Contact centre shapes careers

How Daan Willem, Teigan and Marie seized career opportunities in customer experience teams

The Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege has been an international ambassador of the Postcode Lotteries since 2019. For twenty years, at the risk of his own life, the gynaecologist has been working for victims of wartime rape. Often these women were horrifically mutilated. In 2018, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his good work.

For these three team members their lottery career journey all started in customer experience teams.

Picture above:
customer experience teams of the Nationale Postcode Loterij in Amsterdam

There are 1,500 people working for the Postcode Lotteries in the Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain, Germany and Norway. This means there are around 1,500 career stories about being part of the Postcode Lotteries team and how they are helping build a better future for people and planet.

People, millions of players, are at the heart of Postcode Lottery. Players are central to everything the lotteries do, making the role of customer experience agents key to its success. It is why everyone who joins the lotteries has a work experience within the department and learns about handling player calls.

We interviewed three team members, who started their career journey speaking to players in customer experience teams.

Today, Daan Willem Vermolen is HR manager at Deutsche Postcode Lotterie (German Postcode Lottery), but in 2001 he was a first-year human resource management student with a part-time job in a customer experience team of the Nationale Postcode Loterij in Amsterdam.

For Daan Willem, it was ‘the best job a student could have wished for’.

The job appealed to him because it brought together charities and people – the players and his colleagues. Daan says: “The atmosphere was very relaxed and I could choose my working hours. Most of my team members were students, but we had part-time working parents, artists and photographers as well. There was a real sense of team and never a dull moment. We started the day with a free breakfast, and we had the opportunity to visit charities."

'In many companies, customer departments are secondary. For us, it's our heart'
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Daan Willem Vermolen, HR manager at the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie, Germany

'Tremendously appreciated'
“Customer experience teams are located in the centre of our offices, close to the entrance; as a 20-year-old, I was impressed by all the celebrities who worked for the lottery and came in. I could also work as a host for lottery TV programmes. Here I got a glimpse into the TV world. And colleagues from the marketing department came in regularly to hear about the results of new campaigns – we were asked for our opinion and I felt tremendously appreciated.”

He worked for customer experience for two and a half years, first handling calls and then as a supervisor within the department. Leaving to complete an internship programme and following various HR roles elsewhere, Daan Willem returned to customer experience as a supervisor, and then was promoted to team leader. He was then successful in applying for a recruiter role in the HR team and held several different positions in the lottery before moving to Düsseldorf to take on the head of HR role at the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie in 2017.

Five years later, the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie team has grown from just 15 people to over 170 people. Looking back on his career at the lotteries, he said: "No day has been the same since the start, it's amazing to go through this growth together and empower the team.”

Deep understanding
Daan Willem says he has a deep understanding of the players, having spent years handling calls. “Everyone who joins the Postcode Lotteries has to work at least half a day in our customer experience team. I can't stress enough the importance. Not all calls are easy; you also hear tough stories and get hard questions. Although you make hundreds of calls, every call should sound like the first one of the day.”

Daan Willem: "In many companies, customer departments are secondary. For us, this department is our heart. Without players, we can't give anything to charities. Because of our players, charities can do their amazing work.

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Daan Willem with the TV crew of Deutsche Postcode Lotterie

Teigan Evans, currently product owner at People’s Postcode Lottery in Edinburgh, also started her lottery career journey as a customer experience agent. “We have a thorough training programme. My first few weeks were spent getting to know my new colleagues, learning the ins and outs of the lottery, and getting to know the company culture. This put me in a great position for when I started handling calls.”

As an agent, she handled sales calls and general customer queries. “The calls I remember enjoying the most were the 'welcome calls' with new players. We got to know them and why they signed up to play. We always work to leave a positive impression as a team and a lottery.”

Less than a year after joining, Teigan moved into a team leader role, managing a team of quality auditors responsible for auditing player interactions.

'My job in the customer experience team has massively aided me in my role as a product owner'
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Teigan Evans, product owner at the People’s Postcode Lottery, Great Britain

She is now a product owner for a development team in the data services department. “Many departments have team members who all began their careers in customer experience teams. From software developers and IT engineers to communications officers and events assistants.”

Build relationships
Thanks to her time in customer experience, Teigan has a great understanding of the business, the systems, and importantly the players’ needs. “This has massively aided me in my role as a product owner. I also had the opportunity to work with different departments and build relationships with colleagues during my time in customer experience, which has made managing stakeholder requests and feedback, a smoother process.

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Teigan with the development team

Marie Hultström started at the Svenska Poskodlotteriet (Swedish Postcode Lottery) in 2011 in customer experience, and she still works for the lotteries. After two years she moved to online gaming, where she worked on product design, campaigns, sales and CRM activities for seven years.

Two years ago, she returned to her first love, this time as the manager of the costumer experience department of Norsk Postkodelotteri, the Norwegian lottery. “I have a customer focused mindset. My my years at the lottery and my experience as an agent, handling calls, helps me see things from the customer's and the lottery’s perspectives so that we make balanced decisions.”

Player first-strategy
The Postcode Lotteries have a player first-strategy: in every decision, the player comes first. “This translates to almost everything we do at customer experience,” Marie explains. “We measure and follow up calls, emails and chats, to ensure high player satisfaction levels.”

'My experience as an agent helps me see things from the customers’ and the lottery’s perspectives'
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Marie Hultström, manager of customer experience of the Norsk Postkodelotteri

Also, Marie thinks it's important to have a contact centre in-house. "All the departments can easily learn from customer service and about the player, which will help them improve their work. It also opens doors for employees to develop internally, just as I have done. The competence stays in-house."

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Marie Hultström with colleagues

Developing and supporting talent
The Postcode Lottery Group is committed to developing and supporting talent at all stages of a career. For more on life at Novamedia/Postcode Lottery Group and opportunities at the Postcode Lotteries, visit our LinkedIn.

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