The Stevie Awards Blog

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.

Topics: customer service awards, stevie awards for sales and customer service, award-winning customer service, customer service department, top customer service

Winners Announced in 2018 People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

Votes Determine Public’s Favorite Customer Service Providers of the Year

Winners of the 2018 People's Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service, a worldwide public vote, were announced today. Voting was conducted from January 19 through February 9, with the highest number of votes deciding the winners in 13 industry categories. More than 124,000 votes were cast this year.

All organizations honored in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories of this year’s Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service were eligible to be included in voting for the People’s Choice Awards. The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, now in their 12th year, are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development, and sales professionals.

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

  • Airlines, Distribution, Transportation: DHL Express Bangladesh
  • Computer Hardware: Dell Technologies
  • Computer Services: Dell Technologies - Advanced Resolution Group
  • Financial - 100 or More Employees: John Hancock Financial Services
  • Financial - Up to 100 Employees: Care.com HomePay
  • Healthcare/Pharma: Zelis Payments
  • Leisure & Tourism: Travelzoo
  • Other Industries: CubeSmart
  • Public Services & Education: Standard For Success
  • Retail: Chewy
  • Software - 100 or More Employees: Carbonite, Inc.
  • Software - Up to 100 Employees: FieldEdge
  • Telecommunications: Loop Communications

Nicknamed the Stevie for the Greek word “crowned,” the awards will be presented to winners at the 12th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service awards banquet on Friday, February 23, at Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Tickets for the event are now on sale. More than 600 executives from around the world are expected to attend. The presentations will be broadcast live via Livestream.

Sponsors of the 12th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include HCL Financial Services, Rant & Rave, Sales Partnerships, Inc., and ValueSelling Associates, Inc.

Topics: customer service awards, stevie awards for sales and customer service, customer service department

How Would Your Development Team Program Customer Service?

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 @ 10:11 AM

Most of the time, the engineers and other professionals at software firm Olark are busy manipulating code as they try to push their product forward. But once a month, those computer gurus tackle a much different task: handling customer service inquiries from their users.

The company calls it their “All Hands Support” policy, intended to keep staffers throughout the organization in tune with the needs of clients. “Everyone in our 40-person company continues to contribute to our customer service efforts in some way,” says Karl Pawlewicz, the company’s spokesman.

Customer service is, in fact, at the very core of the San Francisco-based company. Founded in 2009, it offers a live chat platform that businesses large and small can use to address the real-time needs of their buyers. Today, more than 12,000 organizations around the globe use Olark’s easy-to-implement solution in order to address customer needs.

Olark.pngBy giving all of its employees a taste of the customer service experience, they’re able to create a better product, Pawlewicz suggests. “It keeps our entire company in close contact with our customers' successes and frustrations, and ensures each department is aligned on customer priorities,” he says.

The idea originated from the early days when Olark’s four founders were living together in Palo Alto and developing the software platform. “They each took turns on customer service so they wouldn't burn out and so they could stay close to customer feedback,” according to Pawlewicz.

At a time when a lot of customer service is being automated through artificial intelligence and bots, Pawlewicz says it was important for Olark’s principals to create a solution that was simultaneously economical and person-oriented.

“We’re looking for ways to develop a hybrid approach, ensuring technology makes humans more efficient, rather than replacing them,” he notes.

Building Empathy

Creating a better customer service experience is about more than spreading the workload around ‒ it’s also about developing a culture that turns employees into advocates for the company. That can can be a challenge for a geographically-diverse organization, where many employees work from home throughout North America, South America and Europe.

To develop that cohesiveness, the company, which recently won the Gold Stevie Award in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service for Customer Service Department of the Year ‒ Computer Software, hosts in-person retreats once a year. There, the company leaders preach Olark’s core values. Among them: “assume good faith,” “practice empathy” and “help each other grow.”

But the most unconventional of the company’s axioms is “chill out.” As its website describes, Olark  wants its employees to “seek activities that recharge you and allow you to bring your best self to work.” So it’s no accident that the company has amateur musicians and even a couple of part-time farmers among its ranks.

Olark has some off-beat customs, to be sure. Its employees join in to sing Darius Rucker’s  “Wagon Wheel,” the firm’s unofficial anthem, whenever they get together. And they have secret, gift-giving gnomes to celebrate birthdays, since they’re apart for the other 51 weeks each year.

“Creating this positive environment helps our team maintain a healthy work/life balance and come to work every day refreshed and renewed,” explains Pawlewicz. (L1)

That balanced approach has paid off in the form of excellent customer service, decided by Stevie Awards judges. Pawlewicz says the honor has been a major shot in the arm for workers at the burgeoning company.

“It's a testament to the hard work that our customer service team puts in every day, and we hope it will be a compelling proof point for future candidates who consider working at Olark,” he says.

Topics: sales awards, stevie awards for sales and customer service, Customer Service, customer service department, Buisness awards