Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Foss Consolidating Customer Service Centers

By Mark Edward Nero

Foss Maritime said Jan. 25 that it is opening a consolidated customer service center in Oregon in April, and that all customer service representatives on the West Coast will be relocated to the new central location.

Foss currently utilizes four services centers – two in California and one each in Oregon and Washington – to serve its regional, national and international customers in ports along the Pacific seaboard, Hawaii and Alaska, as well as across the globe.

But according to a Foss news release, the company’s existing Portland office will be renovated and modernized to incorporate the best available customer service technologies, including a state-of-the-art telephony system, heightened cyber security, and enhanced dispatching and vessel tracking capabilities.

According to Foss Director of Customer Service, Chris Wolf, consolidating customer service in Foss’ Columbia Snake River location is expected to allow the company to enhance both its service and its responsiveness.

“Bringing all of our customer service representatives into a single hub will allow us to gain efficiencies and streamline our business processes, explained Scott Merritt, the Vice President of Harbor Services at Foss. “The newly updated Portland center will help us support our customers and crews in any location and any time zone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Merritt further explained that, as the first to be called in the Emergency Response Network, customer services representatives will now have enhanced tools to respond immediately to distress calls and calls for aid, and alert crews and customers to changing conditions and possible challenges.

All customer service representatives are expected to receive extra training to ensure they are proficient in the operations of each region Foss serves.

“Customer services representatives will spend time in each region, getting to know the crews and the vessels, and getting a feel for the geography and the unique characteristics of each port,” Wolf said.