Putting safety first – our hero during lockdown
Preeti Sharma is exactly the sort of person you like to have around in a crisis – as we found out when Covid-19 struck and we needed someone to collect and distribute an urgent shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) to our people during lockdown.
Together with the support of her family, Preeti ensured QV’s team of 220 property specialists had the right safety equipment to be able to perform their roles (she’ll tell you more in a moment). It wasn’t even the first time that she’s saved the day behind the scenes; in fact, if you’ve ever needed to contact our customer care team, you may have even been in touch with her before.
We caught up with the customer service superstar and business analyst to find out more about her role and the exciting year that she’s had…
Tell us a bit about yourself… who are you and what do you do?
I’m the youngest child of an Indian army colonel and an academician with over 40 years of experience. I shifted to New Zealand after marrying my husband [pictured above] in 2008.
I worked in the Indian IT education sector for over 13 years, before taking a break to give our daughter all due attention for her first five formative years. I later re-joined the work force and have been at QV since 2013.
What exactly does your job entail?
Until recently, I was in the customer care team, where I was expected to understand the expectations and meet the requirements of all our clients and internal staff, help with rating procedures and maintain the rating database.
My enthusiasm for new challenges and persistence in seeking to improve existing systems has seen me recently join QV’s technology team as a business analyst.
2020 has been a tough year for everyone. How have you coped?
Notwithstanding the gravity of the pandemic, I like to focus on the positive side of things. During lockdown, I much appreciated not having to rush from the office to pick my daughter up from school, or have to take her to maths classes or sport. It was nice being available to each other as a family, 24 hours a day.
Professionally, I continued all the printing of daily notices, folding and sealing them from home. I managed to get more than 9000 notices out of the way during the lockdown and solely handled the SalesDirect assistance mailbox and 0800 number, as well as looking after my technology team work.
Then there was the small matter of getting all that PPE shipped to my house…
Tell us more about that – what happened?
Getting the PPE kits ready and shipping them off to our people certainly kept me busy, to say the least! I had to prepare individual sets, order the courier bags, print labels, make sure I had the right numbers, and do it all again a second time when we needed more.
It was a very rewarding experience that my husband and daughter wholeheartedly helped me with. So if the gloves didn’t pair well, that was my husband’s fault! But he made up for it by helping moving and organising all the boxes of PPE in our garage, not to mention all the packages in our living room [pictured below].
What’s your favourite part about your role?
The range of work has kept me motivated, rejuvenated and going strong. I love interacting with clients and helping resolve their issues, thereby developing mutually respecting relations. That’s something that has always been very satisfying.
Plus the flexibility to work around family commitments has been a big factor in my job satisfaction.
What do you like to do in your time off?
My 12-year-old daughter and her activities takes up a majority of my time. Besides that, my husband and I are very house proud and forever trying simple DIYs – doing the Kiwi thing!
Our most recent family obsession is a three-month-old shih-tzu puppy called Burfi (that means ‘sweetmeat’ in Hindi). She’s the baby of the family.