5 minutes with Gilles Charmant, Director, Customer Services who has joined the CONTEXT team

Gilles Charmant_photo

What’s your role at CONTEXT?
As director of customer service, I’m looking at how we currently service our clients and evaluating how, as the company continues to grow, we can develop our customer service offering in a strategic way to exceed our client expectations. It’s a brand new role for CONTEXT and I’m looking forward to shaping it and building a large team around me.

What attracted you to CONTEXT in the first place?
There are a number of things. I like the challenge of developing a new role and growing it as we continue to grow. I was also attracted by the culture of the company and having worked at CONTEXT a number of years ago, it really stands out as a place with a unique working culture of people from multiple international backgrounds. It’s a friendly, diverse work culture which encourages people to get stuck in and work as a team. I really enjoy that.

Where were you before?
I have been working in customer service related roles over the last 6.5 years and have spent quite a few years at Gartner, starting out as direct client support and developing into a role where I managed a team of research/ client services representatives.

What do you think the main challenges are in customer services today?

I think the key and one of the challenges is to look at the zone of loyalty when it comes to your customers. Moving clients up this zone to an extent that they are happy to refer you is my goal. Organisations need to ensure that client satisfaction is high and business grows via word of mouth – this is the most effective form of marketing today.

What never fails to make you laugh?
My daughter when she’s being cheeky.

What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
During my first job, I was told that honesty and transparency is the best policy even when things don’t go the way you’d like them to. I carry this advice with me today as I think it’s an effective work ethic and underlines everything you do, from internal communication to customer relationships.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I like to hit the road & discover new places as well as spend quality time with my family.

What are you reading at the moment?
The Hobbit, I’ve been trying to finish it for the past two years as I only read it on public transport.

If you had your time again, what would be your next choice of career?
I’d be a tourist guide =- somewhere hot & sunny.

What do you think are the key ingredients to success in customer service?

Putting yourself in the client’s shoes – asking yourself: what would I like to hear at this point? How would I like this resolved? What would be my needs in this situation?



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