Hear from Emmanuel Acheampong.
I started at Together as a Customer Account Manager, looking after customers who are in arrears, for example due to illness, loss of job, interest rate increases etc. I asked questions to understand their situation, then I provided a solution, e.g. a payment break to support them in making their payments. Alongside this, I also did a Customer Service role, with tasks including checking a customer’s balance, and requesting documents from third parties for customers.
I have now progressed into a Paralegal role in our Legal department. I saw the ad on the internal vacancies site, and I knew I had the skills and qualifications and technical know-how for it, so I applied. Internal progression at Together is really good - I’ve found that managers are supportive and always happy to give a helping hand if you want to progress. During the transition, my old and new manager worked together to make sure that I could move to my new role in good time, without leaving my old team under-resourced. Occasionally I’ve been made available to help customers by taking calls when extra resource was needed, which I was happy to do. This is a good example of Together’s common sense approach.
Tell us a bit about the role you perform at Together
Together is a legal entity, and the Legal Team assist any department in the company that needs legal advice. My role focuses on civil litigation, so when a claim comes through, I acknowledge and file it, draft solicitors’ instructions, and arrange a counsel to advocate for us at hearings or trials. When we engage in a contract with a new supplier, I review the contract and make sure it’s in our best interest. I’m also the main person working on NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) for the company.
How did you find your training for your role?
In both my roles, the training programmes have been the best I’ve experienced. Not just the trainer, but other experienced colleagues on the team. People are always ready to help, are not judgemental, you can ask as many questions as you need, and there are no stupid questions! I was able to sit side-by-side with experienced colleagues – in my first role I would introduce the calls, then transfer them over to them so I could build my confidence before taking on more complex calls independently. In my new role, whatever drafts I do I send to an experienced colleague and get feedback. I’ve enjoyed the training and this support really helped.
What qualities do you need to do your job well?
Both my roles have required similar skills. You need to be empathetic and a good listener, and analytical with keen attention to detail. A customer might make a passing comment, but you need to dig deeper as it could have a significant impact on what we can do to support them. Because our motto is ‘common sense lending’ and we assess each scenario individually, you need to be open-minded and not have a particular set of rules in your mind. You need to step into the customer’s shoes, and be able to work collaboratively with everyone in mind. Things are constantly changing, for the benefit of customers and the business, so you need to be able to accept and adapt to change.
What attracted you to the business?
The learning culture attracted me, as training and development is a major thing for me and I knew I would have opportunities to progress. A great example is that I’ve been able to study for a CeMAP qualification, funded by the business.
How would you describe the culture at Together?
People are very welcoming. I also like our focus on Diversity and Inclusion, which has a link to our culture of doing the right thing for our customers and putting them at the heart of everything we do. The business also cares about wellbeing - you can get support from your manager to make adjustments to make sure you can give your best.