The Stevie Awards Blog

Why Property Management Is Going High Tech

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Tue, Mar 10, 2020 @ 02:31 PM

London Computer Systems is a property management software company that seeks to help businesses operate efficiently using their integrated technologies. Their Stevie Award-winning product, Rent Manager, is proven to help companies manage all types of properties.

As the property technology world develops, real estate firms are devoting more attention to how technology can help their businesses. Technology impacts real estate agents to an ever-increasing degree, and tools for every aspect of a real estate company are currently being developed.

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When Communications Are Down, Technology Helps

New programs and apps help manage and streamline real estate processes for realtors—not just in the course of their everyday work but also when disasters strike. For example, in areas of the country that suffer from severe weather-related issues, property management can be extremely challenging for industry professionals and their clients. 

Software products recently released on the market, however, can help property managers connect with residents and track communications. With just a few clicks of a button, the software can ensure tenants get the help they need by using targeted text messages and phone calls. This greatly eases the stress on client and owner alike. 

Increasing Industry Use

More than half of commercial real estate agents are now using at least one form of property technology. Two common ways they’re using technology are to analyze performance and to manage accounts and properties on their lists. The goal of moving toward artificial intelligence (AI) in real estate is to give business owners the freedom to customize information technology to better fit the needs of their companies. 

LCS_logo_2At its heart, property technology makes the realtor or property manager's job easier and helps that person do a great job for his or her clients. In the past, the industry relied on time-consuming paper management systems, which didn’t allow for tracking communication between manager and tenant. Today, there are more innovative products on the market. Rent Manager makes the process much more straightforward and transparent. 

Next-Level Integration

The industry’s goal now is to progress to the next level of integration, wherein platforms connect seamlessly. This evolution will enable different software systems to work together, which will allow businesses to personalize their systems. Modern application programming interfaces (APIs) allow programmers to construct solutions that work perfectly for them and their customers. 

What Is the Future of Property Technology?

In the future, the property management industry is likely to dive deeper into the world of artificial business intelligence. The world, after all, works on electronic automation in nearly all sectors. You can book an appointment with your dentist from a website, use the self-checkout at the market, and buy a car online; to keep up, managing your rental property needs to move in the same direction.

Property management companies are likely to automate processes and to move the workforce into service-focused tasks. In that landscape, attention to detail and a focus on customer service will become the things that make a property management system stand out from the competition. 

The ability to stay on top of trends in the property management industry keeps businesses at the top of their game. In 2020 and beyond, these companies need to operate efficiently and stay connected to clients in order to build a reputation for top quality service. That involves not only relying on property management technology but employing dedicated people to use it. 

This dedication to being at the forefront of property sector tech development, as well as a commitment to excellent customer service, helped London Computer Systems, a property management software company, earn recognition as a leader in their field. London Computer Systems is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States.

The Rent Manager Product Support Department was named the winner of a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Customer Service Department of the Year category in The 16th Annual American Business Awards® (2018). The Rent Manager User Conference was also named the winner of a Bronze Stevie Award in the Corporate & Community - Corporate Event category in The 17th Annual American Business Awards.

Interested in entering The American Business Awards?

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Tags: The American Business Awards, Customer Service

Moving to the Cloud Is Imperative for Customer Experience Success

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Wed, Jan 29, 2020 @ 03:04 PM

Customer experience (CX) has undergone a huge transformation over the last few years, and that’s largely because technology has led to rapid advances in the way consumers are engaged and served. CXOne, a platform created by NICE inContact, enables brands to adopt new innovations and improve overall operations.

Virtual chatbots, artificial intelligence, cloud-based contact centers, and data-driven personalizations are no longer novelties. Businesses are working overtime to make their processes agile enough to serve customers’ demands for multichannel, real-time service. Does this mean the beginning of the end of legacy customer service systems?

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NICE_inContact_logo“It’s no secret that customer satisfaction leads to customer advocacy and loyalty,” says Heather Hughes, senior corporate communications manager of Stevie-winner NICE inContact, a customer experience company based in Sandy, Utah, United States. “As companies strive to provide excellent CX, we’re seeing advanced technology play a big role in the experience.”

Moving CX to the Cloud: Need and Adoption

Not so long ago, customers needing to resolve issues could only call up business call centers and wait to be assigned to representatives. Today, customers reach out to businesses via a variety of channels, including, but not limited to, social media, voice calls, e-mails, chat, SMS, and video. They’re not happy waiting around either. According to a 2018 Hubspot study, 90 percent of consumers rated an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have customer service queries.

Supporting this multichannel, real-time customer experience demand calls for the quick implementation and seamless integration of new technologies, strategies, and processes into organizations’ existing customer service systems. This entails significant ongoing expenditure and is hardly sustainable, which is why businesses find the alternative of migrating contact centers and their entire CX management to the cloud way more palatable.

According to the State of Customer Experience study, by West Corporation, 39 percent of call centers they surveyed had already migrated to the cloud (as of 2017), and another 53 percent were planning to do so within the next three years (by 2020).

“The speed at which organizations need to perform and to transform continues to accelerate. The ability to adjust course in real time to best serve internal and external audiences is paramount, and it’s best enabled with open cloud platforms,” says Hughes.

CX platforms like CXOne from NICE inContact enable brands to adopt new innovations (e.g., AI and embedded analytics), to deploy service changes quickly, and to consolidate routing and reporting across global operations.

Marrying Technological Innovations and the Human Touch

When businesses think of moving CX to the cloud, investing in virtual chatbots, or personalizing customer interactions, the assumption is the need for human interaction then decreases drastically. That, however, is not true. Technology is simply a suite of tools, and it can’t replace the value and impact of the human touch.

For instance, a January 2019 Forrester study revealed 63 percent of customers are OK with getting service from a chatbot, provided they have the choice to move the conversation to a human if required.

“We believe one-on-one customer interactions have a real and lasting impact on people’s lives,” says Hughes. “It’s a belief that inspires us to relentlessly innovate in the cloud and to find smarter ways to transform one-on-one experiences in order to help contact centers achieve their goals.”

This approach toward customer experience makes CXone from NICE inContact a global leader in cloud contact center software, and it led to a Silver Stevie® win in Product Management & New Products Awards in the Cloud Platform category at the 17th Annual American Business Awards® in 2019.

Interested in entering The American Business Awards this year? The entry deadline is February 12, 2020. 

Request the entry kit here.

Tags: The American Business Awards, Customer Service, artificial intelligence

In Business, You Get What You Give

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Wed, Dec 18, 2019 @ 09:15 AM

Access to capital helps businesses create jobs and generate economic impact. Solely getting access to funds, however, doesn’t guarantee advancement for small businesses.

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As any entrepreneur knows, starting and maintaining a business can be an uphill battle, especially when it involves applying for a loan. If disapproved for the necessary capital, you can quickly feel stuck, and many face this common problem each day. Large banks deny nearly three-quarters of small business loan applications, and even small banks reject about half, according to the July 2019 Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index.

Many companies are looking to address this issue, including Stevie-winner Lendio, which is based out of South Jordan, UT, United States. This company cuts through the noise by offering free online services to help business owners find the right business loan within minutes.

Lendio was a Gold Stevie® Award winner for Customer Service Team of the Year in the Financial Services category at the 2019 American Business Awards®.

Interested in winning a Stevie Award in 2020?

Request the entry kit here.

lendio_logoLendio created a platform for thousands of loan brokers, establishing the nation’s largest small business loan marketplace in the process. With hundreds of loan products from a variety of banks and specialty lenders, Lendio has become a one-stop shop for thousands of business owners looking for capital to start, to operate, and to grow businesses.

Through data-driven algorithms that more accurately screen borrowers, the Lendio platform allows a small business owner to fill out a single application in minutes and then receive offers from multiple lenders.

How to Help Yourself by Helping Others

Lendio is, by no means, the only company looking to ease the relationship between borrower and lender in corporate America. Many capital firms exist, such as Berkshire Partners, Cortect Group, and Frontier Capital.

However, the laser focus of Lendio on customer satisfaction drives thousands of five-star reviews and earns the company many repeat customers (the company’s repeat rate is over 50 percent.) Lendio prides itself on being a small business advocate, carefully vetting lenders to help customers secure the best loan available. In these ways, Lendio serves as a representative of the new wave of companies aiming to ease the loan process for small businesses.

Advancing community involvement is another pillar of the Lendio ethos, and it’s been shown this is a great way for any organization to build relationships, to boost visibility and brand awareness, and to appeal to customers. In fact, over 80 percent of US consumers consider corporate social responsibility when deciding what services and products to buy and where to buy them from.

Lendio and other companies understand how much community involvement benefits both the community at large and their own financial interests.

These healthy exchanges between local communities and businesses can also inform company values, which Lendio and many other successful ventures don’t view as something managers simply hang on the wall. Whether you’re looking to enter the investment space or you need to take a hard look at your current company, here are six tips from Lendio you can use to evaluate your company culture.

  1. Success starts with people and managers; invest in training them so they can reach their full potential. Formulate initiatives, such as remote work autonomy and unlimited paid time off, so people feel management's trust in them.
  1. Unite around one common goal: to help fuel the American dream. Managers should ensure every employee understands his or her role in boosting small businesses and, in turn, the economy.
  1. Be the CEO of your job. Managers should ensure every team member owns his or her job, giving employees the support they need to go above and beyond in order to deliver results. Outline weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals that align with company initiatives that help drive the business forward in measurable ways.
  1. Be humble and hungry. All employees, including management, should check their egos at the door.
  1. Like a little competition—or a lot. Play to win, whether it’s challenging a coworker to some Ping-Pong or getting that next loan finalized. Managers can use monthly sales competitions to keep teams motivated. Company-wide flag football games and holiday-themed eating contests keep the interdepartmental competition friendly and fun.
  1. Prioritize communication. Management should believe that candor, transparency, and communication accelerate success. Employees should then participate in weekly one-on-ones with managers to facilitate this openness. Monthly town hall meetings with the CEO can keep every team member in sync with company goals and initiatives.

These principles help Lendio motivate employees to continually improve and to adapt to the changing landscapes of business and life. To find values that work for your company, determine what makes your company unique, acknowledge potential areas of improvement, and then create your company principles based on those findings.

Tags: The American Business Awards, Customer Service Team of the Year, Customer Service

In the Travel Industry, Supporting Staff Is Paramount

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Tue, Aug 06, 2019 @ 11:46 AM

As the travel industry continuously works to meet travelers’ demands, this sector’s technological aspect is becoming increasingly important. When it comes to understanding what a diverse set of travelers are looking for when getting from point A to Z, data is truly king. Gone are the days of customers simply being mesmerized by how quickly they can arrive at the other side of the world; now it’s all about how great their experiences were getting there.

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FCM Travel Solutions believes its staff can circumvent any of these new industry obstacles by providing its team members with the best tools available. This means supporting them, either online or off-line, at all times. The company’s expertise, supplier relations, unrivaled negotiating strength, and innovative technology solutions position FCM as a leading business travel partner for large national, multinational, and global corporations. It also gives them the resources necessary to confront these new industry trends.

New Days, New Challenges

Global business travel is expected to bring in $1.4 trillion by 2020, with “bleisure” (business and leisure) projected to be a big chunk of sky activity. FCM attributes strong corporate values to its ability to adapt to this kind of change, as well as any other emerging customer trends.

“We pride ourselves on being both global and locally connected,” says Jaime Kuek, the corporate communication manager for FCM. “Deep in our DNA is the local connection. For example, in China, 100 percent of our staff is Chinese. There is, therefore, a strong culture and connection with the local ecosystem in the local industry, which is important when serving our customers.”

Kuek goes on to say that, even in the field of artificial intelligence or machine learning, it’s imperative to streamline and to categorize useful data to anticipate the needs of a diverse set of customers.

For example, a growing trend among travelers is the ability to leave wallets and boarding passes at home since people can now use their smartphones to check in. This introduces new protocols and privacy issues that travel management teams are still debating and testing. These companies want smooth transitions into new policies so they can have more time to anticipate additional changes on the horizon.

If you’re looking to design leadership habits and work culture values in your organization, take a look at how FCM recognizes its employees:

  • Fostering open communication during question-and-answer panel sessions
  • Offering regular business updates and daily updates from operations leaders
  • Holding quarterly buzz night recognitions for top performers and operations
  • Recognizing unsung heroes
  • Delivering excellence service awards that recognize things like a customer’s complimentary email or letter to his or her travel consultant and operations team
  • Implementing health and well-being initiatives
  • Celebrating diversity

FCM is committed to upholding these values in order to keep its staff educated about new trends and to support its customers. If your organization deals with constant changes in an ever-expanding field, consistently review your team members’ needs to ensure you’re providing them with the best tools available. This approach is what helped FCM win the Gold Stevie® Award for Innovative Use of Technology in the Customer Service category of the 2019 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.

Are you interested in winning a Stevie Award in 2020?

REQUEST ENTRY KIT

Tags: Customer Service, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

Signs.com Builds Loyalty with Focus on Customer Care

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 @ 05:51 PM

Do a web search for custom signage, and you’ll find a multitude of businesses from which to choose. Needless to say, it’s an industry where separating oneself from the pack can be a difficult proposition.

Since its inception in 2012, the management team behind Signs.com has believed an unparalleled level of customer service is a big part of the answer. From the beginning the company has guaranteed 100% satisfaction to its customers, many of them individuals and small businesses.

Signs.com new-1.jpgBy 2015, the Salt Lake City-based organization decided to take things a step further. Internally, the team posed a central question: “If we had the best customer experience in the world, what would we do?”

The answer to that question was creating a new mindset that put the customer experience front and center. In order to help make that happen, the customer service department was renamed the “customer experience department.” Instead of focusing on individual interactions, the staff would focus on the entire consumer relationship.

Shortly thereafter, the company hired Madison Page, its first Customer Experience Officer, to oversee the department and make that transformation a reality.

A Recipe for Success 

Among the new key decisions was opting to use live agents for its customer interactions, rather than following the trend for automated solutions. That approach made it easier to provide consumers with the level of service they sought.

To maintain a customer-first philosophy, the company has also formulated four habits for success that its team tries to uphold:

  1. Easy

“Nothing is worse for our customers than going through a hard, cumbersome process to order signs,” says Page. “The customer experience department tries to make things as simple as possible so customers want to keep coming back.”

  1. Helpful

One of the team’s priorities is consistently providing accurate, useful information. Representatives logged more than 50 hours of training in 2016, even learning about graphic design so they can aid clients on the fly with basic design issues.

  1. Fast

Page has helped Signs.com achieve a company-wide chat response time of less than 10 seconds and an email response time of about 2.5 hours. That’s more than seven times faster than the industry average.

  1. Friendly

“Part of giving clients a great Signs.com experience includes being kind and friendly no matter what outlet you’re using,” Page explains.

One of the keys to staying upbeat is maintaining a close-knit team that doesn’t take itself too seriously. After weekly meetings, for example, staffers can be found playing games like trying to eat donuts from a string or playing a fierce game of Spoons. The group even has gold and silver medals that get handed to the winner.

High Customer Satisfaction

The result of that emphasis on the consumer experience has led to overwhelmingly positive feedback on social media that helps attract even more customers. Of the 27,000 reviews it tallied as of December 2016, the average reviewer gave the company a 4.7 out of 5.

The company’s philosophy reflects a growing body of research suggesting that better customer care leads to increased loyalty, thereby lowering the cost of customer acquisition. For example, the research firm Access Development found that as many as 79% of customers would shop elsewhere within a week of receiving subpar customer service. 

At Signs.com, a consumer-centric strategy has clearly helped fuel the company’s rapid growth. Last year, Signs.com earned the No. 6 spot on the Utah Venture Entrepreneur Forum’s list of the top 25 companies in the state under five years old.

In February, the company added to its plaudits by grabbing the Gold Stevie® Award for “Customer Service Department of the Year” in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. In addition, Page received a Silver Stevie for “Contact Center Manager of the Year.”

“It is so nice to win, but it reminds and motivates us to keep innovating, helping and serving our customers,” Page says.

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, Customer Service Team of the Year, Customer Service, customer care

Taking Aim At Student Debt With a Social Conscience

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Jun 01, 2017 @ 02:42 AM

Making student finances more affordable and easier to manage in a sea of “loan sharks” is no easy task, but Stevie Award-winner CommonBond does it sucessfully. CommonBond is a reimagined student loan experience offering low interest rates with great customer service. Their customer satisfaction rates have been overtly positive, which is one of the many reasons why they received $1 billion in funding this year. Learn more about CommonBond to see how they won customer service awards in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Crunching Numbers That Don’t Crunch Students

commonbond.jpgOver 40 million Americans are affected by student loan debt. On average, CommonBond members save $24,046 by refinancing their student loans. They also cover MBA student loans, and recently launched student loan benefits for today’s workforce – giving their partners the resources to stand apart from the competition, and giving their employees the tools to achieve financial wellness.

Senior Communications Manager Bethany Hill gave us the CommonBond perspective, “We’re creators, movers, shakers, numbers geeks, and finance freaks. We’re people just like you, who were frustrated by the high rates and poor service that came with our student loans. We knew there had to be a better way. So we created one.”

More Than Just Student Loans

CommonBond helps their community gain access to complimentary tickets to CommonBond-sponsored events, dinners, panel discussions with entrepreneurs and other companies. This is most apparent in their industry-first program called “CommonBridge.” It’s a service that matches members in between jobs with a consulting opportunity at CommonBond, making it easier to earn money, gain experience and spend a little more time on the job hunt.

A Social Promise

CommonBond has been committed to giving since they funded their very first loan – and it's still a driving force behind everything they do. Here's how their “Social Promise” program works:

  • 1-for-1: For every loan funded, they also fund the education of a child in need.
  • Education for all: Loans give kids unprecedented access to schools, teachers, and technology
  • Pencils of Promise: Ensures that funds go to those who need them most

CommonBond is constantly finding ways to fill a void in the student lending space. David Klein, Co-Founder and CEO believes their success is best explained by what they’re always taking aim at.

“We strongly believe that business can - and should - be a positive force for change”

Tags: customer service awards, Customer Service, top customer service

Chairs Named for 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service Final Judging Committees

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 @ 12:14 PM

The following seven executives have been appointed to head the final judging committees that will determine the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie® Award winners in the 2017 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  (All the category groups can be viewed in more detail here.) The winners will be announced at the awards gala on Friday, February 24 at the Caesars Palace Hotel in  Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service is accepting nominations through January 11. 

REVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE.

SALES INDIVIDUAL/BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Chair: Stephen Gill, President
Stephen Gill Associates, Aston on Trent, Derbyshire, United Kingdom

17 SASCS Chair Gill.jpgStephen Gill is an experienced, award-winning, international business development consultant and company director with a strong engineering background. He gained much of his experience at the senior management or board level of international organizations.  With a focus on helping individuals to excel, and organizations to grow and thrive, he is a trusted advisor, mentor, and strategist to executives and businesses. 

Stephen is a high profile figure in the HVACR engineering field serving as President of the Institute of Refrigeration, and as a refrigeration expert consultant working on many prestigious HCAVR projects around the globe.  He is known for providing energy-efficient, sustainable cooling solutions that are practical and affordable. Stephen Gill Associates won a Gold Stevie® at the 2014 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Services Awards in Las Vegas; and went on to win two Gold Stevies® at the 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards in Shanghai for a refrigeration industry awareness poster campaign. These posters have since been translated into 8 languages.

Comments Stephen: “The Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service bring a focus to the diversity of energy, professionalism, creativity, and sheer passion of working in this industry for individuals, departments, and organizations.  As a past Gold Stevie® winner I know just how much it means to win one of these coveted awards.”

Stephen is a regular contributor to business and technical magazines and books, as well as a conference speaker.  He has an MBA from Loughborough University and an LL.M (Business Law) from De Montfort University. He divides his time equally between his businesses in the UK and Southeast Asia.

SALES ACHIEVEMENT/NEW PRODUCT & SERVICE
Chair: Kelly Waltrich, SVP, Marketing and Communications
eMoney Advisor LLC, Radnor, PA, USA

17 SASCS Chair Waltrich.jpgKelly Waltrich joined eMoney Advisor in the fall of 2013. Since that time, she has established—and now leads—the team responsible for the planning, development, execution, and monitoring of eMoney’s Marketing and Communications and Lead Generation initiatives.

Prior to this position, Kelly served as Assistant Vice President, Director of Advisor Marketing and Communications at Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC, where she was responsible for creating and managing marketing strategies that increase brand awareness, positively impact revenue, and improve the client experience. Before joining Janney, Kelly provided strategic marketing support to institutional sales and client service professionals at Turner Investment Partners in Berwyn, Pa.

Kelly attended James Madison University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications, and holds her Series 7 and 66 securities licenses. She is a member of Women in Investing of Philadelphia, as well as the CMO Club. She also serves as Treasurer for the Bucks County Chapter Board of Associates of the Fox Chase Cancer Center and is a member of the American Marketing Association.

SALES TEAM/SALES DISTINCTION
Chair: Jeffrey C. Taylor, Co-Founder & Managing Director
Digital Risk, LLC, Maitland, Florida, USA

17 SASCS Chair Taylor.jpgSince 2005, Jeffrey Taylor has been co-founder and managing director of Digital Risk, the nation’s largest provider of mortgage risk, compliance, and transaction management solutions. Jeff sets the strategic vision for the company’s business development and marketing. He has been on the forefront of addressing challenges faced by the mortgage industry across origination, quality control, and compliance. Under his leadership, Digital Risk has grown from a start-up venture to as many as 2,000 plus U.S.-based employees. The company has become a partner to many of the largest U.S.-based mortgage investors and banks and government-sponsored enterprises in processing mortgage transactions, as well as identifying and correcting regulatory/compliance risks. 

As a serial entrepreneur, Jeff has built dynamic, innovative businesses by identifying opportunities to meet specialized needs within the financial services ecosystem. He has launched three companies: Digital Risk; Rapid Reporting Marketing Group; and American Transfer & and Trust, Inc.  Jeff is a voice for the industry and is a frequent guest on financial television networks such as Fox Business News and CNBC.  He is also a source for top tier news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, sharing keen insights on the US mortgage market and the economy.

Jeff is an active leader in both his industry sector and his community, serving on the boards of the following non-profit organizations: Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), The Baptist Health Foundation of South Florida; Virtual Enterprises International; and the Taylor-Cata Foundation. He has a degree in political science from the University of Miami.  Jeff is honored to have won several Stevie® Awards and to have had Digital Risk recognized at multiple Stevie® Awards programs over the past few years. He looks forward to acting as Chair, along with the esteemed colleagues who will make up his judging committee.

CUSTOMER SERVICE/CONTACT CENTER INDIVIDUAL & CUSTOMER SERVICE/CONTACT CENTER ACHIEVEMENT
Chair: Will O’KeeffeVice President, Customer Services
Acquia, Burlington, MA

Cus Service and Contact Center.jpgWill has more than 25 years experience leading, growing, and transforming global customer support organizations. In his role at Acquia, Will is responsible for building and maintaining a world-class Global Support team that is recognized for excellence by Acquia's customers and partners. 

Prior to Acquia, Will was Vice President of Customer Service and Support at ATG where he led efforts that resulted in dramatic improvements in customer satisfaction and retention. When ATG was acquired by Oracle in 2010, Will transitioned to lead the global support team for Oracle Commerce and was responsible for the integration of Endeca and Inquira into the Support portfolio. Prior to ATG/Oracle, Will led the Customer Care organization at NaviSite and was a Principal Consultant at PRTM. 

Will lives in the Boston area. He has a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Boston University.

CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPARTMENT & CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCCESS
Chair: Chuck Browne, Sr. Manager, Customer Care
Vivint Smart Home, Provo, Utah, United States

17 SASCS Chair Browne .jpgAs a Senior Manager on Vivint Smart Home’s Customer Care team, Chuck is responsible for the daily operations and strategic growth of the organization. On being appointed Chair of the Customer Service Department & Success Final Judging Committee, Chuck told us it was an honor for him to be asked to assist in the judging of the operations and success of other businesses. As he put it: “I know so many companies do so many great things. I’m looking forward to reading through best practices and being a part of recognizing some of the great work in the Customer Service industry.” 

He added: “I know our team felt a big confidence boost from the recognition in the 2016 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service for all their hard work.  I’m excited to be able to pay that feeling forward to another team in 2017.”

Chuck has been involved in the Customer Service industry for fifteen years. For six years of those years, he has been a major influence on the strong customer-facing approach to service at Vivint Smart Home. Chuck co-leads a team of nearly a thousand customer service agents and leaders across three sites. In 2016, Chuck’s team successfully launched a work-from-home program that has rapidly expanded to over 100 agents and 4 supervisors. Chuck has played a vital role in the consistent improvement of Vivint Smart Home’s quality of service and operational efficiency, amidst 30%-plus growth each year, an aggressive product-launch schedule, and market expansion.

Chuck received his Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University in 2012. Chuck has been married for 10 year and has two beautiful daughters. When Chuck is not in the office, he can often be found on one of Utah’s world-class rivers practicing his fly fishing or hiking trails with his family.

CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAM
Chair:  George Cleveland, Vice President, Customer Operations
Cricket Wireless, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

17 SASCS Chair Cleveland.jpgAs Vice President of Consumer Operations at Cricket, George is responsible for Cricket's sales operations, customer care, training and communications, and the digital experience. Prior to his current role, George was assistant vice president of the AT&T Customer Solution Centers. George tells us he is “excited and humbled” by this opportunity to participate as Chair of this Final Judging Committee.

George began his telecom career in 1996 as a senior accountant with BellSouth Cellular in Atlanta. From there, he progressed through several sales leadership roles within AT&T Mobility before assuming the role of regional sales operations director for Company Owned Retail, supporting the South Central region. He then became executive director of AT&T University.

George is a certified CPA and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Morehouse College in Atlanta.

SOLUTION PROVIDER
Chair: Alaa Jamaleddine, Senior Back Office Advisor
DHL Express, Beirut, Lebanon 

17 SASCS Chair Alaa.jpgIn 2007, while still pursuing his education, Alaa Jamaleddine started his career as a part-time call center agent with DHL Express–Lebanon. When he graduated, he resumed his career as a full-time employee, assuming many roles in the Customer Service Department throughout the years.  DHL is a multinational company operating in more than 220 countries and having around 325,000 employees. Alaa’s job consisted largely of following up and communicating with these overseas facilities and offices. This taught him a wide range of skills and allowed him to be flexible in handling and resolving any type of customers’ claims or complaints, while avoiding any delays and meeting deadlines. Not only was he able to satisfy the customers’ concerns, but he also helped the organization to retain key customers and gain new ones.

As a Certified International Specialist, Alaa is designated coach and trainer for newcomers to the back office team. He trains new agents on how to empathize with a customer’s problems, and how to give their best when handling a critical situation. In 2015, Alaa was selected by the regional office to attend an Operational Excellence Training (OET), as he had demonstrated throughout the years a great ability and passion to analyze trends and forecasting.  Not long after his return from the training, he initiated a work plan to reduce workload and increase productivity.  With his wide analytical skills, Alaa conducted a study on network profitability that grabbed the attention of the country manager who made a price revision for a specific network product code that was below profit margin. This initiative helped the company provide customers with the option of Global Quality Control monitoring. To top it off, Alaa won the 2016 Gold Stevie® Award for Back-Office Customer Service Professional of the Year in the transportation industry

Alaa is the holder of Extra Miler, Job Well Done, Hero of the Day, and Employee Of the Month certificates at DHL, and has been nominated for Employee Of the Year. Alaa graduated with a Business Administration Degree from Haigazian University in Beirut.

Tags: sales awards, Customer Service, awards judging, judges

Winners Announced in People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Winners of the 2016 People's Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service, a worldwide public vote, were announced today. Voting was conducted from January 21 through February 19, with the highest number of votes deciding the winners in 11 industry categories.

All organizations honored in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories of this year’s Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service were eligible to be included in voting for the people’s choice awards. The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, now in their 10th year, are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development, and sales professionals.

PCSAFCSAwardImage_medium-1.jpgThis year’s people’s choice winners, who will each receive the coveted crystal People’s Choice Stevie Award, are:

  • Computer Software (<100 employees): dESCO
  • Computer Software (100+ employees): Carbonite, Inc.
  • Distribution & Transportation: DHL Express Bangladesh
  • Financial Services (<100 employees): Provident Financial Bulgaria
  • Financial Services (100+ employees): Paycor, Inc.
  • Healthcare / Pharmaceuticals: Navicure
  • Leisure & Tourism: Marriott Vacation Club International
  • Public Services & Education: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Logistic Support Center
  • Retail: Wayfair
  • Telecommunications: Vonage
  • Other Industries: CubeSmart

More than 27,000 votes were cast this year.

Nicknamed the Stevie® for the Greek word “crowned,” the awards will be presented to winners at the 10th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service awards banquet on Friday, March 4 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tickets for the event are now on sale. More than 500 executives from around the world are expected to attend. The presentations will be broadcast live via Livestream

About The Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in six programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

Sponsors of the 10th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include ValueSelling Associates.

Tags: best customer service, customer service awards, Customer Service

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