June 7, 2016

Customer Service: It Can Be Positive!

valerie bourret
by Valérie Bourret

Customer Service: It Can Be Positive!

The infamous call to the Customer service!

An unpredictable quest begins when you dial a number, which transfers you to a distant country and often makes you wait an entire time zone for an answer. You then give up, frustrated, discouraged, or you are unsure that the person you talked with understood your problem… if you were able to talk to someone, that is.

At Bourret, not only is our customer service based in Drummondville, but our employees are very friendly and will certainly understand your Québecois, Acadian, American, English Canadian or Franco-Ontarian accent. In short, they will take the time to listen to you!

Marie-Ève St-Germain’s commitment to her work proves that.

Interview with Marie-Ève St-Germain

After studying massage therapy and tourism, Marie-Ève St-Germain’s career assisting the public naturally led her to Bourret’s customer service division, where she is also an assistant dispatcher.

What Does a Day in Customer Service Look Like for You?

I work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. I answer customers’ questions and take their requests for pickups. As an assistant dispatcher, I check goods that have not been picked up and reschedule some pickups. I’m also responsible for communicating with clients when a truck driver experiences a setback that will cause delay. Conversely, sometimes clients send pallets that were not due to be shipped, and I help to solve this situation. I also offer support regarding our website.

What Is the Call Volume and Workload Like?

It depends on the time of year. From 15 to 20 people work in customer service depending on the season: the period from December to March is quiet, maybe one call every 5 minutes. During the high season, from May to September, the phone is always ringing – it is one call after the other! Yes, it’s stressful, but with practice, I developed the ability to multitask.

Where Do the Calls Mainly Come From?

About 40% of the calls come from Québec, 40% from Ontario and the rest from outside. There are as many calls in French as in English. It is therefore important to know the terms related to transportation!

What are the Main Challenges?

Workload during the high season is a nice challenge. Even under pressure, you have to be patient and professional with every client. Another challenge is the winter temperature. If there is a storm or strong winds, like in the high season, for example, it can become very busy. When that happens, the conditions on the road slow our trucks down.

What Are the Benefits of Working at Bourret?

It is a prestigious company, well known in Drummondville, which constantly seeks to improve and advance our working conditions. There are many advancement opportunities. When positions are open, Bourret gives priority to employees by first advertising the positions internally. There is also a good insurance program.

What Would Be Your Advice to Someone Who Wants a Career in This Field?

You must be very patient and understand the clients’ needs well. You must adapt to each of them: some want the process to be quick, while others need more time and more explanation. Also, it is good practice not to bring personal problems to work! You must not make the customer feel like you have problems at home, nor should you personally feel responsible for the mood of a customer who, for example, wrongly estimated the real weight of his load or whose delivery is delayed by bad weather!

Do You Criticize Customer Service When You Are on the Other End of the Line?

I am careful about it; my work has changed my attitude when I call another company’s customer service as the customer. I try to be patient with the person who speaks with me, because I know they might just have hung up with someone who was difficult. I appreciate courtesy, patience, listening, and respect. I want to be told the facts and not just what I want to hear. For example, if there are delays, I want to know the truth.

What Qualities or Skills Are Essential to Properly Perform Your Job?

Memory! I take a lot of notes, because customers often give me a lot of information in a short time. So I developed a good sense of organization and working techniques to avoid losing or forgetting important elements and having the customer repeat them.

What Are Some Misconceptions Related to Your Job?

When people call customer service, they often say to themselves, “I will be put on hold, the agent is going to be impatient...” We always take our time with customers to answer all their questions.

What Is Working at Bourret Like?

I like teamwork! It is important to communicate with the dispatcher and know which colleague spoke with which client. There is a great atmosphere, and people are friendly. If I have a question, I know I can ask anyone, even if that person is busy. There is also a social club which regularly organizes activities throughout the year – it’s really fun!

 

Are You Interested in a Position with Bourret?

If you have the experience and skills to meet the challenges of a Customer Service Agent or another position at Transport Bourret, please send us your application now!

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