The Customer Service department is the beating heart of any business; processing customer sales orders, ensuring deliveries arrive in the right place at the right time and, above all, making sure our customers are looked after from start to finish.
The Customer Service team are a close-knit group, working alongside each other every day. Some of the team have been with the company for one year, some for over 25 years – a testament to just how close-knit they all are. Adding all these up, their combined experience at Hallgarten totals over 138 years of service!
The team of 16 have varied roles within the department. The majority are on hand daily to accept, prioritize and input orders within the area deadlines, accounting for any special requirements, promotions, pricing, samples and doing their upmost to make sure all orders are entered correctly.
As part of our Customer Service, our Delivery team ensures all orders are sent across to the warehouse as swiftly as possible, all stocks are correct and work closely with our logistics partner, LCB, to make sure delivery planning is carried out efficiently.
However, we are not resting on our laurels, as we are constantly working on projects to help improve our in-house systems, led by our order and delivery Supervisors, and the Customer Services Manager. The team take great pride in offering the best service possible and are always looking at ways to build better relationships with customers and colleagues.
The pandemic has hit the country hard in the last two years, and our Customer Service team was no different as we dealt with much publicised issues with stock availability due to HGV driver shortages and port delays. Working closely with our Shipping and sales teams, we were able to ride out the storm and offer suitable replacements where we could. Whilst the challenges we faced were new to all of us, we retained our over-riding desire to ensure Customer Service was not affected. The hospitality sector may have been in hibernation, but our partnership with these businesses did not stop as we pulled out all the stops to help them diversify their businesses, whether into local delivery or online wine shop!
With the Customer Service team, and the full company, moving to working from home during this time we were able to utilise video calls to kept our spirits up – sometimes just from sharing what we watched on TV that week. From being such a tight group in the office, it was great to see nothing changed when we moved to our home offices. Over the last year we have worked hard with the support of our sales teams and other departments, building ourselves back up and know we can now handle anything that comes our way!
In spite of all the issues in 2021, it ended up being a huge year for order entry, processing over 54,000 invoices (equating to over 380,000 product lines), and with everything else going on we still managed to keep our team accuracy at 99.01%.
To say I am proud of the team for everything they have achieved in the last two years would be a huge understatement. They continue to increase levels of customer service each and every day, and with exciting plans in-store for 2022, I know this is going to be another incredible year.
Onwards and upwards!
Katherine Hughes, Customer Service Manager