Meet Lauren

Lauren is a Customer Support Manager at Intrum UK. Find out why Lauren joined Intrum and just how rewarding her career has been to date.

People have always been at the heart of Intrum's culture.
Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

So, Lauren, what drew you to working in debt management?

I started working in financial services before consumer credit was relegated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), so things were very different then to how they are now. I was always fascinated by the collections side of the business, so having the opportunity to work in the industry and take a deeper dive into how things operated was intriguing. I always believed that there was a better way of working; so, to have the opportunity to join and grow with Intrum to bring about positive change is something to feel good about.

How did you find the onboarding process?

In 2006, there wasn't the regulatory oversight and compliance that there is today, so my induction was just a couple of weeks. It was enough time to learn what you needed to know to the job well. However, today's training is a lot more in-depth, so I'm in awe of the onboarding experience that newcomers receive. It gives team members the tools they need to effectively and emphatically support a range of customer journeys. Moreover, co-workers continue to receive on-the-job training and mentoring throughout their career, so it's about ongoing self-development.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Prior to being a customer support manager, I worked as a customer support team leader for approximately 12 years. I enjoyed the daily customer interactions, but always wanted to move into management. Nowadays, there are so many more opportunities to progress within the business. And while I enjoy the fruits of my labour, I also gain pleasure from coaching others and seeing them progress. Just as we help customers to make good choices, we help team members to fulfil their potential. It's recognising that everyone has different goals and objectives, so being in the position where I can support that is rewarding.

How do you measure job satisfaction?

While the purpose of collections doesn't change, the principles that underpin it is why I work for Intrum. For me, it's important to meet and exceed my performance indicators, but never to the detriment of the customer. Intrum's business has been established on treating customers fairly to generate a favourable outcome, so it's reassuring to read customers' positive feedback on a daily basis. It brings an added layer of job satisfaction knowing that team members are continuing to help customers through a challenging period. Success cannot always be measured financially, it's about the impact you've had throughout the whole journey. If all those anchor points have been met, that's success.

Have your life experiences helped shape you for the role?

There are lots of life experiences to be gained from engaging with customers on the phone; however, it's important to understand the need to be empathetic. To empathise means that you can build a rapport. There are many customers that have, through no fault of their own, fallen into financial hardship, so being personable with them to understand what Intrum can offer is key to finding a suitable resolution.

What do you look for during the interview process?

You need to demonstrate you have the right attitude and have done your research. It's not a prerequisite to have had previous telephony experience or working in financial services, as you can teach what is needed. I subscribe to 80 per cent of a candidate's success is determined by their attitude and only 20 per cent their aptitude. If they have the right mindset, willingness to learn and embrace the culture of the business, they'll succeed.

How important is work culture to you?

People have always been at the heart of Intrum's culture. There's plenty of interaction between senior management, line managers and team members to remove the hierarchical barriers that exist in a lot of companies. There's also a lot of recognition for team members' work, which extends to monthly and annual employee awards, as well as away days and awareness days that contribute to office culture. Our HR team are integral in helping to drive many initiatives, which are well-received by co-workers. It's another reason what makes Intrum a great place to work.