Employee Spotlight: Customer Service, Support and Success

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An interview with Randal Blackburn, Customer Support Specialist at Gordian

Whether he’s sitting down at the organ on Sunday or speaking with a customer on Monday, Randal Blackburn lives to create harmony. He’s a friendly voice on the other end of the phone, making sure to strike the right chords and hit the notes that help clients get the best value from Gordian software and services. In our interview, Randal discusses how his ethics and the Golden Rule guide him, why listening always comes first in customer service and the importance of music throughout his life.

“I try to put myself in our customers’ shoes and treat them as I like to be treated.”

Randal Blackburn

Photos of Randal, Gordian Customer Service Specialist

Can you explain your career transformation and success with Gordian?

My career since college has involved customer service at various levels, whether in sales, software programming or training. My professional experience from previous positions has been invaluable because customers have high expectations and desire immediate solutions for their issues. A hidden reality for many of us is that we work in a customer service environment without realizing it. In order to ensure customer and corporate success, there is always an element of support.

Briefly describe your average day at Gordian.

First and foremost, we take care of our customers’ needs. Our group handles phone calls, chats, emails, etc. My job can be as simple as providing an invoice or payment receipt for a customer, to troubleshooting our software packages including, but not limited to, RSMeans Data Online and Gordian Cloud. We help navigate customers through their issues to find solutions. The position gets very complex at times.

What is the best part of working with our customers?

I enjoy “meeting” and speaking with people on the phone as well as working with our Account Managers. Everyone who contacts us is needing some type of assistance and the best thing I can hear from a customer/caller is “Thank you so much for your assistance.”

Randal’s assistance is appreciated and he’s heard his favorite phrase often in various forms. Here’s what some of his customers have to say about his service:

  • “Randal Blackburn was so easy going, knowledgeable and patient on the phone. Helped me get my user going with his CostWorks Program.”
  • “I was trying to find out when the book we ordered is expected to be delivered. Randal in Customer Service was nice enough to find me a tracking number and email it to me.”
  • “I wanted to take a moment to let you know how much I like working with Randal. He is always so easy to work with, provides me with all the details that I need to resolve/research an issue, and is really appreciative of any help that I am able to provide. Being a Customer Support Specialist is a difficult role, I know. From my experience in working with him, Randal handles any situation with a positive outlook, and I feel that he tries to go the extra mile to keep our customers happy. Please let him know how much I appreciate his hard work and devotion to our customers.”

What does customer service mean to you?

Providing good customer service is the backbone of any company. Using a tone of voice that makes the caller feel comfortable for calling allows for better communication. How we answer the phone can set the stage for the entire call. But in the end, the quality assistance we provide to the customer is paramount.

How do you strive to deliver for our clients?

I try to put myself in our customers’ shoes and treat them as I like to be treated. We must listen to our customers carefully in order to know their computer skills and their personality. Also, we must develop a level of trust with the customer that will enable technical and secure interface. This is where I have found my previous professional experience invaluable.

Tell us about your colleagues and team in Customer Service.

I work with a great team of individuals and we share our knowledge and strengths with each other for the benefit of our department.

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?

Music is a big part of my life. I have been a church musician for several decades as an organist and a pianist. For the past 24 years, I have played at two area churches with more than 4,000 members each. I have had the privilege of playing the piano at events attended by former President George W. Bush, Colin Powell, Oliver North, Mike Huckabee, Taya Kyle (widow of the American Sniper) and Scott Hamilton (Olympic skater).

For over 15 years I performed for the South Carolina Medical Society Presidential Inaugurations in Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach and Greenville. I had the privilege of accompanying an understudy of Maestro Edvard Tchivhel of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and performed at two national Southern Baptist Conventions in San Antonio and Indianapolis.

 

My wife Robin and I are avid walkers, Colonial Williamsburg and Biltmore House enthusiasts and we enjoy collecting antiques.

What inspires you? Both in your career and personal aspirations.

Assisting others when they need help. At work, so many times I hear a customer apologize for having to call but I remind them that is what our Customer Support Team is here for.

How do you define success?

Being the best at what you do in all circumstances whether at work or in your personal life.  You cannot separate your ethics from your personal and professional life.

Can you give us a piece of advice that you would give others in your profession?

Listen, reflect and respond.

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