Ingram Book Group Announces Around-the-Clock Customer Service

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On April 24, La Vergne, Tennessee-based Ingram Book Group announced that its Customer Care staff would expand from 12 hours per day to 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The new hours should benefit booksellers, said Keel Martin, spokesperson for Ingram. "Booksellers are spending most of their time serving their customers," he said. "Being able to call after hours should be a great new convenience."

Prior to the change, Ingram’s customer service hours had been 7:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday, though its Web-based ordering system had been available 24 hours per day. In its press release, Ingram noted that customer service reps will be available to take orders, check stock, track packages, provide electronic ordering support, and answer general questions at any time -- through phone, fax, or e-mail.

Ingram is especially hoping that the new hours will help its international customers, allowing them to conduct business with the wholesaler at their convenience regardless of location. Furthermore, in a prepared statement, Steve Pate, vice president of sales operations for Ingram, indicated that the company expanded its hours because many of its "valued customers" no longer "abide by the typical ‘nine to five.’"

"We don’t want customers to ever have to worry about what time it is when they want to do business with Ingram," Pate said, and added that he believed that 24-hour customer service was the next natural step in Ingram’s goal to provide service to "the world’s booksellers."

Ingram Book Group is a wholesaler of trade books, spoken audio, and magazines. Its operating units include Ingram Book Company; Ingram Periodicals, Inc.; Ingram International, Inc.; Ingram Library Services, Inc.; Spring Arbor Distributors, Inc.; Tennessee Book Company; Ingram Fulfillment Services, Inc.; and Ingram Customer Systems, Inc.