This client applied for the role of Customer Service Officer in local government, a council in NSW. My client was successful in gaining a job interview. A four page statement was prepared addressing selection criteria covering both ‘Essential’ and ‘Desirable’ components with ten and three criteria respectively, 13 in total. Following are excerpts from four of the criteria listed as Essential.

A minimum of three years Customer Service experience in a call centre or customer facing environment.

I have provided high levels of customer service in all the roles I have held. I service clients face-to-face, via phone and through written methods (emails and letters). My primary goal has been to deliver a high level of service to all customers at all times. In my previous role as Investments Administrator with AAA, I was responsible for processing clients’ investment requests (buy or sell) on their pension accounts. On a daily basis, I handled calls from clients and fund managers. This typically involved acknowledging receipt of client instructions, responding to clients’ enquiries, informing them on the progress of their investments, requesting further information from them, informing them once investments had been completed, and following up with external fund managers to track progress of buy or sell investments. I also responded to client enquiries and communicated with them via email if I was unable to speak to them over the phone. I made it a point to record all communication between the client and myself, including work actioned in my case notes for reference and to use as evidence if any dispute arose. I dealt with clients from various backgrounds and ethnicity (pensioners, young adults, divorcees, mature clients, and high net worth). Within four months in this role, I was awarded the Operational Excellence Award for providing outstanding customer service.

Skills in conflict resolution and ability to deal with challenging customers.

During my tenure at AAA, on one occasion, I handled a client call on behalf of a colleague who was absent at that time. The client was angry and was adamant he was going to lodge a complaint against the company for delays in processing an investment. I was determined to investigate the matter and find a resolution. I explained to the client in a calm manner to hold off on lodging a complaint until I fully investigated the matter. Upon my investigation, I discovered that an error had occurred in a third party transaction which caused this delay. I discussed the matter with my line manager and suggested that the client’s investment fees be waived to compensate for the delay in processing the investment. My line manager agreed and authorised to waive the fee. I phoned the client to explain the situation and assured that the investment would be placed correctly, and I offered to waive the investment fees. The client immediately calmed down and expressed his satisfaction with the result and the professional service I provided. Furthermore, this client did not lodge a complaint as he had originally intended.

Demonstrated ability to think laterally as a means of sourcing accurate information quickly and effectively.

During my tenure as Investments Administrator, I was responsible for processing client investment instructions which was undertaken on a case-by-case basis. When a work colleague was on leave, I handled one of her cases; its completion was an urgent undertaking. After examining the case notes, I immediately identified that my colleague had misinterpreted the client’s instructions. Thus, the wrong investment was placed which had led to infuriating the client. I also noticed that this miscommunication could have easily been avoided if my colleague had taken the initiative to clarify the instructions with the client. Following from this, I phoned the client to apologise for the error and re-confirmed the initial instruction with the client. I took ownership of the case, rectified the error and followed through until completion. Importantly, I kept the client informed throughout the process until the correct investment was placed. Subsequently, the client was very pleased with my service and proactive approach in handling the case. Thereafter, when working cases, I applied the method/practice of clarifying instructions and keeping clients informed of progress. This method played a significant part in achieving zero complaints on all cases I managed.

Well developed computer literacy and keyboard skills, including experience in using databases and other computer programs.

My computer literacy using databases and computer programs is at an intermediate to advanced level. In my role as Assistant Paraplanner and Client Service Associate, I used Microsoft Word and Excel on a daily basis to develop Statement of Advice reports; and I used Visiplan (a combined financial planning software program, and client relationship management-CRM system) to prepare these reports. I used Word and Excel for various administrative functions, such as generating report templates (via Visiplan), report writing and formatting, mail merging, creating and printing labels, drawing tables and graphs, and performing investment calculations. In my role as Investments Administrator, aside from daily use of Word and Excel, I used a CRM system, Salesforce. I used Salesforce on a daily basis to manage case loads, to record case notes and all communication with clients, to attach client paperwork on work completed, and to create tasks for colleagues.

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Annie Cerone