WCCS 2013 – Zinner & Co. LLP

"Your success is our business" is the motto at Zinner & Co. LLP, an accounting and management consulting firm. This motto underscores the firm’s commitment to doing whatever is necessary to help clients achieve their goals, regardless of what they happen to be. Zinner understands that only through this commitment to its clients’ success, will the business achieve its own success.

Managing Partner Robin Baum ensures Zinner constantly strives to stand behind its tagline: the right ideas, the right results, achieved with the right firm. To deliver on that promise, all members of Zinner’s professional staff are required to adhere to rigorous standards and participate in training at different levels, beginning when they first arrive at Zinner and continuing throughout their term of employment.

Known as “Zinner University,” this training is an integral component to the success of the firm and a launching pad for employees in building a meaningful, long-term career with Zinner. Through this program, new employees go through an introduction to firm policies and procedures, as well as their initial technical training.

Upon “graduation” from the introductory level of Zinner University, new employees are better prepared to offer clients the high level of service long-provided at Zinner & Co. Meanwhile, the teaching process reinvigorates their “professors,” resulting in their continuing to provide Zinner’s trademark personal touch.

How to reach: Zinner & Co. LLP, (216) 831-0733 or www.zinnerco.com

Published in Akron/Canton

The service promise at Visual Marking Systems Inc., a manufacturer of pressure sensitive decals, nameplates and markings, is easy to remember if you think of three O’s:

Outlast. Outshine. Outperform.

That simple motto helps define the employees’ mission to be there for customers and to produce products they are proud to display. It’s part of the culture of VMS, which includes awareness programs such as Employee of the Month and Caught in the Act to support these principles.

Both of those programs serve to show the commitment the company has to continuous improvement that impacts the customer fulfillment process. Caught in the Act is a peer recognition effort while Employee of the Month is driven by management input.

Founded more than 50 years ago by a father and son team, Hermann and (now CEO) Dolf Kahle, VMS hosts weekly meetings to discuss current corporate culture issues, to learn from each other, and to plan for the future. Every month, one of 12 core values of the company are highlighted which reminds associates on a daily basis why they give great customer service above and beyond the competition.

VMS promotes a positive, fun and satisfying experience for all team members as well. Celebrations, activities and Spirit Week add to the fun atmosphere.

How to reach: Visual Marking Systems Inc., (330) 425-7100 or www.vmsinc.com

Published in Akron/Canton

At Staffing Solutions Enterprises, there are four steps to spell the word “WOW” — it takes a focus on a courteous, responsive, accurate and proactive approach. The company, led by President SueAnn Naso, teaches that to each new hire and reiterates it to existing employees. And the results are impressive.

Not only does the “WOW Culture” build productivity, friendliness and courtesy among the internal staff, it sets an example of how customers likewise should be treated. Employees follow specific standards for courtesy (such as greeting each person with a smile), responsiveness (like returning phone calls within two hours), accuracy (matching qualified talent with excellent workplaces) and a proactive approach (being able to anticipate and plan ahead to meet clients’ and candidates’ needs).

Naso believes these key elements of the “WOW Experience” create a positive internal company culture and provide an effective system that allows the company to continuously deliver world-class customer service.

Another sign of responsiveness involves frontline staff members — those empowered to solve service issues on their own. Customer experience managers have the authority to grant monetary credit, provide additional complementary services or other measures to meet the clients’ needs and achieve their satisfaction. About 80 to 90 percent of any service related issue is resolved by the customer experience managers on the same day.

How to reach: Staffing Solutions, (440) 461-1652, www.staffingsolutionsent.com

Published in Akron/Canton

Ashley Sedorovich and her grandmother have a very close relationship that began when she was very young. Her mother had become terminally ill, and so it was Ashley’s grandmother who essentially took on the role of being her “mom.”

Now an adult, Ashley’s emotions turned to concern when her grandmother was admitted to Summa Health System’s Akron City Hospital with difficulty breathing and tightness in her chest. Shortly after that stay, her grandmother had to return to be treated for an infection and coincidentally found herself back in the same room.

It’s never easy to have a loved one in the hospital, but Ashley’s grandmother was in good hands. She had formed an emotional bond with her nurse, Brittney, who got to know her grandmother’s personal preferences and made sure she was always comfortable.

When she was moved to a skilled nursing facility after her second stay, Brittney took time out of her own schedule to visit her there, bringing a puzzle book, a get-well card and her favorite flowers.

The special gesture gave Ashley’s grandmother that much more incentive to focus on her rehab. It’s the way things are done at Summa, led by President and CEO Thomas J. Strauss.

How to reach: Summa Health System, (330) 375-3101 or www.summahealth.org

Published in Akron/Canton

wccs_logo_0613Executive Caterers at Landerhaven


What is the best example/case study of how your organization provides world-class customer service to clients?

Executive Caterers has been in business for more than 50 years. We believe this is our greatest example of Executive Caterers’ world-class customer service.

The culture of our company was built by serving our community. We personalize each event with a one-of-a-kind experience, great food great service and great hospitality. We believe we have a responsibility to the community. Every customer deserves to have the best event possible.

Executive Caterers has a public trust: people come to us, corporate or social, and entrust us to the most important events of their lives. It’s a trust we take very seriously and a trust we live up to. We treat our employees as family, and we believe in good citizenship by giving back to the community.

We are a catering company and an entertainment facility. Our quality is not just reflected in our food, but in our unprecedented hospitality. We create an “experience” for our customers that is welcoming, friendly and generous. We built our business by serving our customers and most importantly by anticipating their needs. We deliver an “experience” of world-class cuisine, world-class service and world-class hospitality.


How to reach: Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, www.executivecaterers.com

Hughie’s Event Production Services


Hughie’s Event Production Services is Cleveland’s choice for live-event design and production resource since 1953.

Hughie’s believes in giving back to the city where it all began and the area we’ve called home for 60 years. Hughie’s is now soliciting donations of non-perishable food items from our customers, vendors and the community, which we will distribute to local charities at the end of the year.

Hughie’s offices in Columbus and Pittsburgh will also participate in this nine-month event for their respective cities in honor of our 60th anniversary.

Donation drop-off containers will be available in each Hughie’s office for the length of the celebration. As a “thank you” for your generous food donation, we’ll present you with a free, “eco-friendly” shopping bag emblazoned with our 60th anniversary logo. Plus, participants who provide us with a name and phone number will be entered into a drawing to win one of three new 32” flat-screen televisions at the end of the year. A total of three flat screens will be given away, one at each location.

All donations received will be distributed to the Cleveland Food Bank and other similar charities in the Columbus and Pittsburgh marketplaces. The winners of the flat screens will be announced at the conclusion of the promotion on Dec. 15.

Hughie’s is a worldwide supplier of high definition video projection equipment, concert quality audio systems, intelligent moving lights, staging systems and more to satisfy all your presentation and special event needs.

To learn more, log onto fooddrive.hughies.com or call (216) 361-4600 and follow us on facebook.com/HughiesEPS.


How to reach: Hughie’s Event Production Services, www.hughies.com or (216) 361-4600


Overload Fitness


At Overload Fitness, one of our Core Values is to “Over Deliver.” Here is just one example of our staff carrying this out:

We had a longtime client whose wife just had her third baby — and all were under the age of five. We always get our clients gifts when a baby is born, but this time was different. We could tell he was very stressed trying to balance running a major corporation and having three small children, so we wanted to do something different.

Obviously, a first reaction is a night out for him and his wife, but even that would be stressful for them. So we decided to send them something for a “family night in.”

We ended up going to Target and buying a bucket of ready-to-cook popcorn and filling it with Twizzlers, Swedish Fish, gummy bears, a gift card to Papa John’s Pizza and a Disney movie.

Then we signed the card, “For a night in because we know a night out is difficult! Enjoy!”

We received a thank you card from them that said, “Thank you so much for the creative, thoughtful gift! Our family will enjoy a fun night in with the new baby thanks to you!”

This is just one of countless ways in which getting to know the client on a personal level and creating something specific for them that they would otherwise not expect from an ordinary personal training business.

But then again, Overload Fitness is not ordinary; we are world class!

How to reach: Overload Fitness, Beachwood (216) 292-7569, Westlake (440) 835-9090 or www.overloadfitness.com and www.facebook.com/overloadfitness




World-class customer care is literally that for customers of Ohio.net. With the ability to provide VOIP phone services around the world, our locally owned telecommunications company often extends our support and service to some very unusual locations for a Wayne County based, 115-year-old company.

Business comes to us in many forms. With a track record of servicing Fortune 500 and Weatherhead 100 organizations, as well as companies with less than five employees, no customer deserves less than our best efforts.

One of the most important issues associated with telecommunications support is how well we support our customers when bad things happen. Power outages, data failures, fire, downsizing — you name it — can happen to businesses of all sizes. Ohio.net is so confident that we exceed customer exceptions that the majority of our services are available without a contractual commitment. Ask one of the big tel-cos to commit to that service level and you will get a very interesting answer.

When a customer with offices outside of the U.S. experienced Internet and telephone issues from its international phone company, Ohio.net’s support team jumped at the challenge. Ohio.net was able to provide a VOIP solution that allowed them to reroute calling to their U.S.-based headquarters and continue to provide support to their client base.

This kind of business continuity service is vital for businesses especially when technology glitches can make it look like you are out of business. We, as service providers, are there to service our customers and make sure they shine every time.

How to reach: Ohio.net, (888) 881-0805 or www.ohio.net


John Robert’s Spa


At John Robert’s, guests would sometimes leave their valuables (jewelry or cell phone) in the pockets of the robes. This meant the guests’ possessions could get washed and/or lost when we did our laundry.

It’s not the spa’s fault that the guests leave their stuff in the robe pockets. The first remedy was to “threaten & punish” by leaving a sign inside the lockers and changing room stating, “We are not responsible for any valuables left behind.” A huge negative cue!

So we changed that to “Please remember to check your robe and locker for all your valuables.” Better, but it didn’t eliminate the problem. Now what? Can we train our spa attendants to check every robe, every time before washing? Only in a perfect world.

“Pay what you think is fair” exercise — The best way we have found to truly embrace the everything is our problem mindset it to do the “Pay what you think is fair” exercise. When you think about how your customers can “short-pay” you for any reason, you will not believe how creative and solution-orientated you become with everything. How did we solve the customer leaving their valuables in the robe problem? We found a supplier who provides pocket-less robes. Problem solved and the best news, the robes are less expensive!

Find your pocket-less robes? If you really train everyone in your company to have the mindset that everything is your problem and responsibility, and you remove the victim mentality of “it is our customer’s fault,” your company’s customer experience will elevate to new heights. You’ll find solutions that eliminate the problems and make your company more efficient, and your customers happier.


How to reach: John Robert’s Spa, (216) 839-4850 or www.johnrobersspa.com


Cleveland Clinic


What is the best example/case study of how your organization provides world-class customer service to clients?

A key contributor to improving the overall patient experience and our customer service is a robust service excellence model that is integrated into a health care organization’s culture. Frustrated by the lack of a customized health care product validated in a large employee population, Cleveland Clinic developed its own service excellence program specifically for health care workers in a health care environment.

The Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. program has been introduced to more than 40,000 employees in our organization across nine regional hospitals, multiple freestanding health centers and two international facilities.

The results have been impressive; the Cleveland Clinic has seen a change in employee culture that emphasizes a positive patient experience and service excellence across all roles, including clinical and non-clinical.

The model is designed to help caregivers provide outstanding service to both patients, visitors and fellow caregivers, and it includes interactive workshops that focus on Cleveland Clinic’s nine key expected service behaviors.

The Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. model also empowers leadership to recognize, reward and redirect behaviors based on how it aligns with the Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. approach. Supported by practical and easy to remember tools, Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. is the foundation of Cleveland Clinic’s delivery of service excellence.

This innovative service excellence model is used throughout the Cleveland Clinic Health System and empowers employees to address both patients’ and colleagues’ concerns and questions, responding in a way so that the person feels he or she was responded to with care.

How to reach: Cleveland Clinic, (800) 223-2273 or www.myclevelandclinic.org


All Things Eventful


What is the best example of how your organization provides world-class customer service to clients?

All Things Eventful believes that before any service is provided, clients deserve the combination of a smiling face, warm attitude and attuned ears. We make great efforts to listen to (potential) clients — to find out all we can about who they are, what their vision is in coming to us, and who is their “audience,” whether event attendees or gift recipients.

Throughout the project, our creative talents can further flourish because of our on-the-go-adaptability. We give them more than just a collection of quality products. All Things Eventful provides creative ideas, top-notch presentation and a high level of value.

Whether a client comes to All Things Eventful, we personalize the experience for each client.

This customized experience is shown in our work with Koler Financial Group. To distinguish the company from its competitors, All Things Eventful developed a custom client recognition program.

Not only were the gifts a pleasantly memorable surprise, they were created specifically for the client (i.e., they were “exclusive” and couldn’t be found elsewhere). Many times, the gifts would include a key item onto which All Things Eventful would incorporate the Koler logo.

The care that went into every detail- from product research and selection down to the customized gift cards and hand-delivery we provided- reflected on Koler Financial Group’s care for its own clients, resulting in a world-class return on investment.

Our reputation is a more valuable asset than the combined inventory from each sector of our parent company Bountiful Baskets Inc. So, every action seeks to increase its value. The All Things Eventful work team members know “the ever-watchful eye” is upon them, and they produce consistently. The result is a perpetual cycle of dividends being reinvested in our company.


How to reach: All Things Eventful, (216) 551-3358 or www.AllThingsEventful.com or info@AllThingsEventful.com

Published in Akron/Canton

When a developer/property management company changed accounting firms after a 10-year relationship with a large regional firm, the prospect of adjusting was not pleasant. It would take a true professional to pick up the ball and run with it — a challenge for which SS&G was ready.

SS&G spent many hours with the company’s senior management to gain an understanding of the business and industry, which led to the ability to add significant value beyond the typical audit and tax services. For instance, when that same client was experiencing the recent difficult banking environment, SS&G’s employed its networking relationships to make introductions to several banks in order to refinance the company’s working capital line of credit.

It’s all a part of SS&G’s philosophy to provide the same exceptional level of service to all clients, regardless of category. To that end, the firm recruits, retains and recognizes the most qualified and dedicated professionals and offers them opportunities for personal growth, development and advancement.

Among other awards, SS&G for eight years in a row has been named one of the best employers in the state by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Society of Human Resource Management.

Leading the firm are Bob Littman, CEO, and senior managing directors Gary Shamis and Mark Goldfarb.

How to reach: SS&G Inc., (440) 248-8787 or www.ssandg.com

Published in Akron/Canton

WCCS 2013 – Moen Inc.

At Moen Inc., service excellence is not merely a promise but an absolute. Everything Moen does in its service operations process is engineered to exceed the goal of creating Moen advocates for life.

Moen, a manufacturer of kitchen and bath faucets, showerheads, accessories, bath safety products and kitchen sinks, builds its service with the customer in mind. In fact, one of the four pillars of the Moen brand is “best-in-class customer service.”

President David Lingafelter helps ensure that the company is following its consumer services vision statement, which is, “To champion a growing, self-sustaining service offering that manages risk, offers value to our stakeholders, drives growth, and protects and builds the brand while creating ‘Moen Advocates’ for life.”

The company thrives off word-of-mouth from its consumers. Moen’s world-class service culture not only amazes consumers, but they also find themselves raving about its service to everyone they meet. Moen proudly admits that many of its consumer advocates have been developed through its exceptional service offering, which has stood the test of time from generation to generation.

Moen’s objective in warranty and technical support is to offer solutions that “wow” consumers. The Moen tagline states, “Buy it For Looks, Buy it For Life,” and the company accepts the challenge of exceeding that promise every day.

How to reach: Moen Inc., (800) 289-6636 or www.moen.com

Published in Akron/Canton

When Greg Skoda, one of the founders of Skoda Minotti and now chairman, helped launch the accounting and consulting firm, he put into effect a client-focused platform — believing that the firm should deliver on the promise of excellent client service just as seriously as it should ensure technical accuracy.

To that end, when employees answered a recent survey question, “What is our competitive advantage?” the response was “client service.”

Client service continues to be recognized as a key part to the future growth of the firm as it strives for continuous improvement.

A seven-stage Client Service Experience Cycle defines the steps to an optimum client relationship — client setup, internal planning, external planning, fieldwork, delivery, debriefing meeting and relationship management.

Within those seven areas are four categories: service defects, operational, experiential and above-and-beyond. Skoda Minotti expects that the operational and experiential levels will be met. However, the staff strives to reach the above-and-beyond level as well with every client.

This ambitious process helps allow the engagement team to meet and exceed a client’s goals throughout the year. Even the names of awards given to employees reinforce the values and goals of Skoda Minotti. For example, the “Delivering on the Promise,” “You Kept the Promise” and “Above and Beyond” awards recognize excellence in those categories.

How to reach: Skoda Minotti, (440) 449-6800 or www.skodaminotti.com


Published in Akron/Canton

The idea of VIP customers just doesn’t fly at Kalahari Resorts. Employees are trained from their first day on the job to understand that every customer, whether a parent of young children or a corporate client on a business trip, deserves first-class treatment throughout their entire stay.

But it’s not just a clean check-in at the desk or clean floors in the room that make your company’s customer service stand out. Those things are expected. When Kalahari plants a uniformed associate at the foot of the hill leading up to the main lobby entrance to make sure incoming guests are parked in the best spot to get to their room, it makes an impression.

Employees are trained to focus on the details in every aspect of their work, whether it’s adding a comforting assist to someone who seems to be lost or helping a guest who is a little nervous about the ride they are about to go on. Those details are what Kalahari Resorts President and Owner Todd Nelson pushes down throughout the organization to enable Kalahari to be a place that guests want to come back to again and again.

How to reach: Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, (419) 433-7200, www.kalahariresorts.com/oh, www.kalaharimeetings.com/ohio/facilities


Published in Akron/Canton

At The Shamrock Cos. Inc., the 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.

The company strives to create an atmosphere that motivates employees, fosters creativity, provides opportunity for personal and professional growth, encourages teamwork and challenges people to consistently meet and exceed expectations of clients.

Led by CEO Robert Troop, its mission and its ability to offer fully integrated, progressive solutions for customers, Shamrock is able to bring value beyond the products and services it offers to clients. With a corporate goal of making every customer a “Raving Fan,” customers know that Shamrock thrives on going the extra mile.

Since implementing its well-known Raving Fan Feedback and Problem Solving Analytical Technique processes 10 years ago, Shamrock has increased manufacturing on-time performance from 96 percent to 99 percent, decreased average manufacturing turnaround from 15 days to less than seven days, increased distribution on-time performance from 95 percent to 99 percent, decreased standard delivery time for pick and pack from 48 hours to nine hours, and decreased customer impacted quality events from 1.2 percent to .25 percent.

How to reach: The Shamrock Cos. Inc., (440) 899-9510 or www.shamrockcompanies.net

Published in Akron/Canton
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