The customer service department is the key link between Frode Laursen’s customers and our logistics centres. Every day, 19 women and one man take all the calls from ourcustomers.
As a member of the customer service team, you are sitting in the eye of the storm. Calls from customers often concern mistakes and non-conformities, and keeping your cool when dealing with an exasperated customer can be quite a challenge. Nevertheless – or perhaps for that very reason – the mood is usually cheerful in the 20-man department which handles Frode Laursen’s customers at the logistics centres.
“We back each other up, and we’re good at using each other as sounding boards. When you’ve had an unpleasant experience on the phone, it’s good to be able turn to your colleagues for some support and encouragement,” says June Langkilde Hertz, who has worked for Frode Laursen for 18 years, and for the last seven as head of the customer service department. The department’s name is actually a little misleading:
“When you say customer service, most people think of a call centre where the same questions crop up and standard responses are given to almost everything. That’s not the case here at all. There’s rarely a straightforward answer to the questions we’re asked, so in our department we need to know a little bit about everything at Frode Laursen,” says June, and continues:
“Therefore, it also takes a long time before you’re a fully trained member of the customer service team. It takes six months to a whole year before you’re familiar with all the processes and, not least, know who to call to get answers to the customers’ wide-ranging questions.”
Many different profiles
Apart from a single employee, the customer service department is staffed exclusively by women. This might prompt concerns and comments about ‘hen houses’ and ‘gossip factories’ – but not in customer service.
“Of course, having so many women working together has a bearing on the atmosphere, but in fact I don’t think there is nearly as much bickering as you might expect,” says June, adding:
“I think it’s basically because we value honesty in this department – and both my team leader Maiken and I are very aware of the importance of communicating clearly, and we step in quickly in the event of conflict or unrest.”
The employees in customer service are a mixed bunch from different backgrounds, so there is a lot of focus on making the most of this diversity.
“There is no standard job profile. Some employees stand out for their structured approach, while others are extremely good at talking to customers. However, I don’t think you can thrive here unless you’re relatively outgoing, and you don’t mind being constantly interrupted in whatever it is you’re doing,” says June, adding:
“The job calls for a high degree of adaptability.”