People go to the emergency room because they have an immediate health issue — and they want it taken care of right away. But for Emergency Medical Physicians, quick and competent is not good enough.
The organization, led by Chairman and CEO Dr. Dominic J. Bagnoli, is dedicated to the service of patients and hospital partners, and it is easy to understand why. With “servant’s heart” and “owner’s mind” among the core values of EMP, those values define how the organization interacts with patients, hospital partners and its physicians.
Providing exceptional, cost-effective care with compassion and respect to patients motivates decisions within the medical group. The group makes a commitment that its hospital partners will also see a servant’s heart in the way EMP serves every day.
Emergency medicine physicians who had a dream to provide the best in emergency care for patients while creating an environment where physicians can excel founded EMP in 1992.
“We are committed to treating and serving each of our patients, not only with the medical expertise required but, perhaps more importantly, with the empathy that they deserve,” Bagnoli says.
EMP Emergency Medicine Physicians is a privately owned and managed group with more than 800 physicians treating nearly 3 million patients in 60 emergency room locations.
How to reach: Emergency Medicine Physicians, (330) 493-4443 or www.emp.com
Thomas D. Halter was in a bind. The director of Web technology at AssuraMed needed to get his Web development team up to speed with the latest Java technology. Unfortunately, he was having a tough time finding a program that would meet his company’s highly specialized needs.
He was hoping to find an instructor with a curriculum that matched these needs, but he came up empty and was resigned to the fact he was now going to need to look outside of Ohio. This would add travel costs to the expense of training.
Then he came across DeVore Technologies Inc. It turned out that DeVore had an instructor and a curriculum that exactly met Halter’s requirements. But under the leadership and personality of Lori DeVore, the company’s president and CEO, the firm also had a willingness to work with Halter to meet his very precise expectations.
Once a plan was finalized, DeVore also came through with first-class training facilities and “a never-ending stream of snacks and beverages,” Halter says.
The result is an informed team at AssuraMed and a valuable partner for the future the next time Halter needs to train his staff.
How to reach: DeVore Technologies Inc., (440) 232-3846 or www.devore.com
Who needs LeBron? We have customer service! Yes, it would be really nice if one of our major sports team won a championship. However, in spite of that, Cleveland is on the rise. Personally, I love Cleveland, and I am proud to say I am from Cleveland and live here.
There is a lot to love; we are known for our leading health care facilities, our theater district, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, downtown is making a strong comeback, and most of all, we are known for our people. We are in the heart of the Midwest, where we have the best people, grounded and loyal with amazing family values.
However, that isn’t all for which Cleveland is known; Cleveland is now becoming a fantastic customer service location. Five years ago, The DiJulius Group launched the annual Secret Service Summit. The Secret Service Summit is a two-day conference featuring the top customer service speakers, authors and brand executives for two days.
I will be honest, the plan was to launch the first year, 2009, in Cleveland, then move the annual conference to the more desirable destinations, i.e. Las Vegas, Orlando, etc.
However, it sold out the first year and was so successful that we decided we were going to keep the Secret Service Summit in Cleveland. Why? For one thing, more than 75 of the attendees are from outside of Ohio, many outside the U.S., so we felt good about helping Cleveland generate some traffic.
Secondly, with the help of so many Cleveland people, we are able to provide a conference experience never seen before, one we could never duplicate anywhere else. As a result the Secret Service Summit is one of the top customer service conferences in America.
Seeing the affect that both the Secret Service Summit and SBN’s World-Class customer service awards has had on recognizing and educating Northeast Ohio businesses for their commitment to providing superior customer service, we have seen an improvement in the level of customer service being delivered everywhere in NEO and the momentum is rapidly building.
What does it mean when an entire region is known for something like world-class customer service? It means businesses experience higher sales growth, become less price sensitive, enjoy more referrals, are less affected by things such as the economic swings, they are more profitable, and spend less on advertising.
In addition, they have higher employee morale and lower employee turnover. Ultimately it means we have nicer people, who enjoy serving others and it shows, which attracts more people to the business and the area. More businesses prosper and more companies and customers are attracted to the area.
The DiJulius Group’s mission has always been to change the world by creating a customer service revolution; however, we have a second one: to make Cleveland the “Customer Service Capital of the World.” Together, we can make this a reality.
John DeJulius III is the author of “Secret Service Hidden Systems that Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service” and What’s the Secret.” He is also president of the DeJulius Group. Reach him at John@thedejuliusgroup.com.
Cleveland Marriott East works hard to give its guests a comfortable room to sleep in so they can be at their best when morning comes. But those guest rooms are only part of the picture at the hotel.
Space is also used regularly for business meetings, weddings, retreats, reunions, parties and a whole list of other events that need to be just as top-notch as the guest rooms. A strong effort over the past year to strengthen this part of the business took Cleveland Marriott East from ranking No. 121 out of 328 in 2011 to No. 12 out of 332 in 2012 for its event services. It ranked the percentage of times a hotel received a 5 out of 5 ranking for an event.
The effort begins with bolstering the process in place to set up events, including the showing of space and discussion of details pertinent to the event the client is looking to hold. At the event itself, employees are made aware of what is happening and greet event guests as they arrive, adding a personal touch that helps everything off to a great start. The effort led by Kenny Didier, Cleveland Marriott East’s general manager, is already paying dividends.
How to reach: Cleveland Marriott East, (216) 378-9191 or www.clevelandmarriotteast.com
WCCS 2013 – AtNetPlus Inc.
Management and employees alike consider AtNetPlus Inc., first and foremost, to be a service company that also happens to provide IT solutions to its clients. Over the past several years, with the help of partners Jim Laber and Jay Mellon, AtNetPlus has deliberately shifted its training and processes to make customer service a top priority.
As the company has grown, it has recognized the need to integrate the delivery of outstanding customer service into the company culture. In 2010 it developed four service standards: attitude, communications, accuracy and efficiency. These have become a core philosophy throughout the organization.
Every employee has the service standards at their desk as a reminder that they are not just words but that they illustrate what the company believes are the critical factors that lead to customer satisfaction. They are talked about frequently by management and in everyday conversations.
Everything starts with attitude. The right attitude can change an unhappy client into one of the strongest, most vocal supporters. Clear and consistent communications are necessary to maintain a positive atmosphere. Both accuracy and efficiency are important. However, when a choice must be made, accuracy takes precedence over efficiency within AtNetPlus.
Each service standard is dependent on the preceding one. Combined, they result in happier, more loyal clients and a corporate culture in which employees feel empowered to do more for customers.
How to reach: AtNetPlus Inc., (330) 945-5685 or www.atnetplus.com
Customer care is a culture at AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings. It is paramount within every functional department and at every level of the business.
Julian Cass, vice president of the Americas for AkzoNobel, a leading global supplier of coatings, inks and adhesives to the packaging industry, helps drive that culture. At the forefront of its world-class customer care is its customer order management specialists team.
This team is renowned for its expertise and understanding of both its clients’ businesses and packaging coatings to deliver supreme customer service and responsiveness. The professional relationships — both internal and external — are based on trust, respect and performance with many years of proven record.
In addition, the company’s “End-to-End Alignment” Operational Excellence initiative has delivered significant and sustained service-level improvements. Since inception in May 2012, service levels of 97 percent and higher are now the norm.
This is a key initiative that has delivered significant and sustained business improvements. The end-to-end alignment team helped streamline operations from demand to raw materials. End-to-end alignment sessions were held in support of streamlining operations across key supply chain functions.
What inspires AkzoNobel is seeing the opportunity others cannot, and what unites the company is the intelligence to deliver customer care where others have not.
How to reach: AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings, (440) 297-8556 or www.akzonobel.com/packaging
It gives Karen Considine a great deal of comfort to know that ABCO Fire Protection Inc. is on the job to ensure that the four medical buildings she manages for Parma Hospital are in compliance with all fire regulations.
Considine has worked with ABCO on these properties for the past four years, and she says each encounter has been a pleasure. Whether it was a new fire alarm system that was needed in one building or the numerous issues that resulted in calls, needs are always addressed in a quick and seamless fashion.
This ease in dealing with ABCO stems from a philosophy that begins at the top with President and CEO Bob Titmas. The goal is to show customers why the product or service they are proposing is a good idea, rather than just tell them it is and leave it at that.
ABCO employees want customers to understand that the company always has their best interest and safety in mind.
The company’s pricing is not the lowest, but Titmas and his team believe that the value customers get from the company make it less of a factor. By focusing on that expertise, ABCO builds relationships with customers that endure.
How to reach: ABCO Fire Protection Inc., (216) 433-7200 or www.abcofire.com
No matter how long a company has been around, there is almost always room for improvement in customer service. When competition heats up, customer retention and loyalty become critical to ?nancial success. Vericom Corp., which provides digital signage and on-hold messaging for hospitals and other health care providers, regards customer service as a broad term that covers all contact points of a brand to its consumers.
Although Vericom’s customer engagement team is ultimately the key point of contact between the organization and the client, the entire company is oriented toward the customer. Vericom constantly evaluates how what it does and says a?ects its customers, because it considers customer service its key competitive advantage.
Guided by Chairman and CEO Robert J. Loeb, Vericom has been serving hospitals, health systems, managed care and physician practices for 23 years. Since the company’s inception in 1989, its goal of being the premier audio and visual health care communications provider for hospitals is supported by unparalleled service for clients.
In order to ensure lifelong, indispensable relationships, Vericom works daily to exceed the expectations of more than 350 clients. Vericom’s leaders believe that if the company seeks to be only as good as its competition, it is doing a disservice to its customers and setting itself up to lose some of them.
Serving 1,100 locations, Vericom works diligently to ensure that every site it serves receives high-quality customer service consistently. With a less than 3 percent lost-account rate, the proof is in the numbers.
“We feel this honor fits Vericom perfectly,” says Brandi Beard, internal communications coordinator for Marshall Medical Center in Guntersville, Ala. “We currently utilize Vericom’s services both for on-hold messaging as well as their digital signage product. They have consistently proven that customer service is more than making sure the client is happy — it’s making sure the client stays happy.”
How to reach: Vericom Corp., (770) 552-1215 or www.vericom.net
U.S. Security Associates, the fourth-largest security guard provider in the United States with 140 branches in 46 states, operates in a business with very thin margins, so the company continuously seeks new ways to make customer service its chief competitive advantage.
Under the leadership of CEO Charles Schneider, U.S. Security says its mission is to maintain and constantly improve its partner relationship with both its clients and its employees via communication tools, state-of-the-art technology and accessible senior management.
The company values, which are reinforced throughout the organization, are to adhere to the principles of trust, ethics, lawfulness and honesty in every action and decision the employees undertake.
U.S. Security’s company vision is to become the best provider of uniformed security services in the United States using a unique formula of service and technology to achieve its mission of delivering excellence. The contributions of the company’s employees have enabled it to consistently exceed its annual goals for customer satisfaction and customer retention. The latest figures for those two metrics are 97 percent and 94 percent, respectively.
U.S. Security takes proactive measures to implement learning and performance improvement initiatives. The company provides training not only for the daily tasks required of its employees but also for human-relation skills needed to effectively interact with associates, subordinates, supervisors and managers.
U.S. Security recently launched an employee leadership and management development program. Courses appropriate for each level are assigned every quarter, and corporate new hires are required to be given an orientation on their responsibilities and on-the-job training. All new hires are assigned to the training program after their first 30 days of employment. This program enables the company’s management to ensure the delivery of outstanding customer service and to lead the employees under their responsibility by example.
How to reach: U.S. Security Associates Inc., (770) 625-1500 or www.ussecurityassociates.com
Since its inception in 1972, Travis Pruitt & Associates has always primarily focused on providing exceptional customer service. The philosophy began with the civil engineering firm’s founder, Travis Pruitt Sr., and has been carried forward by his son, Travis Pruitt Jr., the company’s current president.
TPA prides itself on paying close attention to its clients’ needs and working hand-in-hand with them to create a finished product that fulfills their vision and meets their time and cost constraints. The firm has learned that interactively engaging clients early and throughout each project greatly reduces the need for costly change orders and delays during permitting and construction times, which translates into value that far exceeds the perceived savings of using a lower-priced engineering firm.
Travis Pruitt & Associates also understands that it must maintain a high level of service daily to make sure clients continually recognize the difference in customer service that TPA provides versus other engineering firms. TPA achieves this by having staff members who are accessible, knowledgeable and responsive, and who take the initiative to immediately coordinate and redirect resources to respond effectively to unexpected customer requests.
TPA recognizes that it is more meaningful and cost-effective to retain existing customers than to find new ones. Therefore the firm strives to treat every client as a VIP. Continuous clients receive an even higher level of service due to their long-term relationships with TPA’s staff. Those clients typically have a member of the firm’s leadership team as their primary contact person to ensure that their expectations are being fulfilled.
“My contact with all of the staff at TPA has been positive,” says Eugene Cole, an architect with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “From the field survey personnel to the president of the company, their service is the same: knowledgeable, timely, forward-looking and honest.”
How to reach: Travis Pruitt & Associates Inc., (770) 416-7511 or www.travispruitt.com