Customer service plays an instrumental role in the customer experience, and at Muncie Power Products this is no different. Engrained in the company culture and its in-house team, customer service remains a top priority.
With years of experience and extensive product knowledge, Customer Service Manager Karen Alexander is a part of the company’s customer service team helping to carry out these external efforts. Having learned some best practices throughout her career, she continues to implement those she has learned to best serve customers.
One of the most fundamental of these perhaps was originally shared with her by a former teammate, which is that “You control the pace of the call.”
It is important to be efficient, but don’t sacrifice accuracy. As she mentioned, selecting the correct product specifications the first time saves time and money – a tip which applies to those in other industries and businesses as well.
“We don’t guess. If it means pulling teeth to get the info, that’s what we try to do,” noted Alexander.
With Muncie Power’s diverse product line, each inquiry is often unique and different with its own characteristics – according to Alexander. As a result, for companies like Muncie Power Products there is really no menu to follow. Instead questions stem from both how the customer opens the conversation and from the information provided.
Consequently, finding a solution may require asking several questions. As Alexander explained, keep in mind that diagnosing a customer service call is kind of like how a doctor diagnoses a patient.
“The doctor doesn’t know how you feel, you have to tell them,” she said.
Having all of the information upfront then is key to reaching the most efficient resolution; however, this may not always be possible, in which case the customer may have to call back. Answering and closing a call like this, or any call, may seem simple but how one does so is important.
“Always use your name when you answer and thank them at the end; reiterate your name,” she noted.
Providing a name is important so that the customer knows whom to request when they call back. Muncie Power customers will not necessarily be dispatched to the same customer service manager but to whomever is available unless a request is made – as Alexander mentioned.
Like employees, products and services – customers are vital to a company. Be mindful of what is important to the customer and their time. As she has found, Muncie Power customers appreciate being able to speak with one department regarding any product and/or order questions as opposed to being transferred.
“We do it all, you don’t have to wait to go through it again,” she said. “Saves them time not having to wait for the next available person.”
Working with customers, she notes five tips to building relationships including being friendly, courteous/ respectful, caring and humorous, in addition to selling one’s knowledge so that the customer trusts one’s judgement and expertise.
In the end, customer service can be a differentiator between one organization and the next – but not without hard work and a dedication to serving customers.
Customer Service Manager - Karen Alexander
Over the course of her 18 years at Muncie Power Products, Karen Alexander has served as switch board operator and trainer – in addition to her current position as customer service manager. With a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education and a minor in German from Ball State University, Karen holds a teacher’s license in both Indiana and New Mexico. She is married to her husband, Gene, and has two stepchildren and three stepgrandchildren. Karen has two pets – a yellow Labrador retriever named Puddy and red Chihuahua named Bella. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening and golfing.