Our receptionist Andrea Finch understands what a difference a sunny disposition and heartfelt greeting can make to customers, having worked in retail for several decades.
Before joining our team, Andrea worked as an administration manager for a popular opticians chain for around almost two decades.
She was ready for a change that would give her the opportunity to discover new skills in a new industry, and jumped at the chance to work for James Legal when she saw the receptionist’s position advertised.
“Things were going in a different direction where I worked previously and I decided it was a good time for me to try doing something different, after working in retail for such a long time,” explained Andrea.
“I saw the James Legal job advertised at just the right time and it really appealed to me, and then when I came along to my interview it cemented my initial impressions because everyone here is just so nice. There is a real family atmosphere in our office and both our Hull and Beverley offices are local to me, so really convenient to get to for work.”
And Andrea says she’s thoroughly enjoying her role as receptionist.
“It’s not just about answering the phone, I also have to look after people when they come in to speak to a solicitor, and I find that really rewarding,” she explained.
“Some of our clients are going through a very hard time when they come in to see us and it’s important to be able to empathise with them and offer them some TLC.
“Whether they’re selling or buying a house, or going through a divorce, people are often dealing with a lot of stress when they call or pop in, and I try to do my best to diffuse things for them a little with a friendly voice or a smile, as this can make all the difference. I try to maintain the most sunny aspect possible!
“The James Legal ethos is all about friendly and personal customer service and going that extra mile to look after our clients as well as we can, and I hope my experience of working in retail means I can really help make that happen.”
“I like to be able to help people and, if they’re not feeling particularly great about things at the start of a conversation, help them go back out there with a bit more of a positive outlook. I find that’s a really rewarding thing to be able to do.”
Efficiency is key
Of course, working as a receptionist in a legal firm is a very responsible role, and this is something else Andrea relishes.
“My management experience definitely comes into play,” she added.
“Because when people ring up, for example, I have to make a lot of judgements about what to do with their enquiry, take really accurate notes about their situation and act on things promptly – routing them through to the best member of our team to deal with their particular needs.
“Another really good thing about James Legal is how proactive they are at dealing with enquiries, compared to traditional solicitors. I like to play a part in making sure our solicitors are equipped to get back to people quickly, providing them with detailed email notes and arranging swift call-backs if they’re not available to speak to someone there and then. It’s very satisfying to be able to contribute to the firm’s outstanding reputation for responsiveness.”
So, how does Andrea see her role evolving? “I’m really enjoying the learning curve at the moment, and the fact that no two days are the same. The team are very supportive and I am keen to learn to help with other tasks like admin and helping the accounts team, where needed, as well as dealing with calls and visits from clients, and the firm is really good at helping employees like me to reach their potential, which is great.”
“There’s also a great work/life balance here, which is nice too, and we get together as a team outside of work, to socialise and attend events.”
When Andrea’s not busy manning the phones and reception desk, she loves getting out in the outdoors, and is a keen wildlife photographer – exploring both the East Yorkshire countryside and coast, and areas like the Lake District as well.
“I think it’s good to take time to appreciate what’s around you, and have a hobby which helps you unwind at the end of your working day – not to mention noticing the changes in the seasons and things like that,” continued Andrea.
Andrea enjoys doing these things with her partner of 34 years, Raj, and his extended family.
If you like what you’ve read and think you might be interested in joining our growing James Legal team, either as a lawyer or in an administrative role, get in touch with us via email@example.com or (01482) 225566.