Writing a book where seeing your work as an act of service is a central theme has a way of bringing one’s attention to customer service. I really lucked out when I chose Hignell Printing from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Hignell Printing is a small Canadian company that has been in business for over 100 years. I suspect that they have been in business for this length of time because they know something about being of service. So what did they do?
1. Provided a personal touch. I submitted several requests by email for quotes on printing my book. Herb Krushel, the Account Manager, immediately phoned me to talk about my books and the printing process. Only Hignell and one other printing company contacted me by phone.
2. They walk the talk. Many companies speak about the value of service in their literature or in their mission statement, but are incongruent in their behaviour. Highnell walks the talk. As part of the footer, Hignell writes:
At Hignell we offer the best in service and quality work at competitive prices. We are caring and responsive and have hundreds of satisfied customers throughout N. America.
Herb closes his correspondence with,
Thank you, and please do not hesitate to call with questions. I look forward to being of service to you.
And I experienced that to be true. Given that this is my first time self-publishing, I had many questions. Not once did I feel that my questions were silly.
3. It takes a whole company to provide service. When Herb was away on holidays, Dave Friesen, Client Services, took over in order to keep the process going. Rather than just cover off for Herb, Dave also called and developed a relationship with me.
4. They demonstrate flexibility. My father-in-law passed away during this process and his memorial was held during the same time that I was getting my book ready for print. I also committed to having the book ready for Amazon by October 1st. Talk about competing priorities. When I shared this with Cori Jones, the Customer Service Rep, she said,
I will try and make this as easy as possible for you. . . . .
Let me know if you need anything further.
Rather than having to send everything back by courier, I was able to send my changes and approval via email.
5. Everyone is interested. Even though my project was transferred to Cori for production, today, I received the following email from Dave.
I happened to walk by the printed covers for your book a couple of days ago, and I read the back cover. WOW, looks like this will be a great book ! Congrats !
So what can we learn about service from this printing company?
- Provide a personal touch. Take time to reach out by phone.
- Get interested in your clients or customers.
- Demonstrate alignment between what your company says you believe in and how you deliver services.
- Give employees the flexibility to respond to customers’ needs.
- Help all members of your company or organization see how they contribute to excellent customer service.
It is time to rethink our work and how we are serving others through our work.
Val Kinjerski, PhD, is a leading authority in the field of employee engagement and on the topic of “spirit at work.” An inspirational speaker, consultant and writer, she helps companies and organizations increase employee retention and boost productivity by reigniting employees’ love for their work. She is the author of Rethinking Your Work and Rethinking Your Work Guidebook.