COLLECTION - Meet the team
When it comes to people, Natalee knows a thing or two about what makes them tick.She spoke to us about her role and how she builds great...
Meet the team
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The people person
Head of Solutions Consulting
When it comes to people, Natalee knows a thing or two about what makes them tick.She spoke to us about her role and how she builds great relationships with customers;
Most weekends are pretty busy, running around looking after horses and watching my boys go down big cliffs and over great big obstacles on two wheels, we’re a pretty busy and active family.
I'm home-based, but I spend most of my time travelling around to see my customers that are based all over the UK. My official role is Head of Solutions Consulting, which means I manage a team of eight Presales and Solutions Consultants.
Our primary role is to understand our customers' needs, challenges and issues, and then we build a technology strategy around that to make life easier for their customers to do business with them.
I spend most of my time talking to people to understand what their individual challenges, goals and needs are, and then I look at the technology, processes, or methodology that can help address those needs.
I like to help our customers enable their vision. Every customer will have a vision and a goal as to where they want to get to, and I like to think that's where we add the biggest value. We take them on a journey and we build confidence and trust along the way, so they're able to realise that vision.
What I love about my role is that we go across every single vertical that there is. So, whether that's retail, finance, insurance, travel, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing or engineering.
We touch every single vertical and then also against public and private sector, so all the local government as well. I don't think there's any other job where you get the experience and the insight across all those different verticals.
"Every customer will have a vision and a goal as to where they want to get to, and I like to think that's where we add the biggest value."
Natalee Wiggins – Head of Solutions Consulting
Sure, there are challenges along the way, there are lots of things that I have to do and pull together, that I'm often reliant on other vendors, other parties, other individuals, and that's probably the biggest challenge for me, is trying to facilitate all of these different processes, vendors, people, to get something back to the customer in a timely fashion.
When you start looking at insurance and finance markets, they're very heavily regulated, so compliance is a real driving force for those guys.
For us, from a contact centre perspective it's the same challenges, they're all trying to deliver a better level of service, increased customer satisfaction and drive a more efficient and effective workforce.
For me, it's all about becoming very emotionally connected to my customers, so I build very strong relationships within all of the accounts, and that's very much based on personal relationships.
I like to understand what's important for those individuals, what makes them tick. I like to get to know them not only on a professional perspective, but also a personal level, and I think that really helps us build a better relationship.
"For me, it's all about becoming very emotionally connected to my customers, so I build very strong relationships"
Natalee Wiggins – Head of Solutions Consulting
I absolutely love the fact that we have the opportunity of getting into the different verticals and understanding how all those different businesses work.
I spend a lot of time listening to agents, sitting next to them, listening to the customer interactions that they have, understanding the experience that they're giving their customers, and that's the bit that I find the most interesting.
From a personal perspective, as I said, it's about being emotionally connected to our customers, and being able to help provide the best choices for them.
Because, like I say, I understand their organisations and I'm able to be able to address their specific personal needs and make it very tailored and specific to them.
I don't want our customers to want to go anywhere else, so retaining those customers is key. If there's a new requirement, I want them to use us as the first port of call, I would like to think that they would come to us first before going out to market, it’s about building those longer term relationships, and building a loyal customer base.
So at the moment there are a number of single touch points into our accounts, so you've got the typical sales manager and then the pre-sales lead.
What we're trying to do, is extend those relationships from outside of that, bringing in some of the support personnel and the project teams, so that we align the different relationships across the accounts.
For me it is really important we make sure we've got the right personalities within each of the accounts. When you start aligning the personalities and the interest, you build a much better rapport within an organisation, you can empathise, and you can relate to them, which helps strengthen those relationships.
"Ultimately, people buy from people, and I think within Capita and particularly in my world, we have a fantastic team of individuals with real diverse skill sets and personalities"
Natalee Wiggins – Head of Solutions Consulting
Ultimately, people buy from people, and I think within Capita and particularly in my world, we have a fantastic team of individuals with real diverse skill sets and personalities, that's what keeps me wanting to come to work every day, it’s the team of people I've got around me.
I've been here 11 years now, and I've had many an opportunity to leave, and the thing that has always kept me here is the people, and I can't emphasize how important that is, I think people are the biggest asset within any organisation, and that's what makes this business good and successful.
People that know me, and I guess the reputation that I always wanted to have, is that I'm seen as friendly, proactive, personal, easy to deal with and very much a trusted individual.
I want people to know that I really care about what I do, I care about the people that are around me, and I care about our customers. So, this year, my New Year's Resolution was to surround myself with positive thinking people because I absolutely feel that positivity breeds positivity.
The jack of all trades
Technical Solutions Director
A self confessed 'jack of all trades,'Mike has a diverse role, overseeing a talented community of people delivering IT transformation. We spoke to Mike to find out more;
I lead a team of very clever people, almost like the orchestrator of it. We’re based all over the UK and Northern Ireland, so we're quite widespread.
A proportion of my time is spent working with the wider Capita business to do things like IT road-mapping and strategy work with the clients.
Everybody's looking for some kind of technological change, whether that's to underpin changes in the business model, or to drive futures, so we run a lot of projects and programmes and people who do that for our clients.
One of the good things about working for Capita, is it provides that opportunity to move around, so working in different types of verticals, with loads of different clients and being exposed to lots of different types of opportunities.
Capita does give you a huge breadth of experience if you want it, as well as if you want to go into one of those verticals or a specific area, you can have the depth as well.
"Great customer service means that it's a great working environment for everyone"
Mike Sander – Technical Solutions Director
I just love the variability of all the things that I'm exposed to really. There are not many people that could one day be doing some technical governance, the next day selling a business or involved in selling a business for millions of pounds and then the next day working in a team to generate a new cutting edge sales proposal or service.
So, it's nice to be able to 'have our fingers in all those pies', so it's great.
We're working with the teams to modernise their skill-sets, to help them to understand not just how we're changing the way in which we deliver IT, but how people want to deliver IT. And sometimes that's a cultural change and not just a skills change.
"We are there to solve problems. Discuss what is achievable, rather than doing it behind an email"
Mike Sander – Technical Solutions Director
The best part of my day at the minute is when I see new business and new opportunities coming in.
Because that gives us the chance to do something new, solve a new problem, and meet new people - and I think that's really, really important, especially given the industry that we're in.
Customers know we solve their problems, so particularly in the team that I run and the interactions that I have, we are there to solve problems or take them to their new operated model, what they aspire to because you can have that frank conversation about what you wanna do, what is achievable, and any concerns or risks in doing that.
And I think it's a better environment to collaborate in that fashion, rather than doing it just behind an email, or something like that.
Great customer service means that it's a great working environment for everyone, it's recognition of your efforts for coming in and working hard, and I do believe everybody comes into work to work hard, and that's the importance of it.
The difference here at Capita is, and I suspect a lot of people say it, it is the people, and it's always been the people.
The go to person
Head of People and Organisation Optimisation
The go to person who loves a challenge. We spoke to Shona about her role at Capita and what motivates her;
I see my role as having two distinct objectives, firstly to support and provision our strongest asset – our people - and then enhance and improve the operation of our organisation.
Risk and compliance plays a big part in both objectives. Have you ever wondered 'why is compliance so important in our business operations?'
My response to the question concerning the purpose of compliance is that it is ultimately for your own benefit. It allows you to work with peace of mind and security.
I see it as my job to enlighten those employees who are unsure, as I feel it’s necessary to change such persons’ perspective.
Compliance doesn’t have to be difficult. You do not have to memorise long and detailed legal provisions.
Rather, you would be able to take the proper steps in 99% of situations just by understanding why laws and rules exist and the purpose behind such rules.
When it comes to optimising our business operations I try to apply a simple approach;
Go lean - focus on continually improving activities that lead to delivering the products and services our customers, internal and external, value.
Be customer-centric - focus operations and strategy to embrace customers and make them happy. I often think about my own positive experiences as a consumer, then consider how we can replicate that impact.
Focus on quality – focus on reducing waste and rework, save money in the process and improve results, making the company more effective.
Applying compliance supports the company to prevent and detect violations of the rules and will safeguard employees from fines and lawsuits.
Our corporate compliance also lays out expectations for employee behaviour, helps our staff stay focused on the broader goals and helps operations run smoothly.
I feel my previous experience as a Delivery Manager has led me to appreciate how significant it is that we adapt to our client’s culture and their needs.
It is important to wrap what’s already in place for the client with our service, to enhance their experience. Make sure that we appreciate the challenges and understand the sensitivity of the marketplace.
Due to the nature of our business we take on very diverse projects and programmes and work a lot for the government, the national health service and transport for London, which are big, well established organisations with their own levels of bureaucracy.
Its increasingly important that our style is adaptive and responsive to their needs.
Quite often I receive an operational request from the business and its normally submitted with prefixed delivery conditions.
It’s down to me and my team of business support executives to make sure that we listen, appreciate and understand what their requirement is.
Then make sure we support the service with a complimentary process and help deliver the requirements to the best of our ability with improvements.
We need to deliver on time and to budget, try and make sure we think outside the box and not be narrow minded about our approach. Embrace the change.
To implement a good service, you need a great workforce and Capita has an abundance of talent. I am in the fortunate position where I chair the Employee Engagement Group (EEG). The EEG is supported by elected business representatives, who present success and challenges raised by their constituents.
With this information we can tackle problems and concerns before they become an issue and reduce the impact to our clients. The EEG also generates fabulous ideas, which we convert into initiatives, which in turn promotes a happier workforce, for example 'rewards and recognition'.
Understanding our business, our culture, our people, appreciating what it is that they want to achieve in the future and then providing support for how they get there whilst ensuring the business also moves forward is one of my favourite purposes. My ambition is to remove the blockers, be flexible and communicate effectively.
Internally I have become a one-stop shop, I’m a go to person if you’ve got any questions or fancy a moan.
I’m dedicated to my job and am driven by results, I also work from home, which sometimes makes it difficult to switch off. I relish a challenge, which I think is crucial if you want to work for Capita.
My job is stimulating and full of change, it’s diverse, and presents many different opportunities.
Every week I travel into London for meetings and love the interaction of a face to face, particularly with our clients. Rarely do I have a dull day.
"Capita is about the people, the camaraderie and the connection that we all have within the areas that we work."
Shona Nixon – Head of People and Organisation Optimisation
Capita is about the people, the camaraderie and the connection that we all have within the areas that we work. I think that there is a real sense of unity and that we will pull together to make something work.
We’re a hard-working team that is prepared to roll our sleeves up and not shy away from the problem. I think that’s one of the best things about working for Capita.
The security geek
Head of Security Architecture
Phil has a good eye for detail and a strong desire to demystify security. He spoke to us about his role and why, in cyber security, reputation is everything;
I’m based in Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast. I would say that I am a bit of an information security geek; it’s something that I’m passionate about.
I have a keen interest in the ongoing arms race between the evolving threats and technologies and methodologies that exist to address them. It’s part of my job, but a bit of a hobby too.
In my game, reputation is everything. It’s hard won – but it’s also easily lost. And it’s only through hard work and developing trusted relationships with customers and colleagues that it’s built.
I believe that my team and I have established a good reputation across the business. This is reflected by the number of discrete projects and areas that we’re collectively involved in.
I’m not a perfectionist in all walks of life, but when it comes to security, I’m quite pedantic. I have a really professional team around me, which I rely on a lot to get the job done, and they will definitely attest to that.
"I take security to a level that everyone can understand."
Phil McCoubrey - Head of Security Architecture, Management & BC/D
For me, it’s important to take security to a level that everyone can understand it. With my background in consulting, I’ve learnt how to explain the same topic to different people with various levels of technical understanding.
Security is often regarded as a bit of a dark art when isn’t always that complicated. Instead of inhibiting an organisation, it can really help to drive business and facilitate business processes.
I like pushing that agenda and showing how I can deliver services that achieve an organisation’s objectives.
Colleagues often come to me with all sorts of questions and challenges. It’s fair to say, without sounding too clichéd, that no two days are the same.
My guiding principles are integrity and honesty. The feedback that I get from customers is that I’m open and upfront with them. I enjoy engaging with people, connecting with new customers and showing them what we can do for them.
I believe that I’m skilled at explaining the services that we offer and I like it when people actually sit up and listen. It’s a good day when that eureka moment happens with customers.
At Capita, I wear a number of different hats including; team management, service development, presales and the operational delivery of security to customers. We have lots of very clever technical people in the organisation.
They understand technology to a very detailed level and it is through these individuals, as well as self-learning, I assimilate the knowledge required to identify potential security challenges.
"Intuition, combined with the ability to assimilate knowledge quickly, is critical in this particular sector."
Phil McCoubrey - Head of Security Architecture, Management & BC/DR
Internally, I can sense a positive energy from my colleagues and from the organisation at large. We’ve got the right teams and the right senior management in place – not just from a board level but also in the division that I work in and my business unit.
The customer champion
Service Delivery Manager
Someone who gives her all, Alison always puts customers first. She spoke to us about her role as Service Delivery Manager;
Hi, I’m Alison, I work as a Service Delivery Manager, which basically means, we help run other people's businesses for them.
My clients give me a list of what they need to achieve and what their business needs are, and I take that away and make it happen.
My day-to-day role is ensuring the clients service in terms of IT is there and is always fully functional. I'm pretty much all or nothing, so for me it's about giving all, all of the time.
I enjoy my job from start to finish and the best part of my day is getting into the office and seeing what challenges lay ahead.
"I'm pretty much all or nothing, so for me it's about giving all, all of the time."
Alison Tuffey – Service Delivery Manager
Working in the public sector, you never know what you're going to walk into, because changes are constantly being made by Parliament and the Government and we have to try and make those changes suit everyone's needs.
The most challenging part of my job is if in the middle of the night, the client has technical issues, that might be something beyond our control, we have to make sure and that service is restored and have what they need for the next working day.
I'm really lucky with my customers, they feel that I do a lot for them, but I don’t think you can ever get it exactly right with customer service because I don’t think you ever stop trying. All customers have individual needs.
I’ve been here for over 18 years and do feel we get that support we need, not only professionally but personally too.
Within Capita you can have a career as little as you want, or as big as you want. And I think with Capita there's so many different dimensions but overall, it’s a very positive place to work.
I think a lot of people wake up, like myself in Capita, with a fight to keep giving our all and keep performing. For me it's always about taking it another step higher and that's something, a real sense of achievement.
The one challenge I always have is, I would like to have more control over company requests for support and services because we have so many different teams that will feed into our clients.
So, for me, I would like to have more control to say, right guys we need to do this because my mantra is I'm always looking to the future.
The one thing I'd say my management know about me? They say, "You're so all or nothing, you just keep smiling all the time, Alison."
Knowing you’ve had a successful day and your technology is working, your clients are happy, well, it makes me happy too.
I always reflect at the end of the day, could we have done more, something better, are there more opportunities out there to make sure the client is getting what they need?
"Knowing you’ve had a successful day and your technology is working, your clients are happy, well, it makes me happy too."
Alison Tuffey – Service Delivery Manager
The team player
Cisco Pricing Manager
Driven by his team, Naveen has a passion for solving problems. We spoke to him to find out more;
So, I manage a team of five people, and our job is to price the Cisco portfolio for use within Capita and externally.
My team are all experts, they're there to give the customer guidance, we're not there just to say: you asked us for a switch, here's a switch.
It's really to give them a bit more information and give them the best option, and if it's for internal use, give them the best price.
If it's for external use, again, give them the best price, but give them a competitive price that they could hopefully go away with and win business for themselves and for Capita. I love the different people we speak to on a daily basis, the different parts of Capita we come into contact with.
Capita's a huge beast, coming across somebody for the first time who doesn't know who we are, they might be skeptical until they actually get on a conference call with us, or get on a WebEx, then they can see us and they can see what we can do for them.
"That passion pushes me on, everyday somebody wants something different, something that isn't standard."
Naveen Lakhanpal – Cisco Pricing Manager
They go away and realise that these people we spoke to, they're not just a bunch of people on the other end just giving us a price, they know their stuff and they’re really passionate about it.
I think we have a brilliant team ethic, not just in this office, I believe throughout Capita.
That passion pushes me on, I'll come in to work and somebody in the team will be looking for some kind of solution to a problem, everyday somebody wants something different, something that isn't standard, they might not be Cisco literate, or the customer has just thrown something to them and said: can you help me?
That's what pushes us, that's what you look for, a job that pushes you and one that brings you back time and time again.
Sure, there are challenges. With those challenges comes rewards too. When you've worked on something with one of your colleagues from a different part of Capita, to hear that person saying: 'we've won that.' You know all the energy you’ve put in to giving them the best option possible was worth it.
That feeling you get, you can't beat it, it's a brilliant feeling. Especially when you tell a customer that your price isn't the cheapest, your price is a little bit more expensive but the option is better for them and you can explain why, they can then take it to the end-user, and that's what convinces a customer to go with you.
That's when you know the time and effort you've put in has definitely been worth it.
Originally when we were set up, people presumed we were just a pricing team. Some people would think: they're just some kind of procurement function, you know, you send it through, they'll price something up and they'll send it back to us.
In the two years since I've been running this team, I've made everybody look at themselves and improve. They can say to the customer: why do you need this? Is there something else going on here? Have you spoken to the customer?
And it's sometimes guiding the customer, who can then go and ask questions. That's why I think we do get some requests coming in, where it is very, very basic information, and we used to flesh it out, but we don't mind doing that, we know what we're good at.
Capita's a huge business, I think if we're lucky we've probably only touched maybe 40%, maybe 50%, so it's probably 50% or more who don't know about us, or who don't use us as well they should do.
People can come to us at any point, you don't need to come just to buy things. If you're not sure about something or if you've got an issue right now and you're not sure, we are there, just contact us.
If we can't answer the question, we'll know somebody else who can. That's one of the things, we have pre-sales, we've engineers here, we can go away and ask that question for you, so we don't want people to think: well, if we're not going to buy something, they'll ignore us.
People can come to us for anything that's Cisco related they need help with, we're always here.
"People can come to us at any point, you don't need to come just to buy things.
If you're not sure about something or if you've got an issue right now and you're not sure, we are there, just contact us."
Naveen Lakhanpal – Cisco Pricing Manager