Case study

Customer service manager — Andrew Rapley

Customer service often requires learning just as much about your customers' businesses as it does about understanding the one you work in. Andrew shares some advice from his work with Corporate Rewards

What's a typical day like?

I liaise with my clients, ensuring they're happy with the service that we provide and keep them up to date on all aspects of their project.

I deal with any client questions about projects and fulfil reporting requests. I also allocate work to the teams internally, making sure that everyone has the capacity to complete work assigned to them on a day-to-day basis. I handle all financial information for the client, keeping everything accurate and up to date.

Then there's the time that we spend with clients either on the phone or at their offices, which gives us a greater understanding of their business needs and objectives. Finally, we do a lot of strategy reviews with the client to ensure we are delivering what they need and are aligned with their objectives.

How has the role developed?

When I first started I was put onto one big project. Now, after working here for one and half years, I handle many projects at once. I have been given training in many different aspects since joining, including project management and Microsoft Excel. My team has grown steadily and being part of that team has been fantastic.

Be hungry, willing to learn and willing to take on new opportunities

What do you enjoy about the job?

I like the sense of satisfaction gained from delivering a quality product or overachieving on a client's business objectives. It really gives you a boost to know that your work is having a positive effect on their business.

I love problem solving and troubleshooting, along with personally meeting the client and developing a relationship that strengthens the bond between our company and the businesses we work with.

What are the challenges?

One of the toughest tasks is explaining what we do if a client has minimal experience of our industry. There is a lot of jargon, which we try to avoid using, along with points being attributed to financial value. Users face similar challenges to this, but we always endeavour to answer any questions in a clear and concise way, being as helpful as we can to ensure everyone is aligned with what we offer and what we can deliver.

As a digital client services manager at Corporate Rewards, you have to wear many hats and make sure each client you own has an equal amount of love put towards their projects. This is challenging, as it requires a high level of knowledge of the capacity of the teams internally and the urgency of work to be completed.

We are at the front end of the company dealing directly with the client, so it's a challenge to ensure everyone is happy both on the client side and internally day to day.

What advice would you give to others?

Be hungry, willing to learn and willing to take on new opportunities. You have to be able to think on your feet, prioritise and deal with things flying at you. You should be tenacious and never panic - keep calm and tackle every issue that is thrown at you in a logical and considered way.

Try to get as much industry experience as possible in a different role and work your way up. Keep as organised as possible, but don't panic if this goes out the window every once in a while.

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