That old adage of ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’ could never be so true as it is for our customer service team. We don’t purport to know everything about anything but, generally, we know someone who does.
Alongside the multiple requests for information we receive at this time of year from postgraduate and undergraduate university students embarking on their dissertation projects (in my day you had to do them yourself!) we also receive any number of obscure and seemingly random queries.
For example, today I learnt about lime mortar and the use of ‘pointing keys’ after someone asked us whether we knew of "a supplier of these unique tools”. Subsequently I found out that actually a pointing key is of limited use when working with lime mortar as they’d be used for filling the joint and compressing the mortar firmly rather than applying a final finish, which is best done by striking (not brushing) using a churn brush. So, there you go.
We have been exceptionally busy this month, particularly with the lesser spotted sun making an appearance after the Bank Holiday. We all came back on the Tuesday to a very busy day full of licence renewals, new owner applications and lots of other enquiries as everyone had enjoyed the weekend on the canals. We’d also like to thank some very patient and understanding customers who waited as we tried to get back to everyone as quickly as we could.
One Sunday in April finally brought the arrival of some fantastic news in the form of baby Fraser. Some of us have been able to visit Sian and spend some time with the new family and reports are that everyone is happy and healthy. The rest of us are looking forward to her first office visit for a cuddle.
We also have a very keen walker amongst us. This Saturday Jo will be taking on the West Highland Way Challenge. The walk is a gruelling 96 miles starting in Milngavie along to Fort William walking on the banks of Loch Lomond through the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, via the Devils Staircase before finally reaching Ben Nevis and Fort William. All this is in just six days. Jo is doing the walk to fundraise on behalf of Pendine Park, a care home in North Wales, and I’m sure that you’ll join us in wishing her all the best of luck…and keep your fingers crossed for some dry weather.
After receiving news that there had been a fire at Clarendon Road, the previous location of our Head Office, it took less than half an hour for the calls to start coming through. Not from concerned individuals but from sales callers offering temporary office space, stationary supplies and temporary staff. I have to say that we all felt very righteous when telling them that we had moved offices and were no longer based there. Surely there are some opportunities even a salesperson would turn down?
We must have tempted fate in our first blog… having never heard anything quite like the ‘Gold Licence’ query all these years, we have now also overheard Natalie explaining to a very confused gentleman that the Gold Licences we issue are actually for boats on inland navigations not to give permission to import Gold into the UK!
I’d like to tell you about the gentleman who emailed to find out whether we were responsible for the ‘water’ at the bottom of his garden which, when we entered his postcode into Google, seemed to be the English Chanel. Maybe not one for us!?
Sarina joined us in 2008 as our customer services co-ordinator. Among other things, she manages our national customer service team, complaints procedure and requests for information made to the Trust. She says that the most important thing to her is to be able to go home and feel as though she’s achieved something, however small that might be. Her job is hugely satisfying, widely varied, full of deadlines, immensely interesting, sometimes challenging and no day is ever the same, although some are surprisingly familiar!See more blogs from this author