As Vice President of Operations at Total Merchant Services, Mike Vaughn lives by three simple words…
“Fierce customer loyalty,” he says emphatically. “We’re in a space where it’s not easy to differentiate yourself and it’s highly competitive. But one of the ways we can separate from the pack as well as attract and retain customers is through top quality service and support.”
Mike, who has nearly 15 years experience in the payment industry, says it’s critical for customers to have positive experiences whenever they interact with Total. And as the man in charge of every customer experience from the time a sales partner hands over a merchant application, he believes the high-touch approach works best.
“We empower our front line associates to make connections with our customers,” Mike says. “That’s the winning equation. Memorable and smooth experiences plus amazing products equals customer loyalty.”
But developing and maintaining this relationship between Total and its clients goes well beyond just encouraging a friendly phone demeanor. Mike explains all new employees go through two to three weeks of training so that they understand Total’s culture and values, the payment industry and, of course, the job function itself. Mike adds that, as unique as it might sound, they make sure staff know it’s ok to make mistakes – provided it’s within an effort to ensure customer loyalty.
As far as developing new tools or approaches for his division, Mike explains that he has a particular vantage point that he always likes to maintain.
“We look at the customer interaction coupled with an ease-of-use focus to improve the customer’s end-to-end experience. This results in numerous operational improvements including easy-to-read statements, enhanced instructions for the set up a POS system and efficient deployment of products to our customers.
On the personal front, Mike has lived in Southern California practically his entire life. The only time he didn’t live there was for one year while he set up a call center in Las Vegas. This all makes his sporting passion all the more interesting. You see, Mike is a hockey lover and plays whenever he gets the chance.
“The minute Wayne Gretzky came to L.A., it started this whole hockey movement,” Mike says. “I started playing hockey out of that. I just fell in love with it.”
The walls in Mike’s office are certainly a testament to his love for the sport as he has paintings of both “The Great One” and Luc Robitaille.
Mike’s hockey time is somewhat limited by being the married father of two – daughter Gaby (8) son Gavin (4).
Stop my Mike’s office sometime and talk some puck. Just make sure it’s about his favorite team, the L.A. Kings. No Anaheim Ducks fans allowed.