2021 CSR All-Stars: Samantha "Sam" Thurber, Navitor
SAMANTHA "SAM" THURBER
Customer Service Representative
Navitor, North Mankato, Minnesota
Samantha “Sam” Thurber has only worked in print for five years, but she is no newbie to fast-paced, high-pressure environments. As the guest service manager for a local McDonald’s chain, she spent her time cultivating a positive customer experience. Though Thurber was happy in this role, she wasn’t “lovin’ it.” She craved something different, along with more traditional hours.
Thurber’s best friend, a member of Navitor’s accounts receivable team, had talked up the print supplier to her — initially to no avail. Thurber later gave in and applied for a role that she wasn’t offered, but she showed a spark of promise that didn’t go unnoticed. As Thurber tells it, she was “referred to customer service manager Tracy [Ries’] team and the rest was history.”
Thurber currently supports hundreds of clients and embraces the variety of each day. Customer service doesn’t end with her assignments; rather, Thurber extends that help to co-workers and other departments within Navitor (even off-hours), earning her regular praise. Whether she’s coordinating multiple redos of letterhead with foil stamping, or handling rush jobs, it’s safe to say that clients’ time and projects are in capable hands.
Her Approach to Customer Service
You have to be a people person and know how to multitask with the job.
How She Keeps Calm and Stays Inspired
I just step away from my computer for a little bit, take a walk outside or just sit in my car to listen to music.
How the Pandemic Changed Her Job
I was on a team of 13 and it dropped to six right around the big hit of the outbreak. All of my team worked from home, and I stayed in-house to help with incoming/outgoing samples. I also help out in other divisions within the company. For example, we had production for plastic face shields that I help with.
What She Learned About Herself in 2020-21
We are only human beings. With the outbreak, I have learned a lot about myself. I wasn’t able to de-escalate situations in the past, like I can now. I had the tools [all] along, it just took this past year for me to use them. I was able to learn new things, like how to ship orders and samples.
Her Proudest Career Achievement
This is hard because I have so many relationships that I formed over the years. The one that stands out the most is my customer on the East Coast. He is al-ways short and to the point when he calls. He wants things done fast and right the first time. He will call in and let me know if something was correct to pull a sample for my resources on future jobs. If we did something wrong, he would always tell me, “I’m going to sell it, but I want you to be aware of the situation.” When I left my area for a little bit, he noticed and asked me to never leave again when I came back.
Her Best Advice
Take one interaction at a time, do not rush yourself. Learn as much as you can, because the power of knowledge in print helps you so much. Always sign up for the extra training or volunteer hours. Never be afraid of trying something new.
What She Does for Fun
When I’m not working, I like to play video games, watch movies and crochet.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.