Amey’s customer service teams benefit from new training facility provided by Amey employee and ex-Sapper to enhance customer service

11 February 2020
Image of people sat round a desk, watching two people inspect demo showers on a wall.

Amey’s customer service teams are benefiting from a brand new training facility created by former Royal Engineer, David Bate, who is using some of the skills he learnt in the Forces to provide our advisors with practical technical training to help them better diagnose customer’s maintenance issues and enable a first time fix when an engineer visits their home.   

David Bate joined Amey in 2018 after serving as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers. David worked initially on taking inbound calls and logging housing repairs but more recently moved to our frontline complaints department to focus on investigating and helping, where possible, to resolve customer service issues. 

During his time as a customer advisor, he found a real passion for helping people and took any feedback he received very seriously. He said “As an ex-Service person I understand some of the challenges faced by our Serving personnel and their families and I felt there was more I could do to help my Amey colleagues as well as supporting our occupants. I was given the opportunity to assist with training and I now provide all new customer service employees with a comprehensive course covering everything from understanding our Defence processes to how to use our system and run reports.” 

Part of the training involves candidates learning about some of the common equipment found in Service Family Accommodation (SFA). This involves David working in a large training room which is equipped with four different types of showers on the wall, heating pipework, flow sensors, RCD units, thermostats, electrical sockets and more! These items help our new starters who may not understand the difference between an electrical shower and a mixer shower to better understand the issues that families call in with.  

David said “So far, 36 new customer service employees have undergone training and we’re already beginning to see the benefits. These new starters are now able to ask the right questions when interacting with customers and to communicate more effectively with our engineers when booking repairs. We’re also finding that in some cases, issues are being resolved over the phone and a home visit isn’t needed.” 

Since rolling out the training, our ‘ease of business’ score is consistently 9/10 or above for the teams David has trained and benchmarks in the upper quartile of the UK Customer Service Index, against which we are assessed by the Institute of Customer Service.  

With Amey’s drive to recruit more Service leavers and veterans into our business we’re delighted that David has been able to use his Forces experience and knowledge to help improve our customer’s experience and we asked him how his military life has helped him to forge a second career in the civilian world. 

“Although I was only in the Army for a short period, the drive to be the best is instilled in you right from day one. I learnt how to think clearly under pressure which has been invaluable for working in a busy call centre as there are certainly times when you need to have a level head and not panic. My message to anyone who feels they don’t have the skills to transition into a new career is to just believe in yourself and your abilities. The Army give you so many skills that civilian employers such as Amey are looking for. I had basic GCSE qualifications when I joined the Army and now, as well as having a full-time job, I’m also in my 3rd year of studying for a Law degree.”