At Post-Up Stand Inc. every department is focused on customer service and the ways to make it better. Alon Weiner, vice president and co-founder of Post-Up Stand Inc., a manufacturer of tradeshow displays, banners and stands, is helping provide customers with service they come away satisfied with and a product that keeps them coming back time and time again.
The employees of Post-Up Stand take pride in their work and realize the importance of delivering a quality product to customers. No matter what an employee’s position is within the company, they are considered part of the customer service team. From the accounting department to production, all employees work with the customer in mind.
New employees undergo training sessions to ensure they are prepared to handle the questions that come in from customers.
New hires are handed a binder filled with product specifics, procedures and pricing at the start of training to assist in the customer service education process. These employees will also go through a shadow program with senior account executives for the first month of employment. They spend time in each department to learn the complete order process and gain knowledge of the product portfolio.
Training doesn’t end there. New hires also have to be familiarized with the company’s website to understand how the navigation works in order to assist any customers with online issues and questions. Post-Up Stand doesn’t just train new hires. Existing employees get reviewed through incoming calls, client surveys and are offered continuous training on new products and services.
All of this is in an effort to make every customer experience a positive one. The company aims to meet every deadline given and goes above and beyond what customers expect. Employees are trained to never say no and more often than not they are willing to go the extra mile by staying late to the job done.
How to Reach: Post-Up Stand Inc., (216) 332-0530 or www.postupstand.com
With goal of becoming the most referred company in Cleveland, COIT Cleaning and Restoration Services isn’t shy about asking customers how they feel about its services. Even as the largest specialty cleaning and restoration services in the world, the company still takes time to follow up with every client’s experience, asking, “Were you satisfied? Did you have any issues? Would you use us again?” And lastly, “Will you refer us?”
To be successful, every employee at COIT rallies around the shared goal of PWOM — positive word-of-mouth. To get customers to recommend the company’s services to friends, neighbors and relatives, COIT Cleveland President Harvey Siegel knows that COIT can’t be content with “good job” or “met expectations” when it comes to customer feedback. It needs to create “Wow!” moments that drive word-of-mouth sales to grow the business.
At COIT, creating “wow” moments starts with the attitude of every employee. Beginning in training, employees are taught to view the customer experience from the outside looking in — in other words, looking at service from the customer’s point of view. By helping employees put themselves in the customer’s shoes, COIT has built a customer service team that values the customer experience and the importance of doing the best job the first time around. Although the company strives get it right the first time, if a customer is not 100 percent happy with results, it also offers its COIT 4-R guarantee to reclean, refund, repair and rectify the issue quickly and to their satisfaction. This commitment to PWOM and 100 percent customer satisfaction is further reinforced in the company’s motto — It’s not clean until its COIT clean.
By delivering a level of “unanticipated service” that evokes an overwhelmingly positive response from customers, the company continues to build its reputation, one customer at a time.
How to reach: COIT Cleaning and Restoration Services, (216) 626-0040 or www.coit.com/cleveland
For The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland, every guest that walks into the hotel is considered a VIP. This exceptional treatment of its guests is standard practice and Joseph Mattioli, general manager, makes sure that level of service is consistently being offered.
In fact, customer service is woven right into the hotel’s credo, which reads, “The Ritz-Carlton is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission. We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience. The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.”
Every employee of The Ritz-Carlton uses the credo as a guide to providing top-level service. Each employee is empowered to make a guest’s experience special in a personal way. For instance, by noticing a guest’s interest in music, an employee can arrange for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tickets to be delivered to his or her room or if a guest has obviously had a rough travel day, a glass of his or her favorite wine is sent to the room.
The anticipation of needs also plays into how the hotel recognizes guests. If a guest only orders Diet Coke while dining in the hotel, wait staff will have a Diet Coke poured and brought over to the table prior to the request or even have a personalized beverage amenity in their guestroom awaiting their arrival. Even children get special attention and are offered toys during the check-in process. For guests that frequently stay overnight, milestones are recognized by the staff through cards signed by staff they have been in contact with.
The customer service provided transcends the physical product of hotel guest rooms and meals. The Ritz-Carlton strives to deliver a unique, memorable and personal experience to people visiting the hotel, making them Ritz-Carlton guests for life.
How to Reach: The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland, (216) 623-1300 or www.ritzcarlton.com
While critics often point out that computers and the Internet are making people more detached and impersonal, BlueBridge Networks LLC with its total solution concept is very customer-centric on a face-to-face basis.
“We schedule frequent calls and meetings to sit down with clients and explore their impressions on how well we are serving them,” says Kevin Goodman, partner and managing director of business development.
The company offers business continuity, disaster avoidance and recovery services, providing a safe haven for IT systems necessary to keep any company in business.
Client and vendor feedback is used to improve and deliver a better quality of service. Daily staff meetings among other matters discuss any issues that have occurred within the previous 24 hours or over the weekend. Specific action items and tasks are assigned with deadlines for completion. Additional sessions are held to not only address an issue but to look ahead to try to predict changes that may be needed in the infrastructure or to identify class instruction that should offered or certifications that may be needed to obtain optimum performance of service.
The staff at BlueBridge Networks understands how important it is to maintain trust. Service level agreements guarantee a 99.999 percent uptime. To help accomplish that exceptional guarantee, the staff is proactive and honest to the maximum degree. Personal relationships are developed to include deep trust and comfort. There is a strict set of protocols and service levels that have been adopted to ensure sophisticated client objectives.
“We must do all in our power and means to see to it that we provide an environment and atmosphere of availability, reliability and security,” Goodman says. Customers have come to rely on those principles at BlueBridge Networks for their day-to-day operations and compliance.
In addition, the company with its business partners is actively committed to developing a consortium of IT specialists to offer additional core competencies and added value services.
How to reach: BlueBridge Networks LLC, (216) 621-2583 or www.bbnllc.com
Rock The House Entertainment was founded on the principles of concierge-class customer services. It’s that willingness to go above and beyond customer expectations that has helped build the company’s customer base through word-of-mouth referrals.
About 80 percent of Rock The House’s customer base comes from referrals, according to founder, owner and CEO Matt Radicelli. Unsolicited testimonials from customers to family, friends and colleagues have helped to increase the growing reputation of Rock The House as a customer-oriented company.
Rock The House also puts a great deal of control in the hands of its customers. Once a potential customer makes contact with the company, they are in control of the flow of information they receive and how quickly the next steps — if any — are taken. Customers may choose to have preliminary information sent to them via e-mail, elect to have an event professional come to their home or place of business for a private presentation or visit Rock The House’s facility in Oakwood, Ohio, for a personal consultation.
Rock The House takes a high-tech and high-touch approach to maintaining its superior customer service program. At every turn, the company’s staff works to keep customer interests first.
The company’s RTHLive software platform allows for a high degree of efficiency from the initial collection of a customer’s contact information, all the way to an automated post-event satisfaction survey. Every e-mail and phone call, along with other correspondence, is electronically documented to better assist all departments in serving the customer.
In addition, Rock The House has implemented a single point of contact strategy when working with customers. It minimizes stress for the customer and increases accuracy when communicating a client’s wishes, needs and preferences. Additionally, clients are provided cell phone numbers of the company’s full-time staff, allowing access to assistance outside of normal business hours.
How to reach: Rock The House Entertainment, (440) 232-7625 or www.rthgroup.com
It was an easy decision for Ray Dalton when he founded PartsSource LLC in 2001 to choose legal counsel for his new business. He chose the company that he had worked with dating back to 1990 — Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP.
“I felt it was important to have Benesch involved right from the beginning because they’re not just legal counsel, they’re strategic partners,” Dalton says. “We expect Benesch to bring in whoever is needed to do the job the right way, and they’ve never let us down. If it’s a real estate matter, they bring in real estate experts. If it’s a tax issue, they bring in tax specialists.”
Benesch has made it a top priority to stay in touch with clients throughout the economic recession to help guide them through challenging legal matters. That was the impetus for the firm’s First in Service program that promotes client service as a top priority. The program includes a collection of policies, initiatives and training systems that were implemented around company core values that include everything from honesty, trust, integrity and ethical behavior to meaningful contributions to the communities in which employees live and work.
The features of the First in Service program include a software program that tracks client development activities, a training program for attorneys to strengthen the ability to most fully serve clients and quarterly First in Service Awards. These are presented to individuals at the firm who demonstrated exemplary client service, with a year-end overall client service award.
In addition, Managing Partner Ira Kaplan encourages attorneys and staff members to take responsibility for the welfare, progress and security of the firm. Employees are reminded on a regular basis that every team member is a Benesch representative as all times, and are urged to take only those actions which serve to continue and build the brand.
How to reach: Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, (216) 363-4197 or www.beneschlaw.com
As Seeley, Savidge, Ebert & Gourash Co. LPA has grown from its humble beginnings in Avon Lake to a dynamic and successful law firm that helps clients across Northeast Ohio, one thing hasn’t changed a bit.
The firm’s attention to detail when it comes to customer service is as sharp as it has ever been at SSE&G. Jim Pshock, founder and CEO at Bravo Wellness, can testify to that personally.
“We never get the impression that the clock is ticking or that the service we receive is fee driven,” Pshock says. “It is evident to Bravo that it is SSE&G’s mission to live up to their values of hard work, responsiveness and efficiency while consistently bringing innovative ideas to the table.”
The firm makes it a point to ensure that when calls come in, they are returned in less than a day. Technology has upgraded the firm from a tickler system of 3-by-5 index cards, but the personal touch is still as evident as ever when clients need support from the firm.
The firm’s founder, Gregory D. Seeley, wants clients to understand that the firm is working for them and that they have a right to ask questions about how that service is provided. So if they believe too much time was spent on a project, adjustments are made. If there are concerns about the way a situation is being handled, Seeley wants to hear about that too.
He’s a firm believer that when you let concerns go unaddressed; they fester and end up creating bigger problems in the long run.
Seeley says the firm has a formula that works and sees no need to change it. While he makes sure SSE&G has the latest in technology to do its work, the act of providing great customer service is truly timeless.
How to reach: Seeley, Savidge, Ebert & Gourash Co. LLP, (216) 566-8200 or www.sseg-law.com
Ambiance, the Store for Lovers, aims to promote a better love life, and thus a better relationship, for its customers. However taking steps toward that — namely buying highly intimate, and for some, embarrassing, items — can be difficult for the average consumer.
That is why President Jennifer Downey has built a company culture focused on exceptional service and attention to each customer’s desires and comfort levels. The company trains its “Romance Consultants” over four to six weeks, incorporating an extensive training guide culminating in a 22-page exam. Romance Consultants learn how to get to know customers and foster trust through Ambiance’s proven “Think Like a Customer” program.
But the company isn’t resting on its laurels. It continues to improve upon its training and customer service initiatives. The “Think Like a Customer” program, for example, was recently updated to include the “180-degree turn” approach to greeting customers as they walk into the store. By greeting the customer with a warm “Hello,” then walking by to continue working, employees ensure the customer feels acknowledged and welcomed without feeling hounded or pressed for details about their visit.
To facilitate help while still accommodating those consumers who prefer private time to shop, Ambiance has also implemented its own brand of public service announcements. These in-store messages incorporate product knowledge, inspiration and humor to educate in a lighthearted way, nonintrusive way.
To maintain associates in tip-top customer service shape, Ambiance has revamped how it tests employees’ service skills. The company did away with its decade-long secret shopper program, recognizing that the secret shoppers were too easily identified by staff while they were also unable to critique accurately since they didn’t have real needs to cater to. Instead, Ambiance is in the process of rolling out a new customer-focused assessment system.
How to reach: Ambiance, the Store for Lovers, (440) 234-6996 or www.ambiance.com
Customer service is the biggest factor in differentiating your company from competition. The Shamrock Cos. Inc.’s CEO, Robert Troop, has driven growth at the marketing solutions provider by giving customers an experience they can’t get anywhere else.
Shamrock’s mission is to be the premier provider of integrated marketing solutions that help customers build and protect their brands, drive revenue and create efficiency using the right mix of people, services and technology. Led by this mission and powered by the ability to offer fully integrated, progressive solutions for customers, Shamrock has been bringing value beyond the products and services it offers clients.
A big way the company has done this and continues to drive customer service to new levels is through its Raving Fan Feedback System (RFF). Shamrock’s customer service is so distinguished from the competition that the company not only maintains clients as loyal customers, but it inspires them to tell others about Shamrock and the way the company conducts business.
The goal is to make every client a “raving fan.” To make the raving fan system work, Shamrock is certain to make its day-to-day performance stellar, and processes are continuously improved and the envelope in always pushed in terms of quality, turnaround time and customer relations.
Data is collected through what Shamrock calls the Problem Solving Analytical Technique (PSAT), which identifies the problem, all possible reasons, measures occurrences against possible causes, determines real root cause, implements a corrective action and monitors results to ensure the action has been effective. All results are stored in a database for any department or plant to analyze trends, events and process weaknesses.
Since implementing the RFF and PSAT systems, Shamrock has increased manufacturing on-time performance, decreased turnaround time to under seven days, increased distribution performance, decreased delivery time, and decreased customer impacted quality events.
How to reach: The Shamrock Cos. Inc., (440) 250-2186 or www.shamrockcompanies.net
The continuous improvement culture emulated by Julian Cass and his team at AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings Inc. North America constantly asks how the company can better tomorrow today for its customers.
Cass, who serves as vice president of the Americas at AkzoNobel, a leading supplier of coatings, inks and adhesives to the packaging industry, makes sure the company is doing right by its customers. The company delivers on its promise of ‘Tomorrow’s Answers Today’ through a culture of values it lives by day-in and day-out.
The first is focusing on the customers’ future. The company only provides products and services that improve the futures of its customers. AkzoNobel makes it very clear that this is the basis for why the company exists.
The second is embracing entrepreneurial thinking. The company thrives on an environment that encourages new ideas for customers. Employees are always challenging standards and bringing great ideas to market as a result, which keep customers coming back for more.
The third aspect of its culture is a focus on developing the talents of its people. AkzoNobel knows that if its people don’t grow, neither will the company and therefore no customers would exist. The company focuses on developing existing talents, nurturing new skills and progress to attract and retain employees of the highest quality to develop the business.
Another key element to customer service is courage and curiosity. The more questions posed, the better a product or service will be. By challenging employees and the products they are creating, AkzoNobel ensures that it is always improving.
Lastly, the company makes sure everyone acts with integrity and responsibility. Employees have to be aware of rules and regulations that they must comply with in whatever part of the world they are in. But it’s more than that. It’s about doing things the right way and doing them right the first time. Ethical and responsible behavior along with these other values, provide the business and its customers with trust.
How to reach: AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings Inc. North America, (440) 297-8556 or www.akzonobel.com