2022 CSR All-Stars: Brittney "Bre" Marvel, XLDesign4U
BRITTNEY “BRE” MARVEL
Senior Accounts Specialist
XLDesign4U, Richmond, Virginia
Brittney “Bre” Marvel is a senior accounts specialist at XLDesign4U, but for those who know her, “miracle worker” seems more fitting. She works side-by-side with her clients the entire length of their order — getting quotes, providing art design or typesetting services, handling order entry, and invoicing clients and paying vendors. She also operates social media accounts for the company, trains new employees and serves as the unofficial “tech expert.”
Her dedication doesn’t end at 5 p.m. She has been known to communicate with overseas suppliers at night, or drive to the local FedEx and Staples for rush weekend print orders. She has even personally delivered orders for customers while on vacation.
“Brittney goes over and beyond what is requested of her,” says her nominator. “She is my right hand. ... I am quite spoiled.”
Compassion is part of her nature. Before joining the promo world nine years ago, Marvel was an activities director for an assisted living facility in North Carolina. She had just obtained her license to become an assisted living administrator and was continuing her education at Nash Community College with the goal of one day joining the board of directors for a hospital.
But things change. Marvel, who completed her associate degree in business administration and accounting, lost a patient she was close to and, in turn, lost her joy for the field. Back in Virginia, where her family was based, her mother was raising Marvel’s 12-year-old half-sister alone after the passing of her stepfather. She wanted to be a source of additional support for both, so she moved back.
Ready to start her new path, Marvel saw a job listing for an open administrative assistant role on Craigslist that intrigued her. She researched the company (XLDesign4U), aced the interview and fell fast in love with the industry. Marvel quickly rose through the ranks and today supports more than 150 clients in markets ranging from healthcare and business to education and government. She plans to further her education this winter at Randolph Macon College, while saving campaigns (and sanity) as needed.
Her Approach to Customer Service
I am always cheerful when dealing with my customers. Before they even reach me by phone, they get to listen to “Rock Around the Clock” as a greeting. I maintain patience with customers while asking lots of questions. I was trained to be as detail-oriented as possible. There is no such thing as too much. I keep in mind what the customer wants, their budget and specific details like in-hand date. I always work with what the customer wants, and also suggest cost-effective alternatives when available. I go out of my way to make sure the customer is always satisfied. If something goes wrong, we most always find a solution that makes the end-user happy.
Her First Instinct When Things Get Complicated
I let my co-workers know of the situation that caused me to be stressed. I ask to be left alone so I can focus. I tend to listen to a lot of music to calm down and work through my issues. My favorites are ’80s pop, classic rock or music from early 2000s. It always does the trick. If for some reason that doesn’t work, we are fortunate to have an office dog who is very friendly. We call them “puppy breaks.”
What Pandemic Fallout Has Taught Her
Since the pandemic started, longer turn times, stock availability, warehouse closures [and] production delays have really affected the industry. As a company, we appear less reliable and fast in our services that we are known for. There always seems to be an excuse with no fast solution. It has really tested my patience and faith in my suppliers. It has weakened relationships with our customers. All I could do is continue to be honest and work hard, hoping that eventually there will be a new normal that is like our old pre-pandemic normal.
Her Proudest Career Achievement
My favorite achievement was handling a large $75[,000] to $100,000 dollar rush job that involved many parts and pieces. I was dealing with an opinionated customer who emailed or called several times a day. There were stock availability issues. Prolonged turn times. Everything that could go wrong with our suppliers went wrong. However, I handled everything in a calm, professional manner and all pieces were delivered in the condition the end-user expected, within a reasonable time frame and without any loss or damages to profit. It was my largest order to date. I handled the entire process by myself, and I felt very empowered from it.
Her Best Advice
Don’t have any expectations. This is an industry that is always changing and evolving. No matter what role you have, you will grow professionally and individually.
What She Does for Fun
I like traveling, reading, sewing [and] designing clothes, and spending time with people I care about.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.