Dawn Stevenson, director of customer service at Stamps.com in Los Angeles, California, will Chair the Committee for Final Judging Committee of the customer service awards categories and the support awards categories in The 2013 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the USA. (April 24 is the final entry deadline for this year’s competition. If you haven’t already done so, you can request an entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.)
We asked Dawn about the role of postal services in business, and got an enthusiastic response.
As senior director of customer service at Stamps.com, what thoughts do you have on the future of postal services for businesses, and how will your department be able to help?
Great question! The future of postage services for businesses is incredibly bright. At Stamps.com we offer an easy-to-use solution for small business, enterprise, and high-volume shippers that allows our customers to:
- Control and manage their postage needs right from their office with their PC and printer;
- Save time and money by avoiding trips to the post office;
- Avoid paying those overpriced and expensive meter fees; and
- Receive discounts on mail classes that they can’t receive at the post office.
Our Customer Care teams are here to help customers optimize their savings and efficiencies by educating them on how to use all of the time- and money-saving features in our award-winning software; and we have a highly trained professional team of mailing and shipping consultants who are focused on helping our customers win in the postage arena.
It’s an exciting time to be in this industry and to be able to support America’s small businesses. We’re proud to play a part in making it easier, better, and more affordable for our customers to mail and ship their products all around the globe; and we’re grateful to have an amazing partner in the USPS, the best solution for mailing and shipping needs.
What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
The USPS announcement in February that it was going to cease Saturday first-class mail delivery in August was big news in our industry. The USPS said it would continue to deliver packages, mail-order medicine, and express mail on Saturday, but not letters, bills, cards, and catalogs. This would allow for significant savings for the USPS and it sounded like they would be able to do it without layoffs. Generally speaking, Saturday delivery of first-class mail doesn’t seem to be a critical service component to our customers so, from what I could see, it seemed like a smart move. But it was recently announced that Saturday first-class mail delivery would continue until "legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule.”
What is your favorite business app?
I have two. I use LinkedIn to connect with other professionals in my industry, ask questions, get insights, read interesting articles, and source folks to hire for my team. Plus I love the opportunity to endorse my colleagues’ skills and talents. It’s a great business tool.
We began using Yammer, a social networking tool for enterprises, in October 2012. It’s basically Facebook for your company, and I’ve just been blown away by the positive impact it’s had on our organization. Folks are collaborating, communicating, sharing information, building community, and connecting. It’s truly been an amazing experiment and we’re just beginning. It’s a business tool that has effectively changed our culture. I can’t wait to see what unfolds in the next 6 months as we drive more focus, training, and initiatives around usage. I highly recommend it.
If you were to meet young people starting out in customer service, what career advice would you give them?
First, join SOCAP, the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals. It’s a global community of professionals/experts who work together to educate and collaborate, connecting it’s members with the essential professional tools and networking opportunities to make you and your organization more successful. I’ve served as a volunteer on the Southwest Regional Chapter board for the past 3 years and it’s been an amazing experience. I’ve met so many incredible colleagues, stretched my comfort zone by speaking at several events, learned invaluable information, and been inspired by key note speakers at both the national and chapter levels. I’ve had many ideas sparked through the networking connections and information sharing amongst peers. It has been an invaluable resource.
Second, this is an AMAZING career that can open up so many opportunities for folks who demonstrate their value by showing up every day engaged, ready, and on top of their game. (Our front-line team is THE talent pool at Stamps.com, and we take pride in the number of team members we’ve promoted to other teams within the organization.) So do all that you can to grow: Dress for the part and act like you already have it, and people will be knocking down your door to promote you; and find someone who is willing to mentor your professional development.
Finally, don’t ask for permission: just go for it! I started my career as a front-line team member, answering phones. On my own time I created the first training manual for the customer care department. Soon I found myself promoted to Corporate Trainer—and the rest is history!
As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
Another great question! It’s for sure my team that keeps me inspired. I truly am blessed with THE best team. I’ve worked hard to build this great team, and they are the ones who make it work, make it rock, motivate me—and keep me on my toes 24/7. I love learning new things about our industry and finding creative ways to make this rewarding and challenging career even better. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE to push folks beyond their boundaries and inspire them to do great things. I am always looking for ways to improve our culture and make our company the best company to work for. It’s my family: I love being here, and my aspiration is that everyone working here feels that way too.
About Dawn Stevenson:
Dawn is a visionary leader with over 18 years of highly successful leadership in retention, Tech support, customer service, inside sales, training, quality assurance, and collections/fraud prevention. She is committed to manifesting a strong profit while creating an engaged and results-oriented team. Dawn is a creative and resourceful professional with a proven record of success in assuming increasing levels of responsibility and in improving employee morale, productivity, and profits. She has worked in various industries including service contract, online media, and postage. She is passionate about creating an exceptional customer experience through creating an exceptional team member experience.
Dawn serves as VP of Membership on the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Southwest Regional Board. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Illinois University and recently completed a 3-year master's degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.
Stamps.com (Nasdaq: STMP) is a leading provider of Internet–based postage services. Stamps.com enables small businesses, enterprises, and consumers to print U.S. Postal Service–approved postage with just a PC, printer, and Internet connection, right from their home or office. The Company targets its services to small businesses and home offices, and currently has PC Postage partnerships with Avery Dennison, Microsoft, HP, Office Depot, the U.S. Postal Service and others.