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Interview

Keith Gait, Customer Service Director at Stagecoach Bus and speaker at our upcoming Customer Engagement Summit, gives insight into his case study and role …

Can you provide us with an insight into a ‘day in the life’ of your role?

My week typically starts with a quick look at e-mails on a Sunday, in case there has been anything urgent or a serious incident since Friday. On Monday morning we have a directors’ catch up, and I try to keep Mondays clear for 1-2-1s with my key team. We also have a weekly stand up on Mondays where the Head Office team update each other on key activity for the week, anything major activity coming up, or issues that may come along.

Depending on the time during the month, the rest of the week I would have accounts period end to review and analyse, and provide commentary on to the Group board. We also have at least three days of ‘ride-outs’ each month, where myself and my fellow directors visit one of the depots and travel on several buses for a few hours, so we can see and feel what customers are experiencing, and combine this with the bi-monthly performance review with the depot managers.

We have also recently launched our depot culture change programme, so we typically have one day a week with various operational supervisors, working with our partners Ember, to drive a culture in the depot where it’s the person on the bus that matters most, not the bus itself.

I also respond to several customer queries received regarding route changes, and communicate with local authorities and their representatives about various issues affecting bus usage.

In addition, I look after our marketing team, which is a very busy team looking at campaigns for route launches, new vehicles, timetable enhancements, public events and PR.

What do you think is the most important factor affecting Customer Engagement today?

The advance of automation. Is it here to stay and become mainstream, or is it the latest fad that we won’t hear of again in a few years? If it is here to stay, how do we deploy it correctly to improve the customer experience, rather than it just be a cost-saving tool?

Can you provide a sneak peek into your case study?

This is a talk about my experience of a rise from Call Centre Agent to Board Level Exec. How and why it’s different, how to get there, what you need to do when you achieve it, and what you need to forget! It’s also how to sell to us for the vendors in the room, the importance of trust and reputation, and an insight into our subconscious buying process.

What are you most looking forward to about the event?

Having spent a few years in the NHS, it’s great to be back in the CX world again since last summer, and I love hearing from so many people about what’s working for them and sharing best practice. Never stop learning!