In most companies it’s rare to have employees who have achieved 20 years or more service, but that’s exactly what you’ll find in The Dental Directory’s sales and customer service department. This year, Sally Slater, sales team manager, celebrated her 21st anniversary in a job she admits she loves, working with a team that she calls her second family and supporting customers – some of which she’s been working with for decades.
“I started working for The Dental Directory 21 years ago in a customer service role within the telesales department and I’ve been given great opportunities to develop my career. The team was relatively small then, there were ten of us and today there is more than 40. Although we have grown I’m proud to say that we still hold the same values we did then. Our approach has always been to deliver the same standard of service we would expect to receive ourselves. That’s really important to me and something which factors into every day,” explains Sally.
Although the sales team doesn’t start taking calls until 8am, Sally usually gets into the office by 7.30am on most days so she can plan and catch up on any correspondence that has come in overnight.
“I only live 15 minutes from the office, but I still like to set off early so I don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic and also so I can be fully prepared before the team gets in. I’ve always been an early riser and a great believer in being organised and prepared for anything the day can throw at you.”
At 8am the sales team arrive and Sally starts briefing the team leaders on the day ahead, including scheduling in time to refresh them on the latest additions to the new website.
“The development of the new website has been an intensive process over a number of months and the business has invested considerably in its improvement. It’s not something we’ve done on our own though, we’ve also been asking our customers what we can do to make it work better and more conveniently for them and a number of their suggestions have been implemented including a function for customers to access invoices online, to track their order and across the business we’ve extended the cut off from 4pm to 6pm to place a next day delivery.”
And the new website isn’t the only improvement in customer service Sally has been involved in, later the same day she’s going to a meeting to discuss the new customer relationship management (CRM) system.
“Although the business has changed and grown over the years we’ve never had an ambition to become the type of place where everything is automated, impersonal. When our customers call we not only want the person who picks up the call to be able to answer all of the customer’s questions straight away, but also have a bank of information in front of them so they can offer second to none customer advice based on specific needs. It’s this devotion to personal service we believe has helped grow our business and what we feel our customers value.”
It is late afternoon and the sales and customer service team are still hard at work and Sally checks in with her team leaders to make sure everyone has the support they need.
“I’m really lucky to have such an experienced and passionate team of people. I have one member of the team who has been with the company 15 years and a couple who have more than a decade of service under their belts. They know the business inside out and genuinely care about the business and its customers – something I know isn’t the norm in some contact centre environments.
“For me the people I work with are like my second family.”
Outside of work, Sally likes to spend her spare time with her ‘other family’.
“If I’m not helping my mum out at home I’m with my partner, sisters or nieces and nephews. Between them all they keep me pretty busy. I’m a people person. I like the company of others – but I wouldn’t turn down a day at a spa on my day off for some time without phone signal and a bit of relaxation!
This article was published on 14 January 2016 in Dentistry