The 2012 Service Elite

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Striving to provide quality customer service goes with the territory in our industry, which is why it was so difficult for us to choose four winners in this year's Service Elite category. In the process, we were forced to omit numerous companies who, though not named here, are also deserving of praise. However, the accomplishments and efforts of our honorees in improving their customers' experience, their employees' experience, and their bottom line as well were so off the charts that we had no choice but to recognize their achievements.

While not all of our winners' deployments stemmed from something as dramatic as Iceland's 2010 volcanic ash explosion—an event that propelled an airline to enter the social media realm—each winning company's results were equally dramatic.

One winner saw a savings of half a million dollars and a seamless integration between its sales and CRM functions when it implemented a new CRM system. A second, whose rapid growth resulted in customer and service rep frustration, boosted first-call resolution from 18 percent to 95 percent. And by integrating all of its support channels around one database, the fourth increased customer satisfaction by 50 percent and decreased call wait time by 50 percent.

It is our hope that these success stories will serve to motivate other practitioners to improve their customer service and support efforts. After all, isn't that the point?

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