While XBIZ does do a feature on Women in Adult each month, there are some faces behind the scenes that may not be in the public eye. Nonetheless, they are definitely a driving force in this industry. A strong support system is the pillar for success. Structures can only be as strong as the foundations they are laid upon. This month I want to honor someone that is very important to our business.
Traci Lopez Berry of East Coast News has offered our account the best possible service for eight years and we greatly appreciate all of her hard work and effort. She is always the first to show up and the last to leave work, tradeshows and retreats. She continues to cater to accounts after hours as well.
Your service is the most valuable and resonating thing you have to offer, and it costs you nothing to do so.
This doesn’t just mean she throws down a credit card for drinks or dinner; she spends every waking minute nurturing her accounts. It is important to her to be readily available around the clock for her customers in different time zones, or with late hours of operation, and that is definitely an admirable and rare attribute. She is always there when you need her and is genuinely pleasant the entire time. She literally never complains about anything. She understands the importance of offering the highest quality of customer service and because of the loyalty she gives her customers, her customers reciprocate. In this business, you definitely have to know how to adapt to a variety of different personalities, which could be difficult for most, but not for Traci. She is always on point with her customers and other customers of ECN even if they are not one of her accounts. Her assistance is effortless and she exceeds all expectations of a representative.
Too often, customer service representatives plant seeds with new customers but forget to water them. Buyers in this industry can be shifty. One small sign of neglect could cost a lifetime of orders. I have witnessed this occur multiple times over my years in the business. I, myself, have done this. There are times when you have simple needs and a company gives you below-par service. This kills the vendor-buyer relationship. One spends money, the other spends time, and time is money. If a company doesn’t value the dollar I spend, there are other companies who would. In return, this applies to my customers. I’m not the only option a consumer has for purchases. We drive this message to our associates day-in and day-out. Every customer is important to our business and we treat them as such. Whether they spend a single dollar or thousands, they are the lifelines of our business. Without them, there is no us.
This does not imply that you need to offer the best “deals” or prices. Your service is the most valuable and resonating thing you have to offer, and it costs you nothing to do so. I am certainly no stranger to asking for help but I’m also the first one willing to participate in something upon a manufacturer’s request. Not only is it important for me to have personal growth, but also it is important to me to assist in any growth for my manufacturers.
This level of service starts at the top and trickles down. Brian Herbstman, Traci’s lead account representative, says, “I’ve always instilled in Tracy that we must put our best foot forward every day. I, myself, have dedicated my life to my work and lead by example and I hope in some way that has molded Tracy into the outstanding employee and friend that she is to me. She is an invaluable partner and has taught me a lot over the years as well.”
As the leader of my own team, it’s beneficial for me to have a key player. My manager, Annber Kealoha, is indispensable to our business. Sharing the same qualities that Traci has, she works with me to move our company forward, providing support and leadership to my entire team. When the team sees a leader pushing the expectations, they tend to follow. Surround yourself with people who have work ethics much like that of Traci and Annber, and drive your team to the top.
I am lucky to have the dynamic duo service my account. I hope that this kind of exemplary service is being offered to everyone throughout our industry. We are all connected so it’s important to treat each other with respect, much like family. I myself am empowered by all the women in this industry that inspire me to set higher goals and achieve them. To the hardworking women and men of this industry who never skip a beat, I thank you. To Traci, your passion never goes unnoticed, and I am proud to not only work with you, but to have a strong friendship with you as well.
With more than 10 years working with Deja Vu’s various branches, Megan Swartz — Deja Vu’s general manager and buyer — has made a name for herself as a dedicated and savvy, merchandising and operations-managing dynamo.