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Saluting NYSID’s “First Impression” Team
October 8, 2019

Saluting NYSID’s “First Impression” Team

The adage “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is illustrated every day by NYSID’s Customer Service team. In honor of National Customer Service Week, October 7-11, let’s take a look at the front line team of the Preferred Source customer experience.

Together, these six individuals have 30 years of tenure on the job, and handle more than 2,000 orders for hundreds of NYSID commodities per month, as compared to the early years of 2,000 orders per year. They are the liaisons for government purchasers and our Member Agency product suppliers, fielding questions about product features, price quotes, order status, shipment details, and much more. 

Tori Harn, the unit supervisor says, “I like my job because I really enjoy having good relationships with customers and Member Agencies. As the supervisor, it’s important to me to make sure our department is a positive reflection of both NYSID, our Member Agencies and the Preferred Source Program.” 

NYSID’s Customer Service team knows the value of treating customers like they would want to be treated. As Tori explains, “Each time we have a positive impact on our customers’ experience with NYSID, it helps to ensure future business for Member Agencies which means jobs for people with disabilities. An effective Customer Service department helps strengthen NYSID’s commodity business and preserve these jobs for people with disabilities who may not be able to work in a service type setting.”

“Customer Service is the heart of any company,” offers Customer Service Representative DeAnna Marshall. “NYSID Customer Service is especially important because our job performance impacts those that we serve.” In addition to order status and product information calls, the Customer Service team also helps educate prospective customers about NYSID in general. Customer Service Representative Patty Harrison says, “Whether it’s from taking an incoming call or sending an outgoing email, we are an important communication tool that helps explain NYSID and its mission. Customer Service is a link between the inside of the company and the outside world.”

“I did not know much about jobs for people with disabilities before joining NYSID 10 years ago,” added Customer Service Representative Stacey Longo. “When I learned that people with developmental disabilities were once shut away in facilities with no opportunities to be a part of society, it was shocking to me. I’m glad we as a society have changed our mindset and are more focused on education and inclusion. As a parent of a child with disabilities, this is more important to me than ever.”

Customer Service Representative Starla Reed echoes the importance of NYSID purchasing that powers employment, stating “I think it’s great to create these opportunities for people with disabilities to be productive members of society. It helps them to reach their goals of being independent and active, and attain a level of happiness that can’t really be put into words.”

Thanks to a team of professionals who put the meaning behind National Customer Service Week into action all year long at NYSID.

Missing from photo: Susan Larivee, Customer Service Representative