Hello there, eLuxurySupply Fans and Customers. My name is Brett Houchin and I am the Customer Service Manager for eLuxurySupply. For this company, growth has been rapid and somewhat unprecedented but we do still have the good ol' days to look back to. So, every now and again, we are going to do just that here on the eLuxurySupply Blog. To start out our little Flashback blog, I thought I would explain a bit about my first few weeks at this company....and the first day I walked, "into the buzzsaw", as our fearless leader affectionately refers to it.
On the day I began working at eLuxurySupply, myself and Andrew, our now Operations Manager, walked into a warehouse full of nothing but sheets, towels and robes to learn how we do things. This was in October of 2013, and Andy F. was the first and (at that time) ONLY Warehouse employee that we had picking product, packing boxes and shipping orders to customers. We settled in for our first two weeks of working in the warehouse and learning how that side of the business works, which is a tradition that we have kept to this day with all new employees, no matter what position they are hired for. At this time, Andy was one of five current employees for the company, not including our company founder and president, Paul S. In the office was our IT and Marketplace Specialist Nathan H., our Website Manager Josh W. and our now E-commerce Manager, Kyle. We didn't have, what you might call, "desks", per se. It was a series of plastic folding tables along the walls and a large dinner table that Kyle and I sat across from each other at. About a month later, we finally purchased some actual desks, which was a big step for us. So much so, that we videotaped their assembly.
Our Customer Service "Call Center" consisted of two wireless phones and a leather-bound notebook for returns, lost packages, tracking numbers and order changes. When a customer service issue came up, we would just walk 5 feet behind us and "contact" Andy in the warehouse (in this sense, the word "contact" meant look to our immediate right and yell "Andy!").
[caption id="attachment_495" align="aligncenter" width="429"] Our First "Return Log"[/caption]
Knowing how the warehouse and shipping worked came in very handy for anyone working any Customer Service portion of the business and, until quite recently, the Customer Service Associate that you spoke with most likely packed your box up themselves if you had a color change or a size change before shipping. Often times if a customer would decide to change their size or color once the FedEx truck had already been loaded, we would practically unload it to find the box to make the change and then Danny, our FedEx representative who picked up from us every day, would wait a few extra minutes for us to box up the package and get it back on the truck. (This still happens on a regular basis now, but the truck is a lot bigger and the number of packages is about 10 times what it was back then)
Josh, Nathan and Kyle were always on call as designated Customer Service or Warehouse Associates whenever the work load would overcome our 1-2 person Customer Service and Warehouse teams. At any given time, anyone in the office could do nearly any other job to some extent because, with a team that size, when someone gets the flu or has a kid sick at home, business keeps on trucking and someone has to fill the void. As of March 2015, we now have over 30 employees working in our Evansville location versus the 6 that were here on Oct 1, 2013 when Andrew and I started picking sheets off of the shelves and getting them into boxes for our customers. And, even though the number of boxes going out every day has increased by the hundreds, each one still gets a hand-signed note included.
Our business continues to grow by leaps and bounds on a weekly basis, but we do still try to always keep those days of no desks and 6 employees in mind. We strive to keep a personal touch with our customers whether there are 6 of us, or 600 of us, and that is one thing that we will not change.
Until next time,
-Brett H., eLuxury Supply Customer Service