Monday, October 03, 2005

Happy Customer Service Week!

I'm hoping you've got it marked on your calendar --> It's National Customer Service Week! (I assume smart people celebrate it all across the world, but I believe we only formally recognize this here in the US... thus the "National" distinction. With some Canada thrown in too.)

First of all I would like to be the first to say "THANK YOU" to the people on our customer service staff who have taken the hit for a very challenging year. Although, I know I am not first, because Jorge Molina who runs the department thanks them everyday. With the new business model, challenges in our processing systems, and an increase in shipments, we've had longer hold times, some angrier customers who rightfully are confounded when the rep they are speaking too can offer only intermittent access to their customer information. I mean it when I tell you, these folks have taken the bullet for us. But things have recently seen incredible improvement. This week signals the change, a shift toward the excellence we all seek for Beachbody Customer Service.

Our customer service management team is so strong it is difficult to say anything except, we got lucky. That luck started when we asked our utility player, Heather Church to find us some help to supplement our customer service area back in the early days. Her nose for talent ws keen since the three people she hired as temps back in 2001 still work for us - and have evolved their careers into something really special. Cintra continues to work with the Beachbody community while she spends time raising her son. Drew has grown from customer service temp to our Training Manager. Amber has also grown from temp rep to our Director of CRM. When I need an answer, I know she can find a way to get it for me. And I think everyone in the company feels that way.

Things got so tight this year that I finally had to take a deep breath, and look into expansion off shore. One of our senior managementnt team, Ravi has contacts in India that were well educated and well trained. When it came to fighting this year's customer service fires Jorge even had the chops to get this offshore capability implemented in under two months, instantly expanding our customer service capabilities by 50%, and instantly cut our benchmark hold times drastically. There were times last Friday our hold times were under thirty seconds! Awesome!

I know many of our customer service staff feel what they do goes by unnoticed. But it's not true. We know that when we give them the right tools and capacity, they are the bedrock of the company. When we struggle with technology, they feel the heat. My gratitude for this group runs so deep, I am almost embarrasseded to visit. Any action I take feels like it would be insufficient.

So at Beachbody we are taking this week to recognize them, and their noble profession, servicing the reason we have a company in the first place: Our awesome customers.

[Pictured -- Jorge, Delia, Shakima and Jude]

We will have competitions all week that recognize a spirit of "Focus on the Customer" and create fun ways to say thank you for their efforts. There will be team competitions, in the categories of Perfect Attendance, Customer Compliments, plus some funny costume and food competitions.

We will also have a "composition competition", where many in the department will share their best Beachbody Customer Service story. A winner will be selected each day of the week.

So, with this blog entry I say "Thanks to YOU, CS Team." I know it hasn't been easy. But I am hoping recent efforts to make it work better will succeed. In the meantime, please accept my gratitude, my salute, and resounding "hooyah!" for a valiant effort and your continued commitment to our customers and delivering on our Core Values.


Anonymous said...

I want pics of the funny costumes...

azteclady said...

I hope the people who help folks navigate Beachbody's online community are included in this celebration. Personally, I want to publicly thank Jason Young for his patience in dealing with all my inquiries last week. When I was feeling frustrated and angry, he remained calm and corteous, and that made an incredible difference for me.

[I am on day 13th of Power90, my fist Beachbody product, and I already feel the difference. Thank you, all of you!]

Carl Daikeler said...

I'll see what I can do about the pics -- maybe I'll edit them into this post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pics C-Dawg

AlfaSunshine said...

I wish I appreciated your customer service as much as you do. I ordered the master's series the other day. I wanted to order it over the phone, but I also wanted to use WOWY money I won a few months back (thank you very much for that). They told me I had I had to order it online!! What a joke. So I went ahead and ordered the masters series online. WELL today I got an email from Beachbody shipping that gave me the "Good News!!" that Power 90 has been shipped!! I am on the phone now (huge fiasco call) trying to confirm what has been shipped. I'm on the 5th round with these poor people!!! Now they are telling me that my order was cancelled. And yes no yes no yes no I can I can't I can I can't use my gift certificate to re-order over the phone. This is just a bad joke. Ironic that it's customer service appreciation time.

Carl Daikeler said...

That's exactly why it is Customer Service appreciation time! We all take technology for granted. It's supposed to work 100% of the time... but the bottom line is, Beachbody sometimes springts to meet demand a little ahead of our ability to QC all the connections that happen in the process. For instance, I got the same email you did today, and was just as surprised to see that a Power 90 was being shipped to me, when I had put in a test order for Power 90 Masters Series. IMagine how much the departments that touch this process dislike it when the CEO is the guy who finds the glitch! Turns out a line of logic was wrong, so the wrong notice was sent to me (us), but that the right product was being shipped. I am told it is fixed.

There are multiple system trying to talk to eachother from every vantage point of the process. Very complex, and constantly evolving as we try to deliver more to the customer. Multiply that by a system of discounts, rebates, and coupons that is also tracked by three different computer processing systems, and you have a recipe for a battle that is dicey at the front line of customer service, at best.

That's why I am indebted to these folks. Because they return to work everyday, determined to serve, to TRY and sort this stuf out with a very confusing maze of information points waiting to confront them each day.

Bottom line to every transaction though is, they eventually figure it out, even if it sometimes takes time. And I get A LOT of compliments on how these folks communicate and maintain their composure.

People see the look and feel of our website and think "big company", when actually, we are a small company trying to do something very special (help people lose weight and get in shape - for the long term) at an incredible value for the customer. We're not perfect. We admit our mistakes. And we constantly work to improve. I know we will not only continue to improve, but soon set the standard for BOTH the technology and humanity of customer service. And I am grateful to the people who tirelessly and creatively are helping us get there.

Mary Cecy said...

Carl and BB Team:
MUCHAS GRACIAS!! XO I have received nothing but good customer service from all of you. I have yet, and hopefully never have to, experience any bad or hard times, other than chat problems or my account disappearing at one point. But all technical things that happens when it comes to computers and technology.

You guys work very hard and we seldom appreciate the hard work and forget that a simple: Thank YOU, Have a great day, means to many. I say it everyday and hope to keep saying it for a long time.

SO pat yourselves in the back cause you deserve it.

See ya around wowy, chat, the boards...


Anonymous said...

I just had a good BB customer service experience ordering Cardio Party 2 two days after ordering TurboJam. The rep heard me say I would have ordered it at the same time of my original order if I had been aware of the option...and to make it right he offered me a discount on the stand alone product.

Really made me feel good!

AlfaSunshine said...

I figured it had to be something like that. I felt sorry for the poor customer service person. It wasn't their fault they didn't have the simplest of information. Sounds like your system could use some simplification. Thanks again for the wowy money. Nothings perfect and you all sure make the mistakes interesting if nothing else :)

Anonymous said...

Dearest Carl,

The reason I have not ordered TJ is due to your terrible website that does not allow you to cancel an order before you finally submit it.

So after reading your customer service email and noticing the TJ was on sale I decided to give it the old college try. Imagine my surprise when once again it MESSED UP my order and gave me the wonderful TJ at a 10% discount instead of the 25% discount advertised.

Then imagine my further surprise when I called customer service to cancel the order only to be told that I had to wait until tomorrow to cancel it. I have played this game with your CS department before and ALWAYS come out a loser! Really I do not exagerate. Tomorrow when I call to cancel they will say it has already shipped and nothing can be done about it. Then they'll say that I can't get the 25% off because the stars aren't aligned!

I think that from now on I will make due with P90 and Si6 because I seriously doubt that I will order a doggone thing from you all EVER again!

G-Mama aka grendels mama

Anonymous said...

Hey Carl,

Boy, you opened a can of worms with this one, didn't you??

Keep doing the best you can and tell all of those CS people to hang in there! Thank them from me for all of their hard work and committment to this company. I hope for them that it's more than a job, which it sounds like.

Happy Wednesday!

Carl Daikeler said...

Well, it is complex. We're actually mixing gripes in this section -- because the TJ discount problem addressed above is not a customer service problem, it sounds like an issue of either an expird discount offer that reverted to a MyBeachbody standard discount (it does n't always pay to wait), or the "machine" had a glitch.

As for needing to call back to cancel, I had a meeting about customer service today for a couple hours figuring out how to solve the problem of cancelling orders that are still working their way from the order processing engine down into the central databse (a process that happens not instantly, but in batches). It's not simple when you deal in the kind of volume we have these days.

But like I said, I really appreciate the feedback - as does the team. THIS is how we improve - by getting closer to the customer experience, rather than running from it.

We might not be perfect, but we will ALWAYS strive for it.

Anonymous said...


Okay, this sounds like another "the customer" was too dumb to place an order response to me.

I ordered it from your website that clearly states 25% off and was just advertised yesterday.

I do appreciate that you are trying to fix the problem and admit that yesterday's CS lady was way more accommodating that ole Tommy C. (previous guy) but really...

Maybe I just have bad BB ordering Karma


Anonymous said...

Dear Carl

I just wanted to update you on this issue...

I just met the nicest Beach Body customer service rep ever! Her name is Jeanie! She deserves a huge pat-on-the-back and one of those awards you were talking about. She was nice and friendly and kept her cool. She even made me laugh! She took care of everything and soon I will have TJ to workout with, too.

Now I can JAM with my Pioneer Buddies!


Anonymous said...

Way to go, Jeanie!! And way to go, Grendelsmama, for giving it another go!

Carl, BeachBody rocks!