My little CRV next to a huge Semi at a loading doc.
A few weeks ago I made the biggest business mistake I’ve ever made. I’ve actually been told there are no mistakes in business, only lessons that make you smarter and better. If that’s the case, then go ahead and start calling me Einstein!
You see, for the past three and half years, I’ve been forwarding my S’more calls to my cell phone. My business is not a typical “office job”. I’m usually running around sourcing materials and ingredients, hunting down new packaging, shopping at extra large stores like Restaurant Depot, going to large storage facilities and warehouses, packaging orders, and taking care of deliveries. In the evening my tiny army and I take care of all of the baking. I’m just living the dream
In addition to having my own business, I’m the mom of two of the cutest little girls you’ll ever see. They are both with me during the day. I wouldn’t have it any other way! When Maddie was a baby I was working a corporate job and she went to a sitter during the day. This time around Emma has been with me all day every day. I’ve been able to experience all her “firsts”: first word “Dada”, first wave, first time to crawl, kiss, etc. It all sounds so magical and lovely, right? The reality is, although I wouldn’t change a thing, it can be extremely hectic and overwhelming. Running a business is all consuming; when you toss one or two kids in the mix, it can become out of control! Kids, especially babies are noisy; especially when they’re expressing their happiness or displeasure … they are just loud little people.
Kiddo's hanging out at the loading doc
Maddie carrying Emma around the house
I’ve been taking my calls with my kids in the background since day one. About a month ago I took an early morning call, which I typically don’t do because I know better. I answered the phone and went to a more quiet room. As I was taking the order, I could hear little voices getting closer and closer. I was wrapping up details of the order, address, credit card, yes, yes, ok thank you. Little did I realize, Maddie was carrying Emma and they were standing right behind me. I quickly turned and accidently knocked Emma in the head with my elbow! Emma now screaming and Maddie saying, “Here mama, Emma needs you”. I frantically explained the unprofessional noises in the background and quickly got off the phone.
At that point I decided, that was it! That was my last unprofessional S’more call with kids screaming in the background. So I did a bit of research and hired a call center. The call center was going to be able to take S’more calls 24/7, answer questions, and process orders!! I felt like the gates of heaven had opened; I was free, no longer having to quiet the uncontrollable forces, known as my kids. A week of my new found freedom passed, and then I decided I needed to hear how the calls were going. Of course I still wanted my callers to get the best possible customer service; I mean how hard can it be to answer the phone?
Shopping with Emma
I had four of the recorded calls emailed to me. As I listened to each one it was like a dagger going deep into my heart. They were painful to listen to. The person answering had no idea how to answer simple questions like, “where are you located?”, “what are your hours”? My callers would hang up annoyed and frustrated by the lack of knowledge and poor customer service they were receiving! My heart sank…what had I done?! I immediately switched my phones back to my cell phone and cancelled my contract. I didn’t even want to give it a second chance. The call center was so bad that I received a one star review on yelp! For three and a half years no one had ever complained on yelp about kids being loud in the background, but within one week of using a call center I got a one star yelp review, ouch! I reached out to the person who wrote the review and am hoping to get a second chance to make that first impression.
My Little Darlings
Now I’m back to answering my phones with my little darlings in the background. I actually love speaking with my customers and answering questions; obviously no one knows my business better than me. Outstanding customer service has always been something I take a lot of pride in being able to offer. So if you happen to call, you’ll get to speak with me, Carmen, the owner. You’ll get AWESOME customer service and you’ll probably get to say “hello” to my kids!