PAR prides ourselves on providing the very best Customer service in the test publishing industry. Here’s a peek into how our Customer Support team has adjusted our services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lauren Williams, Customer Support Specialist II: Customer Support has made some really great efforts in alleviating stress from our Customers in any way that we can. Aside from continuing regular services, we’ve also started to offer digital manuals for every printed manual purchased in the past. It’s also been really great having the opportunity to assist Customers with remote testing and teaching them about all the great aspects of PARiConnect.
Julia Klein, Customer Support Specialist II: I think most of us have become more in tune with our Customers, understanding their tone of voice, recognizing the stress or anxiety they may feel and altering how we speak or how fast we talk though something. Matching pace has probably been the most beneficial during the current climate to working with our Customers.
Kim Doscher, Customer Support Specialist: The current situation has created an immediate switch to telehealth that has brought along a whole new technological world for many of our Customers. These are unprecedented times that generate many questions and concerns. Our focus is on talking to our Customers and listening to their needs so that they can continue serving their clients. Whether it be learning how to use our online platform PARiConnect, navigating remote administration, or figuring out how to access our materials digitally, we are here to help!
Tamara Dwoskin, Customer Relationship Manager: Our Customer Support department has really adapted to what’s going on, staying on the pulse of what our Customers are asking for. We’re intent on developing creative solutions for what they need. A lot of folks were caught very unexpectedly with this pandemic, like we all were, and they are in pickles with what they are trying to accomplish, whether it’s training students as part of a university class, or maybe they had assessments scheduled and now they have to switch to teletherapy to get those things done. It’s on us to talk them through it. We want to be with them every step of the way if we can and develop those creative solutions that will really carry them through and help them accomplish their goals. We are up for that challenge. We already had the infrastructure to offer the support that’s needed during this time frame and we’re adding more as time goes on. We are constantly looking to how we can evolve to better meet the needs of our Customers. We’re here. We’re here for you. We’re here to listen. So call us and give us a chance to assist you at some point!
PAR prides itself on providing the best Customer Service in the industry. But this commitment was taken to a new level recently, when 56 boxes of PAR assessment products got delivered to the wrong address, meaning an afternoon of seriously heavy lifting for two PAR distribution center employees.
When Nate Cooper and Cliff Gardner realized that it would take several days of work to retag, rebill, and redeliver 1,600 pounds worth of product that ended up in the wrong location in downtown Tampa, they took matters into their own hands. Knowing our Customer was waiting on the materials, Nate and Cliff decided to jump into Cliff’s truck and drive to the location, load up the boxes, drive back across town, and hand deliver the order to the right place, even though it took more than 10 trips in an elevator.
When we say we provide the best Customer Service in the industry, we mean it!
Cathy Smith: No, it’s a way of life here at PAR. The difference between PAR and other companies is our service. PAR employees live and breathe Customer Service.
Bob Smith: I was determined that regular communication with our Customers and outstanding Customer Service would be two qualities that would distinguish PAR from competitors. Excellent Customer Service has long been a core value of the company, from answering the phones with a live person to fulfilling orders on the day of receipt, responding to Customer e-mail inquiries within 24 hours, and providing error-free shipments.
Years ago, a Customer named David Nichols wrote me a letter when a product he’d purchased was delayed in shipping. He said that “... it was not right to promote your products, take Customers’ money, and then not deliver the product... delaying product delivery is not right.” I’ve never forgotten that. And, since David wrote that letter, he and I became good friends and we remain so today.
Cathy Smith: Every year we ship tens of thousands of packages with an amazingly small number of shipping errors. Our distribution staff prides itself on making sure that our Customers receive exactly what they ordered as quickly as possible. We get thank you notes from our Customers all the time, telling us how much they appreciate our Customer Service and outstanding delivery and shipping.
Bob Smith: Yes! We measure Customer satisfaction in many ways. We send comment cards in every order, which all management staff read when they are filled out and returned by the Customer. We also do Customer surveys and talk to our Customers. We also offer an excellent return policy. If a Customer is not satisfied with a purchase, we will accept the return of any item—no questions asked.
Bob Smith: The merger has helped us differentiate ourselves from our competition, and enabled us to be responsive to Customer needs by continuing to deliver outstanding Customer Service and innovative new products to our Customers.
Bob Smith: We will continue to innovate, grow, and evolve, and we will continue to take care of our Customers. Our company is not for sale, and PAR will remain family owned.
Cathy Smith: Twenty years ago, Bob and I decided that it was our corporate responsibility to give back to the community in which we lived. Over the years, that commitment has grown, and last year we donated to more than 80 organizations in the Tampa Bay area, including the Humane Society, Meals on Wheels, United Way, and a scholarship program at the University of South Florida, to name just a few. We also encourage our staff to participate in community activities and to support local charities.
Bob Smith: We shortened our name from Psychological Assessment Resources to PAR, because that’s what our Customers called us. We changed our slogan to “Creating Connections. Changing Lives.” It sums up not only what we do every day, but it captures what we aspire to do as well.