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Get to know your Customer Services Team

Customer Service Assistant Lesley Surman joined Habinteg in August 2017 as a temp, but loved it so much that she became permanent in May 2019. Below, Lesley talks about the highs and lows of her role, what makes good customer service, and reveals one thing tenants don’t understand about the Customer Services Team, Habinteg Direct.

Customer Services Assistant, Lesley Surman How would you explain your job in one sentence?
A rewarding role that strives to achieve good customer interaction.

What’s the best thing about your job?
I love talking. The variety of calls, emails, and tasks we complete in a day keeps me on my toes. Resolving an issue and knowing you have made a difference is soooo satisfying.

What’s the nicest thing a tenant has said to you? 
I’m lucky to have had a few nice things said to me but the most recent one has to be ‘you’re amazing! Straighten your crown girl – you are a queen!’  This made my day and still makes me smile when I think about the conversation with this lovely tenant.

How many tenants do you talk to in a day? 
This varies. It could be between 20 – 50 and we could speak to the same person three or four times in a day. And that doesn’t include calls with contractors, housing applicants and Habinteg colleagues.

What one thing don’t tenants understand about the Customer Services Team?   
Even though one of our team is loosely connected to the wizard ‘Harry Potter’ we do not have his magical powers - but we really wish we did!  

If you had to be CEO of Habinteg for one week, name three things you’d do for tenants? 
Maybe we’d have a one-week joint holiday for tenants and staff, as a ‘getting to know you’ exercise, so I could understand what three simple things we could do to improve tenants’ Habinteg experience in the short term.

If you could bring all of our tenants together in one place and ask one thing on behalf of the CST, what would you ask? 
To bear with us. We’re only human and may sometimes get something wrong, but it’s not personal or intentional.

You’ve got a bonus holiday for top customer service – how do you spend it?
I would be with my friends, family, and puppy, partying on a white sandy beach with the sunshine beaming down and a cocktail in hand!

Which of these programmes could do with your customer service skills the most and why: Are Your Being Served, Open All Hours, Black Books? 
I’m probably most suited to Are You Being Served !  However, I like to do what I say I will do and would prefer to look into something to get the facts and not try to confuse the situation, so I would pick Open All Hours.

Which high street store has the best customer service and why?
In my opinion, I have never had a bad experience at my local M&S.  If there is an issue or a mistake, they put their hands up and correct it.

What’s your personal customer service mantra?
Do what you say you will do, to the best of your ability, with a smile on your face.

Do you know where the name Habinteg comes from?
Yes, it is two Latin words put together ‘habitat integrans’ which means ‘integrated housing’.  (I will be honest… I had to Google the Latin words as I couldn’t remember them.)

Work for us

A group of Habinteg staff celebrate #ForAccessibleHomes. The staff are holding a banner that says

Working at Habinteg

We believe that mutual commitment and shared responsibility is key. We are an equal opportunities employer and aim to be an employer of choice. Everything we do is underpinned by our four cultural values: Agile, Accountable, Ambitious and Attentive.

We offer a comprehensive and person-centred employment package to our staff. This includes:

  • Flexible approach to working week including full-time, part-time and job-sharing possibilities.
  • Welcoming, accessible work environments including remote working
  • Training and development programme
  • Ethical pension scheme from the Pensions Trust.
  • Life assurance scheme
  • Eye test
  • Cycle scheme
  • Subscription payment

Being open and honest about our performance is an essential part of our culture. This is why we place importance on independent assessment of our organisation as an employer. We are proud to hold a Gold Standard Investors in People accreditation.

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