How a Teacher Turned Cabot Colleague Translated Empathy, Listening Skills to Her New Career
Alexis, a Customer Consultant with Cabot Credit Management (Cabot) in the U.K., is used to listening to people. She taught primary school students for 17 years, coaching and listening not only to students, but also to fellow staff, parents and supervisors.
When she was diagnosed with a health condition causing chronic pain, however, Alexis looked for opportunities that would be better for her work and life balance.
That’s when she found a position at Cabot, where she works flexible hours helping consumers resolve their finances. The skills Alexis brought over from teaching have translated well to Cabot, she said.
“As a teacher, I’m used to talking to people all day, every day,” Alexis said. “I have good listening skills, and I also recently completed a course on coaching skills, which are essential in this role. Empathy is another skill I brought over, whether it’s from a management perspective dealing with staff members or working with parents in difficult situations.”
She said that many of Cabot’s consumers just want to feel heard.
“So many of our consumers mention that we’re extremely understanding,” Alexis said. “They say they haven’t had a positive experience with similar companies in the past and have dreaded calling. I get a lot of appreciation for the conversations I have with those we support, and the main thing seems to be that we listen and care.”
Alexis said that, just like with teaching, she feels motivated at Cabot to help people.
“Previously I did this with children, preparing them for the next step to secondary school,” she said. “Now I support adults, helping them to resolve their debt. Every day is different, and I speak to some fantastic people, each with a different story.”
Developing trust with consumers is often key to finding the best way to help them, she added.
“I talk clearly and give them time to process information. Reassurance plays a big part – that they’re not alone, we’re here to help and that we’re different from other companies they may have dealt with.”
Alexis, Customer Consultant with Cabot Credit Management UK
“I talk clearly and give them time to process information,” she said. “Reassurance plays a big part – that they’re not alone, we’re here to help and that we’re different from other companies they may have dealt with.”
Alexis said she’s been able to succeed at Cabot with mutual support from her team.
“If I’m not sure how to manage an aspect of my account, my team is there to support me, or vice versa,” she said. “Recently I’ve been supporting newcomers to the team, making sure they can ask anything they’re unsure about. We have a strong bond, which means we work well together.”
Respect and empathy are the best traits for a winning team, Alexis said.
“Respect is a massively important trait for a team,” she said. “Respect for each other, our Team Leader and the people we help. Our Team Leader is honest, up-front and supportive, and in return we make sure we all work to the best of our abilities. It can be hard taking calls with vulnerable consumers or those who are unhappy, and you have to remain calm, listen and allow them to speak and feel heard.”
She added that making the connection with consumers makes her feel like she’s making a difference for people.
“I spoke with a gentleman who was not prepared to share any information and was very reluctant,” Alexis said. “I started with reassurance, explaining I just wanted to understand his situation. We ended up having a fabulous conversation, and we changed his plan to suit his affordability, and he even completed a lovely review.”
Alexis’ work with Cabot also gives her the opportunity to give back to her community.
“As part of our role we’re able to complete two community days per year within our team,” she said. “Last year I spent the day with the team helping at the zoo, and this year we’re planning a day at a local goat sanctuary.”
Alexis added that she’s hoping to help with Cabot’s ongoing initiative to visit local schools and help children understand financial concepts like earning and saving money and paying bills.
“My main motivation at work is to help and support people,” she said.