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Employee testimonials

With opportunities in all departments, from sales and parts through to servicing and administration, there are a variety of roles available at TNS.
Some of our employees have talked to us about their experiences at TNS, the training they've undertaken and how their roles have progressed within the Company.

An NVQ will equip you with the skills you need

Claire Sheppard and Rachel Martin provide the essential parts administration support from Head Office. With a combined 20 years’ experience at TNS between them, they ensure the parts departments’ stock control runs smoothly. Both Claire and Rachel have undertaken NVQs whilst working at TNS.

Claire joined TNS in 2002 as a trainee administrator. Although previous experience had equipped Claire with good customer service skills she didn’t have any formal administration qualifications. However, the NVQs - Levels 2 and 3 of business administration and Level 3 Information Technology - gave Claire the skills to do the job.

Claire explains: “When I first joined I had limited knowledge of the role and stock control, however, the NVQs give you not just the qualifications to do the job, but also the ability to gain a different perspective on how to develop the role to bring about improvements. “One of the exercises we undertook as part of the NVQ was to look at administrative documents used within the company; as a result the Minutes template we use in the company is the one I devised during the NVQ, and it is still being used all these years later.”

Rachel came to TNS from a background where she already possessed administrative skills, however, in 2008 she undertook Level 3 ICT, Level 2 key skills in communication and Level 2 key skills in application of numbers. Rachel adds: “Although I already had my admin skills the NVQ built upon this knowledge and helped to focus these skills.

"The NVQs have given me the confidence when liaising with colleagues and external suppliers. The skills have also helped me to identify areas of my work and how I can develop it.”

Essentially the skills gained have given both Claire and Rachel the confidence in their abilities to step back, look at the roles and responsibilities and review critically how processes can be improved, to bring about change in efficiencies and the effectiveness of their support to the Parts team.

Confidence with NVQ

Steve Grindey joined the Littleport branch Parts team in June 2008.

His role involves serving customers at the busy parts counter, receiving, logging and distribution of inbound goods, as well as ordering required parts for customers, both internal and external, and showroom presentation. His responsibilities have recently included the role of Stihl branch champion, which requires in-depth knowledge of the Stihl range to assist customers with selecting the most suitable product for their needs.

In the Summer of 2014 Steve completed his Customer Services NVQ for levels 2 and 3. This NVQ addresses areas such as delivery of service, legal and data protection issues, Point of Sale, promotions and how to maximise the impact of the showroom area. As part of the NVQ Steve has also re-taken his GCSE English and Maths qualifications.

Steve explains: “The NVQ is so much more than just academic studies, I’ve become aware of how to read a customer’s body language to know what the best approach is to use when serving them. Plus my personal confidence has really improved - I used to avoid talking to customers on the phone about products but now I’m much more confident with talking to customers both face to face and over the phone.”

The NVQ training has already brought benefits to the team on a daily basis. Steve adds: “As part of the course we looked at different ways to monitor customer service and undertook an analysis of good areas of service and where we could improve. As part of that exercise two of my suggestions have been implemented by the team. One of which is the installation of providing hot drinks for customers when they come into the branch - this creates an informal atmosphere giving the opportunity for discussions, which can often lead to sales without any hard sell techniques.

The second suggestion was the use of a rota system for the team. To help keep things fresh the team, on a weekly basis, rotate around key service provision - either goods in, serving at the counter or serving internal customers at the workshop counter. This means that for during that week there is a continuance of contact for each enquiry, from ordering, to delivery through to sale.

Steve adds: “The NVQ has helped me to look at customer service from a different perspective. For me, the NVQ = confidence.”