PPB November 2017

Venus Thom Tradeshow and National Account Manager Imagen Brands Mobile, Alabama Years at Imagen Brands: 6 Nominators: Taylor Borst, communications and public relations specialist, American Solutions For Business; Scott Foresta, vice president, EmbroidMe; Jodi Foster, marketing and training coordinator, The Vernon Company; Steven Flaughers, owner, Proforma 3rd Degree Marketing What Makes Venus A Service Superhero Venus Thom was raised by parents who possess a strong work ethic and taught her to always do her absolute best. She says she’s also been fortunate to have worked with several managers who have mentored her with constructive criticism and plenty of encouragement. Much of what she learned was tested in her job prior to entering the promotional products industry six years ago. “I worked as an outside sales representative for a large cellular company,” she says. “Being in any kind of sales role, customer service is a key part of being successful.” “She understands client relationships,” says nominator and client Steven Flaughers, owner of distributor Proforma 3rd Degree Marketing. “I call her for anything, and it’s like calling one of my best friends. She cares about me, my business, my clients and my overall success. She is truly the best in the industry.” Another client and nominator, Scott Foresta, vice president at distributor EmbroidMe, likes the fact that Thom is knowledgeable and a good source for information. “She also picks up the phone and replies to messages and emails,” he says. “I know this sounds generic, but what have you become accustomed to? Just getting back to me in a reasonable time frame seems to be a tough thing for many folks to do.” How Venus Saved The Day “We had a corporate event where we ordered water bottles with a blue imprint on a black water bottle,” says nominator Taylor Borst, communications and public relations specialist at distributor American Solutions For Business. “The imprint didn’t look good since the blue was too dark against the black (this was my fault, as I approved the artwork). Rather than sticking me with the water bottles, she caught the error and ran a new order with an updated logo color at no charge.” In Her Own Words Best Part Of The Job: I enjoy the relationships that are built with my customers, the daily interaction with my co-workers and seeing an order come in that I know I helped win. Biggest Challenge: My biggest challenge is when there are circumstances that are out of my control. Most Valuable Customer Service Lesson Learned: Honesty is the best policy, and when you build that trust with customers, situations that might not be ideal become a bit easier because you both value the relationship. No. 1 Tip For Great Customer Service: Be prompt and always available to your customers. Most-Wanted Superhero Power: We’ve all had those crazy, last-minute rush orders that seem nearly impossible to complete; an order that maybe didn’t go quite as planned; last-minute presentations due within the hour, etc. If I had the ability to manipulate time, I could help ease more of the worry and stress for my customers so that they could focus their energy on the next sales opportunity. Best Personal Customer Service Experience: I returned from picking up lunch one day to find that my Chick-Fil-A sandwich did not have chicken on it. I called the location to let them know and instead of offering a coupon, the manager actually hand delivered a fresh, hot sandwich because he didn’t want me to go without lunch. It made me feel good and I was so appreciative. That’s what customer service is all about—letting your customers know that you care and that they are important. FEATURE | Service Superheroes 32 | NOVEMBER 2017 |