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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kelly's Korner - Working at W L May - Saving the World One Appliance at a Time

Hey, All,

W L May in Portland is looking for the next generation of master account managers.  We old folks that have been here for decades are looking to retire in the next 10 years and need new blood to take up our torch.
Roy Wilson - 39 years
Rob Marks - 22 years

Chuck Coe - 34 years

Oh, anybody can do this job?  Think again.  It takes a very special person to be able to make the grade here.  This is not just answering phones.  There are a lot of behind-the-scenes work that tasks your creativity into finding an answer.  Like my dad always said, 'There's more than one way to skin a cat.'  And we have to know them all.

Some of the qualifications that you need to have are these:

  • Inquiring minds want to know - do you like solving mysteries?  Are you a person that always goes the extra mile - not just a step?  Do you want a job that is a second home and not just a paycheck?  Do you want to be a super hero?
  • Be somewhat technically inclined - if you know the difference between a flat head and Phillips screwdriver, you've got a good start.  Being able to figure out how an appliance works and what Tab A fits into Slot B is a must.  (Any Ikea people out there??? lol)
  • A good head for trivia - there are millions of little things that you'll need to remember - sometimes it may be not knowing the answer, but where to find it.
  • The ability to remember numbers - account numbers, part numbers, model numbers - I sometime dream numbers!
  • A thick skin - if you've worked customer service before, you know that there are all kinds of people out there - some fun, some not so - and you've really got to be able to shake it off and not let people's attitudes bother you.  When I first started here, some of the older (male) techs had a hard time with the concept of a woman looking up parts for them and wanted to talk to "one of the guys."  I broke them of that by working my behind off to be 100% most of the time (yes, I do make the occasional mistake but don't tell anyone!)
  • Be able to have several irons in the fire at once - I get orders and research requests via phone, fax, email, internet and my personal cell phone and sometimes they all are coming in at once.  You will have to be able to prioritize.  Some things you may have an answer for immediately, some in a few minutes, some in a few days.  You have to keep on top of all of it.
  •  Have a good sense of humor - we have some characters here!  Customers, co-workers, vendors, etc., and sometimes it gets a little wild.  It also helps when you have some of those not-so-much-fun calls and when every customer we have seems to be calling in all at the same time.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions!  I tell my trainees that I'd rather have them ask the same question 50 times and get it right 50 times than have them get it wrong once.  People won't remember the 9,999 times you've sent them the correct part, just the one time you sent the wrong one.
  • Be confident, accountable, and adaptable - we deal with some people that will run right over the top of you with what they need, someone that is like pulling hen's teeth to get the information you need to get them what they need, and everything in between - the position of account manager is exactly that - managing your accounts and the people associated with them.  Own up to your mistakes and learn from them and try not to make them again.  The only certain thing is change, and we have our share of that - whether is be new computer systems, new procedures from our vendors, changes in personnel, you just have to roll with it.
  • Live with the fact that you will never "know it all".  You never stop learning at this job!
I am coming fast up on 14 years here and I can honestly say that I am never bored.  There is always something new coming down the pike.  And with all the people I work with and for, they keep me on my toes.  I've also made some wonderful friends - I can go practically to any city we have customers and they'd welcome me with open arms, and wine and dine me and show me their city.  They send me cards, presents, pictures and keep me up with what's going on in their lives - it's not all business.  And the more interests you have, the more you can relate with your customers.

I have found a home here, as have my co-workers, and we are looking to add to our family - do you have what it takes?  If you think you are up to the challenge, come talk to us.  Send your cover letter and resume to trev.p@wlmay.com.  Life here is not for the faint-hearted!

Have a great week!

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