Who are you?
Ursula Knack, 58, Customer Service Representative for the German/Swiss/Austrian market at Trelleborg Pipe Seals in Lelystad in the Netherlands.
What do you do?
I joined Trelleborg in 2009 and became team leader for the customer service department in 2015. We have five people in the department and we take care of orders and requests made by customers from all over the world. It is our job to ensure that these orders run smoothly throughout the company, and are delivered on time and according to the customers’ wishes.
Tell us more.
Every member of our department looks after customers from a certain country/region but we occasionally also have the opportunity take on the work of a colleague, if he or she is not around. I like working in this international environment with clients from all over the world, with their own unique customs and ways of working. Yet, as a native German speaker, I am always very happy to go back to being the first point of contact on all sales matters for our German-speaking clients. I strive to establish a pleasant business relationship with them by putting myself in their position. If I receive an order that could possibly be at a lower cost or if a better alternative is available, I will bring this up with them.
What are the key challenges you face in your job?
Customer service is the connection between our customers and our company and we in customer service sometimes have to “sell” customer requests internally to other departments. We also rely on structured work processes to ensure efficient working methods and to reduce errors as much as possible. Ideally, this should have no influence on the products and services we offer. But the reality is that it is sometimes a challenge to work in a structured way and maintain processes while also meeting the expectations of our customers and adhering to agreements. Sometimes, exceptions to the rules cannot be avoided and we need to be flexible enough to deal with such situations.
How does the growing market affect the work your team does?
In order to meet the demands of a growing market and to deal with hectic times, it is important that the members of the customer service team can cover for each other. A good understanding of each other’s customers and team spirit is key.
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy biking with my partner during the summer, preferably on one of the Dutch Wadden islands, meeting up with friends over the weekend and going to the gym.
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