Customer Service Model Designed to Leverage Technical Support, Responsiveness
This article was featured in our June 2016 Catalyst newsletter
Bagher Tarkian believes great customer service begins with an organizational model that facilitates strong communication and responsiveness.
"Customer service is the conduit for the customer," he said. "Communication back and forth makes sure quality issues are quickly addressed, orders are fulfilled and we keep our commitments. This can only occur when we hold a strong command of the products and services we provide our customers."
As Director of Customer Service and Materials Management he is responsible for the team that handles 90 percent of the company’s revenues. This includes the Planning and Shipping and Receiving departments.
"We are a one-stop shop, providing supply chain management, sequencing, packaging, assembly, and sub assembly in addition to our finishing and manufacturing capabilities," said Tarkian. "Our group is structured so that we are able to coordinate our efforts to manage all of these capabilities. Both Production Planning and Customer Service are in one department. I report to the Vice President of Operations. I believe that structure allows us to work together with the goal of on-time delivery and meeting the customers’ requirements."
This customer service group has seen their on-time delivery numbers climb from 88 percent to nearly 100 percent since it formed in 2008.
"We have ten customer service people and ten on our planning team," he said, including two people on-site at customers’ assembly facilities. "All people are aligned and the customer is priority one. If a customer calls at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, people don’t wait until Monday to address the need. If someone needs to be at work Saturday morning, you know they’re going to be here.
"Working here is demanding," he said. "The workload and expectations are high. But people have a high sense of pride in what they do. They know they are the customer contact and with that comes a feeling of ownership.
"An example of this happened when a large customer experienced a 60 percent increase in volume," said Tarkian. "We were contacted on Friday and by Saturday we were executing. With around the clock coordination, they didn’t miss a beat on their production schedule.
"This success is possible because our people have a great understanding of our business. Many held positions within Operations before joining us and they have the know-how to provide customers with the technical support necessary to provide the best service possible. They’re pros at it."\