Bregette Rodney's Career in Customer Service
Via Jamaica Observer
Bregette Rodney is the manager, client services, Sagicor Group Jamaica.
AW: What was your first job?
BR: Graduating DeCarteret High School at age 15, the opportunities for further education were limited. I applied to West Indies College, now Northern Caribbean University, but was not accepted because of my age; I was told to reapply at age 16. Being from a humble background, I had to work and finance my education, hence my first job was at age 16 as a bursar assistant at West Indies College High School in 1997-1998. This job started my journey in customer service as I was the first point of contact within the office for teachers, parents and students. It paved my future as the experiences garnered guided my decision to pursue a career in customer service.
AW: What would you say is your best career achievement to date?
BR: My best career achievement to date is definitely leading a team of dynamic and client-centric team members. As a team we were able to achieve the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS) for Sagicor Group in 2020. NPS is an international benchmark metric used to measure customer loyalty. Our team is guided by the mantra, “Only When Our Clients Win, We Win”.
AW: When would you say you have worked the hardest?
BR: Having over 19 years of experience in customer service comes with its share of challenges. I have worked the hardest during my tenure as a supervisor within the Sagicor Contact Centre where I would be available 24/7 to the team when they required assistance. I can remember in 2015 having to assist with 'Operation Phoenix', where we worked all night to ensure that the team was fully trained and information booklets available for the rebranding of RBC to Sagicor Bank. My passion for service is hard work, and it's the most important key to success. I also believe that in working hard, you must make time for your team by promoting and fostering their personal and professional development. According to Vince Lombardi, “the price of success is hard work, dedication to the job, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
AW: What do you enjoy most about your current job?
BR: Interacting with our internal and external clients. In my current role, I have the opportunity to make an impact on the level of service and by challenging the status quo. We may not get it right all the time, but we never give up and are relentless in continuously identifying and managing the service gaps in delivering exceptional client services.
AW: Where is your go-to place for inspiration?
BR: My go-to place for inspiration is my hometown in Manchester. An early morning long drive to the country ignites my inner 'me'. It's the time I take for myself; to listen my favourite music, sing along, relax under the almond tree and read a book. There is calmness and serenity which allows me to recharge, refresh, gather my thoughts and restart with new innovative ideas for the work week with a brand new outlook.
AW: What is your mantra/philosophy?
BR: I'm guided by Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Always remember that nothing is impossible, no goal is unattainable, and that once I believe it, I can achieve it.
AW: What advice would you give to people looking for a career in customer service?
BR: Firstly, love what you do. Always put yourself in the client's shoes; not just treat others as you want to be treated, but treat others better than you would want to be treated. Remember that each client is different, with different values and beliefs, therefore it is important that you understand the clients' needs at all times. Service with a smile!
AW: What skills do you believe are essential for success in customer service?
BR: Being in customer service requires effective listening, emotional intelligence, dedication and patience, good communication skills, and empathy. These characteristics lay the foundation for excellent client service.
AW: How do you achieve work/life balance?
BR: This is a tough question as the job can be demanding at times, but for me, it is really knowing when to stop, take a break and recharge. So just as I schedule meetings, etc, it is making a deliberate effort by scheduling time away from work to focus on my myself and family (especially my daughter and my papa), and just spending quality time, especially on weekends. Spontaneous road trips, cooking and entertaining friends, indulging in a glass of red wine while watching a romantic chick flick helps me unwind, and is definitely important. I also create a timeline for my activities and at the end of each work day I do a self-analysis of what happened throughout the day in order to restructure the coming days.
AW: What's one lifelong lesson you have learnt working in customer service.
BR: I have learnt several lessons, but I would say one lifelong lesson is to always be open to learning and adapting to change. Customer service is about assisting clients and each one comes with their own unique situation. It is fulfilling to know that I have the ability to impact someone's life in a positive way.