17 April, 2018

Putting people first

Lucy is a Team Leader in the M&S HR Shared Services team. She guides a team of advisors in the contact centre to tackle HR queries from all M&S employees, applicants and retirees, ensuring they’re provided with consistent advice, guidance and excellent customer service at all times.

“I’ve recently joined HRSS in Salford Quays to manage one of the contact centre teams. I’ve only been here for a few weeks so far, but I’m already really enjoying the role and have lots of ideas on how to bring my previous experience working in Customer Services to life.”

Starting at M&S when she was just 16 – Lucy has worked across many areas of the business. She’s worked as a part-time Section Manager while studying at university after passing the Trainee Section Management Programme at just 18 years old. She’s been in Customer Service, building a rapport with a range of M&S customers. And she’s had the backing of her Line Managers the whole way. Ten years on, she’s an inspirational manager, supporting a team that listens to her advice.

“I really want my team to feel they can come to me with anything they need support with ¬– work related or personal,” says Lucy. “I therefore, commit to ‘Team Time’ in my team’s outlook calendar, so they know exactly when I’ll be at my desk if they have anything they want to talk to me about.”

Customers are important to Lucy. And there are a few things that surprise people about the work Lucy does – from when she was in Customer Service, to now. “What people outside M&S don’t necessarily know about my job is the planning and focus that goes into answering calls from our customers as soon as possible. It’s a real priority to ensure we don’t keep our customers across the whole business waiting in a call queue for long.”

And that kind of caring attitude and innovative way of working runs through all of M&S and their entire heritage. It’s something Lucy loves about the brand: the little things they consider. “Recently I learnt that bras used to be one size fits all and it was M&S that first brought out different sizes for bras, something we totally take for granted these days!”

“A recent moment that was really special for me was from when the Spend It Well campaign came out and we received a really touching letter from a customer aged 59. She had lived a wonderful life with her husband and after 35 years of marriage he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She admitted that since he moved to a nursing home she’d not properly lived. Our advert really hit home for her. She wrote to us, thanking us for the powerful message and to tell us she’d had her hair done, bought lots of new clothes from M&S and is officially back in the land of the living! She had us all in tears!”

For Lucy, working at M&S is about hard work and having the motivation to drive your own ambitions. “You can’t sit back and wait for the perfect role; you need to work hard, take every opportunity you can to learn and develop, and have a continuous, up-to-date development plan.”

Inside M&S