Hi, I’m Nick. I’ve worked at AO for three years and I’ve recently become the first person to reach Expert level in our Customer Service department. Let me tell you how I got there…
Time for a change
So I joined AO back in October 2020 after being part of Blackpool Football Academy for 6 years. I actually trained to become an electrician after I left school, which I really enjoyed but I did miss being part of a team. During lockdown I was unfortunately made redundant, and that’s when I decided it was time to try something new. I’d heard great things about AO from friends who worked there, they literally couldn’t sing AO’s praises enough! I really enjoy helping and working with people, so a job where I could do that every day, speaking to customers sounded like the perfect fit. When I heard more about their values, the earning potential, and the progression opportunities, I knew it was where I wanted to be. I was sold!
How it all began
Although I started AO during lockdown, I still had a first-class training experience but was looking forward to coming in, meeting the team, and getting to experience the office environment. I had a fantastic academy journey and was given all the help and guidance I needed. I was pretty nervous as it was totally different from what I’d done before and I’d never been on the phone, but once I’d done that first call, I knew there was nothing to be worried about. There’s so much support and I learned loads those first couple of months about the job, processes, and most importantly how to give the best Customer experience. After 12 weeks of training, I moved to my team, which I’m still in now! This is where I met my manager Stu, he’s been amazing over the last 3 years. He’s an all-around great person and an even better manager. He really motivates me, he’s the definition of AO values and it drives me to want to make him proud.
AO Smile Foundation also helped me raise a huge amount of money for the British Heart Foundation, which I did in memory of my Dad who passed away three years ago when I started. This alone gives me an incentive to work hard and give back to the company who have gone above and beyond in helping me, which truly meant a lot to me, and over £15,000 was raised. I’ll always be grateful for what AO did for me.
The here and now
Recently the business has introduced skills bandings into the contact centre, the highest level being ‘Expert’. I’m really proud that I was the first person to become a multi-skilled Expert agent, that’s massive for me, the certificate is even on my wall! I still get to speak to customers every day and work closely with the delivery and manufacturing teams, always aiming for a first-call resolution. Being an Expert also means I get to share my knowledge and expertise with other people in the department, support with escalations, help with complicated questions and I often have people listening in to my calls.
I’m super excited about my future with AO and where being an Expert will take me. I’d love to one day manage my own team. I’ve come a long way in the past three years and I can’t wait to see what the next three bring! My biggest piece of advice for anyone starting a job in Customer Service at AO would be to be yourself, put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and showcase the values the best you can, making sure to always treat customers like your gran. It’s really good to learn from others who are doing the job and put that into practice, and the rest will take care of itself.