For this month’s FIDELITONE Life feature, we chatted with Neil Terrell. Neil is a Warehouse Generalist for our last mile services in Richmond, VA. His role involves handling returns for clients. Returns management is an important process for all FIDELITONE clients and is one of the biggest challenges we see in ecommerce today. With the rapid growth of ecommerce also comes an increase in return volume. And returns can hurt profitability if handled incorrectly. They can also hurt customer loyalty, and A+ customer service is a top priority for us.
Team members like Neil play a key role in maintaining client efficiency and satisfaction. Read on for Neil’s insight on handling returns:
What does a typical day look like for you?
I handle the ecommerce clients and do returns. I get products from the previous day that were refused or damaged. Sometimes an item is returned because it wasn’t what the customer expected - it could have been too big or small for their home. I make sure items are put back in the proper place. Most of the returns are furniture - headboards, chairs, large tables.
Where do returns go? Does the retailer take them back?
After we box them, we have scheduled pick ups from clients. The clients send their returns trailer then we load the returns back onto their truck.
Some of the return processes are client specific. From a client’s perspective, how do you know at the end of the day if you’re doing a good job for their brand?
I go over the brand’s standards and I train my people to follow those standards so we can make the clients happy. For some clients, I have to take pictures of the damaged items. Returns are handled differently depending on the client.
It’s the same with our clients’ customers. The drivers understand the different processes including how items have to be wrapped.
Do return volumes vary by season?
I get a lot more returns during the winter. Right now, people are buying a lot of fitness equipment because they are trying to stay in shape. In November and December, we get a lot of generators from customers who are getting ready for the winter.
Returning big and bulky items such as furniture creates additional challenges, but this is something that FIDELITONE specializes in. Big and bulky returns will only continue to increase as people become more and more comfortable with buying high value items online. According to Furniture Today , online shopping during the recent 2018 holiday season saw gains of 19.1% compared to the previous year.
What do you enjoy most about working at FIDELITONE?
The atmosphere. It’s like a family. We’re not perfect but we joke and laugh just like any family. It’s by far the best atmosphere I’ve worked in. Everyone knows their job. If I need someone who’s not available, someone else is quick to step up. Everyone wants to help each other.
The Virginia warehouse where Neil works has received several OAR (Outstanding Achievement in Results) awards. These awards are provided to locations that exceed quarterly goals for service, safety and efficiency.
To get those awards says a lot since there are only 4 or 5 people working here. At the end of the day, we get the job done.
How did you get your start in supply chain?
It’s actually kind of crazy because I was worked in food for 25 years, then my job was shut down without notice. I called a friend and they referred me to FIDELITONE. I came in for an interview and immediately knew I would excel in this field. FIDELITONE gave me the opportunity to learn. Now, if anyone has a question about anything I’m able to lead them in the right direction.
I started at FIDELITONE a little over 2 years ago. I started in shipping - pulling orders and prepping for deliveries. What I do now is a lot different. It’s more hands on.
What about the future of your work excites you the most?
We’re about to get a new building because we need more room in the warehouse. We’re expanding.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of work?
I am an artist. I tattoo and I love to draw.
Share a unique fact about yourself!
People say I smile too much. FIDELITONE: No such thing!
What sets FIDELITONE apart from the competition?
The dedication. My general manager is on top of everything and she strives for perfection.
How do you work to create customer loyalty?
From the time an item is prepped to when it’s delivered, I make sure the service is great. It’s about our attitude when dealing with a customer.
What is something that you’re passionate about at work?
Organization. I like things organized a certain way to make things easier. Management allows me to make changes that improve organization.
Speak up if you have an idea about organization. Management can’t help unless you say something. There’s no such thing as a stupid idea.
The industry has a bright future. There’s always a way to make a better path. Like I said, I started in shipping so there’s always room to move up. You can take the knowledge you gain wherever you go next.
Passionate team members like Neil are the reason why FIDELITONE is a great place to work. We truly appreciate their hard work and dedication to providing outstanding client experiences.
Are you interested in joining the FIDELITONE team? Learn more about career opportunities.