Name: Lee Taylor 

 

Company role: Finance Representative  

 

Favourite quote or saying: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. 

 

Hi, Lee – and Happy New Year! It’s great to have the chance to chat with you. To kick off, can you tell us a bit about your background, and what do you do at Cherry Godfrey? 

 

Hi! Well, I am the Finance Representative for Cherry Godfrey. My main job role is to engage with all customers in an open and approachable manner; assisting with all enquiries, as well as loan applications. I also liaise with our retail partners and help with retail loan applications and processing. 

I moved to the Isle of Wight in 1987 and have enjoyed a varied work history in the Hospitality, Retail, Marine and Sales Industries.  

 

What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?  

 

I had just turned 18 and started work as a barman at the Anchor Inn, Cowes after finishing my college course in Computer Engineering. Working at the Anchor was my first experience in a customer-facing role. It was then I realised I was a ‘people person’… and that maybe being trapped behind a computer screen for the rest of my working life wasn’t for me! 

 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced at work – and how did you overcome it? 

 

The biggest challenge in any workplace is managing a large team and the varying motivations that people have – it may sound obvious, but not all colleagues are the same. Learning how to get the best from your team by motivating them individually is a challenge, but a hugely rewarding one! There’s nothing better than managing a happy and productive team. 

 

What values have been the most important to you, both personally and professionally? 

 

There are certain values that have always been fundamental to my life. The importance of building long-term relationships, for example: on an island it is hugely important to build and maintain a reputation of good customer service. Respect for and appreciation of others is key, too - I’ve always aimed to treat others as I would wish to be treated myself. 

And, finally, good manners – which is about respecting yourself as well as others! If you have good manners, life will be more enjoyable for you and those you come into contact with. People with good manners can’t fail to make a positive impression on those around them. 

 

If you had to choose one problem to fix – something that people in your industry/niche commonly face – what would it be? 

 

If I could fix one thing about the finance industry it would be the perception of finance companies. Not all finance companies are the same, but - unfortunately – they can all be tarred with the same brush.  

Cherry Godfrey couldn’t be more unique – something that was apparent to me from my first interview. To begin with, each customer is treated like a person and not a number. We genuinely want to get to know our clients so we can find the best solutions for them. 

Reputation takes years to build and seconds to destroy, and customer satisfaction has always been key to Cherry Godfrey’s success. This is a value I am proud to champion – and build - here on the Isle of Wight.  

 

What do you love about Cherry Godfrey? 

 

The thing I love most about Cherry Godfrey is the ability to speak personally with customers. In an increasingly faceless and impersonal world it is more important than ever to focus on building relationships with customers and businesses on the Isle of Wight.   

Personal interaction is one of the most effective ways to get to know our new and existing customers. Whether it’s a meeting at our Newport office, chatting on the telephone or at an event, getting to know our customers is the best way to learn about their needs and how we can help them.  

 

Ok, now onto the fun stuff! We’re going to put you on the spot: top three podcasts or books? 

 

Hard to choose! I’ll go for a mix: Diary of a CEO (Podcast); Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps, by Allan & Barbara Pease (book); and Man Vs. Toddler by Matt Coyne (book). 

 

And, finally, what do you enjoy doing when you are not working? 

 

When I am not working, I enjoy exploring the island with my young family, working on my photography, or cooking. I also have a beagle, so I usually spend vast amounts of time waiting for him to return from wherever he has disappeared to…!