The RIFT Roster: Paul Clamp
16th February 2022
To be a member of the RIFT team, you need to be able to think on your feet. Where traditional accountants try to funnel their customers into generic bottles with a lowest-common-denominator service, we aim higher. Every RIFT customer is unique, with their own set of challenges to overcome and circumstances to consider. Paul Clamp, Rep for the the North East, is a terrific example of the versatility and attention to detail it takes to do what we do. Here’s how he describes his personal Road to RIFT.
Paul meeting RIFT Tax Refunds Customer Mark Hinds at home
How did you get here?
I’ve worked in a lot of sales jobs around Yorkshire, from chocolate and wine right through to saw blades. At the heart of it, I’m a “people person”. I enjoy getting face-to-face with customers, getting to know them and working out the best way to help them. It’s also the perfect way to be fully up-front with people, explaining everything in person and answering their questions directly. Working with RIFT gives me the opportunity to flex all those muscles, and make sure that customers are getting the very best service.
Why choose RIFT?
Getting onto RIFT’s team means that they’ve recognised what you bring to the table. I’ve left jobs before because I was being micromanaged by what felt like robots who could only follow flowcharts of scripted procedures – not deal with people as human beings. With one job, I’d been helping a colleague out by dropping some materials off for him when I got a call from head office asking why I’d driven off somewhere unexpected. When I explained I was assisting a colleague I was told, “You can’t do that”. I left pretty much there and then. That’s not how real people work. You can’t adapt to people’s individual needs when you’re constantly trying to bash them into a pre-determined service like a round peg into a square hole. The beauty of RIFT is having the freedom to tailor everything to suit the customer, and the flexibility to work around their timetables and lives. As a direct result, we’re literally helping to make those lives better.
What do you do day-to-day?
Every day at RIFT is totally unique. When I head out in the morning I never know who’ll be on-site and what kinds of problems or questions they’ll have. It’s all about staying on your toes - plus you’ve got to be prepared to get your hands dirty or your clothes soaked through. Luckily, I enjoy the rain… and the mud… and the hailstones…
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Again, I love the challenge of staying on my toes. You’ve got to be able to handle anything the day throws at you. Beyond that, there aren’t too many jobs where you really get the chance to help people – especially financially. When you get a phone call thanking you for sorting out a tax refund, or see someone you’ve helped previously coming back the next year, it can be an amazing buzz because you know you’ve had a positive impact on that person’s life – a real, measurable impact with a pound sign attached to it. That reminds me, actually: one customer bet me she couldn’t get a refund over £1,500. She ended up with £1,800 so she owes me a drink now!
Where can people find you?
You can grab me on-site pretty easily, or outside of your work hours in the pub if that’s easier. I’ve met up with customers in service stations and car parks – or even at their own homes if they prefer. Not everyone’s comfortable talking about their financial details at work or in public, so it’s always important to respect that and reassure them that their information’s in good, professional hands. I’m always happy to arrange to come back or give them a call later. Whatever’s best for them, basically.
What do you find people struggle with the most?
Really, the whole concept of tax refunds can be tricky to grasp if you’re new to it. People in construction, for instance, are often used to treating the taxman as an enemy. Many of them run up against some of the harshest regulations, from losing 20% of their pay in CIS to getting their employment status queried. Getting people to understand that HMRC will pay tax back when it’s owed can be a real challenge. They’re conditioned to expect a “catch” – without realising that the only catch would be losing out on the refunds they’re legally due.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m an ex-professional footballer, having played for Hull City and York City. I played Inside Forward, number 10 or 8.
I once found myself in a bath with Jack Charlton as it happens. He was the manager at Middlesbrough and jumped right in after training one time. Steven McLaren and I also wound up having to share a bed once, but that’s another story…
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