The Stevie Awards Blog

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

Bills From Health Care Providers Are No Longer Confusing With Stevie-Winner Patagonia Health

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 @ 10:59 AM

Effective Software in a Rapidly Evolving Industry

Patagonia Health Inc. offers cloud-based and app-based software solutions for health care providers. This includes integrated, federally certified Electronic Health Record (EHR), Practice Management (PM), and billing software.

The innovative software is easy to use and affordable, and it also addresses the customer’s biggest problem: billing. The apps provide timely data that allow organizations to improve workflow, streamline operations, and take their organizations to the next level.


Because government regulations drive the EHR market, most health care agencies have a difficult time keeping up with the changes. Patagonia Health helps clients stay up to date by advancing the software to comply with the regulations and to further customer support with excellent and accessible customer service.

Expert Beginnings

patagonia healthPatagonia Health was founded in 2008 in Cary, North Carolina, USA, by three expert software and computer engineers: Mr. Ashok Mathur, Mr. Abhi Muthiyan, and Ms. Sonali Luniya.

Luniya, the current vice president of customer experience, earned her PhD in electrical and computer engineering from North Carolina State University in 2006, and she earned her BE in computer engineering from Pune Institute of Computer Technology, Pune, India, in 2000. She began her career in the telecommunications industry and developed her analytic and software engineering skills here.

Abhi Muthiyan, the CTO, has an MBA in new product development from North Carolina State University and a BS in computer engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune, India. He began his career working for Symantec, where he identified potential product opportunities. As an architect and innovator, he designs products and features that solve real business problems.

CEO Ashok Mathur served as head of North America software development for Sony Ericsson Mobile and as managing director for Nortel Networks, international software operations. Mathur gained his health-care prowess from serving as the director of software development at Misys Healthcare Systems for five years. His deep understanding of the health care IT market and the emerging Software-As-A-Service business model contributed to the foundation for Patagonia Health.

Mathur recognized the gap clients experienced between the product and the necessary customer service support. While traveling through South America, he identified what would become the core of the customer service model at Patagonia Health.

“People want to be treated as people, and they deserve to get a quality product that is backed by a high level of product support,” Mathur says. “They deserve a holistic approach to training and to implementation and a vendor that is accessible to them at all times.”

Good Service Yields Success

After a decade of service, Patagonia Health won the 2016 Bronze Stevie® Award and the 2017 Silver Stevie Award for Customer Service. Their small company of 25 employees is honored to win the 2018 Gold Stevie Award in the 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

“It reinforces the efforts we purposefully put forth every day to support our customers. It acknowledges the level of service we aim for. Our customers and future customers need to know that,” Mathur adds.

Patagonia Health also earned a spot on Inc. magazine's list of fastest-growing companies two years in a row (2015 and 2016) and on Healthcare Tech Outlook magazine's top-10 most promising EHR solutions for 2017. They recently made Insights Care magazine's top-10 most trustworthy EHR vendors.

“We don't just sell our customers a great product; we coach them through the people, process, and product strategy to help them achieve success in the transition process.” Mathur states. “We also provide ongoing training, so they can fully utilize the EHR and, ultimately, provide better patient care.”

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, top customer service, sales growth achievement

Stevie Winner HomePay's Unique Service Helps Families Save Time

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 @ 09:10 AM

When families are in need of nannies, senior caregivers, personal assistants, or other household caregivers to help those in need, it’s important to help those families and individuals to find and to select the best care available. Care.com HomePay (formerly Breedlove & Associates) is based in Austin, Texas, United States, and has fulfilled these needs for more than 60,000 families. They do so through employment payroll, taxes, and HR support. They won the People’s Choice Stevie® Award for Favorite Customer Service and a Silver Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year in the 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Homepay

Receiving Great Feedback

HomePay provides comprehensive services for busy families so they can save time and focus on their loved ones. Eva MacCleery is the director of consulting at HomePay, and she comments on the impact of winning two Stevies.

“To say it was a morale boost for our consulting team is an understatement. We consistently get great feedback and reviews from the families we serve, but to have them vote for us in the People’s Choice Awards speaks volumes.”

Making Life Easier

HomePay wouldn’t exist if not for the dilemma faced by their cofounders, Stephanie and Bill Breedlove. When they hired their first nanny, they had no idea how payroll and taxes worked for a household employee, but they knew it was their responsibility to pay her legally. They soon realized how complex this was and knew there were probably tens of thousands of families across the country struggling with the same challenges.

“Most tax professionals didn’t want to take on the additional labor law and HR-related compliance requirements that come with hiring a household employee,” explains MacCleery. “So Stephanie and Bill made sure our service would always be a truly comprehensive solution that families could feel comfortable using.”

While every HomePay employee is unique, each one truly enjoys the feeling of helping another person. 

“In a niche industry, where the majority of our clients have no idea how to handle federal and state payroll and tax responsibilities, HomePay facilitates that part of the process to make their lives easier,” MacCleery adds. 

Keeping Them on Their Toes

Many states and cities have recently enacted incredibly strict laws regarding household employment. In many cases, these laws even exceed the requirements of existing federal laws. Because of the complex nature of household employment, clients seek to speak with real people when they need help. 

“These laws result in giving additional benefits to workers,” says MacCleery. “We’ve seen higher minimum wage and paid-time-off requirements go into effect in municipalities all across the country.”

HomePay makes sure their clients know the laws and provides the tools they need to stay in compliance, and these legal changes constantly keep them on their toes.

When someone calls HomePay, one of their consultants usually answers the phone on the first ring. All team members are well trained, meaning they can answer any question that arises. Detailed notes are always taken. This way, if a client calls back, whoever helps that person can pick up where the last consultant left off.

Tags: customer service awards, award-winning customer service, customer service department, top customer service

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

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