Jerome’s Expands Customer Experience Team
San Diego – (October 18, 2011)
Leatha Molina brings 25 years with San Diego-based Jerome’s to her new role, a new position created to ensure customer satisfaction by overseeing the entire customer experience from sales to delivery. Hilliard will use her four years in Jerome’s customer service to be more engaged with customers’ needs through various social media channels.
“A traditional customer service department is reactive, but in today’s connected and fast-paced world it requires more,” said Lee Goodman , president and CEO of Jerome’s. “We are pushing deeper into our connections with customers to make sure we’re meeting their needs, and that they feel compelled to share their positive experience with others.”
Molina took the helm as director of consumer relations last year, managing the company’s relationship with customers and other company departments, looking for ways to improve communications, particularly with the use of new technologies and online platforms, to complement her decades of experience in traditional customer relations. Under Molina’s direction, Jerome’s expanded its marketing communications through social media platforms with dedicated customer service staff who monitors and handles questions and concerns.
Molina currently spearheads communication improvement plans with three departments including delivery, customer pick-up and the call center. In the last year, Jerome’s implemented a program to address interpersonal communication skills for delivery drivers. As part of this training, Molina meets with the drivers weekly to role play different situations that may occur during the course of their day. The company also implemented a structure where a personal phone call is made to the customer at the time of delivery to ensure complete satisfaction with the ordered product and service experience. During the call, customers are able to share feedback and are advised that the delivery driver is not allowed to leave the home unless there is 100 percent satisfaction. If an issue or concern arises, the company is then able to handle it immediately. This year, she plans to enhance that service measure with a new position to survey deliveries. The added measure will allow the company to track customers’ experiences with its employees and garner product feedback.
“The key to my new role is ensuring that the family roots and personal customer experience that Jerome’s was founded on is the standard that is upheld as we continue to grow and customers’ preferences evolve,” said Molina. “We receive a lot of positive feedback from our customers, and we’re working hard to keep enhancing their experiences with Jerome’s, such as the new Web site we’re getting ready to launch that will incorporate new customer interfacing tools.”
Molina cited a new program that brings the corporate office closer to the retail showroom experience.
“We just recently implemented a program where we staff our call center clerks at the outlying retail offices to assist any customer that may come into the store with a service issue,” she said. “This way the customer receives immediate resolution instead of having to wait and phone the call center.”
In addition, she implemented new training videos created for every type of situation an employee may encounter with tools and procedures to handle interactions with a positive outcome. In this case, again, she provides the strategies needed for employees to handle any situation that may arise with both traditional and new communications in mind.
Molina’s team, now including Hilliard, has seen a consistent uptick in positive customer feedback and internal survey responses. In 2010, the company saw an increase in customers who said they would return to Jerome’s for future purchases by four percent–from 96 percent to 99 percent. The company conducts regular surveys to nearly 10,000 customers each year.
As social media manager, Hilliard will be managing all online customer interactions through social media platforms such as Yelp, Facebook and Twitter.
“Customers have been counting on a quality experience with Jerome’s for 57 years and my job is to bring a consistent level of support to our online communications,” Hilliard said. “Our team is both proactive and responsive in the same way a customer would expect their experience to be when visiting a local showroom.”