When did you join Signwaves?
I joined in February 2014 - which I can’t believe is already 10 years ago!
What is your role at Signwaves and what are the main responsibilities in your role?
As a Customer Service Advisor at Signwaves, my primary role revolves around being the first point of contact for our customers. This involves a range of responsibilities, each one key to ensuring customer satisfaction.
I spend a good part of my day answering phone calls, where I have the opportunity to directly interact with our customers. Whether it's processing orders or addressing queries they might have, I'm always here to help!
One important aspect of my job is handling customer complaints. We all believe in listening with empathy and resolving issues efficiently, which helps in maintaining the trust and loyalty of our customers.
I'm also responsible for processing quotes and ensuring that our customers receive accurate and timely information to help their decision-making process.
Post-order, I remain actively involved, assisting with any issues that may arise after the purchase. These follow-ups are some of the best ways to demonstrate our commitment to customer satisfaction beyond just the sale.
My role also extends to general administrative duties. This includes managing the post, ensuring that we're well-stocked with stationery, and warmly welcoming visitors to our office.
What did you do before you joined Signwaves?
Before joining Signwaves, I worked at Marks & Spencer in Norwich, which was a job I truly enjoyed. But the early morning commutes to Norwich eventually became a bit too much for me.
Before that, I spent many years working as a hairdresser. I loved it, and thought I would stick with it forever! Even now, I still enjoy doing hair for family and a couple of close friends.
In my younger years, I worked in the hospitality industry as a waitress, which taught me a lot about customer service (and hard work!)
I also worked for the Women's Royal Voluntary Service in the hospital shop. It was a fulfilling experience, giving me a much better understanding of the needs of people in different walks of life.
I’ve also been an invigilator at Lowestoft College. For me, this wasn’t just about overseeing exams. It inspired me to further my own education, leading to me achieving my GCSEs in English and Maths.
Quite a lot of varied roles I suppose! But they’ve all contributed to my skills and perspectives, making me well-equipped to handle the customer-focused environment at Signwaves.
Have you had any other roles at Signwaves?
I started in the Reception role, which we don’t have anymore. It was basically a junior Customer Service Advisor with a different job title!
Why did you choose to join Signwaves?
The decision to join Signwaves came at a point in my career when I was looking for a change from the retail industry. The unsociable hours and the travel were becoming increasingly challenging for me.
What really nudged me towards Signwaves was a friend of mine who worked there. They told me about an opening for the receptionist position, and it immediately caught my interest!
I've always been drawn to customer-focused roles. I love working in environments where I can interact with people, understand their needs, and help them. The receptionist role at Signwaves seemed like a perfect fit for me. It was an opportunity to continue working in a field I love, but in a different, more suitable setting.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy the interaction and assistance I can provide to both our internal and external customers the most. There's a satisfaction that comes from processing orders efficiently and seeing everything fall into place. It feels great to be a part of a process that helps meet our customers’ needs and contributes to the smooth running of our team.
I do have to admit that some of the more complex quoting is a bit less enjoyable for me, but that's mostly because I'm still building my confidence in this area. It's a skill I'm actively working on, as I had never even seen an Excel spreadsheet before joining Signwaves!
This role has been a journey of learning and growth for me, and the opportunity to learn and improve is something I value a lot in my role here.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
I've been fortunate enough not to encounter too many overwhelming challenges. However, if I had to choose, it would be dealing with our couriers and haulier companies. Coordinating with these external partners requires a great deal of patience and effective communication, especially when ensuring that our products are delivered on time and in perfect condition.
This part of the job involves managing logistics and addressing unforeseen issues that may arise during the delivery process. While it can be challenging at times, it's also an opportunity to hone my problem-solving skills and learn how to manage external relationships more effectively. It's these challenges that keep the role interesting!
What part of your role surprises you most?
What continuously surprises me is the constant learning curve, particularly regarding our processing system. Having never held an office job before joining the company, the amount of new information and skills I've acquired is astonishing!
Each day brings new insights. It's a rewarding experience to look back on how much I've learned and grown since my first day.
What is your favourite product?
Choosing a favorite product from our range at Signwaves is quite a tough call, but if I have to pick, I'd say I'm torn between the Swingers and the Sentinel.
I love the Swinger pavement sign range for its simplicity and effectiveness. They're straightforward, yet they do an amazing job of catching the eye and conveying promotional messages.
On the other hand, the Sentinel® stands out thanks to its slick design and the significant impact it has on forecourts all over the UK. It's more than just a sign to all of us here at Signwaves!
I've actually managed to get my family and friends involved in my enthusiasm for signage! I've pretty much 'brainwashed' them into appreciating the world of signs, although they do sometimes roll their eyes when I start pointing out our signs in the street!
But deep down, I know they share a bit of my excitement in seeing the impact of our work in the real world. It's these moments that remind me of the reach and influence of what we do at Signwaves.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
One of my greatest passions is walking, especially going on walking holidays with my husband. We particularly love exploring the scenic trails of the Lake District and Yorkshire. Yes, these adventures are great for exercise, but they’re also a chance to connect with nature in some of the most beautiful parts of the country.
Running is another activity I'm deeply fond of, with Parkrun being a definite highlight. It's what kickstarted my love for running. The sense of community and achievement I get from these runs is what’s so enjoyable.
Something else that I've come to enjoy more recently is shopping, particularly for clothes! Since I started running, I've lost weight, and this has made clothes shopping a lot more fun! Of course, a fair amount of my shopping budget goes towards trainers, but that's an essential part of my running passion!
Gardening is also a big part of my life. We recently had a large pond built in our garden, and I'm really looking forward to redesigning and planting around it. Gardening allows me to be creative and relax, enjoying the peace and quiet of my own outdoor space.
Overall, I just love being in the great outdoors. Whether it's running, walking, or gardening, being outside and active is what I enjoy the most. It's the perfect counterbalance to my work life, allowing me to recharge and embrace the beauty of nature.
What is your proudest achievement outside of work?
A standout accomplishment is completing the Manchester Marathon and a 50k Ultramarathon. These were not just physical challenges but mental ones as well!
And I suppose I should also mention the pride I take in having raised my son and stepson to be fully functioning working adults! It's a different kind of endurance and commitment to an Ultramarathon, but a serious challenge nonetheless!
Both these aspects of my life – my sporting achievements and my role as a mum – have undoubtedly shaped who I am today.