Jenny has something to say. She gives ZEISS a voice – and she does it with a smile. "Hello, you've reached the ZEISS Customer Support hotline. My name is Jenny Rom, how can I help you today?" As a Customer Care Specialist at Consumer Products, Jenny never knows how people will respond to this question - and she's often surprised by their answers. These range from effusive praise for "the best telescope ever" and impatient callers who want to know why they haven't received their eagerly awaited camera lens, to tricky, detailed questions.
"Is a replacement battery available for the Cinemizer?," asks one hopeful dentist. She uses animated comedy films on the video glasses to distract her mainly young patients during treatment. But this virtual pacifier is now somewhat out of date, and she needs a new energy storage solution. In theory this is an impossible feat, because ZEISS no longer produces the 3D glasses. But Jenny doesn't want to leave her caller hanging. She promises to call back and goes to speak with her experienced colleagues, who are busy working in the warehouse. After plenty of research, the replacement part is on its way to her caller just two days later.
I see things from the customer's perspective. And every customer is different. Some need advice, while others need further assistance. I try to understand each caller's needs and see it as my job to help them out. So I think about how I can best support the customer.
And sometimes, Jenny resorts to unconventional measures: If a caller is abrupt in their tone, she remains friendly and promises to look into their issue and call them back. 30 minutes later, everyone has normally calmed down and they can work towards finding a constructive solution together. A range of training courses have taught Jenny to manage situations like these in the best possible way.
Does Jenny know her way around every product at ZEISS Consumer Products? She shakes her head with a smile: "No, there are far too many. The segment produces everything from binoculars and movie and camera lenses to night vision devices and hunting optics. And last but not least: our products don't "expire." If someone finds an old pair of ZEISS binoculars in the attic, we're happy to help. Almost every single one of our products can still be repaired or refurbished decades later."
To ensure this is the case, Jenny is a team player through and through. If she receives a tricky request, she discusses it with her hotline colleagues. If Jenny still has questions after that, she sets out to find the people who can answer them. "Customers used to able to speak to the experts directly. This approach had its pros and cons. While an expert knows their product inside out, we're the ones who take care of deadlines and logistics."
You don't need a degree in psychology, but you do need to be prepared to listen to the caller and understand their needs. The rest is a matter of friendliness and practice. It's certainly a challenge when you're not able to see the caller. So I focus on their voice and the arguments they make.
Communication is the thread that runs through Jenny's career: from her role as school spokesperson and her apprenticeship at ZEISS to become a management assistance for office communications, to her studies to become a management assistant, followed by her positions in Controlling, through to her role as an assistant at the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment and in financial accounting. Jenny then assumed a role at Customer Care and became a contact person and the voice of ZEISS. "I enjoy working with people, as part of a team and toward common goals. ZEISS, with all its complex products and diverse target groups, has become my professional home. It's a place where I can play to my strengths, develop my skills and where my efforts are recognized - by my colleagues, my boss and by my callers. That is true for most people, anyway," she adds with a smile. After work, Jenny likes to spend time with her kids and their dog, and go out into nature with her binoculars or night vision goggles. Not to test the products, but simply to enjoy some downtime.