Corinne Robinson

Five minutes with…

Corinne Robinson

Operations Manager

Vartan Compliance Consultancy

How did you get started in the business?

Throughout my career, my ‘slant’ has always been customer service, elevating how the service or product is provided to leave the customer delighted. Joining VARTAN from a previous service manager role at Muntons made perfect sense because I had a strict compliance background coupled with a huge desire to build the necessary business processes to create/sheer up a high standard of consistent customer service.

I have also been involved in the building trade in a previous life, so I have a good knowledge of health and safety, which forms the backbone of VARTAN.

Tell us about your average day?

No two days are the same because of the variety of enquiries received – we cover an awful lot in our portfolio, so that can be anything from customs compliance to health and safety to logistics operator licence. I’m guided by the need to understand the wants and needs of our customers, listening and checking out for their ‘blind spots’ – they don’t know what they don’t know, which makes it hard for them to ask the right questions.

With a robust process now in place to handle enquiries and turn them into genuine business relationships, I can track and measure response times and evaluate how we can work on continuous improvement. So, there’s a lot of strategy-building, procedure-creation, measuring and keeping the team involved in the process. I recognise that our consultants are my customers too, so I work hard to make sure they are supported and equipped to carry out their responsibilities as well as they can for their customers.

Over the last six months, how have you seen a change in volume/type of customers enquiries?

With the obvious Brexit situation, most recent enquiries have been around customs compliance, customs warehousing and the related changes to export. Volumes, of course, spike in line with legislation deadlines, and I love that at VARTAN, we work hard to make sure we’re equipped to stay ahead of the game to anticipate and accommodate this.

How has VARTAN adjusted to meet peak demand?

VARTAN is always looking for new talent to meet demand and look creatively at the different ways we can serve. We’ve recently launched a series of online video tutorials that provide a more generic ‘off-the-shelf’ customs training programme, which definitely appeals to some of our customer groups.

At the other end of the spectrum are the tailored training programmes designed specifically for and with a particular business customer. This allows our consultants to temporarily become a part of that business while we walk through their various true-to-life scenarios, providing information, knowledge, and solutions.
We’ve created webinars in the past and will definitely host more in the future. Behind the scenes, we’ve started working on a podcast to provide help and advice to a broader audience and will be inviting various experts to join in on the discussions – watch this space! Our team is expanding too with a new consultant and an apprentice starting with us very soon. It’s exciting to be part of a growing team and be open to new ideas on how best to serve our customers.

Can you tell us something that your colleagues don’t know about you?

Given to oversharing as I do, this is a tough one!  I’m going to go with my hobby for furniture restoration – I save furniture from landfill and give it a new lease of life with a lick of paint, some stencilling and perhaps some decoupage.