East Coast Customer Service Manager

Equal Exchange is a Fair Trade organization and coffee roaster headquartered in West Bridgewater, MA, founded in 1986. Our mission is to create more authentic Fair Trade relationships between farmers and consumers. We bypass the conventional marketing system by cutting out middlemen and buying directly from farmer co-operatives. Due to the complex level of training involved with a worker-owner co-operative, Equal Exchange does ask for a two-year commitment to employment. The open position is located in Canton, MA. 

Job Description:

  • Employment Status: Full-time, regular position on worker-owner track
  • Hours: 40-45 hrs per week
  • Starting Salary: TBD 
  • Benefits: Health/dental/vision insurance coverage, vacations, holidays, sick days, eligibility for worker ownership
  • Department: Support Operations
  • Reports to: Director of  Support  Operations East
  • Responsible for: Development of Customer Service strategy, protocol, and systems; Supervision and management of Canton Customer Service staff, Coordination with Sales Group leaders; Coordination with Customer Service in other offices; Customer Service tasks


  • Experience in customer service required.
  • Supervision experience preferred. Ability to hire and conduct performance reviews required.
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate, motivate, and develop team members.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate proactively and effectively problem solve with customers and team members.
  • Self-directed individual who can effectively manage time and responsibilities.
  • Experience with word processing, spreadsheets, and database programs required.
  • Detail-oriented with an eye for accuracy.
  • An interest in fair trade and the mission of Equal Exchange.
  • A desire to learn from others and contribute to the success of the organization.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with other departments 
  • Previous supervision experience required

Responsibilities:  Team and Customer Service Supervision:

  • Develop understanding of customer needs, including where needs differ between customer bases
  • Manage and develop customer support practices, including strategy, policies, and systems
  • Coordinate with other teams as necessary (IS team, sales teams, etc) to manage systems needs
  • Direct supervision, training and support of customer service team members and support managers
  • Coordinate with other teams to ensure customer service plans support sales strategies
  • Involve team members in systems and program support work as appropriate
  • Manage daily customer service, order flow, and team staffing and schedule
  • Communicate with Customer Service teams in other office locations
  • Budget for Customer Service teams and manage team expenses 
  • Recruiting, hiring, and training as needed
  • Other job-related responsibilities and projects as needed.

Customer Service and Outreach:

  • All duties of a Customer Service Representative. Effectively answer phones/emails, take accurate orders and respond to customer questions and concerns.
  • Act as a “poweruser” of Equal Exchange’s order processing and customer relationship software system.
  • Communicate strong knowledge of Equal Exchange products and mission.

Problem Solving:

  • On both daily and long-term bases, problem-solve with Sales sectors, Warehouse, Delivery, Production, and other teams to build effective and efficient organizational systems.
  • Lead the Customer Service team in identifying room for improvement and implementing changes.
  • Other tasks as required by the organization.    

Personnel & Worker Ownership/Fair Trade Development:

  • Participate in staff, team, department, and educational (Exchange Time) meetings.
  • Understand our producer partners, training policies, and the Fair Trade movement.
  • Understand and participate effectively in our worker cooperative model.

To Apply: 
Please send a cover letter, resume and answers to the application questions listed below to: csmgr@equalexchange.coop by Monday, April 10.   

Application Questions:
1)  Describe one personnel situation that challenged you as a manager or team leader. Describe one personnel situation that was very rewarding for you as a manager or team leader.

2) In your opinion, what is the most important function of a customer service manager?

3)  In practical terms, how do you see the role of the customer service manager relating to the embodiment of EE’s mission? How would you go about this?

4) Along with the sales team, customer retention falls within Customer Service and how would you work with your team and the Sales Department to enhance our customer retention program?