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Brentano Customer Service Team

Brentano Team - Customer Service Department
The long-awaited follow-up to the first Report260 is here! If you think back, way back, you might remember the first Report260 when we put Brentano's Sample Department in the hot seat. Well, it's finally time to focus in on another group that our clients and reps rely on. The Customer Service Team has re-engineered themselves over the last two years, introducing new personalities and adjusting responsibilities to provide the best, most efficient customer service possible. Totally recommitted to their roles, they were all excited to discuss the contributions they have been making to the company.

First I sat down with Team Leader Sonia, then I put some questions to the whole team.


Likes: making wire-wrapped jewelry, cooking, gardening, cycling, and skydiving

Q: Which Brentano fabric is your favorite?
A: I love Simpatico-Clouds. The subtle color variation and the contrast between the crispness of the linen and the warmth of the wool are very close to my personal design aesthetic.

Q:How does the Brentano Customer Service Team work, and what's your role?
A: The Customer Service Team at Brentano is really the right hand of our outside sales reps. Our goal is to support their selling efforts and make their jobs as easy as possible. My primary role is to manage that process.
We have a fantastic team; we all strive to ensure that every inquiry is addressed with the same high attention to detail. There are several steps involved in making an order happen, and each one of us focuses on specific ones along the way. Agnes and Krystal are the veterans on our team, and they both wear many hats. Agnes double and triple checks all of our orders against the original POs before they ship, and Krystal ensures that all of the tracking numbers are entered into the system each morning. Joanna works directly with the mills and orders all of the fabrics for Brentano, and Irina primarily processes new orders and reserves so she's never distracted by phone calls or emergency emails.

Q: What's the most challenging part of your job?
A:I'm still new to this industry, and that's been a personal challenge. I took a textile class in college, but I still have a lot to learn. I've been very impressed with the level of training Brentano provides for all newcomers.

Q:What's your favorite Brentano memory?
A: When I got to my desk on my first day, I was handed a turkey. Literally. I joined Brentano a couple of days before Thanksgiving, but that was just so unexpected and touching that it stuck with me. It was a memorable first impression.


Likes: landscape photography, music, shopping and spending time with family and friends

Q: Which Brentano fabric is your favorite?
A: Curlicue. It's a fun pattern with lots of colorways.

Q:When did you start working at Brentano?
A: I started in August of 2008, one week after Krystal. It was really busy with both of us learning as much as we could in a short period of time.

Q:What's your favorite Brentano memory?
A: Definitely the holiday parties. There are so many fun activities that everyone can participate in. It's a great way to get to know each other.

Q: What's your favorite part of your workday?
A: My workday consists of numerous responsibilities from customer service and sales support to accounts receivable. My favorite part of the workday is definitely interacting with all of our reps and clients. I'm a morning person, so I especially look forward to the morning emails.


Likes: music, concerts, and spending time with family

Q: Which Brentano fabric is your favorite?
A: I like Coquette a lot because of the unique design.

Q:How have you changed Brentano's culture or the culture of the Customer Service Team?
A: This is a good group, and we do more than work together. I was on the holiday committee for two years; I played on the softball team that one year; and I've helped out with planning the birthday celebration lunch at the end of each month. I think it's really important to like the people you work with, even beyond work.

Q:What's your favorite Brentano memory?
A: I really enjoyed the Cubs game that kicked off the international sales meeting last July. It was the first time I'd met any of the reps. After three years of helping them out over the phone, I recognize their voices, but it was really important to me to finally meet them all in person.


Likes: loves, loves British TV shows, music festivals, and movies

Q: Which Brentano fabric is your favorite?
A: Rajah, because I think it's a little different and a little more complicated than some others.

Q:Which of your responsibilities do you enjoy most?
A: I've been assisting with purchasing. I have clerical responsibilities for the system too like uploading orders onto the website and creating online accounts for reps and clients, but purchasing is pretty much my main responsibility. I think it's also the most fun part of what I do.

Q: Do you just work with mills, or do you also get to interact with our clients?
A: I actually am talking to lots of reps and clients. Along with purchasing, I deal with backorders. If a shipment is delayed, I'm the first person they can come to with questions. I'm trying to improve our communication about backorders too, which is very important.


Likes: traveling, yoga, other workouts, and getting together with friends and family

Q: Which Brentano fabric is your favorite?
A: I can't choose just one! All the fabrics are unique in their own way, and when I bring up pictures of them during my day, I am so proud I am part of this company.

Q:What's your favorite part of your workday?
A: I like helping people by sending orders out, and I like that my job involves some research so I can continue to learn more about this industry.

Q:What's your favorite Brentano memory?
A: I've only been here a short time, but I was very surprised, pleasantly, by how Brentano welcomed me. I liked Brentano's philosophy on the website, and when I came in here, everyone was so friendly and open. It's the best feeling to go to work with passion and joy in your heart.

I hope you've enjoyed this installment of Report260! We'll be introducing a new Report260 every three or four months, so please look out for the next update. Sonia, Agnes, Krystal, Irina, and Joanna have a wealth of knowledge about Brentano, but I could only include a few excerpts from my conversations with them here -- all snuck in between phone calls, emails, and interruptions from the warehouse. The Customer Service Team is a pivotal part of the Brentano family, so please give them a big thank you the next time you have them on the phone. They've earned it.

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