Answering the phone for Verizon

At Work

December 21, 2005|By NANCY JONES-BONBREST | NANCY JONES-BONBREST,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Richard Minton

Senior customer service representative/Verizon Wireless, Hanover

Age --41

Years in the business --10

Salary --$36,000 a year, plus an annual bonus

How he started --Minton began as a temporary employee for the former MCI WorldCom about 10 years ago. He was hired full time and worked in its call center for seven years. Minton joined Verizon Wireless three years ago.

Typical day --Minton works the 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift Monday through Friday. As a senior customer service representative, he oversees training of new employees. The call center, which opened in November, handles questions from Verizon Wireless customers about bills, service and equipment. Since opening, 200 workers have been hired and several hundred additional employees are expected to be hired in 2006. Minton oversees about 85 newly hired representatives at one time, helping them with questions as they complete the second half of a 12-week training program. He handles calls the new employees cannot answer, as well as any calls that need to be followed up. "I get them adjusted to customer interaction."

Most challenging call --One year he received a call at 11:59 p.m. on New Year's Eve. The customer, upset about a confusing phone bill, kept Minton on the phone. By the end of the call the customer apologized for his behavior and thanked him for his solving the problem. "I love to solve problems. It's a challenge. But it's enjoyable at the end of the day to get a smile out of them."

What he hopes to instill in new employees --"Be thorough. Be self-sufficient. All the answers are right there in front of you."

The good --"I'm the go-to person. I love the fact that everybody goes to me."

The bad --"It can be overwhelming. Sometimes you need to step back and look at the entire picture."

Philosophy on the job --"Service with a smile. As long as there is going to be a tomorrow, it's always going to get better."

Stand-up guy --Minton, who wears cowboy boots, said he had to buy special inserts to make them more comfortable because he is on his feet most of the day. "I love my cowboy boots. I've always been a fan of the look."

Extracurriculars --Spending time with his family, sailing, horseback riding and skiing.

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