Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Marshall Field and Customer Service

I wrote this blog article for work and decided to post it here as well.

Summer is always an exciting time in Chicago! There are street festivals every weekend, fireworks at the lakefront, and events in the parks almost non-stop. I live in the city of Chicago giving me convenient access to a variety of museums, shopping, and the lakefront. After living in this city for over eight years, I'm still a tourist at heart, taking every opportunity to soak in its sights and sounds.

Most people don't know this, but on the seventh floor of the Macy's department store on State Street in downtown Chicago, there is a museum that is devoted to the legacy of Marshall Field and the history of Chicago. Macy's, from New York, bought Marshall Field and Company department stores in 2005, but they put a number of old Field’s catalogs and artifacts on display to pay tribute to their history.

While walking through the exhibit, it's hard not to make the connection between Marshall Field’s and the success of Chicago. Several factors conspired to make Field the greatest merchant in Chicago, but none more important than customer service. When Marshall Field spoke of customer service, he spoke about going the extra mile, going above and beyond what's required, treating the customer like family. He would give customers anything they wanted and promised money back if they were not satisfied.

"Right or wrong, the customer is always right!" - Marshall Field

During last month’s PFLC, we were able to enjoy lunch with some of our customers. I was fortunate enough to sit with a buyer from Rockwell Automation, but everyone we spoke with echoed the same thing: Newark stands for superior customer service. What we sell is not just electronic components. We sell service that is unparalleled in the industry. In the past, I've had concerns that our prices are not always competitive, but my concerns were laid to rest by heaps of praise for our superior service. Our Rockwell buyer said, "We are happy to pay extra for the customer service we receive."

All of us deal with customers, even if it isn't immediately apparent. In GIS the customer is on the other side of the screen when we deploy new functionality our competitors don’t offer or make the website faster for our customers to quickly find the components they need. These customers deserve the same exceptional service our Rockwell Buyer spoke so highly of, and we aim to provide it. We spend time tracking down performance bottlenecks, constantly striving to improve customer experience around the globe while delivering the latest features to keep ahead of the competition. As long as we are working for the customer, we can never go wrong!

"Good will is the one and only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy." - Marshall Field

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