Member Visit Reinforces Need to Stay Close to the Customer

Eric Lanke NFPA CEO


by Eric Lanke

One of the NFPA members I visited recently was Muncie Power Products in Muncie, Indiana. Ray Chambers, their President & CEO, has just been appointed to the NFPA Board, so it was a great opportunity to get to know him and his operation better.

Among the many impressive things I saw was Muncie’s call center. It’s staffed with 12 full-time people, and they receive several hundred calls a day. Their record, the manager told me with pride, was 427 customer calls handled in one day.

But handling that kind of volume takes more than just raw manpower. Every person working those phones has to have been trained first by working on Muncie’s products and applications. In other words, they’re not hiring customer service agents from the outside; they’re transferring engineers and technical personnel from within their organization to these critically important positions on the front lines with their customers.

Helping CustomerWhen a customer calls, I was told, and they get to talk to someone with real product knowledge, that builds a lot of trust. In some cases, true relationships are built, and when that customer calls again, they ask specifically for the person they spoke to the time before.

I thought it was a good object lesson in how important responding to the needs of the customer is in today’s business climate. Congrats to Ray and his team for building such an effective operation.

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