At the beginning of 2020, our Senior Customer Champion Polly was already working remotely, but that was before the words ‘social distancing’ and ‘lockdown’ had entered our vocabulary. We caught up with Polly to find out how she has managed to keep her team engaged, Pact customers happy and her own spirits high during an extraordinary year…

I moved to remote working in January 2020.

In a way, I think this experience helped my team to transition more easily. When the pandemic hit, I was also able to offer first-hand experience and tips about the type of discipline and boundaries you need to set for remote working to work well long-term.

Lockdown taught me that friends and socialising are the key to a fulfilled life.

I also love eating out at restaurants and hope to never have to give this up again! I’ve also realised having left the Hospitality industry for my job at Pact, that I’m very privileged to be in secure employment, and I definitely don’t take this for granted.

Pact has been brilliant at ensuring employees are supported this year.

We’ve had access to virtual yoga, mindfulness sessions and even wine tastings. These gestures have been great at making sure we still socialise as a company and it certainly made lockdown life more interesting.

As a team, we catch up on video call every morning.

We check in with each other, have a cuppa and catch-up which is nice. We take advantage of messaging on Slack throughout the day (a virtual messaging service we use across the company.) If there’s ever something one of us is stuck on, we just jump on a short video call to run through things.

I think the secret to good customer service is empathy, attention to detail and communication.

As a Senior Customer Champion, my day is usually split across replying to comms from our at-home subscribers, resolving any issues or answering questions they might have and helping my team. Having the ability to understand and appreciate a customers issue whilst remaining professional, polite and kind is so important.

I spent 7 years as a Barista in Speciality Coffee Shops before working for Pact.

Needless to say - I spend a lot of time chatting to customers and colleagues about coffee!

My funniest moment at Pact happened last Christmas..

One of our lovely customers had got in touch because their Advent Calendar had gone missing in the post. The customer let us know, but they had also reported it to the police and supplied us with a crime number! We found this very funny, and we of course sent our customer a new calendar to make sure they had one in time for the start of December.

Visiting Paris with the company last summer was a real highlight.

In usual times, the company throws a big summer party and last summer we cycled to Paris as a company and spent a lot of time team building. A few glasses of wine may have been enjoyed…

My motto in life is ‘It’s fine, nobody died!’

This might sound grim, but I’m a strong believer in keeping a calm and collected head. If you allow things to stress you out, you start to flap and get flustered, and don’t get anywhere!

I sadly had to give up real coffee last year.

I’m delighted that I can still enjoy my daily brew but sans the caffeine. The Pact Decaf Planalto is what I’m enjoying at the moment but thinking back to when I could drink the good stuff, we had an Ethiopian coffee on the menu last autumn called Arsosala. It was a light roast and was such a silky brew with delicate tea notes and a sweet acidity. Definitely in my top 3 coffees ever.

Thanks, Polly!

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