Our Financial and Retail Services (FRS) organization is close to the action when it comes to interacting with our guests. Through exceptional service and support at critical moments for guests and team members alike, FRS cultivates loyalty and satisfaction with every interaction. And they show up and deliver more than 100 million times a year when someone reaches out to an FRS call center for help.
We sat down with a handful of our Home Based Target.com Guest Services Senior Specialists within FRS—Stephanie, Hunter, Cecilia and Karla—who put their responsiveness and expertise to work for the benefit of the thousands of Target.com shoppers each day. What’s more—they do it from the comfort of their home as a member of our recently launched home based team member program. Read on to learn more about their role and the work-life balance they enjoy as a home-based team member.
What’s a typical day like as a Home Based Target.com Guest Services team member?
Stephanie: I help guests with problems they’re having with online orders. It includes taking phone calls or responding to emails to help keep our guests happy—and properly documenting their experience. There is so much competition these days—we want to make sure we provide the greatest customer service so they continue choosing us. My typical work day also includes attending meetings/statuses, reviewing updates and trends, and having fun and staying positive.
Hunter: I help guests with any Target.com-related questions or concerns they may have. I help with such a broad variety of things that there isn’t really a “typical” guest interaction. My work day is usually composed of handling escalated guest phone calls, answering guest emails and using instant messaging to stay connected with my team and leadership.
Karla: My typical day at work is taking inbound calls from guests, providing “service with heart,” and working to accomplish one-time call resolution. Every day involves research time to follow up with our guest, vendors or any of our partners. I also work on different projects that I may have with my team or with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
What helps you to be successful in your role?
Hunter: My empathy, along with the support of leadership, has really helped me excel in this role. I’ve always been able to put myself in the guest’s shoes to really understand how a situation may be impacting their life. And our leadership team has encouraged me to lean into that when assisting guests.
Cecilia: I use skills learned in my prior positions and life experiences. The soft skills and de-escalation skills I learned while working in both Collections and Fraud Prevention and Dispute Resolution have helped me in Target.com Guest Services as well. As each call or email is different, I try to put myself in the guest’s position to understand and have empathy for their situation while working on a resolution that is best for both the guest and Target.
Karla: What helps me to be successful in my role is having the support from my leader and my peers. And working from home has increased my productivity.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
Hunter: The hardest part of my job is not being able to resolve issues our guests face the exact way they want them to be resolved. We usually have more than one option for how something can be resolved, but every once in a while, we may need to relay disappointing news. This role has the ability to make or break a guest’s experience. No one likes to have to contact a large company when something goes wrong, but I always try to make guests feel like they’re talking to a friend they haven’t caught up with in a while. I do all I can to let guests know that I honestly care about their satisfaction with Target.com.
Stephanie: Escalating calls to a leader is hard in this position, because you like to feel confident in your role and what you can do for the guest. But sometimes, the guest requests to speak to someone higher, and that makes you feel like you didn’t do enough. But at the end of the day, you really did.
What’s the best part about working from home?
Stephanie: It’s so nice to not have to commute in to work and be able to spend more time with my husband and two young kiddos. Work is actually my mini-vacation away from the chaos. I’m in the comfort of my own home and can still do my job efficiently. I also find it rewarding to have this unique opportunity with Target as many companies don’t offer working from home.
Hunter: It has been an awesome experience. I have more time in the morning to walk my dog or take her to the dog park, and I’ve been able to avoid the stressful morning and evening commutes. I am able to create my own workspace. The desks on site are great, but knowing I can make changes in my workspace that can help me excel has been a game changer. I also love having a silent place to work, and that isn’t always possible in the office. The best part is the time savings. I am probably only saving an hour of my day by not commuting, but it has been so worth it. My dog loves the extra time to play in the morning.
Cecilia: The flexibility I have now to pick up hours is great. Since I work part-time, I can add hours more spontaneously as I do not have to commute to work. I also love being able to control my own environment, like heating and cooling. It may not seem like much, but it is very nice.
Karla: Having the opportunity to work from home has been an amazing privilege and has enabled me to balance both work and life. It’s very important to me because as my shift ends, I prepare myself for my kids to get home from school; whereas before, I was in traffic and I couldn’t pick them up and prepare for after school activities. But now, I’m able to get up, get ready, make my coffee and start working without any stress. And during my breaks, I get some stuff done around the house which has also decreased my stress.
What advice would you give someone exploring a home based opportunity with Target.com Guest Services?
Cecilia: Being an organized and self-driven person has made the transition to working from home much easier. I was worried that I would be distracted by things that needed to be done around the house, but I just plan out what I want to accomplish during breaks and lunch at the beginning of the day, and I don’t worry about it until then. The one thing I do miss about working in the office is seeing my fellow team members and that interaction. But through IM and emails, I still touch base and even partner with them on cases if needed.
Hunter: Trust your gut. If you need more face-to-face interaction with peers, it may be difficult to ease into. But there are many rewards to working from the comfort of your home.
What do you enjoy most about Target? What keeps you here?
Hunter: I love being able to be my authentic self at work every day. I’ve been on some great teams and have had great leaders that have felt like family. And the competitive pay is definitely a bonus.
Cecilia: Originally, my plan was to put in for retirement this summer. But with working from home, and all the benefits I mentioned, I decided to work with Target.com for at least another five years.
Stephanie: I’ve had many other roles in my career life, but being with Target is my favorite. Target leadership really cares that you have a good work-life balance. The culture and diversity are so great. People really work together and take the time to just check in on how work and life are going. The training is also great. We have so many awesome people who have so much knowledge, and they are always willing to help you. I’m so thankful my dad Craig, who has been at Target for 16 years, recommended it as a great place to work, because it was the best career decision I’ve made yet. It’s good to feel excited to work.
Interested in a role on our Financial and Retail Services team? View current openings at target.com/careers.