A wee bit about Stuart – Director of DRIVE

Hi, I’m Stuart Harris, Director of DRIVE Training & Development Ltd. I’ve put a few words together below to outline my background and experience

Me trying to look cool - and before you "tut, tut" I'm not 'being closed' I'm just being comfy

Over the last 30 years I’ve been preparing for my current role as a Training & Development Consultant in;

  • Customer Service
  • Field Sales & Tele-Sales
  • Contact Centre Services
  • Leadership Skills
  • Team Development
  • Training & Presentation Skills

After leaving college I spent twelve years in the Hospitality Industry in various Junior, Senior and Regional Management roles where I developed my understanding and passion for delivering first class service – which still lives with me today.

I then moved into various sales roles in products as diverse as Organic Wine, Advertising and Telecoms before working for seven years for Coca Cola where I enjoyed Sales and Management roles. At Coke I managed Sales teams and was promoted into an Account Management role in the Grocery Sector. Throughout my career at Coke I was often called upon to support training activity and induction programmes.

Much as I enjoyed my sales and management roles, I realised that I had a passion and un-trained skill for developing others. I set myself a goal to get into a training role and went to evening classes to complete the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s Certificate in Training Practice and managed to get a role as National Sales Manager for a Telecom company.

Between 2001 and 2006, I was responsible for the Agent and Management Training & Development and Call Quality Assurance for five call centres in the UK for TeleTech (one of the world’s largest Business Processing Outsourcing companies), where me and my team won national training awards for our Innovative Blended approaches to Learning & Development

In 2006, I ‘went out on my own’ as an Independent Training Consultant, mainly but not solely focussing on the Contact Centre industry. In that time I’ve been involved in the design and delivery of Sales, Customer Service and Management training for numerous clients, with whom I’ve sustained long term relationships.

I’ve been involved in the launch of 2 call centres for SKY and 2 centres for Tesco Bank. When a new Outsource client was at risk of losing a major client of theirs, I was called in to improve operational performance and increase sales (performance and sales improved saving over ‘300 seats’ and the operation).

I’ve turned around under-performing sales teams, developed and introduced a 5-Star Customer Service for a major Financial Services client, and worked with clients large and small to improve Operational Effectiveness.

My philosophy is simple; either give my clients what they ‘perceive they need’, or better still, spend some time with those with performance issues; so that I can identify individual skill gaps and recommend a specific course of action or solution to their needs.

I don’t try to be ‘all things to all men’; if an existing client or potentially new client asks me to develop solutions on a subject that I’m not familiar with, I refer one of my many colleagues who have that subject matter expertise. Therefore, focussing on my own specialisms and providing excellent customer service, even if I’m not ‘getting the gig’.

As well as being responsible for making dramatic Sales increases, improving Customer Service and developing Leadership Teams, I’ve also been called upon to review training departments and management teams. On more than one occasion I’ve been taken on as a consultant by key clients to overhaul their Induction and Management Development Programmes to ensure that their incumbents’ ‘hit the ground running’ and manage their teams more effectively.

I also also speak at conferences, events and ‘after dinners’ on a number of topics including leadership and management development, improving performance, maximising sales and improving customer service.

I’m a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, a Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Managers, a qualified NLP Practitioner, Vice President for Education for Toastmasters International (Glasgow), an Accredited Belbin Assessor, Member of Institute of Customer Service and an Honorary Member of the Scottish eLearning Alliance

Running a bit of a buzz session with 30 new agents and team leaders at the launch of one of SKY's new Osterley Call Centres