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Emma, Inc. Customer Service Team

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

Company: Emma, Inc., Nashville, TN
Entry Submitted By: The Bradford Group
Company Description: Emma is an email marketing service that helps small and midsize companies market and communicate in style. Founded in 2003, Emma makes it easy to create attractive email campaigns, send to large opt-in audiences and track the response in real time. Based in Nashville, with offices in Portland, Denver, Austin and New York, Emma’s 100+ employees serve more than 30,000 organizations worldwide.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Department of the Year

Nomination Title: Emma, Inc. Customer Service Team

Tell the story about what this nominated organization/department achieved since January 1 2011 (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:

Providing friendly, expert and entirely non-robot-like customer service is a cornerstone of the Emma experience. Because we love finding new ways of delighting our customers, this year we turned our customer service process on its head (gently, of course) and examined it from every angle. We took a simple approach: Change what doesn’t feel Emma-worthy and build on what does.

We created "hosts" to welcome new Emma customers.

Our consultative sales sets the tone for a new customer's Emma experience. When we analyzed the customer's next steps immediately after opening an account, we found another opportunity to continue that personalized experience. Now, we have a person to act as a host, and she reaches out proactively to new customers, guiding them through the process. She helps them work with our designers and customize their account so they're set up for email marketing success.

We launched an Emma Concierge program for VIP clients.

Emma attracts customers who like our strategic approach to email. We recommend a targeted, personalized approach, and we provide access to our in-house email strategy experts. In 2011, we recognized the unique needs of our agency clients and clients with well-developed marketing plans – for them, email is just part of an overall brand strategy. In addition to creating fast-tracked account support for these customers, we established small teams of email experts to help those key accounts reach their business goals.

We dramatically improved our phone system experience.

Our customers love to call us. They appreciate our minimal phone tree, and they know the person who answers their call is empowered to solve their problem, answer their question or even anticipate questions. But as Emma grew, our phone system wasn’t keeping up. If the customer support team were already on calls, callers left a message. We put ourselves in our customers’ shoes (ballet flats and cowboy boots, typically) and recognized that they should have the option to wait on the line for a supporter. Our customers like the option, and we have fewer missed calls. Now, we’re proud to sustain a 90% answer rate.

We launched our "Emma Moments" initiative to surprise and inspire.

We've always loved finding ways to celebrate our customers, so we took an extra step this year with a program called Emma Moments. We have a company tradition of giving fellow staffers "kickass cards" – gift cards with a thoughtful note, enclosed in a blue envelope. Getting a blue envelope is something special at Emma, and we wanted to pass along that feeling to our customers. Now, we send handwritten notes, t-shirts and "medals of awesomeness" to unsuspecting customers who excel in their field, are doing some good in their community or sent a successful email campaign. To date, we've logged over 700 Emma Moments.

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

Customer Support Lead Emily Konouchi manages Emma’s support team, overseeing efforts to provide customers with a consistent, Emma-worthy experience. Supervising Emma’s team of 12 who power the company’s support lines, she directs strategy, training and internal development resources. Emily has worked at Emma for the last four (glorious) years. She previously worked in fundraising for Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. She received her bachelor’s of arts from Agnes Scott in classical languages and literature.