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, Jarrod Griffin, to hear more about his background, 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.
Jarrod, please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be a part of the Arctic Customer Support team?
“The Pandemic forced the company I was employed at to shut since they were so heavily involved with the restaurant industry. I immediately went to Google Maps, looking for a company resilient to these types of downturns. In my search I found Arctic Industries in Azusa, called the office, and spoke with Catrina to see if they were in need. She said they had been looking for a long time for a person with office experience, as well as service experience. Several interviews (with Everardo, Anna, Freddy and Brian) and a few days later, I was hired on and the rest is history!”
I understand you took a slightly different route to customer service, actually having worked in the field for many years. How do you think this helps you in providing support and service to customers?
“My journey to customer service has taken a bit of a scenic route, starting at the age of 17 with a major music equipment manufacturer. I worked my way up from the administrative side to production planning and then to the Sales and Marketing Department where I traveled extensively to manufacturing facilities and even made my way to the headquarters in Japan. Across the United States, I attended dealer trade shows, marketing events, and more, accumulating over a decade of experience in the industry. However, with two little ones at home, the constant travel became a bit much. I decided to stay closer to home and enrolled in HVAC/R Trade School which started me off on a Commercial HVAC/R career of over two decades. The hands-on experience and in-depth industry knowledge I gained over the years have proven to be invaluable in my approach to providing top-notch support and service to our customers.”
Is it difficult to relay expertise when you are not on the job site or looking at the cooler/freezer?
“Yes! It can be a challenge to provide expertise when not physically on the job site or directly in front of the cooler/freezer. However, my career has afforded me a comprehensive view of the industry, spanning from chillers and various air conditioning units to a wide range of walk-in coolers, freezers, and even different brands of ice cream/yogurt machines. This diverse background makes troubleshooting with owners, dealers, consumers, and service technicians much easier for everyone involved.”
Arctic is committed to world class service in real world time, and with real people. Do you feel the customer base appreciates being able to connect and get a personal response?
“Absolutely, our dedication to providing world-class service in real-time, with real people, is a game-changer for our customers. On a weekly basis, my colleagues and I receive positive feedback from numerous customers expressing their delight at getting a “live” person on the phone. Many customers have pointed out that our competitors often fall short of providing this level of personal attention, which solidified their opinion of Arctic.”
What do you think most customers are looking for in Arctic’s support platform? Does response time and being reachable help provide “peace of mind”, or is it technical knowledge, or maybe even a mix of both?
“Without a doubt, it’s a blend of both. Customers and our Director alike expect to be informed one way or another on the same day, even if the answer is that we’re still working on it. As for technical knowledge, you can sense the relief in the voices on the phone or in emails when customers realize we not only have the know-how but also the ability to navigate through complex issues. And if communication were an Olympic sport, I’m convinced that everyone at Arctic would be sporting gold medals. It’s the seamless collaboration and effective communication within our team that truly make Arctic a standout workplace.”
Arctic has championed the “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?
“Absolutely, “Customer First” at Arctic goes beyond a phrase—it’s a commitment that runs deep in our support team. When Brian introduced this direction, we took it literally. For us, it means putting the customer at the forefront without any reservations. We’ve made substantial investments in supporting our dealers and customers, living by this mantra every day. From extending the warranty in certain situations, to providing parts and accessories without question. This really separates us from our competition, which again, we hear from customers weekly.”
Some customers may not know, but how difficult can the customer support role be? Are there intricacies that people may not know about or understand?
“Being a customer support lead involves navigating a multifaceted role that requires a blend of technical knowledge, interpersonal skills, and strategic thinking. One of the most intricate aspects of this job is working with a diverse team while ensuring consistent and high-quality support for customers. The complexities arise from various fronts. Firstly, there’s the evolving nature of customer queries. Each interaction can present a unique problem, requiring adaptability and quick thinking to find effective solutions. This demands not just a deep understanding of the product or service but also the ability to stay updated with any changes or updates. Furthermore, there’s the balance between maintaining efficiency and delivering exceptional customer experiences. It’s not merely about resolving issues but doing so promptly while ensuring a positive and empathetic interaction, even in challenging situations. In essence, the role of a customer support lead demands a versatile skill set – from leadership and problem-solving to effective communication and a deep understanding of both the customer and the business. It’s this blend of responsibilities that makes the job both challenging and rewarding, as each day presents new opportunities to learn and grow within this dynamic field.”
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?
“Mywalkinparts.com is a very convenient way for anyone in the United States to order common parts. These parts are not only for Arctic Industries boxes; many of these components can be used with a wide range of walk-in coolers and freezers. A key tip for customers using the website is to have the net opening of the door on hand—the inside dimensions of the frame. Having this information makes navigating the website a breeze when ordering ordinary parts like gaskets, sweeps and heater wire, to name a few.”
What are a few helpful tips for Arctic customers on utilizing the Customer Support resources?
“In my opinion, the go-to online resource is the Arctic Industries website’s Resource Library. There, you can access installation videos, comprehensive manuals, product videos, and more. It’s an invaluable resource, especially outside regular business hours and on weekends.”
The Arctic product suite is constantly evolving with continued Research & Design and our commitment to becoming an industry leader. With your field experience, what would you like to be part of in future development of the Arctic’s walk-in coolers, freezers, etc?
“Since the Support Department is involved in so many custom additions and modifications, I would like to eventually see the implementation of a customer and dealer portal for streamlined customization. Customers and dealers could easily submit drawings and modify existing boxes with the ability to visualize the changes through an actual image of the final product.”
What do you do for fun outside of work? Chief Marketing Officer, John Bergher states, you have some exciting hobbies?
“Outside of work, my time is filled with a variety of exciting hobbies that I’ve enjoyed since my childhood. Camping, fishing, and off-roading have been long standing traditions in my family, and I’ve continued to share these experiences with my own loved ones. These activities not only provide us with fun and adventure but also serve as a great way to stay connected and aligned. On the family front, I’m incredibly proud of my oldest son, a Cal Poly Pomona graduate who now works as an Analyst at an economic consulting firm in Santa Barbara. Equally as proud is my youngest son, an active-duty Army Aviator Blackhawk Pilot stationed in Southern California. I couldn’t have asked for more from both of them!”
Thanks for taking the time to sit down and chat with us, Jarrod!
Jarrod’s two sons – Cody (left) and Jarrod Jr. (right)