Return"You learn new things just by listening in on a conversation" An interview with Ariadna Costa, head of Customer Service
Ariadna Costa has been the Customer Service Manager at Montana Colors for just over a year. Her experience is the perfect optic to appreciating several different aspects of the company, from the evolution of jobs at Montana Colors to the camaraderie in the office environment. In this interview, Ariadna describes the nature of her role in intimate detail.
Could you explain exactly what the Customer Service team does in a company like Montana Colors?
Good question! In very general terms, we are dedicated to ensuring that we offer optimal customer service in all its facets.
We take care of managing orders from both the national and international market. This covers the entire process, from communicating with the client to transferring a new order, to completing the necessary documentation so that the client receives the material without any hiccups, before finally confirming that it has been received correctly.
And what is your specific role as the manager?
As the person in charge, my task is to manage the department to ensure its optimal functioning, contributing to the general objectives and purpose of Montana Colors.
When did you assume the role?
I remember the day perfectly! It was a hot day in July 2019. I was really excited and had a lot of respect for the position, which had just been created. The department had grown considerably they needed someone to gel the national and international territories.
Was it hard for you to adapt?
I don’t think so. It’s been a time of constant change that I’ve overcome with the help of my colleagues, which I’m very grateful for.
If we’re not mistaken, you’ve been at Montana Colors for six years, what’s your experience at company been like?
Already?? The days at Montana fly by! If I recall correctly, I joined the company on September 29, 2014 with a lot of enthusiasm as it was a new challenge for me. I came from the tourism sector, and one thing it had in common was their main objective: to provide excellent customer service.
When I joined, I worked with one other colleague taking orders. Now there are four of us! We also took care of some logistics like the resolution of transport incidents, and following up orders.
At the time it was a very manual process as they entered each individual reference in the system which took ages. Luckily, with all the new tools that are available today, we use a B2B platform for our distributors that has very detailed information about our products, as well as automatically processing orders. That means being able to dedicate the time we save to better customer service in other areas.
Do you think Montana Colors is a company that makes it easy to progress and evolve, or that needs very specific and static profiles?
I believe 100% that it is easy to progress and evolve. Montana Colors itself is constantly advancing, and from my point of view that is an indispensable key to success, so it needs the people who are part of it to be dynamic and enterprising.
Tell us a little about the work environment in the office.
CS is located in an office that we share with various departments - Administration and Finance, Control, Sales, Logistics etc - so we are never alone, and I like that, but it also has its negative side. If one day you want a little peace and quiet, it’s impossible!
Jokes aside, working alongside such varied profiles has a very good side, you have a much broader daily vision of the importance of each department in the entire process. It makes you put yourself in the shoes of your colleagues and you often learn new things just by listening in on a conversation.
Also, most of us eat in the dining room next to the office, where we chat about anything. Kids, partners, sports, politics: any topic is good to disconnect!
Has the social aspect changed a lot since the start of the pandemic?
Yes, unfortunately so. Now we take turns with colleagues to work from home to reduce the risk of infection. The same goes at lunchtime, we take turns not to have too many people eating at once. The main topic of conversation is COVID-19, it’s impossible not to talk about it. I hope we can get back to relative normality soon.
Anything funny ever happened to you at work?
Loads. Every day you have conversations with clients that you’re practically friends with, talking every day over several years, and they often end in laughter.
Something else that happens is when a colleague arrives, they say hello and I’m really concentrating on something else, so instead of returning the greeting, I thank them.
Sometimes when I’m working on budgets, I end up typing on the calculator instead of the keyboard.
Anything important that you’ve learned over the last 6 years?
I have learned how to grow both personally and professionally. During all this time there have been lots of changes, mostly positive, and the experience makes you grow. It’s often small things - meeting new colleagues, creating new departments, starting to work with a client from a country where you’ve never worked before - it all provides new knowledge and emotions.
Who would like us to interview next?
Mmm ... Yolanda Pereira.
ShareFebruary 02, 2021