When award-winning software company Safety Media met Louise Taylor at interview they offered her the job on the spot embracing her skills and experience as the perfect fit for the role of Customer Success Manager.
She was given the chance to remould the customer support model, manage product launches and train staff. Her job now, says 51-year-old Louise, is all about offering technical support and training to the firm’s larger corporate customers – proactively making sure they feel valued and engage with the software they’ve purchased.
Louise had been thinking of early retirement after over 20 years with banking group HSBC, but redundancy in her 40s cut short the position and her plans. Now she loves the new job so much that retirement has gone off the radar.
“At HSBC I was implementation and training manager for the global internet banking system covering the North West of the UK. While Safety Media is a smaller company, I am using a lot of the same skills, whilst supporting customers across the UK and across the globe.”
But Louise has brought more than software skills to Safety Media.
Louise said “I do think it’s tempting for employers to look to young people for IT jobs, expecting them to be more software-savvy.
“We have some really switched-on graduates in this company who’ve taught me a lot, but in a role like mine I not only offer the knowledge of IT and the software we’re selling, but years of customer service experience too. The stuff that gives you collaborative, conversational skills; an understanding of how to support people in different roles, with varying degrees of or even very little IT knowledge.
“I’ve become a go-to person when the younger members of the team need support with those skills,” she says. “It's the stuff you don’t learn at university but really need – and you learn by working with others."
General Manager, Chris Chappell adds "I think companies can underestimate how crucial soft skills are in a company like ours and how employees with experience bring them into a business.
"The way we recruit, and the culture we've built, has created the greatest dynamic. People can share their experience and knowledge with each other and we all benefit as a result."
"Age doesn’t separate us, in fact I feel like it brings us together and helps make the company stronger," says Louise.