Continuous customer care Featured

8:00pm EDT May 26, 2009

State Industrial Products launched a new branding program in 2007 with the commitment to “Care for Work Environments.” But that’s just a result of caring for its first priority: the customer.

At the company, which manufactures and distributes cleaning and maintenance solutions, account managers are trained to serve as a single point-of-contact for customers. New hires start under the individual guidance of a sales manager then cross-train so they can answer most questions — and even perform maintenance on-site.

The company recently purchased a handheld program for account managers that provides immediate customer information and order tracking. The system, which was implemented in 2008, was the largest technology investment in the company’s history.

President and CEO Harold Uhrman empowers other employees, as well. Customer service associates go through two weeks of training — shadowing another agent and passing progress tests — before they interact with customers. Then they’re equipped to resolve problems quickly without supervisor intervention.

At least 95 percent of orders ship within 24 hours, but the opportunity to serve extends far beyond shipping. The bulk of customer service happens through the Circle of Service after the initial sale is made. Employees install systems and train customers on their use. Account managers continue visiting customers on a regular basis to check their progress and help with troubleshooting and additional training.

Even State Industrial’s products reflect their commitment to serve customers. In 2007, the company introduced a line of certified green cleaning products. Because environmentalism is important to — and, in some cases, even a requirement of — customers, State Industrial adopted the initiative.

How to reach: State Industrial Products, (216) 861-7114 or