One of the greatest challenges and victories for AnswerFirst is our ability to effectively manage a remote workforce. Technology now affords us several methods of cross-channel communication, all of which further help us identify opportunities to build strong teams focused on exceptional customer service. This all starts with our leadership team, who are focused on developing the next generation of leaders focused on passion, availability, patience, reliability and regular assessment of processes and performance. Meet Lea, one of our shift leaders who guides our customer service ambassadors to continued success.

I was born in upstate New York but have traveled all over the eastern United States. As an adult, I decided to settle in Tampa since Florida was my favorite place to live growing up. I graduated from the University of Tampa with a teaching degree. I taught for a short time in the public schools before deciding to tutor children full time. Tutoring children can be challenging. I did it for 9 years and loved it and here’s why: Watching a young child read a sentence smoothly for the first time, or a smile light up the face of a “middle schooler” who finally understands fractions is like watching a flower bloom in front of your eyes–or seeing a child take their first steps. It is magical.

I heard about Answerfirst from a friend while working as a tutor and working days as a professional test center administrator. I was interested in working from home so that I could care for my son. I was also looking for a workplace that valued serving others. I wanted to be among people who enjoyed their work and didn’t think of it just as a way to make money while doing as little as possible. I wanted to be surrounded by people from whom I could learn and grow as a person, and feel excited about coming to work.

As much as I love teaching others, I also enjoy learning myself. At AnswerFirst, I have learned so much about people and technology, and about challenging myself. Everyday I speak to people across the country and even sometimes on the other side of the world. I hear stories and emotions and have the privilege of offering a listening ear, empathy, and a solution. At AnswerFirst, our staff are empowered as leaders who have the ability to send messages directly to our clients no matter where they are to assist callers, among many other solutions. I feel proud that I get to be on the front lines of new technology that helps our clients, many being brand new companies, which helps our economy grow.

In my role as shift leader, I am able to impart my experiences with callers and accounts that I have gained onto the next generation of leaders within our organization. I also review accounts to ensure they are up-to-date, containing clear information that will help our staff better serve our clients and their callers. At AnswerFirst, we have a philosophy that no matter what your position within the company, we are all leaders. This includes acting with integrity and being accountable by taking ownership of our work. I see this reflected in the way that we work as a team to serve our clients, each bringing to the table different perspectives, all of which prove to be valuable pieces of a puzzle which ultimately becomes a solution when faced with challenge. I listen carefully to the feedback discussed on my shifts so that I can effectively communicate issues to other departments and convey ideas that have been presented to improve both the customer experience and efficiency.

In the end, a pleased or relieved voice after I have reassured someone at the end of a call from a customer or client is now the magic I look forward to each day. Simply stated, I enjoy making the world a better place.