Annette Parker is one of the first virtual receptionists to take up position at Face For Business. Having been in situ as receptionist since Face For Business went live in June 2013, she is now an instrumental part of the team and a consummate professional in terms of knowing her job and doing it well.
Listening to Annette answering the telephone is a joy. She knows her way around the Face For Business system, knows her clients well and has built excellent working relationships with both them and their customers. She has a friendly and enthusiastic persona and is very helpful and thorough, which are pre-requisites for the role of virtual receptionist here at Face For Business.
Annette’s professional career didn’t start in the call handling business. Her first job was at Allied Mills, which was a flour mill on Mill Lane in Burscough. She was there for 14 years as a laboratory supervisor, but unfortunately the mill closed down. Annette’s longest standing job was at Remploy - a government funded workplace for people with all types of disabilities. Her main job with Remploy was as an Employment Advisor. Her duties included obtaining work placements for disabled clients to enable them to integrate into the workplace. Annette enjoyed this role immensely and found it very rewarding. During her latter years at Remploy, Annette spent several years within the logistics department for Remploy’s e-cycling initiative.
Following her long spell at Remploy, Annette joined a pharmaceutical company in Macclesfield, and using skills she gained from previous roles she became an international distribution co-ordinator charged with distributed cancer drugs around the world. The last post she held before working for Face For Business was at QVC, again in logistics.
Find out more about Annette and her work ethics and social preferences here…
What enticed you to work for FFB?
I love the fact it is on my doorstep, as I had made a pledge to myself that when I reached the ripe old age of 50 I didn`t want to have to drive 1 hour plus on the motorways to a job.
What do you enjoy most about working at FFB?
This is so perfect, the place the people and the job. Meeting the new customers, and bringing new customers on board.
What key skills do you think a FFB receptionist should have?
To be confident and polite. Accuracy and confidentiality also play a big part. Building up relationships with our customers is key, too.
How do you create and maintain relationships with your clients?
Once I get a new customer I will contact them to show them around the client portal by doing a ‘Join Me’ with them. During this they get to know more about me as I do about them, and I usually finish by asking how often they would like a call from me to check how everything is and see if I can be of any assistance to them. This usually is the start of a good customer relationship and makes for a more friendly approach as we get to know each other.
What do you think are the most important factors your clients may want from you/Face For Business?
The main thing my clients want from me is for me to know about their business, and to be able to relay accurate information to any customers of theirs that I speak with. Also, they need a good understanding of the packages and costs involved.
What is a good message?
I think a good message is to be accurate with the details that are given to you, and by doing this in a professional and timely manner. Repeating the details back to the caller and in particular any contact numbers given during the message.
What is a bad message?
Not really capturing the content of the call, and making mistakes taking contact numbers and incorrect grammar in the body of the message. Not saving details into the phone book for the customer, as these factors are all part of the service that Face For Business offers.
What are your hobbies/what do you enjoy doing outside of FFB?
I enjoy the gym, biking, cycling, cooking and socialising with friends and family. I am currently embarking on renovating a new house – one that is to become mine and my partners first home together. I also enjoy learning new things and have recently attended ‘Twitter School’ which I have found really useful for part of my role at Face For Business. I’m about to attend ‘Facebook School’ also, for the same purpose.