2022 CSR All-Stars: Andrea Volker, ID Line & ActNow Media by Halls & Company
Account Executive – NE Territory
ID Line & ActNow Media by Halls & Company, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Andrea Volker checks off many boxes as an account executive: She anticipates needs, consistently looks for a better way forward and pulls off challenging projects for the nearly 400 distributor clients she supports. Not to mention, her work is quick and efficient. But what sets her apart is she understands real-world scenarios require a human approach.
“We have witnessed Andrea take a moment to check on the mental health of a customer and our employees,” her nominator says. “Life can get stressful, but she clearly works to help the person and the project. Andrea is a key person who helps to make sure that our customers feel and know they are valued.”
Volker has been in the industry for 24 years — all of which have been spent at ID Line/Halls & Company. Many find their way to promo through a family connection or because they crave a fast-paced career that allows them to tap into their creative energy. For Volker, it was pure luck. She was a few years out of high school, searching for her next opportunity. A staffing agency put her in touch with the promo supplier, where she started as a temp-to-hire receptionist. Volker’s employer soon realized she had the necessary skillset to make it in customer service, and within a few weeks, she made the transition. The rest, as they say, is promo history.
Her Approach to Customer Service
My approach to customer service has evolved over the years. Currently, it is more empathy, less ego. Using my own preferences as a customer helps guide my working hours. Noticing and implementing techniques used by other companies and co-workers who hold service in high regard is excellent practice to hone customer service skills.
Her First Instinct When Things Get Complicated
[My first instinct is] to consult with co-workers. It offers fresh perspectives to be able to see the bigger picture and creates space to transform an emotional reaction into a logical response.
What Pandemic Fallout Has Taught Her
The current challenges have been a good reminder to focus on options and alternatives instead of focusing on what can’t be done. It’s been an interesting lesson in expectations, flexibility and patience. It has taught me to reflect on my own expectations, explore where they originate from and to put them in check as often as possible.
Her Proudest Career Achievement
Customer service is often in the spotlight because we are company spokespeople — the connection to the outside. I am part of an incredible team. Without them, there are no achievements or accolades. I am most proud of the team building we have achieved company-wide and the way everyone works together.
Her Best Advice
Know your product, print processes and materials. Own your mistakes and use them as a nudge toward personal and professional growth.
What She Does for Fun
[I like to] dance, cook and binge comedies.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.