Life as a Contact Centre Assistant

Ffion Williams

29 Apr 2016


As an university student it was important to me to have a job that was flexible and my role as a Contact Centre Assistant is just that!

I initially applied to work as an usher just as I finished my first year of study over a year and a half ago, and then quickly snagged a spot as a bilingual assistant in the Contact Centre. This means engaging with customers on a daily basis to help them book tickets and to assist them with any queries or issues they may have. Although the nature of the job in essence seems quite repetitive there is a surprising amount of variation which comes with the role. Not only do I get to speak to hundreds of different characters over the telephone and front counter, there are constantly different projects and activities going on within our building which makes the day-to-day job very rewarding and diverse. Though we are a small team in the Contact Centre we ultimately have a big job, making sure the public get in to see the amazing shows we have on! We also have the task of helping get prospective bookers excited for new shows, such as our upcoming production of Only The Brave, the Centre’s first self-produced musical which will take to the stage this March.

A normal day starts just after 9:30am when we gather together for a daily huddle to get up to speed on everything we need to know, including show sales, news about new productions and tasks that we need to accomplish during the day. Often we also have guest speakers joining our huddles from other departments which allows them to update us on exciting projects going on across the Centre which we often end up selling tickets for. On the odd week we might also have a quiz to test our knowledge of the ins-and-outs of the building which is surprisingly challenging! Having just recently moved into our new home within the building, a shiny new office just for us, it’s great to be able to congregate with colleagues from outside the contact centre regularly.

At 10am it’s time to jump on the phones to chat to the customer and get them booked in for all of our upcoming performances. To do this we use a helpful little piece of software called Tessitura which allows us to book, exchange and resell tickets easily as well as manage our mailing list amongst many other things.

On the odd occasion I also get the opportunity to step into the role of Visitor Services Assistant which means ushering a show in the Donald Gordon Theatre. Often this would mean working on the phone during the day and then working the show in the evening. Although I do not take this opportunity as often as I work the phones it is always rewarding as you get to chat to the audience as they come in, sell programmes and make sure that everyone is having as enjoyable an experience as possible. You also get a chance to see the result of all the phone sales which is a full auditorium. Another perk, and probably the biggest, is of course getting to actually see the current productions itself whilst on the job. The quality of the shows that come to the Centre are always outstanding and you sometimes find yourself enjoying and discovering new shows that you may never have before considered buying a ticket for – on my first ever ushering shift I worked the opera, Nabucco, a show I probably would never have seen otherwise and I was pleasantly surprised at how comedic and upbeat it was! A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to see Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, a musical about three glamorous friends travelling across the Australian desert. It was a fun-filled production and often it really doesn’t feel like a job when you’re being paid to watch such great pieces of theatre!

It’s fulfilling to be able to work within such a creative and diverse organisation alongside my university studies and whilst the Contact Centre itself is a small department it is a great to team to be a part of and I feel lucky to work alongside such diverse and motivated individuals. I look forward to continuing my career with the Centre once I have finished my degree and look forward to all the exciting shows we will welcome here in future.

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