The Stevie Awards Blog

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

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: top customer service, customer service awards, customer service department, award-winning 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: sales and customer service awards, top customer service, business developement, customer service awards, customer service award, sales leader

Stevie® Winners Announced in 2018 American Business Awards®

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taking Aim At Student Debt With a Social Conscience

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

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

Crunching Numbers That Don’t Crunch Students

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

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

More Than Just Student Loans

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

A Social Promise

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

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

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

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

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

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