The Stevie Awards Blog

Take Care of Your Payment Blues with BluePay

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jul 10, 2019 @ 10:31 AM

The payment environment is becoming more diverse as many vendors are able to offer different methods for payment solutions. BluePay, a provider of technology-enabled payment processing for merchants and suppliers of any size, offers fast and secure payment processing solutions to fit every business’s needs. The leading single-source payment technology from BluePay has been helping businesses for over 15 years by streamlining functions, reducing operating costs, and increasing revenue. This is why they’ve won the Gold Stevie in the Best Product or Service of the Year category, a Silver Stevie for Company of the Year, and a Bronze Stevie in the Customer Service Team of the Year category.

Pleasant Paying

Being a payments technology company means staying ahead of the curve by developing solutions for new ways to pay like Apple Pay, PayPal, and wearable technology to purchase goods and services with ease. Jennifer Seebock, Marketing Coordinator at BluePay, says their merchants grow their businesses by offering the services they need to attract new customers.

"Through point-of-sale, online, mobile, and software integration, we proudly serve over 47,000 merchants and process $14 billion in transactions annually.” BluePay is headquartered in Naperville, Illinois, with offices in Chicago, Maryland, New York, and Toronto.

bluepay

Recognition

Receiving payments online can be risky business as technology advances and electronic theft becomes more complex. Seebock relays why BluePay takes this seriously and considers winning awards as a way to celebrate hard work and genuine innovation.

"Winning Stevie Awards benefits our entire organization and provides opportunities to tell the world BluePay is a great company and offers leading products and services."

She goes on to say prospects are more inclined to choose their company for payment processing knowing they are recipients of such prestigious awards. The awards provide a sense of confidence for their merchants, partners, and financial institutions.  They also increase brand awareness.

"We have a goal to increase our brand awareness through award recognition, and the Stevies were on top of our list."

Charitable Culture

BluePay believes one of their differentiators is their company culture. They recently raised funds for U.S. servicemen and women through the Wounded Warrior Project. The president of the Canadian division is doing the Race Across America (RAM) with Team True Patriot Love to raise funds for the Canadian Armed Forces. Seebock details how they donate time and efforts to important causes.

"We recently implemented a program for charitable time off and corporate donation matching to encourage our team to give more to their communities. For over eight years, we have contributed a percentage of our profits to the Chicagoland Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation and have "pink" parties in October."

Frictionless Service

BluePay also engages in fun activities like Blackhawks games, Bulls games, golf outings, summer picnics, and off-site meetings to encourage creativity. With a common goal to be the leader in payments technology, all their teams work closely with "Voice of the Customer" surveys and formulate teams to address concerns or bridge the gaps in their processes to make working with BluePay frictionless.

"We’re proud to have a high-performing workforce delivering outstanding services and solutions."

_________________________________________________________________

Interested in winning a Stevie Award for Best New Product or Service? Or maybe for Customer Service?

Request the entry kit here.

Tags: customer service awards, new product awards

A Fresh Approach to Workplace Communications

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, May 21, 2019 @ 01:06 PM

For many employees in the corporate world, checking email is the most time-consuming activity of each workday. Despite this, innovation in email has been, arguably, lacking as compared to other forms of productivity software.

That’s where the app Front comes into the picture. The company offers a tool that lets workers combine their multitude of communication platforms, from internal messaging to email, into a single interface.

“By working on the most critical tool people use to get work done, we felt we could improve things on a large scale,” says Front spokeswoman Heather MacKinnon.

front app pic

The firm, which is based in San Francisco, California, United States, believes it can help users save time by allowing them to access multiple communication channels—including social, SMS, chat, and calls—in a single app. Want quick feedback from your coworkers? By using mentions and comments instead of email, you can reach teammates instantly.

“There are very few knowledge workers who only communicate internally,” MacKinnon says. “From customers to partners, candidates to vendors, external parties have significant sway over what we work on and when.

“Yet these communications today, which largely take place via email, remain in a silo. They’re cut off from the rest of your team, as well as the other tools you use to do your job,” she says. “It’s part of the reason why email is the universal communication tool for work that is also universally hated.”

While apps geared toward internal communication are getting some buzz—the increasingly popular Slack is a prominent example—MacKinnon notes that workers largely rely on tools that have been around for a long time when they want to reach people outside their companies.

“Email hasn’t been significantly updated since Gmail introduced threading in 2004,” she adds. “Despite being the universal communication tool for work, email has only been incrementally improved over the last 15 years and has never been re-architected for the way people work as a team. Front is changing that.”

One of the ways the company is trying to revolutionize communication is by integrating other data sources, whether it’s CRM tools, such as Salesforce, or project management software, such as Asana and Trello.

All-Hands Approach to Customer Service

The roots of Front go back to Paris, France, where founders Mathilde Collin and Laurent Perrin started the business in 2013. The following year, the start-up made its way into Silicon Valley’s famed Y Combinator.

Packed into a home in the Bay Area of California, United States, the initial team of five employees lived and breathed the product for several months. It was a grueling experience, but one the company’s leadership still views as an integral part of the company’s development. The accelerator not only tested the company’s concept but exposed it to business prospects it wouldn’t have otherwise had. In just six months, Front amassed a staggering 3,000 beta testers.

This momentum hasn’t slowed. In 2016, the company was able to secure $10 million from its initial round of funding, and two years later, it gained $66 million of investments from a team led by Sequoia Capital.

Today, more than 5,000 businesses around the world use Front. MacKinnon suggests it’s not just the features of the app attracting those clients. The company also focuses on providing superior customer support in order to ensure users get the most out of their experiences.

Naturally they’re using their own tool to help do that. The team, now more than 100 strong, has shared inboxes in Front for its customer surveys, feedback emails, and support inquiries. All staff members have access to the inboxes, so they’re able to keep apprised of how users feel about the product.

MacKinnon says the company, which was recently named a StevieⓇ Awards winner for Customer Service Department of the Year, also emphasizes a “low-ego” ethos, which encourages workers to keep striving toward excellence. During its regular all-hands meeting, for example, staffers are encouraged to share their “Stumbles of the Week.”

“By encouraging employees of all levels—even our CEO and other leaders—to openly discuss their mistakes, we create a culture of humility and continuous improvement,” says MacKinnon.

Tags: customer service awards, entrepreneur awards, entrepreneur of the year

Use Fun Surveys to Gather Valuable Customer Feedback

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Apr 30, 2019 @ 12:21 PM

We all get them from time to time: emails from places we’ve shopped promising “quick” surveys in order to assess the buying experience. Most customers, however, soon learn the process is rarely as swift as advertised.

While it’s not hard to see why response rates to these survey requests tend to be abysmally low—often less than 10 percent of consumers to whom they’re sent respond—British entrepreneur Lindsay Willott is trying hard to increase that number.

Her solution is an email survey individuals can complete with just a single click. Rather than making customers navigate a series of questions about various aspects of the business encounter, she’s selling clients on the idea that simple is better.

customer thermometer

When consumers get a survey from her eight-year-old company, Customer Thermometer, they have just four options: gold (very satisfied), green (happy), yellow (mildly concerned), or red (dissatisfied).

Because of the survey’s concise nature, clients can choose any number of delivery options, including emailing the survey to subscribers or embedding the quick poll into their help desks or marketing automation apps. Companies can even place them into the email signatures of their employees, allowing businesses to track how each team member is performing.

A New Level of Response

Prior to launching Customer Thermometer, which is based in Oxford, England, United Kingdom, Willott ran a marketing agency that sent out annual customer satisfaction surveys. She says the firm never had an effective way to link that feedback to a specific customer experience, which limited the value of the response.

“Customers were leaving without warning and often for reasons that could have been fixed, had we known about them in advance,” she says.

Willott came to the realization that a dramatically stripped-down approach to surveys was not only a lot quicker but had the potential for much better response rates. Nine months pregnant with her son, she sold the agency in 2010 and began working on her new customer feedback venture.

It was a bold move—and not simply because she soon had a baby to care for. For one, Willott admits she did not have much in the way of technical experience, a significant hurdle for any software-based business. After extensive research and planning, she partnered with local developers to get her idea off the ground. Four months later, the app was ready for launch.

“Early on, we focused on the UK market. We signed up a few customers, including [the telecom firm] BT Group, which was our chance to really understand how people wanted to use the product,” says Willott.

Eventually, several foreign companies heard about the service and signed on.

“It wasn’t until four years ago we really realized the potential of the overseas market and made a concerted effort to grow our international business,” she says.

Customer Thermometer managed to amass a litany of big-name enterprises to its client list, including Dollar Shave Club, Sonos, and the job-searching website Indeed.com. In total, the company now has nearly 2,000 customers in more than 60 countries.

Companies aren’t left with troves of data for analysis, but they do get a sense of what their customers’ overall experiences are like. Some of Willott’s clients now enjoy survey response rates of 80 percent or higher—a number that is far beyond the norm in the marketing research field.

“Our vision is to create surveys that customers actually love responding to because they use such a light touch and are fun,” says Willott.

It’s not just about having a sound idea, though. Willott says her small team of eight employees also makes sure customers get a high level of service to ensure positive relationships. Recently, Willott and her team became finalists for Customer Service Department of the Year in the Computer Software category at the upcoming 13th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Interested in entering the Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service?

Request the entry kit

“Our core values are caring about each other, accountability, and a genuine belief that amazing customer service feels like magic,” the executive adds.

Tags: customer service awards, new product awards

One Canadian Firm Believes the Right Software Can Help Governments Become Smarter Shoppers

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Apr 25, 2019 @ 10:49 AM

MTC, the transit planning entity for the area around San Francisco, California, United States, is responsible for ensuring residents of the bustling California community get to work and back home again efficiently. Until recently, though, “efficient” wasn’t exactly the way to describe the agency’s process for managing vendors.

All submissions were still done on paper, making it hard for the MTC staff to score and to aggregate proposals in a timely manner. As a result, it took around two to three months to complete a typical request for proposal (RFP).

That all changed when the commission turned to the Canadian software firm Bonfire Interactive, which was founded in 2012 and specializes in streamlining the procurement process for public sector clients. By converting its antiquated process to Bonfire, MTC was able to reduce the RFP time to around thirty days while improving its reporting capabilities.

bonfire

MTC certainly isn’t the only public entity hampered by wasteful and inefficient internal processes, but the roughly ninety-employee team at Bonfire is trying to turn that around.

To hear the management team at Bonfire talk about it, the company’s mission isn’t merely about gaining market share but doing good for society in the process.

“The people behind Bonfire aren't just building purchasing software solutions; they're enabling organizations to turn the purchasing function into a powerful lever that can improve the world,” says Meghan Hennessey, the company’s marketing communications manager.

Ultimately, she believes, when public entities get more out of every dollar they spend, the public is better served.

“Increased fiscal efficiency means patients in hospitals can benefit from better equipment and receive better care. Municipal citizens can experience safer means of transportation, and schools can have proper resources for a more enriched learning landscape,” says Hennessey.

There Must Be a Better Way

Born out of an incubator in Silicon Valley, a region in San Francisco, California, United States, Bonfire, which is based in southwest Ontario, Canada, has developed an impressive client list that includes the Chicago Board of Education, the University of Massachusetts, and the city of Dallas, Texas, United States. In the process, its revenue has grown an impressive 225 percent annually.

“Through various experiences in my career, I witnessed the time, energy, and frustration that went into thousands of RFPs,” says Corry Flatt, the cofounder and CEO of Bonfire. “Every time I thought, There must be a better way, it turns out there wasn’t. Eventually, in order to address that problem, Bonfire was born.”

By initially focusing on governments, the company bucked a trend within the tech industry, which often tailors products to private businesses. According to Hennessey, however, that’s why it made sense to move in the other direction.

“There’s an entire blue ocean of opportunity when you step away from the commercial sector,” she says.

Through it all, the Bonfire management team emphasizes client satisfaction, helping the company become a Silver Stevie-winner for Customer Service Department of the Year in the Computer Software category at this year’s Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Today, the company’s software as a service (SaaS) solution handles more than $20 billion of procurement activities, and Bonfire expanded its portfolio to include private-sector users, such as the global accounting firm BDO.

In 2018, US-headquartered GTY Technology Holdings purchased Bonfire for $108 million. In an effort to provide a full cadre of services to public-sector organizations, including everything from budgeting and permitting to grants management and procurement, GTY Technology Holdings also acquired five other firms in the government technology field.

“Legally, what’s happening is an acquisition and a merger, but it’s more like they’ve assembled a team of stallions, and they’re letting them all run,” Flatt said in a statement after the deal. “For us, our employees, and our clients, it’s just a really good news story.”

The purchase will ultimately allow the firm to boost its marketing efforts to both public and commercial clients and to develop additional product capabilities, including predictive analytics. It also expects to substantially increase hiring at its offices, which are about a mile west of Toronto, Canada.

For Hennessey, the deal means the ability for organizations to make better use of their financial resources, which she reaffirms is most rewarding part.

“To paraphrase a famous quote, the smartest minds of our generation have spent the last decade figuring out how to get you to click on ads,” she says. “Today, though, that's not good enough. People want their creativity and energy poured into something that matters.”

Tags: best customer service, customer service awards

Winners Announced in 13th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Feb 25, 2019 @ 11:26 AM

Winners in the 13th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, recognized as the world's top customer service awards and sales awards, were unveiled on Friday night at a gala ceremony in Las Vegas, NV, attended by more than 700 executives from around the world.

The complete list of Stevie Winners by category is available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

DP DHL, with Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award wins for activities in Canada, Ecuador, Kenya, the U.S., Vietnam, and other nations, was the most honored organization this year, earning the top Grand Stevie Award trophy for the sixth consecutive year. Other Grand Stevie Award winners, in descending order, include IBM, HomeServe USA, Sales Partnerships, Inc., VIZIO Inc., Delta Vacations, ValueSelling Associates, Dell Technologies, GuideWell Connect, and Cvent.

SASCS 2019

DP DHL won 11 Gold Stevie Awards, the most in the 2019 competition among Stevie Award winners. Among other winners, winners of three Stevie Awards include: American Airlines, EFG Companies, Teleperformance D.I.B.S, and Holiday Inn Vacations. Winners of two Gold Stevie Awards are: Birevim, Bose, CarrefourSA, Chorus.ai, Comcast, Delta Defense, Employment Background Investigations, Inc., MarketBridge, Nextiva, Qurate Retail Group, RAIN Group, VXI Global Soluations, and WNS (Holdings) Limited.

Leaders among multiple winners of Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevies include: Allianz Global Assistance, Autosoft, Inc, Cross Country Home Services, Delta Defense, Druva, Inc., Electronic Arts, First American Database Solutions, FIS, GoDaddy, iHeartMedia, Inc., John Hancock Financial Services, KT, Liveops, Mailchimp, Michael Kors, MRO Corp, Municipality and Planning Department, Nextiva, Nuance Communications, Offerpad, Overstock.com, Periscope Data, Pushpay, QNB Finansbank, Response, Rimini Street, TCL USA, TTEC, UPMC Health Plan, Visualize, Vivint Solar, VIZIO, VXI Global, Wells Fargo Treasury Management Client Delivery, and Wyndham Destinations.

Winners in the People’s Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service, as determined by more than 76,000 public votes were also presented at the event.

The presentations were broadcast live via Livestream and are available to watch online.

The awards are presented by the Stevie Awards, which organizes several of the world’s leading business award shows including the prestigious International Business Awards® and The American Business Awards®.

More than 2,700 nominations from organizations in 45 nations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Winners were determined by the average scores of more than 150 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees. Entries were considered in 93 categories for customer service and contact center achievements, including Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service, and Customer Service Department of the Year; 60 categories for sales and business development achievements, ranging from Senior Sales Executive of the Year to Sales Training or Business Development Executive of the Year to Sales Department of the Year; and categories to recognize new products and services and solution providers.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 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 www.StevieAwards.com.

Sponsors and supporters of the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include HCL Financial Services, Sales Partnerships, Inc. and ValueSelling Associates, Inc.

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards

Who's Coming to the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service on Friday?

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Feb 18, 2019 @ 11:37 AM

A record gathering of more than 700 business development, customer service, and sales professionals from around the world will convene in Las Vegas, Nevada this Friday, February 22 for the presentation of the 13th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top honors for achievement in those disciplines.  The setting will be the Augustus Ballroom of Caesars Palace.

caesarsTickets for the event are on sale through Wednesday.

More than 2,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes, in virtually every industry, in 45 nations were evaluated in this year’s competition. Finalists. announced last month, were determined by the average scores of more than 150 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees.  The Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists will be revealed during Friday's presentations.

10 Grand Stevie Award (best in show) trophies will also be presented on Friday, as well as the crystal People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service, whose winners were announced last week.

Learn more about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service at www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

Here is the list of organizations that have already reserved their places for Friday's awards gala.

Access One Inc, Chicago, IL
Achievers, Toronto, ON, Canada
ActiveCampaign, Chicago, IL
Adaptiva, Kirkland, WA
AINS, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD
Air Canada, Montreal, QC, Canada
AkSigorta, Istanbul, Turkey
AllClear ID, Austin, TX
Alliance Data, Columbus, OH
Allianz Global Assistance, Richmond, VA
Allianz Services India, Kerala
Altus Group / ARGUS Software, Houston, TX
American Airlines, Ft. Worth, TX
Arizona Public Service, Phoenix, AZ
ArmadaCare, Hunt Valley, MD
AWeber - Email Marketing, Chalfont, PA
Bank of America, Charlotte, NC
BankMobile, New Haven, CT
Barclays, Henderson, NV
BenefitMall, Dallas, TX
BerniePortal, Nashville, TN
BMC Software, Houston, TX
BNY Mellon's Albridge, Pennington, NJ
Bose, Framingham, MA
C3i Solutions, Horsham, PA
CGS, New York, NY
Chorus.ai, San Francisco, CA
Cisco Systems, Inc., San Jose, CA
CivicPlus, Manhattan KS
CLEAResult, Tempe, AZ
Cloudistics, Reston, VA
Comcast, Philadelphia PA
Comm100, Lewes, DE
Con Edison, New York, NY
Concentrix, Fremont, CA
ConnectiCare, Farmington, CT
Constant Contact, Waltham, MA
Cricket Wireless, Atlanta, GA
Cross Country Home Services, Fort Lauderdale, FL
CubeSmart Self Storage, Malvern, PA
Curriculum Associates, North Billerica, MA
Darlings of Chelsea, London, United Kingdom
DataCore Software, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Dataprise, Rockville, MD
Dell Technologies, Round Rock, TX
Delta Air Lines, Atlanta, Georgia
Delta Defense, West Bend, WI
Delta Vacations, Minot, ND
DHL Express US, Tempe, AZ
DHL Global Forwarding, Miami, FL
Diligent Corporation, New York, NY
Druva Inc., Sunnyvale, CA
Dubai Airport Freezone, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
EFG Companies, Irving, TX
Electronic Arts, Austin, TX
Employment Background Investigations Inc., Owings Mills, MD
Etech Global Services, Nacogdoches, TX
ExakTime, Calabasas, CA
ezCater, Boston, MA
Firmex, Toronto, ON, Canada
First Advantage, Atlanta, GA
First American Database Solutions, Santa Ana, CA
FIS, Jacksonville, FL
Florida Blue, Jacksonville, Florida
Forrest Performance Group, Fort Worth, TX
FreshBooks, Toronto, ON, Canada
Further, Eagan, MN
Future Generali India Insurance Company Ltd., Mumbai, India
Genpact, New York, NY
GES, Las Vegas, NV
GoDaddy, Scottsdale, AZ
Hanzo, New York, NY & Leeds, United Kingdom
Hetzner, Cape Town, South Africa
Highspot, Seattle, WA
Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Orlando, FL
HomeServe USA, Norwalk, CT
IBM, Armonk, NY
InsureMyTrip, Warwick, RI
Intellis, New York, NY
Intuit Inc., Mississauga, ON, Canada
iQor, St. Petersburg, FL
ISN, Dallas, TX
Janek Performance Group, Las Vegas, NV
Johannesbad Hotels Bad Füssing GmbH, Bad Fuessing, Germany
Kronos Incorporated, Lowell, MA
KT, Seoul, South Korea
Learning Tribes, Miami, FL
Lexmark International, Lexington, KY
Linode, Philadelphia, PA
ListenFirst, New York, NY
Logical Position, Portland, OR
Mailchimp, Atlanta, GA
Malouf, Logan, UT
Marketo, Denver, CO
MediaRadar, Inc., New York, NY
MEDIATEL DATA SRL, Bucharest, Romania
MentorcliQ, Columbus, OH
Merrill Corporation, St Paul, MN
MetTel, New York, NY
Michael Kors, New York, NY
Migros Ticaret A.S., Istanbul, Turkey
Mixpanel, San Francisco, CA
MTM, Lake St. Louis, MO
Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc., Palm Harbor, FL
Network Alliance, Reston, VA
Nextech, Tampa, FL
NICE Systems, Paramus, NJ
NuCO2, Stuart, FL
Nutrisystem, Fort Washington, PA
Offerpad, Gilbert, AZ
Oi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
OneCause, Indianapolis, IN
OneWest Bank, Pasadena, CA
OnTarget Partners LLC, Frisco, TX
Optum, Eden Prairie, MN
OptumCare, Phoenix, AZ
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Raritan, NJ
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Rochester, NY
Outdoor Voices, Austin, TX
Overstock.com, Midvale, UT
Panera Bread, St. Louis, MO
Paycor, Cincinnati, OH
PayLease, San Diego, CA
Periscope Data, San Francisco, CA
PipelineDeals, Seattle, Washington
PJ Nisbet & Associates Ltd., Cambridge, United Kingdom
PlanGrid, San Francisco, CA
PlumChoice, Lowell, MA
Purchasing Power, LLC, Atlanta, GA
Pushpay, Redmond, WA
ReSourcePro, New York, NY
Response, Lindon, UT
Revenue Storm Corporation, Schaumburg, IL
Riva CRM Integration, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Rycor, Chandler, AZ
Safelite Solutions, Columbus, OH
Salary.com, Waltham, MA
Sales Partnerships, Broomfield, CO
SAP, Newtown Square, PA
SCAN Healthplan, Long Beach, CA
ServiceNow, Santa Clara, CA
ShopKeep Inc., New York, NY
Sitel Group, Miami, FL
SmartLinx Solutions, Edison, NJ
SolarWinds MSP, Durham, NC
SolarWinds, Austin, TX
Southwest Airlines, Dallas, TX
Sparkcentral, San Francisco, CA
Spinnaker Support, Greenwood Village, CO
Standard For Success, Cloverdale, IN
SurePayroll, Glenview, IL
Tata Communications (UK) Limited, London, United Kingdom
TCL USA, Corona, CA
Teleperformance D.I.B.S., Mumbai , India
The Western & Southern Life Insurance Company, Cincinnati, OH
TTEC, Englewood, CO
UniFirst Corporation, Wilmington, MA
Unisys, Blue Bell, PA
UPMC Health Plan, Pittsburgh, PA
USAA, San Antonio, TX
UserTesting, Mountain View, CA
ValueSelling Associates, Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Vengreso, San Francisco, CA
Verified Volunteers, a Sterling Company, Fort Collins, CO
VIPRE Security, Clearwater, FL
Visualize, Inc., Birmingham, MI
Vivint Solar, Lehi, UT
VIZIO Inc., Irvine, CA
VPay, Plano TX
VXI Global Solutions, Los Angeles, CA
WekaIO, San Jose, CA
Wells Fargo Treasury Management Client Delivery, San Francisco, CA
West's Health Advocate Solutions, Plymouth Meeting, PA
Wheels, Inc., Des Plaines, IL
WinWire, Santa Clara, CA
Wolters Kluwer's ELM Solutions, Houston, TX
Wolverine Worldwide Contact Center, Richmond, IN
WP Engine, Austin, TX
Xvoyant, West Jordan, UT
Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Mumbai, India

Get the Entry Kit

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, excellent customer service, customer service excellence

Call for Entries Issued for 13th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Sep 27, 2018 @ 09:30 AM

Top Sales Awards and Customer Service Awards Winners to Be Recognized in Las Vegas

The Stevie® Awards, organizer of the world’s premier business awards programs, has issued a call for entries for the 2019 (13th annual) Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Entry kits and complete details on the competition are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

All customer service, contact center, business development and sales departments, teams and professionals worldwide are eligible to be nominated, in addition to new products and services and solution providers used by those professionals. The 2019 awards will recognize achievements since July 1, 2017.

SASCS 2018 pic 5

The early-bird entry deadline with reduced entry fees is October 17, 2018. The final entry deadline is November 14, but late entries will be accepted through January 10, 2019 with payment of a late fee. Finalists will be announced in mid-January, and the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements revealed during a gala awards banquet on February 22 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 150 sales awards, customer service awards, business development awards, new product awards and solution provider awards categories. Entrants may submit any number of nominations to any number of categories, which include:

  •         Sales Individual categories such as Senior Sales Executive of the Year and Sales Representative of the Year
  •         Sales Team categories like Global Sales Team of the Year and Online Sales Team of the Year
  •         Sales Achievement categories such as Sales Turnaround of the Year and Sales Training or Coaching Program of the Year
  •         Sales Distinction categories in 14 industry groupings
  •         Customer Service and Contact Center Individual categories such as Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year and Customer Service Leader of the Year
  •         Customer Service and Contact Center Team categories like Contact Center of the Year and Back Office Customer Service Team of the Year
  •         Customer Service and Contact Center Achievement categories such as e-Commerce Customer Service Award and Award for Innovation in Customer Service
  •         Customer Service Department categories in 12 industry groupings
  •         Customer Service Success categories in five industry groupings
  •         New Product and Service categories like Best New Business Intelligence Solution and Best New Marketing Solution
  •         Solution Provider categories such as Sales Consulting Practice of the Year and Incentive, Rewards or Recognition Provider of the Year
  •         Business Development categories such as Business Development Professional of the Year and Business Development Achievement of the Year - Hospitality & Leisure

New categories for the 2019 competition include Woman of the Year in Sales and in Customer Service. Among other new Sales Awards categories include Account Management Team of the Year, Sales Diversity and Inclusivity Initiative of the Year, Sales Recruitment Initiative of the Year, Social Selling Initiative of the Year, and Sales Distinction of the Year - Consumer Products & Services. There are four new awards for Innovation in Customer Service including Best Customer Feedback Strategy, Best Customer Satisfaction Strategy, Best Return on Customer Service Investment, and Best Use of Customer Insight. The new Customer Service Department of the Year category is for Consumer Products & Services. Among the new categories for New Products & Services are CRM Suite - Enterprise - New and New Version, CRM Suite - Mid-Market – New and New Version, CRM Suite - Small Business – New and New Version, and Sales Performance Management Solution - New and New Version.

2019 will see the return of the People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service, a popular feature of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service in which the general public may vote for their favorite providers of customer service, from among all finalist nominations in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories.

Winners of the 2018 edition of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service included Carbonite, Care.com Homepay, Chewy, CubeSmart, Dell Technologies, DHL Express Bangladesh, FieldEdge, John Hancock Financial Services, Loop Communications, Standard for Success, TravelZoo, and Zelis Payments, among others.

The 2019 competition will be judged by more than 150 professionals around the world.

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards

How a Start-up Went From 0 to 4,000 in a Global Market

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Sep 18, 2018 @ 12:49 PM

Over one trillion dollars are spent annually on technology and IT services. Three software engineers went against the fastest-growing technology corporations in the world, like Google and Adobe Systems, and succeeded in claiming their piece of the global tech pie.

Druva CEO and founder, Jaspreet Singh, anticipated the software management shift into the cloud, and developed cloud-based programming to organize, centralize, and protect information for businesses. Singh even pitched Druva’s cloud-based solution to NASA, who refused it at first because they did not believe software management would move to the cloud. But, Singh was right. Druva became a first mover in a cutthroat industry, and its information software solutions propelled the company into the global market in less than 10 years.

In Pune, India in 2008, Singh and two other engineers started Druva. The company provides data management and security service solutions for businesses. While many new businesses flounder in their initial months, this team grew to an impressive seven employees and 53 clients by the end of their first year.

DruvaSince its inception, Druva has worked to connect and to protect business data on servers and drives accessed from multiple mobile access points, such as smartphones and laptops, by employees on the move.

Druva worked to stay ahead of the technology innovation curve and became one of the first providers of cloud-based data management and security software. The software helps aggregate data, then unifies the backup, disaster recovery, archival, and governance capabilities onto a single, optimized data set.

It may sound complicated, but Druva simplifies a common business conundrum: Who has the information to complete the task, and how does the responsible employee access it? Placing servers, backups, and archives in the cloud means all data is in one place. Access is simple, trackable, and transparent, and information is readily accessible and visible to employees but protected from bad actors in the cyber landscape.

Having the information in one location and limiting and restricting access makes the data easier to protect and to preserve. By reducing risk and simplifying processes, most businesses experience a great cost savings.

Druva’s cloud management includes security-based data mining and other information governance options. This is useful, for example, when seeking archived legal records. With this increasing shift to the cloud, however, there has been a shift in responsibility.

“In the past, the security of the software after it was sold wasn’t our problem. If something broke or someone hacked into it, that was the customer’s problem,” Singh told TechinAsia.com. “In the cloud, everything is your problem. You even have to predict a failure from the customer’s side because now you have part ownership of the data. All these nuances led to an interesting new model.”

Excellence and innovation in customer service are part of that new model and solution. Druva received seven Stevie® Awards in the 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service for their excellence and innovation in customer service in the Technology and Computer Software Industry categories.

  • Gold Stevie Winner: Customer Service Leader of the Year—Computer Software Industry
  • Silver Stevie Winner: Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year—Technology Industries—Computer Hardware & Software—100 or More Employees
  • Silver Stevie Winner: Contact Center of the Year (Up to 100 Seats)—Technology Industries
  • Silver Stevie Winner: Best Use of Technology in Customer Service—Computer Industries
  • Silver Stevie Winner: Customer Service Department of the Year—Computer Software—100 or More Employees
  • Bronze Stevie Winner: Customer Service Management Team of the Year
  • Bronze Stevie Winner: Award for Innovation in Customer Service—Computer Industries

Druva now services more than 4,000 diverse companies, both domestic and international. This includes major corporations and agencies, such as NASA, General Electric, Marriott Hotels, AIG, Deloitte, Pfizer, Black & Decker, McAfee, Live Nation, and Hulu. They are headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, United States, and employ 400 team members across the world. They currently have offices in Germany, United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, and India. Through hard work and dedication, the small start-up from Pune, India, has now become a global leader in cloud data protection and management.

As the technology industry races onward, a resilient business model and a flexible customer service team are imperative to success. In all they do, Druva highlights their core values: to embrace hard work, to strive for consistent performance, to work as a team, to collaborate to innovate, and to work with a customer-first attitude.

“The entire Druva team is energized to be part of winning groups,” says Druva employee Sunil Wadhwa.

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards

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

Stevie Award Winner Fosters Business Growth Around the World

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jul 25, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

If opportunity doesn't knock, why not build a door? Entrepreneurs are always at risk of stagnation during the start-up phase. Advantage|ForbesBooks, a business-growth company based in Charleston, South Carolina, United States, is focused on helping entrepreneurs overcome that hurdle. The company uses stories, passion, and knowledge of top thought leaders to help business professionals succeed in their endeavors.

Advantage|ForbesBooks has helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs, CEOs, and professionals in 40 U.S. states and 13 countries with a wealth of resources to help those customers begin their journey. These accomplishments helped them win the 2018 Bronze Stevie® Award for Customer Service Success in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

ForbesbooksCommitment to Their Community

Becoming an authority in a given field is a new way professionals can grow their businesses. Advantage takes a seven-pillar marketing approach. This deconstructs the idea of authority marketing and helps their members thrive and take advantage of opportunities in the new media landscape. Ben Coppel is the member experience manager at Advantage, and he provides world-class service to all their members through constant interaction and check-ins.

“We spend a considerable amount of time investing in a world-class service experience across all departments in our company,” Coppel states. “This achievement helps validate those efforts and reflects our ongoing commitment to our members.”
 
Founded in July 2005, Advantage consists of a full-time staff of 68 team members and all enjoy full-service support.

A Dedicated Team

Every Advantage team member understands the importance of great service and appreciates the programs the company employs to look after its members.

“The things we’ve built are integrated into our process, so they get done every time,” says Coppel. “They also act as an extension of our team and demonstrate who we are as a company, and this makes them unique and special. The success of our members is essential to the success of the company. If not for them, we wouldn't be in business.”

The company received local and national placement in New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Inc., Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Bloomberg, and Wall Street Journal. As a company, they’ve been honored as a “Best Place to Work” winner (2013, 2014, 2015) in South Carolina, United States, and they are a five-time consecutive Inc. 5000 list winner (fastest-growing private companies in America).
 
Better You, Better Us

Goal setting, reinforcement, and a focus on professional development comprise the DNA of Advantage. To assist goal setting, they go off-site as an entire company three times a year for a day of strategic planning.

“We set and agree on our company priorities and then craft individual priorities that align with the goal,” says Coppel. “We have scoreboards in our office that track progress, and we review where things stand each week in our company-wide, all-hands huddle.”

High importance is also placed on individual professional development. The company gives each person a $1,000 budget that he or she can use to continue growing as a professional.

Events, webinars, podcasts, certifications, and books are all fair game. The expectation is that all employees spend 120 hours each year making themselves better.

“When our employees grow as professionals, they deliver greater value to the company, which makes the company better,” says Coppel. “Better you, better us.”

Tags: customer service awards, customer service success, top customer service

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