Getting to know the Mutneys Team – Office Manager, Louise Lamb
Hello all – I’m Louise Lamb and I’ve been working for Mutneys for the past eight years and it’s been eight years I would not have missed for the world.
I think the tone was set right from the start when I first came for my interview. I had worked in customer services in big corporate offices for all my working life and I was attracted by the chance of flexible working and family friendly hours in a family-run company like Mutneys. I have two children and love dogs so it seemed like the perfect fit.
I knew I was going to love the job when I was greeted by the lovely Samba – the owners’ German Shorthaired Pointer – with big, wet sloppy licks. We did have a slightly awkward moment when director Jamie put out his hand for me to shake and it was covered in dog saliva, but it made me realise that this was a place where a bit of dog slobber was all part of the daily routine and that was fine by me!
We regularly have four or five dogs in the office including my own Springer Spaniel Lily. Having dogs in the office can be slightly chaotic but it also brings so much to the working environment. Everyone feels that their families and animals matter to the company.
Thanks to Samba breaking the ice, I got the job and started with the admin for our van deliveries. Over the past eight years I have slowly moved into other areas of the business, making the most of my customer service experience, and I took over the office manager role four years ago.
The company owners, Steph and Jamie Roberts, really value their staff and allow them to develop into different roles when they become available. I believe you have to love what you do to get the best out of it and staff development is a great way of letting everyone make the most of their talents.
Since I joined Mutneys I have completed my Level 2 qualification in customer service and am close to finishing my Level 3 in management leadership. The management course has been really different and has helped me bring a lot of new knowledge and experience to the company.
We all have training from Jamie on dog grooming – he has such a huge depth of knowledge. I’m in the process of converting his expertise and knowledge into a formal in-house training package for all the staff. It means that all the staff get a real in-depth grasp of the knowledge they need which they can then pass on to our customers. We’re also developing links with brand ambassadors who can share their specialist knowledge in particular areas of grooming with both us and our customers.
Our training and knowledge is really important to us. For me it’s a really satisfying moment to hear one of the staff giving precise and well-informed advice to our customers. We are not here just to sell products – we want to make sure our customers order a product that is right for them and for their budget. We get a real satisfaction out of building a relationship with our customers and happy customers make the job so much more rewarding for us.
We’re just as passionate about our cruelty-free and sustainable policies. It’s something we all feel very strongly about and we know it’s important to our customers. People who groom dogs care about their animals and want to make sure that the products they are using haven’t harmed animals in any way during the testing process. We look very carefully at all our ingredients to make sure the content has been produced ethically. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that it often makes the product more expensive so we put a lot of work into maintaining the balance between keeping to our cruelty-free and sustainable principles and still making the products affordable to our customers.
The best thing about working for Mutneys is the family feel. It’s a family run company. We all have a voice and that voice is valued and does make a difference to how the company is run. The animals around the office are all part of that – it’s a slightly crackers environment but we wouldn’t have it any other way.