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Meet the Team that Won the Stevie!

Recently a group from won big in Las Vegas – we picked up a bronze Stevie Award for Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year. It was our first entry and our first win, and we were thrilled.

Now I’d like to introduce you to the award-winning team of project coordinators whose work we spotlighted in our award nomination:

Carole O’Neil (left) 7 years with, Tiah Garner (middle) 3 years with, Denise Bryant (right) 2 years with 

Our project coordinators have been instrumental not just in helping us win our first Stevie Awards but also in the success of our company. No matter how skilled everyone else might be in your organization, everybody knows that your customer-service people can make or break the company.

We put a great deal of faith in the skills our project coordinators bring to their work every day. We give them the power to make decisions affecting their accounts, and our trust is well placed.

I sat down with our team to find out how they work together as a team and to give you a first-hand look at how they help our customers succeed. If you’re a customer right now, you’ve probably worked with at least one of them!

 Cross-training is the key to team success

“We do work together well. Our team has a combined 60 years of customer service,” Carole said.

Our three project coordinators are a real team. Each of them is cross-trained in each other’s primary accounts so they can step in if someone on the team needs help.

“We are all cross-trained on each other’s primary clients, so that if Denise is gone but Practice Promotions has orders coming in, I can jump on them,” Carole said. “Plus, Denise and Tiah can jump in for my clients, too.”

Denise agreed. “We are very involved in what we do,” she said. “We have to be because we all have kids. Something always comes up. If something happens Tuesday night, someone here can step in Wednesday morning. We really do work well together, helping each other.”

“This is the first place I’ve worked where I’ve been cross-trained,” Carole said. “I was the only customer-service person at my last two jobs, and I thought that was just how the job was supposed to be. I didn’t know we could share, and I had nobody to share with.”

Team members are the connective tissue in the organization

That’s how they describe their roles within the company because they work both with our customers– everything from entering orders, tracking and expediting work and smoothing out kinks in the process – and with the sales staff and logistics, creative and data teams, doing what it takes to get each project correct, out the door on time and heading in the right direction.

The job takes communication skills not reflected in an invoice or on an order slip.

“Communication is our biggest push,” Tiah said. “Sometimes we can’t avoid problems, such as if a machine goes down or if the customer doesn’t get art to us on time. But if we let our customers know what’s happening and what we’re doing to fix things, they’re way more understanding than if we didn’t say anything.”

“We’re in constant communication with our clients and with sales reps,” Denise said. “The sales reps know to come to us first.”

Collaboration makes it all work

Every day is different for our project coordinators. “It all depends on the day and the time of the month and how close we are to our mailing deadlines to see how busy we are,” Tiah said. “I might have an easy day one day, and the next brings 10 emails asking for changes or rush orders.”

“When we get close to the end of the month, I’m doing more billing than getting orders in,” Carole said. “Some days, it’s ‘Sit down, put your feet in the stirrups, and run with it.'”

One thing you’ll notice right away when Carole, Tiah and Denise get together is how well they get along, thanks to both a good combination of personalities and thorough cross-training and collaboration.

“It’s really nice to know someone has your back,” Carole said. “It also gives our clients a good comfort zone, knowing that there’s somebody else on the team who can push a project through if needed.” 

“I like being able to discuss a situation that might arise,” Denise said. “The three of us together can come up with the best answer. We’re all sitting in on the problem and giving feedback.”

They also appreciate being empowered to solve problems on their own without having to get approvals from other departments.

“That’s what makes it work,” Tiah said. “It’s why our customers trust us to make sure their jobs go as ordered. We can point out wrong fonts or other situations and get them corrected without losing time or going through endless reviews.”

The parting details

Want to know a little bit more about our three project coordinators? We asked each one to give us one fun fact about herself that you’d never be able to guess. Here’s what they shared:

Carole: “I raised a litter of pigs, kept one as a pet and named him Wilbur.”

Tiah: “I’m a vegetarian.”

Denise: “I am a true music lover, along with wine and cooking. The three are my passions.”

Whether you’re a new or longtime customer of (and thank you!), or someone who’s still checking us out, we hope you enjoyed learning more about our team of project coordinator superheroes.

They might not wear capes, but they’re truly Wonder Women!

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