Welcome to our new series! "A Day in the Life of" is a blog series that will be delving into the various employees here at Freightcom and the positions they hold. The series will provide you not only with an inside look at Freightcom but will also serve as a guide for prospective employees, current customers and anyone who wants to know anything about the various positions one can have in the shipping industry.
Our first guest will be our very own Graham Coats, our Operations & Customer Care Team Leader who has been with Freightcom for four years. Here's our discussion with him.
What is your name and title here at Freightcom?
My name is Graham Coats, I'm the customer service supervisor and team leader.
Give us your back story of how you got started?
I was actually a customer of Freightcom, about four years ago. I started recommending customers to Freightcom and Tony (Freightcom's President) actually invited me to lunch one day. So we went for lunch and he eventually offered me a position in sales.
When do you wake up and what is the first thing you do?
Wow, so I actually live quite far from our office here in Bolton. I live in a small community called Udora, which is up by Lake Simcoe, so I start my day quite early. When I start my day obviously, you do your normal daily routine and then I have approximately an hour and a half drive in to the office everyday.
How is your work to life balance?
As a supervisor, it isn't exactly the same as a normal employee's would be so I put in a little bit more time when needed. So I can't really complain about my work life balance even though I drive quite far. Believe it or not it's actually therapeutic to be able to listen to the radio or podcasts.
What do you do at Freightcom day to day?
My day to day typically starts off with a group meeting, every other Monday, depending on the shifts that some of our employees have. I will go over some stats that we've gotten from the previous week and identify any potential issues the team has brought up. From there we would typically go over some of the previous days of shipments, as well as tracking and tracing and potential issues with regards to shipments that are delayed.
Aside from working in the shipping industry what else do you do in your free time?
I love to travel. One benefit of living as far out as I do from our office is being out in the country, being able to smell fresh air and see the stars at night. I have an absolute passion for travel and have recently just come back from Peru. So I'm looking forward to my next adventure.
What’s on your work desk?
I've got a lot of cool things on my desk. I have a lot of little nick nacks from either my travels or from when colleagues travel to different countries I ask them to bring me back something for my desk. I actually have a mood light that Madina (Freightcom's Social Media Manager) bought for me for Secret Santa for Christmas, that I absolutely love and get lots of compliments on.
How do you run a meeting?
Our customer service meetings are quite unique in terms of how we approach our group. In a nutshell, we like to address issues that customers have brought up to our team, whether it’s customer specific or carrier specific. We then brainstorm ideas on how to suggest appropriate answers to customers and their customers as well.
The one trait I look for in new hires is ___?
That would probably be multitasking, our group relies on the ability to multitask because in customer service we answer not only emails inquiries but phone calls and chats as well.
What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever given?
That is a great question. One of the best things I like to suggest to people is to put themselves in the customer's shoes. Usually that's the best way to understand where the customer is coming from and you don't get into any type of combative issue with the customer.
The proudest moment in your career?
That would probably be the invitation to take over the position for the team leader in customer service.
The toughest period in your career?
I might actually say sales. I worked two years in our sales team and it was a very challenging opportunity that I had and I learned a lot from it.
Lastly, what are your future career aspirations ?
I have held various positions here at Freightcom, I started in sales and transitioned over to customer service so I've been here almost four years now. So one of the great things that I'd like to eventually, potentially look into is the opportunity to delve into carrier procurement. Looking into bringing on new carriers and managing the portfolios that we have with our carriers.
Thank you so much for your time Graham!
No problem. Thanks for having me.