U.S. Green Building Council - Customer Service Team of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, DC, USA
Company Description: The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a nonprofit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, educational offerings, chapters, Greenbuild Conference, professional credentials, and advocacy.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Team of the Year

Nomination Title: Expanding Services Successfully

Tell the story about what this nominated team has achieved since 1 January 2016 year (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

The Challenge: New Services & Scope

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc.’s (GBCI) Technical Customer Service (TCS) Team has expanded its service from supporting its flagship green building program – LEED – to supporting four additional technical programs:

WELL: A performance-based certification system to measure the impact of the built environment on human health
EDGE: A software design application that calculates operational savings and reduced carbon emissions for buildings
SITES: A certification system that certifies the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of landscapes
Parksmart: A certification system that defines and recognizes sustainable practices in parking structure management, programming, design, and technology

In February 2016, our team was tasked with additional scope: managing all customer inquiries in our CRM system (Salesforce) through resolution for all USGBC and GBCI staff. Previously, TCS measured only the customer service department’s timeliness and responsiveness - now we monitor every staff member’s timeliness across both organizations - including finance, marketing, legal, etc.

New Services & Scope Achievements

We have successfully developed the customer service infrastructure, policies, and services for our new programs, which is reflected in the new programs’ growth and success. In 2016, we have accomplished the following:

WELL: On average we receive 179 technical inquiries per month with a 5% month-over-month growth rate.
EDGE: On average we receive 43 technical inquiries per month with a 32% month-over-month growth rate.
SITES: On average we receive 30 technical inquiries per month with a 19% month-over-month growth rate.
Parksmart: On average we receive 39 technical inquiries per month (Q4 was the first complete quarter of customer service data).

The new programs now account for 12% of our current volume of inquiries, up from 7% from Q1 2016.

Our new scope of managing all customer inquiries required creating an all-staff customer service policy, educating all Salesforce users on this policy, and ongoing policy enforcement. Whereas before we managed total turn-around times for 25 queues (or inboxes) and 36 users, we now manage 104 queues and 310 users. We have brought the total number of cases open across both organizations down to a weekly average of 798 in Q4 from 1,550 in Q1, and set four key performance indicators:

 

Average Length of Time in Queue ≤ 1 day
Average Max Length of Time with Staff ≤ 4 days

Users with Cases > 7 Days ≤ 5%

% of Cases > 7 Days with Future “Date of Next Planned Action” > 95% (staff are now required to list a date of when they plan on taking action to a customer inquiry)

We have successfully managed against these key performance indicators, and as of Q4 2016, have achieved the following:

-Reduced the average length of time an inquiry is in a queue from 4 days to 1 day, a 46% reduction from Q1 to Q4 average.
-Reduced the number of days an inquiry is with staff from 99 days to 1 day, a 94% reduction from Q1 to Q4 average.
-Reduced the percentage of users with inquiries older than 7 days from 87% to 2%, an 87% reduction from Q1 to Q4 average.
-Increased the percentage of users listing a “Date of Next Planned Action” from 0% to 48%, a 153% increase from Q1 to Q4 average.

Conclusion

In 2016, our team experienced a 25% increase in the number of customer inquiries. Despite this increase in volume, we were successfully able to reduce the overall work in progress (WIP) by an average of 49% by the end of Q4 while implementing new services and policies. The best part is that our customers are happy: in Q1 2016, 92% of customers were happy with our service, and in Q4 2016 we closed the quarter with an overall customer satisfaction rating of 95%.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) accomplishments of the nominated team since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

-Our team successfully reduced the overall work in progress (WIP) by 49% despite a 25% increase in customer inquiries, while implementing new services, training new staff, creating new customer service policies, and managing staff to meet these new expectations.
-In Q1 of 2016, 92% of customers were happy with our services, and in Quarter 4 of 2016 we closed the quarter with an overall customer satisfaction rating of 95%.
-Our team reduced the average length of time an inquiry is in a queue (inbox) from 4 days to 1 day.
-Our team reduced the average number of days an inquiry is with staff from 99 days to 1 day.
-Our team reduced the average percentage of users with inquiries older than 7 days from 87% to 2%.
-Our team increased the average percentage of users listing a “Date of Next Planned Action” from 0% to 48%.