An interview with Joshua, Customer Service Officer.

Hi Joshua! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Joshua and my current role within West Sussex is a Customer Service Officer.

I began my journey into customer service when I was 16 and have been involved with customer service ever since.

I have been working for the County Council for over a year.

What inspired you to become a Customer Service Officer?

After being recruited for this position, I quickly became drawn into the role. Learning about the ins and outs of the council was a very new thing for me and I’m glad I have.

There is so much to learn and it is all helpful and important knowledge, and to be able to help others with that makes it so much better.

Why did you choose to work for WSCC?

Getting to learn the ins and outs of my county has been such an eye opener and with this role in particular, you learn all aspects and it's definitely going to be such a great help in the future!

What drew me to the role was stepping into a new area of customer service. After spending such a long time in retail, the idea of a different form of customer service was of great interest to me.

What is the best thing about being a Customer Service Officer at WSCC?

Working as a Customer Service Officer you really have no day where there is anything the same. Sometimes you will get similar things going on, however West Sussex is such a diverse county, so each individual you speak with comes from a different background or are a different age, so there’s a great variety of different situations.

What do you particularly enjoy about working in the Customer Service team?

I enjoy the freedom of being able to conduct my work in my own home - the office days are also a nice way to break up the week as well! I also enjoy the learning areas within a role, for example you may be trained in a role, but new things will come up and its interesting to know how to handle certain situations moving forward.

How does WSCC support you to develop and progress?

Working within West Sussex, the main aspect I have noticed compared to previous customer-based roles is how quick and available and supportive managers are. If a certain department isn’t available and you can’t get through, it always feels like there is a manager around for a second opinion for when you need that help.

Is there a particular case or something about your work here that makes you feel proud?

Being there for people who do not get much opportunity to talk to many people! On the waste services line, I find myself talking with elderly individuals who really appreciate just the 2-3 minutes of the time they get with you and having a simple conversation. Whether it's a story they are telling you or just talking about what a nice day it's looking like, they seem to really appreciate it and are always so nice - it’s a warming moment.

What would you say are the challenges of being a Service Improvement Lead?

Some of the challenges I think there are to face is the scale of some areas. In the registrations department in particular, there are so many new things that will come up throughout learning the role, it feels like no matter how well you may know it, sometimes you’ll have days where it totally surprises you and you learn something new. This is also a positive as it adds to the variety of work, where no two days are the same.

What would you say to somebody considering joining us?

There are lots of interesting things you’ll very quickly become knowledgeable of. In my case I was totally unaware of how marriages took place. I knew nothing of booking a registrar or notice appointments, or how the marriage system worked here.

Once you’ve been through something at least a few times, it just feels like second nature at that point and you learn and pick things up quickly; it’s interesting and helpful, not only to the customers but yourself included.