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A Day in the Life: Customer Service Supervisor, Electric/Gas Utility Company Branch Office

8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.: Retrieve night-drop payments from night-drop box located outside the building. Take it to the two payment tellers for processing. If there is a larger than usual number of payments in the drop, I help with their processing. I do this because I open the office doors to customers at 9:00 a.m. and the night-drop payments must be processed by this time. Once all of the payments are processed, I take the information about the previous day's transactions and prepare the deposit slip so that all funds received can be deposited. I deposited the cash into the bank's night deposit drop the previous night, so I don't have to carry a lot of cash on me when I go to the bank.

9:00 a.m.: I unlock the branch doors and welcome the first customers that have been waiting to come in to make payments or discuss their accounts with a customer service rep.

9:05 a.m.–9:30 a.m.: The senior customer service rep prints out daily and weekly reports that contain customer service and collections statistics. I review each of these reports. I look at them to make sure there are no overdue, outstanding, or unresolved issues. If I have a question, I discuss it with the customer service rep handling the customer's account. If I notice a pattern of unresolved issues or work that is falling behind, I discuss it with the customer service rep. Often there are specific reasons the rep is falling behind, like she is being interrupted too much throughout the day with customer phone calls to handle the backlog of work. In that case, I schedule time off the phones for the rep when I know phone traffic will be lighter so the rep can get caught up.

9:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.: I go to the bank and deposit all payments received the previous day. According to company requirements, I vary the route that I walk to the bank. It usually takes less than half an hour, but can take up to half an hour if the bank lobby is especially busy and I have to wait to complete the deposit.

10:00 a.m.–12:00 noon: During this time I am able to turn to other work that needs to be done. I return phone calls and e-mails. The priority is to respond to customers first. Once all customer contacts have been returned, I then return calls and e-mails from inside the company. I also work on special projects, such as assisting with developing customer rep training programs. I also assist with company-wide customer service statistic reports for upper managers. If it is getting close to time for employee performance reviews, I begin preparations for them, gathering facts and statistics on each rep's performance and any feedback, positive or negative, that I've received about the reps from customers or others within the company. I can then begin completing the performance review.

12:00 noon–1:00 p.m.: Lunch. I often go home for lunch, since I live nearby the office. Or I meet a friend or family member and eat out. Otherwise, if I am very busy, I will eat at my desk and continue to work.

1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.: The first thing I do when I get back from lunch is return the phone calls or e-mails that occurred while I was at lunch. Again, customer calls always come first, and intercompany calls after that. Both during this time and in the morning, if there is a customer that is unhappy with how a customer service rep is handling his or her situation and asks to speak with a supervisor or manager, I am called over to talk to the customer. I listen to what the customer wants and how the rep has been working with the customer. I try to find a middle ground or solution that will help the customer but not undermine the customer service rep or make her feel that I am going over her head. These don't happen every day, but at least a few times a week I am required to step in and resolve this kind of dispute. I also work on special projects like the ones I described earlier, or I may be asked to handle something for the manager. We have weekly supervisors' meetings between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. on Friday afternoons.

5:00 p.m.: After the last customer has left the building, I close and lock the office doors, place all cash in the bank deposit bag and lock it, then walk to the bank branch and deposit the bag in their night drop box. I usually take all my things with me, such as my coat, purse, etc., so I can then walk to my car and go home.