Employee Stories

The People Who Care For People: Abby Tonn, Customer Solutions Coordinator

Abby Tonn is a Customer Solutions Coordinator in the Corrugated & Industrial Packaging Division of our Kelowna, BC branch. Abby joined the Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging (GLBC) in May 2022, making her one of our newer team members. In the relatively short time she’s been with us, she’s established herself as a keen learner and a caring, supportive customer specialist. We hope this is just the start of a phenomenal career in packaging.

Abby-Tonn-Customer-Solutions-Coordinator
Abby Tonn Customer Solutions Coordinator – Corrugated & Industrial Packaging Division

 

How long have you worked in customer service?

Pretty much since I started working in high school…retail, fast food, et cetera.

How did you come to be at GLBC?

I didn’t really feel drawn to any particular industry, but customer service is what I always knew I wanted to do. GLBC stood out to me as a company when I learned about it. I also studied intercultural studies, so I like getting to know lots of different kinds of people. That definitely happens here.

What has your experience in the Corrugated Division been like?

It’s a lot to learn all at once! Kind of overwhelming at times. When I have a slower day, I end up listening to podcasts or watching videos about packaging or machines. Or researching different kinds of protective packaging. It’s a lot of learning from my peers too. I still feel like I’m learning things every day. I’m slowly getting a handle on things.

What are your keys to success in customer service?

There’s a lot of potential for things to go wrong from the point when you realize you need packaging to get that product in your hands. A big part of the customer service role is helping out with those things. For me, it’s about getting to know your unique customers and their unique needs, because not every solution is going to work for each customer. You track the process and figure out when there might be issues and what different solutions you could offer before those things occur. And also making sure customers know what the process will be like. We get lots of walk-ins from people who are just realizing they need packaging. We walk them through the materials, the machines, and we make sure they understand the whole process. That really helps.

What’s the most interesting thing about the job?

Getting to work with all of the different industries. There are a lot. Wine and beer, food, agriculture, health care. It feels like I’m stepping into a different world with every customer. I get to learn about these industries in a way I wouldn’t if I had another job.

What’s the most rewarding thing about the job?

For sure when the customer gets their final custom packaging, and they get to see the artwork and colours on the product. It’s so exciting. I also always get excited when I see the packaging on the shelves and I think, “Wow we did that!”

What are the biggest challenges you face?

I already covered this a bit, but it’s the newness of the industry. It leads to a bit of imposter syndrome sometimes because everyone around me has worked here for ten years or more. I’m always like, “What is this? What does it do?” It’s a constant learning process.

What advice would you have given yourself going into this role?

Have more confidence. You’re in the job for a reason and you have something to offer. Even if people know more than you, you have something unique to offer. And mistakes will happen, so don’t take them too seriously.

What’s been your favourite experience at GLBC?

The Box Trip to Vegas! It was a cool opportunity to connect with employees I don’t get to connect with normally. It was also a great way to get to know the employees in Kelowna. It feels like we’re a stronger team here after that experience.

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