Customer Service Awards Blog

Michelle Rutkowski

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Portrait of a Stevie Award-winning Customer Service Professional: Edgar Perez of Delta Air Lines

Posted by Michelle Rutkowski on Mon, Oct 07, 2013 @ 03:30 PM

Edgar Perez is an Atlanta Elite Sales and Service Assist Specialist for Delta Air Lines Inc., of Atlanta, Georgia, USA.  Edgar was awarded 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 customer service, contact center, and sales professionals. The early-bird entry deadline (with discounted fees) for the 2014 edition of the awards is this Wednesday, October 9. Get your entry kit today.

Edgar Perez of Delta Airlines Stevie Award winnerEdgar Perez is one of those employees who embraces change and the importance of customer service every day. He always remains positive and ready for a challenge, and never loses his focus on the customer.

Internal Support

Edgar supports many internal departments, assisting with booking, ticketing, research, and service-recovery decisions for Delta customers. He’s received the highest Delta honor, the “Chairman’s Club” award, which is given by his peers, largely because he is so supportive of those around him. One of Edgar’s supervisors commented: “Edgar exudes such positive enthusiasm that you can feel the electricity when he’s in the room.”

Customer Comments

Edgar has received numerous customer compliments and has turned many customers’ perspectives around. One customer wrote: “Edgar, you renewed my confidence in my favorite airline and gave me trust that you are really taking this gloried airline back up where she belongs.” Another customer wrote, “What an asset to the company. Thank you for hiring Edgar—his dedication to Delta and its customers is commendable.”

But none of these compliments adequately capture the passion Edgar has for Delta and for its customers. The following touching story is a better example:

Helping a Special Family Member

Recently, a family with two small children and their dog Chechito was relocating from Honduras to Missouri. They all checked in with Chechito in a hard-sided pet carrier, but the container wouldn’t fit under any seat. Because of the summer heat, the dog could not travel in the cargo hold, and the family was not able to postpone the trip, so they were forced to leave Chechito behind with a family friend in Honduras. The plane departed with Chechito still in his pet carrier on the tarmac and distressed parents and crying children staring out the airplane window knowing they might never see their special family member again.

Edgar made strenuous efforts to resolve the issue, working with the family in Missouri and the friend who had kept Chechito in Honduras. He worked with other divisions of Delta to have the health certificates returned to Honduras so the dog could be reunited with its family.

Finally, to make sure that everything went smoothly, Edgar decided to personally travel to Honduras and bring the dog back with him to the U.S. It took him 72 hours and a 4,000-mile journey to do so, but ultimately he reunited Chechito with his family.

Making A Difference

This is just one story of many where Edgar has made the difference for Delta’s customers. Allison Ausband, VP-Reservation Sales and Customer Care, commented: “Edgar, there are unsung heroes, and you certainly are one of them. What you did for this family was so representative of who you are as a person and so representative of the best we see in Delta employees. I can’t thank you enough for having this customer’s back and going way above the call of duty.”

Edgar truly pours his heart and soul into his work, which echoes through the words of thanks from his many satisfied customers.

About Edgar Perez:
Edgar Perez is currently a member of Delta’s Elite Sales and Service Assist desk, providing support to many internal departments and assisting with booking, ticketing, research, and service-recovery decisions in support of Delta’s external and internal customers. He joined Delta in February 1994 as a General Sales Agent and has held positions in International Sales and International Customer Service, and on the Customer Service Coordinator Desk and Elite/Executive Desk. Along the way, Edgar’s expertise and knowledge of processes and policies, together with his exceptional service, have made him a highly sought-after resource, especially by Delta’s Board of Directors and executive team.

About Delta
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. Delta was named by Fortune magazine as the most admired airline worldwide in its 2013 World's Most Admired Companies airline-industry list, topping the list for the second time in three years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 317 destinations in 57 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. Delta is investing more than $3 billion in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on delta.com, Twitter @Delta, Google.com/+Delta and Facebook.com/delta


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

Beyond-Satisfaction Customer Care: A Stevie Award Winner Shows How It’s Done

Posted by Michelle Rutkowski on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 @ 11:30 AM

Earlier this year, Wolper Information Services took the Gold Stevie Award for Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year in the customer service awards categories at the seventh annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service(The 2014 edition is now accepting entries - get your entry kit today.) In 2012, Wolper received the Bronze Stevie Award in the same category. Here we look at how the company has maintained its high levels of success.

 Susan Wolper of Wolper Information ServicesWolper Information Services functions as the intermediary between publishers and content aggregators and its mutual corporate and institutional customers. As those customers increasingly transition their information resources from print to electronic, Wolper’s customer service team is on the front lines dealing with the realities of a myriad of new and complicated formats, including digital and mobile.

  “Our goal is to exceed customer expectations every day and we do this by supporting our customer-facing staff and empowering them with regular training and constant communication,” said Susan Wolper, President and CEO of Wolper Information Services.  “We are honored to be recognized by the Stevie Awards for our best-in-class Front-Line Customer Service Team.”

Rising to Meet Challenges

The Wolper Front-Line Customer Service Team has to be on the leading edge in order to:

 - understand new requirements;

- help Wolper update its internal systems to accommodate new realities; and

- internalize every detail of the new workflows (licensing instead of purchasing, managing access issues as opposed to claiming missed issues).

The team has risen to these steep challenges and has made Wolper even more relevant to the industry and a better adviser to its customers.

Company-wide Commitment

Customer service is in the Wolper DNA. It’s a company-wide commitment, not the purview of a single department. Lots of vendors say that they provide great customer service, but Wolper has independent, third-party verification that proves it. The company maintains a Dun & Bradstreet Open Ratings PPE score of 97-98 out of 100, based on customers’ satisfaction in dealing with Wolper staff, their attitude, courtesy, and professionalism.

Seamless Transitioning

As Corporate America increasingly implements enterprise-wide e-procurement systems to increase efficiency and to capture and control spending, Wolper’s systems have to “shake hands” with the gamut of e-procurement platforms its customers are using. The company’s versatility applies to software as well as the one-on-one, personal support its customer service team provides. The company employs similar initiatives (in-house training, refined internal processes) for all of its accounts with high integration needs and consequently has developed a swift, seamless transitioning process and ongoing support for those customers.

Additionally, because of budget and staffing pressures everywhere in the transaction channel, Wolper’s customer service department increasingly absorbs workload overflow from both the publisher and customer sides of its business.

Commitment to Customer Care

Veronica Malitzki, Customer Service and Accounts Manager, is the Front-Line Customer Service team leader.  With more than 19 years of experience in customer service at Wolper, Veronica oversees all aspects of customer interactions and management of the Customer Service department. She also oversees Wolper’s trade show and conference schedule and meets with both customers and prospects at shows and on-site for business review meetings.

While Wolper’s customer service representatives use highly technical systems, they engage people in a “high touch” way, remembering their contacts by first name, and in many cases knowing their account history (if not their children’s names or favorite sports teams) by heart.

At Wolper, there’s never an auto-attendant. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. There is always a commitment to personalized, beyond-satisfaction customer care.

About Susan Wolper:

Susan Wolper, President and CEO of Wolper Information Services, has led the company for more than two decades, during its greatest period of growth and success. A former corporate attorney specializing in real estate, Susan earned a Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve School of Law after graduating Cum Laude with honors from the University of Rochester.  Susan serves on the Executive Committee of The Association of Subscription Agents & Intermediaries and the Advisory Board for the Easton Area Neighborhood Center. In 2011, Susan was honored by the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal with its Executive Spotlight Award, and in 2013 she was named a “Champion of Diversity” by DiversityBusiness.com and a “Woman of Influence” by Lehigh Valley Business.

About Wolper Information Services:

For more than 35 years, Wolper has been a one-stop information management resource.  The company provides selection, service, and savings to academic, research, medical, corporate, government, public, and consortia customers.  Wolper’s High Tech, High Touch® approach delivers the perfect balance of next-generation technology and time-proven, personalized service.  Besides serials, Wolper also handles books and e-books, print and electronic, domestic and foreign, site licenses, e-resource access, and management (ERM) and other information solutions.  Recently, Wolper was named a Bronze Winner in the 2012 Best in Biz Awards for the Most Customer-Friendly Company of the Year, following multiple honors in 2011-12, from inclusion in the EContent 100 list of “companies that matter most in the digital content industry” to finalist for KMWorld magazine’s KM (Knowledge Management) Promise Award. Learn more at www.wolper.com.

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