MASTERS OF MAILING
Unison Business Solutions
No one knows the mailing and shipping industry as well as Shawn Shannon, president of Unison Business Solutions. For Shannon, and every employee at Unison, customer service is everything, and Unison is determined to provide a service that is better than their competitors, plus a little “extra.”
Q: What experience do you have in your industry?
A: In the office equipment industry, I have 25 years of experience as a sales person, sales manager and owner of Shannon Business Systems. SBS was a Neopost/Hasler dealer who sold mailing equipment plus mailing and shipping software solutions to over 3,000 Baltimore businesses.
Q: From your experiences, what can you bring to Unison Business Solutions?
A: I have a track record in not just selling high-end, state-of-the-art solutions to Maryland businesses but also, and just as importantly, servicing those customers with an unparalleled level of customer service. The end result is that my company developed a long list of loyal clients that repetitively partnered with Shannon Business Systems when selecting their business solutions.
Q: What opportunity or gap in the industry did you notice that led to the founding of Unison?
A: I started Unison Business Solutions because I noticed that Maryland businesses really didn’t have the opportunity to deal with a local partner who really understood the mailing and shipping industry. The Post Office, UPS and Fedex all have great programs and pricing, but there are very few businesses that have the knowledge base to take advantage of these opportunities. That is where we fill a need every day. We save our customers time, labor and money by knowing the business of mail and shipping.
And as a partner with Toshiba, we now have strong beliefs that successful solutions for our customers go way beyond the actual multi-function device. The real advantage a company can see with their electronic and hard copy documents comes when they enhance their business strategies with their document workflow.
Q: What challenges did you face when trying to break into the market as a start-up?
A: There are always extra challenges from being a start-up company, but there are also opportunities to begin your business on the right foot. I’m able to take the 25 years of knowledge I gained while running my old company and bring the good ideas to market right from the start while avoiding making some of the mistakes I made in the past.
Q: What differentiates you from your competitors?
A: There are many companies that profess customer service, but there are really very few companies that practice customer service to the extent that their customers deserve every day. I have a track record of supporting my customers with an unparalleled level of customer support. I will bring my new and old customers that same level of satisfaction with Unison Business Solutions.
Q: What unique role do you play for your client’s businesses?
A: The role that I play with my clients is that they know I am always one phone call away. There were times in my past when I hand delivered a loan machine to my client at 8:00 p.m. when they needed to get their job out that night. My role is to instill in every one of my employees an attitude that if you can’t service your client better than everyone else, then you shouldn’t sell that product to begin with.
Q: How can your services impact a customer?
A: In almost all of our sales we install a piece of equipment, but our real service comes from trying to understand our clients’ businesses and their goals, and showing them how our equipment can help them meet their goals in the most effective and economical way possible. Then, as long as our customers have that piece of equipment, we are constantly making sure that their ROI is as high as it can be.
Q: Why do you customers love working with you?
A: It’s very simple: Our customers know that 24/7/365 we are going to stand behind the solution that we sold to them. And we also take great pride in knowing the “extra” things that can make our solution be as valuable to our customers’ business needs as possible. The “extra” might be product related, industry related or even a special niche that would potentially allow our customers to gain a competitive advantage in their marketplace.
Q: How do you strive to maintain that customer-centric attitude and keep clients happy?
A: My customer-centric attitude was instilled in me at a very early age by my father. I remember my father saying to me: “In the world today, it is very rare when a customer can get both a great product and great service. If you are going to sell someone something you better be able to service your customer the right way for as long as they have your equipment.”