Catalogers of the Year
Faith gets about 150 completed customer surveys a week, and he reads every one. “Some of the feedback helps us to get a feel for what’s going on, what’s important for customers,” he says. “The responses help us to measure the tempo of the company and our customers. If the customer has a specific problem, I will send that to the appropriate person in our organization to fix it.” Faith even reads some of these surveys in weekly staff meetings, reiterating to his team the company’s culture of customer support.
Faith also publishes his own direct phone number and e-mail address on every order and catalog mailed. “I make it easy for customers to give us comments directly, whether it be criticism or praise. And I get those responses early, not months later through filtered internal channels,” he says.
Staff Training and Incentives
To entice employees to strive for that high level of customer service, Faith employs several tactics, including training and incentives. Shaun Masterman, of Headsets.com’s marketing and technical services department, says customer service staffers are “measured and motivated by customers’ ratings of their service, rather than individual sales figures. Both customer ratings and sales figures are open to every employee.”
The employee-incentive program is based on company-wide sales, returns and hours worked, “so that everyone has a vested interest in the productivity and efficiency of the workforce,” Masterman explains. “Employee responsibilities are given out based on employee strengths, rather than seniority.”
Says Masterman, who nominated Faith for this award, “Mike believes that productive employees are happy, rather than the more usually cited ‘happy employees are productive.’”
To find employees who relish working in the Headsets.com environment, applicants are asked to supply more information than a usual application would offer. They also are given IQ tests, and they spend a half-day in the office listening to calls and meeting other CSRs. Applicants then must complete forms that ask them to evaluate each customer call they’ve heard. In this way, says Faith, managers can determine applicants’ listening skills and level of patience.