Customer Service Awards Blog

How Would Your Development Team Program Customer Service?

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 @ 10:11 AM

Most of the time, the engineers and other professionals at software firm Olark are busy manipulating code as they try to push their product forward. But once a month, those computer gurus tackle a much different task: handling customer service inquiries from their users.

The company calls it their “All Hands Support” policy, intended to keep staffers throughout the organization in tune with the needs of clients. “Everyone in our 40-person company continues to contribute to our customer service efforts in some way,” says Karl Pawlewicz, the company’s spokesman.

Customer service is, in fact, at the very core of the San Francisco-based company. Founded in 2009, it offers a live chat platform that businesses large and small can use to address the real-time needs of their buyers. Today, more than 12,000 organizations around the globe use Olark’s easy-to-implement solution in order to address customer needs.

Olark.pngBy giving all of its employees a taste of the customer service experience, they’re able to create a better product, Pawlewicz suggests. “It keeps our entire company in close contact with our customers' successes and frustrations, and ensures each department is aligned on customer priorities,” he says.

The idea originated from the early days when Olark’s four founders were living together in Palo Alto and developing the software platform. “They each took turns on customer service so they wouldn't burn out and so they could stay close to customer feedback,” according to Pawlewicz.

At a time when a lot of customer service is being automated through artificial intelligence and bots, Pawlewicz says it was important for Olark’s principals to create a solution that was simultaneously economical and person-oriented.

“We’re looking for ways to develop a hybrid approach, ensuring technology makes humans more efficient, rather than replacing them,” he notes.

Building Empathy

Creating a better customer service experience is about more than spreading the workload around ‒ it’s also about developing a culture that turns employees into advocates for the company. That can can be a challenge for a geographically-diverse organization, where many employees work from home throughout North America, South America and Europe.

To develop that cohesiveness, the company, which recently won the Gold Stevie Award in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service for Customer Service Department of the Year ‒ Computer Software, hosts in-person retreats once a year. There, the company leaders preach Olark’s core values. Among them: “assume good faith,” “practice empathy” and “help each other grow.”

But the most unconventional of the company’s axioms is “chill out.” As its website describes, Olark  wants its employees to “seek activities that recharge you and allow you to bring your best self to work.” So it’s no accident that the company has amateur musicians and even a couple of part-time farmers among its ranks.

Olark has some off-beat customs, to be sure. Its employees join in to sing Darius Rucker’s  “Wagon Wheel,” the firm’s unofficial anthem, whenever they get together. And they have secret, gift-giving gnomes to celebrate birthdays, since they’re apart for the other 51 weeks each year.

“Creating this positive environment helps our team maintain a healthy work/life balance and come to work every day refreshed and renewed,” explains Pawlewicz. (L1)

That balanced approach has paid off in the form of excellent customer service, decided by Stevie Awards judges. Pawlewicz says the honor has been a major shot in the arm for workers at the burgeoning company.

“It's a testament to the hard work that our customer service team puts in every day, and we hope it will be a compelling proof point for future candidates who consider working at Olark,” he says.

Tags: sales awards, Customer Service, customer service department, Buisness awards

Drug Tests in Bulk Tests Positive For Stellar Customer Service.

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 @ 11:15 AM

Drug and alcohol testing mitigates the risk of injury and property damage to help companies establish a strong safety culture. Stevie Award winner Drug Tests In Bulk (DTIB) provides instant drug testing kits for businesses ranging from correctional facilities, corporate accounts, government offices and anyone who wants to detect the use of abused substances.

The company recently won the Silver Stevie for the e-Commerce Customer Service Award - All Other Industries in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, in addition to gaining media attention for filling an invaluable need for organizations.

Sumant Vasan, Director of Digital Marketing at Drug Tests in Bulk told us, “We have been mentioned in many notable publications, such as Forbes, The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Chicago Tribune and Buzzfeed for our product selection, customer service, and marketing prowess. We are also recognized by DATIA, SAPAA, and SHRM and BBB with an A+ as an exemplary provider.”

drug tests in bulk.png

The Best and Affordable

DTIB finds the change from lab testing to instant tests to be the most profound as of late. While most lab tests can cost up to $120, instant tests can go for as little as $2-$10 per test. This opportunity helps DTIB help businesses keep a safe workplace, without causing them the difficulty of choosing a sizable investment to do so.

Knowing Your Customer

Regular "Power Hour" meetings to review customer inquiries help address any concerns in a uniform and a thoughtful manner. They also look at customizing the best products for certain industry types, to reduce customer confusion and increase trust in their customer service team.

“We also have a catered lunch every Friday, where we all get a chance to eat, laugh and get to know our fellow team members better.” Said Sumant.

Growing Up With The Company

DTIB believes they’re much more than a drug testing company.  Implementing drug testing policy, protocol, and regulations is a serious responsibility. They also design exercises that include friendly competitions, collaborative projects and focus group sessions to maintain their family oriented environment that sets them apart.

“Our team members have ‘grown up’ with the company. Many of us have gotten married, had children, and bought homes while working here.” Recalled Sumant, “The company definitely has a family feel to it, and we often do things in the community together. For example, we support local food banks, girl scouts, boy scouts, drug rehab centers, and animal shelters.”

Passing With Flying Colours

DTIB customers constantly save on service that matches expensive lab based tests, with an instant solution that delivers the results in less than 5 minutes without sacrificing the quality of the test itself. With more than 15,000 businesses and clients in the U.S., DTIB has definitely tested positive for stellar customer service.

Learn more about Drug Tests in Bulk and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, e-commerce awards

Signs, Smiles and Second to None Service

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 @ 10:32 AM

Providing the best customer service for homes and businesses is what Stevie Award-winner is all about. is the industry leader in a variety of indoor and outdoor custom signage options for businesses and homes. They also offer one day turnaround time on most of their products. If clients need assistance, they proclaim, “no problem!” by providing free design services and “world-class customer service.”

This is how they garnered such high customer satisfaction rates all the way to win the Gold Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year.

Interested in entering the 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service? These are the top customer service awards, sales awards, business development awards, and new product and service awards around the world.

Request the entry kit here and it will be emailed to you in June.

No Small Parts believes each of their team members bring unique qualities to the table. Whitney Pikula (nee Matagi) is their “bubbliest” customer experience agent on the chat service. Whitney was hired as a temp while she finished school and immediately charmed everyone, leading her to land the Customer Experience position.

“She's helpful, sweet, and endearing...Her vivacious spirit is infectious. She's such an asset to our customer service team!”

Whitney has also been a professional dancer for most of her life. She danced for the University of Utah (her alma mater), the Utah Jazz basketball team and the Arizona Cardinals football team. She also traveled through China cheering on the United States Basketball team. Whitney has made it her mission to always keep clients happy and her co-workers laughing.

Smooth Strides to The Stevie Awards made the UVEF (Utah Venture Entrepreneur Forum) top 25 companies under five years old for the second year in a row, before placing sixth in the top ten.

In 2015, they were awarded "Utah's Emerging Elite," an award that honors Utah's fastest growing companies.

In 2017, they plan on applying to be on the INC 500 list.

“We pride ourselves on being on the forefront of these innovations. Who knows where the future of printing will take us.” considers the Stevie Awards a great place to share their company success.

“What a great place to showcase our amazing company. Upon learning of the Stevie Awards' tremendous reputation, we couldn't think of a better match! We became obsessed with creating the best submission out there!”

All Work and No Play...

Working hard but also playing hard is very important to Team building activities include escape rooms, games of darts, nerf gun wars and frequent pranks keep a sense of play for a company in the business of creative council for signage.

“To shake things up, we always play a game after each meeting! We've done some crazy things we aren't really proud of, including putting nylons on our head, eating donuts from a string and playing aggressive games of Spoons. We even have gold and silver medals to hand out to the weekly winners. Yeah, not competitive at all. And TOTALLY normal.”

Samantha, their resident baker, always makes snacks for meetings and birthday celebrations. Because of this, they have sage advice:

“Invest in treadmill desks.”

Tags: best customer service, customer service awards, sales awards

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, Twitter @Delta, and

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

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 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

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

How Billhighway’s Stevie® Awards-winning Client Care Team Drives Innovation

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 @ 11:58 AM

Billhighway of Troy, Michigan, USA, received the Bronze Stevie® Award in the highly competitive category of Innovation in Customer Service at the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Recognized as the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service awards gala was celebrated on Monday, February 25 at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Entries for the 2014 sales awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards will open in July, join our mailing list and we'll email you the entry kit when it becomes available.) Here we take a look at the Billhighway story, an example of the high standard of entries in this year’s competition.

“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Damon Richards

Billhighway at the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer ServiceBillhighway’s Client Care team embodies the sentiment of this quote every day, subscribing to the philosophy of ensuring each customer’s happiness with every interaction.  Today, customers who call or email the team with questions will reach a live person by pressing a single number—two at most; they will converse with real people who don’t use scripts, canned responses, or email “templates;” and they will interact with experts whose goal is not only to answer questions, but also to ensure each customer’s happiness with Billhighway. 

Billhighway’s team of seven is so committed to providing true customer service, that they went ahead and trademarked the name “BillhighwayCare™.” Over the past year, the team refined and enhanced every aspect of its operations, and in so doing has transformed itself from a numbers-based function to a fully-fledged problem-solving operation.

Kim Ng is Billhighway’s Client Care Team Leader.  On winning their Bronze Stevie Award, Kim said: “I’m so proud of the accomplishments we have made as a team and the national recognition we’ve received for it.  It’s our mantra that no customer interaction is over until the problem is solved.  This sets us apart from many other contact centers today, where efficiency is more important than quality and customer health.”

So how did Billhighway achieve this success?

Response Times
There are two measurables that Billhighway emphasizes: email, and phone-call response times. How much time customers wait for responses affects their happiness, so the team has high expectations in this area.

1. Phone Calls:  Customers calling Billhighway speak to a live person within two minutes; in fact, the average time is 18 seconds.

2. Emails: Customers receive an email response from Billhighway within one business day, with the average response being four hours.

Call-time Limits
While Client Care’s focus is on quality, the team is also efficient based on traditional measures. While team members take as long as is needed to solve problems, the average call time is just 4:48 minutes.

Gaining Experience
The volume of calls and emails fluctuates seasonally. Rather than responding to fluctuations by staffing up or down, Billhighway’s Client Care department maintains the same staff size year-round, and takes advantage of slower times by redeploying employees to other areas of the business for cross-training experience.  The more a team member knows about the company and how things work, the better equipped they are to manage customer issues

The Client Care team plays an integral role in the success of the company.  It is so important to the company that Billhighway’s management requires all new hires to spend one week training with Client Care.  This provides a first-hand look at customer issues and the role the team plays in maintaining the company’s 96% customer loyalty rate.

Training Sessions
Client Care team members not only manage phone calls and emails, they also proactively support customers with customized training on product features and new functionality, which they conduct themselves. Throughout the year, individual team members develop agendas and lead online training sessions. Training is never scripted, but completely customized to each client. 

Satisfaction Surveys
Client Care distributes regular satisfaction surveys using a 4.0 scale.  The average score for the rolling 12 months is 3.39. Client Care team members follow up weekly on any survey that scores less than 3.0.

The team leader measures call/email quality each month, and the average score, based on internal standards, is 95%.  

Testimonials from current Billhighway clients:
“… The response was almost instantaneous—within an hour—very helpful!”  -Golden Key administrator

“Billhighway has a great client support team. I know I can call anytime and always get the answers I need. Thanks so much for all of your help!” Higher Education Client, Miami University

“Thanks for the prompt service … I am a business owner, so I really respect and appreciate good service.” - American Buildings, Inc.

About Kim Ng:
Kim Ng is leader of the team responsible for providing the highest levels of customer service to members, officers, and member parents of client organizations. Kim resolves escalated customer concerns, maintains up-to-date policies/processes based on client needs, and advocates new product features and functions on behalf of clients. Kim continuously evaluates and updates end-user resources by facilitating client communications via emails, surveys, and training. Before joining Billhighway in 2007, Kim was Customer Service-Retention and Sales Manager with Comcast, and Quality Assurance Team Leader and OnStar Team Manager with EDS.

Kim has a BA in Communications and French from Georgetown College. 

About Billhighway:
provides cloud-based accounting solutions for non-profits. Billhighway’s solution suite enables improved financial management, payment processing, and online banking. It easily configures and scales to meet donor, member, and financial processing needs while increasing cash flow, trimming costs, and reducing risk. Billhighway manages $6 billion in transactions for 3,500-plus non-profits.

Tags: customer service awards, business awards, innovative technology, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, sales awards, contact center awards, Kim Ng, Billhighway

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

    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

    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: sales excellence, customer service awards, business awards, sales awards, contact center awards, customer service excellence, 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

    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, Apple, eCornell, Rosetta Stone, TATA Motors, and Vodafone Turkey, among others. 2012 results are summarized, at

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

    One Grand Reason to Enter the 2013 Sales & Customer Service Awards

    Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 @ 02:42 PM

    The final entry deadline for the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals, is tomorrow, January 15, and we thought it would be helpful if we shared one grand reason you should enter the 2013 awards.

    Gold Stevie Awards TrophyHere's one more giant reason you should enter the 2013 awards: This will be your final opportunity to win the traditional, large Gold Stevie Award trophy. After this edition of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the large trophy will become the Grand Stevie Award in all of our programs, and a new, smaller Gold Stevie trophy will be conferred. The Grand Stevie Award trophy will be awarded to only a handful of organizations in each of our four competitions and the new Gold Stevie Award trophy will be the same size as the Silver and Bronze Stevie Award trophies. Read more about this here.

    The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 125 sales awards, customer service awards, and call center awards categories honoring sales excellence and best customer service practices for individuals, teams, and departments, plus categories for products and service and solution providers. If you haven't yet done so, you can begin your submission process by requesting your entry kit here.

    Finalists will be notified on January 23 and winners of the 2013 edition will be announced at an awards banquet at Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on February 25, 2013.

    Have last minute questions regarding the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service? Email us at or call us at + 1 703-547-8389 and we'll get back to you right away.

    Tags: sales excellence, best customer service, customer service awards, business awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, call center awards, sales awards, grand trophy