Customer Care has been a priority since Fulex has been in the ecommerce business offering order fulfillment services for nearly two decades. The company began with one warehouse in Detroit and has since expanded to three, strategically placing them at convenient locations for clients nationwide. Starting from humble beginnings, the company has since become a leading provider, helping small to medium size businesses address various industry needs.
Its success is built in large part on the dedication of its people and the Fulex commitment to every client to be transparent, accessible and communicative. Fulex goes beyond the standard offering of customer service, establishing long-term client relationships that started when we did in 2003.
For our first Q&A we decided to interview Michelle Cain, Director of Client Services for Fulex in Detroit, to discuss some best practices for how to keep your clients satisfied, returning customers. Michelle started working at Fulex 10 years ago entering data into our order management system and worked her way up to oversee employees she hires herself following a meaningful interview process that reviews personality, skillset and added company value.
Q: What aspects of customer care are critical to address?
A: First and foremost, it’s important to make sure the phones are answered. Clients should never have to leave a message. At Fulex, we pride ourselves on offering the personal touch of having a friendly, knowledgeable person answer the phone, rather than outsourcing communication some other way. Hearing a person’s voice on the other end of the line is a direct connection to trust and building a relationship. The second most important thing is responding to emails in a timely manner so that customers know as soon as possible that their email has been received and they feel important, not ignored. At Fulex we take the time to find out exactly what our clients are looking for so we know how to best help them. In this way, our clients can focus on growing their business while the client care team takes care of everything else.
Q: What are the most common concerns that clients have?
A: [Ecommerce] logistics. Everyone is ordering online so the demand to get packages faster is a big concern of our clients and that of carriers to get those delivered on time. At Fulex we have reliable and detailed tracking that puts clients at ease by keeping them informed along the way. If an issue comes up we go directly to our representatives. We have the resources to pull from to provide personalized care and meet each business’ needs.
Q: What are the building blocks of a successful customer care relationship?
A: It starts with a meaningful introduction and learning everything you can about each client’s product and website. It’s also important to be accessible and flexible. In addition, having the right email etiquette when engaging with a customer is key. For example, when going into a call where I know the customer is upset, I try to think of a way ahead of time to have the call end with a solution to their problem. Working in customer care means constantly improving to make things better for the client. Having this perspective will help the company’s bottom line.
Q: How is Fulex unique in the way it approaches customer care?
A: We’ve got a hands-on approach at Fulex to make sure that everything is right for our client through each interaction. We have all the tools to integrate into a client’s cart and if they need help once it’s set up, we also offer solutions to IT problems. We have pre-built integrations to ensure you spend your time on selling your products, not filling out paperwork or dealing with complicated configurations. In addition, we stay on top of client needs by hiring account managers that practice a comprehensive standard operating procedure and incorporate effective communication, which keeps us in the loop on everything.
Q: Explain the hiring process…
A: It starts with a phone call. I try to get each person to tell me a little bit of their story so I’ve got some insight into their background. From there, if it feels like they might be a good fit for customer care, I’ll schedule an in-person/virtual interview. There are several things I’m looking for in a potential employee. They include: a friendly personality, someone who can think outside of the box in terms of problem solving, is detail oriented, organized and most importantly can take a bad situation and turn it around for the better. Sometimes clients get upset and want to take their business somewhere else. Having an employee on staff with the skillset to calm them down and secure their business with us is invaluable. These are the attributes of the kind of employees we are looking for at Fulex.
Q: Can you provide an example of how Fulex has gone above and beyond when it comes to providing excellence in customer care?
A: Five years ago, an order came in at the Michigan warehouse. Myself and my boss were the only ones there at the time and we were already done for the day. The client called and communicated that they needed the project handled immediately so we printed the order, picked it, packed it and delivered it to the client’s customers. We did that because of our commitment to excellent customer service and keeping the customer happy. We stay until the job is done.
“At Fulex, everything we do is geared toward making the client experience better.”
– Carmen Mirabella – CEO, Fulex