My ‘New Normal’ During COVID-19 - Pauline Bryon, Customer Services Manager

Hi, I'm Pauline Bryon and I'm the Customer Services Manager at Energy Assets.

As Customer Services Manager, my role is to head up the Customer Service Team based in Darwen. I have a great team of people working alongside me and collectively we provide a one stop shop for all our customers championing the resolution of all enquiries, liaising with all parts of the business to ensure the customers receive a timely resolution to their enquiry, every customer journey into the company starts with us and we own the full end to end customer lifecycle. 

My Role

My role can range from an individual customer chasing up an appointment date, to one of our larger suppliers enquiring about the roll out of a specific installation programme along with a whole plethora of enquiries about data and metering and invoicing.

We also have a very close working relationship with all of our Account Managers providing support and reporting to help build a strong relationship with all our customers, sometimes accompanying them to onsite meetings with Suppliers and Customers.

It only seems like yesterday when I joined the company, but it’s actually been 13 years. Since that day all those years ago I have been fortunate enough to see my role change in twists and turns and can honestly say that no day has been the same - more so now as we experience such unprecedented times.

Life during a Global Pandemic

Life in lockdown consists of working with my team to ensure the day to day work continues. I feel now, more than ever, the need to ensure that the wellbeing of my team is closely guarded. With the support of my Team Leaders we host virtual coffee breaks each week which allows us to take 15 minutes out of our busy day to catch up and keep the team engaged.

We usually host games such as virtual bingo, ‘though the key hole’ or a trivia quiz. The one good thing to come out of the ‘work from home’ change is the opportunity to find out more about my team on a more personal level. I feel honoured that they have welcomed me ‘virtually’ into their homes and have been introduced to their families, as some of the younger ones even join in on our coffee breaks.

My Challenges and Motivations

It can be challenging to stay focused when you are working alone at home, but with a great team behind me and the support we have put in place for one another it is something that I am thoroughly enjoying. Although I must admit I can’t wait to get back into the office and start to complain about the commute into work each day!

I’m quite a determined person who always needs a plan to work to, so the one thing I have made sure  of whilst home working is to maintain my routine. I start the day with an early alarm and take my dogs out for a good long walk, then get ready for work as usual, the commute to my ‘office’ only takes 2 minutes from the kitchen, so I have been treating myself to a more leisurely breakfast. Once logged on, the working day starts and has now fallen into a familiar routine with a lot more conference calls.

It’s important to remember to move. When we are in the office we will all be moving about as we discuss work with colleagues, now it’s all done on a call. So, with my fit-bit to remind me, once an hour I make sure I move away from my desk and run downstairs and back again. It’s helping me maintain my personal target of at least 10,000 steps per day! With this in mind I have also encouraged my team to do the same, in fact one of our group calls was a team exercise session to ‘baby shark’.

Lockdown Lessons

The good thing to come out of our changed lifestyle is the opportunity to reflect on what’s important to us, both personally and professionally. On a personal level I will value my freedom much more and will thoroughly embrace any opportunity to travel and, more importantly, spend as much time as possible with family and friends who I have missed so much. I have also got to know my neighbours a little better and am enjoying a social distance get together on a Saturday evening.

On a professional level, I am now questioning what the value is to both the customer and business of every activity we do more so than I did before. I often ask myself; is the task essential? What is the impact if the activity not undertaken? Can any waste be taken out of the process? I think everyone in my department, myself included, will leave lockdown with quite a few new lessons being learned about our roles. 

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