Customer Service Awards Blog

4 Ways a Stevie® Awards Winner Improved Customer Service Experience

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 @ 05:46 PM

Emma, Inc., in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, won the Gold Stevie® Award for Customer Service Department of the Year in the customer service awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A. (The entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs is March 27, request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.) Here we look at what steps they took to improve an already great experience for their customers and clients.

Kyle Floyd, Customer Support Lead, Emma, Inc.Providing friendly, expert, and entirely non-robot-like customer service is a cornerstone of the Emma experience, but nonetheless, last year this email marketing services agency turned its customer service process on its head (gently, of course) and examined it from every angle to see if it could be improved. 

"Our team isn't afraid to try a new approach or change an internal process if it means a better experience for the customer," commented Kyle Floyd, leader of the Emma customer support department.

The agency took a simple approach: to change what didn’t feel Emma-worthy and to build on what did.  Here are the improvements that were made to the customer service process:

1. Creating "Hosts" to Welcome New customers.
Consultative sales set the tone for a new customer's experience, so Emma analyzed the customer's next steps immediately after opening an account.  What they found provided an opportunity to enhance the personalized experience for the customer. Emma now provides an individual to act as a host and reach out proactively to new customers in order to guide them.  The host helps new customers to work with Emma’s designers and to customize their account so they can be set up for email marketing success.

2. Launching an Emma Concierge Program for VIP Clients.
Emma attracts customers who like a strategic approach to email: the agency recommends a targeted, personalized approach, and provides access to in-house email strategy experts.  Emma recognizes the unique needs of its agency clients, and especially clients with well-developed marketing plans.  For these clients, email is just part of an overall brand strategy.   In addition to creating fast-tracked account support for these customers, Emma has established a concierge program that provides small teams of email experts to help those key accounts reach their business goals.

3. Improving the Emma Phone System Experience
Emma customers love to call the agency. They appreciate the minimal phone tree, and they know the person who answers their call is empowered to solve problems, answer questions, and even to anticipate those questions. But as the company grew, the phone system wasn’t keeping up. Clients were being prompted to leave a message if the customer support team was already on calls.

When the Emma’s customer support department put themselves in their customers’ shoes (ballet flats and cowboy boots, typically) they recognized that customers should have the option to wait on the line for support. Now Emma’s phone system provides that option, and the agency experiences fewer missed calls. At the same time, Emma is proud to sustain a 90% answer rate.

"We're the team that's most in step with the day-to-day experience of Emma's customers, and we don't take that responsibility lightly,” added Kyle. “I love that we really do take customer feedback to heart and use it to drive Emma forward."

4. Launching the "Emma Moments" Initiative
Emma has always loved finding ways to celebrate its customers, and took an extra step with a program called Emma Moments. The agency has a tradition of giving fellow staffers "kickass cards"—gift cards with a thoughtful note, enclosed in a blue envelope. Getting a blue envelope is something special for the Emma staff, and the agency decided to pass that feeling along to its customers.

The agency now sends handwritten notes, t-shirts, and "medals of awesomeness" to unsuspecting customers who excel in their field, are doing some good in their community, or have carried out a successful email campaign. To date, the agency has logged over 800 Emma Moments.

"I've never worked with a more talented and caring group of people than the team here at Emma," said Kyle. “I’m delighted that their hard work and dedication has been recognized with a Gold Stevie.”

About Kyle Floyd:
Customer Support Lead Kyle Floyd manages Emma’s support team, overseeing efforts to provide customers with a consistent, Emma-worthy experience. Supervising a team of 12 who power Emma’s support lines, Kyle directs strategy, training, and internal development resources. Kyle has worked at Emma for two (glorious) years. Before joining the agency, he was a Senior Shareholder Account Representative at American Funds. 

Kyle received his Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Belmont University. 

About Emma, Inc.:
Emma is an email marketing service that helps small and midsize companies market and communicate in style. Founded in 2003, Emma makes it easy to create attractive email campaigns, send to large opt-in audiences and track the response in real time. Based in Nashville, with offices in Portland, Denver, Austin and New York, Emma’s 100+ employees serve more than 30,000 organizations worldwide.


Tags: good customer service, American business awards, stevie awards, customer service department of the year, customer service awards, Emma Inc.

One Week Left to Vote for Your Favorite Customer Service of the Year

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Feb 01, 2013 @ 03:22 PM

Voting for the 4th edition of the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service, as part of the 7th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals, ends in one week on February 8 at 11:59PM.

If you haven't yet voted, you can vote now, at http://peopleschoice.stevieawards.com/default.cfm?sitetype=PS.

People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service LogoThis is a worldwide vote in which the general public will get to choose their favorite customer service in over ten categories including Airlines, Distribution & Transportation, Computer Services, Financial Services, Leisure & Tourism, Public Services & Education, Retail, and Telecommunications, among others.

All companies named as Finalists in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories are automatically included in voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service. Organizations will have the opportunity to win two awards: a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie Award, as determined by professionals on the sales awards, customer service awards, and contact center awards peer-review judging committees, and a crystal People's Choice Stevie Award, as determined by the public vote.

Winners of the crystal People's Choice Stevie Awards will be announced at an awards banquet at the Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on February 25, 2013.

Leave us a comment and let us know about your favorite customer service!

Tags: contact center awards, customer service awards, business awards, customer service excellence, sales excellence, sales awards, people's choice awards, customer service department of the year, People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Cus

Vote Now for Your Favorite Customer Service of the Year

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 @ 02:38 PM

Voting for the 4th edition of the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service, as part of the 7th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals, opened today and will go through February 8.

Vote now at http://peopleschoice.stevieawards.com/default.cfm?sitetype=PS.

This is a worldwide vote in which the general public will get to choose their favorite customer service in over ten categories including:

  • People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service LogoAirlines, Distribution & Transportation
  • Computer Services
  • Financial Services
  • Leisure & Tourism
  • Public Services & Education
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications

All companies named as Finalists in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories are automatically included in voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service. Organizations will have the opportunity to win two awards: a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie Award, as determined by professionals on the sales awards, customer service awards, and contact center awards peer-review judging committees, and a crystal People's Choice Stevie Award, as determined by the public vote.

Winners of the crystal People's Choice Stevie Awards will be announced at an awards banquet at the Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on February 25, 2013.

Winners in the 2012 People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service are were celebrated in Las Vegas on Monday, February 27th at the Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas. Last year's winners include Amazon.com, Apple, eCornell, Rosetta Stone, TATA Motors, and Vodafone Turkey, among others. 2012 results are summarized, at http://blog.stevieawards.com/customer-service-awards/bid/72154/Winners-Announced-in-People-s-Choice-Stevie-Awards-for-Favorite-Customer-Service.

Tags: contact center awards, customer service awards, business awards, customer service excellence, sales excellence, sales awards, people's choice awards, customer service department of the year, People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Cus

11 Ways to Honor Customer Service Departments in the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

There are 11 customer service awards categories specifically for departments in the 2013 (7th annual) Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. (All organizations and individuals worldwide are eligible to submit entries for sales awards and customer service awards. The final entry deadline for the 2013 awards is January 15; request your entry kit here.)The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service Logo

The customer service department categories recognize everyone who works in customer service in an organization, regardless of their role or location. Our customer service award categories specifically for departments include:

  1. Customer Service Department of the Year – Airlines, Distribution & Transportation
  2. Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Hardware
  3. Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Software
  4. Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Services
  5. Customer Service Department of the Year – Financial Services
  6. Customer Service Department of the Year – Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Related Industries
  7. Customer Service Department of the Year – Telecommunications
  8. Customer Service Department of the Year – Leisure & Tourism
  9. Customer Service Department of the Year – Public Services & Education
  10. Customer Service Department of the Year – Retail
  11. Customer Service Department of the Year – All Other Industries

Information required for entries in these categories include:

  1. An essay of up to 500 words describing your customer service department’s accomplishments since July 1, 2011.
  2. A brief biography (up to 100 words) of the leader of the nominated customer service department.
  3. 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.

In addition to the possibility of receiving a peer-reviewed honor in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories, all nominated customer service departments that are chosen as Finalists will also be automatically included in the voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service.

People's Choice winners will receive a special People's Choice Stevie Award trophy allowing for honorees in these categories to have the opportunity to receive a second award, as voted by the general public. Online voting will open to the public worldwide in mid-January and will continue through early February.

Winners of the crystal People's Choice Stevie Awards will be celebrated at the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service gala on February 25, 2013 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. 2012 winners were celebrated on February 27, 2012 at the Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas. 2012 People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service results are summarized here.  

Begin submitting your entries today! All sales and customer service entries are submitted directly online through your account. You can begin by registering here.

Tags: customer service awards, customer service award, business awards, sales awards, stevie awards for sales and customer service, customer service department of the year