We’re excited to announce some changes and improvements to our Customer Service team at TACO. We moved the core of the Customer Service operations to our Main Manufacturing & Central Distribution in Sparta, Tenn. from Miami, Florida, and hired a new department manager, Peggy Sanders. Please join us in welcoming Peggy to the TACO family.
Prior to working at TACO, what was your job experience?
I have about 20 years of Customer Service management experience. I worked for a little over 15 years in Florida for a staffing agency. We moved to Tennessee about 10 years ago. Eventually, I got another job with a staffing agency as a recruiter and regional manager, and I opened up four branches in middle Tennessee. About a year and a half into that, I was offered a job in a factory, which was one of my customers, to do their customer service management job. I worked there for about six years doing their customer service, and after I left there I was offered a job here at TACO.
When you came onboard with TACO, what was your biggest challenge?
Literally the week after I started, we had the COVID breakout and that has been a big challenge, not really related to TACO, but it just put challenges in front of me. I think we are starting to come through those challenges and now I am really getting into the meat and potatoes of things here. We’ve got a really good, strong team.
You’ve been on the team only a short time, but you already made some changes and improvements to the Customer Service department. Can you tell us about some of the changes?
I started digging into the system and understanding what our system is capable of doing. TACO has been around for 60-plus years, and they really just needed some TLC in the system. The first thing I started to do was evaluate all of the different options that we have, as far as doing credits and refunds, and things like that. I have also been working on a lot of SOP’s [Standard Operating Procedures] and following them through, so that if anybody is out of the office for training, we are using usable SOP’s. If somebody brand new starts, they’ll be able to figure out exactly what to do to get from point A to point C without a whole lot of extra effort, and streamlining the processes a lot.
Looking to the future, do you have goals for the department? Or more improvements that you are planning?
Absolutely. We are looking to improve overall communication throughout all the different departments because Customer Service works hand-in-hand with every single department in the company.
If you could describe the Customer Service team in one word, what is it and why?
Flexible. I think since I have been here, everyone has been very flexible. Whether it was because of COVID, whether it is system changes or policy procedure changes, everyone has been very flexible.
TACO has a large product offering, what has your learning curve been like?
With COVID it has been a little bit more challenging than normal, but I think product knowledge. When a customer is calling and asking about a certain product, or not knowing the product, makes it difficult to answer questions. Whereas, somebody who has been here for 20 years can know what it is off the top of their head. One of the things I am trying to get together is figure out the part number structure. If I am able to understand the part number structure, then I’ll understand the parts a little bit better as well.
We have been working on automating more orders. Can you tell me about this project and how it will help our customers?
The automation will tell us what the issues are with the purchase orders, which is essential because it takes the time away from having to look up every single line item. If we just know that line one of 10 has an issue, we can quickly respond to that. Then when you have very large orders that are 100-plus line items, you are not sitting there hand-keying an order, which can also have a likelihood of keying something in wrong. How it will help customers, which is ultimately the goal, will be to have more of an ability to react fast to incoming questions and processing other orders. They will [also be able to] go right into the system and the customer can review [their order].
Tell us about yourself. How many children do you have? What is your favorite hobby?
I have three children. I am very proud of all of them. They are all doing great. Most of my hobbies have been redoing my house for the past 10 years. We moved here and bought a little cabin on 43 acres, and we have been renovating it since we moved here. I like to kayak. I am very sporty. I like to be outside hiking, [and] fishing – those are my main hobbies. Family, I would say, is my biggest hobby.
Can you tell me a little bit more on your boating background? And, do you also think that having practical boating and fishing experience at TACO helps you in your role?
I live and breathe for fishing. That is the one thing I love to do. I was around boats my whole life. We had big boats, little boats, medium-sized boats. I actually lived on a boat. I think it was a 1976 Chris Craft.
I do think it is important to have been exposed to it to work at TACO, but I don’t think it’s a necessity.
Is there anything else you would like to discuss that we haven’t talked about?
I came to TACO at a pretty crazy time, [and] I honestly think they have handled all of the situations with care. They have made me feel welcomed and the team has been amazing. They have made a lot of tough situations very easy to work with.
Welcome to the TACO family, Peggy!