Putting Ourselves in Your Shoes


Joe C., Shay W., Stacey S., Mary M., and Cheyenne P. outside of AlleyCat Designs. The visit to the store is part of their training to help them better understand how custom printing businesses really work.

Customer service representatives in training, Joe C., Shay W., Stacey S., Mary M., and Cheyenne P. outside of AlleyCat Designs in Westland, Michigan. The visit to the store is part of our hands-on education process, in order to help them better understand how custom printing businesses really work. Thank you to owners Jim and Jocelyn for opening your store to us.

In case you ever wondered why our customer service representatives care so much about the success of your business, it’s because they know how hard you work! Deep into week 7 of our Customer Service Training Program,  one group of our reps in training took a visit to AlleyCat Designs in Westland, Michigan. This hands-on training allows Stahls’ reps to “put themselves in the shoes of our customers,”  and to see what it is really like behind the scenes, on the other end of the telephone. According to Yolanda Merrill, who accompanied the group, “This experience helps reinforce the training they receive and gives them a snapshot of what a typical day entails for our customers. Most importantly, it adds to our appreciation for the customer and allows us to empathize with them.” Mary M., one of the trainees, had this to share:  “We learned about the client’s customer base and the challenges they encounter as a small business, such as working long hours, 7 days a week, during busy seasons and how they try to enjoy the “calm before the storm” during their slower periods. As a customer service rep, it helped me to realize how “under the gun” they can be in a sometimes stressful environment to fulfill their orders. They had some awesome decorating methods using combinations of various materials and embroidery which they had displayed all over their walls and hanging in their front sales room. The back room held all their equipment, including four heat presses, an embroidery machine, and a printer/cutter to name a few. They also incorporated some airbrush designs done by the co-owner. I enjoyed talking with the owners and learning more about the work that they do and the struggles they face, as well as the satisfaction that they get from their work and how they enjoy working together as a family.”

Shay W., who also participated, had this to say: “The customer visit was enlightening. It not only showed us how our customers use our products and their creativity, but also how the economy affects them and how they adjust their ordering of product to deal with the bottom line. AlleyCat has such a wide scope of designing opportunities available for their customers. We were able to watch the DTG machine and vinyl cutter at work, which was nice to experience. My favorite part was listening to our customer and hearing how they are so appreciative of how we are loyal to them and care about them. How they feel we are a team involved in building of their business. These are values I feel very strongly about. I am extremely excited to be a part of a company that makes their customer feel this way.” Thank you to everyone who participated, and thanks again to AlleyCat Designs for sharing your store with us!



I had the opportunity to meet with another group of our Customer Service Representatives in training back in June. I’m always impressed with the questions they ask as well as the high level of interest in helping our customers succeed.

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