Celebrating a History of Personal Service
Cord Himelstein, Head of Marketing for Michael C. Fina Recognition, has helped the company become a leading provider of employee recognition and incentive programs. Since 2007, he has been responsible for leading the company’s strategic marketing initiatives and communications efforts. Cord works closely with customers to help them develop measurable workforce recognition strategies.
Michael C. Fina started out in 1935 as a silver wholesaler. In the 1950s we expanded into the retail market. By the 1960s, we began fulfilling corporate gifts to local businesses, and from that we built an entirely new organization dedicated to selling employee reward programs to other businesses. Today Michael C. Fina Recognition is a multinational company fulfilling recognition needs for hundreds of major corporations and millions of employees across the globe.
Personal service has always been a huge part of our identity. We built an entire reputation in Manhattan around providing stellar service tailored to the needs of each customer. It’s why people showed up, and it’s what has afforded us the opportunity to grow to our current level.
Over the decades we’ve seen our role to clients evolve from commodity supplier to full-on strategic partner. We were there to see analog service award programs expand into fully integrated all-in-one digital reward platforms, and watched as employee recognition grew from a side initiative into a key driver of employee engagement, productivity and business performance.
But even as times change we still must keep our promise of maintaining meaningful connections with our customers. It is, after all, our signature differentiator. As a recognition company, we’re in the unique position of representing our customers’ brands. When one of their employees calls us they have to feel as if they’re talking directly to their company. We are extensions of our clients’ brands. If we’ve done our job well, you’ll never even know we were there.
However, getting customer service teams committed to representing so many brands while providing top-notch service takes a strong engagement push from management. Here are some of the things we do to keep our customer service ahead of the curve:
Provide constant education
—Every call center employee regularly gets a chance to personally sample the gift items we use and review each customer’s standards and values to help create an authentic and knowledgeable experience.
Keep technology current
—Translation services, call management systems, and integrated communication services allow us the flexibility to scale up rapidly with little impact to team size and work smarter, not harder.
Recognize, recognize, recognize
—We always celebrate achievements linked to our customer service goals and offer several onsite perks, team incentives, and multiple layers of recognition opportunities for everyone.
Last but not least, we celebrate every day of Customer Service Week! I’m talking food, streamers, confetti, games, and fabulous prizes. There’s a reason Boss’s Day only gets a day and customer service gets a whole week—customer service is the frontline of any organization, the beating heart of its values and aspirations. That’s one thing that’s as true for us today as it was back in 1935.