06 Jun Customer Service Transformation Strategies for Manufacturers
Customer service transformation comes only when you put ample focus on your customer service from the beginning of your business. So, our today’s guest gave a detailed overview of this topic.
In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, our guest speaker was Wesleyne Greer. Wesleyne is the founder & Sales Management Coach at Transformed Sales. Apart from this, she is also the Founding Member of nFormation and a Member of the Houston Business Journal Leadership Trust.
The conversation started with Curt introducing the guest and then asking her how she chose to be a chemist. Wesleyne said that at first, she wanted to be a doctor. However, soon after starting her degree, she realized it was not for her. Then she enrolled in Chemistry to get a Ph.D.
Once she graduated, she got her job as a chemist. However, then why Wesleyne shifted to customer service is because, she wanted to see how it is for people who sell the products, she helps in creating. After this, Curt asked Wesleyne about how she transitioned from a chemist to a customer service guru.
Answering this, Wesleyne said that she was always a person asking the “why” questions and she liked interacting with the salespeople. So then she realized she belonged to the world of interactions.
Further into the conversation, Curt asked her about her work at Transformed Sales and how the customer service transformation works. To this, Wesleyne said that at her company they help companies understand the science of selling STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing).
This way, they also help build strong teams. Moving on, Wesleyne shared a bit more about customer service transformations. She said that there are three pillars that their sales process is based on, which are “People, Process, and then Profits.”
After this, Wesleyne shared her entire process on how she uplifts a company and makes them understand the true meaning of customer transformation services. She said that every employee that works at a company is their sales representatives, whether it’s janitorial staff or the CEO.
Continuing her conversation on customer service transformation, Wesleyne said that each of the processes starts with people when it comes to sales.
By the end, Wesleyne shared that in today’s world, you have to focus on forward-thinking when it comes to customer service transformations. She said that instead of making the customer wait or responding late, an on-time response is what is better for sales as well.
The conversation ended with Curt thanking Wesleyne for her presence.
Wesleyne Greer is the Sales Management Coach at Transformed Sales. This company is a STEM sales management training and coaching firm. Moreover, she is the Founding Member of nFormation and an official member of the Houston Business Journal Leadership Trust. In this journal, they are bringing the brightest, most inspirational business community together.
Before this, Wesleyne was an International Senior Manager, Sales, and Marketing at Materia. She was also the Regional Manager, Sales at Anton Paar, USA. At her first job, she worked as a Chemist for Total.
As for her education, Wesleyne has a BS in Chemistry from Alcorn State University. Along with this, she holds a number of business and management certifications as well.
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Customer Service Transformation Strategies for Manufacturers
salesperson, people, sales, customer, e commerce, customer service, manufacturers, manufacturing, person, order, chemist, questions, dear friend, sales managers, linkedin, sales team, problem, talk, transition, damon
Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Wesleyne Greer
Damon Pistulka 00:00
Look at this. Look at this. I’m going to go live here on LinkedIn. Boom.
Curt Anderson 00:07
Happy Friday, everybody. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 00:09
All right, everyone. Welcome once again to the magic Friday and our manufacturing ecommerce Success Series. I’m Damon Pistulka, one of your co hosts. And I’m going to turn the show over to my partner in crime Kurt Anderson so he can introduce our awesome guests of the day. Take it over my friend,
Curt Anderson 00:34
Damon, Happy Friday, my friend What a great week and man, I tell you, so a combination of things. So it’s nice having friends that are flexible. Our speaker this week was going to be Dr. Alyssa Rodriguez, the director of the MEP up in Alaska, and our thoughts and prayers with her she had her and her partner had a baby this week on Monday. And so my dear friend was lean is stepping in today.
And so let’s just do this. So every person that I introduce West lean to is just completely completely blown away, folks, and you guys are I guarantee you’re going to feel the same. So Wessling, welcome. Thank you for joining us today. It’s such an honor and Happy Friday to you. Thanks for having me. I’m excited. Absolutely. So we have Wessling Greer so Westling. Let’s just dig right in. We’re just I’m just going right at it. Okay, rapid, we’re going rapid fire at you. I love it. You’re a little girl, you’re growing up. What did you want to be when you grow up?
Wesleyne Greer 01:30
Ah, when I was a little girl growing up, there were two things that I wanted to be I wanted to be a doctor and a mommy,
Curt Anderson 01:37
a doctor and a mommy. So what does a young young lady choose to do when she goes off to college at Alcorn State chemists, you become a chemistry major, you know, on daemonheim center think you know me and my friends realize we were a bunch of dumb jacks. We just chemistry just wasn’t even on our radar. Then the sad thing is, then we find out we weren’t even really good at sports either. So that we just totally whiffed on that. So anyway, it’s just such an honor to have West lean who. So Wesley, let’s talk a little bit so you go off to college? And like, how do you how do you inspire as a teenager, I’m going to become a chemist.
Wesleyne Greer 02:11
So you know, when I got to college, I thought I wanted to be a doctor. But I quickly realized that yeah, this is probably not the path for me. Then I switch from being a medical doctor to saying I want to get a PhD in chemistry. And then I decided that wasn’t for me, either. So once I graduated, I got a job. I use my degree. And I tell people college teaches you how to think so I got a job as a chemist working in a lab. And I really enjoyed it. Because I was working as an analytical chemist.
So every day was different. We did a lot of failure analysis in that lab. So whatever things were broken, we had to figure out why. And that’s really what got my wheels, turning to say, hey, I want to be on the other side of that and understand the people who are selling these products, the people who are actually out there in the world, trying to figure out these problems and giving those to the consumers.
Curt Anderson 03:09
Well, that’s just that’s fantastic. And so, like the talk a little bit about that, that’s so intriguing that you’re a part of the failing unit failing department. Like, what were some situations that you came across in that, in that experience?
Wesleyne Greer 03:22
What project that was really cool for me was we had coolers, right, I won’t use the brand name, but they were coolers. And the problem that people were having was every time they dropped a 12 pack in, they were cracking. So what we had to do is we need to figure out why they were cracking.
And what we found was the person that recommended the the specific resin or the specific plastic, they didn’t recommend it for things that would have that high the impact at that temperature. So what we needed to do was we had to figure out what specific plastic they needed in order to ensure that they weren’t going to crack when you drop the 12 pack. And you had a whole bunch of ice inside the cooler. So things like that were really cool for me because it was like it’s not just pellets that we’re making. This is an actual product.
Damon Pistulka 04:15
Curt Anderson 04:16
That was awesome. Go ahead, Damon.
Damon Pistulka 04:19
And how disappointing would it be if you ruin your best cooler drop in the 12 pack in
Curt Anderson 04:26
Cushing Memorial Day weekend, you know it’s gonna ruin it’s gonna ruin the whole weekend. So speak in a weekend I would just want to give everybody huge thank you for joining us. Our friends from Gen alpha are in the house. We have avid and Chris. Thank you guys, my dear friend Jeffrey stern from voice express our dear friend Gail candy up in Alaska. We have we have Jeffrey in Connecticut. We have candy in Alaska. We’re like recovering the whole country. Scott and Vale My dear friend Vale is with us today. So thank you guys for taking time out to join to join us man. We have a wonderful program who’s on LinkedIn David,
Damon Pistulka 04:57
we got Bonnie on LinkedIn and Edward Taylor. on LinkedIn as well, so Bonnie’s with us. Hey, Bonnie, thanks for joining us there as
Curt Anderson 05:04
well. sending our love to Bonnie Of course. So you’d make that transition from chemist into like sales guru and guys, I chopped Wesley’s LinkedIn profile in the chat box, I love your headline, I absolutely love your you guys have to connect with what’s lean. I couldn’t, I couldn’t memorize it, but build killer sales teams that hit monthly quota, your former chemist who coaches your sales managers to develop our actionable sales process. Just I just absolutely love that. How did you make the transition from you know, being a scientist chemist into like, you know, you really need to be a people person. How did you make that transition?
Wesleyne Greer 05:46
So I was always that person that was asking those questions. Why are we doing this? Why do they need this information? Why does it have to be done so fast? So I was the why person, right. And as that why person, I always found my self. As soon as the salespeople came out of the field, and they were back in the office. I was in there. I was like, okay, who did you see this week?
Okay, tell me about, okay, what products? Are you promoting to them? What kind of projects that I’m working on. And so I realized that one I needed to more people interaction, because in the lab, you don’t have that much interaction with people. So that was one thing I realized. And I really like that convincing, right. Like, I’ve always had that innate desire to convince people to negotiate to say, Hey, this is a great idea, you should really get on my train. So that’s when I made that transition into becoming a salesperson.
Curt Anderson 06:40
And it’s and you’re so charismatic. You’re such an introvert, right? We’re so charismatic, you’re such a people person. And I think the biggest my biggest takeaway with what you just shared is that you have a just an innate curiosity. And just really getting going deep into a an understanding of what the person is going through their problem that needs to be solved. And in that consumer behavior, transitions very well into being a sales coach, sales guru as you are. So again, job her job blessings, LinkedIn profile in the chat box. So you have transformed sales as your company, you’re a founder, you are a coach, talk to us a little bit about what is Transform, transform sales.
Wesleyne Greer 07:22
So at transform sales, we focus on the science of selling stem. And stem is science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing. And M is for manufacturing that mathematics because everything else in STEM, we use math. So why split it out, manufacturing is where it’s at, right? And that’s what we focus on. And we really focus on developing upper management and leadership to help build strong teams.
We do that through coaching through training, there are variety of methods that we use, but really everything that we do is based on me being a chemist, and it’s a scientific approach. So everything is methodical, right because chemists engineers, we see black, we see white that gray is really hard for us to see. So I really step into it with my clients and we figure out that black that white and sometimes I move them into the gray to really help everyone on their team hit their quota every single month.
Curt Anderson 08:20
Now that you do me a favor, what does stem stand for? Again? I didn’t hear you. For y’all technology, engineering, and manufacturing. How about that one? Chris? All of our manufacturers Val Jean Crowley’s just joined us from the Small Business Development Center. So for all of our friends and manufacturing, how about kudos Wessling, for coming up with this one for manufacturing. So I just you’re right after our own hearts here. So as you know, on our program, we dig deep into e commerce.
Okay. And we’re, I’ve really you and I have really hit it off the one I will use that word. great chemistry. How did you see what I did there? We have great. I like, we have great chemistry Westling, I just we’ve been like just soul brother and sister since we’ve connected we’re working on a couple projects together. And so talking about bridging that e commerce initiative for manufacturers, especially when it’s new, and bridging that gap for say the traditional sales model. Go ahead, just drop the bomb and everybody drop it what you what you shared with me on that whole process.
Wesleyne Greer 09:26
So really, when you when I think about e commerce and I think about how how does that play into the manufacturing world or really any world in our technical realm. We’re so focused on developing that relationship going out there and calling on customers getting a PEO invoicing, but using e commerce, what that allows our sales team to do is using e commerce should be used as a prospecting tool, right?
It should really be used as you get somebody in the door and when somebody makes a purchase. We know about buying behavior, once they buy one thing, then they’ll start buying more and more. And what that salesperson should be doing is they that’s a paying lead a paying prospect, I should say. And then the salesperson should be coming in bridging that gap and upselling and sending them back to the website to build their products and buy more and more.
Curt Anderson 10:21
I absolutely love this. And Dan, we talked about this a lot where it’s a traditional manufacturers and I know our folks in the crowd can completely relate to this. We’re, you know, maybe I’m an older Dude, I’m not young anymore. You know, I’ve been in sales for 30 years, this is how I’ve done it, I’ve always done it, and now it’s on this new e commerce thing comes along, and maybe I feel a little threatened, you know, maybe my viability or, you know, my, my job practices are coming into question. And what the goal is, is like preaching to the manufacturers that you know what e commerce is not a threat to you, it’s the e commerce can pull those customer service tasks off your plate.
So stop being an order taker, let your website and e commerce do that, and let you go out and be that Rockstar salesperson. And so let’s go in and so you have a bunch of great things that we’re gonna we have so much to cover. Again, join checkout Leslie, and check out her website, you have amazing testimonials on your website. Last lien is a Jen game changer. So she has video testimonials. She has written testimonials, but you have a sales process map. Can you talk a little bit about your sales process map?
Wesleyne Greer 11:25
So let me I’m actually gonna pop my screen open. Now. I can share that with you. Because really, when I talk about the sales process, it’s as you can tell, I’m very outside the box, right? So nothing I do is the same. Right? Can you see my screen? Is it projecting?
Damon Pistulka 11:49
No, not yet? No. Okay, give me a second.
Wesleyne Greer 11:56
No, it doesn’t want to share, that’s fine. Sure. So really, when I talk about my sales process, everything that I do is really built on three key pillars, right. So it’s people process than profits. So everything that we do within our organizations, we start with our people, right, so it’s people plus process equals profits. And when we build this culture within the company, and one way that I build the culture within a company, is I tell everyone in the organization, you are a salesperson, whether you’re sweeping the floor, whether you’re manufacturing apart, whether you’re answering the phone or out there selling, you are a salesperson.
And you when you have that mindset of I am a salesperson. And as a salesperson, what do we focus on is customer first. So let’s say I am an operations, right, and you’re like I have no external people, I don’t talk to any customers at all, I’m just fulfilling the orders. Your customer is a salesperson, right? So you have to ensure that the culture that you’re building within the organization is customer first. And everything that you do is focused on the customer.
Curt Anderson 13:16
And that, think about that, you know, and I know you had a nice exchange with a gal I saw maybe was yesterday or day before time out when you have that great customer service experience and want to praise and compliment and I love what you’re saying because the person in shipping, ensuring that that order gets out on time the person and purchasing, making sure that parts come in on time. So everybody is on sale. Now you have the we’re getting lead back. So everybody, you have a proprietary seven step sales leadership blueprint, is that correct?
Damon Pistulka 13:51
Yeah, yeah. There you go.
Wesleyne Greer 13:53
Okay. Yes, it is, it is, and really do in that the seven step blueprint is I start with people, everything is about people. And in the sales leadership blueprint, the person that we start with is the sales leader. Because at the end of the day, they have to get their mind, I always say you got to get out of the weeds, right. And so a lot of times, they’re on every single sales call, or they’re trying to make sure every single order gets pushed through. And as a sales leader, you have to elevate yourself above that, right. So you have to ensure that you’re empowering your team to actually do what they need to do. And once you empower your team, again, focus on the people.
The next step is a process. What do I need to do as a sales leader to ensure that on day one, when I have a new person come in, how do they set themselves up for success? And that’s the whole process bs so you get the right people on the team. You give them a process that they can follow, and then the profits come later. You don’t have to beat them over the head to say when are you closing the deal? When is the next order coming in what’s happen Can you hear what’s happening, they’re focused on the people and the process.
Curt Anderson 15:04
That’s fantastic. And you always talk about, um, you know, give people the positive feedback. And you also put the responsibility, accountability on the sales managers, where if those processes are not in place properly, that, you know, where do we not? And it’s not about pointing the blame, but the responsibility and, and you know, we’re all competitive, not so much a beat up anybody on what you did wrong, but how do we get better? You know, how to gather as a team, we might be better than our competition?
How can we challenge ourselves to improve that? So let’s take a little bit further about like, how do you help those senior sales managers that maybe are struggling? They were sales rockstars, and maybe not great people, managers, and now all sudden, they find themselves in a promoted position, and maybe they’re floundering a little bit, we’re like, man, I just wanna go back to sales. But how do you help those sales rockstars convert into sales leaders?
Wesleyne Greer 15:56
So you know, it’s one simple thing, and I tell them that it’s just not about you. Nobody cares about you. You weren’t great. Yesterday, maybe when you’re a salesperson. What do you like what you did how you perform, that doesn’t matter. Because all 510 15 people on this team are individuals. So in order for you to become a better sales manager, that’s the first step, remove yourself from the equation.
It’s just like when we think about sales, it’s not about you. No one cares about you. Nobody cares about your product, what does the customer need? what’s on the other side of the table? How are you going to help them achieve their goals? So that’s how you have to think as a sales manager? What does each person on this team as an individual need to achieve their goals?
Curt Anderson 16:43
Right? And, and I love that you and I were talking a couple weeks, a month ago, we’re talking about like going through like the persona exercise, and really identifying that ideal buyer, the buyer, persona. And what was what a great takeaway for me when we’re going through that that conversation was what what Damon, I preach, we do some training, we’re doing a couple of training programs right now is trying to help the manufacturer not only understand their customer, which is critical, but what’s been eye opening that I found with manufacturers is the understand your customers customer.
And a great thing that I found with you like with this situation is not just understanding the sales leader, but the sales leader understanding his sales people. And then taking it one step further. It’s like, just going right down that food chain instead of stopping, just saying, Oh, it’s about the sales leader. No, it’s about the sales leader and the sales team, then the sales team and about the customers and what problems are going through.
Wesleyne Greer 17:36
Yeah, and you know, one thing that it always is so lost on sales people that they don’t think about what’s the ultimate goal, like what’s important for my customer. A few years ago, when I was still you know, I call myself a baby sales rep. And so when I was new to sales, there was a company in Austin, Texas that asked me to come out. And it was a manufacturing company. And so the problem that they were having was their customer, their lead time had doubled. Right? And so they were trying to figure out like, oh, my goodness, our lead time is double.
So what did I do, I had to peel back the entire process that they went through. And what I found out was, they were having so many rejects on the line, that they were having to shut the line down and put that one reject on and it was storing everything back. And so once I sat down, and I was like, okay, when we fix this one little problem, we’re gonna cut your lead time in half, and you’ll probably even boosted up even more. They were like, Okay, I’m sold, like, Where do I sign?
And so so many times a traditional salesperson would have gone in there and been like, oh, okay, you want this item? Okay. Sure. Great. Let me tell you how great it is. Let me tell you how awesome it is. And then what that does, is the customer is going to go price shop you because they’re just looking at features and pricing. But you need to get people out of that mindset. I’m just selling a widget. It’s not just a widget, it doesn’t matter how much it cost is the value you’re actually giving to the customer.
Curt Anderson 19:11
I’d love that our friend on the call today Jeffrey stern does an amazing job with voice Express. He does the little voice recorders and every single bill to bear on the planet. So if you’ve ever had a bull or bear speak to your child that came, we can think our dear friend Jeffrey Stern, but he there’s a lot with emotional marketing, you know, and then motion marketing and again in our world. We’re going to talk about this next bus lane, you know, that dirty industrial world?
Well, if I’m a CNC shop, and you have a tool that’s going to solve my problem, like that’s an emotional connection, right? So let me just spin around real quick. Dirt, you know, manufacturing industrial rolling up our sleeves, getting fingernails dirty, and daymond looked like Vaseline is just so put together. He just looks so wonderful. You know, I just I feel so nuts, you know talking to her. I you know, I have no hair. I get by ratty t shirt and look at Westling. But what’s the why manufacturing? How did you get into like, as you call it, the dirty industry, what attracted you to this world, not pharmaceuticals being a chemist, or maybe finances or you know, tech, why manufacturing.
Wesleyne Greer 20:15
So one thing that I know from me being a chemist in the lab, I even as a salesperson, I like to get my hands dirty. And so I would tell I would, when my suitcase, I would have my steel toe boots, I would have my hard hat, my safety glasses, because I need to get on the plant floor. Because again, I need to understand what the customer is experiencing. So I can’t do that in a conference room. Like I don’t that’s not fun to me, like so that’s selling software.
That’s not what I wanted to do. Right. And so in where I am, and Houston, I was in the chemical plants, I was in petrochemical labs, right, like, I wanted to get my hands dirty. I wanted to see physically, what’s the product you’re producing? What are the issues that you’re having, because either I’m selling chemicals, or I’m selling an instrument, I’m selling something to help solve the problems. And because I wanted that sales, you know, being in front of the customers, but I still need to get my hands dirty. I that’s why I’m so attracted to as I say the dirty industries because I like it my answer.
Curt Anderson 21:12
Right. So okay, so let’s, let’s go back and throw on our e commerce hats. And again, we have our friends from Gen alpha, we have Jean Kraus, you know, we’re working, a lot of folks are working with manufacturers trying to help an e commerce. So let’s take a manufacturer, it’s made that transition, okay, they’re old school, traditional, they’ve been making widgets for, you know, decades, if not longer. And so now all sudden, they’re going to go into e commerce, and cost let’s go into the customer service department.
So now customer service, maybe they had 10 or 20 customers. And they’re used to like that, that you know, maybe a few emails a day or a few phone calls a day. Now listen, they go on to ecommerce, man, the phone starting to ring emails are coming in, it’s changed the complexion for customer service. Let’s go deep into like, how do you consult? Or how do you help that manufacturer make that e commerce transition into e commerce? How do you strengthen that customer service department?
Wesleyne Greer 22:06
So really, the first thing that I mentioned earlier was everybody’s a salesperson, right? And so traditionally, add in a manufacturing company, they may not have had, like you said, a true customer service department, they may have an order fulfillment person or the number of orders they have probably were probably a lot smaller. So really, the first thing is, this is actually not a customer service department that we’re talking about. This is a sales department and this sales department because again, if your sales people are not burning up, not racking up frequent flyer miles are putting a bunch of miles on the car, what are they doing?
They’re every order that comes in those people, they need to be on the phone. Hey, Kurt, you I just noticed you placed an order. What do you buy this for? Oh, okay, really, I didn’t realize that was a new thing. So can I come out? Can I meet you can we meet and they’re developing the relationship, right. So that’s really the customer service needs to be not an afterthought don’t have somebody calling in mad because the delivery time is delay, or the order was wrong, it needs to be a forward thinking thing. It should be more of an inside sales team or an outside sales team.
The people who do have combing, LinkedIn or going to all these trade shows, again, this is this is paid lead generation, right? Like this is where people are coming to you. They’re buying something from you. So it’s all about I say the upsell and the reset. Right? Once somebody comes in one time, your goal, the KPI that you should be hitting for the e commerce team is how much more can we get? How much more can we give you the person? How often are they going to order? Those are the things that need to be going through your mind?
Curt Anderson 23:56
Absolutely the KPI, those key performance indicators. I absolutely love what you just said. And so one thing you know what we preach a lot about in our webinars, workshops, we call it how do you make that great first impression? Our little cutesy word is blood pressure? How do you make that great first web question? And the thing is Customer service is that great first impression.
So if somebody comes on your website and places an order, we’re in that dirty industrial world, and you’re selling, who knows wires, circuit boards, whatever that part might be, and there’s going to be questions and so that the customer service in the past, you know, maybe they’re like, oh, I’ll get to it after lunch or I’ll respond to that tomorrow. Or, you know, it was just a different mindset. You know, like, we really also as manufacturers, we need to almost have like a tourism restaurants, you know, like those front of line retail, customer service, you know, knock out experiences. It’s a game. It’s a different thought process, right for manufacturers.
Wesleyne Greer 24:55
Absolutely. And it’s again, it’s a forward thinking it’s okay, we got a new order. And again, we’re going back to that process thing, we have the right people on the team. So what is that process within X number of minutes or hours of getting a new order, somebody physically picks up the telephone, and calls.
Damon Pistulka 25:15
Wesleyne Greer 25:17
and says, Thank you for your order, thank you for becoming a part of our family. Thank you for entrusting us with whatever, like it needs to be warm. It’s not like thank you for placing an order goodbye. It’s really like welcoming them into the fold, because they’ve entrusted you with something. As a manufacturing company, you’re what you’re making, you’re making something a widget that’s helping them essentially do something in their business, it’s helping them move something forward.
So your job is to understand what they’re moving forward, because they just placed that first order online with you. Or maybe they’re a repeat customer that disorders the same thing all the time. But they’re ordering other things from other people. Right? So your job is to get all of this, do you want to get more of the business? And so that’s why Customer service is not just a passive thing to take complaints. Customer service is really a forward thinking sales activity.
Curt Anderson 26:15
Right? No. And I had an epiphany this week, talking with a client. And we’re, again, going back to that persona exercise. I just I think, you know, that is just so critical. I’ve just gotten so deep into that process. And I had an epiphany talking to someone where the person were, you know, who is that ideal client? You know, and we’re okay, what’s the CFO? It’s HR, its operations, its purchasing data. And the conversation was so focused on the position, not the person. And I think we lose sight that you know what, there’s a human being behind that. And like, we don’t know what they’ve gone through, was there is there?
Is there is their job on the line? Were there layoffs that morning? Did they suffer, you know, an unfortunate personal situation? There’s a lot of things going on. And unfortunately, I think in manufacturing, we’re just we’re so in tune or robotic with the widget supply chain, that we just lose sight that there’s somebody behind those decisions, you know, right? And so, go ahead.
Wesleyne Greer 27:15
So and that’s the thing, because we’re so focused on our product, right? And so many times, we’re so focused on our product, this is what our product does, this is how a product helps. And we’re not really thinking about what are the over over arching business problems, I like to say that the actual customers facing like I told you about the the manufacturer, they just said, Hey, we want you to come out to see if there is a problem. So the problem they were actually having was they were getting like micro scratches that on the outside of the product. And so it wasn’t up to their QC, right, their quality control.
So I had to go back in the line. So I could have sat there and focused on Okay, yeah, we can fix this, we can do this, we can, I can do this, I can do this, I can do that. But what their focus was, was their lead time. So everything I talked about was how we’re going to get this lead time down, it doesn’t matter what we’re going to do to get this lead time down doesn’t cost me $10. Up $10 million, but I’m here to lead you down. Right. That’s what matters. And that’s what we like to do.
Damon Pistulka 28:20
Yeah, right. Right. Yep.
Curt Anderson 28:21
No, I absolutely love that. And so another situation scenario that I want to talk about is, again, traditional manufacturer purchase orders for the past 3040 years, or however long we’ve been in existence. And so again, that person was your customer service was basically order processor, purchase order comes in goes into the queue, like you said, For six to eight week lead time, so and so forth.
Now all sudden, hey, bam, e commerce order, what’s this? Another ecommerce order? Now they’re, like, you know, trying to make that transition of, you know, handling those orders. And so, going into that e commerce process of like, you know, and again, if that spigot turns on pretty quickly, they might be taken on a lot of orders, you know, how does, how can management, better equipped customer service, what conversations what communication should be taken place to help bridge or smooth that transition?
Wesleyne Greer 29:16
So really, at the point where you’re deciding that you’re going to turn on that ecommerce spigot, and you’re getting excited about all the new orders, you need to be thinking about what’s happening on the back end also, right? So as soon as the order comes in, what type of order fulfillment process Do we have, right, as automated as you can make things and everything on the front end has been automated.
So we try to automate as much on the back end also, right, so that person who was collecting that peel before and then entering it into their SAP or their e RP, that doesn’t work anymore, it needs to be some kind of automation, and again, that one person who was only dealing with 10 to 20 orders per day, they will have 100 to 200 orders per day. But it should still be the same one person because it’s automated. And all they’re checking over it to make sure because again, the order comes in. Okay, so now we need to make sure we have the inventory.
So what kind of tool what kind of automation? Do we need to do? Check that inventory? Okay, then we do this, then we’re going to make sure we’re gonna send it to the salesperson too. So the salesperson can give them a call and say thank you, right? So all of those things are processes that again, we’re manufacturers, we can figure this out. This is this isn’t something that’s outside of my realm. We got to do this. And we can make cars and boats and phone we can figure this out.
Curt Anderson 30:40
Right? Yeah, absolutely. So I think so if Chris and Kevin, if you guys are still with us, I think you know, any of your clients, we need to bring muscling in kind of help smooth that that that e commerce when an e commerce spigot turns on. We need we need Westland to kind of smooth that bridge.
Another thing I want to talk about Westling is FA Q’s, you know, that customer service side now as you make that ecommerce transition, it’s not just, you know, purchase orders, you’re going to make something for me, if that custom manufacturer or that manufacturer gets into their own proprietary product line, or they start shipping. Big. I had an e commerce business 100 years ago and I running joke was every single question that came in by their phone email, that needed to be an FAQ on our website.
It was we were facetious about this, but our running joke was, how can we get to the point that a phone our phone never rang, or an email never came in? Because we want to provide so much information and a website that our goal was it was like our little internal mission? How do we help our ideal buyer make a buying decision on a Friday night at midnight? without having to wait for us open up our doors on Monday? So how does that customer service person? How can we equip them on the front line? So like be retrieving that information? Get that on the website, video social, you know, talk a little bit about that.
Wesleyne Greer 31:55
So it’s really about and I really liked what you said, because it’s true. If people are asking these questions, there are probably 10 or 20 other people who have who is in their brain, but they’re not physically asking you a question, right? So pop it up on there. But really, again, our customer service team, our inside sales, our sales team, we want to empower them, right? So we want to know that if somebody buys this particular product, these are the 10 questions that people typically ask. So again, instead of just here’s your order confirmation, here’s your order confirmation with all the questions that are probably on your brain. And how about we set up a call, here’s a link to set up a call.
So I can talk you through. Like, again, let’s be forward thinking, we’re not being passive, you don’t want things to come to you. Because that means you’ve missed something, it’s better to give a bit more information, not allama, tatius amount, but a bit more information so that people feel secure with your product. And like Gail and I were going back and forth. It’s like that person that goes over and above outside of their job, you feel some kind of loyalty to them. You’re like, wow, this person just said, Hey, here are the questions that may be on your mind. Yeah, for these five questions I wanted to know, and they said, Call me whenever you need to. What is that?
Curt Anderson 33:14
Absolutely. When you think like those traditional, you know, like, you know, I know back like, you know, 100 years ago, like the train station, the guys in the train had a notorious bad reputation for you know, just being gruff, and rump, you know, bad customer service, and all sudden cars at the scene, those guys were losing jobs because of such bad customer service. So you know, and again, in manufacturing, or like, maybe you go to a car repair shop, you know, and not not the magisterial tape or throw those guys under the bus. But you think of like some of those customers, service experiences where you have not the best or most friendly experience.
So what we want to be preaching to our manufacturers is how to really improve that. So Wesley, another question. You talked about empowering, you’ve mentioned it multiple times, in conversations that we’ve had you use my one of my favorite words, trust, how do you build that environment of trust and empowering folks to help make those decisions and in you know, being on the front lines and customer service is just like really, hey, I need to go over and above? How do you empower those people to make those types of decisions.
Wesleyne Greer 34:16
So really, the key is, it all starts at the leadership level. And to have a company that is built on this customer service culture. You have to get all of your leaders together, finance operations, HR sale all of them together. Because again, customer service needs to be in the fabric of the company.
One example that I like to use that we have down south I don’t know if you guys have up north is chick fil a and every what that is like the epitome of customer service that people use because every employee, they smile, they say My pleasure, right, unsolicited And so again, if I am the The salesperson, I’m going to finance and I say, hey, I need to get Can you change these terms for this person? Can we do this? Can we do that? You want finances say? Yeah, sure. Let me figure out how to help you not No, we don’t do that. Like, just go go away.
Right? Right. I know you guys what’s in your head? Because, yeah, five. That’s what finance wants to do. They want to timeout everything. Because, again, customer service fabric. So if you have that pressure internally, when somebody calls you, and they ask you a question, what are you going to do, you’re going to do what has been done to you. And so when you start internally and start building that culture internally, then when I pick up the phone, and somebody calls me, whether they’re happy or sad, I’m going to say my job is to help you figure this out. Right? Because that’s what has been done to me.
Damon Pistulka 35:50
Right? Oh, we may have lost her.
Curt Anderson 35:55
Did we loser? Hey, you’re back. Just took a quick commercial break. That’s all right. Yeah. So So why sling? So man, this is I Damon, did I tell you this is going to be just lights out? or What man? This is just phenomenal. So Wesley, we’re coming into our time, and we’ve got Gail. So here’s my question to you. So we’ve talked a lot about diversity. When you come into a manufacturer, when you come into your clients, how do you help create a more diverse environment for your clients?
Wesleyne Greer 36:22
So everything again, this is my chemist brain. I’m such a chemist, right? And so everything I do is really based on data. And so as I’m helping companies build organizations, I look for people who have the skills for the job, right? And so when we’re hiring people, and we’re looking for skills, literally during a hiring process, I make people take assessments, and we decide what what do we need for this position? What do we need for that position, and we look at the assessments before we look at a resume before we do a phone screen or anything. And then we take that pool of people, and we interview that pool of people.
And so Once this is complete, that we’re biased, right? And then once we’re in a company, what is really important is it’s important to ensure that we have a company a culture that is equitable, right? We talk about diversity, we talk about inclusion, but equity is when we have different thoughts, different opinions around the table, and we ensure that everyone’s voices heard that everyone same opportunities for growth and upward mobility. And that’s really how we build a culture that is one that is diverse, and one that is equitable. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 37:37
Curt Anderson 37:38
Man, that was just built a culture. So you know, man, this is so good. So so what we’re gonna do, we’re coming in time, we could talk all day, I want to get back to the table, so everybody has a chance to get a little loan time here with Westling. A couple quick closing thoughts, closing questions that I want to share with you. One of the last questions we love to ask on our program is our dear friend Allison du Ford. And you know what, before I get into our last question, I want to give a shout out Dan Biggers out with us today. daymond I had dinner to both you I had dinner with Dan bigger last night.
And so he’s traveling with his family, his daughters are in a volleyball tournament in Pittsburgh. And so he and I had dinner last night. And so he made this connection for me to wash clean. And I have to say what’s saying you just are such a gift. You’re a blessing. I know. You’re you’re actually helping us with e commerce management with some strategies. And I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
And what of this is the power of LinkedIn is like right here, you know, and everybody on the call Chris cabin gal, everybody, Damon, you know, what a great opportunity, this community that we’ve built together on LinkedIn, my dear friend candy up in Alaska. So anyway, by saying I’m going to tell everybody what a dear friend and blessing that you are. We’d like to close out with we our dear friend Allison afford she preaches. How do we make our customers the hero of our story? And I know you’ve just covered a ton of it in past 30 minutes. How do you make your customers the hero of your story? Hmm.
Wesleyne Greer 39:04
Really, for me, making the customers the hero of my story is when I’m able to really see that full transformation, actually, this month, and we’re at the end of the month, I’ve had three of my past customers that I worked with within the past year, come back to me and really tell me how I’ve impacted their lives. Because yes, I talk about sales, I talk about driving revenue revenue, but we always set personal goals.
And there was a company that I worked with an engineering company that literally this time last year, they were about to file bankruptcy, and his fiscal year ends on June 30. And he’s $40,000 away from hitting his goal. So that’s how I really make my clients the hero of my story when they’re able to achieve their personal and professional goals. When I get an email that says eight out of 10 of my sales. People are going to hit their quota this year. I’m putting more towards my kids college fund. That’s what for me matters the most those personal goals the people that you’re impacting as a leader.
Curt Anderson 40:11
Yep. Man, you are so good that guys, you’re just you have to connect with Westling. I just died. Chris has given you a rough you know, everybody stand up. And you know, Hey, man, this was this was just a shell. So, Damon any parting questions, thoughts that you have to wrestling before we kind of wish everybody a great weekend
Damon Pistulka 40:33
now thanks so much. I mean, it’s it’s incredible getting to listen to you the last lane and learning more about how you help people and just listen to how you help people. So thanks so much for being here with us today. And and thanks for sharing. It’s wonderful. I also want to say thanks to Edward and Bonnie on LinkedIn listening to us there. We will be going I’m shutting down only Dan, but have a great weekend if you’re if you’re in the US and going to have to celebrate Memorial Day and be safe. I mean, this is the first weekend that many of us have been out in the wild. Now, that’s right.
Curt Anderson 41:13
And we do have we have an exciting we have some exciting programs coming up. So we have a live live webinar with the Alaska MEP this Thursday. So shoot me I didn’t drop a link. I’m bad, but drop me a note on LinkedIn. I’ll get you that information to join us on Thursday for our webinar. To hang come over to the the tables and join us with Wesley Wessling. Thank you. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for taking time to join us today to share your expertise, your passion, and guys, happy Memorial Day to everybody have a safe blessed weekend. We love you guys.