In a B2B company like ours, the back office is a fundamental service in order to be able to provide an attentive service to customers and give them support to enable them to purchase the appropriate yarns for their needs in a timely manner.
Let’s find out more about this service together with Roberta Greggio, manager of the commercial back office.
Hello Roberta, can you give us a summary of what the job of the manager of the commercial back office consists of in the M&F Group?
The Group decided to create a new role, manager of the commercial back office, which hadn’t been foreseen until last year. We are still working on the definition and identity of this role.
We want to build a real team, close knit and competent, ready to respond to the needs of the customers with professionalism and promptness. For this reason, our commercial department is not only responsible for the reception of orders, but it is also confirming its role as a reference point for our customers, as well as support for sales managers and agents, who operate in the various territories.
One of the objectives we have is that of creating a sort of manual to share the work and the internal procedures and to define a development model of the different functions, always in view of back office support.
In addition to supporting the team in resolving problems, which therefore means continual training, I am also involved in internal communications, contacts between production and commercial, and external communications towards the sales network for more operational matters.
Contacting and building relationships with new customers and the consolidation of those already active ones are the most important features of my passion for this work.
What has been your educational and professional preparation? In order to do this job, how important is it to know the yarns at a technical level?
I have always worked in the textile sector and specifically in the production of yarns. In 2006, I started my career in the Group, at the ex-Filatura Marchi, in the very year before the fusion which then led to the creation of Marchi & Fildi Spa.
During my career, but also during previous experiences, I have had the opportunity of carrying out various roles within the sector. I have been responsible for buying raw materials, organisation of production and even the setting up of a Quality Control laboratory. As a result of this experience, of my diploma in Industrial Chemistry, and of my immediate interest in the production of yarns, I am today able to fulfil this new role.
I would also like to highlight an important factor, namely the good fortune that I have had, during my career, of meeting many people in different roles who have helped me to increase my skills and knowledge, in particular in technical matters. Altogether, the experience and knowledge that I have today represent the fundamental component of my work inasmuch as this allows me, for example, to quickly find solutions to various commercial dynamics and partially to quality problems.
You are also involved in the training of new members of staff. What are the personal competencies and attitudes necessary for this type of work?
Nowadays, our Group exports across the world, therefore, a central prerequisite is speaking other languages. Moreover, to carry out the work in our commercial department, it is increasingly necessary to be able to build up relationships with our customers, to know how to listen to their requirements, to interpret them and, in the majority of situations, provide customers with the best solutions for their needs.
Consequently, training, for which I personally have responsibility for everybody who works in the back office, is the most important element for this type of job. Personally, I always seek to stimulate curiosity for and interest in the role and in the technical elements on which are products are based in everybody in my team, in order to give them all the possibility of improving their knowledge and skills from day to day.
Another essential factor is the creation of a pleasant, welcoming atmosphere where people feel free to express their abilities to the utmost. Teamwork, and most importantly in this context, helps people to understand each other better, to get involved, make comparisons and give the best of themselves.
What in your opinion constitutes good customer care service? How important is it to have a unified team?
A cohesive team is fundamental for creating a pleasant atmosphere and for guaranteeing the creation of a reciprocal sense of trust and mutual support.
For us, customer care represents the image of the company, meaning it must be professional, reassuring and welcoming. Customer care is a fundamental part of back-office work, which in one way or another should unite the aims of the company with the image of itself.
Our Group is not only focused on the product, that is to say its yarns: the objective is always that of transmitting a system of connected values and services, such as speed of dispatch, precision and quality. Replies sent out by our customer care service should guarantee all of these factors.
Only knowledge of the company where we work, the products we offer and adequate technical training can guarantee a high level of customer care, which increasingly represents an intangible element at the basis of purchasing choices.
Occasions for meeting customers face to face, such as fairs, are they important? How do they improve your work?
Relationships with the customers are the most important part of my job. Creating direct contacts on different occasions enables me to build a relationship of long-term , and fairs are only one of the occasions when it is possible to introduce our company and the people who work in the back office.
For customers it is important to know the people they speak with and who are responsible for them directly, seeing the face of those people they are in contact with by telephone or email; it is a great help in strengthening trust and relationships, creating an enduring working rapport.
Over the years, I have worked hard at building my professional profile vis-à-vis the customers I have supported. Seeing their complete trust in me is a goal I pursue every day. This, together with the trust and cohesion of my team, are the elements in which I invest a great deal of conviction, in order to realise every day the values in which I believe.