October 4, 2023

Customer Service Week Spotlight: Heather Walmsley

Heather Walmsley Family Photo

Service with a smile. Heather works hard to provide a good experience to every customer.

 

Thermo King’s Heather Walmsley was destined for a customer service career. Ever since her first job as a sales associate in a clothing store, she has been demonstrating her ability to take care of others, problem-solve, and develop relationships that cultivate effective teamwork and life-long friendships.

“I feel like my whole career has been centered around customer service,” said Heather, reminiscing about her early days in a clothing store. That was where Heather’s positivity and attention to detail was not only noticed but led to a 20+ year career in banking before she joined our company in 2016.

“Through all my career roles, which include teller, teller supervisor, commercial teller, collection analyst, branch manager, and various customer service roles at Trane and Thermo King, I’ve carried the philosophy to take personal responsibility for developing a positive relationship and providing a good experience for each customer. By doing this, I feel it has really helped me move through my career with appreciation for each role.”

That attitude has led to an immense appreciation from her colleagues and the people she serves every day. “Not only is Heather a great teammate, but she leads in an inclusive manner and encourages everyone to do their best while freely sharing information,” said Terry Jaecks, customer service manager, Thermo King Americas.

 

Leader in change

Heather serves in a unique role on Thermo King’s Customer Service team as change agent, where she has led the team through some significant projects including the deployment of Salesforce Case Management with the Customer Service Team, and Stock Unit Credit Request improvements – all projects aimed at making it easier to get things done. It is a role that fits Heather well as she enjoys finding solutions to challenges and streamlining activities so that teams across the business can be more efficient.     

“My role takes what our entire team does each day to a new level. We are the first line of defense for everything related to our customers,” explained Heather. “This includes our dealer network, strategic customer partners, and internal departments and manufacturing facilities. When an out of the ordinary situation occurs, our team engages with all other departments to resolve the situation.

“As change agent, I dig a little deeper to understand how the situation started, and how to prevent recurrence. I also assist our team through system changes and ensure our standard work is updated. I may hold a different title within our team, but all my amazing Customer Service colleagues work to improve processes for our various customers and dealers daily. We continue to ask the WHY or the HOW in a process to understand different ways to improve our service.”

 

Daring to do things differently

While keeping customers at the heart of everything is key in the customer service space, Heather believes that daring to do things differently is vital to success. In my role, I feel we should challenge ourselves and those around us who say, ‘but it’s always been done this way.’ In our industry, thinking differently and challenging processes leads to growth.”

Heather has never shied away from doing things differently. She went back to school in 2017 to finish her bachelor’s degree in business administration. “It was scary, but I wanted a four-year degree for additional career opportunities. And I wanted to be an example for my grown children and hold myself accountable for what I had started many years earlier. It’s never too late to continue your learning journey,” said Heather proudly.

That thirst for learning has continued for Heather as she is finishing up a 12-month Lean Practitioner Certification. As a lean practitioner, she is a front-line leader who is equipped with lean tools, methods, and principles to solve prob­lems, make improve­ments, and devel­op the con­tin­u­ous improve­ment skills of oth­ers. In other words, her certifications will extend the service she can provide to her customers and her colleagues as they work to streamline or improve processes.

 

All about team

‘Team Service’ happens to be the 2023 Customer Service Week theme and according to Heather, it is spot on. “To me, team service means you succeed as a team, and you fail as a team. There are no individuals.

“We have amazing employees in our Customer Service department, and I am so blessed to be a part of such a great group of people. Everyone works extremely hard, binds together when there is a large project or if someone needs support.

“I think that’s what I love most about this team - the passion we all share for our dealers and customers and how we support one another.”

 

Get to Know Heather

Current title: Change Agent, Thermo King Americas Customer Service

Years with our company: 7 total – 3 with Trane Commercial and 4 with Thermo King Americas

All in the family: Heather’s husband, Chris, is Technical Service Manager for Thermo King Americas.

What do you enjoy most in your role?  “I love being able to work with our dealers and help to improve their service experience. When you can support a dealer through a difficult process and see it through it’s very rewarding for me personally.”

Challenging possible: Heather recently started a Women’s Self-Defense program through Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy called Women Empowered. “It’s so much fun, and I love the energy and camaraderie from this group of women. I earned my first stripe in July of this year. I have a long way to go, but it’s the journey that counts!”

Favorite pastime activities: “In my free time, I love to fish, crochet, sew and craft, but my first loves are my husband, Chris, and our beautiful family – children Brandon, Katy, Ashtyn and Greg, and grandchildren Christopher and Evelynn.

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Fun outside of work – fishing

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Crocheting

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Jiu-Jitsu