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Yuma's Best 2012: Staples
Best Office Supplies and Products, Best Printing and Copies
Everyone knows how annoying it is to walk into a business and not get prompt attention.
And Staples knows it's annoying. That's why associates of either of the office supply chain's two Yuma stores are trained to welcome you when you walk through the door.
And if you go up to the counter, for example, to have copying or printing done, you get another greeting. In fact, the store associate behind the counter has been instructed to greet you in under a minute.
There may be several people in line ahead of you, but you know your business is appreciated and that you will be served as promptly as is possible.
The greeting is “something so small, so minute you might not think it makes a difference (to the customer), but it does,” said Connie Sharp, the general manager of the Staples at 500 W. Catalina Drive.
Yuma-area residents have long relied on that store and the one at 101 W. 16th Street for a wide range of office products, but Sharp believes the employees' people skills and attention to customer needs are just as important to the stores' success
Voters in the Yuma Sun's annual poll, Yuma's Best, chose the two stores as the area's best providers in 2012 of office equipment and supplies and of printing and copying services.
When the stores interview job applicants, said Sharp, they're not necessarily looking for the candidates with the longest resumes in a field related to office supply and office technology.
“If they're not smiling in the interview, if they're not friendly, they're probably not going to have a very successful career with Staples,” she said. “So we're hiring for heart and passion. We look more at the friendliness than the resume. They have to have the passion to meet people; they can't be afraid of people.
“We can teach them the Staples processes. We can't teach them to have a smile on their faces when they meet a customer. That has to come from within.”
That said, customers do end up getting served by experienced as well as friendly associates, she added, given that the new hires tend to become long-term employees. Associates at either store typically have been working with the chaiN for more than two years, with some approaching or having completed their first decade of service with Staples.
“It's not a constant revolving door. When a customer comes through the door, they meet the same people they've been dealing with over years.”
Staples, of course, stocks the reams of paper, stationery, tablets, pens, pencils, file folders and multitude of other office supplies, but it is also offers computers and other office technology.
“We are quick to bring in the latest computers, tablets, printers and digital cameras,” Sharp said. “The bottom line is, we can get anything our customers want. If it's not in the store, we can order it, next-day service and free delivery.”
The stores also offer technical support to customer and can send out staff to residents' homes or businesses for such tasks as installing computers or wireless networks.
Copying services go beyond making black and white or color reproductions of pages, she said. For example, they can help customers reproduce logos and other designs on business cards, postcards, signs and banners, even T-shirts.
“We can scan documents and put them on a flash drive, and we can do it in two minutes, if that.”
Staples, headquartered in Framingham, Mass., opened the 16th Street store in 1994 and the store on Catalina Drive a few years later.
Store hours are 8 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
“Our goal is to greet every customer when they walk into the store, and try to read the needs of the customer. While we operate in a sales environment, we never want to push the customer into a sale. We want to help them find a total solution before they leave the building.”