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Michael Gallagher

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

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

Votes Determined Public's Favorites for Customer Service Excellence

Winners of the 2017 People's Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service, a worldwide public vote, were announced today. Voting was conducted from January 20 through February 10, with the highest number of votes deciding the winners in 12 industry categories.

PCSAFCSAwardImage_medium.jpgAll 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 11th year, are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development and sales professionals.

This year’s people’s choice winners, who will each receive the coveted crystal People’s Choice Stevie Award, are:

        Airlines, Distribution, Transportation: Bombardier Aerospace                            
        Computer Hardware: Unitrends
        Computer Services: Ultimate Software
        Financial, Less Than 100 Employees: CommonBond
        Financial, More Than 100 Employees: Distinguished Programs
        Healthcare/Pharma: Zelis Payments
        Leisure & Tourism: Marriott Vacation Club Owner Services                
        Retail: Chewy
        Software, Less Than 100 Employees: FieldEdge
        Software, More Than 100 Employees: GPS Insight
        Telecommunications: j2 Global, Inc.
        Other Industries: CubeSmart

More than 149,000 votes were cast this year.

Nicknamed the Stevie® for the Greek word “crowned,” the awards will be presented to winners at the 11th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service awards banquet on Friday, February 24 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. 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.

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 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

Sponsors of the 11th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include Sales Partnerships and ValueSelling Associates.

Tags: best customer service, customer service awards, stevie awards, customer service excellence

How to Win Two Stevie Awards for Your Great Customer Service

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 @ 03:05 PM

Most people are taking some time at the end of the year to relax and reminisce about the year that has passed.  We here at the Stevie Awards, however, are busy preparing for a busy 2015.  Among the things that will keep us busy right after the turn of the year is the January 13 final entry deadline for the 9th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top contact center and customer service awards program.  Each year this competition attracts more than 1,500 nominations from top organizations all over the world.

There are many categories to choose from in the competition, and you'll find a complete listing of the customer service and contact center categories and their requirements below.

It's pretty simple to submit entries to this or any other of our awards programs. Before we get to the subject of how to win two Stevies with a single entry, here's a brief description of the entry process.

1. Choose your categories.

The question we get most often from prospective entrants is, How do I choose the categories that are right for me? We answer that question with another question: What do you want to be recognized for? Your answer to that question will steer you to the appropriate categories. We invite you to contact us at [email protected] for suggestions if following that bit of advice doesn't do the trick, though.

2. Prepare your entries according to the category instructions.

Most categories in the 2015 Sales & Customer Service awards require only the submission of an essay of up to 650 words, describing the nominee's achievements since the beginning of July 2013. (Depending on the category, the nominee can be an entire organization, a department or team, an individual... even a product or service or achievement.) You have the option to upload with your essay any number of supporting documents and files to help make your case to the judges. These can include work samples, videos, images, press clippings... whatever you think will convince and impress.

3. Upload your entries through the website.

The website at www.StevieAwards.com/Sales is open 24 hours a day to accept your entries. You can even pay your entry fees online by credit card (or choose to pay by check or wire transfer). If you've already written your entries and gathered your supporting materials, it won't take you more than a few minutes to start and finish the online entry process.

PCSAFCSNow, back to that bit about how to win two Stevies with a single entry. One of the most popular features of the Sales & Customer Service awards is called the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service. This is a worldwide public vote in which the general public gets to cast their ballots for their favorite providers of customer service in a number of industry categories. (See the list of 2014 winners here.) All entries that are chosen as Finalists in any of the Customer Service Department of the Year categories will automatically be included in people's choice voting, which will open to the public on January 22, the day that the Finalists are publicly announced. People's choice nominees will receive from us a set of tools they can use to encourage their customers, employees, shareholders, friends and followers to vote for them. The top vote-getter in each category will receive a beautiful crystal People's Choice trophy.

So that's how you can win two Stevies with a single entry:

1. Submit a great entry to any of the Customer Service Department of the Year categories in the 2015 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. If that entry is chosen as a Finalist, it's assured of ultimately being named a Gold, Silver or Bronze Stevie Award winner.

3. Promote the heck out of your automatic People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service nomination to all of your customers, employees, friends and followers, and you might also walk from the awards gala on February 27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas with a People's Choice Stevie Award as well as a Gold, Silver or Bronze Stevie.

Categories

Here are all the categories related to customer service and contact centers in the 2015 Sales & Customer Service awards. There are many other categories as well in the competition, for sales, business development, new products and services, and suppliers. (Look here for a complete list of categories.)

CUSTOMER SERVICE & CONTACT CENTER INDIVIDUAL CATEGORIES
The customer service and contact center individual categories recognize individual contact center and customer service professionals.
Information required for entries in these categories include:
(a) An essay of up to 650 words describing the nominee’s accomplishments since July 1, 2013. 
(b) Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges. At the very least you should provide a link to the organization's website.

55. Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year
Recognizing the achievements of customer service professionals who directly engage customers. This category is split into five separate categories:
   a. Business Services Industries: recognizes achievements of professionals in business services industries such as advertising, consulting, marketing, public relations, recruiting, etc.
   b. Financial Services Industries: recognizes the achievements of professionals in the accounting, banking, financial services, insurance, etc. industries.
   c. Other Service Industries: recognizes achievements of professionals in services industries such as financial services, healthcare, hospitality & leisure, legal, media & entertainment, real estate, retail, etc.
   d. Technology Industries: recognizes achievements of professionals in technology industries such as computer software, computer services, computer hardware, internet/new media, and telecommunications.
   e. All Other Industries: recognizes achievements of professionals in all industries not covered by the other Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year categories.

56. Back-Office Customer Service Professional of the Year
Recognizing the achievements of customer service professionals who work behind the front lines of customer service organizations for their achievements since the beginning of July 2013.

57. Young Customer Service Professional of the Year
Recognizing the achievements of customer service professionals under the age of 30.

58. Customer Service Manager of the Year
Recognizing the achievements of customer service managers and service professionals with a managerial role at organizations of any size, of any type.

59. Customer Service Leader of the Year
Recognizing the achievements of senior customer service and call center executives.

60. Contact Center Professional of the Year
Recognizing the achievements of non-executive professionals who work in a call or contact center.

61. Contact Center Manager of the Year
Recognizing the achievements of contact or call center managers for their achievements since the beginning of July 2013.

62. Contact Center Leader of the Year
Recognizing the achievements of senior contact or call center executives for their achievements since the beginning of July 2013.

CUSTOMER SERVICE & CONTACT CENTER TEAM CATEGORIES
The customer service team and contact center awards categories recognize the members of individual teams within your overall customer service department or contact center organization.   For example, the team may service a particular customer segment or a single client, or may work in a particular call center. 
Information required for entries in these categories include:
(a) An essay of up to 650 words describing the customer service team’s accomplishments since July 1, 2013.
(b) Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges. At the very least you should provide a link to the organization's website.

65. Customer Service Team of the Year – Recovery Situation
Recognizing service teams who have demonstrated exceptional skill in recovering either an individual case or in rebuilding an underperforming service department.

66. Customer Service Complaints Team of the Year
Recognizing service teams whose primary focus is to address and resolve customer complaints.

67. Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year.
Recognizing service teams that directly engage customers. This category is split into five separate categories:
   a. Business Services Industries: recognizes achievements of teams in business services industries such as advertising, consulting, marketing, public relations, recruiting, etc.
   b. Financial Services Industries: recognizes the achievements of teams in the accounting, banking, financial services, insurance, etc. industries.
   c. Other Service Industries: recognizes achievements of teams in services industries such as financial services, healthcare, hospitality & leisure, legal, media & entertainment, real estate, retail, etc.
   d. Technology Industries: recognizes achievements of teams in technology industries such as computer software, computer services, computer hardware, internet/new media, and telecommunications.
   e. All Other Industries: recognizes achievements of teams in all industries not covered by the other Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year categories.

68. Back Office Customer Service Team of the Year
Recognizing teams that provide service functions that do not directly engage customers, such as billing, credit and collections, payments, security and support services. This category is split into five separate categories:
   a. Business Services Industries: recognizes achievements of teams in business services industries such as advertising, consulting, marketing, public relations, recruiting, etc.
   b. Financial Services Industries: recognizes the achievements of teams in the accounting, banking, financial services, insurance, etc. industries.
   c. Other Service Industries: recognizes achievements of teams in services industries such as financial services, healthcare, hospitality & leisure, legal, media & entertainment, real estate, retail, etc.
   d. Technology Industries: recognizes achievements of teams in technology industries such as computer software, computer services, computer hardware, internet/new media, and telecommunications.
   e. All Other Industries: recognizes achievements of teams in all industries not covered by the other Back-Office Customer Service Team of the Year categories.

69. Contact Center of the Year (Up to 100 Seats)
Recognizing call and contact centers that have no more than 100 seats. This category is split into five separate categories:
   a. Business Services Industries: recognizes achievements of contact centers in business services industries such as advertising, consulting, marketing, public relations, recruiting, etc.
   b. Financial Services Industries: recognizes the achievements of contact centers in the accounting, banking, financial services, insurance, etc. industries.
   c. Other Service Industries: recognizes achievements of contact centers in services industries such as financial services, healthcare, hospitality & leisure, legal, media & entertainment, real estate, retail, etc.
   d. Technology Industries: recognizes achievements of contact centers in technology industries such as computer software, computer services, computer hardware, internet/new media, and telecommunications.
   e. All Other Industries: recognizes achievements of contact centers in all industries not covered by the other Contact Center of the Year (Up to 100 Seats) categories.

70. Contact Center of the Year (Over 100 Seats)
Recognizing call and contact centers that have more than 100 seats. This category is split into five separate categories:
   a. Business Services Industries: recognizes achievements of contact centers in business services industries such as advertising, consulting, marketing, public relations, recruiting, etc.
   b. Financial Services Industries: recognizes the achievements of contact centers in the accounting, banking, financial services, insurance, etc. industries.
   c. Other Service Industries: recognizes achievements of contact centers in services industries such as financial services, healthcare, hospitality & leisure, legal, media & entertainment, real estate, retail, etc.
   d. Technology Industries: recognizes achievements of contact centers in technology industries such as computer software, computer services, computer hardware, internet/new media, and telecommunications.
   e. All Other Industries: recognizes achievements of contact centers in all industries not covered by the other Contact Center of the Year (Over 100 Seats) categories.

71. Customer Service Management Team of the Year
Recognizing the leadership teams of customer service organizations and contact centers for their achievements.

72. Customer Service Training Team of the Year
Recognizing teams that develop and deliver training to customer service organizations and contact center personnel.

CUSTOMER SERVICE & CONTACT CENTER ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES
Information required for entries in these categories include:
(a) An essay of up to 650 words describing the nominee’s accomplishments since July 1, 2013 in the area covered by the category.
(b) Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges. At the very least you should provide a link to the organization's website.

75. e-Commerce Customer Service Award
Recognizing customer service and contact center organizations for their innovative use of online technologies and social media to service the needs of customers.

76. Best Use of Technology in Customer Service
Recognizing customer service and contact center organizations for their use of technology that has directly improved customer service delivery, provided real business benefits, and shown system adoption across the entire customer service function.

77. Award for Innovation in Customer Service
Recognizing new ideas and developments within customer service that enabled organizations to meet the needs of their customers more effectively, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty. This category is split into five separate categories:
   a. Computer Industries: recognizes achievement in the internet/new media, computer hardware, computer software, computer services, etc. industries.
   b. Financial Services Industries: recognizes achievement in the accounting, banking, financial services, insurance, etc. industries.
   c. Other Service Industries: recognizes achievement in all service industries except for financial services.
   d. Telecommunications Industries: recognize achievement in all telecommunications industries.
   e. All Other Industries: recognizes achievement in all industries that are not covered by one of the other Award for Innovation in Customer Service categories.

PCSAFCS logoCUSTOMER SERVICE DEPARTMENT CATEGORIES
In addition to the possibility of receiving a peer-reviewed honor in these categories, all nominated customer service departments that are chosen as Finalists also will be included in voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service.  Online voting will open to the public worldwide in mid-January and will continue through early February.  We will provide Finalists in these categories with tools to help you encourage your fans, followers and customers to vote for you.  The nominee with the most votes in each category will receive a special crystal People's Choice Stevie Award.

The customer service department categories recognize everyone who works in customer service in your organization, regardless of their role or location. 
Information required for entries in these categories include:
(a) An essay of up to 650 words describing your customer service department’s accomplishments since July 1, 2013.
(b) Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges. At the very least you should provide a link to the organization's website.

80. Customer Service Department of the Year – Airlines, Distribution & Transportation
81. Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Hardware
82. Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Software. This category is split into two separate categories:
   a. At Organizations With Up to 100 Employees
   b. At Organizations With 100 or More Employees
83. Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Services
84. Customer Service Department of the Year – Financial Services
85. Customer Service Department of the Year – Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Related Industries
86. Customer Service Department of the Year – Leisure & Tourism
87. Customer Service Department of the Year – Public Services & Education
88. Customer Service Department of the Year – Retail
89. Customer Service Department of the Year – Telecommunications
90. Customer Service Department of the Year – All Other Industries

Need help with any of this? Contact us at [email protected] or +1 703-547-8389.

Final tip: Check out our free tipsheet on How to Win Customer Service Awards.

Apply Now

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, excellent customer service, contact center awards, customer service excellence

5 Tips for Winning Customer Service Awards: New Tipsheet Available

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Jan 06, 2014 @ 09:29 PM

Our "How to Win" tipsheets have proven to be popular and helpful to prospective nominees in our various Stevie Awards programs.  And we've just published a new one, entitled "5 Tips for Winning Customer Service Awards in the Stevie Awards." 

Download the Tipsheet

The publication is timely, as the final entry deadline for the 2014 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service is January 14.

This brief tipsheet outliness the five best ways that customer service and contact center professionals can be honored in the Stevie Awards programs in 2014.  The Stevie Awards are considered the world's premier business awards competitions, and there are many customer service awards opportunities in our five programs, which are

  • The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service
  • The American Business Awards
  • The International Business Awards
  • The Stevie Awards for Women in Business
  • The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

There are categories for customer service departments, teams, and individual performers, categories for various kinds of customer service achievements, and much more.  This tipsheet will help you to choose the categories and competitions in which you'll have the best chance of winning a Stevie Award.


Tags: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, excellent customer service, contact center awards, customer service excellence

Best Practices for World Class Customer Care, from a Stevie Awards Judge

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 01:33 PM

Sanjeev Garg, Global Head of Customer Care at the Commercial Vehicles Business Unit of TATA Motors in Mumbai, India, will chair the final judging committee for the individual performance categories in the customer service awards section of the 2014 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Entries for the competition will be accepted through January 14 - get your entry kit here.

As someone in charge of a global customer care department, Sanjeev told us about what he believes are the top three best practices that should be implemented to make a customer service group world class. 

Sanjeev Garg“A world class customer care group should ensure a strong and profitable relationship with all of its customers,” Sanjeev told us.  To achieve this, Sanjeev recommended:

- Maximum usage of IT for all service offerings;

- Continuous engagement with customers to improve processes and products; and

- Benchmarking of practices with the best in the industry.

Sanjeev won a Gold Stevie Award for Customer Service Leader of the Year in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. (See the full list of 2014 awards categories here.)  “The Stevie Award has come to me and my department as a testament to our commitment to the customer care industry,” Sanjeev commented. “It has motivated us to take innovative steps to further enhance the customer experience we offer and build long term relationships with our customers.”

Positive Feedback

The inspiration for Sanjeev and his team is very simple.  As he puts it: “Happy customers and their positive feedback on our actions.”  Sanjeev is very much aware that customer expectations are changing day by day. “It is mandatory now that we anticipate these changes and act promptly on them,” comments Sanjeev. “This poses a new challenge every day which can be overcome only if everybody in the organisation works towards it.”

Continues Sanjeev: “The process involves a lot of decision-making at the top management level and I love to challenge my own decisions. I encourage my team to express their views on my decisions, and that helps me reconsider my assumptions, contradict, or even refute my positions—and finally identify creative alternatives.”

New Beginning

Sanjeev loves his work.  “This daily process of self-challenging is enthralling,” he told us.   In his senior customer care role, he feels that he still has a lot to learn and to contribute to society, which can be achieved through this profession.

To sum it up, as Sanjeev told us on winning his customer service award: “This is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, this is just perhaps the end of a new beginning.”

About Sanjeev Garg
Sanjeev has been the Global Head of Customer Care for the Commercial Vehicle Business Unit of Tata Motors since December 2011. His customer care group is spread across four continents and supports more than 3 million Tata Motors vehicles through 2,300-plus service touch points and over 33,000 retail networks of spare parts.

Sanjeev started his career with Novartis and Godrej Soaps Ltd in 1990 .He then joined DCM Daewoo-Toyota. There he was instrumental in launching the Cielo, India’s first premium car, in 1994-95. He also created a dealer network for DCM-Daewoo Motors in India and went on to head the export vehicles business for that company. In 1996, Sanjeev joined General Motors Ltd and was instrumental in launching new initiatives for the customer satisfaction index and new Competitive Intelligence processes. His work at GM encompassed global geographies including South East Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Under his leadership, GM was ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction in the Middle East, ahead of Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. He is also credited for the successful launch of the Chevrolet brand in India.  Sanjeev worked briefly for Force Motors, India as President-Sales, Service & Marketing, and was instrumental in launching Force One, the first SUV from Force Motors.

A Gold Medalist from the College of Agriculture Engineering in Jabalpur, Sanjeev went on to complete an MBA degree from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. Based in Mumbai, India, Sanjeev is married and has one son. He has a strong interest in sports, especially Formula 1, tennis, and golf.  He loves travelling, reading, and understanding different cultures.

About TATA Motors Ltd
Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of Rs. 1, 88,818 crores ($34.7 billion) in 2012-13. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, and Indonesia. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India. With over 8 million Tata vehicles plying the roads in India, Tata Motors is the country's market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fifth largest truck manufacturer and fourth largest bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses, and trucks are marketed in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, South America, the CIS, and Russia.

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, excellent customer service, contact center awards, customer service excellence, tata motors

Portrait of a Stevie Award-winning Customer Service Professional: Joe Greco of HomeServe USA Corp

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Nov 04, 2013 @ 04:29 PM

HomeServe USA’s Joe Greco won the Gold Stevie Award for Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year in the customer service awards categories of the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top honors for sales, business development, contact center, and customer service professionals.  The entry deadline for the 2014 edition of the awards is November 13 - get your entry kit here.

Joe Greco joined the HomeServe USA family in November 2011 as one of the company’s 150 proficient inbound sales and service agents. He made an instant impact on the department.

Joe GrecoFrom his very first month on the phones, it was clear Joe was going to do great things in the world of sales and customer service as he exceeded his sales goal at 169% to target, hit 173% of his upgrade goal, and hit 148% of his continuous conversion goal—all while maintaining an average quality rating of 99.31% on screened calls against an extensive compliance and customer service screening criteria. Not bad for the new kid on the block!

Impressive Performance

His impressive performance didn’t stop there. Joe quickly became one of HomeServe USA’s elite sales and service agents and averaged the following performance against his key performance indicators over the last year:

• 124% to new sales goal: Joe has welcomed over 1,050 new service plan holders to HomeServe USA;

• 204% to upgrade goal: Joe has achieved over 1,150 cross sales worth over $115,000 of revenue to the business;

• 97.1% quality rating across all calls screened versus a 95% goal;

• 96.3% adherence to time scheduled on phone versus a 93% goal.

Setting Records

Joe is a model employee and has achieved the impressive performance levels above with a perfect attendance record.  He continues to set the benchmark of what an excellent customer service and sales executive looks like. As a result, Joe has been recognized twice in the past year as the Inbound Department Employee of the Month, a feat that no other HomeServe USA agent has ever achieved in a 12-month period.

Customer Commendations

Joe’s most impressive achievements, however, lie away from the statistics. He has received an unprecedented seven customer commendations in the past year from delighted customers who have gone out of their way to pass on their feedback to the HomeServe USA supervisors, thanks to the high standards of best customer service Joe provides when handling inbound sales and service calls. All of these commendations mentioned Joe’s professionalism, patience, and extensive knowledge together with his ability to ensure that HomeServe USA customers gained a true understanding of the products and services they were using or about to purchase.

A Mentor and Coach

Joe is equally supportive, considerate, and respectful amongst his peers, and he is always willing to help. He is regularly used as a mentor and coach by the leadership team for incentive programs to benefit both new and existing staff.  His humility and expertise are perfectly balanced to complement this learning method.

The management at HomeServe makes every effort to deliver a world-class customer service and are incredibly proud of all the company’s sales and service agents, but when they look at Joe and what he has achieved in his career at HomeServe, they know they have a true industry-leading front-line customer service professional.

A Milestone for HomeServe USA

2013 is HomeServe USA’s 10th anniversary serving customers. This milestone recognizes when the company signed with its first US partner, which opened the door for the company to begin enrollments and ultimately to serve customers in the United States. The company’s parent, HomeServe plc, has been around for 20 years, and was founded in the UK in 1993.

About Joe Greco
Joe is a true customer service professional with over 30 years experience in sales and customer service, including 10 years in automobile sales and 20 years in telemarketing for church directories. Since joining HomeServe USA in 2011, Joe has become an integral part of the team and is very popular and respected by his peers. Joe enjoys the challenge of building rapport with callers and striving to exceed their expectations, whether resolving an issue they have or selling them a new product or service.

About HomeServe USA
HomeServe USA Corp (HomeServe) is an independent provider of home emergency repair service plans. For over a decade, the company has protected homeowners against the expense and inconvenience of water, sewer, electrical, HVAC, and other home emergencies by providing affordable coverage and quality service. HomeServe serves over 1.4 million homeowners in the US and Canada and dedicates itself to being a customer-focused company providing best-in-class emergency repair plans through leading utility partners and directly to consumers. For more information about HomeServe, please go to www.homeserveusa.com, follow us on www.twitter.com/homeserveusa, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homeserveusa.

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, excellent customer service, contact center awards, customer service excellence

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

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:07 AM

People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer ServiceMore than 250,000 votes were cast in the 2012 People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service, part of the 6th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world’s top honors for contact center, customer service, and sales professionals. 

This worldwide public vote was conducted between January 26 and February 10, 2012, with the highest number of votes deciding the winners in 11 categories.  The winning companies, which will each receive the coveted crystal People's Choice Stevie Award at the gala ceremony in Las Vegas on February 27, are:

-      Airlines, Distribution & Transportation: TATA Motors

-      All Other Industries: eCornell

-      Computer Hardware: Apple Inc./Apple Stores

-      Computer Services: Rosetta Stone

-      Computer Software: Photodex

-      Financial Services: SquareTrade

-      Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals & Related Industries: PetRays

-      Leisure & Tourism: IHG

-      Public Services & Education: Finding Freedom Team

-      Retail: Amazon.com

-      Telecommunications: Vodafone Turkey

Nicknamed the Stevie® for the Greek word “crowned,” the awards will be presented to honorees at the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service awards banquet on Monday, February 27 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Tickets for the event are now on sale.  More than 300 executives from around the world are expected to attend.

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.

About The Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  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 6th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include American Support, Coloredge Los Angeles * New York, Competence Call Center, SDL and ValueSelling Associates.

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, good customer service, excellent customer service, people's choice awards

How to Enter the World's Top Customer Service Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 @ 04:53 PM

We've published a 13 minute video called How to Enter the 2012 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Do you provide excellent customer service?  The video covers the steps you should follow if you're at all interested in winning the top customer service award on the planet.

Entries are now being accepted for the 6th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  You'll find the entry kit online, here.

If you have questions about how to submit nominations after watching the video, write to us at [email protected].  We're here for you!

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, call center awards, customer service award

Never Say No: Lessons From a Customer Service Awards Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 @ 10:36 AM

Confero, Inc., of Cary, North Carolina, USA was named Customer Service or Call Center Consulting Practice of the Year in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Entries for the 2012 awards are now being accepted.

Elaine BuxtonConfero, Inc. is a national customer experience measurement firm that helps clients provide a service to their customers. Operating throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the firm offers customer service mystery shopping evaluations, customer brand support services, customer satisfaction research, and employee incentive and recognition programs.  Here we look at how they successfully beat the competition and handled the tough conditions of 2009-10.

Never Say No

Confero has a policy of never saying “no” to its clients. People have requested some very short deadlines with seemingly impossible logistics, but Confero knew that in each case the client had a need that absolutely had to be addressed.

Turn-on-a-Dime Projects

Confero is known for its unusually fast, turn-on-a-dime projects. Most competitor companies want 30 to 60 days notice, a substantial setup fee, and multiple meetings in order to accept a project. The Confero team, however, can place a finished project in the field in 30 days or less—sometimes in only 3 to 4 days—which is quite an accomplishment in the industry. 

Because of the economic climate, client companies often would not receive funding for projects until the last minute, but these projects were nonetheless important. By using its ability to get a project into the field quickly, Confero was able to really help these clients.

8,000 Locations in 8 Weeks

With only 10 days’ notice, the Confero team was able to put a year-end program for 8,000 visits into the field last December, managing mystery shop visits to 8,000 locations in eight weeks, with pre-shipped and prepared on-the-spot prizes, which is completely unheard of in the industry. To give more of an idea of the scope of this project, it was carried out across the United States in the middle of one of the worst winters on record.

Census Project Completed in 3 Weeks

In February, just before the start of the U.S. Census, the government contracted with an agency to market the census to underrepresented sections of the population. This agency contacted Confero with just three weeks’ notice to go into independent Hispanic- and Asian-American-owned-and-operated grocery stores to educate the owners about the census and to place marketing materials in the stores to encourage their customers’ census participation. The agency came to Confero after using two other providers who had not been able to complete the project. Confero finished the project for them in the three weeks.

Making the Client Look Good

Confero aims to make its clients look good by ensuring access to the resources needed to scale up or down, depending on the project. Confero’s “Don’t Say No” attitude asks: If we do this project, how exactly can we accomplish it?

Can-do Thinking

The Confero team’s can-do thinking considers business on the table, appreciates that the client needs its services, and then figures out a way to make the project happen. Instead of saying, “Here’s a client with a project need, so can we fit it into the bucket of what we do?” Confero says: “Here’s a client with a project need, and if it’s anywhere near the bucket of what we do, we’ll figure out how to get it done.”

On the Confero team’s winning a Stevie Award earlier this year, the company’s president Elaine Buxton commented: “This award is particularly meaningful to Confero’s customer service team because it recognizes the team’s delivery of quality solutions in 2010, including many that involved quick turnaround times and tough requirements.”

About Elaine Buxton

Confero’s president Elaine Buxton earned a B.S. from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MBA from Meredith College, which named her one of its top 100 graduates. She has been recognized among the top 25 businesswomen by Triangle Business Journal, named as a Woman Extraordinaire honoree, and honored by Enterprising Women magazine.  Elaine and the Confero team ranked on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 list and at No. 51 on the Top 100 North Carolina Small Businesses list. Elaine is a founding member and immediate past president of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association and serves on the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina board of directors.

About Confero, Inc.

Confero, Inc. is a national customer experience measurement firm dedicated to helping clients provide outstanding service to their customers. The firm offers customer service mystery shopping evaluations, customer brand support services, customer satisfaction research, and employee incentive and recognition programs. For more information, call (800) 326-3880 or visit http://www.conferoinc.com.

Tags: customer service awards, stevie awards, call center awards, customer service award, Elaine Buxton, Confero

Customer Service Awards Judges in The 2011 IBAs

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 @ 05:08 PM

We've been trumpeting the more than 200 professionals worldwide who participated in judging of The 2011 (8th Annual) International Business Awards, and today we cite the contributions of those who judged the customer service awards categories.

The IBAs, if you're not familiar with them, are the world's top honors for business professionals, with categories that recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace.  All organizations worldwide may submit entries.  This year's IBA honorees hail from more than 40 nations.  Honorees were announced last month, and will be celebrated on October 11 during gala ceremonies in Abu Dhabi, UAE. 

The final judging committee for the customer service categories, whose average scores determined this year's honorees, included

Michaela Aguilar, ICT Program Leader, Parramatta City Council, Parammata, NSW Australia
Don Batting, Senior Consultant, Enterprise Support Services, Ernst & Young, New York, NY USA
Clare Buchanan, Head of Customer Service USA, DHL Express, Tempe, AZ USA
Karen McFadzen, VP Technical Services, APAC, Japan & Greater China, Cisco Systems, Chatswood, NSW Australia
Charles (Chick) Olsson, BEc, Acc, MAICD, Managing Director, Four Season Company Pty Ltd, Sydney, NSW Australia
Melanie Pope, Director, Australian Paramedic Support Foundation, Aspley, Australia
Stormy Simon, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Overstock.com, Salt Lake City, UT USA
Jan Willem Strijker, Owner/Director, Brantas International Technology Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand
Julie Toma, President, Advenio Group, East Killara, NSW Australia

Sue SavageThe committee was chaired and formed by Susan Savage, General Manager, MICROS Fidelio Australia, South Turramurra, Australia

The categories Sue and her committee judged included

  • Customer Service Department of the Year
  • Customer Service Team of the Year
  • Customer Service Executive of the Year

The honorees they chose in these categories include Etisalat, Mafraq Hospital/Abu Dhabi, and Haktan Yasar Kiliç of Turk Telekom.  See the full list of honorees here.

The next opportunity for customer service and call center professionals to be honored in a Stevie Awards competition is in the 6th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, which is now accepting entries.  These awards feature more than 90 categories focused exclusively on customer service, call center, and sales achievements.

Tags: customer service awards, International business awards, stevie awards, good customer service, excellent customer service, IBAs

3 Tips on How to Be Successful in Customer Service: Q&A with Art Gairo

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Apr 04, 2011 @ 10:38 AM

  

With the final entry deadline for The 2011 American Business Awards coming up on April 27, we asked Art Gairo, Senior Vice President for Broadview Networks, for his top tips about what makes for great customer service.  Art will chair and form the final judging committee for the customer service awards categories of the 2011 ABAs.

Art GairoWhat are your top 3 tips on how to be successful in customer service?

  1. Listen to your customers’ feedback and use their suggestions to improve—the customer does indeed know what’s best!
  2. A company is only as good as its employees, so it’s important to imbue your employees with a sense of purpose and make sure that they both understand and believe in their mission. Having talented and engaged employees can make all the difference in providing excellent customer service. 
  3. Never be satisfied in the pursuit of customer service objectives—go over and above what’s required. Whether it’s call-center service levels, mean time to repair, or overall customer satisfaction, always press to be better, faster, and stronger than your competitor, and strive to get it right for the customer as much as possible.  

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
I keep seeing TV commercials where people turn to “the cloud” to accomplish something, whether it be for some type of collaborative work, or for family picture albums, etc. This is the new mantra for accessing software and applications remotely, and it just so happens it aligns very nicely with the new line of Cloud Computing products and services that Broadview is rolling out to small- and medium-sized businesses. So all things “cloud” have been resonating with me lately.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a doctor, particularly a neurologist. I’ve always been fascinated by the field of medicine.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates? Trust and respect are a given, but I would add that I also value people who are positive thinkers and who bring innovative ideas to the table. These are the people who help me to step outside the everyday comfort zone and to grow as a teammate and colleague.

What do you think is the worst bad habit to have at work? Procrastination ranks right up there as one of the least desirable habits to have—especially at work. Every day I come into the office and look directly at a sign on my desk that says: “Be Proactive!”

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I think it’s important to like what you are doing, and to be challenged by your job every day. If you don’t love what you do, it’s going to be difficult to be really successful at it!  I begin every morning with a game plan for the day.  As I move through the day, I check off my completed tasks, while also adding short- and long-term tasks to the list.  This gives me a real sense of accomplishment about what I do.

About Art Gairo
Art Gairo is the senior vice president of Operations for Broadview Networks, with responsibility for all Service, Repair, and Care Centers; the Enterprise Customer Support Division; Field Operations; and the Agent and Wholesale Support Divisions.  Gairo has more than 18 years of leadership experience in operations management in the telecommunications industry. He joined Broadview Networks as a vice president of Customer Operations (previously ATX Communications) in May 2004.  Prior to that, Gairo served as vice president of Customer Operations for Allegiance Teleco, now part of XO Communications.  Before that, Gairo worked as Team Leader of Field Engineering for MCI Communications.

About Broadview Networks
Broadview Networks is a network-based business-communications provider serving customers nationwide. It provides the total solution for business communications, including all distance-voice communications, premises-based and patented hosted VoIP systems and data services encompassing VPN- and MPLS-enabled applications, traditional telephone hardware, high-speed Internet services, a full suite of managed services, and a range of professional services. Broadview also provides an innovative portfolio of bundled, hosted IP phone and cloud computing services designed to meet the unique application requirements of diverse workforce groups. Its customers benefit from award-winning customer service, including a web-based account-management tool and a primary point-of-contact for real-time, personal customer care.

Broadview is a control investment of MCG Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: MCGC). Its largest investors are MCG Capital, Baker Capital and New Enterprise Associates.

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, good customer service, excellent customer service