Celebrating the skills of men in the customer services industry

ross_sextonIt’s International Men’s Day this weekend so we’re celebrating some of the men within our business. Front of house and events are generally seen as being female dominated but it’s an industry just as suited to men if they have a passion for exceptional customer service.

Today, Ross Sexton, Reception Supervisor shares his experiences…

What is your role and what does a typical day at work look like for you?

My role is a Reception Supervisor for a financial client in the City. I look after a fantastically diverse team in an extremely busy environment. We run the operations from before the guest even comes through the door with the arrangement of rooms, passes, catering, AV and everything in between once they are with us. We look after 40 meeting rooms as well as hundreds of clients on a daily basis. With a team of nine I am very fortunate to have two strapping young guys on the team as well as myself of course! I have a fantastic mix of both men and women and that’s why our reception is so successful because of the amazing balance.

How did you get into this profession?

My background is extremely varied but everything that I have previously done has played a part in helping me land a fantastic job with Mitie Client Services. At the age of 17 I was a restaurant manager, then for several years a family entertainer for Thomson Holidays before my role here with Mitie. I was recommended by a friend for the role and have never looked back. Having never had any corporate reception experience, I still believed I had what it took and was never put off by the prospect. The entertainer industry was a female dominated environment too – I guess I just love getting in touch with my feminine side!

What skills do you think are needed to succeed in a customer service led role?

To succeed in customer service you need to be a real people person. You learn to understand people and to be able to read their emotions, body language and persona is a skill that you develop. A smile goes a long way and I like to always give someone a service that I would be overwhelmed by should I be on the receiving end. If you don’t consider your job a job and more part of a customer’s journey you will not only provide an exceptional service but also develop your own skills. No one expects you to jump over hurdles for them, which is why it’s more amazing when you do so. A little goes a long way.

Do you feel there are opportunities for you to progress in the industry?

Absolutely! After 18 months in the role I progressed to Reception Supervisor. With having no background in this industry it just goes to show with Mitie’s support you can be as successful as you want to be. I’ve learnt so many new skills and as well as developing in my role, I have benefited from things such as being an engagement ambassador and getting involved with numerous activities within the business. With others starting around the same time as myself I have also seen them progress and succeed. If you want to progress the option is there and Mitie Client Services will back you 100%.

Would you encourage other men to join your profession and why?

This industry is predominantly female led however that should never stop you. There are many fantastic males working within this environment and the role really gives you the opportunity to meet new people, share best practice and let your personality shine through. Most teams have an amazing group of ladies but there’s always room for a great group of guys. As a male it is easier to stand out in the crowd as there is not a huge amount of us. Also there are a vast amount of men and women working for the businesses we work for, so when there is a lot of shopping talk going on don’t worry you’ll always find someone to talk football with.

Ross Sexton is a Reception Supervisor based in London with Mitie Client Services

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