A Week in My Life: Beth Appleby, Head of Service, Shoptimised
Shoptimised is a Tyneside-based company offering leading product feed optimisation services for sellers.
The fastest-growing of its kind in the UK, Shoptimised focuses on providing product feed and sales software which is powerful and accessible. Beth Appleby joined the SaaS company in February 2020 as its first Customer Service Manager, and is now Head of Service.
Beth has successfully established and grown the customer service team within Shoptimised, helping to onboard new clients and support the range of existing clients the company works with.
We saw what a week in her life looks like...
6am and my alarm goes off. I lie in bed for a good 30 minutes, then when I hear my partner's obnoxiously loud car exhaust leaving the drive, that's when I know I'd better get a move on. The state of my hair often determines how early I actually get out of bed.
I’m the kind of person who seems to be always rushing around even when there's no need to - so once I'm finally up and ready, I jump in the car and start my hour-long commute to the office, during which I listen to some hardcore dance music - it helps wake me up.
I arrive at the office at around 7:45am. Our core hours are 8am to 4pm, so once in the office I say hello to the rest of the team before I get myself sorted at my desk. I then quickly check my inbox and flag the urgent emails that need looking into for the day.
At around 8:30am I jump on the daily call with the business development team where we discuss prospects and incoming clients. After the call, I go straight back to my emails and start working on client communications and queries that came through over the weekend.
I head up the Customer Service team, so in the morning I check in with my team on any client issues and then check my client calls for the day - I normally have three or four scheduled.
After a morning of calls and client communications, I head out for lunch. We've recently moved into a new office at the Silverlink where there's plenty of choice for food around. That McDonalds is way too tempting on Mondays...
After lunch, I have a meeting with the technical team to ensure that any issues raised have been passed across to the clients via my team of Customer Service specialists.
At 4pm, I wrap up my day writing my to-do list for Tuesday, then head off home for puppy kisses and tea. I’ve taken up going to the driving range for a bit of release recently. I say release but when I can’t hit the ball straight, it sends me into a bit of a ball-hitting frenzy. This week was also particularly exciting as an offer I'd made for my dream house was accepted!
Tuesday mornings are a repeat of Monday. Wake up, lie in bed, wait to hear Harvey's car pull out of the drive, scramble around the house telling myself I should have ironed my top last night, then head off in the car listening to some clubland.
Recruitment is now a huge part of my typical week as we have been actively interviewing for new talents to join the Shoptimised team. This week we had the lovely Zenah join the Customer Service team so I started training her.
In the new office, we have - had - a lovely hanging desk attached to the wall in a private meeting booth, and I may or may not have broken it while on a conference call with a client. I blame the handiwork of John! I promise I don't always break something every Tuesday.
Wednesdays are usually filled with Einaudi and Fleetwood Mac on my way to the office.
Once I arrive at the office, I spend pretty much the whole day managing client requests and helping our users to get the best value from our Feed Optimisation software and Incremental Sales service. It's not unusual to see me bouncing around the office to some dance music or pestering John Oram to order a bright pink mouse in the shape of a car.
4pm hits, and I start wrapping things up for the day. We have a no-overtime policy here at Shoptimised. The leadership team has worked hard over the years to ensure that no one has to work late or on weekends. We want everyone to work the hours they're paid for, then spend the rest of their day doing what they love and enjoy being with their families.
I normally head home just after 4, get changed and go for a quick run. This part of my day can be a bit of a challenge, but we're getting there.
Thursday starts with huge excitement for Friday.
My morning is usually filled with lists. I write down everything that needs to be actioned and ticked-off before the end of the week. I then check my diary to see if I have any client calls. I try to schedule most of my calls at the start of the week as I know that it can be tricky trying to get hold of people on Thursday and Fridays.
I check in with my team to ensure that customer queries are being dealt with, and then I help them with any issues they might need my help with.
Before lunchtime, I do some introduction calls with our new clients, where we explain our services and how we're going to proceed with them.
Now then, Friday is my favourite day. The atmosphere in the office is always great and I walked in to some 90s dance blasting last week.
I tend to leave my diary clear on Fridays and focus on planning for the week ahead. At 10am, we have the Customer Service team catch-up - we talk about issues from the week, plus any plans for next week. Then at 2pm I join the Head of Department meeting to discuss financials, client prospects, issues and new business plans.
I spend the second half of my Friday looking at spreadsheets, and then I begin to wind down for the weekend.
Once home, I hit the pubs. Can you believe we can sit indoors now!?