How Invacare Corp. emphasizes the importance of great effort

Gerry Blouch

Gerry Blouch, president, Invacare Corp.

Customer service has always been a priority at Invacare Corp. But the lack of a defined career path for the company’s customer service representatives was resulting in the loss of good employees.

Some decided to pursue other positions in the company while others left Invacare altogether. It was a problem that Gerry Blouch, the company’s president, knew needed to be addressed.

So in 2009, he began to look at how new and existing associates were being trained, tested and promoted in the customer service department. They looked at job descriptions and reviewed the training curriculum and set clear definitions for advancement at the company.

These steps created a more defined career path that helped give people a better sense of what they needed to do in order to grow. It also helped enhance a culture that drives home the message to every employee that customer service must be a priority.

Whether it’s the weekly team huddles to discuss timely informational updates or fun activities that build camaraderie between employees, Blouch, who added CEO to his title in January, asks Invacare personnel to constantly work hard in search of a better way to do their jobs and help the company’s customers.

That connection between employee and product is perhaps best exemplified by Invacare’s “A Day in a Chair” program. Customer service reps get firsthand experience as to what it’s like to be dependent on a wheelchair and the challenges that presents. The experience helps the products to be more than just something that Invacare makes, but something that customers depend on.

By emphasizing a level of compassion and the important role that employees can play in helping customers and showing how much the company values what employees do to that end, Invacare continues to raise the bar on customer service excellence.

How to reach: Invacare Corp., (440) 329-6000 or www.invacare.com

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