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SSPA Honors STAR Awards for Service Excellence Winners Approva, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, SAP, StoresOnline, Symantec, Tektronix, and Xerox

Cisco Systems, Inc. Inducted into Hall of Fame

Click Here to read the Press Release at the SSPA site.
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 2, 2007 –The Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA), the largest and most influential association for technology service and support professionals, today announced that Approva, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, SAP, StoresOnline, Symantec, Tektronix and Xerox are recipients of the 2007 SSPA STAR Awards for Service Excellence.

The prestigious peer recognition awards honor companies that demonstrate an ongoing high level of commitment to delivering world-class results in technical support.  Companies seeking the SSPA STAR Award undergo a rigorous evaluation process against an extensive set of criteria, with the winners selected by the SSPA’s Advisory Board members.

Winners were honored today during a luncheon awards ceremony at the SSPA Services Leadership 2007 Conference in New Orleans, where Cisco Systems, Inc. was also inducted into the SSPA Hall of Fame.   This special recognition is awarded to a select group of companies that have won five SSPA STAR Awards since the program inception in 1989.

“Traditionally, the SSPA Service Excellence award winners have set the standard for the industry by delivering world-class, value-added service and support to their customers.  This year’s group of winners was no exception and the dedication of these organizations continues to impress us,” said Stephen Smith, executive director, SSPA.

The 2007 SSPA STAR Awards for Service Excellence winners by category are:

Service Excellence in Complex Application Support – Tektronix, Inc.
This category recognizes support organizations that deliver sophisticated technical support for complex applications in mixed or otherwise complex environments. An applicant in this category is typically identified as having senior level technical support representatives with advanced degrees. These representatives interface with senior level customers typically in engineering and/or scientific fields.

Service Excellence in Consumer Support - StoresOnline
This category honors a company whose consumer-facing contact center or technical support operation effectively handles high volumes of inbound and outbound customer interactions, with an emphasis on problem avoidance, Web and voice self-service, and streamlined incident handling.

Service Excellence in Continual Improvement – IBM System x, BladeCenter & Intellistation (xBCI) Client Support
This award is presented to the company that has demonstrated exceptional service levels and customer satisfaction for three or more years, with year over year improvements and a plan in place for continual improvement in the future.

Service Excellence in Emerging Business Support – Approva Corporation
Applicants in this category provide technical support within emerging businesses (defined as companies with under $500 million in total annual revenue) for which exemplary customer support is important for company growth and is typically provided with constrained resources.   The winner has demonstrated that their technical support effectively maintains customer satisfaction and loyalty, and helps drive new business.

Service Excellence in Innovative Support – Xerox Corporation
Presented to a company who has embraced innovation in people, process and technology to increase agent productivity, service levels and customer satisfaction; increase problem avoidance, and effectively handle more interactions using unassisted channels.

Service Excellence in Integrated Services – Xerox Corporation
The Integrated Services category recognizes support organizations that have effectively teamed with the Education Services (Training) and Professional Services Organizations to deliver seamless integrated support to their customers.  They offer blended services programs that ensure a positive customer experience with the adoption, implementation and usage of the company’s products

Service Excellence in Mission Critical Support, Software – SAP AG
Service Excellence in Mission Critical Support, Hardware – Dell, Inc.
Honorees in this category provide technical support in mission-critical environments where “system up-time” is imperative, typically for enterprise customers.  Technical support from these support organizations is a critical part of keeping customers “up and running” 24/7.  The winners have demonstrated how their technical support effectively maintains their customers’ mission critical systems in continuous operation.

Service Excellence in Outstanding Improvement – Symantec Corporation
This award is presented to the company that effectively demonstrates the greatest increase in support quality within an underperforming operation. Key supporting data include multi-quarter improvement in customer satisfaction scores and support productivity performance metrics.

Service Excellence in Partner Management, Consumer – Hewlett Packard
Service Excellence in Partner Management, Enterprise – Cisco Systems, Inc.
Many companies outsource service delivery to qualified partners, including outsourcers and channel partners, to reduce costs and extend or augment their own direct service delivery operations.  This award is presented to a company who excels at leveraging third party providers for the seamless delivery of service and support with high levels of customer satisfaction. 

More information on the SSPA Services Leadership conference and previous STAR Award winners can be found at www.thesspa.com.

About the SSPA
The SSPA is chartered with bringing together the service and support community's best and brightest minds to deliver a relevant blend of market research, programs and certifications including the distinguished Excellence in Service Operations program, as well as networking, media and analyst relations, education and other information resources. SSPA's core constituents include the world's leading enterprise and consumer technology companies as well as scores of innovative small and mid-sized companies that serve to continually refresh the industry by bringing new ideas and processes to the marketplace. The SSPA also partners with thought leaders such as J.D. Power and Associates and the Wharton School to create programs that benefit the industry. The SSPA is a member of a global network of associations that includes the Technology Professional Services Association (TPSA), the Association for Services Management International (AFSMI) and the Electronic Supply Chain Association (ESCA). For more information, visit www.thesspa.com.

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