Introducing the Verbatim call answering team…
Meet the friendly, professional receptionists who’ll be answering your calls
Ann is one of Verbatim’s veterans, joining us back in 1998 and is qualified to NVQ Level 3 in Customer Service. She adores what she does, and is known for her dedication, hard work, and for going the extra mile for our clients and their callers.
‘One of our clients runs a clinic with one treatment room, but due to a software glitch it was double-booked. It fell to Ann to unravel the clash, and that involved her tracking down the father of our client’s patient and asking him to get his daughter to phone the clinic. Mission accomplished, and all before 11am!’
Good food and wine, TV and reading all feature on Ann’s pastimes list away from work, and doing any of them in the sun is a bonus. If she could wave a magic
Jackie is a true Verbatim veteran — she joined us in 2000 and loves being part of our friendly, professional Verbatim family. She is qualified to NVQ Level 3 in Customer Service and is passionate about helping our clients.
‘I am a proficient typist — around 65 wpm — and I love to talk, so this is the perfect job for me!’
‘Verbatim is a wonderful place to work, we all get along great together, and we really care about how each and every one of us is getting on, both at work and in our personal lives.’
‘For example, we have now had three ladies in the office suffer breast cancer — myself included — and our work colleagues have been very supportive during this very traumatic and frightening time.’
‘Our management team organised a rota of colleagues to drive two of the ladies to their chemo and radiotherapy appointments for 20 consecutive days so that their partners would not lose pay by taking so much time off work.’
‘What’s more, they paid for lovely wigs for the two women so they wouldn’t have the indignity of an NHS wig.’
Team Verbatim also came to the rescue when Jackie broke her collarbone and could not drive for six weeks, setting up a workstation for her at home so she could continue to do her job.
‘All this perfectly sums up why I love working for Verbatim — this is such a caring company and the management team really look after their employees.’
Away from work, Jackie loves chocolate, shoes, and shopping.
Natasha joined Verbatim in 2001 and is qualified to NVQ Level 3 in Customer Service. She has excellent communications skills, loves talking to people, and both her clients and their customers love talking to her. Customers love talking to her.
‘I like working at Verbatim because there is such a friendly, happy atmosphere. They are very flexible, professional people to work with. It’s also always great to help out a customer with a query and go that extra mile.’
Natasha also enjoys handling all our team holiday requests — something we’re very grateful for!
Back at home, she loves to be with her two children and spending time with friends and family. Given a free rein, her dream car would be a Lamborghini.
Angela joined Verbatim in 2002 and now knows a very great deal about answering calls for myriad businesses! She’s completed her NVQ in Customer Service, and thoroughly enjoys working with her clients and her colleagues.
‘I like working for Verbatim because we have a good team, everyone is helpful and friendly, and the management are totally brilliant.’
‘I find it interesting answering all the varied calls and I it’s great being able to help test new software, which will enable us to deliver an even better and more personal service.’
Angela has had plenty of strange calls over the years, and we all had a chuckle at this one…
Angela: ‘Could I have your number please?’
Caller: ‘Yes, it’s ….’
Angela: Thanks — I’ll get someone to call you.’
Caller: ‘Oh, you can’t get me on that number — you’ll have to call my mobile.’
When she’s back at home, Angela appreciates a quiet meal for two followed by an evening in front of the fire, and enjoys spending as much time as she can outdoors, spectacular thunderstorms, kittens, and days out with her grandchildren.
Since Jess joined the Verbatim team in 2008, she’s completed her NVQ Level 3 qualification in Customer Service, and is great at balancing a highly professional approach to everything she does with being friendly and fun to have around.
‘One of the the things I enjoy the most — and that has kept me here for so long — is the people I work with. Many I can call my friends, and they’re a team of caring, happy, and bubbly characters who add so much energy to the working environment.’
Jess enjoys the challenge of constantly upgrading her skills so that she can better serve our clients, and away from work enjoys having a laugh with her family and friends, and baking the odd yummy cake.
Sophie C has been with the Verbatim team since 2011 and is qualified to NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service. She lights up our office with her bubbly personality and enthusiasm, and is also hard-working and conscientious.
‘I love working for Verbatim because we make a great team and everyone is so friendly. We really are very much like a family because we not only all get along well at work, we also all meet outside of work.’
Sophie’s catchphrase is ‘Okie dokie’, which perfectly sums up her can-do attitude. When one caller was trying to find his way to our client’s premises, Sophie stepped in to navigate him there with the help of Google Maps! Their conversation went something like this…
Caller: ‘I’m on my way but I’m a bit lost. Could you tell me how to find you?’
Sophie (pulling up Google Maps and keying in our client’s postcode): ‘So whereabouts are you now?’
Caller: ‘At a crossroads — I can see a building across the road.’
Sophie (scanning Google Map and pinning down the caller’s location ): ‘Great — all you need to do is go past that building and there’s a country road on your left. Turn up that road, and you’ll be here.’
Caller: ‘Thanks, if I get lost again I’ll call you back, but I’m sure I’ll find you in a couple of minutes.’
Sophie: ‘Great — I’ll let Mr Smith know you’ll be with him shortly.’
Sophie of course never met the caller, or spoke to him again, but she helped get him from A to B without him ever knowing that she wasn’t based at our client’s premises!
Colin has been a member of the Verbatim team since 2012, and loves the vibrant Verbatim office atmosphere.
‘I enjoy speaking to callers, and our clients. I know I’m skilled with the more difficult callers, the ones who are unhappy, or are difficult to understand, as I am generally quite patient in these situations.’
Colin a great listener, and enjoys helping our clients’ callers get the answers they’re looking for. One client personally thanked him for how calm and understanding he had been with a overseas caller who did not have English as their first language and had been particularly anxious and insistent.
Colin’s favourite food is Shepherd’s Pie, he loves modern art and Arsenal FC, and he would love to be able to time travel.
Debbie has been with Verbatim since 2014 and is known for her exceptional enthusiasm — from working with her clients’ callers to everything else she does.
For her, being part of the Verbatim team is like working with her family and she enjoys the interaction with her colleagues as much as she loves helping callers. She’s known for her ability to talk to anyone and callers appreciate her gentle banter!
‘I love working for Verbatim because it is like working with your family! Everyone is so friendly, and I just love the interaction with my work colleagues.’
‘Of course I also enjoy talking to customers and helping them in any way I can. One caller knew the address of a property but didn’t have the postcode, so I Googled it for her.’
‘Another caller had just had a motorcycle accident and was feeling very low, so I took time to reassure him and then made sure our client knew why their customer was so upset.’
Elise joined Verbatim in 2014, and immediately fitted into the team. She loves the collaborative approach, with everyone sharing information and never hesitating to jump in to help out if anybody gets stuck.
‘I’ve also found my workmates very supportive of my studies as an external professional writing and publishing student, always ready to encourage me with my professional and personal development.’
Elise loves to travel with her husband, who she met on a gap year, and also loves heading off for a long walk in the countryside or getting stuck into a great novel.
Kiera joined Verbatim in 2014 as has an NVQ Level 3 in customer service.
Talking is one of my specialties, so I am happy to do so over and over again each day!’
‘I get to speak to people from all over the world, and it makes me happy to know that I am helping callers solve their issues, and helping our customers build their businesses just by taking their calls.’
‘Kiera also loves being one of the Verbatim family who have, she says, helped her learn a great deal in a short space of time! ‘I say “family” because that is truly what they are to me. This company and staff have helped me in so many different ways —I will forever be grateful to the senior members of staff and also to my fellow receptionists!’
As well as having strong communications skills on the phone, Kiera is a super-fast typist who loves to gently remind callers that we’re now in the 21st century. She’s often asked if she ‘has a pen at hand’, to which she replies, ‘no, but I have a great computer!’ and explains that their message will be relayed much faster than it would have been just a few years ago.
When she’s off duty, Kiera enjoys socialising, reading and Googling for the hell of it. If she had a superpower, it would be to control the elements but she’ll meantime settle for a plate of her favourite food — lasagne.
Sam joined Verbatim in 2014 and loves the diversity of his job, with every call posing a unique challenge.
‘For me, each call poses a unique challenge, be it placing an order or dealing with an unhappy customer. I am very good at keeping my cool in stressful situations and that comes in handy when dealing with angry callers!’
For example, when one distraught caller confessed she was feeling suicidal, Sam immediately knew what to do. He suggested she contact the Samaritans, and talked to her while he found the right number, before making sure she had copied it down correctly and then ending the call.
Elaine joined us in 2015 after ten years working for a local firm and was amazed at how differently we do things at Verbatim.
‘ In my previous job, no one spoke to anyone else and the only time a manager ever addressed me was during a meeting.
Here at Verbatim we all treat each other with respect, no matter what position we hold, and we’re always comparing experiences and sharing ideas.’
Elaine is very experienced in all areas of customer services, has excellent telephone skills, and loves learning new ways of helping our clients build their businesses.
Away from work, she enjoys acting as roadie for her husband’s northern soul DJ business and spending time with him and their grown-up son. She’s also a devoted West Ham fan and is proud to display a team sticker on the back of her car!
Marine biology graduate Joe has been a member of the Verbatim team since 2015, and loves the diversity that goes with the job, especially meeting new people (albeit virtually!) every day and representing a wide variety of clients.
‘I’m compassionate by nature and have a particular ability to connect and relate with the customer.’
‘I also really enjoy the kind and fun atmosphere in the office — it makes you feel welcome and part of the family.’
Lizzie has been with Verbatim since 2006, joining us from the hospitality industry and spending her first five years as a receptionist before becoming an account manager and helping new clients become part of our Verbatim family.
After four years in this role, Lizzie moved across to manage the Verbatim receptionist team and routinely goes out of her way to help our clients. For example, she gave up a whole bank holiday weekend to building a new interactive voice response system for a client who wanted the job completed urgently.
Away from work, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and three lively spaniels, and has a passion for travel.
‘Ibiza is a favourite destination, and if I’m not partying there you may find me on a weekend away closer to home. I’ve also made it to the other side of the world with a visit to New Zealand.’
Assistant Operations Manager
Olivia came to us in 2014 aged just 19 from Marks and Spencer — recognised globally for the high standard of its development programmes — where she had already built an impressive track record in customer care as a management trainee.
After a year as a receptionist, Olivia was given the opportunity to flex her sales muscles and now manages accounts for both our new and established clients. She a keen eye for detail, loves learning about the businesses interested in using our services, and is full of fresh ideas. Our clients regularly contact us to tell us much they appreciate the care she takes, her diligence, and her commitment to delivering the very best service.
‘I love working at Verbatim because of the opportunities it has given me. I started working here at 19, it was my second job and a big step in the right direction! Stepping into the receptionist role from a customer service background wasn’t too much of a challenge and after a year I was given the opportunity of making SALES!’
‘Every customer is different and I love learning about all the companies interested in Verbatim’s services. I really care about my clients and the customer service we deliver, especially that first interaction they have with us on the phone.’
Away from work, you’ll find Olivia gigging up and down the country in a rock band.
Claire joined Verbatim in 2008 and completed her NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service as a member of our receptionist team handling a wide range of calls for our clients.
After six years as a receptionist, we gave Claire the opportunity to take her career in a new direction, and she is now part of the finance team and on track to become AAT qualified.
Outside work, Claire’s passions are her husband and their two sons, hosting dinner parties, long walks, and taking part in Geocaching, an app-based treasure hunt for all the family.
Assistant Financial Controller
Graham founded Verbatim in 1997 after a varied career in international business that began with British Airways Airways as a graduate trainee before taking him to the Gulf States where he worked first as a business development manager in contract catering services to the oil and gas industry and later as marketing director for the Dubai World Trade Centre.
He is married with three children, and is passionate about excellent customer service and helping others achieve their goals.
Graham is also passionate about helping young people just entering the workforce. ‘I have been campaigning for over 10 years about youth unemployment and how we as small business owners can make a real impact on the appalling numbers of young people who have no job. Such a waste of talent.
‘I just love the business we are in because we already make a real difference to our customers’ businesses and, as we grow, we will also be giving young people the opportunity to grow by offering apprenticeships.’
Away from his desk, Graham follows England rugby, enjoys watching Test cricket, and Spurs and Gillingham FC. He loves to muck about in Drascombe boats in Corfu, and is happiest when having a laugh with family and friends.
Sarah joined Verbatim in 1999 and soon became our full time financial controller, a varied role that not only covers looking after the financial health of the business but also HR and health and safety. She’s achieved a raft of vocational qualifications and now brings real energy, passion, and expertise to our management team.
She says herself that she’s a bit of a control freak, will never ask anyone else to do something she’s not prepared to do, and likes to see all the loose ends tied up. She always has time for her colleagues and this ethos is reflected in the way she deals with our clients.
Graham says: ‘Sarah’s extensive skills and experience in accountancy and financial management has been instrumental in shaping Verbatim’s success to date. She brings real energy, passion, and expertise to or management team.’
What makes Verbatim special for Sarah is that no two days are ever the same. ‘I love the ethos and the flexibility of the company. Verbatim is ethical in how staff, clients and suppliers are treated — not many companies can say that.
‘Everyone is encouraged and praised for doing their best, never taken for granted. And we also know how to have fun, let our hair down!’
Away from work, Sarah is a proud grandmother to two, loves taming her garden and confesses to being a bit of a soap addict!
Financial Controller & Graham’s #2
Nick has been with Verbatim since 2004 after a diverse career that took him from High Street retail to the motor industry and then to the AA where he was a customer team manager just before joining us.
We immediately recognised his experience and talent and directed him instead to our customer service and operations team. Nick is now Director of Operations and — together with Sarah — leads the senior management team running Verbatim day-to-day with support from Olivia, Lizzie, and Claire.
As with all the Verbatim team, Nick can point to many examples of going that extra mile for the business and for our clients.
‘One of them faced a major disaster when a roof collapsed, jeopardising their 24/7 availability. I immediately stepped in, dropped everything else I was doing, and within an hour I’d set up a virtual reception desk for the client’s 150 staff! I think we can say without fear of exaggeration that I literally saved their business!’