This is the third blog in our ‘My Time at Highlander’ series, where we help you discover more about the amazing people that help to make our team so special. Today, we speak to one of our longest standing employees and much-loved Technical Receptionist, Teresa Mansell.
My Highlander journey began 18 years ago with an interview held at the back of the original Highlander shop in Glossop Road. Since then, technology has changed, our location has changed, many of the people have changed, but Highlander still very much feels like home.
By the time I attended my second interview, Highlander had already moved to its second home in Europa Link. It was here that I started my role as IT Resource Coordinator. Looking back on the early days brings back great memories of a much smaller team, where anybody from sales to roaming engineers would muck in to help me support our customers. The way we all supported each other felt like a big family, and it still feels that way now.
Just as we do today, Highlander took pride in being at the forefront of technology, but of course then my day-to-day role involved a lot of manual processes. With just myself and one other person on the helpdesk, it was down to us to be Highlander’s technical support front line. With so much work needing to be done on paper, it meant that my own memory needed to be far more powerful than that of the computers we were using! If an engineer wrote an important note on a customer’s form, it was down to me to remember that it was there. Modern, intuitive databases are a total blessing in that respect.
Pre-ADSL and leased lines, remote assistance wasn’t really an option, so our engineers had to do a lot more exploratory troubleshooting on-site than we typically do nowadays. It was my job to know where everybody was, what they were doing, and importantly, where they needed to be next. Alongside keeping track of all our engineers’ appointments, I’d make sure that our customers were always kept in the loop. Our ability to help our customers quickly and with a caring personal touch meant that over the years, I’ve built some wonderful relationships with our customers. The Highlander family doesn’t just include those under our roof, it extends to all our customers too.
Highlander continued to grow, and my role became increasingly demanding as our customer-base grew. As my workload increased, the time came for my position to be split in half; with one person coordinating our engineer visits, and the other managing the helpdesk. Highlander have always been great advocates of helping their employees to be in control of their own career path, and this was no exception.
I was offered the chance to determine the next step in my Highlander journey. As anyone who’s spoken to me on the helpdesk will know, I’m a people person. I genuinely look forward to speaking to our customers, and getting the opportunity to help them grow their own businesses. It can’t have come as much of a shock that I chose to take up my current role of Technical Receptionist, and the rest is history.
Anybody that calls in to Highlander will speak to me in the first instance, and I’ll help to direct their enquiry as quickly as possible. All our customers know that their query will be handled within 60 minutes by a first-line agent who understands their business needs and who will proactively generate an informed response. The guys on the helpdesk are honestly brilliant. It makes a big change from when it was just the two of us!
There have been many occasions where Steve Brown (the Managing Director) and the management team have offered me the chance to explore new opportunities internally, but I can honestly say that I love my job. There aren’t many people who can say that their relationships with customers have grown into genuine friendships, and that even on the difficult days, they are able to have a bit of a giggle. Rather than pushing me to move on, Highlander’s attitude to ‘campers and climbers’ means that I feel truly supported in my decision to stay in a role I enjoy.
That’s not to say that things haven’t changed. There have been times over the last 18 years when my family life has had bigger demands on my time, and the support I received from the management team when we experienced some family difficulties was incredible. They accommodated a reduction in my hours, and once things at home had evened out, I was able to step up my hours again to create a working schedule that worked for me.
Working for such a supportive company gave me invaluable reassurance at a tough time. Steve and the management team acknowledge that our lives will never be as straightforward as we might like, and they work hard to support those who need it. When I’m out and about, if I tell people where I work, most locals will be aware of Highlander’s great reputation, whether that is as an employer, or as a service provider.
One more office move, three helpdesk database changes and countless nights out and Christmas parties later, I still find Highlander a lovely place to be. In all the years I’ve been here, it’s been absolutely marvellous to see that the company’s positive attitude and family values have never wavered.
Note from Steve Brown: Way back at her first interview with Highlander, I seem to recall Teresa assuring us that she had mastered a lightning fast touch-typing speed. She’s lucky that we didn’t test her on this, because I’m not sure it would have been quite as quick as she’d promised…
All joking aside, Teresa is much-loved and highly valued member of the team. It’s testament to her that she’s been able to put up with us (myself included) for all this time. We love having her on board.
Interested in joining Teresa and the rest of the Highlander team? Take a look at our current vacancies here.