Here at Customer Impact, we have the daily privilege of interacting with some amazing people.
The “Retail Merchandiser Spotlight” is an opportunity to recognize these outstanding field representatives, and get to know them on a more personal level.
These individuals are our most dependable and high-volume Retail Merchandisers completing in-store projects across the country.
Read below to learn more about them and their journey with Customer Impact.
Introducing: Michele R.
Where do you currently live?
Edge of the World in Washington State.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a widow, and my mom lives with me. I’m older than CDs and the internet. I love to visit new places. I’m an introvert. I live in a rural setting. My neighbors have chickens. There is a goat farm a mile down the road.
Please tell us a bit about your family (pets included).
I have three younger brothers, three nephews, and a niece.
I have three dogs: “Hairy,” my border collie service dog, “PuppaLou,” a Catahoula-mix, and “Hunter,” a border collie puppy. Hairy is with me 24/7 and has been for seven years. He’s a medical alert dog who also likes to critique my language towards bad drivers.
What made you decide to work with Customer Impact?
They were one of the first Merchandisingcompanies I found when I decided to try retail merchandising.
I was already using the JobSlinger site and had done mystery shopping and compliance audits for a variety of companies. I had completed a couple dozen POP replacement jobs for a company. CI popped up with assignments near me and I decided to pick up a few.
CI staff were patient and willing to answer my likely ridiculous questions with a smile in their voice. So, I hung around. My first assignments were prepaid debit card and liquor store price checks.
I’ve worked with lots of different Schedulers and Project Managers at CI since my first assignments years ago, and they’ve always been easy to work with. As a rule, they are helpful and friendly.
What do you like most about being a Retail Merchandiser?
Generally speaking, retail merchandising is a revealed visit so I don’t have to pretend to be “Mildred from Springfield.” I’m not a great actress.
I get a sense of accomplishment out of seeing what a display looks like after it’s been serviced versus what it looked like to begin with. I like to see things organized.
What’s something you find challenging about Retail Merchandising?
Trying to communicate with store owners so they understand why I’m at their establishment, and that I’m there to help them.
English is my only language. I only took French in high school (which was a very long time ago) and it’s not something useful to talk to shop owners. I wish I’d taken Spanish or Cantonese or Hindi.
Do you have any helpful tips for people starting as a Retail Merchandiser?
Don’t get discouraged. Not every company is going to be a good fit for you. I have a list of companies I never want to work with again, and some that I will rearrange schedules to work with.
Read directions carefully. If there is anything you don’t understand, then call or email and ask questions. The schedulers would rather you call them with questions than if they have to call you to send you back to the store.
Communicate. If something weird happens or a weird situation exists, then send an email or write clear comments explaining what happened or what is weird. Some of my comment fields look like novels.
Take extra pictures of anything out of the ordinary. This has saved me return trips.
What other gig-work have you done?
Contract Project Manager
Getting To Know Michele
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
I started out as a music Major.
I worked in Aerospace Project Management for 30 years.
I used to be on the road 300 plus days a year. I am a million mile flyer on an airline, and a lifetime Diamond member at a hotel chain.
What motivates or inspires you?
I’m inspired by music.
What are your hobbies or interest?
Visiting historical and natural sites
What’s your favorite holiday or season, and why?
Halloween/Fall. I love the costumes, the parties the fun of Halloween. I love the cooling weather and changing leaves.
What is the greatest challenge you have overcome in your life, thus far?
Stage 3 cancer in 2020
What is one small change you made in your life that had a much bigger impact than you anticipated?
Changing college majors.
Name one thing you’re willing to spend more money on to make sure you get the best quality.
A cell phone – I want them to last a long time. I hate to change phones, so when I purchase a new one I generally save and get the best that’s on offer so in a year it’s not obsolete.
What are you proud of, but have never had an excuse to talk about?
(Yes, this is your time to brag)
I am a founding “mother” of a professional organization at my former Fortune 500 employer. The group now has over 1000 members all across the globe.
The Fun Questions
Which actor would you want to play you in a movie about your life?