SSA_resi2014_Winner_Platinum_ol-01For the second straight year, Draper came out of Residential Systems’ Stellar Service Awards with three trophies—all platinum level, meaning we were tops in all three categories in which we were entered! Residential Systems’ readers voted Draper tops in the industry for customer service/general communications, sales and marketing support, and website/online ordering.

It’s wonderful to have our efforts recognized by those who matter most—the people in our industry who use and install our products—but I want to make sure the right people get the kudos. This is the first in a series of three posts looking at each of these award-winning areas. Today I’m writing about our (now officially) platinum level customer service.

Draper is famous throughout the industry for our friendly, well informed, and helpful people. We focus on ensuring a positive customer experience. But why, in this age of fast-moving, one-click Internet sales and impersonal interactions with automated attendants, is customer service so important to Draper?


Home Theatre Salesperson Marita Roberson.

“Excellent customer service is a reflection of the company. Customer service is an indication to the customer the caliber of company they are working with on their project.” That’s what Marita Roberson, with whom I work in Draper’s Home Theatre sales department, says about customer service. “How we treat our dealers makes all the difference in the world regarding how Draper is received. Good customer service will lead to repeat business and a good reputation in the industry. Bad customer service not only leads to a loss of revenue through alienation of the customer but also damages the company’s reputation.”

I asked Marita to share what she sees as the “secret to our success” in customer service. Her answer? First of all, it’s that you can’t pin it down to just one thing. Draper employees provide great customer service in many ways.

“We have excellent knowledge of our products and our competitors. We have a Can do attitude when it comes to our customers. We often go above and beyond when presented with dealer requests. We work to find solutions for even the most difficult applications.”

Well said, Marita!

While Marita and I provide a great deal of customer service and support in the home theatre market, Draper’s Customer Service Department really does a lot of the heavy lifting in getting things scheduled, shipped quickly, and working with Marita and me to make sure there are no problems. But this is the planet Earth, and, last time I checked, we’re all mere mortals, so sometimes there is a problem. And that is where our Customer Service really shows what we’re about as a company.

Draper’s Customer Service Department (l to r): Beverly Ferguson, Debbie Spera, Tina Loveless, and Lisa Knotts. Not pictured: Carol McLemore and Jodi Reece.

“The customer wants to be heard and their situation taken as a serious concern.” That’s how Beverly Ferguson, Draper’s Customer Service Manager, boils it down. Beverly has worked with our customers for over 30 years, and she says she’s learned a lot from them about customer service. “The tool of listening and understanding the concern from their point of view is the key. The customer expects an honest answer and a quick response. While we can’t always give them the answer they require, we do try to keep the customer apprised of the latest information. Draper truly wants their experience to be one that leaves them with the anticipation to return and become a team together, selling Draper products!”

There are other parts of the customer service brew, as well. Draper offers continuous training to keep everyone up to date on the latest product and industry developments. We work hard to ensure speedy response to calls; we monitor Live Chats on the Draper website and are ready to answer questions; documentation for all of our products are available on website, as are handy tools for selecting the right Draper solution. We offer dedicated, personal support for everything from solution design, to ordering, to shipping issues, to final installation and technical support.

Or, to boil all of this down into a pithy phrase: We bend over backwards for our customers—quite a feat for a 113-year-old! And that is stellar customer service!

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