I know … you’re probably asking yourself why I’m covering the customer service team again. To be honest, I asked myself the same question when I received the assignment. But I’m glad I swallowed my skepticism and carried on, because this turned out to be one of the most exciting teams I’ve covered for Inside USANA.
Oh, and did I mention I got to go on a field trip?
That’s right — many Associates know USANA’s Home Office is located in West Valley City, Utah, but very few know about our second location in Utah, and I was on a mission to check it out. After driving 30 minutes west of the Home Office, I finally reached my destination: the USANA Customer Service Center, located in Tooele.
Like Peas In a Pod
The Tooele team consists of 39 employees total, and their work pattern is very similar to that of the Home Office call center. I’d always wondered why our call center employees have their cubicles arranged into small groups throughout their floor, and after speaking with the Tooele employees, I discovered that each one of these groups was referred to as a “pod.” And they were definitely arranged that way for a reason.
There are a few characteristics needed to fulfill the true meaning of a pod. First, each pod must have a “pod leader,” who mentors, assists, and instructs all employees on their team. Second, every pod consists of at least one employee from each of the three departments within the call center. Here’s a breakdown of those departments and what their responsibilities entail:
- DSR — Distributor Service Representatives are the customer service professionals speaking with Associates and Preferred Customers on a daily basis. They’re processing orders, signing up new Associates, and helping Associates with any questions or concerns they might have.
- Data Processing — These employees may not be on the phone with Associates, but they’re still doing a lot of the same work as DSRs — the only difference being that their orders are mostly in paper form (faxes, printed emails, letters). These papers are grouped into “batches,” which the employees process one at a time throughout the day.
- Training—This is a huge aspect of USANA customer service. Without the proper training, we wouldn’t have such efficient call centers. Trainers are designated over each pod, and they receive input from pod leaders on what issues need to be addressed each week. It’s a great way to monitor and guide the performance of newer “pod members.”
Let’s not forget the third characteristic to every pod: the people. Every pod works effectively because they’re filled with employees who care about their work and the quality of their service. Why else would our Associates consistently praise the work of these customer service professionals?
In case you didn’t hear, USANA was just listed for the fourth consecutive year on Outside magazine’s list of Best Places to Work. And this isn’t just a Home Office thing. Actually, because of their unique location, the Tooele office employees get a lot of cool perks not available at the Home Office.
- Location — The call center is actually located within the Miller Motorsports Park, a state-of-the-art, road-racing facility for automobiles, motorcycles, and karts. It’s a pretty sweet place that attracts visitors from all over Utah and the surrounding states. USANA employees often enjoy watching the excitement of race days from the wrap-around balcony outside of the building. The park also offers a variety of family friendly activities, like the 150-foot zip line that can reach speeds up to 40 mph. Sounds like a fun lunch break, right?
- Down time — Just like any other job, these employees can get stressed out. Fortunately, the call center has a couple of ways for employees to make the most out of their breaks. Just like the Home Office, USANA has a fitness center in Tooele where employees can work up a sweat and stay healthy, even with a busy work schedule. And if someone’s looking for a more restful break, they can always visit the “quiet room,” which is equipped with a comfy couch and recliners. Yes, we believe in power naps when necessary!
- Giving Back — The Tooele call center is filled with employees who not only care about their customers, but their community as well. Employees often work with the local Children’s Justice Center to help raise funds for children affected by various forms of abuse. In fact, the call center recently held a 5K race with all proceeds benefiting the justice center. On top of this, they also give back by organizing food drives, supporting the local high school, and seeking out community members in need.
As I drove back to West Valley, I realized how much I enjoyed my time at the Tooele office. There was a sense of camaraderie between those 39 employees, and I could understand why there was such a focus on teamwork. It’s what has kept them bonded together and working so efficiently.
“I love my team out here in Tooele. We work hard to portray the same work ethic that’s seen at the Home Office. And sometimes I think our tight bond makes it even easier for us to provide quality service to Associates.”
—Geri Cleveland, Director of Tooele Operations
Inside USANA is a monthly series in which we check in with various departments to help you get to know them a little better.