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Inside Windows Active Customer Services

18 July 2007

Over the next few issues we take a look at a number of departments within Eurocell and find out what they do and how this makes a difference to their customers.

Here Russ Hill, Sales Office Manager, gives us the low down on the customer services department:

What is the main function of the customer services department?

We look after customer service for the profile business which means we deal with all the orders from our fabricators. So in essence our role within the business is to make sure our customers get what they order, and help solve any issues they have. Last year we received well over 49,000 orders which just shows how efficiently we need to work to make sure orders are processed quickly and correctly. Our department is based at Cheeseborough, which is also the location for the Eurocell distribution warehouse, which makes it really easy to keep a track of orders being dispatched to customers.

How many staff work in the department?

There are currently eight staff, seven ladies and one lucky guy Steve Roe!

There’s a good atmosphere within the team and most have worked here for a number of years so have built up a good rapport with our fabricators. All of the team are really dedicated and always try to make sure our fabricators receive the products on time.

What are the daily duties of the team?

Main duties include answering phone calls from fabricators – responding as quickly and efficiently as possible to their needs. All orders need to be entered onto the system on the same day – most are done within four hours. We have very high accuracy rates for order processing, which makes our team one of the best in the industry. Our job is to ensure that we can meet lead times of 2-3 working days from receipt of order to delivery.  

As well as dealing with orders we also look after quotations and other correspondence for new and existing customers.

What is the best part of your job for you?

What I really like about working here is that the job is so varied, one minute I can be discussing an order with a fabricator, the next minute I am arranging a special colour with the factory manager. What we all enjoy is the contact we have with both internal and external customers, which can be demanding but also very exciting too. Time tends to pass quickly because there’s a real buzz about the place.

What are you doing to make things easier for fabricators?

We have an easy to use order form that is designed to make ordering for fabricators as simple as possible. These are available either in hardcopy, disk, emailable and soon to be downloadable format from our website whichever is easiest for the customer!

We also use these order forms internally which allows us to continually check the order against what the customer asked for to make sure we live up to our ‘right first time’ philosophy.

What are the hours?

8am to 5.30pm, Monday to Thursday
8am to 5.00pm Friday

What are your major achievements?

Achieving 99.5% accuracy rates for order processing. This is a fantastic achievement and is the result of a real team effort!

What is the most important part of your job?

Having happy customers! We try to be helpful and responsive to customer requests, no matter how quick the turnaround time needed. Sometimes this has meant myself or other members of our team delivering urgent items ourselves, it’s something we don’t mind doing if it helps our fabricators grow their business!

It’s always great to be appreciated and some of our customer service advisers have received gifts from fabricators – flowers or chocolates – it might not be good for the waistline but certainly helps to keep morale high!

Have you noticed any trends in what customers require from you?

Grey profile is gaining popularity with many customers. Housebuilders working on major renovation projects, especially in inner city areas, seem to be looking for PVC-u finishes that are in keeping with their environment. We are also seeing more orders for cream and Woodgrain finishes. Rosewood is a really good seller and an excellent choice for fabricators because it is available from stock just like white.

When is your busiest time?

As you would expect sales are seasonal. We start getting busy in April/May and continue throughout the Summer, then orders start rushing through again in the Autumn for the run up to Christmas.

How are you looking at improving service to fabricators even further?

We have some exciting plans for the future that will really help fabricators. One of these is looking at developing an online ordering process similar to www.rooflineonline.co.uk used by our depots. This will give fabricators lots of options including live tracking of orders…watch this space!

What do you do outside of work?

I’m a keen Manchester United Fan, which doesn’t always go down too well with some of the team as they mainly support Derby County. Many of the customer services team also have varied interests outside work including amateur dramatics, golf, real ale and keep fit so there is usually plenty to talk about after the weekend!

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