Jayden Skibsted counts down the days until he can crack open another regulatory directive, like a good book, and devour it whole. In his spare time at work, he's managed to read several Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) directives back to back. Is a regulatory document as cozy and inviting as fiction? It's debatable. But then again, Skibsted isn't your average bookworm.
He works at the AER's Customer Contact Centre (CCC), the first point of contact for Albertans, landowners, industry, and other stakeholders with questions about the AER and upstream oil and gas regulation in Alberta. Skibsted spends his days sifting through endless regulations, documents, systems, and data. It's a good thing he's hungry for information—after all, he needs to know where to look.
"It's incredibly satisfying when I find information on the AER's website or in a directive, and deliver it to someone who's asked me to help them find it," Skibsted says.
Part of a six-person team nestled in a corner of the AER's head office in Calgary, Skibsted and his colleagues respond to calls and emails from people all over the province. Last year, their phone lines received a whopping 18 000 calls, and their inboxes filled with over 8600 emails. It's a busy, fast-paced job, and yet the team strives to find a response for every inquiry.
"Many callers are pleasantly surprised when there's a human on the other end of the phone, and not an automated system," Skibsted says. "We're happy to help or point them in the right direction as soon as possible."
A Well-Oiled Machine
The moment a call or email comes in, the CCC's hunt for a response begins. The team's wide access to information means they can respond to most inquiries using their own knowledge, the AER's site, and several information-sharing databases. When Skibsted or his colleagues can't find an answer, they'll reach out to some of the AER's subject-matter experts for assistance.
But it’s not always that straightforward. For example, some callers do not own computers or use the internet, making it difficult for them to find information on the AER’s website and hard for the CCC to help. Fortunately, the traditional mailing system still exists, and the team can help facilitate a mail out.
Some callers also can’t help but share their frustrations—understandable, says Skibsted. CCC staff handle questions and concerns with diplomacy and an unrelenting commitment to customer service in their roles as AER information specialists.
"We can relieve some of that frustration by doing the digging for them, because we know where to look," says Skibsted.
No Time to Stop Learning
Given the volume of inquiries, it's no surprise that spare time for Skibsted and his colleagues is scarce. So when an hour or two clears up in his schedule, Skibsted will read as much as he can. Every now and then, to keep up with ever-evolving regulations, systems, and tools, the CCC will also bring in AER subject-matter experts to educate the team on topics they'd like to learn more about.
For Skibsted, a guy who is passionate about uncovering facts and helping others, it's a thrilling, mind-opening job that keeps him on his toes.
"The answer is always out there, and I love the feeling that comes once I've found it for someone."
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Great article. It's wonderful to highlight those who we forget have our backs and are caring directly for our customers. Thank you.