Organisation: Department of Defence
Job Title: Security Vetting Officer
Word Limit: 400 words pp
Supports Strategic Direction
Throughout my career, especially within the Government sector, I have developed the ability to think logically, understand situations from a strategic perspective and commitment to formulating and implementing effective short-term and long-term decisions. Within the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), as a Customer Service Representative, I practice informed decision-making and sound judgement to deliver successful outcomes. Contributing to solutions and progress, I harness information and opportunities when performing my day-to-day duties, constantly working diligently to adhere with existing internal ATO practices to improve efficiency and meet corporate objectives.
During my tenure with the ATO, during a shift as floor walking support staff I provided support to a newly trained team member who was on a call with a highly irate customer. This customer was threatening to make an official complaint and demanding to speak with a manager, as they were not happy with the current Customer Service Representatives attempts at resolution. As managers within the department are not technically trained, my manager called on my expertise to manage this call. In maintaining my commitment to adhering to corporate procedures, I worked with this customer to establish a level of trust earnt through the competence of my ability to listen, empathise and educate in internal processes. Upon investigation of the customer’s issue regarding a payment into the incorrect account, I could identify that a prior escalation had been performed but the relevant department had not actioned according to service level agreements (SLA). In my Customer Service Representative role, I was one of few that could instigate direct payment transfers if corporate policies were not met.
With the customer now aware of the confirmed transfer of payment, I had successfully calmed the situation by providing a practical solution in line with authority levels and ATO legislation. Further to this, I also took the opportunity to educate the customer on future management of their accounts to eliminate reoccurrence of this issue. Achieving a positive outcome the ATO, I delivered on corporate customer resolution strategies in a productive and professional setting. Obtaining positive feedback from the customer at the conclusion of our call, I was validated in the service they received and that the relevant policy information I provided to them would translate into a long term account management success.
A self-motivated, results-orientated professional, I take responsibility for achieving outcomes within my position as a Customer Service Representative with the ATO. My accomplishments within this position include meeting targets, mentoring and training staff on the job, leading by example, and supporting improvements to systems and procedures. My ability to achieve results in a protocol and results driven environment is best demonstrated during my position with the ATO. Consistently exceeding customer expectations, I display my strong desire to excel in all business areas whilst striving for excellence.
As an example, whilst currently employed with the ATO in the capacity of a Customer Service Representative, I received a call from a customer who was a sole trader and currently in a payment arrangement with the ATO. The customer had been defaulting on his obligation of agreed payment amounts and was confused with the arrival of separate additional invoices that were also due for payment. In line with ATO policy, I was not in a position to offer many alternatives to him but instead used training techniques I had acquired in recent internal training within a specialised debt collection department of the ATO. Through the practises gained, I employed questioning to break down the customers’ financial capacity of payments and reviewed the customers’ situation in its entirety rather than the traditional methods of payment amount dictation commonly used within the ATO. This allowed the client to realise they did not have the surplus cash flow to meet their original plan. I proceeded to enter an arrangement that was substantial and committed to by the customer.
The outcome of my results driven methodology was that the customer was provided with a solid understanding of ATO policies surrounding their obligations in agreed payment arrangements. With internal recognition of my performance in this situation, I was provided with positive feedback from the ATO national accredited quality register on my achievements on this call. In addition to this, I was requested by management to document the process and communication that I utilised to this customer. By this recognition of my achievement within this interaction, I was influential in my ability to provide the team with further success tools.
Supports Productive Working Relationships
Demonstrating myself as an active team member, I have been instrumental in contributing to exceptional teams throughout my career my current tenure at the ATO. Committed to team performance and often assisting others, I am prepared to work past my scheduled finish times or complete additional tasks to help team members or management.
As a Customer Services Representative at the ATO, I am awarded the opportunity to regularly step into a mentoring capacity within the team responsible in supporting new staff. With team members having just completed internal training, they were yet to display their skills in a practical setting, I am responsible for the support and coaching in corporate procedures and guidelines. It became quickly apparent that the staff were having difficulty following a nine-step call procedure due to its complex communication style. Acknowledging the concerns of the team, I began the development of a condensed document that assisted the team while adhering to proscribed policies. Highlighting my capability to interpret and translate complex documentation, I drove the implementation of this document. In doing so, I showcased my initiative and deep understanding of internal procedures. With a successful outcome, I was instrumental in the increase confidence that the staff demonstrated in following the new direction document. The flow on effect of my commitment to supporting team members at all levels was a reduction in time spent on individual Customer Service Representative’s customer calls. Influential in building efficiency and team capabilities, I have achieved working relationships built on trust and rapport from colleagues. In addition to this, I also received a personal thank you from the Assistant Director for my achievements.
Established as a collaborative team member, I have formed constructive relationships with all stakeholders ensuring correct processes are followed and the culture within the organisation upheld. I possess the ability to act in an inclusive manner and where the initiative often requires building productive relationships; I have been successful in building rapport in all network settings and interactions. Exhibiting a commitment to supporting constructive working relationships, I manifest this by valuing individual difference and diversity and recognising working styles of individuals and factoring this into the management of tasks.
Displays Personal Drive and Integrity
Demonstrating a high level of motivation, personal drive and integrity, I have successfully balanced work with the ability to multitask and remain focused. With a demonstrated record of commitment, consistency and a focus on quality service and outcomes, I possess practical experience and a range of professional skills and strengths that contribute to positive outcomes.
Demonstrating a high level of self-awareness and a strong commitment to personal development, I have successfully completed various forms of professional development. Holding a Diploma of Community Welfare Work facilitated by Holmesglen TAFE in 2010, I take responsibility for my own training and development, making the necessary effort to attend regular meetings and keep up to date with new organisational procedures and employer objectives. The professional skills I have obtained during my professional and personal development are ultimately intertwined in my own personal development including technical skills including the use and application of legislative knowledge and best practice methodology.
Within in my current position at the ATO, I am responsible in dealing with sensitive customer situations whilst adhering to strict legislation. Upholding core values of Australian Public Service, I apply ethical work practices and demonstrate integrity in all work practices. For example, while striving for first call resolution outcomes in all interactions, at one time I handled a customer querying their tax refund outside delivery SLA. Although this customer initially was irate, I applied the Hearing them out, Empathy, Appropriate questioning and Take action (HEAT) model acquired through professional development training to understand the complaint and then proceeded to explain how I would personally manage their concerns. Confirming my dedication to professional skills and career drive, I was successful in turning this call around including the customer apologising for his initial manner, providing a sound resolution adhering to all corporate legislation in this process.
In a competitive work dynamic, I strive for professional development and advancement within my career. Embracing all opportunities offered, I was acknowledged as a top performer within team and was invited to complete a pilot program of debt collection training. Resilient and achievement orientated, I am dedicated to breaking down any barriers throughout my career to achieve optimum success for both the business and my personal career growth.
Communicates with Influence
A confident and experienced communicator, I possess high level oral and written communication skills which can be demonstrated throughout my employment history at the ATO, communicating with internal and external stakeholders both verbally and in writing on a daily basis including clients, tax agents, internal technical teams and other ATO departments, corporate representatives, external agencies and government departments. Throughout my career in the Australian Public Service, I have assumed a high level of responsibility that has demanded exceptional communication such as undertaking complex quantitative and qualitative data analysis, staff mentoring and training, preparing reports, attending meetings, interpreting relevant legislative, regulatory and compliance frameworks. In my role as Customer Service Representative within the ATO since 2013, I have effectively conveyed complex ideas and methodologies in a concise manner, both in oral and in writing. My oral communication skills abilities have been used and developed through verbal conversations, presentations and meetings. On all occasions, I have portrayed my work clearly and logically conveying the various aspects of my sound judgement decisions.
Throughout my current position with the ATO, I recently engaged with a customer who was from a non-English speaking background who had come through the main customer service lines. Upon taking this call, I immediately identified that this particular customer qualified to utilise the interpreter line in order to deliver a solution focused call. After the customer following my direction, I was able to understand the concerns raised by the customer in relation to penalty notices they had received. The customer had recently returned from a two-year absence from Australia and had not notified the ATO of their departure, I advised the customer that ATO policy states the onus is on the individual to inform of any changes in circumstances. After my clear and concise explanation to the customer, I proceeded to direct the customer to the ATO online resources including issuing of ‘quickcodes’ that would facilitate direct access to the appropriate pages. In demonstrating my commitment to providing customer communication that is clear and free of jargon, I was instrumental in the success of this interaction. With the long term effects of an educated customer equipped with the tools for future referencing, I was acknowledge by management for my high standards of influential communication.
Illustrated within my current career within the ATO, I have developed high-level problem solving skills along with strong research and analytical ability. Exampled in my role as Customer Service Representative, I am trusted in the capability to obtain and interpret information and make specific recommendations where required.
As demonstrated in this position with the ATO, I engaged in a telephone query with a customer who was operating as a sole trader who had received penalty notices for failing to lodge their business activity statements (BAS) in accordance with statutory guidelines. Exhibiting a consistent and systematic approach when dealing with decisions, I objectively assessed the facts to arrive at a fair and balanced judgement, utilising critical thinking ability, to conclude if the customer was eligible for the remission of penalty notices requested. After receiving the customers’ version of events and looking into their profile to assess compliance history, I referred to ATO internal reference guides, Practice Statement Law Administrator (PSLA) 2001/19. As shown within the customer profile, I noted that this particular customer had a substandard compliance history to date and had received multiple penalty remissions before this incident. At the conclusion of my investigation and qualifying process performed in line with internal guidelines, I advised the customer that I was rejecting their request for penalty remission and explained the options of, writing a letter to have the decision reviewed. When educating the customer of methods they could utilise to avoid these penalties from occurring, I was advised by the customer that they would be making an official compliant regarding my decision. It was then that I referenced the Office Administrator Tax Law, that states, I could only grant remissions based on the facts and rulings of each particular case not on fear of complaints. It would have been negligent for me to reverse my justified decision and I would have been negligent to encourage behaviours of non-compliance. By ensuring that the decisions I make are based on my strong understanding of ATO guidelines and legislations, I display commitment to the purpose of long-term positive outcomes through educating customer to not expect automatic remissions but promote compliance. The outcome of the decision making process with this customer, I provided the customer with greater understanding that penalties are in place to ensure compliance of all taxpayers were not revenue raising.