Customer Service Awards Blog

How to Achieve a 100% Customer Satisfaction Rating, From a Stevie® Awards Winner

Posted by Liz Dean on Tue, Mar 05, 2013 @ 05:15 PM

EMKAY Inc., of Itasca, Illinois, USA, won the Gold Stevie® Award for Customer Service Team of the Year in the customer service awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards and the Gold Stevie Award for Back-Office Customer Service Team of the Year in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. (The entry deadline for The 2013 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A., is March 27 - request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away. You can also join the mailing list here for the 2014 sales awards and customer service awards and the entry kit will be emailed to you when entries open this July.) Here we look at how this fleet financing and management company continues to wow its customers.Chris Tepas, Chief Marketing Officer, EMKAY, Inc.

EMKAY is a top ten business-to-business North American finance- and fleet-management service solutions provider. Its front line is the Client Support Services (CSS) team, which provides value-added services daily to over 700 business customers with more than 100,000 vehicles under management. In addition, the customer service department has earned the ASE’s Blue Seal of Excellence Award for seven consecutive years; and for the past three consecutive years, EMKAY’s customer survey has resulted in a 100% customer satisfaction rating.

EMKAY customers recognize this company’s passion to satisfy in an ever-growing do-it-yourself environment. As one customer, Benjamin Moore & Co., stated: “EMKAY consistently addresses our growing needs to make life more productive for the fleet manager and our drivers. Its front-line customer service takes servicing clients seriously.”

The EMKAY Difference
So what is EMKAY’s award-winning CSS team doing to maintain their high standards and keep their customers satisfied?

  1. Saving The Client Money:
    A key element to EMKAY’s success is that its front-line isn’t just reactive, like your average customer service: it’s proactive. Not only does the company answer client requests, but it also looks for ways to save its clients money at every touch point. Each interaction—whether it’s by e-mail, phone, or the industry’s only on-line customer chat—is tracked as a case.

    On every interaction, service personnel answer requests and then focus on how EMKAY can add value through consultative strategies. The result for clients in 2011 was over $21,600,000 in documented savings.

    EMKAY has created unique point-of-purchase controls to save its customers approximately $560 annually per vehicle in maintenance expenses. EMKAY accomplishes this by consulting on every repair visit, tracking negotiated labor times/rates, and auditing every repair purchase order for any unnecessary repairs. The results are often dramatic and are shared in a cost-containment report prepared for each client.

    Customer Service also assists with remarketing off-lease vehicles. A third party, Adesa Analytical, audits EMKAY’s yearly statistics, enabling service personnel to pay close attention to the details involved in each transaction. EMKAY is also the only North American vehicle consignor to communicate electronically the maintenance history on every sold vehicle. The result is a cost saving for EMKAY customers of an average $322 per vehicle.

  2. Transparency:
    EMKAY believes customer service department results should be completely transparent. EMKAY has created a unique 360° view for customers that share specific results, accomplishments, Key Performance Indicators (KPI), metrics, and strategic initiatives specific to each customer. Each custom-built “Fleet Objective Report” shares not just EMKAY’s KPIs, but also how each customer performed versus customized targets and industry benchmarks. Customer Service then includes custom-prepared quarterly recommendations for improvement and cost savings.

    The CSS team’s great care is extended by tracking key metrics across all client interactions, then meeting bi- weekly not just with management, but with the entire CSS Front-Line. The result is that the team’s passion for results is engaged, and the company is able to make constant improvements to its service processes.

    Each front-line rep also receives a monthly scorecard. This acts as a results “playbook” for each individual, and enables Team Leads to meet personally with specialists, review their Key Performance Indicators, and develop individual self-improvement and quality-enhancement strategies.

  3. Walking In The Client’s Shoes
    The CSS team is also proactive with EMKAY’s operating departments to better the overall client experience. With EMKAY’s “Walk-In-Their-Shoes” program, CSS and operating team members interact directly in order to learn from each other, streamline processes, and create shortcuts to enable quicker—or more quality—client responses. By 2011, this initiative had resulted in an increase of 7% in the quality sections of the scorecards.

    Award-winning Results
    EMKAY has helped shift the way that corporate America views fleet management today with a philosophy of providing straightforward, better, and different solutions.  EMKAY has converted the fleet industry from simply leasing vehicles to a true technology- and service-based solution.

    Comments Chris Tepas, Executive Vice President of EMKAY, Inc.: “By internally managing key performance indicators and operational metrics, our focus is now on efficiency solutions and cost savings rather than on problem resolution. EMKAY’s proactive customer service mindset has resulted in a true partnership with our clients, something unique in the fleet world today.”

    He added: “In 2012 we totaled over 65,000 cases and achieved an outstanding 17.2% cases having a cost saving recommendation. The result for our clients was over $28,200,000 in documented savings.”

    About Chris Tepas
    Chris Tepas currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President for EMKAY Inc. Tepas joined EMKAY in 1999 and was promoted to Vice President of Sales in 2003, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 2006, and Executive Vice President of Client Services and Marketing in 2009.

    Tepas obtained his degree from Arizona State University and had professional design training at the Art Institute of California—San Francisco.

    About EMKAY:
    is a provider of vehicle financing and management solutions to businesses throughout North America. Founded in 1946, it is the second oldest fleet management company in the nation, and maintains a reputation for operational excellence. As the industry’s only privately held, employee-owned company, EMKAY’s unique ownership enables a special personal pride in the servicing of its customers.

    Tags: customer service awards, American business awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, sales awards, Emkay, Customer Service Team of the Year, Back-Office Customer Service Team of the Year, Chris Tepas

    How to Excel at Customer Satisfaction From, Customer Service Awards Winner, Accenture

    Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 @ 03:28 PM

    Accenture Utilities BPO Services’ Revenue Cycle Operations Team for BC Hydro in Vancouver, Canada, won the Stevie® Award for Back-office Customer Service Team of the Year in the customer service awards categories of the 2011 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service. (Entries for the 2012 awards are open through January 18 - submit your entries now.)

    Maureen LachnitAs the pressure on businesses to lower risks and control costs while still achieving high customer satisfaction performance grows, so has the importance of business process outsourcing. Here we look at how Accenture Utilities BPO Services’ Stevie Award-winning team has helped find this crucial balance.

    What is Business Process Outsourcing?
    Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a valuable strategy for companies seeking new ways to achieve high performance by controlling costs, reducing risk, fostering collaboration, and increasing transparency. In its Office Support surveys of its clients, Accenture is achieving a stunning satisfaction rating of 98% overall. 

    Three Ways Accenture Utilities BPO Services’ Revenue Cycle Operations (RCO) Team Succeeds at BPO and Customer Satisfaction:

    1. Fosters Employee Appreciation
      Accenture Utilities BPO Services' Revenue Cycle Operations (RCO) team is made up of groups of dedicated employees from the Billing, Credit & Collections, Payments, Security, and Support Services departments. RCO team leader Maureen Lachnit is a firm believer in staff appreciation. Her motto is: “Always do the right thing. If you take care of your people, the business will succeed.” 
    2. Encourages Change from Within
      Accenture Utilities BPO Services encourages employees to create and run committees in order to drive changes in the workplace that involve both system and process improvements. The RCO team has several committees, including both the Events Committee (in charge of all in-house as well as all community-based events), and the Working Committee (which strives to enhance employee morale through the Grow BPO campaign by highlighting company achievements and focusing on areas of future growth).
    3. Cultivates Corporate Citizenship
      Community outreach is at the heart of everything Accenture’s RCO team does. On December 15, 2011, BC Hydro and Accenture held their annual Holiday Cheer Event, a joint partnership to help raise donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. BC Hydro and Accenture employees raised the grand total of $31,245 for the Food Bank in just two hours at this event. In 2010, the RCO team gave back to local charities by raising hundreds of dollars for the Union Gospel Mission and the Burnaby Christmas Bureau Angel Project.

    About Maureen Lachnit
    As the lead of Revenue Cycle Operations, Maureen Lachnit has dedicated over 30 years of her career to Accenture.  She started as an Application Clerk and continued her journey through various departments.  Maureen strives to keep her team focused on Accenture’s core values and fully supports initiatives like the RCO Events Committee.  She is committed to helping engage employees and to providing staff with opportunities for growth. Her keen business sense drives improvements and innovations and ensures that Accenture maintains and exceeds client expectations and satisfaction.

    About Accenture
    Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company, with more than 244,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries.  Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.  The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011.  Their home page is

    Tags: customer service awards, Accenture, Back-Office Customer Service Team of the Year, The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, Customer Service