A day in the life of Relationship Manager, Helen Clarke

Written by PayPlan on 8 January 2013

Payplan’s Relationship Manager, Helen Clarke, has been working for the company for ten years this January, so we asked her to tell us about her role and what it entails:

I am the Relationship Manager for Payplan covering the North East, North West, North Wales Scotland and more recently Northern Ireland. I get about 3,000 referrals from voluntary sector agencies each year.

No two days are the same, but I have two typical types of day, one in the office and one on the road. If I am in the office I start by making a very long “to do” list. It is the time I catch up on administrative tasks like visit report forms, feedback reports to Citizens Advice Bureaux, money advice agencies and projects, answering queries and questions from advisers, looking at statistics to see how each agency is doing in terms of referral numbers and arranging training and visits to referring agencies.

I also dedicate some time to organising the North East Money Advice group and I am also on the steering group of the Money Advice Liaison Group (North East Discussion Group).

As well as working full time I am also the mother of two boys, so all of this fits round my incredibly hectic home life.

So let’s suppose I get through all that and I go out on the road – this is my typical day two. Firstly, I try to wear matching shoes! As anyone who follows me on Twitter will know, I recently rushed out to a meeting only to look down and notice I was wearing two odd shoes. Very embarrassing!

Because of the size of the area I cover I have to be realistic about how far I can cover in a day. I try to book multiple appointments near to each other to make best use of my time.

When I visit an agency my role is to make sure they are happy with everything we are doing at Payplan and that the people they refer to us for debt advice are in safe hands. I ensure they have the correct Payplan literature they need and we usually talk about any training I can help with. I also give the agency feedback statistics on their referrals should they need them.

It is increasingly obvious that agencies are pushed for time and this is why a series of events called “we’ll come to you”, where Payplan representatives went out to the agencies to give advice directly, was so successful.

I mainly work from home and so only venture into head office once or twice a month for team meetings and project meetings. At the end of my day I mainly run round after the boys. In terms of fitness it is all or nothing with me, so sometime I am a fitness fanatic and sometimes I’m not. I also love skiing and bird watching.

After a decade in the job I can honestly say it is a privilege to work for Payplan and see the positive difference our help can make to people in debt.

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