Before it is tooting my own horn…

First things first…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I had a terrific holiday in Santa Fe and hope your holidays were just as wonderful.

The shirt presents were hits; I got to see first hand how many smiles they can generate. I didn’t think I would get Richard out of his “I’m the decider” shirt. Thanks to the team for great execution on these presents!!!

Speaking of the team, I wanted to write a note about our customer service team before it would be considered tooting my own horn.

Before I joined Spreadshirt, I placed some orders to understand the full Spreadshirt offering. When I talked to our US Service Director, Denise, during the interview process, I shared my positive experience with her team on one order that had an issue. She thanked me, then proceeded to tell me about what had happened. What’s surprising here? She took initiative to investigate whether I had placed any orders before talking to me. I hadn’t told the Spreadshirt folks that I had placed the orders, but she checked. Since I’ve joined, I see that Denise runs her team this way, they investigate problems, and that provides differentiated service.

Research, investigation… whatever you want to call it… makes a difference, and it’s something I live by. It takes time, but even if you’ve gone down the wrong path, it works. It shows people — customers, partners, employees, colleagues, press, analysts — that you care enough to think through their situation. The key, it must be real, not mechanical. This is the quality that Denise brings out in her team, and it makes for rave reviews… and not just from me! My Google Watch on our name is regularly bringing up praise for our service team, which I happily forward along.

As a manager, how do you ensure a customer service team that holds this as a key goal?

  1. Hire people that are curious.
  2. Hire people that naturally show they care.
  3. Hire people that don’t get stuck on one theory to the exclusion of others.

The good news is that these are fairly clear qualities to get to during an interview. So, what’s on my shirt today? It is a bit long, but speaks to the essence of all three points:

In science, the most exciting phrase is not “Eureka!”, but “Hmm… that’s funny…” — Asimov

Thanks to a customer service team that I’m proud to represent!

6 thoughts on “Before it is tooting my own horn…

  1. Jana, thanks for this post. I just wanted to echo your comments – I think that the customer service team at Spreadshirt is amazing. Each time I talk with someone from customer service I am amazed at how thoughtful they are about helping to solve the problem or about thinking through how we can simplify processes so that we avoid a problem or customer issue. I think this is really important, especially now that many companies make it so difficult to even speak with a customer service representative.

  2. “Hmm… that’s a funny post…” – K. MARX

    maybe a fourth point could be added: Hire people that are able to change their perspective by 180 degree.

  3. Jana Eggers says:

    Lindsay and Jay, thanks for adding your experience. I do hear the spectrum of complaints to compliments on our team… and I can tell you that this team generates well above average compliements!

    Konrad, this is a great point. I meant this in #3, but it doesn’t come across. I didn’t like #3 b/c of the length. Maybe this would be a better one…

    3. Hire people that get excited by a problem with a spectrum of 180 deg in solutions/reasons.

    That one is still long, but I do like that it gets across the diversity (180 deg) and being excited (vs frustrated) by it.

    What do y’all think?

  4. Josh W. says:

    #3. Hire people who are excited to try ideas other than their own.

    Great post, and an amazing story.
    (Were you able to hide your surprise the moment Denise revealed her thoroughness? Or did you promote her on the spot?)
    =)
    j.

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