2019 CSR All-Stars: Anne-Marie Junker, Safeguard Printing & Promotional Products
Safeguard Printing & Promotional Products, Ambler, Pa.
Working efficiently, smiling with your voice and giving attentive post-order follow-up can go a long way in the customer service field. Not everyone has these skills, and it can be costly to your business if you invest in the wrong people. As a former human resources professional, Anne-Marie Junker is quite familiar with this concept and has applied these principles to her own work. According to her nominator, she is someone who is able to “thrive while multitasking without losing sight that it’s the little things that make a big difference in our industry.” But Junker’s first HR job out of college wasn’t in print or promo; she held an administrative position at a technical recruiting firm, and was eventually promoted to office manager of her group. When her group left the firm after the latter was purchased, Junker, a new mom at the time, continued her role on a part-time basis. “I also worked (for fun) part-time at one of the largest family-owned kitchen gadget stores,” she reminisced. “I really enjoyed the kitchen store, enough so that it became a full-time position as an assistant manager.” So, imagine Junker’s surprise when an even better opportunity presented itself thanks to a chance encounter between her husband, Mike, and his former school friend Jeff Snyder, who handles sales for Safeguard Printing & Promotional Products. From their conversation, Mike learned that the distributor’s office manager was about to retire. He encouraged his wife to reach out to Snyder, and the rest is history. Five years later, and Junker is still a masterful multitasker, responsible for handling an average of 40 orders per day, and supporting more than 1,000 different customers per year.
A typical day: I do it all—from the everyday office duties and customer communications to helping to guide customers in what they are looking to order, making suggestions that may help customers fulfill their needs, helping customers resolve any issues, handling data entry and order entry, answering the phone, billing, filing and so much more.
Her approach to customer service: I am polite and respectful of the customer’s time and wishes. I want customers to hear a friendly voice when they call. I am as efficient as possible when taking an order from customers. I check (and double check) my work to ensure accuracy.
How she keeps calm and stays inspired: We work with a lot of very nice customers. The interactions with them more than make up for any difficult times. Sometimes, you will not please a person no matter how hard you try. You just have to do your best by [taking] both the good and the bad each time.
Why she loves her job and the industry: Every day is different and I am still learning something new with each passing week. How many jobs can you say that about?
Her proudest career achievement: I have built some great relationships with quite a few customers and vendors. While we have never met in person, I feel like they have become good friends. I know about their families, and they about mine. They follow my kids’ baseball tournaments, and I know about their family members’ battles with illnesses. I know their voices when I answer the phone. Those customers make the job a pleasure.
I have re-organized and designed an efficient system on the way files are kept and orders are entered. (I always say that if I were to get hit by a bus, I’d want my replacement to be able to step in and know where everything is and how to do everything).
I was on the technology team early on when I started. I was asked to “play” with the new database that the company was moving to. I used it on a daily basis, and based on my notes and findings, some procedures were changed, updated and tweaked. They used a webcam to film me entering orders in the database, which is what database users will see in part of the training manual.
Her best advice: Always answer the phone with a smile—it really does come across over the phone lines. Try your best every day. My motto is check, check and [triple] check. You can’t be complacent when it comes to the data/order entry. So, I check my work and then check it again to be sure. I do not want to ever make a mistake, as that could be very costly for the customers. Stay organized. Create a system to follow for each order so that nothing gets overlooked when entering it.
What she does for fun: I watch a lot of baseball—both my boys play on a travel baseball team from the springtime through the fall. They both play baseball and ice hockey for their high school. I don’t get a lot of “me time,” but when I do, I enjoy reading (I’m in two book clubs), going to the beach, cooking and baking. We go camping every August to a remote spot in Maine, so there is a lot of hiking in/around Baxter State Park, on the International Appalachian Trail and spots further north for me, while my boys and husband fish.