Sitting Down With Cesar Colls, Customer Support Specialist

In the current economic environment of inflation and post-pandemic consumer habits, Arctic believes our Customer First culture, now more than ever, is the key to our success. We spoke with Customer Support Specialist for Arctic Walk-ins, Cesar Colls, to hear more about his day-to-day routine, why he loves working with Arctic, and the different ways he supports customers with their walk-in coolers and freezers. A slightly edited transcript of the conversation can be found below.

Cesar, please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be a part of the Arctic Customer Support team? 

I’m 28, and I live in Miami. I got hired here at Arctic a little over two years ago. Before that, I was working for an AC company and saw the ad on one of the recruiting websites. I ended up applying because I had a little bit of experience. After applying, I met with Freddie and Brian. I got the full tour with Brian and then signed on to the team that same day.”

What is your typical day like in the Customer Support role in the Arctic East location?

“I get here at 8:00am, check emails for support and parts, for anything that may have come in overnight. Then I go ahead and check on anything that was pending from the day before. Any parts orders that need to go out, invoices that need to be uploaded, or any urgent situations that come in. Finally, I answer phone calls that come in throughout the day, texts wanting parts and part numbers and anything else that comes in through the wires.”

As a Customer Support Specialist at Arctic, have you ever had an interesting phone call or request come in from a client? 

“Forsure, I’m actually currently dealing with one which is a residential walk-in where the customer doesn’t like the look of the door closer on the top of the walk-in. So we need to take the door closer off and somehow figure out a way to keep the door self-closing, because they don’t like how it looks. They also don’t like the screw holes left over by the door closer, so I don’t know how they’re going to solve that one.”

There is a lot of talk around AI, including automating customer services further. Arctic is committed to world class service in real world time, with real people. Do you feel the customer base appreciates being able to connect and get a personal response?

“This industry is still pretty old school. I’ve had a couple people yell at me because they don’t even want to go online to order parts. They prefer to do it over the phone. I feel like those are the first ones that’ll scream for the hills the moment you try to introduce AI, so I think it’s important that we continue to keep our customer service team available to customers to pick-up their calls or respond to their emails with a live service agent.”

What is your personal strategy pertaining to customer communications and how to provide value and quality at the same time? What do you think most customers are looking for in Arctic’s support platform?

“My main focus is just trying to stay on top of communication. Any response is better than no response, even if I have no update. It’s just letting them know that we’re still working on this or we’re still waiting for an answer from someone. It communicates to the customer that we’re still here and handling their request. As far as the second question pertains to, it’s just to be handled with the care that they expect. At the end of the day, these people are spending a couple tens of thousands of dollars on a walk-in. So you know, for something as simple as getting a replacement threshold or gasket, there’s no need to give them a hassle over that because they’ve already got this entire walk-in missing that one individual part. Getting that out quickly and efficiently just makes us look a lot better.”

Arctic has championed their “Customer First” motto and we see stickers, signs, email signatures and more flying this mantra.  We get the feeling this is much more than a slogan. What does Customer First mean to you and the support team?

“Providing the best version of customer support that we can, depending on the request of the customer, whatever they need, making sure that it’s handled and sometimes even solving the issue without needing a part or something to go out. If they didn’t know that there was a solution available to them, instead of having to replace this entire piece, if we give you this one thing, it’ll fix it in this way and solve the problem without major construction work or major lead times. It’s always a great feeling when we get things solved two weeks in advance because we had a part available that they didn’t think they needed.”

In addition to providing support, you also help with Arctic’s, My Walk-In Parts website, which provides a plethora of support in replacement components. How helpful is this site to customers and what are your tips if a customer wants to find something?

“I mean, the website is pretty easy to use. It’s taken a lot of stress for the most part off of customer support. Although, since this industry is so old school sometimes, I still have texts and people calling me asking for part numbers, when they could have used our website instead. The hardest parts are always the door gaskets because of the measurements of the door. You got a 25 year old walk-in. You think just the serial number will get it? Unfortunately, I need the measurements. My top tip would be to start at our website, then call us if you’re having trouble locating a part. The beautiful thing about our website is that you can enter in the part number or browse through our different categories to find exactly what you need. The website layout is very intuitive and user-friendly. It’s really easy to find everything because all of our parts are in their own section.”

What are a few helpful tips for Arctic customers on utilizing the Customer Support resources?  

“I would say if you’re calling in, making sure you have the measurements of parts or things that are needed. If they’re emailing us, just making sure that everything has as much detail as possible, including any pictures and things like that allow us to serve them quickly and efficiently. Nothing slows down support than getting a request that’s just a line of text saying, “Hey, I need help.” I have to send you another email that says, “Okay, what’s the problem? And do you have any pictures or more details so I can properly get you what you need instead of just throwing a toolbox at you?” The more information you provide us, decreases the amount of back-and-forth communication, and gets your walk-in cooler or freezer back up and running as soon as possible.” 

The Arctic product suite is constantly evolving with continued Research & Design and our commitment to becoming an industry leader. With your Mechanical Engineering background, what would you like to be a part of in future development of the Arctic’s walk-in coolers, freezers, etc?

“Working with design would be really cool, although I’m not sure how much more is left in the design space of the walk-in, aside from super custom stuff. At the end of the day, a panel is still just two sheets of metal foam and some hard rail. I think we’re pretty much maxed out at our  production efficiency that we do here for the best cost and best product.” 

With the company growing, what would you tell someone considering joining the Arctic team? 

“You know, we have a great team here. Everyone that works here really enjoys working for Arctic and everybody puts their best foot forward. It’s a very nice office environment and I couldn’t ask for a better company to work for.”

Thanks for taking the time to sit down and chat with us, Cesar!