Meet the team: Customer Service Manager Steve Harris
Next up in our ‘Meet the team’ series is customer service manager Steve Harris, whose journey to ActiveQuote included some pretty unusual ‘steps’ - read on!
How long have you been at AQ and what does your role involve?
I have been with ActiveQuote since May 2016 and look after the service department, including the team members, processes and procedures. I work across the business to make sure what we do in customer service aligns with the business needs and develops and grows year on year.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be a dancer from the age of 11. I’m not sure why, I just really enjoyed it when I attended a summer school! Sadly my body has decided my dancing days are over - it’s quite a hard life with constant training and performing - but I worked professionally for 15 years, which gave me the most incredible opportunities and adventures. I travelled the world, including working in Vegas, New York and London, as well as working on cruise ships from Alaska, Hawaii, Caribbean and the Mediterranean. I even ventured to the Arctic and Antarctic!
My first ever job was dancing for Robbie Williams in London for a Prince Charles gala. It was quite a culture shock as, fresh from college, I was thrust into one very intense rehearsal, show and then party. I still don’t think I have recovered from that adventure! I finally hung up my dancing shoes back in 2012.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I think my hardest job was for a French cruise company called Compagnie du Ponant. The whole rehearsal period and six-month contract was in French, but I don’t speak the language, which made it very difficult to get through the rehearsal period. Once on board, only French was spoken, so it was quite a lonely contract. I leant what I could to get by, which was a positive to take away from that time.
The most interesting job I’ve had was on the cruise ships. The hundreds of ports visited meant so many cultures, adventures and cocktails! There were more than 50 nationalities working on each ship, which really made life on board lively and fun. I got to learn so much about people, which has being a great skill I’ve carried through my career. My favourite destination has to be Maui Hawaii (where I got married), and my least favourite would be Russia. It has a very interesting history and architecture, yet I never felt safe or welcomed there.
How many people do you manage and what makes a good team?
I manage a team of 10. Allowing personalities to flourish and showing the team a future to work towards makes it a success!
How do you look after the team’s wellbeing at work and make sure AQ is a fun place to be?
I understand each individual on the team and make sure to spend time with them all, listening to them and allowing them to share their thoughts. We do have fun on the team and that’s through a relaxed working environment, extrovert personalities and some strange but funny behaviours.
What do you like about working at AQ?
With ActiveQuote being a growing company, you get to learn, develop and challenge yourself constantly. Every day is different and you work with some wonderful people.
What are your next ambitions in your career?
My goal is to build on the customer service team and have a natural progression into senior management through collaborative strategic planning and developing my own skills.
What do you do in your spare time?
I am huge TV couch potato! I walk my little puppy, Pearl, every day, which is good for my fitness, but not at 5.30am when she needs a wee! My main hobby is shopping and I’m very good at it, which my credit card company loves.
Tell us something we don’t know about you
I am a YouTube vlogger with an obsession / addiction for Jo Malone products, so I vlog about new releases and unboxings of my latest purchases. I also have a Facebook group of 8,000 members, where we share pictures and stories of our shopping trips to Jo Malone.
Who’s going to win the World Cup?
I have a bet on for Belgium to win but, secretly, I’m hoping for England to finally bring home the Cup. But is it cup or a trophy?