Brother International opts to keep Canadian call centre in Dollard
While most large corporations are offshoring their customer service to call centres in low-wage countries like India and Mexico, Brother International has decided to keep its 45-person facility at its Dollard des Ormeaux-based Canadian headquarters.
“Customer service seemed to be forgotten by other manufacturers,” said Martin Featherston, president of the electronic equipment firm that is well-known for its computer printers. “We thought we’d buck the trend and go the opposite route. By focusing on customer service, we could be unlike any competitor in Canada, so we invest more in it than we do in advertising.”
“A lot of companies focus on meeting expectations,” he explained. “We aim to exceed expectations. We want every customer to experience a wow-factor. We want them to tell their friends that this was the best experience they ever had. Their word-of-mouth will spread, so that when you have make a decision about buying a printer three years from now, that will be a factor.
Mr. Featherston underscored that the commitment to customer satisfaction has reshaped the way Brother recruits each employee.
Our staff is hired on the basis of empathy,” he enthused. “You can teach technology, but we need passionate people who are customer and people-oriented. There are no timers [when customers call Brother]. There are no scripts: We hire Canadians to serve Canadians.”
Marketing director Lina Racaniello added that Brother applies its customer-first philosophy to everyone it hires. “We want the same qualities in all our personnel — for example in marketing and finance. We can’t provide passionate support to our customers if we can’t do it internally. We’re always looking for empathy qualities.”
The approach appears to be paying off. The firm’s sales of the firm’s printers, fax machines, labelers and sewing machines are closing in on the $200 million per year mark and the warehouse at its Dollard des Ormeaux-based Canadian headquarters is bursting at the seams.
“Since our facility is as large as city ordnance allows, we will either be looking at a establishing a second location in this area or building a new, larger facility from scratch,” noted Mr. Featherston, adding that the company has no plans to move its national headquarters out of Dollard des Ormeaux.
“We’re very happy here and have no desire to move down the highway,” he said. “The talent is here. Providing top notch customer service in French and English is very hard to do elsewhere.”