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Being able to change profession can change your life

Benjamin Davoust has already had three different jobs in the past ten years; and he’s only at the beginning of his career! But how did this computer systems expert rise so rapidly to the position of Key Accounts Manager? by handling claims from private customers so brilliantly, of course!

Intelligence, yes, but not artificial

Benjamin Davoust likes a challenge. And his first came in 2006 when he left the Ecole Centrale d’Electronique in Paris, where he had acquired a solid training in computer engineering, specialising in embedded systems. Rather than approaching IT services companies, he turned to industry. "I wanted to join a large group. A company that has a purpose, in a particular field. " GDF was looking for an IT Project Manager to optimise the application allowing it to anticipate gas transport needs by forecasting consumption.  Benjamin applied, and his motivation did the rest. Unlike the small embedded systems he had studied, Benjamin was going to be working with very large data centres, on the development of a complex application made up of many interconnected parts. "The response time was too long.  I started with an audit to find out where the problem was coming from, so I could make a recommendation." As the application was in use 22 hours a day, updating it was tricky. The transition to the new version was a critical time for the company, and was Benjamin's first success. Noted for his ability to handle difficult situations, he was appointed Incident Manager for the application chain.

The company, which was undergoing a major transformation, then called upon his talent to prepare for the future, particularly during the separation of EDF and GDF systems. On the day itself, Benjamin took on the huge responsibility of ensuring the continuity of the application. And the financial stakes were high, as he explains very seriously: "GRT Gaz were contracted to penalties or bonuses depending on the system performance. For over 90% availability, we had €100,000 bonus per month. Below that, €100,000 in penalties."  In one year, the reliability of the application earned the Group nearly one million euros.

At the heart of development

A strategic role was awaiting Benjamin: to assist the separation of GRT Gaz and GDF Suez, in accordance with the European directive. "We had to rethink everything: workstations, networks, machines; then define the project, the budget, and so on, designing the entire system to be completely autonomous." It was a two-year project, after which he was given the opportunity to make another important change: his own.  

"What makes ENGIE so great is its diversity, and the opportunity it gives you to rapidly progress to positions of significant responsibility.”

There is a world of difference between the development of applications for networks, and the coordination of operators responsible for processing individual customer complaints.  But Benjamin, with his insatiable appetite for adventure, saw the opportunity to join the heart of a business, with a managerial dimension, and the chance to capitalise on his experience of critical situations to calm down stressed customers. His mission: to manage second-level complaints - the most difficult ones, which operators have been unable to solve - and relations with all the parties likely to be involved in potential disputes between ENGIE and its consumers: mediators, the department of competition, consumer affairs and fraud control (DGCCRS), press services, organisations, etc. He also monitors and oversees all disputes, right up to the court summons. In this highly strategic position, at the crossroads of so many expectations, Benjamin has a 360° overview of the Group. "It is the last link of customer service. The most sensitive. The stakes are not only financial; the company's image is also in play.  Our philosophy is to be as conciliatory as possible and to find an equitable solution between the parties. " In terms of managerial responsibility, Benjamin moved up a level here too. "I suddenly discovered direct management, the management of managers and remote management.  The complaints department is spread over four sites in France, which I visited once a month. I also took over the direct control of major complaints on social media, previously managed by the community managers.”

His new playing field: the major leagues

At time of publication, Benjamin is beginning a new chapter in his exciting journey, using his vast experience as a springboard toward higher challenges. His listening skills, honed through his work with the Group's 10 million individual customers, are now being put to use for the company's key accounts: international companies, shopping centres, multi-site companies, and more. "I am their dedicated contact point for all their power, gas and energy services contracts." Benjamin is already planning a move internationally.  "I would like to work in Asia. I find Asian culture extremely interesting, and I particularly love China, where I did my graduate internship. " There is no doubt: this young man is set to go far.

"A good manager shows empathy and respect. You have to be interested in others.”

 Find Benjamin on LinkedIn !