Customer Service Awards Blog

3 Tips on How to Be Successful in Customer Service: Q&A with Art Gairo

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Apr 04, 2011 @ 10:38 AM

  

With the final entry deadline for The 2011 American Business Awards coming up on April 27, we asked Art Gairo, Senior Vice President for Broadview Networks, for his top tips about what makes for great customer service.  Art will chair and form the final judging committee for the customer service awards categories of the 2011 ABAs.

Art GairoWhat are your top 3 tips on how to be successful in customer service?

  1. Listen to your customers’ feedback and use their suggestions to improve—the customer does indeed know what’s best!
  2. A company is only as good as its employees, so it’s important to imbue your employees with a sense of purpose and make sure that they both understand and believe in their mission. Having talented and engaged employees can make all the difference in providing excellent customer service. 
  3. Never be satisfied in the pursuit of customer service objectives—go over and above what’s required. Whether it’s call-center service levels, mean time to repair, or overall customer satisfaction, always press to be better, faster, and stronger than your competitor, and strive to get it right for the customer as much as possible.  

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
I keep seeing TV commercials where people turn to “the cloud” to accomplish something, whether it be for some type of collaborative work, or for family picture albums, etc. This is the new mantra for accessing software and applications remotely, and it just so happens it aligns very nicely with the new line of Cloud Computing products and services that Broadview is rolling out to small- and medium-sized businesses. So all things “cloud” have been resonating with me lately.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a doctor, particularly a neurologist. I’ve always been fascinated by the field of medicine.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates? Trust and respect are a given, but I would add that I also value people who are positive thinkers and who bring innovative ideas to the table. These are the people who help me to step outside the everyday comfort zone and to grow as a teammate and colleague.

What do you think is the worst bad habit to have at work? Procrastination ranks right up there as one of the least desirable habits to have—especially at work. Every day I come into the office and look directly at a sign on my desk that says: “Be Proactive!”

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I think it’s important to like what you are doing, and to be challenged by your job every day. If you don’t love what you do, it’s going to be difficult to be really successful at it!  I begin every morning with a game plan for the day.  As I move through the day, I check off my completed tasks, while also adding short- and long-term tasks to the list.  This gives me a real sense of accomplishment about what I do.

About Art Gairo
Art Gairo is the senior vice president of Operations for Broadview Networks, with responsibility for all Service, Repair, and Care Centers; the Enterprise Customer Support Division; Field Operations; and the Agent and Wholesale Support Divisions.  Gairo has more than 18 years of leadership experience in operations management in the telecommunications industry. He joined Broadview Networks as a vice president of Customer Operations (previously ATX Communications) in May 2004.  Prior to that, Gairo served as vice president of Customer Operations for Allegiance Teleco, now part of XO Communications.  Before that, Gairo worked as Team Leader of Field Engineering for MCI Communications.

About Broadview Networks
Broadview Networks is a network-based business-communications provider serving customers nationwide. It provides the total solution for business communications, including all distance-voice communications, premises-based and patented hosted VoIP systems and data services encompassing VPN- and MPLS-enabled applications, traditional telephone hardware, high-speed Internet services, a full suite of managed services, and a range of professional services. Broadview also provides an innovative portfolio of bundled, hosted IP phone and cloud computing services designed to meet the unique application requirements of diverse workforce groups. Its customers benefit from award-winning customer service, including a web-based account-management tool and a primary point-of-contact for real-time, personal customer care.

Broadview is a control investment of MCG Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: MCGC). Its largest investors are MCG Capital, Baker Capital and New Enterprise Associates.

Tags: business awards, customer service awards, good customer service, excellent customer service