TLC Laser Eye Centers opened in Atlanta in 1998, four years after the first TLC Laser Eye Center opened in Windsor, Ontario. Today, TLC is the largest provider of laser correction services in North America, with more than 50 locations in the United States and Canada.
Led by Atlanta Center Manager Andrea York, TLC Laser Eye Centers — Atlanta is housed in a state-of-the-art facility with free wireless Internet access, Direct TV, movies, music and news, a contact lens area for patients, a donation box for old glasses, a lounge for patients and their family and friends, and a front desk that offers a variety of access and menus to local restaurants for guests who are unfamiliar with the area.
TLC’s customer service philosophy includes making service a key competitive advantage and minimizing the relevance of price through its Gold Standard patient experience, affordable patient financing options and preferred health plan pricing.
The Gold Standard patient experience includes personalized consultations, reinforcing patients’ confidence via the TLC staff’s clinical excellence and consistently shadowing and coaching to support continuous improvement.
TLC strives to attract, hire and retain employees who share the company’s top-quality customer service mindset through a number of programs, including quarterly incentive compensation, an employee engagement program, and internal job postings. The quarterly incentive program is based on both top- and bottom-line growth achieved by intense focus on delivering the company’s Gold Standard patient experience.
TLC also offers a quarterly service achievement award. Employees nominate co-workers who they feel are deserving based on consistently delivering an “above and beyond” patient experience; by maintaining excellent patient care, even during periods of high patient volume; and leading by example in executing TLC’s nonnegotiable and “always/never” service standards.
How to reach: TLC Laser Eye Centers, (678) 392-4214 or www.tlcvision.com
T.E.N. — Tech Exec Networks is a national executive networking firm that creates channels of communication between technology and security executives and builds bridges to knowledge using an interactive approach. Led by CEO Marci McCarthy, T.E.N. empowers IT and security executives to interact with peers, industry leaders and technology providers.
The company’s offerings include some of the country’s most acclaimed peer-to-peer leadership recognition and executive programs, including virtual and traditional executive round tables, road shows and private executive engagements.
In addition to meeting the needs of the information security community, T.E.N.’s programs serve the technology vendor community. The stimulating style of recognition, peer discussion and thought-provoking agendas paired with celebrations give technology vendors unparalleled access to C-level decision-makers.
The level of success of T.E.N.’s programs hinges on its ability to promote the offerings to security executives and technology solution providers within the information security community. Meeting the needs of the technology vendors depends on the ability to put the right information security executives in the right seats with pinpoint precision. The business model is reliant on providing customer service and establishing personal trust with the security executives and vendors alike.
“I worked with T.E.N. when I was nominated for an ISE Executive of the Year award,” says Mario Chiock, global chief cyber security authority for Schlumberger. “I was unfamiliar with the nomination process and constrained for time. The T.E.N. team took it upon themselves to educate me and keep the process very well-synchronized.
“The customer service provided by the T.E.N. team was superb and made the process much easier. The extra care, advice, advance notice of due dates and assistance was tremendously helpful. They made me feel extremely special while also making me look good.”
How to reach: T.E.N. — Tech Exec Networks Inc., (404) 920-8582 or www.techexecnetworks.com
Sundial Plumbing Services has structured its delivery of products and services to foster the best possible customer experience. Woven into Sundial’s success is an ability to embrace clients’ desires and a willingness to accept change and to be flexible.
Sundial Plumbing was founded by Jack Smith and his daughter, Mitzi Smith Moore, who is now the company’s owner and president. Sundial’s passion for top-quality customer service has been forged through three generations of shared core values within the Smith family. All three generations share a strong work ethic and bulldog determination. And those core values are delivered through initiatives devoted to providing consumer responsiveness, value and quality.
Sundial has invested in a computer system that recognizes its VIP customers. It used the system to regularly compile a list of its top clients by revenue, frequency, geographic location, customer source and transaction-based data. Sundial recognizes the significance of deep-rooted insights into the behavioral, attitudinal and demographic attributes of its best customers.
One recent project Sundial undertook was the creation of a Victory Garden in the spirit of the gardens planted at homes and in parks during World War I and World War II to boost morale and to reduce the pressure on the public food supply caused by the war effort.
Sundial’s Victory Garden contains an array of vegetables such as tomatoes, green beans, squash and a variety of peppers. Employees help maintain the garden and are able to take the fruits of their labor home to enjoy. And technicians often deliver homegrown tomatoes to the company’s VIP “blue chip” clients. The Sundial Victory Garden has helped promote teamwork, healthy eating and community while remembering one of the many things that makes the country great.
How to reach: Sundial Plumbing Services, (770) 427-1998 or www.sundialplumbing.com
Since its founding in 1970, Staffmark has developed a reputation for outstanding customer service and has grown to be one of the top 10 commercial staffing companies in the United States. With more than 300 locations in 32 states, Staffmark’s service is designed to provide exceptional business solutions tailored to individual customers.
Under the guidance of President and CEO Lesa Francis, Staffmark consistently outperforms its local and national competitors due to its in-depth knowledge of the markets its serves. The company’s longevity, strategically placed branch offices, extensive candidate and customer base and focus on superior customer support allow it to deliver world-class service on a targeted, personal level.
Staffmark’s primary focus is on light industrial, clerical and specialty staffing solutions. A substantial portion of its business in the light industrial sector is in the placement of unskilled and semi-skilled temporary workers, including distribution/logistics such as pick-and-pack and forklift, and light manufacturing such as factory assembly line and machine operations. In addition, Staffmark provides employees for positions such as line supervisors, operations managers and quality control personnel.
Staffmark also provides staffing solutions through its clerical offerings, such as administrative, contact center and health care office support services. These employees are often placed at business operation centers and corporate offices. It is common for Staffmark to provide clerical staffing to the same customers who utilize its light industrial services.
In addition, the business provides temporary employees through its transportation and professional offerings. Staffmark’s transportation group is a large national supplier of fully screened commercial vehicle drivers who meet applicable Department of Transportation requirements through its network of 20 offices across the United States.
“I have been working with Staffmark temporary employees for years now,” says Kevin Marshall, kitting coordinator for Curtis 1000 in Duluth, Ga. “The main reasons I have stayed with Staffmark are the great customer service and the attention to detail shown by the recruiters.”
How to reach: Staffmark, (770) 955-0112 or www.staffmark.com
Hanging on the wall at each of Speedemissions’ 38 stores in Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis and Salt Lake City is a larged glass-framed sign that reads, “If we don’t treat you like you treat others, I want to know about it.” It’s signed by Rich Parlontieri, Speedemissions’ president and CEO, and it includes his phone number and email address.
The sign sends two messages. First, every employee knows that any customer can call the CEO directly at any time. It’s a subtle reminder of how serious the company is about quality customer service.
Additionally, customers see that if Speedemissions is not performing at a level consistent with their expectations, they have an outlet to express their dissatisfaction.
In the employee interview process, Speedemissions, which conducts vehicle emission and safety inspections, looks for workers who have a personality that extends far beyond the robotic style of most retail customer service today. And refresher training classes are held to keep employees’ focus not just on the company’s core business, but on other business units that may be targeted for future growth.
Parlontieri, Speedemissions’ CEO, visits every store regularly throughout the year. Some visits are announced, some are not. And the company also occasionally deploys mystery shoppers. All of these visits create a system of oversight that lends itself to a high level of customer service.
“We had our vehicle inspected recently at one of your locations,” says Jan Andres of Acworth, Ga. “There were several cars ahead of us, but your tech ran over, greeted us and said he would be with us soon. It was a pleasant surprise. He was efficient, personable and very pleasant. He had a welcoming smile and kind words. I found out he was a new employee. What a find for your company!”
How to reach: Speedemissions Inc., (770) 306-7667, www.speedemissions.com
Purchasing Power, an e-commerce company that offers a program enabling its clients’ employees to purchase computers and home appliances via payroll deduction, was founded on the belief that people who can’t afford to pay for expensive items up front should have the opportunity to make such purchases responsibly without incurring high interest rates or prolonged payment periods.
Led by President and CEO Richard Carrano, Purchasing Power is in business to give people a better way to buy by providing a responsible alternative to other consumer financing options, but it is the “why” that drives the company. Purchasing Power is committed to its service and its customers.
The company’s phenomenal growth in the past four years has been driven by how it listens to its customers: what’s good for Purchasing Power’s customers is good for the company.
Despite Purchasing Power’s fast growth, all its customers are treated as VIPs with opportunities to receive personal product mailers, promotions and discounts. Customers who enjoy Purchasing Power’s program can share their experiences with their co-workers by participating in the company’s referral program, which rewards every customer who refers new customers to Purchasing Power with a gift card.
Longstanding customers have been extended larger spending availability, personalized policies and white-glove service. And Purchasing Power is in the process of developing a loyalty program to reward more frequent users of its program with additional benefits.
Dave Van Nostrand of Wappinger Falls, N.Y., has been a Purchasing Power customer since 2009 and has placed multiple orders with the company. “I’ve had so many great experiences with Purchasing Power that it’s hard to narrow it down, but one that stands out the most would be when I ordered my son’s HP laptop,” he says. “They were very helpful and informative about the product. They just do everything right. I am a customer for life.”
How to reach: Purchasing Power, (404) 609-5100 or www.purchasingpower.com
Philips Arena, the home of the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks and the site for many other events such as concerts and circuses, hosts 1.5 million visitors annually. Led by President Bob Williams, the employees of Philips Arena endeavor to create a world-class “moment of truth” for each of their guests. That moment occurs when the arena becomes a point of contact for its guests, whether it’s when they first enter the arena or at the moment the show begins.
The arena’s workers analyze those moments, identifying all of the touch points that can occur during an event so they can provide their guests with the best service possible while they are there.
The systems at Philips Arena are designed to provide an efficient, seamless encounter for customers. The arena integrates new technologies such as an in-game text messaging system so guests who have questions or issues can text the arena’s base operations staff and receive assistance.
The venue also offers additional in-bowl cameras to allow employees to observe, identify and respond to issues and an instant seat upgrade app that allows ticketholders, while sitting in their seats at a game, to identify better seats that are empty and upgrade from their phone.
Philips Arena encourages its employees to take the most common tasks and find ways to customize and go above and beyond for its customers. The company measures the results through periodic customer experience surveys that provide benchmarks for performance throughout each department.
The Philips Arena customer service department has created a robust worker recognition program that includes monthly recognition for one employee selected to receive a “high end” gift for his or her work and a Star Performer of the Year Award in which the top performers from each department are honored at a banquet put together on behalf of the arena.
How to reach: Philips Arena, (404) 878-3000 or www.philipsarena.com
PBD Worldwide considers every one of its departments to be primarily in the business of taking care of its customers — not just its customer service department but also accounting services, client relations and distribution. Every associate who works for the Alpharetta-based fulfillment and distribution company attends classes to become “PBD-certified” for their position. And while the certification exams are different for each department, they all contain a common section on customer care and positive phrasing.
Led by CEO Scott Dockter, PBD serves 46 clients, including nonprofits, associations and faith-based organizations. Among the suite of services offers by PBD’s contact center are order processing, handling of Internet downloads, recording of donations, membership processing, conference attendee registration and magazine subscription fulfillment. PBD serves its clients’ customers by phone, email, fax, the Internet, wire transfers and data transfers.
“We appreciate PBD’s pride in promoting honesty and fairness in every aspect of their operation, from the CSR direct contact with our members and the warehouse team that picks, packs and ships our products to the account management team that is in constant communication,” says Jeri Luga, senior manager with the American Hospital Association.
The services PBD offers its clients are customized to each of their needs and the training and monitoring of the company’s customer service representatives is continuous. Every employee begins with a basic three-week class for new hires, which introduces workers to all of the systems they will use in their work. In addition to hands-on system practice, the new-hire training includes a soft-skills module that addresses different customer personality types and provides strategies to deal with them effectively.
PBD uses both formal and nonformal means to recognize employees who demonstrate superior customer service. The company’s customer contact center has a “Star Interaction” whiteboard on which the previous day’s top customer-interaction performers are posted.
How to reach: PBD Worldwide, (770) 442-8633 or www.pbd.com
Off-airport parking provider Park ’N Fly says its goal is to create customers for life by attaining its vision of making its customers’ lives easier by providing more than just parking.
This vision is exemplified by Park ’N Fly’s showcase Atlanta Plus lot, where its customers can drop off their dog or cat for boarding at Pet Paradise, have their car parked by a valet, leave their car at Jiffylube to have the oil changed while they’re away, have their car washed or detailed, drop off their luggage, get their boarding pass for their flight, and then ride a Park ’N Fly shuttle to the terminal — all of which certainly qualifies as more than parking.
An important component of Park ’N Fly’s customer service program is its Listen 360 Survey. Park ’N Fly, led by President and CEO Anthony Paalz Jr., is engaged companywide in Net Promoter Score measurements of customer service execution, and it has engaged Listen 360 to survey its customers and provide data on a daily basis via an NPS survey that customer can access online. Park ’N Fly tracks the results weekly by lot and creates trend reports that enable it to monitor how well its lots are doing in serving customers through the customers’ eyes.
Park ’N Fly partners with several companies, such as Inktel Contact Center Solutions, to help it provide its customers with the highest level of service possible.
“We have had the pleasure of being a partner of Park ’N Fly for almost four years,” says Summer Dennis, vice president of client services at Inktel. “Park ’N Fly has been very demanding with us in ensuring that a high level of customer service is provided at all times, and for that we are very grateful. As partners, we have made each other better and have created a better experience for Park ’N Fly customers.”
How to reach: Park ’N Fly, (800) 404-7275 or www.pnf.com
Founded in 1995, LocumTenens.com is a staffing agency dedicated to helping U.S. hospitals find qualified temporary physicians. The company’s larger mission is to improve the quality of health care by ensuring that patients have access to medical providers whenever and wherever they need them through the use of innovative staffing solutions.
LocumTenens.com’s associates take pride in the fact that due to their efforts, many patients across the country have access to vital health care services they wouldn’t otherwise have. The company’s service promise outlines the guiding principles under which it operates. This promise is distributed to all health care facility clients and health care providers, setting expectations up front on what the company’s level of service should be and providing contact information for the company’s top executives if the promise isn’t met.
Under the leadership of President and COO R. Shane Jackson, LocumTenens.com has built a culture where service is its key differentiator. The company’s tagline, “Obsessively Dedicated to You,” was derived from customer testimonials from physicians who wrote about the dedication of the company’s associates in finding assignments that were perfect fits.
LocumTenens.com ensures that it stays focused on customer service by continually measuring and analyzing its service to health care facilities and the physicians it places into temporary positions. After each assignment is complete, LocumTenens.com surveys both the health care facility client and the physician it placed there.
“Whatever the challenge may be, LocumTenens.com delivers,” says Rexanne Griffeth, physician recruiter for Hannibal Regional Hospital. “The staff is always willing to do whatever it takes to make me, the customer, satisfied. I receive multiple contacts on a daily basis asking for my business with locum providers. However, I have not needed to explore those offers due to the dedication of the LocumTenens.com team.”
How to reach: LocumTenens.com, (800) 930-0748, www.locumtenens.com