Jay Shaffer’s ‘One Thing’ is a Customer Service MUST!

Jay Shaffer, Chief Marketing Officer, California Delicious, chose a ‘One Thing’ that will probably set a light bulb off for many of you as retailers, especially online retailer, also can’t live without it.

What is it? Customer Service. And more specifically, customer service and call center reports.


These all-important metrics tell retailers how their customers are responding to them and how they can improve to increase sales. What could be more crucial?

In case you’ve forgotten what this ‘One Thing’ thing is all about, here’s a brief: our “One Thing I Can’t Live Without” series reveals one thing someone in your industry can’t work without. We’re talking about anything that your colleagues — retailers or multichannel retail solution providers — can’t do their jobs without. And we’re taking that beyond the obvious.

The goal is to bring you some tactical tips straight from the experts’ mouths. Hopefully one or two of them will help you out in unexpected ways. So without further adieu, I bring you Jay’s “One Thing I Can’t Live Without … ”

Jay Shaffer

1. As an online marketer and retailer, what’s something you can’t live without? And we don’t mean coffee. We mean anything from a technology tool to a partner to a cool trick you do on Excel to a coworker…

Customer Service/Call Center Reports. I see the actual transcript of every call and every order placed through the 800-number listed on our website

2. Can you explain what this is – if necessary?

The call center reports detail every comment and question that a potential customer has in regards to our products and our website as well as the detail of every order placed including the gift message!

3. Why can you NOT live without this?

These reports are a great opportunity for me to get into the “mind” of our shopper. Well beyond a value of a customer review where someone expresses his/her likes or dislikes about a specific product, the content in these calls provide insight into customer wants and wishes. From whether we ship to Canada, offer gluten-free products, provide discounts for large corporate orders, or can change the color of a ribbon or bow, I learn from each of these snippets of information.

Through these reports, I better understand emerging consumer trends and product interests, get insight into the customer’s decision making process and discover areas in our website that can be improved to provide the necessary information that a shopper needs to complete their online transaction rather than call our 800-number with a question.

Finally, these reports have spawned great ideas for new product such as healthy and organic gifts that include locally grown farmer’s market type items like almonds, honey and mustard.

4. How often do you use it and how long have you been using it?

The reports are issues daily and weekly and have been generated since we first launched the site a few years ago!

5. If lightning struck tomorrow and you suddenly didn’t have this one thing, what would you do to improvise?

I’d put a direct phone number on our site that rang on my desk!

6. How can other people get this too?

Engage your customer service department or call center! Find out what kind of reports they currently create and see if you can get on their distribution list. Ask to be included in any of their weekly departmental meetings so you can ask a few simple questions like, “What is the most common question you hear from our callers?” And if you don’t already have a customer service department, you can outsource a call center for comparatively little cost.

BONUS: And what’s the non-work related thing you can’t do your job without? This is where the coffee, or anything else comes in…

My local farmer’s market. That’s were I get great ideas for new products and ingredients for my gift baskets as well as see what new emerging products are catching people’s eyes!