Friday, September 27, 2013

New Developments in Customer Service

One of the most amazing things about the Global Hygiene Revolution is that we now have 2,000 hotels participating in Clean the World’s hospitality recycling program. That is something we never could have imagined five years ago.

Every one of those 2,000 properties needs collection bins, shipping labels and training material. That’s why in the upcoming months, all our partners will get to know Sherry Smith and her team of customer service representatives. Sherry joined Clean the World in August as the director of customer service. She has nearly 20 years of experience in customer service, and she is no stranger to the challenges of working in a rapidly growing organization.

“I started off as a customer service representative with Fujifim in 1996,” Sherry said. “The Orlando lab was very small at the time. We processed around a thousand rolls of film per week. I was promoted to customer service manager about six months after starting. And within three weeks of my promotion, the company acquired a contract to process film for Walmart.”

The sleepy little lab that previously processed a thousand rolls per week was suddenly processing 5,000 rolls every night. That is when Sherry learned how to build a customer service operation that could scale with the company’s growth.

“I started from the bottom and learned how to deal with a huge call volume,” Sherry said. “My department went from two reps to 11 within a three-month period. When I took the manager job, they told me they were about to close the deal with Walmart. They said it would have a big impact on us, but I had no idea HOW big the impact would be.”

Now all the lessons she learned during that baptism by fire are being applied at Clean the World.

One of the challenges Sherry sees at Clean the World is that the customer service department hasn’t been able to keep up with the number of hotel partners coming on board. That means we end up relying more on e-mail than picking up the phone and talking to people.

“When you lose that personal contact, you don’t always know what’s going on with your customers,” Sherry said. “We’re changing that by adding more representatives. After a new partner gets through the implementation process, we set a reminder for another rep to follow up with a phone call a month later.”

She says that process will continue until everyone in the department has had a call with a customer, then they will start all over again. That way our hotel partners can get to know everybody on the team.

When she’s not on the phone with customers, Sherry is very involved with breast cancer awareness. She also likes to ride a Harley Davidson or zip 30 miles off Florida’s Atlantic coast for some off-shore fishing. You know – the kind of stuff she has more time for now that all three of her kids are in college.