Sarah Talbot, Call Center Manager, Dutton PlumbingSarah

How long have you been with your company and in the industry? 

I have been with Dutton Plumbing for two years. The industry the same amount of time, but customer service since I was 16. That will be 10 years in August.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Moorpark, California. Lived there until I was 21, then moved up to Fresno for a while. At 23, I ended up moving to the next city over from Moorpark (Thousand Oaks) and currently reside there with my fiancé and cat.

How did you get started in customer service?

I got started in the customer service industry when I was 16 years old. I worked for snack stands for sports games and fell in love with talking to people and getting them what they need. I also found out I had a knack from helping customers when they weren’t happy. That eventually got me to work for Jamba Juice where I really excelled with customer complaints. I worked there for over four years and was the main go-to person for any unhappy customers.

Eventually I worked for Sunrise Senior Living as an activities assistant who also covered the concierge desk on Fridays. This gave me the phone skills I had yet to learn. I learned how to sell rooms over the phone and do whatever I could for the person on the other line. This gave me the opportunity and experience needed to work for Dutton Plumbing as a customer service representative.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job has just recently changed. I now love to do our marketing events. We go out to local events (e.g. concerts, street fairs, Boys and Girls Club fundraisers, Bark for Life) and give out some stuffed puppies and other marketing products.

When I was just a CSR, my favorite thing was customer service. I handled most customer complaints for Dutton Plumbing and loved finding out how to make the customer as happy as possible. I was really able to dig into what was upsetting the customer to find out what usually started out as a customer complaint was actually something else.

How does Nexstar help you do your job?

As a CSR, it gave me the tools (scripts, etc.) to build a foundation to end up with booking 99-100 percent of my calls. It took over a year to get there, but the last six months of being a CSR, I was averaging missing no more than one call a month because of the tools Nexstar gave me. We were able to track this with Service Titan and my old call center manager [CCM].

Also, Nexstar helped me to get a better understanding of outbounding. I originally was against it, but once I went to my first Nexstar Call Center School, I came back with a need to want to outbound. Now I am coming up with scripts and new ways to outbound from Plumbing online marketing strategy and sewers. We just launched a new outbounding script and appointments.

Now as a CCM, Nexstar is helping me get the other CSRs of our company to average a booking rate of 97% throughout the call center excluding on call (our dispatchers handle that one). Also I love watching the Building Leaders videos! They are taking me from a manager to a leader!

What do you like to do outside of work?

Currently I am wedding planning. My wedding is July 8, so that has taken up all my free time, and I found out I really like wedding planning. I was more into sports and the outdoors until I got engaged; I found out I am very good at planning ahead. I also love the outdoors: hiking, biking, swimming, river rafting, bungee jumping, camping, really anything to do with the outdoors. I also love to travel. I’ve been traveling my whole life and will be again July 9 for my honeymoon.

Manager’s Two Cents:

“We just rolled out new outbound calling campaigns, which is usually met with resistance and uncomfortableness (as with any change), but all of our CSRs embraced it, took ownership of their part and are booking calls like crazy. Sarah gets full credit for making that happen.” –Eric Falconer, General Manager, Dutton Plumbing