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Women in Construction Week: Meet Amber, Customer Services Manager at Devonshire Homes

7 March 2024

Late last year, we welcomed Amber Gratton-Davey as our new Customer Services Manager. With a strong background in customer service in the construction industry, Amber worked as the Assistant Site Manager at our Longston Cross development in Bovey Tracey, before making the move over to the company HQ in Tiverton to head up the Customer Services team.

As part of our Women in Construction Week celebrations, we caught up with Amber to find out more about her career background and how she is getting on in her new role:

Hi Amber! Tell us about your background in the housing and construction industry…

"I have worked in the Construction Industry for, coming up to ten years this year. My journey in the industry started when I was twenty years old, and I started as a Customer Service Coordinator for another house builder. I stayed in this role for four years and really enjoyed it, but I was interested in getting out to site and furthering my career.

This career move lead me on to becoming a Trainee Site Manager, and undertaking a part-time degree course in Construction, whilst working on a large development in Exeter. Having gained valuable experience and my qualifications, I proceeded to work as an Assistant Site Manager for five years, based at many different site locations, most recently of which, at our Devonshire Homes development, Longston Cross in Bovey Tracey.

Throughout my career, I have worked for various house builders on different projects, ranging from large 280-unit timber-frame developments with playparks, allotments and infrastructure included, to smaller traditionally constructed projects.

In November last year, I returned to my career roots in customer services and joined the department as Customer Services Manager, overseeing a team of three Co-ordinators and three Technicians".

Why did you decide to pursue a career in the industry?

"I actually fell into the construction industry and as soon as I did, I have never looked back.

I went to a girls’ grammar school and at that time, it goes without saying that it wasn’t a role that was advertised to me. Starting in the office as a Co-ordinator, I realised I was constantly stimulated by the challenges I faced day-to-day, and the non-stop learning.

Construction is an industry that is ever evolving and there will always be homes that need to be built. For me, I am drawn to the opportunities it offers and the chances I get to have a positive effect on local communities and our built environment".

What does your job role involve?

"My job role involves overseeing the operation of the Customer Services Department and making sure that our customers’ are looked after following one of the most significant purchases they will ever make.

I cover our entire region across the Westcountry and I work to support the sales and site teams in the management of customer satisfaction. We record and manage the customers’ snagging items and see them through to completion with support from our supply chain.

I have a great team and we all work together really well to achieve the end goal – which is always to have a happy customer!"

What is a typical day like as Customer Services Manager?

"I manage my own team whilst simultaneously working with other teams and departments within Devonshire Homes, as well as external suppliers and sub-contractors.

My team of Customer Service Co-ordinators have the sites split up between them, to ensure that each customer has one point of contact for their home. Whilst they process incoming correspondence and deal with the ‘front-line,’ I assist them in programming works, sourcing materials and any queries they may have.

I oversee the more difficult/technical items and manage all LABC/NHBC claims and queries.

I visit sites to review items and meet with customers to go through any queries they may have.

My days vary so much, but I am either based in the office, working from home or out on site. I manage everything from outstanding works, chasing sub-contractors, dealing with complaints, cost management and various reporting to the Directors".

What stands out for you about Devonshire Homes as an employer?

"I have been with Devonshire Homes for 14 months now, and I definitely see myself as part of the future of the company. I enjoy the freedom you have to be your own person and that you are encouraged to share your ideas across departments, and with your superiors, and you are always taken seriously and listened to.

I am proud to work for Devonshire Homes. They have built so many quality homes across the Westcountry over the last 32 years, and for me, having Cornish heritage and being born and raised in Devon, it is the natural choice."

What benefits do you think you bring to the role and to Devonshire Homes?

"I have thirteen years’ of customer service experience, ten years’ experience in the construction industry, five of which is site based, and all of this is invaluable when it comes to dealing with the aftercare of a new build property. I have always had a passion for customer service, and carried this through my site management career, by remaining the point of contact for new customers. Combining my experience as an Assistant Site Manager with the ways in which I think we should move forward, is really beneficial.

Overall, I have a positive outlook which is really important for anyone working in a customer services department, but I am also tenacious and driven. This teamed with my need to do the right thing and see success in my own path and also for the business, makes me the perfect person to be the main point of contact and represent Devonshire Homes to our customers".

Do you have any aims or goals that you would like to achieve as Customer Services Manager?

"I want to strive for the best. Having spent time within the industry, and invested in the customer journey in various formats, I believe that I have learnt some great practices, which I intend on developing and utilising within my team.

My goal is to evolve our existing processes and procedures and have a positive impact on the department and in turn our customers.

Everyone is a customer in my eyes; even our colleagues, sub-contractors, shareholders and suppliers. We all work for one end goal, and I want to add my twist to ensure harmony and a shared vision between us all that really benefits Devonshire Homes as a whole".

Click here to find out more about Women in Construction Week.