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Check out our interview with the new Director of Customer Service - Charlie Manson - on what the “Ultimate Customer Experience” means to him, and how he helps his team with their ongoing success in providing excellent customer service.

1. How would you describe your role at Alpha? 

There are two facets. Strategically, I’m responsible for delivering customer service part of Alpha’s 2020 vision. I help make sure that what we do, and how we do it, aligns with that vision.  I’m also always looking at what’s next, what’s new in technology that can drive customer experience to the next level. Tactically, I see myself as an enabler for our customers. And by that, I’m talking internal, as well as external, particularly the sales team. Everyone’s passionate here, sometimes it just takes someone to step back, look at the whole picture. That’s a big part of my job, join the dots and help us all be aligned from a customer experience perspective. Because at the end of the day, we all are responsible for delivering the customer service.

2. What do you think makes Alpha a unique place to be?

The great thing about Alpha is that you really can make a difference. I’ve worked at a Fortune 500 company before, and whilst there are benefits to that, it’s very hard to make any changes. There is too much of, “oh, we’ve ALWAYS have done it this way.” Here, you can walk into anyone’s office, including our Chief Executive Officer or the President and pitch your idea. If it’s well thought out, and it makes sense, you will have the ability to make it happen. Every single person here counts. We work together, and we bring our A game every day.  Everyone in the leadership team is a believer in our strategy and our goals. It’s like we are all driving towards the same goals.

3. Describe what the “Ultimate Customer Experience” means to you?

I struggled with defining that. I used to try to explain what it meant by saying that we should be providing an Amazon-style experience with a WestJet mentality. But I know, it doesn’t matter what you or I think it means. What matters is what our customers think it is. We had some ideas but really weren’t sure. So, we hired an objective 3rd party and we asked. We spent a lot of time going through the all the interviews. We heard that really we're doing a great job, but some common themes emerged and eventually summed them up into three distinct rallying cries.

Reliable Results- do what you said you were going to do, every time.     

Seamless Service- communicate proactively, be knowledgeable.

Exceptional experiences- be outstanding in our response to their unique needs. 

4. Can you tell us about a time where you helped turn things around for a customer? OR Can you tell us a recent customer success story?

Yes, we recently had a very big customer order equipment for a well-known entertainment company. Due to a mix-up, sales thought it was a standard product, but the customer required a small design change which meant this was what we call a CTO, a product configured to order.

The delivery time was short. The customer needed it in just days, and we were originally looking at months. So, what we did was work with the customer to understand what they needed and then worked with the supply chain team, and our vendors, creating a more accurate picture of what was required. Then we had to coordinate with everyone to make sure, shipping dates were aligned with, delivery and installation dates. Otherwise, there would be expensive crews sitting around waiting. The end result, the customer got what they needed in their timeframe. Of course, I’m oversimplifying here. To get to that stage we had many multiple cross-functional meetings internally, with our vendors and our sales guys. But it looked so seamless to the customer, and that’s what counts.

5. What do you think makes your team successful? 

What makes my team a success is that they are passionate about their work. They come here every day wanting to do the right thing and to make a positive difference. I tell everyone who is part of my group “you don’t work for me, I work for you”. My role is to remove any problems that get in the way of them doing their job. If I can be successful in that, then they can be successful in everything they do.

6. Outside of the office, what are you most passionate about doing?

Outside of my family, I love riding my motorcycle. There’s nothing I like better than going on long trips. This summer I spent nine days riding just over 7000kms, 2000 of which I did in one day. I’m a pretty big introvert (on the Myers Briggs scale) so I really like my alone time. It recharges and reinvigorates me. Oh, and I’m a HUGE Star Wars geek and Oklahoma Sooners Football fan.

 

charlie

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