It was a blogger-dream-come-true- I recently had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Staples. I’ve always been interested in the Staples’ customer service model because, as such a large enterprise with never-ending competition, keeping customers happy must be a top priority. I needed to know how they kept their customers happy and prevented customers from turning to their competitors.
In this interview, I spoke with Jason Blacketer. Jason is the VP of Contact Center Operations at Staples. He shares insights with us based on his years of experience as an industry leader. Find out how Staples combats customer service challenges here.
IWantItNow: With such heavy competition, how does Staples maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty?
Jason Blacketer: Staples strives to answer each customer contact with an eye toward meeting that individual person’s needs and providing a complete solution the first time; customers want it to be easy to do business with Staples. We use each interaction as a learning experience and continuous improvement opportunity to prevent future problems/contacts for that customer, as well as all other customers.
IWantItNow: What is your biggest Customer Service Challenge?
JB: The business world is an ever-changing environment, and Staples continually reinvents itself to meet the needs of our customers. The ways we communicate, the speed at which information is shared and the audience of this information are consistently evolving. Providing more self-service, omnichannel, mobile and social media customer service options are examples where customer expectations continue to change, and are being fed by new and creative ideas from everyone inside and outside of customer service.
IWantItNow: How does Staples overcome such challenges? Please share some best of breed insights for superb Customer Service.
JB: Customer Service is key to any initiative we roll out at Staples, echoing the “voice of the customer,” and making sure the customer’s perspective is taken into account. As initiatives are implemented, Customer Service continues to provide feedback to Staples leadership about policies and procedures that affect its customers. Every day, Customer Service works with customers to resolve issues that may arise so that we preserve the long-term relationships with those customers.
IWantItNow: Staples offers a Price Match Guarantee. How have your customers responded to this promotion?
JB: We consider the Staples Price Match Guarantee successful based on our positive customer response.
IWantItNow: Staples executes frequent community support initiatives- most recently, working with Save the Children and Staples Foundation. Please tell us about why serving your customers’ communities is important to Staples?
JB: Making a difference in the communities where our customers and associates live and work is something we care very much about. Staples’ customers are also our fellow citizens, our neighbors and our friends. We reach out and contribute to community life in our local neighborhoods and beyond by supporting educational and job-related efforts with a primary focus on disadvantaged youth. Through our global community and giving efforts, we have helped more than 6,500 organizations in local communities across 26 countries.
Jason Blacketer, Staples Vice President of Contact Center Operations, leads inbound customer service for Staples small business and consumer North American websites, including Staples.com. He has been a part of Staples for 13 years and in the customer service industry for nearly 20 years.