Meet Helen – answering all your York Notes customer service needs!

By Helen McKinder – York Notes Customer Service


Here at York Notes we are very lucky to have Helen McKinder on our customer service desk, looking after all our customers’ orders and answering your queries.

We asked Helen a few questions about her role and what she enjoys most about working on York Notes.

1. Why were you interested in working in publishing?

I wanted to combine my love of literature with a job. After studying Drama and Creative Writing at university, writing as a hobby, and enjoying reading and listening to audiobooks in my spare time, I was excited to be able to contribute to the creation of books, seeing them from their fruition to their final product, and support them afterwards. I was especially excited when offered the opportunity to help support York Notes Study Guides – titles I had used and had helped me.

2. Can you tell us about your experience in customer service?

Looking back, my customer experience probably goes all the way back to school where, as a student, I toured prospective students and their parents around my school, from primary school, through senior school and sixth form. This continued when I attended and was a tour guide for the University of Winchester. After graduation, six weeks of travelling around the east coast of Australia, and returning to London, I gained further customer experience in a variety of different roles, from taking calls in a call centre from ‘hangry’ customers to patients using a start-up GP app, to helping children to build bears in Covent Garden, before joining York Press.

3. What is a typical day for you in your customer service role?

The cliché that no two days are the same is definitely true! Whether you are a teacher, a school, a parent or a student, any query you have concerning our York Notes titles, new and old, I’m here to help. Any general queries concerning York Notes Digital and content, I can answer, sometimes liaising with our editors if it’s questions to do with new and upcoming titles. Our partner, Pearson Education, delivers our Print (paperback) products to you, so I often communicate with their team when you need help with your order, and something needs further investigating. We work together to find a solution to help you receive your title(s) as soon as possible and with the service that you expect from us. I also work with the marketing consultant, enabling me to put into practice the skills I learnt during my Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) certifications. We liaise concerning research and marketing materials from the proofreading of emails and pamphlets to the copy of social media; our most recent creation being our suggested extended reading posts. 

4. What is the best thing about your job?

Talking with, and helping customers, has to be one of the best things about the job, especially those who share my passion for York Notes titles. Many times I have spoken to customers who had used these titles in their past and now their children are using them, or they are teachers who have seen how much our titles help their students. It is always encouraging and fantastic to see the positive effects the titles that we create have, and to continue to share the enthusiasm with our customers.

I love working with our editors and our other team members (there are so many to mention!), and fostering personal relationships with them whilst working on a book and building the best customer journey we can. They have always been so supportive and encouraging, enabling me to be more supportive to our customers, especially finding a solution to problems when they occur, and to grow as an individual.

5. And finally, what is your favourite Literature title?

Ooh, a very tricky question as it changes all the time, but I always enjoy books that speak to the times we live in. One of the constants from my childhood is Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. It has remarkable characters, such as Iorek Byrnison the Svalbard Bear, and the concept of souls manifesting themselves in the shape of animals (daemons). But it’s not afraid to go darker, exploring subjects such as how a government tries to keep control of its citizens, all through the eyes of children.

From the texts I studied at school, I would definitely say To Kill A Mockingbird is another novel that I love. One scene that has always stayed with me, is when Scout faces the lynch mob. They have allowed their emotions to overtake their reason and Scout’s innocence removes the ‘mob mentality’, bringing humanity back to the individuals and returning them to friends and neighbours. It’s a scene that always gives me chills!!

Need to contact Helen about your order or want to share your experience of using York Notes? She’d love to hear from you! Contact her at feedback@yorknotes.com.