The Stevie Awards Blog

In HR Software, Nursing and Rehab Providers Find the Prescription for Wasteful Spending

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 @ 12:12 PM

Increased efficiency. Unified processes. Lower costs.

This combination of benefits has led to rapid growth for SmartLinx. The U.S.-based company provides a workforce management suite that helps organizations, including long-term and post-acute care facilities, simplify everything from hiring and payroll to scheduling and time recording.

Among the organizations that saw substantial results from the SmartLinx universal software solution is the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation. The New York, New York, United States, senior living facility was suddenly able to make payroll more efficient and streamline employee work practices within one platform. Ultimately, this saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor costs.

smartlinxNumerous organizations have experienced similar results across the United States. Oriol, a health care agency in Massachusetts, United States, was able to slash inefficient overtime costs. The Greek Rehabilitation and Care Center near Chicago, Illinois, United States, was able to reduce a process from 60 reported work hours down to just two minutes. Outcomes like this consistently help SmartLinx achieve high user retention rates and average more than 50 percent annual growth.

SmartLinx was also the first software company to offer a complete solution for Affordable Care Act compliance, and the company routinely expresses a commitment to staying ahead of all ACA regulations.

While health care and senior living facilities are a core part of the company’s business, its software also serves the needs of government agencies, hospitality programs, and manufacturing enterprises. With the SmartLinx software, companies are able to unify their processes and departments and make them more efficient, saving them significant money in the process.

SmartLinx was founded in 2000 and maintains 100 staff members. It operates from its headquarters in Edison, New Jersey, United States, and has a support center in North Charleston, South Carolina, United States.

A Focus on Customer Service

A personal approach with their partners only improves business relationships and increases success for SmartLinx, according to CEO Marina Aslanyan.

“We don’t work with ‘clients,’” she told Forbes. “We consider them our partners, and we provide services to them that allow them to transform their businesses.”

The company’s laser focus on customer service, which includes using scorecards to enable customer health monitoring and value confirmation, earned it the Bronze Stevie® Award for Best Use of Technology in Customer Service in the Computer Industries category.

It is not, however, the first time SmartLinx has crossed the stage at a Stevie Awards ceremony. In 2017, the management team won a Bronze Stevie Award for Innovation in Customer Service. In 2016, the firm earned a gold Stevie for Customer Service Management Team of the Year.

The company’s commitment to creating a satisfying user experience made this latest accolade all the more special, according to Darcy Grabenstein, a content manager at SmartLinx.

“The Stevie Awards, particularly those for customer service, underscore the priority SmartLinx places on customer success,” Grabenstein says. “They validate our efforts to ensure our customers are satisfied, not only with our products but with the support behind them.”

Two SmartLinx customer support team members also earned individual awards in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service this year. Thomas VanAntwerp, a customer support team leader, won the gold award for Young Customer Service Professional of the Year in the Technology Industries segment, and Brandon Tahquette, a customer support specialist, won a silver award as Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year.

The leadership team consistently ensures innovation and diversity are part of the company’s culture. Grabenstein says the team regularly evaluates and advances technology concepts; targets industry challenges, such as those evolving in the ACA, senior care, and health care fields; and encourages growth, training, and sharing perspectives in the workplace. This fosters a healthy working environment and company growth.

“We are growing rapidly, but we are committed to maintaining the level of service our clients are accustomed to,” says Grabenstein. “We are committed to their success.”

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, customer service success, sales turnaround, business developement

Showcasing Health, Wealth, and Stealth

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Aug 07, 2018 @ 04:18 PM

Stroll through the Personal Growth Expo on Australia’s Gold Coast, and you’ll likely see exhibits hosted by reiki practitioners, nutritional supplement companies, and even psychics. You could easily mistake it for an alternative medicine conference if not for the fact its attendees are mostly small business owners.

All the spirituality-based presenters at this expo, however, have one very down-to-earth goal in mind: to help entrepreneurs increase their bottom line. The expo is the brainchild of Susan Jane, who believes personal wellness and business success are inextricably related. A few years ago, she developed the event to help small business owners in all aspects of their lives.

“The original tagline was ‘Get your head right, get your body right, and get your business right,’” says Jane.

Personal expoThe expo focuses on three aspects of success: health, wealth (gained from business skills), and what Jane calls “stealth.” With the expo, Jane seeks to emphasize all the aspects of life that tend to go below the radar, such as one’s mind-set, emotions, relationships, and spirituality.

Next to the stalls for personal trainers and relationship specialists, participants can find presenters imparting more conventional business skills, such as finance, information technology, and intellectual property. Each year, attendees can listen to an array of professional speakers, participate in workshops, and network with other operators.

“A big part of what we do is allowing small businesses the option of showcasing the amazing things they do in their communities,” Jane says.

The unique event earned a devoted following on Australia’s Gold Coast, and Jane expects between four hundred and six hundred attendees at this year’s expo on the 4th of November. Attendees will find more than seventy exhibitors, ranging from business service providers to practitioners focusing on health and wellness.

The Personal Growth Expo is currently looking at holding expos on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba region, and northern New South Wales. The expo then hopes to move into Victoria, Australia, and further north toward Cairns, Australia.

The expo earned a string of accolades, including two Stevies at the fifth annual Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards. In addition to winning a bronze award for Innovation in Consumer Events, Jane won the bronze for Most Innovative Communications Professional of the Year.

An Unexpected Career Turn

Despite all her recent success, being an expo developer wasn’t exactly what Jane had in mind when she returned to school in 2009 to get a degree in public health promotion. When the state government dissolved many public health positions shortly after her graduation, however, it became clear Jane needed a new plan.

Sensing she still had plenty of insight to offer, she wrote, published, and marketed her first book on personal development—all on a shoestring budget. She then wrote three more books focusing on how readers can grow in their personal and professional lives. In addition to the writing, she is also a mentor, public speaker, and coach for young athletes in her area.

The expo, she says, was an extension of her desire to help people reach their full potential, and getting the first one off the ground was very much a group effort.

“Someone suggested I do a live video callout on Facebook,” she recalls. “Within an instant, I had a photographer, a professional speaker, and an event organizer willing to assist. When the expo went from ‘I’ to ‘we,’ planning blossomed with new ideas from the team.”

Over the years, the event snowballed, bringing in small business owners who saw the need for a more holistic approach to their development strategies. Part of its success, Jane believes, is her team’s insistence on balancing the needs of the exhibitors and attendees.

“Everything we do has a win-win result,” says Jane. “If only one side wins from a program, display, or action, it’s stripped back down and reassessed until we know all parties win in some way, shape, or form.”

With two Stevie Awards now on her shelf, Jane hopes to continue attracting enthusiastic crowds and getting more service providers to back the expo.

“Winning the awards has certainly given us more credibility, especially when seeking sponsors for the events,” she says.

Tags: innovation awards, top business awards, business developement, asia pacific awards

Invest in Customer Service to Earn Client Loyalty

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, May 22, 2018 @ 03:18 PM

Riva CRM Integration earned top customer service scores, ranking with 98% client satisfaction across thousands of ZenDesk support tickets and retaining 95% of their clients in 2017!

This tangible success has earned them two Silver Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service in the Department of the Year - Computer Software division and Frontline Customer Service Team of the Year categories. 

riva successRiva CRM Integration is based in Edmonton, Canada and services the international technology market. Launched in 2008, the company has found popularity with growing organizations to globally operating companies, including 50 Fortune 500 companies and 15 of the world’s largest banks.

Over the last few years, Riva has made investing in customer support development a major part of its ethos.  The goal is to offer multifaceted customer service to continually meet or exceed customer expectations.

“We strive for customer delight every day,” says Riva’s Tawny Mergel, Content Marketing Manager. “It’s one of our core values.” 

Recent customer service initiatives include:

  • Hiring additional staff and investing in more and better training resources and processes
  • Using technology, including Microsoft Office 365 groups and Microsoft Teams, to improve internal communications
  • Increasing access to internal test environments and demonstration accounts for nearly all supported systems
  • Sharing product release notes consistently
  • Releasing website enhancements frequently
  • Investing in advanced tools to improve troubleshooting and project management capabilities
  • Improving priority support and escalation through ZenDesk triggers and documented processes
  • Increasing support coverage hours (currently 22 hours per day globally, from Sunday through Friday)
  • Refining team management processes including annual reviews, monthly check-ins, clear communication, performance metrics

The company has also fostered a team-based environment to ensure every member is working together toward the same goal. Riva’s practices prove little things help glue a team together. For example, several members of Riva’s Customer Success Team helped form a hockey pool to introduce some friendly competition. “It’s a lot of fun and helps build camaraderie and team spirit among our members,” says Mergel.

Striving for “Customer Delight”

The result of Riva’s customer-first message is an unusually high level of loyalty among clients. This is evidence that making clients happy is not only the right thing to do, but a sound business decision.

“Winning a Stevie Award allows us the opportunity to show our customers that we are dedicated to their success and achieving our goal of customer delight,” says Mergel. “Our entire team takes great pride in this achievement.”

Used by more than 1,200 companies around the world, Riva’s platform connects dozens of customer relationship management systems to popular software applications like Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange, G Suite and Gmail, IBM Notes, GroupWise and Marketo. This enables advanced CRM data integration and provides a broad view of customer data.

“Technology is advancing at a very rapid pace,” Mergel says. “Customers and prospects live in an ‘always on’ world, where the Internet of Things, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and artificial intelligence are no longer buzzwords, but reality.”

“Companies are applying these new technologies to better serve their customers,” she adds. “As these tools evolve, there’s more and more demand for solutions like Riva that are designed to quickly surface relevant information from multiple sources in order to deliver a smarter, faster, and more personalized customer experience and make the most of every customer interaction.”

Tags: customer service awards, customer service award, sales and customer service awards, sales leader, top customer service, business developement

Stevie® Winners Announced in 2018 American Business Awards®

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, May 02, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The Stevie® Awards, organizers of the world’s premier business awards programs, today announced the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie winners in The 16th Annual American Business Awards®.

All organizations operating in the U.S.A. – large and small, public and private, for-profit and non-profit - are eligible to submit nominations to the ABAs in a wide range of categories, honoring achievement in every aspect of work life, from customer service and management to public relations and product development. More than 3,700 nominations were reviewed in the judging process this year by more than 200 professionals, whose average scores determined the winners.

For a complete list of the Stevie Award winners announced today, visit http://www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.

ABA group 2017 10-12018 Stevie winners will be celebrated and presented their awards during a gala event on Monday, June 11 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York. Tickets are now on sale. The presentations will be broadcast live via Livestream.

Top winners of Gold Stevies, with three or more each, include Aeye (Pleasonton, CA), Aflac (Columbus, GA), Age of Learning (Glendale, CA), Anthem Foundation (Indianapolis, IN), Blue Wheel Media (Birmingham, MI), FIS (Jacksonville, FL), George P Johnson Experiential Marketing (Auburn Hills, MI), GN Hearing, (Bloomington, MN), GOLD PR (Irvine, CA), Gorilla Safety (Houston, TX), GTT Communications (McLean, VA), I Am Enough (Marina Del Ray, CA), Jeunesse Global (Orlando, FL), John Hancock Financial Services (Boston, MA), Marriott Vacations Worldwide (Orlando, FL), Petplan (Newtown Square, PA), Reltio (Redwood Shores, CA), Rentec Direct (Grants Pass, OR), Rimini Street (Las Vegas, NV), TopSpot (Houston, TX), Vectra (San Jose, CA) and Zenni Optical (Novato, CA).

Among all other Stevie winners, those winning five or more awards include 3D Exhibits (Schaumburg, IL), Accenture (Chicago, IL), ADP (Roseland, NJ), BMO Capital Markets (Chicago, IL), Brighton Health Plan Solutions (New York, NY), Cisco Systems Inc. (San Jose, CA), DCR Workforce (Boca Raton, FL), EMI Strategic Marketing (Boston, MA), Entercom (New York, NY), Franklin Covey (Salt Lake City, UT), HomeServe USA (Norwalk, CT), LABOV Marketing Communications and Training (Fort Wayne, IN), Makers Nutrition (Hauppauge, NY), Marketing Mojo (Charlottesville, VA), Merkle (Columbia, MD), MWWPR (New York, NY), New American Funding (Tustin, CA), Pacific Life Insurance Co. (Newport Beach, CA), Quest Software (Aliso Viejo, CA), SoftPro (Raleigh, NC), Spark Growth (New York, NY), STYLE Advertising (Birmingham, AL), Tata Consultancy Services (New York, NY), TekLeaders (Plano, TX), Thomson Reuters (Stamford, CT), WebPT (Phoenix, AZ) and Wolters Kluwer (New York, NY).

HCL America, part of HCL Technologies, a $7.4 billion global company that helps global enterprises reimagine their businesses for the digital age, sponsored the HCL Reimagining Business for the Digital Age awards, in 13 bespoke categories.  Stevie winners in these categories include Allscripts (Chicago, IL), BD (Franklin Lakes, NJ), Citi (New York, NY), Cummins Inc. (Columbus, IN), Deloitte (New York, NY), Merck & Co. (Kenilworth, NJ), Oncor (Dallas, TX), Symantec (Mountain View, CA), The Vanguard Group (Valley Forge, PA) and Verizon (New York, NY), among others.

Every new product or service nominated in The 2018 American Business Awards is included in voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products, a worldwide public vote. Voting is now open at http://peopleschoice.stevieawards.com and will conclude on June 1. People’s Choice Stevie winners will be announced the week of June 4, and will be honored during the June 11 presentations.

“The nominations submitted for The 2018 American Business Awards were outstanding.  The competition was intense, and those recognized as Stevie Award winners should be immensely proud of this accomplishment,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.

Tags: best solution providers, top customer service, Manager of the Year, employee of the year, womens awards, business developement, maverick awards

Centralizing Customer Care Makes a Difference for Facility Management Provider

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Apr 24, 2018 @ 01:23 PM

Behind every large commercial property, whether it is a university campus or a shopping mall, are countless moving parts that have to work in harmony. Throw off one of those parts, and you can create major headaches for employees and customers.

When it established its Customer Care Center (CCC) in 2015, Stevie-winner Grosvenor Services tried to ensure that issues would not occur for any of its commercial clients. By centralizing its customer support function, the facility services firm has been able to reduce complaints and resolve issues as quickly as possible.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company, which provides a range of services, including cleaning, security, mechanical, and electrical, built the center to follow through on its customer-first ethos. Employees in the center review processes and systems to eliminate potential conflicts and address client needs in an effective, timely manner.

“Clients require so much more from their supplier partners, and we must continue to deliver beyond the services we provide at the front line,” says Marianne Lambert, a business unit manager who oversees the CCC.

GrosvenorThe center is an extension of Grosvenor’s core values, summed up in the acronym “PROACT”—Pursuit of Excellence, Reliability, Openness, Accountability, Customer Focus, and Teamwork. It has proven to be a sound business decision, with the company subsequently winning a number of bids based on its commitment to customer service.

Customer Care Pays Dividends

The initiative has paid off in other ways too. The company became a finalist for multiple local awards and in February earned a Bronze Stevie® Award for Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year in the 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

“When our CCC was initially formed, we began researching achievements and accreditations as a method of improvement and benchmarking,” says Lambert. “In doing so, I came across the Stevie Awards and immediately I felt this was extremely relevant and worth pursuing.”

The honor naturally brings a sense of considerable pride. “This is a huge personal achievement as the manager of the CCC,” Lambert says. “I really believe in what I do and this award acknowledges the work and commitment that has been invested so far.”

Founded in 1959, Grosvenor Services now serves clients throughout Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and employs more than 4,500 people. In addition to its core facility management services, the corporation has expanded to offer everything from reception and mailroom support to landscaping and pest control.

One constant throughout Grosvenor Services’ history is a focus on the needs of the customer. This family business has tried to distinguish itself from competitors by making clients feel like they are dealing with a much smaller organization.

The CCC has certainly helped them accomplish that goal, and now they have a Stevie Award to show for their efforts.

“This is a huge achievement and an honor for our business and our team especially,” says Lambert. “We have worked extremely hard to instill and embed our culture of customer focus and this award is an acknowledgement of all the hard work and dedication that has been committed to doing so.”

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, customer service success, business developement

The Stevie® Awards for Great Employers Issues Call for Entries

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Apr 10, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

The Stevie Awards has issued the call for entries for the third annual Stevie Awards for Great Employers, which honor the world’s best companies to work for and the human resources teams, professionals, suppliers, and new products and services that help to create and drive great places to work.

All individuals and organizations worldwide—public and private, for-profit, and non-profit, large and small—may submit nominations to the Stevie Awards for Great Employers. The early-bird entry deadline, with reduced entry fees, is May 2. The final entry deadline is June 6, but late entries will be accepted through July 18 with payment of a late fee. Entry details are available at www.StevieAwards.com/HR.

SAGE 2016 hall groupREVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE

An international judging panel of more than 50 executives will determine the Stevie Award winners. Finalists will be announced on August 15. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be revealed and presented their awards at a gala event in New York City on September 21.

The Stevie Awards for Great Employers recognize achievement in many facets of the workplace. Categories include:

  • Employer of the Year Awards
  • HR Achievement Awards
  • HR Individual Awards
  • Solution Provider Awards
  • HR Team Categories
  • Solution Provider Awards
  • New Product & Service Categories
    • Software
    • Training Programs or Media
    • Curated Training Platform of the Year

Winners in the 35 industry-specific Employer of the Year categories will be determined by a unique blend of public votes and professional ratings. Public voting will take place from July 23–August 12.

Stevie Award winners in 2017 included Ad Exchange Group, Deutsche Telekom Services Europe GmbH, Gamelearn, Grubhub, IBM, KIND LLC, McAfee, Migros Ticaret A.S., Samsung Electronics Turkey, Wayfair, Workiva, and Yerra Solutions.

Tags: hr awards, human resources awards, solution provider awards, Buisness awards, employer of the year, Start-up, business developement

Focus on Customer Service Pays off for Travelzoo

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Apr 02, 2018 @ 01:59 PM

With competition from more than 2,300 organizations, winning a Stevie in the 2018 Stevie® Awards for Sales and Customer Service is no easy feat.

Travelzoo, founded in 1998 in New York, United States, is a company that publishes top deals on travel fares and hotels. They came away with four Stevie Awards, including the 2018 People's Choice Award for Favorite Customer Service in Leisure and Tourism, Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year, Customer Service Management Team of the Year and Customer Service Department of the Year.

Travelzoo 1“Winning has rallied our colleagues around the world to re-double our commitment to deliver ‘100% happiness, 100% of the time,’” says Lisa Oswald, Travelzoo’s Senior Vice President of Global Customer Service. “We know everyone's job is all about doing what's best for our members—from the travel partners we choose to work with, to the destinations we curate and the rigor of our quality vetting process—we are Travelzoo 2proud to stand behind our brand.”

This is not the first time Travelzoo has come away with special honors from the Stevie Awards. Last year, the site garnered a Bronze Stevie for its use of contact center technology and a Gold award in the Women in Business Awards. Oswald also won a Gold Stevie in 2013 for Customer Service Executive of the Year.

Travelzoo 3Even so, Oswald contends that pulling in several customer service awards at the February 23 ceremony in Las Vegas was particularly gratifying. “A win for the service team has infused an even greater sense of pride and enthusiasm for our members-first philosophy,” she says.

Listening to the Customer

The company provides 28 million members with insider deals and one-of-a-kind experiences that have been reviewed by its experts.

Part of the company’s growth stems from a resurgence in the leisure travel sector. Americans spent more than $100 billion on summer vacations alone in 2017, according to a report by Allianz Travel Insurance. In 2016, spending was just shy of $90 billion.

“Research shows that experiences make you happier and are as valuable, or more valuable, than buying fancy things. It’s changing the way people travel across all generations and has given rise to the sharing economy,” says Oswald. “Consumer spending is expected to grow in ‘non-essential’ categories, including vacations and dining out, and we are poised to meet that growing need for experiences—that’s what we do.”

Even in a healthy industry, Travelzoo’s unwavering commitment to customer service has helped it stand out. Its philosophy, says Oswald, is one of continuous improvement, where the department strives to fine-tune every aspect of the customer experience.

The Voice of the Customer program is critical and elicits feedback from people who use its travel deals. The program has helped Travelzoo raise its CSAT score, a key measure of customer satisfaction, from the low 80s to the low 90s in a short period of time, Oswald continued.

“We don't have an army of people, and we don't have an unlimited budget. However, we do have a relentless focus on making incremental changes that matter to our members,” Oswald explains. “And the cumulative impact of these changes over time—changes in product, changes in process, and changes in policy—is that our members have endorsed our service at all-time record highs. I call that the ‘Thank You Effect.’”

Tags: customer service awards, customer service leader of the year, Woman of the Year, business developement

New Owner Helps Event Marketing Firm Stay on the Cutting Edge

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 @ 02:26 PM

Trade shows and conferences can be great opportunities for businesses to meet prospects—but they can also be crowded places where exhibitors find themselves in competition with hundreds or even thousands of other companies to catch the eye of attendees.

That’s why many exhibitors hire experts like Live Marketing, a U.S. firm that specializes in creating memorable experiences. For example, a food ingredient developer enlisted them when it sought to create a buzz around its newest solutions at an important industry event. Live Marketing’s answer: RFID sensors to trigger an interactive, multi-screen display when guests “pick and place” various food items, a novel approach that helped the client exceed its lead-generation goal.

Live Marketing pic.jpgFor a medical device maker, the team created a unique conference display featuring a glass-encased laboratory dotted with scannable hotspots that let the visitor experience its products firsthand. Each interaction prompted a brief video or augmented reality sequence, resulting in an immersive tour through the lab.

Underpinning those examples, and many other projects, is a reliance on technology to push the boundaries of what a live corporate event can be. It’s an approach that Anne Trompeter, then a 10-year veteran of the Chicago-area firm, brought to the forefront when she bought Live Marketing in 2014.

The organization has long had a prominent position within the world of corporate events. Launched in the 1970s, the agency was a pioneer in the experiential marketing industry. It was the brain trust that helped introduce the Intel Pentium processor and the world’s first flip phone to the marketplace.

When she took the reins four years ago, Trompeter’s goal was to make sure the firm didn’t grow stale. “I bought Live Marketing from its original founder with a clear vision to reinvigorate and refresh the company to be relevant for today’s sophisticated experiential marketing and technology-activated approaches,” she says.

In a short period of time, she’s helped make that vision a reality. The company has won numerous industry awards for its innovative, tech-based exhibits, and Trompeter recently garnered the Silver Stevie® award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in The 2017 American Business Awards.

A Team Effort

Breathing new life into the agency hasn’t been a solo task, something Trompeter readily acknowledges.

One of the changes she made early on was to get the most out of what she saw as untapped potential within the staff. “I’ve shifted our creative process so we are all challenged to bring in new engagement ideas on a regular basis,” she explains.

She’s also put a premium on helping employees grow, either within their role or in new positions. In one instance, a member of the marketing team expressed an interest in being a producer, a job with which she had little experience. Not wanting to lose one of her valued employees, Trompeter helped ease her into the new role over a period of 18 months. “By mid-2017, she was full-time producer and is very happy and productive,” the executive says.

In another instance, the executive leveraged an employee’s degree in theater management by moving him up into a production role. Once an assistant to Trompeter, he’s now a full-time creative director with a roster of his own clients for which he writes and develops concepts.

“I consider it an achievement to cultivate the very best team who feels appreciated and able to do their finest work at all times,” she says. “The way I do that is listening to my team members and making adjustments based on what I’m hearing.”

As if running a top-tier events marketing firm isn’t challenging enough, Trompeter does it while juggling a litany of other roles. Among them: parent, church choir member, and triathlete.

Rather than detracting from her business responsibilities, she says those outside endeavors help keep her energized. “Training for races and triathlons plus my overall commitment to fitness keeps me physically and mentally healthy,” she says. “I apply that same focus and drive to my business. But I recognize the importance of a healthy work-life balance, not just for me, but for everyone on my team.”

A breast cancer survivor, Trompeter uses her professional success to support cancer research and other philanthropic causes and encourages her employees to perform charitable work as well. “Several employees suggested giving back more specifically to the communities where our offices are located,” she says. “So beginning last year, each office identifies and does two hands-on charitable give-backs, like serving in local soup kitchens and doing food distribution.”

“In 2018, our theme is ‘Get Engaged’,” says Trompeter. “I feel strongly that now more than ever we have a responsibility to be civic-minded. Getting more involved in our communities’ neediest populations is an immediate and personalized way to get engaged.”

Tags: marketing awards, women awards, best marketing team, business developement, event marketing

Improving Customer Satisfaction with DiCentral

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Mar 12, 2018 @ 12:03 PM

DiCentral is a global leader in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), solving complex EDI and supply chain integration challenges.

DiCentral enables customers to expand their supply chain without limits. For small business communication systems with multinational enterprises, this is pivotal in delivering greater return on investment and in reducing redundant, error-prone data entry.

Kayla Adair, EDI Onboarding and Connections Lead, has won the Gold Stevie® Award for Back-Office Customer Service Professional of the Year in The Business Services Industries category of the 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

DiCentral Excels in Customer Support

Dicentral.jpg
Founded in 2000 with headquarters based in Houston, Texas, United States, DiCentral has become a leading global provider of EDI and supply chain solutions. The company has 10 offices worldwide supporting a diverse business customer base in over 27 countries.

DiCentral offers computer systems communication solutions for automotive, energy, government, health care, manufacturing, oil and gas, and related industries.

“DiCentral solves complex EDI integration challenges,” says Tina Jaekel, DiCentral Marketing Manager. “As markets continue to fluctuate, leading organizations rely on DiCentral to innovate while they integrate with their trading partners.” Jaekel has expertise in ERP partnerships, certifications, channel sales marketing, automotive EDI marketing, and manufacturing EDI marketing.

DiCentral focuses on developing efficient ways for relevant product and supply chain data (inventory, order, shipping information, invoicing) to be easily viewed and shared between retailers and suppliers. They also standardize accurate and timely product-related information for trading partners looking to build aisle assortment quickly and electronically.

Being a global leader in EDI and supply chain solutions means using proprietary technology instead of outsourcing key functions, such as providing live technical support over the phone that never leave clients waiting in a queue.

“The Stevie Awards nomination gives our company credibility so that we can continue to shine,” says Jaekel. “We are delighted that the Stevie Awards has recognized our company. It gives us the pride to continue to excel in customer support.”

Kayla Adair, EDI Onboarding and Connections Lead, won the Stevie Award for training their support team. DiCentral and Adair realize the need to deliver and go the extra mile to ensure each customer is satisfied.

Proactive Engagement

DiCentral and Adair have announced expansion in their leadership team with two new senior hires as part of a global effort to drive and scale growth. Let DiCentral proactively engage with your trading community to identify your customers' unique EDI requirements and respond to ongoing mapping, communication, and business rule changes.

Tags: business awards, customer service excellence, business developement

Simplifying the Complex: The Key to Stand-Out Videos

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Mar 05, 2018 @ 03:43 PM

The team at Vend, a San Francisco, CA based point-of-sale software company in the USA, has built a multitude of features into their retailer software that can be confusing to the average person—from inventory management and digital receipt generation to customer loyalty capabilities and an analytics dashboard.

Such abundant functionality is great for users, but can be a headache for the marketing team. How do you convey all those benefits in a short presentation that doesn’t lose the audience’s attention?

Vend seems to have found the answer, as evidenced by a brief video it shares with prospects via YouTube and other channels. Using in-house talent, including writers Simon Pound and Nick Houldsworth and their Director of Design, Michael Ramirez, the segment earned the company its second Gold Stevie® Award in three years.

Vend.jpgThe goal: communicate everything the app can do, in just two minutes. That’s no easy task when your product’s prime benefit is being an all-in-one solution that retailers can turn to for their sales optimization needs.

The creatives at Vend developed a video that laid out the software’s top five selling points, but also imparted a lively feel that keeps the viewer engaged. To do that, they used animation that quickly bounces from one scene to the next. Underscoring the narration is buoyant music—a contribution from James Dansey—that gives the work a lively, playful feel.

One of the virtues of the video is that, for its considerable scope, it never loses the viewer. The uncluttered graphics certainly help. Throughout the piece, for example, the team uses the same flower pot to represent the merchandise it can help users manage.

The resulting production is proof that you don’t need an off-the-wall idea or gimmicks to make a great video. Sometimes a simple idea and solid execution will do the trick.

The payoff: a Gold Stevie in The 2017 American Business Awards for best video in the sales-technology category—not bad for a $5,000 internal production. Considering the company brought home a Gold in 2015 for a product overview video, the creative team is clearly on a roll.

Reflecting on that initial win, Pound says the impact was significant. “That was great. It helped us recruit, get media attention, and double down on a creative approach,” he says. “It opened doors with partners and led to us winning other awards in Stevies around the world.”

The Growing Role of Video 

Since its founding in 2010, Vend’s cloud-based point-of-sale and retail platform has become the tool of choice for sellers around the globe. It’s now used by more than 20,000 stores in over 150 countries. Through its mobile platform, the company likes to say that users are able to run “the next generation of retail.”

In addition to its San Francisco headquarters, the company now has offices in Auckland, Toronto, London, and Melbourne, and has raised more than $45 million (U.S.) from top-tier investors.

A smart marketing strategy has certainly helped hasten that growth. Online video, in particular, has proven to be an effective medium, Pound says, because it’s being used in a way that marketers can easily track.

“We are loving that with new retargeting and audience creation tools available to us we can now measure and convert from video, meaning it is back in the front of our plans,” he explains.

This latest video, entitled “5 ways Vend will transform your business,” has proven to be a particularly powerful tool. People who have seen the video on Vend’s website are twice as likely to request a demo and take a trial.

The production was also key to a re-engagement campaign for older leads that it was trying to convert. The effort led to 200 trials, simply by showing how the software has evolved in a compelling way.

It’s not the only video for which the company has received attention of late. Its recent e-commerce and PayPal videos have also won awards for their ability to drive results.

What’s the formula for success? “Quality, creativity, and originality,” says Pound. “And trying to make complex things simple.”

It’s a recipe that seems to be catching the attention of business owners, not to mention a panel of experienced judges. “Winning Stevie Awards have been huge for our business to ensure we are at a world-class level,” Pound says.

Tags: video awards, marketing awards, business developement

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