Customer service and beyond: how we can support you

4 minutes to read
Office scene

When you work with Key Portfolio, we are at your service. Our Employee Care Advisors are perfectly equipped to deal with everyday customer queries, such as questions about your payments or expenses. But they’re also living, breathing experts on all things contracting, providing an in-depth service for the thousands of contractors in the Key Portfolio community.

We stopped by for a quick chat with Martin McGuinness, one of our advisors, to find out more about the service his team provides.

What are the most important skills needed to do your job?

First and foremost, you need to be an expert on everything we deal with. You should know our service and industry through and through. One minute you’re talking someone through the details of their latest pay advice slip, the next minute you’re explaining Agency Workers’ Regulations, and the next you’re discussing how to apply for maternity pay. So you really have to know it all, and know it well.

But it’s equally important to have the patience to properly explain these processes to people. It’s a two-sided thing. You might be explaining something for the tenth time that day, but it’s still the first time the caller has heard that information, so you need to be aware of that and properly communicate the details they need.

For example, I spoke with a brand new contractor last week who was unsure about the expenses he might be entitled to. I talked him through the rules surrounding expenses, the different things he could claim, the process of claiming, and how expenses affect his take-home pay. It was good to be able to take him through everything from the beginning, so he could go away and claim with confidence.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

Sometimes a problem can come up that needs some investigation. You need to take the time to work it out, research why it’s happened and uncover the answer. It’s almost like doing a puzzle. In those situations, it’s nice to be able to find the solution after however long it takes, and explain it to the person concerned. There’s a great satisfaction that comes from properly working out and explaining something tricky and complicated.

As an example, I spoke with a lady just yesterday who had noticed that her tax code had suddenly changed, along with a big jump in the tax that was being deducted. Tax codes can be quite tricky to understand, and if you don’t know what’s going on it can be infuriating. It was a complicated situation to get my head round, and she was understandably a bit distressed at paying more tax than she had been. Once I worked out the problem for myself though, I was able to explain exactly why it was that she’d been taxed more, and for how long it was going to occur. She was quite anxious when the conversation started, but by the end of the call she was happy to be able to understand the situation, and was no longer distressed.

Is there any one recent call that sticks out as memorable?

A nice side-effect of knowing the service through and through is that sometimes you can let people know of something they weren’t aware of that’s relevant and beneficial to them. This was the case with a gentleman I spoke to not that long ago.

He called us because he had been diagnosed with a long-term illness that meant he was going to be out of work for some time, and wanted to request his P45 so that he could claim income support. Because he’s an employee of ours, he’s eligible for sick pay, so I looked into it and worked out that he would actually be eligible for more money by claiming sick pay with us than by going with his income support allowance. He was quite surprised, but was happy to stick with us and allow us to process his claim.

That one’s probably my favourite call because it’s a good example of a service we offer, it means that he stays in employment, and he’s better off in the long run simply by sticking with Key Portfolio.