls we get in are never the same because everybody’s individual and everyone’s cases are individual to them. So we've got to tailor our calls to each individual by bringing up their credit report, going through that with them, helping them understand it and explaining any alerts they may have received.
We dispute data on customers’ behalf, raise electoral queries and raise victim-of-fraud logs, which we then send on to the fraud team.
What do you like about the role?
I like the variety. It’s very fast-paced. The time between calls could be 10 seconds or it could be five minutes. It depends how the calls come through. But what's nice is that throughout the day you can see how many calls come through, so you can keep track of how many calls were in the queue at that particular time.
We’ve got a target to reach, but there’s no target for how many calls to take in a day. A call might take five minutes or it might take an hour. It depends on that customer's needs at the time. So, it’s a case of taking your time and serving that customer the best you can. We have non-talk time targets, so we try and make sure that we keep a conversation throughout the call, so it’s more relatable and personable to them.
And I like the social aspect of working here; because there are so many people, you’re meeting new people all the time. We hold a lot of social activities and team-building activities, I tend to organise a few things like that, especially when new people come onto the team.
Do you get to see customer feedback?
Yes, a feedback email gets sent out to customers, then they give scores on whether the customer enjoyed the service we provided on the telephone, and whether they enjoyed the service that was provided by the company in general. We’ve even had customers emailing in specifically to give feedback for individual agents as well, which is great.
And what sort of training and development do you get?
Training is always evolving. When I started, we had three months of launch pad training, so you have classroom training and then you have the launch-pad phase, where you’re on the phone but you have an agent like me to support you, listen in and give prompts if you get stuck. So you’re not just thrown onto the phone.
We tend to train bit-by-bit so people are comfortable with the information we're giving them before they move on to the next bit. So they have knowledge that makes them valuable to the department before they even start taking calls.
There are always opportunities to move and space to grow if that’s what you want. I think we're good at finding what works best for you. We have monthly one-to-ones with our managers. My manager always puts an extra half an hour in to do personal development plans for each of his agents as well. I’m asked how I feel I’m doing at the moment, what I want to progress with now, what I’d like to progress to in the future. Having that in place on a monthly basis means you’re continually working towards a target.
I don’t just speak to my own manager, I speak to the managers of other departments as well to find out how they progressed and what they think will be best for me. I'm looking to do the trainer's training course because I think that would help me with my coaching and potentially going into the training team in the future.
If you show the commitment, the want and the drive, the help is there for you. However, in the same way, if you just want to come into work, do your job, and go home you have the freedom to just do that as well.
What are the key skills or traits you need?
There’s so many different personalities here. I don’t think you have to be any particular type of person. You just have to be able to show empathy to customers because you never know what's going on in their lives.
My team is a real mix of personalities. It feels a bit like a family. We all have a laugh with each other and it just makes the day go a lot faster when you can do that with your team.
What’s good about the office?
The office location is great for me because it is in Nottingham town centre so you can just nip down the road and get things done that you wouldn't normally be able to. The canteen is also really good.
The culture is very professional, but also like a family. We all look after each other and nobody comes in thinking they’re on their own. It's always daunting when you start a new job but here you have so much support around you. Everybody's willing to help, which is really nice. I've never had that in any other company I’ve worked.
And what benefits do you get?
We have Experian Extras, which give you discounts on things like cinema tickets. The bus pass scheme where Experian give you the lump sum for the year before tax. The dental scheme. A health scheme. There’s also a confidential counselling line if you ever need it.
Why would you recommend working at Experian?
I’m very glad I made the move over to Experian. It's given me the freedom to develop myself and skills I didn't know I actually had. You feel comfortable when you're here. I like the professional aspect of thingbut it's very relaxed, friendly and approachable. You’ve just got to really want to help. As long as you're willing to help, you want to learn and you want to support one another, it's a perfect place to work.
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