Cross Training

I am writing today from our Customer Support office, which is in Elkridge, MD, about 45 minutes north of the Washington, DC, showroom. As part of my Priorities and Measures (the goals we create for ourselves for the year), I asked for this opportunity to shadow with this team. I wanted to better understand the role of Customer Support and to get a closer look at how we Design Associates can best partner with them. Here at Room & Board, its pretty much “ask and you shall receive,”–express a particular interest or desire to learn, and it’s pretty assured you will be given the opportunity.

Customer Support takes over where the Design Associate’s role leaves off: scheduling deliveries; routing the delivery trucks; arranging exchanges and returns, and following up with any issues that arise in transit or in the customer’s home at or after delivery. Today, from Jamelle, I learned how we route our trucks (a very cool and somewhat intimidating task–with colorful computerized maps, dots, and lines, requiring a strategist’s mind). Kara gave me the behind-the-scenes look at what happens when a customer reschedules a delivery and helped me understand the ins and outs of a variety of customer issues. And with Angelique, I got to sit in on a conference call about how we handle repairs for our customers. From everyone, I have learned some best practices that I can take back to the team in the store that will make life easier and increase efficiency for the folks in Customer Support, which, in turn will lead to better experiences for our customers.

Cross-training not only gives us deeper insight into the company’s practices, it’s also fun. It helps us get to know on another as people, strengthening our relationships, putting faces and personalities to the voice on the phone, which creates better relationships, morale, and a really nice working environment.