As part of our ongoing interview series, this month we caught up with Chloe Ingram, one of the rising stars of the Operations Team, to hear about her typical day at City Transport Solutions.
Q: Hi Chloe, it’s great to speak with you to find out more about your role within the operations team. How long have you been working at CTS?
A: I’ve been with CTS since October 2019.
Q: You hadn’t been with the company for very long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. How was that for you, navigating a new role with working from home?
A: It felt really weird at first because the office is always buzzing with phone calls and conversations. It’s a really positive and uplifting environment so it did take time to adjust, but once we were in the swing of things it wasn’t too bad. I was glad when we could go back to the office though.
Q: Tell us more about your role at CTS and what a typical day looks like for you
A: I work in the Operations team, which is the first contact our customers have with CTS so it’s a very varied and customer-focused role. I can be discussing a vehicle request one minute and resolving a breakdown the next. As part of the role, I am often the controller. This involves managing the workload and flow of incoming requests, these can come in either via our online booking portal or by phone. I have to assess and prioritise each task, delegating them to a team member.
Q: It sounds like your role is very customer service centric, is that something you enjoy?
A: Yes, definitely. I love finding solutions to problems, so if a customer is looking for a specific vehicle then I engage with our suppliers to see if I can find the exact vehicle needed. I also really enjoy it when we’re able to get a better deal for our customers. It feels as though we’re making a difference to their business and keeping them out on the road.
Q: One thing that stands out about CTS is your ability to go above and beyond for your customers
A: We’re very hands-on with our customers and enjoy coming up with innovative solutions. We don’t rely on AI to fulfill orders or find vehicles. The fact that we are “service first” operation means that our customers can always pick up the phone and speak to us.
Technology has its place, everything we do is processed via our online portal CTSDrive, but our customers have the assurance that there is a team member on the other end of the phone ready to talk through any requirement and come up with the best solution. That’s not always the case with technology, which can leave you waiting for ages for answers. A phone call definitely speeds up the process.
Q: Are there any specific customer accounts that you work on, or does the team pitch in and work across everything?
A: We all share the workload. As a controller, it’s my responsibility to assign the task to the team members who are best suited for each task. Mel (Farrow) is a great role model when it comes to the team working to their strengths, so tasks will be given to the best person for the job to ensure that it’s completed efficiently and to the high standard our customers expect from us.
Q: Have you always worked in customer service roles?
A: Yes. The job I had before joining CTS was for a large online retailer, but their customer service was very different. All the dialogue with customers was done online – via email or a live chat, so the relationship felt more transactional, as though we were following a script. At CTS our conversations happen over the phone so they’re much more interactive and engaging.
Q: Did you have any training on how to handle phone conversations when you first started at CTS?
A: Yes! It was a great way to boost my confidence. At the time it felt like I was being thrown into the deep end, but the best way to learn is on the job. During my induction period, I shadowed another member of the team and listened to phone calls on a split headset to see how they handled different situations. The person I was shadowing then joined me on customer calls so that they could jump in if I didn’t know the answer to a specific question. Picking up the phone felt daunting to begin with, but the additional training really helped.
Q: What do you most love about your job?
A: The satisfaction of solving a problem for someone. It’s the best feeling in the world. It’s really rewarding to know that you’ve made a difference to their day, especially if they were quite stressed to begin with but you’ve managed to deliver a great service that meets their needs.
I also love the people I work with. The office is always a hive of activity and I really look forward to walking into the office every day.
Q: Is there anything you wished you’d have known before you started working at CTS?
A: Well, my geography has certainly improved since working here! I’d say my knowledge of all the geographical locations around the UK. It would have made my life easier in the beginning!