#TBT: Millwood's Problem Solvers

Samantha Coie was met by unseasonably warm temperatures days before the close of another month.

She walked into the office with a smile and her head held high. The warm weather was the extra shot of espresso she needed to help her regional sales manager (RSM) meet their monthly sales goal.

But soon after preparing her first few orders of the day, she was met with a series of crucial dilemmas that needed to be quickly resolved.

“Every day is different. You never know what problems you have to solve. That’s what I love most about the job,” Coie, a customer service representative (CSR) for Millwood’s Midwest sales region, said.

Before lunch, that day, Coie was on the phone with a customer who should have received three trucks of pallets but only received one. Coie professionally resolved the issue. In a matter of 30 minutes, following lunch, a driver called wondering when he would be able to get his trailer out of the customer’s truck yard.

“Time is money for these drivers,” Coie said. “We recognize that here at Millwood.”

So she called the customer and was able to quickly resolve that issue. Coie doesn’t let those daily glitches damper her mood. At the end of the day, she still has a job to do – meet a sales goal. While each CSR at Millwood has their own way to get there, Coie said she’s found that it’s about persistency.

“One of the things I do each month is print my RSM’s buying pattern report,” Coie said. “At the end of each month, I’ll go through it and send follow up emails to our customers to see if they need anything.”

She received a handful of orders from those emails by 1:30 p.m. that day. She said it’s an easy way to get those last few orders at the end of each month and gives her more time to play the role of problem solver.

Coie is one of 15 CSRs who work each day – behind the scenes – with our regional and national sales teams and are responsible for a myriad of things from scheduling orders to customer relations to collecting money for past due invoices.

“I’d like to think we have one of – if not – the best customer service teams in the country within the pallet industry,” Coie said.

An important trait in a successful CSR is to have that unique ability to work under stress and often outrageous deadlines without losing their cool. The industry changes, customers change – even internal hiring causes changes and potential confusion. What sets the best CSR apart is one who isn’t fazed by those changes and instead takes their opportunity for growth in stride.

While both Millwood and the industry continue to change, our CSRs are prepared to grow right with it.