Meryl Livingstone

"My day can change like the wind! I would like to plan what I will do each day, but with one phone call it can all change."

Job Title: Aftercare Team Leader

Employer: Story Homes Limited

Job: Customer Service Operative / Co-ordinator / Supervisor

About my job

What does your department do?

My department is the final cog in the wheel following the sale completion of a property. The department fields all customer queries after the sale. This can be anything from reporting defects, which we then organise the relevant trades to attend, and follow through to resolution, to giving advice on maintenance or on subjects such as using appliances and heating. The team is here to help in any way we can and we supply answers and solutions where possible.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

My day can change like the wind! I would like to plan what I will do each day, but with one phone call it can all change.

I mainly deal with incoming queries to the department via phone and email and then arrange attendance by the various trades of relevant Site Managers, and hopefully get any issues resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible for the customer

What do you like about what you do?

There are many aspects of my job I enjoy, but mainly building relationships with both the customers and contractors. I have always been a people person and enjoy talking to people across the scale. It makes my job a lot more enjoyable when the situation allows it, to be relaxed in conversation; I feel it also makes it feel a lot more personal to the customer or contractor.

I also enjoy the problem solving side of the job. I love the opportunity to receive an obscure problem and find a resolution to it and see the end result, where everyone is happy, and it gives me an overwhelming sense of satisfaction.

Why did you choose this career?

I think this career chose me! In previous positions I have always been pulled into the Customer Service side of the business, and when I realised I had a talent for problem solving and dealing with customers in all mediums, I took the bull by the horns and embraced my destined career path, a decision I have not regretted.

What qualifications did you need to get this job?

I don’t think there are any required qualifications needed to be involved in Customer Service; what is essential though is good communication skills, empathy, understanding, the ability to prioritise, and good problem solving skills.

I would also say patience would be an advantage and the ability to take the time to listen, sit back and evaluate a situation and take time to find the best solution.

Is there any particular advice you would give to someone looking for a career in your area of work?

I would advise anyone interested in Customer Service to jump in with both feet; it’s a very hand’s on area, not one that can be watched from the side lines. Your communication skills will develop the more you use them.

Be prepared to listen, really listen though! I’ve found this is one of the most important skills I posses and it makes all the difference to someone when they realise that you are listening to them and taking in all that they are telling you, rather than just going through the motions.

Questions & Answers

What hobbies or interests do you have?

I enjoy fell walking and trying out the long distance trails.

What’s your favourite type of music?

I have a wide love of music, and love anything I can sing out loud to, within the car.

What’s your favourite film / film genre?

I like most films as long as there’s a good story; my favourite is a bit of a strange one ‘Convoy’, might explain why I married a Wagon driver.

Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?

Anywhere that’s isolated with amazing views.