Direct Mail

An interview with the UK Customer Service Team

9th November 2018

What is the role of the team on a day to day basis?

A typical day within the ECS team would involve handling emails, receiving phone calls, processing orders and resolving queries. It may sound like simple daily admin, but with over 50,000 incoming emails every year, the team need to be fast and efficient in solving queries and making decisions. The energy and enthusiasm of the team is essential in providing world-class service, along with a commitment to always go that extra mile – which they all have!

What is the primary focus for the team?

Dealing with any customer issue is always a priority, but along with the immediate task at hand the team are also proactive in making suggestions and improvements as to how customer service can be enhanced. Everyone is empowered to make decisions and trained to anticipate customer needs before a customer asks. Our team structure is unique in that there isn’t just one dedicated person for each customer, there are at least two other designated members to ensure customer needs can always be met. In terms of KPI’s for the team, measurement is highly important with metrics such as call answer time monitored daily.

How do the team ensure that they work collaboratively?

Team spirit is a key phrase within the ECS team, and every member knows that working together as a team is stronger than as an individual. Communication and collaboration across all departments plays a big part. Every morning the team have a short meeting to raise any issues or concerns and, of course, to celebrate achievements and successes. There is daily close communication between the Despatch team, Mill Liaison Coordinators and with Distribution Centres, and with the Sales team. Despite the Sales Department and ECS team being based in two distant locations and in different environments, the teams have the same objectives and regular contact is second nature between the members in both teams.

Is there an emphasis on personal training and development?

International Paper’s infrastructure is built to manage performance, develop people and most importantly engage employees.

Several years ago, “My Roadmap” was introduced – an integrated online talent management system to encourage and track performance and development. This has been developed in ten languages throughout International Paper.

In Krakow, there is a dedicated Learning & Development team designed to nurture employee development. Thanks to this department, there are regular training sessions on specific topics (e.g. Project Management, Analytical Skills, Excel) and cross-departmental shadowing sessions. Language classes are also offered, although most of the customer service team speak at least 3 languages.

In terms of highlights, what's the best part of the job? Team Leader Marcelina K comments…

“For me as team leader, the best part is to see people from my team satisfied with the job they are doing and to see their constant development. I feel responsible for their well-being in the company and I do believe people make the difference and can truly influence our business. It’s crucial to work in a friendly environment in an open communication culture, where people’s health, safety and work-life balance are the most important parts to the company. I think IP provides these values to its employees.”