Our customer services department is one of the liveliest ones you will find at Monarch. As you walk through the double doors into their floor at our Luton offices, you can feel a buzz which I haven’t quite found anywhere else in the company. All the various teams, from preflight to post-flight to social media support, are immersed in their tasks which ultimately all have one goal: make our customers’ journey as hassle-free as possible.
Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Ben (if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter you might know him as “^BL”!), Customer Services Operations Advisor. With a real passion for both aviation and customer service, he is a perfect fit for the team. Get to know him better and find out what he gets up to on a daily basis!
Hi Ben! First things first, tell me some juicy information about you!
I’m from Bedfordshire, born and bred. From a young age my hobbies were game consoles, watching and playing the beautiful game (as well as other sports).
Throughout my time at school, I always wanted to work in the aviation industry but where most kids wanted to be a pilot, I wanted to be an air traffic controller…even though I have now ended up as a private pilot! To achieve this, after I left school I went straight to college to study Travel & Tourism. I’ve been working at Monarch pretty much since I finished!
If your friends described you in three words, they would say…
Helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
When did your passion for aviation start?
It all started with my grandad who used to take me to Luton Airport as a youngster to watch the aircraft. Over the years I learnt more about the industry and a few years ago I started combining both of my Grandad’s hobbies, aviation and photography. More recently I have done a lot of flight simulation and through meeting various people, I took a trial flying lesson which gave me the bug for flying! I’ve now held my flying licence for 3 years.
Why did you choose to work in customer services?
I have always enjoyed helping people. The sense of achievement you feel after you have helped a customer with their trip is a great feeling.
What made you want to work for Monarch?
Having lived around Luton all my life, I’ve always liked the livery on Monarch’s aircraft – having seen it so often when plane spotting at Luton. I think that set a seed inside and when an opportunity at Monarch came up, I sent an application in and was successful.
How long have you been working for Monarch?
I’m about to start my seventh year!
What does your day-to-day job consist of?
I am part of the customer service operations team, so my day varies day to day. Some days I will be assisting customers on the phone or via social media; others, I will be ensuring we have the knowledge and tools we need to assist our customers.
What are some of the challenges of the job?
Some of the smaller challenges we face come from external factors which impact our flying programme, like the weather and air traffic control. Other challenges we face are incidents in our resorts and destinations like the most recent events in Sharm el Sheikh and Tunisia. When an incident occurs, we look at the situation and decide on what actions needs to take place from a customer service perspective. This may include extending our opening hours, extending our social media coverage, ensuring the most up to date information is with the team and making sure we are in a position to help our customers the best way we can. We also continuously liaise with all areas of the business to ensure everyone is aware of the latest situation.
What gives you the most satisfaction in the job?
The biggest satisfaction is knowing that the work you have done has made a customer’s life and journey better and easier.
What keeps you motivated to enjoy your job?
The aviation industry in general is always evolving and no two days are the same. We’re always looking at new ways we can make the customers experience better and better! What’s more, I love the buzz working in an airline – being my passion, I was set on this industry!
Tell me about your proudest achievements so far!
There have been some great times when I was able to help make a customer’s journey that much easier to a degree where it made travelling enjoyable for them. Another one would be where I was able to help get a lost phone back to its owner – as it turned out, it held a lot of good memories for the customer.
Any advice for those thinking or pursuing a career similar to yours?
My advice would be to study a subject like Travel & Tourism, as this will give you the tools and knowledge you need to start off in this fast-paced industry.
Thank you for your time Ben! Lastly, before you go back to your busy job…on Monarch’s scheduled network, which is your favourite destination and why?
I would have to say Palma, Majorca. There is just something for everyone. I’ve had some great family holidays in the north of the island, as well as a recent wonderful day trip which was spent exploring the area around the cathedral and marina.