From pub landlord to expert analyst
I had run pubs since leaving college and ended up owning and running my own. Ultimately, I ended up selling that business. Which meant I had to find myself a new job.
M&S were advertising in the local paper for customer advisers. What intrigued me was they were looking for people with hospitality service experience. So I took up a temporary contract, answering phones over Christmas in the contact centre in Chester. I discovered that I really enjoyed it, so when I was asked to stay on I was more than happy to.
Since then I have worked on lots of different teams. Every time I was asked if I wanted to try something new, I would say yes. It was a great way to get a wide knowledge of the contact centre. I then started to look at what else I could do. My manager at the time was great at helping identify what roles were available and the best way of getting that role. I progressed from being an adviser, to being a coach, then a senior adviser and now my current role of analyst.
My current job is to analyse why our customers contact us and what they are saying. Our contact centres handle 11 million contacts a year and there are all sorts of reasons for these contacts. People often assume customer services is just about complaints, but most customers just want to find that dress they have seen in the paper or want to know when the next Dine In is on.
I use hi-tech voice and text recognition systems to analyse these contacts and provide insight to different areas of the business. As an example, the food team might like to know how customers are reacting to our Dine In and other food offers.
Our customers are the best source of what we are doing right and what we can do better. By being able to listen to what they are saying is invaluable to the different areas of the business.
The impressive thing is how cutting edge we are with the technology we use. The speech analytics is a new area, but M&S has been one of the first companies in the UK to use this technology.
For me it’s been great to take something new and untested, that M&S were confident enough to spend a lot of money on. They gave it to me and my team to play with. Now we’re getting great insight from it, learning new technical skills for ourselves and providing the ways to make real change across the business.
If you’re flexible and adaptable and willing to challenge the norm, this is an exceptional place to be. To explore opportunities in our Chester contact centre, click here.