It can be scary for the founder of a Consumer-Packaged Goods company to let someone else help with things. For so long it has just been you. Oftentimes, from the initial idea to the point of realizing you need outside help, everything has been engineered by a single person or a small group of individuals. But outside help — like a customer service representative — can be a wonderful thing. So, what can a customer service person help?  

Here are 8 things a customer service person does for a young CPG brand 

  1. Receiving Orders: Letting go of simple tasks is a great way to free yourself up for heavier tasks. Receiving orders is a great place to start because you just need someone trustworthy that can receive and log new orders that come in. 
  2. Reviewing Orders for Accuracy: Once those orders are received, a customer service representative could take the time to review them for accuracy. The rep can check things like pricing, codes, minimum order quantities, lead time compliance, etc.   
  3. Arranging Shipment: The next step in the process a customer service rep can help with is arranging shipments. Picking orders, packing boxes, labeling boxes, all that stuff (if you’re fulfilling your own orders) can be handled by someone else. If you are using a third-party logistics company (who fulfills the orders for you) then the rep would be responsible for transmitting the data to them. 
  4. Invoicing: Sending invoices can feel like an important task, and it is. But it’s not something you — as the founder/owner of the CPG brand — need to be in the trenches on. Hand that off to a representative and then you can just check in from time to time to make sure it’s being done correctly.  
  5. Pay On-Time Compliance: Getting paid is important. The more places you are selling, though, can complicate the whole process of tracking who has paid and when. Factor in the agreements you may have made with each distributor for things like early payment discounts and now we are talking about a full-time job. A job that could be handled by someone else. Someone like a customer service representative.  
  6. Review Remittances: Like invoicing, checking on remittances (payments) can be handled by a Customer Services Rep. Deductions for a variety of reasons often need to be researched and understood. Some are necessary but others aren’t. A customer service rep can do that leg work and let you know when something needs to be pushed back on.  
  7. Answer Inquiries About Orders: Your distributors are essential to your business’s success but a lot of times their questions don’t need to be answered by the people at the top. Things like shipping dates, carriers, and changes to their order can be handled by a knowledgeable customer service rep while you are doing other — equally (or maybe more?) important — work.  
  8. Help Manage Distributor/Retailer Requirements: Making sure the requirements your distributors/retailers have are met is another thing a customer service representative can take off your plate. Let them handle the minutiae so you can handle the bigger picture items.  

A lot of these things may seem like what your everyday has been about up until now. And that’s true, it might have been. But think of adding a customer service representative like freeing yourself up to move into the next phase of your CPG Brand’s journey. Once you can free your time from that stuff, you can take on bigger roles to get your product where you really want it to be, wherever that may be. 

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