Thank You Victoria

During what’s been a very different and challenging year for all of us, our customer service staff have continued to rock up day in and day out to keep Victorians moving.

They’ve worked incredibly hard to adapt to new ways of working and to help move a heap of services online, to ensure all customers can complete their registration and licencing transactions safely and securely.

We spoke to some of our customer service staff to see what they had found challenging and rewarding throughout the year, and it’s clear that the patience and understanding shown by customers has been a real highlight for many.

So we’d like to say thank you, Victoria, for recognising that we’re all in this together and showing patience and kindness to our staff.

Get to know more about some of our customer service staff and the great work they’ve been doing this year to improve how we deliver our registration and licencing services.

 


Lauren

Customer Service Officer, Bairnsdale CSC

Describe your role and what a normal day looked like for you before coronavirus (COVID-19).

A normal day for me before COVID-19 hit was busy, and no day was ever the same. I would either be doing a full day of learner permit and hazard perception tests or a full day of vehicle registration inspections - over 10 appointments a day - and on top of that serving between 50 to 100 customers. Every transaction was different, some quick and easy and some longer. There was not much down time, which made the day go extremely fast!

What do you love about your job?

The amazing people I work with. I work in a regional office in a team of seven who make coming to work enjoyable. I love that no two days are the same because you never know who is going to walk through the door or what challenges you will come across. Next year I’m hoping to become a licence tester, which will be another thing I can add to the list of things I love about my job. 

How has coronavirus (COVID-19) changed your role?

The biggest change was not doing learner permit tests. It was strange going from doing something every second day to not doing it at all! It has been quieter during COVID-19. Being a small office, we can only have four customers inside at once so everyone has had to line up outside. 

Have you noticed any change in your customers since coronavirus (COVID-19)?

I haven’t noticed a huge change in customers since COVID-19 started apart from some frustration at the situation in general. Overall, people have been very understanding of all the social distancing, mask wearing, temperature taking and contract tracing. 

What are some tips you can share to keep our staff and customers safe during this time?

All I can say to staff and customers is please be patient and considerate to others. It’s not anyone’s fault we are where we are, so the more we can support each other and be kind, the easier it will make this and the quicker we can get back to our normal lives!

Have you witnessed or participated in any acts of kindness at work?

An act of kindness at work I can recall clearly is the way one of my colleagues, Jenelle, has handled some deceased estates during this time. It is never easy for someone to come in and cancel and transfer vehicles out of a deceased loved one’s name. Jenelle has handled several recently, leaving the customer at ease and grateful for her efforts. Jenelle has continued to take the time to show empathy and clearly explain everything to the customer to make the process far less distressing.

There are many people in the community grateful for the role customer service staff are performing during coronavirus (COVID-19). Have you had any positive feedback?

There has been a lot of positive feedback from customers, especially mothers of learner drivers. We opened our office on Saturday October 17 from 8.30am to 12.30pm to get through a backlog of young drivers wanting to sit their learners. We completed more than 50 learner permit tests with over a 90 per cent pass rate. Two mothers in particular were most appreciative that they could get their kids in so soon.

What aspect of your role are you most looking forward to resuming in a post-coronavirus (COVID-19) world?

Not having barriers between us and the customers, and limitations with registration appointments. Due to only being able to have only four people inside at once, registration appointments must wait outside until it’s time to pay. This makes it difficult if you need to ask them questions. You also don’t get to build that usual relationship with them. 


Wayne

Team Leader, [email protected]

Describe your role and what a normal day looked like before COVID-19?

My role involves many operational tasks, synonymous with any fast-paced Customer Service Centre. The day begins with ensuring we have a safe workplace for our team and customers, as well as preparing the office for the day’s service. We could expect anywhere between 700-1000 customers per day, with a variety of transactions. We could see up to 80 customers waiting in the office at any one time, with some having complex transactions that require more personalised service.

What do you love about your job?

Helping our customers. I love interacting with people from all walks of life and assisting them where possible and to the best of my ability. Cultural, language and literacy issues can challenge this interaction, however I pride myself in finding a solution for every customer regardless of their background. An enjoyable portion of my day is spending time with my amazing team, chatting about family and downtime, checking in on their well-being and bouncing ideas off each other to improve services where we can.

How has COVID19 changed your role?

From an operational perspective, the changes have been varied and, at times, challenging, including implementing office-wide, constantly changing measures in a short period of time and monitoring their effects on my team, as well as customers. My role as a leader has never been so important. I make myself available to chat with my team about anything, regularly checking in to see how they are feeling and if they need any support. 

Have you noticed any change in your customers since COVID-19?

They tend to share more personal stories about how they are affected by the pandemic. When I am chatting to them it’s evident most are affected in some way and the ongoing restrictions are affecting their mental health and their ability to move around, visit their families or even go to work. These conversations can be difficult. I do my best to help and be an ear to listen.

What are some tips you can share to keep your staff and customers safe during this time?

Our people are our biggest asset, so it’s important to always be available to chat with your team about anything. Having regular catchups or huddles and one-on-ones with your team are great ways to keep everyone informed and engaged. I ensure we are all PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) compliant and communicate any necessary updates as they become available and then debrief with the guys to ensure they understand what has changed and why. Throughout the pandemic we have held some workshops, giving our teams an opportunity to get involved and re-shape our office culture and improve office relationships. 

When it comes to a safe workplace, we also provide our customers with as much detail as possible and advise them of online options so they can transact at home to minimise risks to the community. 

Have you witnessed or participated in any acts of kindness at work?

I see acts of kindness every day at the Sunshine Hub that make you proud to be a part of such a great team. For example, an elderly customer with a medical condition who regularly visits our site has developed a great relationship with one of our team. This customer has difficulties communicating due to a condition and our team member takes the time to chat with him, attend to his enquiry in a professional manner and give him the information he needs to complete the transaction. This is an excellent example of delivering a great customer experience, even during difficult times.

What aspect of your role are you most looking forward to resuming in a post-coronavirus (COVID-19) world?

I’m looking forward to further developing my team, upskilling everyone to ensure we all have the necessary tools to serve our community. This includes using our digital space more to give our customers confidence to perform transactions online at home and, where this is not possible, being able to provide them with the best possible service when they come to visit us. I’m exploring a return to study and the challenge of learning a new language.


Allison

Acting Team Leader, Metro Contact Centre

Describe your role and what a normal day looked like for you before coronavirus (COVID-19).

My current role is Acting Team Leader for the Metro Contact Centre. I move between four different teams at the Metro Contact Centre, supporting each leader when they’re on leave and providing additional support in an ad-hoc manner. 

The Metro Contact Centre together with the Ballarat Contact Centre take calls from the public regarding their licencing and registration needs. We take between 8000 and 10,000 calls a day. When I’m not an Acting Team Leader, I am a senior consultant who takes calls from the public regarding their registration and licencing enquiries.

Pre-COVID we were at Kew. We had 50 to 60 staff on one floor, with each team consisting of between 12 and 15 staff. A normal day would be to monitor staff movements throughout the day, focusing on adherence to schedule, offering floor support to staff regarding escalated calls from customers, coaching staff to meet and exceed performance standards, supporting staff through personal issues and advising or offering support to other channels.

What do you love about your job?

I like moving between teams as I can build and develop relationships with different staff members and develop a rapport across all teams.  I like to coach consultants through suggesting alternative approaches when assisting customers and providing the right information. I like to see change through staff taking feedback on board and using my suggestions and seeing movement in the right direction in their performance results. I enjoy the personable aspect of my job and strengthening relationships within myself and individuals as well as whole teams.

I also like to help customers in any way I can to assist and resolve their enquiry within my capabilities- thinking outside the box and looking for alternatives.

How has coronavirus (COVID-19) changed your role?

It’s changed the way we interact with staff. The staff from the Metro Contact Centre and most from Ballarat are all working from home. As we do not see each other face-to-face, I need to be more proactive with staff through email or Skype daily and check in and make sure they’re OK and feel supported.

Have you noticed any change in your customers since coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The understanding of the public regarding suspended licencing testing has been terrific and I thank them for being patient.  Many people are doing it tough and have reached out to VicRoads for assistance regarding their registration. VicRoads has stepped up its online capabilities and for instance included the ability to add their concession via their online account to their registration, which makes things easier for customers and VicRoads.

What are some tips you can share to keep both our staff and customers safe during this time?

My tips are to continue to adhere to social distancing recommendations, wash your hands regularly and wear a mask. It’s also important to take the time to check in with friends and family to see that they are OK. Also, it’s crucial to reach out for support if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need someone to talk to through professional channels.

Have you witnessed or participated in any acts of kindness at work?

I think it’s important to build a work environment in which staff can approach you regarding anything in work or in their home life. I try to practise acts of kindness every day through slowing down and taking the time to say good morning to staff. I take note of birthdays and special occasions or wins within the centre. As we are working from home, I celebrate this through sharing emails throughout the centre or Skype call the consultant to acknowledge good work. I think it’s essential to make this effort as we are challenged by these unprecedented times. 

There are many people in the community grateful for the role customer service staff are performing during coronavirus (COVID-19). Have you had any positive feedback?

Absolutely! Particularly around the work that the digital team have done regarding My VicRoads. Customers are grateful to be able to log into their online account and see their demerit points, order searches and see their registrations, including renewing club permits. The online capabilities are welcomed by customers who have passed on their positive feedback to staff. We also have noted that many customers are happy with the empathy and terrific customer service that consultants provide daily.

What aspect of your role are you most looking forward to resuming in a post-coronavirus (COVID-19) world?

I look forward to seeing staff face-to-face as we have not seen each other for six months. We are a close-knit group who work well to support each other, and I look forward to having our one-on-one meetings face-to-face and to enjoy lunch and celebrate birthdays and other special occasions with my colleagues once again.


Manik

Senior Customer Service Officer, Bundoora CSC

Describe your role and what a normal day looked like for you before coronavirus (COVID-19)?

My role is to provide customer service to our community over the counter. My normal days before COVID-19 used to very busy. On average, our centre was serving approximately 800 customers a day compared to much less numbers now due to COVID-19 restrictions.

What do you love about your job?

I am passionate about customer service and it gives me great satisfaction when I resolve an issue for a customer. This role involves continuous rotation of duties, which means you will be conducting drive tests one day and then be on the counter the next. This variety keeps me interested because I enjoy change and new challenges.

How has coronavirus (COVID-19) changed your role?

A lot of things have changed since the pandemic. Social distancing, masks, temperature checks, hand sanitising and contact tracing of our customers are some of the new norms. How we interact with each other is different as we adhere to strict COVID Safe operating procedures. 

Have you noticed any change in your customers since coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Our customers’ perceptions have changed. They understand the reason behind COVID Safe operating procedures and are more appreciative of us still providing services in these unprecedented times. The customer service experience has also improved because our wait times have reduced significantly and there are many transactions that can be done online, eliminating the need for customers to leave home.

What are some tips you can share to keep both our staff and customers safe during this time?

My main tip is to maintain social distance. I also advise customers to sign up for a myVicRoads account so they can do their transactions from home and stay safe.

Have you witnessed or participated in any acts of kindness at work?

I have been in this workplace for almost five years and have seen many acts of kindness. I do remember one instance in which one of our customers got to her vehicle in the parking area and realised she had a flat tyre. She had to collect her children from school and was quite stressed. We offered to help and some of our staff changed her tyre and she was quickly able to leave the centre to pick up her kids. She was so grateful that we helped her and wrote a compliment on the VicRoads website.

There are many people in the community grateful for the role customer service staff are performing during coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Have you had any positive feedback?

We have had several customer compliments during this time, for individual staff members and for the whole office. Customers have felt safe coming into our centre when they see all the measures we have in place to keep the community safe.

What aspect of your role are you most looking forward to resuming in a post-coronavirus (COVID-19) world?

I am going to be a subject matter expert for the new return-to-service office at South Morang. I look forward to this challenge because it will be a new office and a great opportunity to work with new staff members, share my knowledge and experience and help reduce the backlog of drive tests we have.


Michelle

Senior Customer Service Officer, Leongatha CSC

Describe your role and what a normal day looked like for you before coronavirus (COVID-19).

Before COVID-19 started I was a casual working out of Leongatha doing about five days a week. I have been doing everything from licence testing, making appointments and registrations. I had been doing lots of travelling between the Leongatha, Morwell and Warragul offices. About a month into COVID-19 I started working full-time at the Leongatha office.

What do you love about your job?

Being a people person, what I love most is working and interacting with the public. I love a challenge and strive to push myself just that bit little harder.  I love the travel to other offices and being able to interact with my colleagues from whom I can learn new things to implement in my office. I also like being able to help people with their everyday queries.

Have you noticed any change in your customers since coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The reaction from customers has been positive overall. We did have some upset 16 and 18-year-olds who were ready to do their learners and drive tests, but at the end of the day they understood why they couldn’t. Customers have been very accommodating when it comes to doing the contact tracing and temperature checks, too. Customers seem happy that they can now do many more transactions online.

What are some tips you can share to keep both our staff and customers safe during this time?
  • Sanitising and make sure workstations are cleaned thoroughly and regularly. 
  • Keep a safe distance when in the lunchroom. 
  • Make sure we have enough sanitiser on hand. 
  • When on concierge, ensure all customers sanitise. 
Have you witnessed or participated in any acts of kindness at work?

We have had some beautiful compliments from customers about the way we are handling the cleaning and having a minimum number of people in the office at one time. Through August and September, we received seven written compliments. 

What aspect of your role are you most looking forward to resuming in a post-coronavirus (COVID-19) world?

Being in regional Victoria, we opened some of our services earlier than Melbourne. I was looking forward to calling back the learners, hazards and drive test appointments. I did call them in March to postpone, which wasn’t fun, but calling them back was very rewarding as everyone was super happy. I’m looking forward to having the office back to some form of normality. 

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