Life at CWE – Navigating the rails as a Customer Accounts Manager

2nd October, 2023

At CWE, we’re proud to be part of the UK rail industry. We believe it’s a great place to work and that our friendly team showcases the best of the sector. In this series, Life at CWE, we’ll be providing a glimpse into the life of our staff. We hope this will give readers a sense of the work our brilliant people do and the diverse range of talents and skills that make up the world of rail engineering.

In this edition, we speak to our Customer Account Manager, Sophie Scargill. Sophie shares her experiences and insights into the dynamic world of rail and CWE. This includes reflecting on her journey so far, core responsibilities and personal skills and more:

Having joined CWE and the rail industry only recently, how are you finding it so far?

I feel like I’ve settled in really well. From day one, the culture and atmosphere at CWE has made it so easy for me to fit in. I was given a very clear brief of what my role is and we discussed from both sides where they want it to take me and where I want to go. This has helped me understand exactly what is expected of me, which goals I need to hit and how I need to get there. I feel like I have settled in on a personal and professional level which has been amazing, especially for a woman coming into something we know [from reports such as CWE’s Keeping Talent on Track] is traditionally male dominated.

As CWE’s Customer Accounts Manager, what are your core responsibilities?

My core responsibilities are to look after all buffer customers – this includes their orders, any questions or issues they might have, overseas logistics and to be their primary source for basic communications. We currently have a working relationship with 19 regular buffer customers. Some of these we have monthly meetings, some ad-hoc and others weekly. There’s a real mix but we are able to work to the communication frequency that they want and need in order to ensure everything is running smoothly and efficiently for them. I also assist with the CWE charity days and coordinate events that involve our customers, which is great fun.

What do you find the most rewarding thing about your job and working in rail?

It sounds like  a little thing but it makes a real difference as an employee, but I find it very rewarding when I receive acknowledgement from my managers for doing something well. They are really good at showing recognition for a job well done and also understanding my potential. It’s an encouraging confidence boost which makes me want to do even better. Another really rewarding part of my job is being able to exceed our customers’ expectations. Fast lead times, for example, equals happy, loyal customers and that always makes me feel so fulfilled in my role.

What have you brought to CWE with your specific experience and background?

I’m also a semi-professional football player, and I’ve also been involved in media and comms, as well as account management – so I feel like I’ve been able to bring some of the communication, discipline and organisational skills from those roles to my new job. These have all really helped from day one, coming into a role that was new for both me and CWE so we could hit the ground running.. A big part of my role is to ensure we are keeping our customers happy and I feel by bringing my personality to the role I have managed to do that well. I have also helped streamline communications between us and our customers by bringing some fresh ideas which have received positive customer feedback.

Which of those personal skills have helped you fulfil your role at CWE?

I’ve been able to bring communication and people skills, relationship building, organisational skills – such as order prioritisation and lead times – and problem solving to the role.

What is one tip you would give to another Customer Account Manager going into rail?

To always be reactive and leave room to enable that. You can plan and plan as much as you want but if something unexpected pops up, all that could go out the window – but you still need to respond. Proactive thinking and time management is super important in the role.

To find out more about the CWE team, click here

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