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EMKAY Inc. - Customer Service Team of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2013 American Business Awards

Company: EMKAY Inc., Itasca, IL
Company Description: Emkay is a provider of vehicle financing and management solutions to businesses throughout North America. Founded in 1946 and the 2nd oldest fleet management company in the nation, our focus is on operational excellence. As the industry’s only privately held, employee-owned company, our unique ownership enables a special personal pride in servicing our customers.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Team of the Year

Nomination Title: EMKAY Client Support Gurus

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since January 1 2011 year (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

EMKAY is a business-to-business provider of technology, fleet management service, and financing solutions. Our core product, vehicle leasing, often surprises people when we call ourselves a service company, not a finance company. Our approach to service is simple and proven.

EMKAY’s Client Support Services (CSS) team is our “front–line” providing value-added services daily to 700+ business customers with 100,000+ vehicles under management. The CSS team delivers a multi- faceted strategy that dramatically lowers time our customers spend on vehicles. More importantly, we proactively watch the half billion dollars our customers spend yearly on fleet.

EMKAY combines our award winning technology with a rare focus on client satisfaction achieving 100% client satisfaction in fiscal 2011. Our customers see our passion to satisfy in an ever-growing do-it- yourself environment. As one customer, Benjamin Moore & Company, stated, “EMKAY consistently addresses our growing needs to make life more productive for the fleet manager and our drivers”. “Front-line customer service takes servicing clients seriously.”

What makes EMKAY different, better? EMKAY’s front-line isn’t just reactive, like typical customer service, it’s proactive. This is a key element to our success. Not only do we answer client requests, but look for ways to save our clients money on every client touch point. Each interaction whether e-mail, phone, or the industry’s only on-line customer chat, is tracked as a “case”. Our service personnel answer requested then focus how we can value through consultative strategies on every interaction. In 2011 we totaled over 60,000 cases and achieved an outstanding 9.7% cases having a cost saving recommendation. The results for our clients was over $21,600,000 in documented savings.

Our team’s great care is extended by tracking key metrics across all client interactions, then meeting bi- weekly face-to-face with not just management, but the entire CSS Front-Line. The result is engaging the team’s passion for results and enables us to make constant improvements to service processes.

Each front-line rep also receives a monthly scorecard. This acts as individual results “playbooks” that enable individual Team Leads meet personally with specialists to review their KPIs and develop individual self-improvement and quality enhancement strategies.

The team is also proactive with operating departments to better the overall client experience. With our “Walk-In-Their-Shoes Program” team members interact directly with operating team members to learn from each other, streamline processes, and create shortcuts to enable quicker or more quality client responses. This resulted in the quality sections of the scorecards increasing over 7% since implementing this initiative.

In conclusion, our front-line team operates on a complete transparency basis. All results and metrics are presented face-to-face to each client quarterly in our “Fleet Objectives Reports”.

This year the front-line service team achieved:

• 8-second Average Speed of Answer
• 92.1% (versus goal 85%) cases resolved in 24 hours
• Every call answered by live person (service has no voicemail)
• 100% CSS satisfaction 49 consecutive months
• First-touch resolution of 97% (versus goal 88%)
• Score of 4.39/5 quality on CSS scorecard

EMKAY has helped shift the way that corporate America views fleet, today. With a philosophy of providing simple, better, and different solutions, EMKAY has shaped the fleet industry from leasing vehicles to true technology and service solutions. By internally managing key performance indicators and operational metrics, the focus has become efficiency solutions and cost savings rather than problem resolution. EMKAY’s proactive customer service mindset results in a unique partnership unlike alternatives in the fleet world today.

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Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated team:

Christopher Tepas joined EMKAY in 1999. Chris earned his degree from Arizona State University and professional design training at Art Institute California-San Francisco. Tepas was promoted to Vice President Sales in 2003, EVP Sales and Marketing in 2006, EVP Client Services & Marketing in 2009, and is currently Chief Marketing Officer. Tepas has helped spearhead EMKAY’s team to earn several awards such as Stevies Front-Line Customer Service Team-of-the-Year Finalist, American Business Awards Customer Service Department-of-the-Year Finalist, Info500 “Top IT Companies U.S.”, and Winner Stevies Customer Service Department-of-the-Year.