This week we chat to Melanie Stanton who heads Fixation’s Service Administration team.
As head of the administration team, Melanie could be called the glue that holds the repair process together. For our latest team blog, she told us a little more about how she and her team keep the Fixation machine running…
Her role at Fixation
‘Administration Supervisor. I’ve been here five years, and for the preceding seventeen I was doing much the same for Nikon. It means I’ve been dealing with cameras and photographers for half a lifetime…well, almost!
‘My team deals with the majority of calls and emails from customers. You could say we’re the voice of Fixation because most of our customers will have contact with us at some stage of the process. We have to enjoy customer service, but I like to think we’re also very knowledgeable on the products, faults, remedies and all the relevant policies and processes. Plus we deal with all the administration associated with repairs, if we didn’t the whole process would grind to a halt. So from booking-in incoming items to dispatching them back again, we do all of that and everything in between.’
On dealing with customers
‘We love a regular customer. There are many we deal with a lot – you recognise their voice immediately without them saying who they are.
‘Of course, it’s not always plain-sailing. We sometimes have to tackle difficult problems, plus it’s still a male-dominated industry and when some customers hear a female voice you can just tell they doubt our technical know-how. But it’s great when you can reverse that view and show you’ve got unexpected skills and knowledge. I’m very proud of the service my team provides and from feedback most customers seem to appreciate it too.
‘We do have some amusing calls. Recently a caller asked if we could take a look at the gears on his Astra. It took a good few minutes trying to get a word edgeways between his story of what had gone wrong before I could fully explain that his search results for “Vauxhall repairers” had directed him to repairers in Vauxhall, rather than repairers of Vauxhalls! I suspect one or two of the technicians here would’ve given it a go though.’
Melanie’s own photography
‘I’ve always loved photography – other people’s, as well as taking my own. Favourite photographers include Vivian Maier and Edwin Smith, but for my own I prefer taking travel shots, mainly architecture and street views. I love Italy and Spain, but feel the heat when lugging photographic equipment across cities. Luckily for me, the heat is usually less of a problem in London – I carry at least a compact camera with me at all times and when I take a lunchbreak I’ll often go and snap by the riverside in Vauxhall – Battersea Power Station one way and Parliament the other – they’re iconic views.
‘I like wildlife photography too – a couple of years ago I spent time photographing foxes in my garden and was later approached by a greetings card company who’d seen a shot on Flickr and wanted to license it for use on one of their cards. I’ve also had an image of a chicken used on the cover of a french, children’s magazine about birds, called “L’Oiseau”. It was for their “Les Poules” edition. When I started photography my wish was to one day take an image I’d be happy to have on my own wall, it’s nice to think that some of them could be on other people’s!’