Customer Service Excellence

This post is a message from Rich Surace, VP of Operations, to Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions’ customer service professionals. We share it here so that our customers know how much we appreciate their feedback and understand how central it is to our mission as a company.

Having worked for over 20 years on corporate operations teams, I know from experience that customer service is one of the highest pressure areas in any company. When customers encounter issues, their customer service contact is their first call – and they rightly expect us to be as invested in getting through the rough patch as they are. That means responding quickly and ensurung we meet customer expectations. That’s why I’m so grateful to our ELM Solutions customer service team for putting in the extra effort that has earned us two Stevie Awards for Customer Service, the second year in a row they have recognized us!

Like last year, we have won the 2019 Silver Stevie for Customer Service Department of the Year in the Computer Software category. In addition, we have also won a Silver award in a new Stevie Awards category: Best Customer Feedback Strategy. In both cases, these wins are the direct result of our clients reporting to us on how we’re doing and our customer service staff going the extra mile to meet their needs. We have a lot to be proud of in both categories and the Stevie Awards judges agree.

Customer Service Department of the Year

We focused our entry in this category on two areas: customer intimacy and proactive service and improvement. The judges responded to our “Client Success Manager for All” program, which provides a trusted central advisor for all customers, where previously this level of service had only been available as a paid option. In addition, we stressed that introducing Salesforce Service Cloud has allowed us to provide insightful customer information directly to the support teams working on each case.

We also shared our excellent performance stats, which showed continued improvements in Time to Resolve and First Contact Resolution, as well as annual customer retention, all while managing a growing customer base.. One judge commented “ELM Solutions’ support department has done a fantastic job of conveying a high touch, tactical, and proactive customer service approach and they have done very well in continuing to push for improvements in their processes while the company grew so quickly with them! Well done!”

Customer Feedback Strategy

Stevie Awards judges also praised us for the work we’ve done integrating customer feedback into our processes. They recognized the value of combining our strong CSAT survey process and frequent relationship surveys for qualitative and quantitative tracking of results. “This is a solid strategy that emphasizes the use of real customer feedback to improve processes across the organization.” They appreciated that we share those results with colleagues throughout the company so everyone can help to continuously improve the client experience. Another judge commented “I really like that the feedback is not supplied to one functional area to disseminate, but rather supplied concurrently to teams that can take action on the feedback.”

It's good that we measure ourselves against our past performance and hold ourselves to our own high standards, but the Stevie Awards give us the opportunity to benchmark against global best-in-class companies, as well. Some of the other nominees we were measured against include Intuit, Delta Airlines, Bank of America, and IBM. To be judged alongside world-class companies like these and be recognized for our work is a privilege.

We are honored to be recognized for two consecutive years by the Stevie Awards. Our continued focus on Customer Experience drives our teams to exceed our customer’s expectations. I hope you are as proud of your accomplishments as I am to work with you. Let’s keep making our customers happy and achieving our own success by supporting theirs!

About The Author

Rich Surace

As Vice President of Global Operations Rich Surace leads the customer support, information technology, and governance and business support teams, as well as India operations for ELM Solutions. Surace is a seasoned operations leader, with a broad spectrum of global operational and leadership experience gained during 20+ years in the high tech arena.

He has a successful track record of driving complex enterprise functions, global processes, strategic programs, and integrations, as well as solving complex business problems to enable companies to scale-up and improve operations, increase profitability, and capture new market opportunities. He is certified in Project management and a practitioner of Lean methodology as a means to increase customer value while progressively enhancing process scalability and effectiveness.

Prior to joining ELM Solutions, Surace served as EVP of Global Operations for On Process Technology. He also has held executive roles at several Fortune 500 Companies including general management, global business operations, acquisition integration, emerging markets, technical...