Tuesday 23 October 2012

In the spotlight: A part of our dedicated customer service team – Takalani

This week on our blog we interview one of Eduloan’s customer service agents, Takalani Tshamano. He’s the person who phones you within a few minutes of your leaving a query on our Facebook wall or tweeting us on Twitter. Efficient, friendly and professional, we wanted to put Takalani in the spotlight to show you who you’re dealing with and to talk about customer service as a worthwhile and rewarding career.

How long have you been working at Eduloan and what exactly is it that you do?

I started working for Eduloan on a temporary basis in October last year, I then joined the team full-time in March this year. My role is to assist clients who are looking for a study finance solutions. The kind of query differs from client to client.

Did you study further after Matric?

Yes, I studied further and received my degree in Economics. In addition to that I also studied towards a diploma and have a qualification in Business Management.

How important a role do you think customer service plays in the overall functioning of a company that deals with the public on a daily basis?

Customer services play a very important role, if not the most important role in a company that’s specifically customer-oriented. We’re there to inform and assist people who are in the dark about how exactly to apply for a loan. We have to walk them through the contracts they enter into and make sure everything crystal clear.

Do you think that being in a customer service role is rewarding as a career and why?

Yes I definitely think it’s rewarding. I think it’s rewarding because you aid the development of students.

How many people work in your team and how many people/queries do you deal with on an average day?

We’ve got 8 members in our team. The roles are divided; each person handles a specific type of query. I generally deal with about a hundred queries a day.

How important is it to work as a team in the customer service department?

It’s very important to work as a team as it’s not easy to deal with all queries - that’s why each team member focuses on a specific part of the loan application. The team handles outstanding documents requests, SMS queries, refunds, loan quotes and repayment calculations.

What advice would you have for anyone considering customer service as a career?

Well, my advice for anyone wanting to enter into customer services is that patience is a key factor. Other than that you have to be very diplomatic. You have to be able to sympathise with the client as a lot of them are in a tough spot.

What qualities would they have to possess in order to be successful at this type of job?

You would have to have a lot of patience and you should be willing to work with people. You should be concise and articulated. You need to be analytical and responsible when you answer queries because it’s very important to supply the correct info.

Finally, what is it like working at Eduloan? Do you believe that Eduloan makes a difference to the lives of ordinary South Africans?

I find it fulfilling to be a part of Eduloan. I’m proud to be working here as I believe we are contributing to an important aspect of South African people’s lives. Education is extremely important in society and Eduloan accepts its role of assisting in the upliftment of not only people but also of communities.

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