2021 CSR All-Stars: Kathy Hess, Evans Manufacturing Inc.
Customer Service Representative
Evans Manufacturing Inc., Garden Grove, California
Kathy Hess is the quiet force behind her customer service department. She is “pleasant, accommodating and service-oriented” in a way that makes customers “take notice, appreciate and respect,” according to her nominator. But what really motivates Hess is the desire to become a fierce customer advocate — a role that is truly needed, though not recognized until there’s a problem.
“When that happens, Kathy steps to the plate and hits a home run every single time,” her nominator said.
Although Hess has worked at Evans Manufacturing Inc. for just a few short years, her customer service roots date back nearly two decades. She got her start working for PCB Piezotronics, a manufacturer of piezoelectric sensors. After eight years, she left her position to become a “domestic engineer,” running her household, which included caring for her young children. Hess did this for 18 years, until her oldest daughter was in high school. She had no regrets, but could no longer ignore the pull back to the workforce.
“I was ready to work outside of the home again, eager to have a career that would keep me busy and fulfilled,” Hess said. “I watched my wife leave the house to go to work every day and although I know raising our children was important, I was ready to contribute to our family in a different way.”
Hess applied for a CSR position at Evans Manufacturing Inc. and the rest is history. Today she supports 6,558 accounts, 400 of which are active buyers.
Her Approach to Customer Service
I always try my best to be friendly and empathetic when speaking with customers and to thoroughly answer all their questions to the best of my ability. I try to put myself in their position when they are upset and work as a team to help resolve the issue at hand.
How She Keeps Calm and Stays Inspired
I work with an amazing group of people that I consider to be close friends. We support each other on the rough days and are able to get through anything with a little bit of humor and a well-timed kind word or two.
How the Pandemic Changed Her Job
I have learned a lot about PPE products. I am so thankful to work for such a resourceful and resilient company as we all adapt and learn to live in our new “normal.”
What She Learned About Herself in 2020-21
I learned that I am much more adaptable and capable of navigating new and challenging situations than I had ever believed myself to be in the past.
Her Proudest Career Achievement
I am extremely proud of the relationships I have built with our customers. I have several customers that I look forward to hearing from on a regular basis. I think that my favorite part about these relationships is that a few of them did not start off being happy customers, but with honesty and willingness to do whatever I am able to take care of the problem at hand, they have become happy customers. I think a lot of times customers call us expecting to receive bad service, so when we go out of our way for them they are surprised and keep coming back.
Her Best Advice
My advice to a new CSR would be to continually do your best, and to always give your customers the kind of service that you would want to receive.
What She Does for Fun
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our two daughters, and I love hosting gatherings at our home for all of our family and friends.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.