Meet Karen Valladares-Customer Service Comes First
Beginning a career in retail as a sales associate, Karen Valladares quickly moved up the ranks to a management position working in operations and loss prevention, controlling shrink and enhancing the overall customer’s experience. Karen joined the USS team seven years ago, and is now the Director of Sales for the West Region providing solutions to loss prevention professionals in her previous line of work.
“Seven years ago, I took the leap into the sales portion of loss prevention and I have to say it’s worked better for me. When I talk to customers today, I am able to relate to what their challenges are on a global perspective because I do understand their processes and how they receive products, the difference between DC tagging and store tagging,” says Karen.
Adel Sayegh, President and CEO of USS, is proud to have Karen on his team. “Her well rounded knowledge of loss prevention provides customers with much more than product information. She is able to visualize the product in stores, understand how it’s handled and assembled, and know the overall benefits for the customer and the company. She is the complete package which is what we want for our customers.”
Part of working in loss prevention means being able to handle the day-to-day situations as well as the emergencies that surface, and Karen understands that in those situations it’s best to handle everything as it comes and get things done.
“Part of coping with emergencies is knowing that you can’t control everything,” says Karen. “There are times when customs holds product back, or other problems arise, but I do anything that I can to come up with solutions. My job is to service and help my customers which ultimately are my drive and motivation.”
As Director of Sales, Karen manages a team of sales associates and takes pride in leading her team and building relationships. “I enjoy learning and teaching and I am so proud of my team’s growth. Relationships impact your life both professionally and personally,” Karen says. “It’s part of what makes this industry so special because you build lifelong partnerships.”
For those looking to enter the loss prevention industry, Karen had a few words to say. “Don’t rely on technology to build relationships for you. The art of conversation really has an important meaning. Make sure you still pick up the phone. Believe in your craft, build relationships and be proud of what you do because at the end of the day, if I didn’t believe in the products, I wouldn’t sell them.”
Aside from a successful career in loss prevention, Karen is a proud mother of four who enjoys bike riding, exercising, and staying fit and healthy. In her spare time she enjoys reading self help books with helpful work and personal life tips to better improve her life. “I enjoy learning and growing in all aspects of my life. It’s great to be able to learn and evolve as a person,” she says. “Balancing my home life and career also helps put things in perspective. My family is extremely important to me and I enjoy spending time with my loved ones. Just like I said before, relationships are built with conversation and trust, two of the most important things in life.”