Meet our Home Based Target.com Guest Services Senior Specialists

Our Financial and Retail Services (FRS) organization is close to the action when it comes to interacting with our guests. Through exceptional service and support at critical moments for guests and team members alike, FRS cultivates loyalty and satisfaction with every interaction. And they show up and deliver more than 100 million times a year when someone reaches out to an FRS call center for help. 

We sat down with a handful of our Home Based Target.com Guest Services Senior Specialists within FRS—Stephanie, Hunter, Cecilia and Karla—who put their responsiveness and expertise to work for the benefit of the thousands of Target.com shoppers each day. What’s more—they do it from the comfort of their home as a member of our recently launched home based team member program. Read on to learn more about their role and the work-life balance they enjoy as a home-based team member. 

What’s a typical day like as a Home Based Target.com Guest Services team member?  

Stephanie: I help guests with problems they’re having with online orders. It includes taking phone calls or responding to emails to help keep our guests happy—and properly documenting their experience. There is so much competition these days—we want to make sure we provide the greatest customer service so they continue choosing us. My typical work day also includes attending meetings/statuses, reviewing updates and trends, and having fun and staying positive.  

Hunter: help guests with any Target.com-related questions or concerns they may have. I help with such a broad variety of things that there isn’t really a “typical” guest interaction. My work day is usually composed of handling escalated guest phone calls, answering guest emails and using instant messaging to stay connected with my team and leadership. 

Karla: My typical day at work is taking inbound calls from guests, providing “service with heart,” and working to accomplish one-time call resolution. Every day involves research time to follow up with our guest, vendors or any of our partners. I also work on different projects that I may have with my team or with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  

What helps you to be successful in your role?  

Hunter: My empathy, along with the support of leadership, has really helped me excel in this role. I’ve always been able to put myself in the guest’s shoes to really understand how a situation may be impacting their life. And our leadership team has encouraged me to lean into that when assisting guests. 

Cecilia: I use skills learned in my prior positions and life experiences. The soft skills and de-escalation skills I learned while working in both Collections and Fraud Prevention and Dispute Resolution have helped me in Target.com Guest Services as well. As each call or email is different, I try to put myself in the guest’s position to understand and have empathy for their situation while working on a resolution that is best for both the guest and Target. 

Karla: What helps me to be successful in my role is having the support from my leader and my peers. And working from home has increased my productivity 

What is the most challenging aspect of your role? 

Hunter: The hardest part of my job is not being able to resolve issues our guests face the exact way they want them to be resolved. We usually have more than one option for how something can be resolved, but every once in a while, we may need to relay disappointing news. This role has the ability to make or break a guest’s experience. No one likes to have to contact a large company when something goes wrong, but I always try to make guests feel like they’re talking to a friend they haven’t caught up with in a while. I do all I can to let guests know that I honestly care about their satisfaction with Target.com. 

Stephanie: Escalating calls to a leader is hard in this position, because you like to feel confident in your role and what you can do for the guest. But sometimes, the guest requests to speak to someone higher, and that makes you feel like you didn’t do enough. But at the end of the day, you really did. 

What’s the best part about working from home? 

Stephanie: It’s so nice to not have to commute in to work and be able to spend more time with my husband and two young kiddos. Work is actually my mini-vacation away from the chaos. I’m in the comfort of my own home and can still do my job efficiently. I also find it rewarding to have this unique opportunity with Target as many companies don’t offer working from home.  

Hunter: It has been an awesome experience. I have more time in the morning to walk my dog or take her to the dog park, and I’ve been able to avoid the stressful morning and evening commutes. I am able to create my own workspace. The desks on site are great, but knowing I can make changes in my workspace that can help me excel has been a game changer. I also love having a silent place to work, and that isn’t always possible in the office. The best part is the time savings. I am probably only saving an hour of my day by not commuting, but it has been so worth it. My dog loves the extra time to play in the morning.  

Cecilia: The flexibility I have now to pick up hours is great. Since I work part-time, I can add hours more spontaneously as I do not have to commute to work. I also love being able to control my own environment, like heating and cooling. It may not seem like much, but it is very nice.  

Karla: Having the opportunity to work from home has been an amazing privilege and has enabled me to balance both work and life. It’s very important to me because as my shift ends, I prepare myself for my kids to get home from school; whereas before, I was in traffic and I couldn’t pick them up and prepare for after school activities. But now, I’m able to get up, get ready, make my coffee and start working without any stress. And during my breaks, I get some stuff done around the house which has also decreased my stress.  

What advice would you give someone exploring a home based opportunity with Target.com Guest Services?   

Cecilia: Being an organized and self-driven person has made the transition to working from home much easier. I was worried that I would be distracted by things that needed to be done around the house, but I just plan out what I want to accomplish during breaks and lunch at the beginning of the day, and I don’t worry about it until then. The one thing I do miss about working in the office is seeing my fellow team members and that interaction. But through IM and emails, I still touch base and even partner with them on cases if needed. 

Hunter: Trust your gut. If you need more face-to-face interaction with peers, it may be difficult to ease into. But there are many rewards to working from the comfort of your home.  

What do you enjoy most about Target? What keeps you here?  

Hunter: I love being able to be my authentic self at work every day. I’ve been on some great teams and have had great leaders that have felt like family. And the competitive pay is definitely a bonus.  

Cecilia: Originally, my plan was to put in for retirement this summer. But with working from home, and all the benefits I mentioned, I decided to work with Target.com for at least another five years. 

Stephanie: I’ve had many other roles in my career life, but being with Target is my favorite. Target leadership really cares that you have a good work-life balance. The culture and diversity are so great. People really work together and take the time to just check in on how work and life are going. The training is also great. We have so many awesome people who have so much knowledge, and they are always willing to help you. I’m so thankful my dad Craig, who has been at Target for 16 years, recommended it as a great place to work, because it was the best career decision I’ve made yet. It’s good to feel excited to work.  

Interested in a role on our Financial and Retail Services team? View current openings at target.com/careers. 

Get to know Angelica, Senior Specialist

Describe your typical work day.
My typical work day consist mainly of taking inbound and making outbound calls to help REDcardholders find solutions to bring their accounts up to date. We all have a schedule each day that will specify when we have breaks, lunches, and/or any other meetings, etc. The majority of the day is on the phones, but during the week we may also have a few department events or meetings. It could get monotonous to be on the phone all day, but we make it fun by having games or contests throughout the week.

What is the best thing about being a Senior Specialist?
The best thing about being a Senior Specialist is being able to help others in difficult times. Understanding their situations allows me to empathize with cardholders to help them move forward to a solution. Making a positive impact in our guest’s life is a great feeling and that’s what keeps me going.

What is the hardest thing about being a Senior Specialist?
There is really no hard part of being a Senior Specialist, it’s all about learning and being adaptable. For some people having a set schedule, dealing with guests who sometimes can be upset, and/or dealing with changes can be a challenge. However, if you have an open mind and stay focused on the goals and priorities of helping our guests, you’re able to adapt to anything that comes your way and make a smooth transaction.

What makes you successful in your role?
What makes me successful in my role is having the full support from my leader and peers, as well as the constant recognition for my accomplishments. Being able to receive and implement feedback is also a key factor to my success within Target.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
The most exciting and memorable thing that happened to me this month was having the opportunity to present my developmental growth within Target Collections Loss Prevention Tempe leaders. This gave me the opportunity to showcase my accomplishments and identify my strengths and areas of focus to continue to work on my development.

Best career advice that you’ve received?
The best career advice that I’ve received is to believe in myself and stay positive.

What’s the most memorable event that your team has taken part in?
The most memorable event that my team has been part of recently was a yoga class hosted by the Well Being committee in which every single one of my peers attended and participated in. Being able to attend this class helped us become closer and understand that our Well Being is just as important as the work that we do.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs.

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
My superpower is Enthusiasm. Sometimes it can be difficult to bounce into work with a smile, which is why having a positive attitude is important.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
My favorite thing about working at Target is the positive energy that is carried throughout the department. Having the opportunity to be part of a company that is constantly finding ways to help others at the same time keeping employees top of mind is awesome.

Interested in learning more about our service centers? Visit our career site anytime!

Get to know Marlys, Senior Specialist

Describe your typical work day.
My typical work day is taking a combination of inbound and outbound calls. Guests will call in to work out a payment arrangement and to resolve issues with their account with me. I also will call guests to try to bring their account current. When guests are current, they are able to use their REDcard in store or on target.com and save 5%!

What is the best thing about being a Senior Specialist?
I love it when a guest calls in frustrated or confused and then I have the ability to turn their experience into a good one by resolving their issues!

What is the hardest thing about being a Senior Specialist?
Some of our guests are going through hardships that no one should ever have to experience. Hearing about their issues, relating to them and finding the best solutions can be quite draining. It definitely takes a special person to work in Collections.

What makes you successful in your role?
I love to learn! When laws or policies change, we have the opportunity to learn new procedures or ways of doing things. I’ve been successful because I embrace those changes and really enjoy helping others learn too.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
I love attending the events Target has during Fall National week! We’ve had fitness classes, speakers (like Serena Williams), concerts, and tons of other things! I’ve gotten my picture taken with Bullseye the past two years in a row. I love him!

Best career advice that you’ve received?
The best career advice I’ve received is to share your career goals with others. This will keep you on track and keep you accountable. Also, if you let people in on your goals, they may keep you in mind for opportunities in the future.

What’s the most memorable event that your team has taken part in?
Our Team has potlucks about once a month where everyone brings their favorite foods in. We always have more food than you can imagine. No one will ever starve in Collections!

Dogs or cats?
Dogs! I lucked out because, during my first week at Target, there was a pet adoption event where they brought in puppies! We could hold them, take pictures and learn how to apply to adopt them. What other company would bring in cute, cuddly puppies on a random Wednesday?!

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
My superpower is my laugh because it’s contagious!

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
Target genuinely cares about the community and about its employees. For example, during Hurricane Maria, there was a picture on the news of cars evacuating Florida on a major highway. In contrast, in the same picture, a Target truck was headed into the path of the storm to deliver much-needed supplies to people. Target’s heart really shines through everything that we do.

Interested in learning more about our service centers? Visit our career site anytime!

 

first week at the pharmacy

Just in the first week of my internship I had the opportunity to provide a guest with amazing guest service and a true “expect more” moment.

A guest approached the pharmacy counter expressing extreme anxiety about a recent diagnosis. She was nervous about the potential outcomes of her condition and what she would need to do to treat it. She had three young children and is concerned about what the future would hold for her and her family.

I proceeded to take the next forty-five minutes and went step by step through her entire treatment process; how to set up her tools and medicine, what everything meant, what foods she should avoid, which she should eat more of, and a recommended work-out regimen.

When the guest left the pharmacy she had a smile on her face, expressed confidence in being able to manage her disease state and no longer seemed to be experiencing any sort of anxiety or fear.

This opportunity to provide the guest with amazing service gave her the confidence she needed, and also instilled a loyalty to Target. She stated that she will always come to Target for her healthcare needs and questions, and she really appreciated the time we took to help her through a difficult time.

This is my favorite aspect of Target: how we put so much attention and focus into the experience. It creates an overall positive atmosphere both for the guest and the team members. This guest was so distraught and her leaving with such a large smile on her face – I was thrilled the rest of the day. Target encouraging this behavior motivates us as team members to provide amazing guest service and help people like this feel truly amazing when they walk out of the door, and they want to return, even excited to come back to Target.

Thank you, Target for encouraging us to be a great company!

Post by Ashley,  Pharmacy Intern

Learn more about Target opportunities for college students here.

*photos are of Target team members*

Be Our Guest

Photo: description here

When you walk into a Target store, you may notice our “Service Desk” area right at the front. Take a look up at the overhead sign (I included a picture of my store’s sign for you)—Notice how it says “Guest Service”? Oh yes…this post is going to be all about you, the customer, and how I get to drive customer service here at Target.

I often give presentations to college students and I always ask what they think of when I say “Target”. The students usually respond with “clean and easy to navigate stores”, “the color red”, “fashion forward merchandise”– just to name a few, but the one that I really get to influence as store team leader is around “Guest Service”. You notice I’m now calling it “guest” instead of “customer”; let’s pause for a Target lingo moment: We say “Guest” because it’s that much easier to help demonstrate to our team members how we want to treat the people who shop at our stores. When you help a “Guest”, you go above and beyond while being welcoming, warm, and friendly.

Guest service is what we are about at Target! We challenge our team to create moments with guests that can have amazing results. This means instead of helping a guest find a certain item he or she is looking for, actually walking that guest to the aisle, engaging them in conversation, and helping them by going above and beyond– maybe suggesting additional items that would go with a piece of furniture, or pointing out that our brand of Market Pantry cranberry juice tastes great for a lower price. At Target, we encourage our team to “go the extra inch” and take “great” guest service to “amazing” guest service!

As the store team leader, I’m the champion of the guest service focus in my store. It’s my responsibility to ensure that my team is engaging our guests and providing amazing guest service. This may seem like a huge commitment, but it starts with me simply leading by example, along with my entire leadership team. As I engage guests in my store, I can easily show team members the different between “great” and “amazing”. Additionally, there are several tools that we have available to us to recognize team members who give amazing guest service. Whether it’s as simple as thank you note/recognition card or calling it out at our “huddles” (Target lingo: A 5-10 minute shift meeting with all Team Members), I am constantly helping my team feel empowered to go after “Amazing”!

It can be hard to quantify the difference between “Great” and “Amazing”, but Target does provide tools to leaders to help us measure how we are doing and where we need to improve. Every Monday, I get a report based off of feedback from our guests– You know those service surveys that print at the bottom of our receipts? Yep– all that data gets back me and I can use to recognize different areas of the store who are delivering amazing results, or help dig into where we can be better for our guests based off what they are telling us. Some of the best feedback I get from guests is simply a phone call or a request to speak with me at the service desk– I love hearing where we delivered on our amazing promise, or if we might need to focus as a team. Both allow me to be more effective as a leader to help my team deliver that amazing guest service.

I hope you have a great guest experience next time you walk into a Target store– and maybe you’ll understand a little more of what my job is when you hear that word “amazing” over the walkie-talkie or between two team members. Keep that feedback coming on what we are doing to help create an amazing moment for you in stores.

Interested in a store management role at Target? Learn more and apply for openings here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: R is for Refill

Photo: target pharmacy app

My first pharmacy job was in 1992. It was the classic mom-and-pop operation, and my job was head  (and only!) cashier and chief phone operator. The majority of business was delivering  prescriptions to nearby nursing homes.  So, every morning, the nurses would call in numerous refills for their residents, and I would manually write down the hundreds of numbers they were spouting off to me. Remember, this was long before voicemail, email, and even fax machines.

We’ve come a long way, baby! Twenty years later, there have been vast improvements in getting prescriptions refilled to help cut down on the number of phone calls pharmacies receive and the time guests spend requesting those refills.

Automated phone systems and Target.com/pharmacy were the first two advancements to aid in refill requests. With the automated phone system, guests can call and just type in the prescription numbers they need, day or night, over the phone. They don’t have to wait until we are open, nor do they have to wait on hold to speak to someone. With the internet feature, there are lots of cool options, from refilling prescriptions, transfering from other locations, and even setting refills up for Auto Refill.

Speaking of Auto Refill, this system was designed to eliminate the need to request a refill at all. Guests that are taking a regular medication can set their prescription up to automatically refill when it is due. That way, it is here at the pharmacy waiting for them when they need it.

Recently, Target developed an app for both the iPhone and Android systems that allows our guests to manage prescriptions from their phone. What I love most about the Target Pharmacy app is that you can view your entire prescription profile to request refills when needed. This eliminates the need for a prescription number at all.  All our guests have to do is click on the needed medication, and the pharmacy will then refill it for them. This really comes in handy when you need a refill on an eye drop and the box with the prescription number on it was long thrown away.

The app also has a feature where the pharmacy can text the guest to let them know their prescription is ready. This feature was just added, so we are encouraging all of our guests to sign up to receive texts. Then next time you are in your Target pharmacy, ask about getting enrolled to be eligible.

Needless to say, technology has changed the face of pharmacy in a huge way since my days of pen and paper. I can’t wait to see what improvements Target has in store for the next twenty years!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The abc’s of Target pharmacy: P is for Pediatrics

Nothing has made me a better pharmacist more than becoming a parent. Until you have to measure out 3.2 milliliters of antibiotic with one hand while holding an infant in the other, you just don’t understand how hard giving kids their medication can be.

Target has several awesome programs designed to help exasperated parents make sure “the medicine goes down, in the most delightful way!” Better than the spoonful of sugar Mary Popppins would have given, Target pharmacists have to ability to flavor any liquid medication using the FlavoRx system. And the best part is that Target does not charge for this service. Before having children, I secretly thought that kids should have to suffer the taste of medicine just like the rest of us did. Having a toddler with an ear infection changed all that. After she spit the sticky pink antibiotic all over the kitchen, I took it back to the pharmacy and let her pick out her flavor. Just her knowing she was more in charge of the situation by being out to blurt out “BANANA” helped us get all 10 days’ worth down. Having it flavored for free was just a bonus.

Another pediatric trick Target pharmacists have up their sleeves is the PIBA (press-in-bottle-adaptor) we put in all liquid medication bottles. This little magic gem allows the parent to put a measuring syringe in the top of the bottle, turn it upside down, and draw out the exact amount of liquid. This prevents all kinds of spills and messes from trying to get those last few doses from the bottom. Parents are so in love with our PIBAs that we have a few per week asking for some to put in their over-the-counter liquid medications, and I am more than happy to help them out.

Pediatric medications have come a long way since the days of chalky antibiotics and horrible tasting cough syrups. I love working for a company that is innovative and compassionate in their pursuit of getting the medicine down – especially for the little ones!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: G is for Guest Survery

Photo: Rae being green

We’ve all seen them ­– you  know, those surveys that print out at the bottom of receipts.  Target is no exception.  If I didn’t work in retail, I would have no idea how valuable input from guests was from those surveys.

Each month, we get a report with the results from every survey that was completed from our pharmacy.  There is nothing more encouraging than reading great feedback, and, on the flip side, negative feedback can be a great motivator to make ourselves better.

We are “graded” in six different areas and are awarded either  red (boo!), yellow (boo!), or green (yea!). You can guess what color we strive for monthly.  The more surveys we have completed, the better our score seems to be.  Lucky for me, I have great support staff among my team that really knows how to encourage our guests to make the extra effort and leave us positive feedback.  Thanks to Anneva, Rae, Emily, and Annette, we have a longstanding green record!

Now that I know how valuable a positive response can be, I try to fill out most of the surveys I receive from other vendors.  Who knows, I might just be their next big winner!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: B is for Bandages, Burns, and Bug Bites

Like most retail pharmacists, I end up giving lots of advice on over-the-counter medications and treatments.  While I can’t diagnose an ailment, I can offer my opinion of what would be best to help out.   Most questions are pretty straight forward like “How do I treat my poison ivy?” or “What’s the best cream for my ant bites?”  Every now and then I’ll see something that is unusual that requires a doctor’s visit.

I enjoy being able to help guests out, especially the kids.  Sometimes, all it takes is a princess bandage to make them feel all better.  And, when I have the time, it’s nice to go out on the floor and help someone find what would be best.  In fact, I occasionally wear a pedometer just to see  if I can walk 10,000 steps during a typical day.

When I first graduated from pharmacy school, questions about over-the-counter treatments scared me to death.  Believe it or not, pharmacy students don’t get that much education on OTC medications.  Anytime anyone would ask something, I would have to look up the answers.  This was circa 1997, so the internet wasn’t readily available.  Luckily, over the years it’s become easier, less intimidating, and even quite enjoyable learning about my guests and the best first aid for them!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.