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“Go for it and be yourself. That’s how you’ll land a role with this amazing company ” – Carlton’s Story

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Hi I’m Carlton! 👋

I’m a Customer Service Specialist here at AO, but that’s not how it all started…

Tell us more…

After leaving school, I did a painting and decorating apprenticeship for about 2 years and really enjoyed it! Then COVID hit so I couldn’t do this anymore and it was time to look for something new.

I started working in a warehouse supplying PPE products, which was good, but I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to do forever. When the need for PPE dropped, I was made redundant and spent a few months out of work. It was hard to get interviews for anything outside of warehouse jobs and I wanted to try something new.

I went to the jobcentre, and they were really helpful. They put me on their Back2Work programme, that was to help me find a new job ASAP. I got a work coach, and they told me about a Customer Service job at AO. It was completely different from anything I’d done before, but I’d heard of AO and that it was a good place to work, so I wanted to know a bit more. I went to an open day through the Job Centre where Katy and Jen from AO were talking about the job and telling us about life at AO. It sounded like something I’d enjoy.  I put myself forward for the Job Centres 2 weeks training, which gave me basic Customer Service skills and got me ready for the interview at the end.

 

Spoiler alert – I got the job!

So far so good!

There was a group of us who started on the same day and we got to spend two weeks getting to know each other, all about AO, and what we’d be doing day to day. We all started this journey together, which was really nice and we’re still close now.

I was nervous during my first few calls because I’d never worked on the phone before, but with support from the contact centre managers and floorwalkers, my confidence grew, and it’s become second nature to me. I can honestly say I’ve not looked back, although you can still find me with a paintbrush in my hand now and again!

What I love about AO

The best part about working at AO is the satisfaction of going above and beyond for customers and finding ways to best resolve any issues they might have. It’s really nice that everyone shares the same values and are focused on doing the right thing for our customers.

I also love the support from my team and my manager, whether it’s getting the chance to try out new things and even just day-to-day coaching and support. Work aside, I’ll never forget my first AO Christmas party – it was unreal and I’m already buzzing for this years!

I’ve got endless opportunities!

In the contact centre, there are different skills bandings, which means the more you learn the more you earn. I started on the “associate” banding, and now, I’m an “established” Customer Service Specialist, which means I’ve gone up one banding in less than a year which is a real achievement for me! So now I’m working towards becoming a “specialist” which means more skills and knowledge and not to forget the extra pay!

There’s loads of opportunities in AO, whether that’s in Customer Service or another department altogether, but for now I’m focused on moving up the bandings to become a “expert” agent, and maybe explore a management role later down the line.

My advice for anyone looking to join AO as a Customer Service Specialist, is to go for it and be yourself. That’s how you’ll land a role with this amazing company and I’m so grateful for the chance I got!

Carlton Unsworth

Customer Service Specialist