We sat down with Mimeo’s VP of Customer Service, Ben Ziwa. Ben has been with Mimeo for over 3 years and has 15 years of experience in the B2B print services industry.
In our interview, Ben shared how he and the team at Mimeo help get customers’ content where it needs to be– whether it’s helping our customers implement our technology or ensuring a proposal arrives on-time.
How did you land in Services?
It would be more appropriate to say that services landed in me. As a young teenager in Uganda, I worked in our family owned mini market. I discovered a real personal satisfaction contributing and helping our customers. It continued in 2004 through an experience with my Church, when I was asked to volunteer and interact with community leaders. I had a personal bias that to help I needed to ‘prescribe’ immediate solutions on a range of topics. I quickly learned that true solutions happen when you listen to needs. I saw real human results in many people’s lives, which included financial clarity and self-help. I became hooked in experiencing the satisfaction of seeing others succeed.
When did you first hear of Mimeo?
It must have been around 2008. I distinctly remember a customer at my prior employer describing a company that could take print orders until 10 pm, for next morning delivery to multiple locations. My first reaction was simply, that’s not possible. After some quick research, Mimeo was on my radar.
How did you end up on the team at Mimeo?
Around the time I learned about Mimeo, the print industry generally was taking notice. I came to understand that customer service was a real differentiation for its customers, which was exponentially powerful when combined with the product and technology. I was living in Oregon with my family when I learned Mimeo was expanding and specifically looking for leadership in services to support the growing customer base. It wasn’t long before I was packing up my family of 6 and traveling 2,000+ miles to our new home in Memphis, Mimeo’s US HQ location.
How long have you been involved in B2B print & content distribution?
It started in 2008 when I was completing graduate studies at Osaka University in Japan. A print provider expanding into Japan and was looking for someone on the ground to help get started. I took it on and found myself amazed by print. It’s not simply ink on paper, it’s an entire manufacturing process I discovered a curiosity for. This became the moment in my career when I married a passion for service with an appreciation for print.
You lead the Service team of 30 individuals at Mimeo, how do you describe what your team does?
The team’s mission at Mimeo is to make the customer experience effortless. Our goal is to reduce friction for customers to achieve a successful outcome. If that outcome requires heavy lifting, our team is ready to step in. To do this, we focus on understanding the unique customer needs (not just the wants), anticipate any challenges and issues to ensure the customer is successful in an effortless way. We are successful when we become an extension and trusted partner of the customer. This happens when we make it easy by executing on our job.
How is the team organized?
We operate under a ‘two peer structure’. This includes a front line team [that] handles all chat, email and phone inquiries. These are full-time Mimiac service professionals who are empowered to address all customer issues in real time. On average, this team answers customer inquiries in 15 seconds. The other part of our team includes ‘Service Specialists’. These individuals are assigned to specific accounts to handle project-based assistance. Their success is directly tied to the customers’ definition of success on any given process. We refer to delivering the classical ‘Project Iron Triangle’: deliver on-time, to customer quality expectations and budget.
How do you measure success?
Every customer interaction is a measurement. As a team, we are only as good as the last interaction we’ve had with a customer. One specific example is our order feedback. Each time a customer places an order, we ask them a simple question: “How easy was that?” The feedback is amazing. Here are some of our favorite customer responses.
Your team interacts with many hundreds Mimeo’s customers a day. Who are they?
B2B2C. Most commonly, our customers are serving their customers as the end recipient. Mimeo is empowering their final leg of communication, whether it’s printed materials or digital content. Our ability to empower our customers and execute is critical to their success.
The services team speaks with interesting people, from small business owners to corporate executives. This includes Proposal writers, Learning & Development professionals, Operations professionals at training & consulting companies, marketing professionals and more. The diversity of clients make each conversation interesting. Despite that diversity, they are all printing or delivering content that is important to their business and personal success. We like to say at Mimeo, “Print What Matters!”
Who else at Mimeo contributes to helping deliver for our customers?
Everyone. Customer service often carries the banner, but every department contributes to our customer experience. This includes teams in finance, technology, product, marketing, sales, and Customer Success. Together we collaborate to empower the customer. It takes a team to deliver on the mission for our customers.
Mimeo has always been seen in the market as a technology leader, what role does services play in the customer view of Mimeo?
Our technology is amazing, but technology in itself does not stand alone, it is complemented by people. The service team is differentiation, just as our technology is. We are tasked to help customers use our technology and with the dynamic needs of our customers brings the need for technology improvement. This voice of our customers is captured through each interaction.
Who was the last customer you were personally on the phone with?
Today I spoke with a customer who placed an order for a proposal or RFP their company was bidding on. Success for them means presenting their company and brand to their prospective client in a professional way. This proposal represented a real opportunity for them as a company, which was developed by through hard work across their teams. The customer had placed their order but needed to make a change their content. The service team at Mimeo was able to jump in and make it happen. That’s our mission.
What can the service team do better?
The expectation of a service team member is to always go above and beyond now, while striving to make the customer experience effortless. This is hard work and it’s incumbent upon me to recognize that behavior and not take it for granted. As a leader, it’s my job to ensure that my team is empowered to deliver on that goal. I’m fortunate as a leader to have a team and culture where I have no lack of opportunity to first-hand experience Mimeo employees fulfilling on our mission.
Are you currently hiring people onto the service team?
Yes, we are always growing and we are always actively hiring new Mimiacs. We are looking for individuals who want to be part of a team that is passionate every day about making others successful. List of available positions can be found on our Mimeo careers page.
From Memphis to New York, Mimeo is looking for individuals who also share our passion for contributing to an incredible place to work. Check our Careers Page to see where we’re currently in search of Mimiacs. We have offices and production facilities in Memphis TN, New York NY, Boston MA, Seattle WA, Cambridgeshire UK, and Berlin DE.