Our Mail Order and Customer Services Manager, Paula, started with Cotswold Collections 15 years ago as a part-time customer services operator when she had two young sons at home. Today, she oversees the operations of the department and says that “no two days are ever the same! They are as individual and unique as the customers that call”.
Supporting her in the day-to-day running is her Assistant Mail Order Manager, Natalie and Assistant Customer Service Manager, Sharman as well as a loyal, helpful and diligent team of 18. First thing in the morning, after grabbing a cup of coffee, Paula ensures that all the team members of the day have arrived and are organised for the expected days calls.
Once everyone is happy and settled, Paula then begins her days tasks, including responding to any emails as well as reviewing the previous days sales to see if we have reached the daily target. Although each day is never the same as the last, Paula has a variety of tasks to undertake; from creating and managing ever changing rota’s, overseeing department operations, reviewing timesheets, liaising with all other departments, training on new system procedures, responding to enquiries and queries, and of course, answering incoming calls.
Each member of the team also has their own individual tasks along with answering calls and these can include: responding to customer emails, requesting catalogues and arranging postage of them, processing returns and exchanges including the paperwork as well as requesting alterations and organising shipments of customer orders.
Paula says “within each role here you have to be adaptable and versatile as each day brings new challenges and you can have requests of any sort arise at any moment. Every phone call can bring a different challenge to an operator, they need to have the ability to respond and adapt effectively and efficiently. Having good, reliable product knowledge and being up-to-date on product availability is vital to the smooth running of the department”.
In customer services, as the first point of contact for many of our customers, the philosophy is ‘a smile within a voice’. This means providing friendly and welcoming first-class customer service to every individual. Whether they’ve been purchasing from Cotswold Collections for many years, or if they’re a first-time customer. Paula says “we want everyone to feel happy, confident and assured during every call. It’s important to us to identify with customers to provide a personal service and we pride ourselves on our fast response time, so our valued customers aren’t kept waiting even on our busy sale days! I’m very lucky to have such a brilliant team that are lovely, diligent and believe in our ethos”.
The department has recently experienced exciting new challenges as Cotswold Collections has launched in America. Changes have included the growth of the team to include staff who work remotely in order to accommodate the time difference. “This has posed lively challenges for us as a whole and it’s incredibly exciting to be part of a new venture” says Paula.
When asked what the best part of her role here is at Cotswold Collections, Paula responded “simply, it’s the customer. They are at the heart of what we do in every department. I love being one of the first points of contact for our lovely ladies and speaking to the vast range of customers we have. I always enjoy being able to sort out any concern for them efficiently and promptly too”.
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