ClearVision Optical - Customer Service Team of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2017, Click to Enter The 2018 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service

Company: ClearVision Optical Company, Hauppauge, NY
Company Description: ClearVision Optical has 67 years of experience in the frame distribution business. CVO first started as a small, family business founded by Fred Friedfeld. Today ClearVision is a global enterprise, serving optical professionals throughout the U.S. & in 40 countries. It is still privately owned by the Friedfeld family. We offer an impressive selection of superior quality fashion & lifestyle brands.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Team of the Year - Recovery Situation

Nomination Title: ClearVision Optical Delivers Delight

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2015 (up to 650 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:

ClearVision Optical, a 67 year-old family-owned wholesaler, designs and distributes eyewear globally. In a competitive market where fashion meets medical device, the industry is dominated by three giant corporations. However, with 125 employees, CVO has consistently ranked Top 2 by Jobson Viewpoint industry Perceptions survey. Our customer dedication is rooted in our core values: to make each day better for someone else.

Our twelve dedicated individuals navigate 1,000+ calls daily, greeting each with “it’s a Marvelous Monday, Terrific Tuesday, etc.” With a 2-minute average call time there is a brief window to deliver delight. Yet our Associates maximize call quality, yielding meaningful relationships that span decades. Our culture offers a “Best Company to Work for in NY State (2015 & 2016)” environment, translating into virtually no turnover.

This was not always the story; it has taken years of dedication to shift from Customer Service transactions to a true Customer Experience. We strive for exceptional service to be our competitive advantage. CVO has a sincere belief in continuous improvement and this year we’ve improved the customer experience dramatically:

Unique trainings:
- Attended Ritz Carlton seminar; learning from the best in customizing a memorable experience translated into actionable ideas; we host a weekly line-up to reinforce our values, Wow experiences and get on the same motivated page.
- Group culture tour at Zappos, driving our employee empowerment mission; CVO employees have latitude to do whatever is best for the customer. Unique Culinary Institute dining experience for exceptional service and importance of learning all customer aspects front to back.
- Book clubs with our President to uncover service best practices, including Disney University, Small Giants, and Who’s your Gladys with one chapter about CVO!
- Sincere commitment to product knowledge meshed with call quality. Provide extensive training to support technical sophistication of our brands. Frequent cross-training for strength and empathy; call taping and evaluation for delightful consistency.

Customer Engagement:
- Our Kindness Kabinet, a physical space for engagement tools includes gift items to reinforce our service commitment. All employees are encouraged to build meaningful connections by sending a treat -- baby book for a new arrival, vacation pack or a get-well kit --always accompanied by a personal note. Lucky recipients frequently report their disbelief that someone went the extra mile to make them smile.
- Customer contests include quizzes, trivia, social media pictures, and inclusion in our philanthropic campaigns. Our clothing drive power hour invited customers interested in donating to Big Brothers Big Sisters to fill a bag & use our pre-paid shipping labels, yielding 250lbs.

Employee Engagement:
- We welcomed several new Customer Experience Associates, selected after extensive interviews, onboarding and training for their positivity and commitment to service excellence.
- New in 2016 is our Secret Shoppers, where an employee is drawn monthly to win a special experience, paid by CVO. They present to the company, capturing learnings that could apply to us. Winners enjoyed a spa day, luxury shopping trip, steak house dinner, etc.
- Our Customer Service Ambassador committee has cross-functional representation. They inspire activities for our themed Customer Service Week including contests, discounts, pay-it-forward challenge and snacks! Ambassadors host Tasty Tuesday, delivering a healthy snack weekly to each employee -- a great chance to personally brighten the day.
- Frequent phone guest appearances, where employees from outside departments hear firsthand our customer needs. This drives compassion, great insights and customers adore meeting our leaders & President.

- This year we added an online shopping cart and Aspire customizer so customers can get great service via our website.
- Our new phone system includes LiveChat, call customization, and a callback option to avoid long queues.
- We rolled out the Source, a one-stop online Associate wiki for easy access to any customer question.

Our investment in people, tools, and transformation has yielded a positive cultural impact, including increased customer loyalty and energized employees.