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 to address selection criteria covering both ‘Essential’ and ‘Desirable’ components with ten and three criteria respectively, 13 in total. Following are excerpts from two of the criteria in the Essential section.

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 in all cases I managed.

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Annie Cerone