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Ask the Panel • Customer Service Week Bulletin • Service Starters • Spotlight Awards • Web Extras - Customer Communicator • Web Extras - Skill Sharpener

Spotlight Award Winner

Michael Gervasi 
Ice.com

When Michael Gervasi learns that a customer is having a special anniversary, returning from the hospital or marking some other milestone, he doesn”t hesitate to request that flowers be sent to the customer. It”s the kind of personal touch that makes Gervasi a top rep and his customers devoted fans.

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Spotlight Award Winner

Larry Martindale 
Solid Cactus

Martindale keeps a quote in his cubicle that reads, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” And that’s what he tries to keep in mind when he gets a difficult call. “You just want to back off, let them vent, extend empathy, and apologize for whatever the situation was,” he says.

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Spotlight Award Winner

Megan Linton 
ASA Electronics

Linton is happy to attribute much of her service success to a positive team environment. “Everybody is willing to help each other out, and when things do get stressful, you can get up and go laugh with your coworkers and talk about stuff outside of work.” That type of team environment can make all the difference, especially during hectic times.

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Spotlight Award Winner

Karsin Lederle 
GreatAmerica Leasing Corporation

One of the greatest challenges that Lederle faces is moving quickly between different types of customer calls. Especially tricky is the switch from collections to traditional customer service. The secret she says is to never assume you know why someone is calling but to take it, “one call at a time.”

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Spotlight Award Winner

Katherine Bellefontaine 
The Chronicle Herald

In today’s high-tech world, Bellefontaine uses a decidedly low-tech method to keep track of customer requests and to ensure that they are handled properly. Issues that can’t be resolved on the spot are entered in a journal for internal follow-up and eventually a follow-up call to the customer.

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Spotlight Award Winner

Jennifer Swetts
South Ranch Inc.

One of the challenges Swetts faces is that customers have very different levels of technical expertise. How does she make sure she’s not talking over someone’s head? Sometimes it’s as simple as taking the time to reread something you are sending the customer, she says, and making sure it is geared to their level of understanding.

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