Updated: Apr 6, 2022
Often in my life the best place to start is by the sea. Having grown up next to the sea it's always been an important part of my life.....although I'm now landlocked I still love going back to my hometown to be by the coast.
While I loved the sea I left it to study just three weeks after turning 18. I wasn't the best academic - what I did love about university life was all the people. I learnt so much from everything around the learning which I believe set me up for life. So much diversity, so many interesting characters and every single person with an interesting story.
Little did I know that would be a theme throughout my career in the world of customer service.
My first job after university was in a call centre - definitely not a contact centre. Three hours training and straight on the phones - I still feel so sorry for all the people I spoke to in those first few days and weeks - I can't imagine they had a great experience while I learnt the ropes! That said, I was in my element interacting with, working with and talking to people who all had interesting stories - I was hooked and have been working in and around customer service ever since.
Over the past 25 years I've been lucky enough to collaborate with amazing people working for equally amazing brands; from the Virgin tribe shaking up the UK mobile market, to the UK’s financial regulator as well as iconic brands such as the BBC, the NHS and Which? - the consumer association. I loved supporting them, and in return they all taught me something. As with any service environment I've always been impressed by people focused on delivering a great service experience, no matter what is thrown their way - such resilience.
For the past five years I've been the Member Services Director at Pure Planet - Great Britain's first digital-only domestic energy supplier. It’s been the best five years of my working life. A true joy. I joined before we went live and was trusted with a blank piece of paper for all of the operational teams (service, operations, complaints, collections plus others). Designing the digital service experiences was fantastic and well as defining the culture and how we drove continual improvement - and winning awards for the experiences we delivered in service, the community and collections was an amazing achievement for such a young company.
As a result of the widely reported challenges with the domestic energy market Pure Planet very sadly went into administration - a true tragedy as we were onto something so good in so many ways: enabling consumers to choose renewable energy at affordable rates, challenging the status quo and delivering a 100% digital service through our app, website and online community - not to mention our small army of highly effective bots, our automation and our chat service.
So what next? Well, I've decided to share the experiences I've had over the past 25 years with others. If you want help to shape your digital strategy, build a culture that drives retention and employee satisfaction or improve the consumer experience I'm right there.
In future blogs I'll talk more about service strategy, building service cultures and performance improvement. In the meantime I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if you want to know more you can always contact me - email@example.com
Let’s speak soon.