Customer service changes for the better

zingermans4

Changes are coming to King Arthur – and they’re not just external.

A stop at The Baker’s Store means a chance to stock up on amazing baking tools and products, a delicious sample or two from our demo kitchen, fresh baked bread and pastries, and helpful and friendly staff assisting you at every turn.

King Arthur has always been committed to giving great service, and we’d like to think we do just that. But it doesn’t mean we can’t try to be even better, does it?

This past June, five of The Baker’s Store’s most cheerful (and seasoned) associates took a trip to Zingerman’s Service Training Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The team was blown away by the combination of serious and meticulous training that was taking place in such a fun atmosphere. They came back enlightened and determined to come up with a training program for our staff in order for us to be the best we can be – for you, our customers.

What they came up with is a system that will allow every employee to receive proper training from the ground up. The retail store team will be given more time for training, the resources to succeed, and a more structured approach to teaching the standards than we currently have. It doesn’t matter if employees have been here 2 years or 2 days, everyone starts from Day 1. And we all must pass each test oriented towards improving customer satisfaction and safety.

With all of the new expansion comes the need for more employees. With the help of a proper training program, these new employees will gain the skills and knowledge needed to help them answer customer inquiries properly. It also serves as a refresher for those seasoned employee-owners that you already know and love.

Like our expansion, this training is a work in progress. We’re building this program from the ground up, and hope to revitalize our retail team so when our rebuilt store opens, we’re able to provide you, our devoted customers, with the best service possible.

We’re “building” a new culture of service; and King Arthur Flour is building a new store in which we’ll provide it.

comments

  1. debdevo

    I personally can’t imagine your service getting any better! I have NEVER had less than STELLAR service, whether I am ordering something over the phone, ‘talking’ on line with a helpful baker or getting an email with an answer from you because I signed out of my session accidentally! I LOVE your company….you do a superior job in my opinion and could certainly give some OTHER companies pointers on service!
    It is always a joy to receive this kind of feedback from our customers and during the exhausting busy holiday season, it gives us all a little levity. We are so grateful for your kind words. Many thanks! ~Amy

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  2. Brenda

    Don’t know how your customer service could get any better, but thank you.
    It gets better each day with encouraging comments like yours. Thank you! ~Amy

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  3. hobbit

    How smart to go to Zingermans. They know how to put their best foot forward when dealing with customers and have been passing those skills on to all who are interested. You won’t regret the effort that was required to take this course. I took my first trip to Norwich this fall with the hubby and I am so excited about the large bag of flour that I purchased. I will be coming up for another visit soon, weather permitting.

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  4. Sandra Alicante

    That’s it. I can’t take any more. I want a Tardis (or one of those ‘beam me up Scotty’ thingies) so I can zip back and forth at will to get your goodies and look round that new store.
    Just not fair, being so far away!

    sandrascookbook.com

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  5. Penny

    Goodness! How wonderful to always aspire to be better. I always thought you could be the gold standard for customer service!

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  6. epicharis

    Count me among the ones who can’t imagine your customer service being any better than it is now, but I applaud you for taking your commitment so seriously. This is part of why I will drive the extra ten minutes to another grocery store if Shopper’s is sold out of King Arthur.

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  7. "elianna m"

    King Arthur is up there with the very best customer service I’ve ever experienced! Including during the holiday season when few people have the time or energy to go the extra mile for the customer – in fact, I think you all are even more helpful, cheerful, and polite then! :)

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  8. biobaker

    I agree with everyone else that your customer service has always been beyond superb. More training is a good thing, I’m sure, but I’ll admit that it scares me a bit to see you using phrases like “the resources to succeed” and “building a culture of service.” I’m accustomed to seeing those as empty cliches used by despicable (and often annoying) big marketing firms. More training won’t turn you into them, I know, but, well, don’t stop being King Arthur and fall into allegiance with the dark side!
    Haven’t you ever seen that t-shirt that says “come to the dark side…we have cookies” ? :) No worries, we’ll stay true to our values and won’t change who we are as a company. Thanks for letting us know how you feel, it’s nice to be loved. ~ MaryJane

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  9. "Mia H"

    I love King Arthur! I hope that as you expand, you’ll keep all the great services and customer service you’ve offered all along. Keep up the good work!

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  10. Annette

    KAF + Zingerman’s = WINNING! I’m a big fan of both! This is truly a case of aspiring for continuous growth and excellence. Bravo!

    Reply
  11. debky

    What a smart move to reach out to Zingerman’s for growth advice.
    I lived in Ann Arbor in the 80′s; they were a small company that has grown over the years but always kept the customer and quality a top priority.

    I enjoyed your cooking demo this weekend in Louisville. Your staff put on a great demo and are very personable. I hope you will come again soon.

    We enjoyed Louisville and the dedicated bakers there very much. It was a pleasure to meet you all! ~Susan Reid

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  12. Sandy

    Wow….I am blown away by your customer service as it exists now so to think that it would get even better is mind-blowing!! Your customer service is so outstanding no matter if I am in the store (every couple of years when visiting up your way), by phone or by any method. Keep up the superb work!!

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  13. teelway

    I have been buying and using KAF for at least the past 20 years, Here in the midwest it was a mail order only commodity at that time. I have always been pleased with the products. And I am proud to do business with an employee owned company. Never have I been disappointed with your service. So, it just about makes me cry when I see how important it is to you people to make even that just a little bit better. You people at King Arthur really do care about us, your customers. In todays world I find that very profound. Thank you!

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  14. breadbaby

    i agree with the other comments on this page, customer service is excellent , i order from king arthur all the time, everything come wrapped, in perfect order, never a problem, i talked to them on the phone, very friendly. and i even chatted with there bakers via internet, always helpful, i never feel like i was being rush or asked a dumb questions, thank you, never change

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  15. mumpy

    same here….chatting online, on the phone, dealing with a minor problem with an order….i’ve done all those, and find your level of service just amazing….don’t change things too much…we love you just the way you are!!

    Reply
  16. maccourt

    Well, you sure picked the right company to model yourself after. While I’ve always been pleased with KAF customer service, Zingerman’s blows everyone out of the water. Love that they’re willing to share the training that shows in everything they do.

    Reply
  17. meeb731

    Like the others, I can’t imagine better service…. but you should know that the companion t-shirt reads “I went to the Dark Side. They lied about the cookies…”.

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  18. Dolly

    Now that you have visited Ann Arbor, Michigan, maybe your next expansion could be in a new location – say in the Michigan area? I would really love to have access to your store a little closer to home. That would be just about the best of all worlds!!!! I also agree that your customer service is top notch already.

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  19. Katherine Isham

    I’m with a couple of the other commenters… as someone who has worked in (and in general, loves!) the service industry, it makes me leery when I see words like that because it’s often a signal that a company is going to take a one-size-fits-all approach to its employees and treat them like dirt. I hope KAF isn’t the same and continues to be what seems like a great place to work for its employees! You’ve got me half-tempted to apply for your new positions, and I live all the way up in North Hero!

    No plans to become anything other than what we’ve been for years, Katherine – one of the best places to work in Vermont (and we have the awards to prove it…) North Hero is a haul, for sure – but c’mon down, it’s warmer here “down South!” :) PJH

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  20. vcallahan

    Can’t imagine how or what you could improve in the way of customer service. Doing business with KAF is a real pleasure. The one thing I could see that would be even better is to see more of your products on shelves down here in Raleigh/Durham! Don’t change a thing about the superior way you do business. This comes from a person with 30-odd years in retail who knows fabulous customer service when she experiences it!

    Thanks – there’s no big secret to good customer service, is there? The Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. Thanks for adding your 2¢ here! PJH

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  21. RJ

    I’m glad everyone else has had such great customer service. My experience has be awful! I order two products on 12/21 and paid double the shipping to have them here by Christmas. Well, it is 6:20 p.m. Christmas Eve and my product has not even shipped! To top it off, customer service was closed today. What company in the retail business closes customer service on Christmas Eve? The only thing I can figure is that they just do not care. Looks like I will not be ordering from King Arthur again.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      SO sorry about this – I’ve emailed our director of customer service, and someone should be getting back to you as soon as possible (once we’re open again Dec. 26), to ask how we can make things right… PJH

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