Tag Archives: customer

selfservicemakingyourbusinessbetter

Are Self-Service Technologies Making Your Business Better?

Self-service technologies, which automate routine interactions between companies and customers, are a source of convenience and efficiency to both parties — until something goes wrong and the customer cannot make the system work. Many companies should be focusing more closely on the overall customer experience, says Michael Goul, a professor of information systems and a researcher at the Center for Advancing Business Through Information Technology. Curiously, here’s a case where businesses could learn something from government! (12:32)

Most Admired Companies - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

2010 Most Admired Companies Winners – Workplace Culture

The Workplace Culture category recognizes companies with unique workplaces that offer employees benefits and perks, and emphasize diversity and other qualities that make the company a great place to work.

Winner: BeachFleischman PC
Category: Workplace Culture
Headquarters: Tucson
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 104
Recent Award: Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work For – 2009
www.beachfleischman.com


video by Sonoran Studios

Although working at a CPA firm can be stressful, employees at Tucson-based BeachFleischman enjoy fun and relaxation alongside their jobs. In-house massages and ice cream socials are just a few of the ways employees recharge at the office. Work success is celebrated by featuring team stories in the company newsletter. Outside of work, the social and wellness committees take over and lead employees in a number of fun activities. Baseball games, barbecues, tennis clinics and rock climbing are some of the other ways BeachFleischman’s staff and shareholders bond while blowing off some steam.

The diversity of out-of-work activities is not the only thing BeachFleischman prides itself on. The company recruits from all over Arizona and out of state to find a diverse mix of potential employees. BeachFleischman wants the diversity of its employees to mirror the diversity of Tucson’s demographics. The company believes diversity promotes creativity and innovation, while providing an expanded knowledge base that allows it to serve a broader group of clients.

BeachFleischman also encourages its employees to pursue continual education. On average, professional staff members receive 40-60 hours of education each year. BeachFleischman encourages employees to receive professional licenses by paying for test preparation, and employees receive a bonus for passing their CPA exams. Employees who pass the CPA exam are treated to a happy hour to celebrate their success. With continuing education as a main goal, there are many opportunities to climb the corporate ladder within BeachFleischman. In 2009, BeachFleischman was named on Accounting Today’s list of Best Accounting Firms to Work For.


M&I Make Strides Walk

Finalist: M&I Bank
Category:
Workplace Culture
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1847
No. of Employees in AZ: 625
Recent Award: Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility – 2009
www.micorp.com

The Golden Rule is M&I Bank’s rule of thumb. By encouraging employees to follow the adage, “Treat others as you would like to be treated,” M&I allows everyone to be heard and respected. The company ensures a diversity of thoughts and perspectives through a multicultural and multigenerational work force. All thoughts and perspectives are welcomed with open ears.

M&I offers its employees flex-scheduling, tuition reimbursement, adoption assistance, plus everyone is eligible for wellness reimbursement to cover some of the expenses of health club memberships or weight control programs. Also, MiMentor is an online mentorship program that allows employees to connect across the organization. M&I not only wants its employees to be dedicated to their jobs, but also to extra-curricular activities such as volunteering and health-and-wellness pursuits. In 2009, M&I won the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility.


Shutterfly

Finalist: Shutterfly
Category: Workplace Culture
Headquarters: Redwood City, Calif.
Year Est.: 1999
No. of Employees in AZ: 124
Recent Award: Ranked on Internet Retailers Hot 100 list – 2009
www.shutterfly.com | Facebook | Twitter

Shutterfly’s employee culture focuses on four major aspects: respect, innovation, achievement and customer centricity. The respect fostered in the Shutterfly offices creates a family atmosphere and an engaged work force that is encouraged through the sharing of ideas to be innovative. Innovation does not only relate to the employees and the products and services Shutterfly offers. It also describes Shutterfly workplaces, which are filled with beanbag chairs, pictures taken by employees, bright colors and white boards for constant brainstorming.

After work, employees can still see the benefits of working for Shutterfly. Employees can borrow a professional camera for their own use, take a free photo editing class and receive a gym membership discount. All of these benefits help to produce a high-performance culture in which employees hold themselves and each other to high standards of achievement. Shutterfly wants employees to have fun while working at a higher performance level in order to better serve the customer.


To buy a print version of the 2010 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies
go to MagCloud.com

Arizona's Most Admired Companies November-December 2010

Green Advisers on a Mission

Green Advisers On A Mission

Name an industry and you’ll find a consultant — investment, finance, marketing, and so forth.

You can add eco-consulting to that list.

After reading an interesting article from the New York Times about eco-consulting, I was curious to see exactly what this new type of profession would encompass.

Is it a passing phase or a legitimate way to better educate citizens about how to live a greener life? To find out more, I contacted Valley eco-consultant Linda Benson. She trained to become an eco-consultant with Green Irene, a company founded by a husband-and-wife team that now trains consultants throughout the country.

After contacting Green Irene for additional information, I received an e-mail from Jessica Clark, marketing manager at Green Irene, who supplied me with the following statement:
“Green Irene is on a mission to ‘Green Our World, One Home And Office At a Time.’ Green Irene trains independent, authorized distributors of Green Irene consulting services and recommended green home and office products. Through these services, eco-consultants assist neighbors, family, employees and coworkers implement proven green solutions in their homes and small businesses, and starts them on the path to a healthier, safer and more sustainable lifestyle.
As of July 2009, Green Irene has more than 425 eco-consultants in 45 states offering Green Home Makeovers, Green Office Makeovers, GO GREEN Workshops and many of the best green home and office products available.”

Guess this isn’t a phase after all.

Benson has been in the interior design industry for three years and her specialty is green, sustainable and universal design, so becoming an eco-consultant was a “good fit.”

She goes on to explain various initiatives offered by Green Irene, including but not limited to, green makeovers as well as “actual blueprints for converting your living, home products and just the way you carry out life on a daily basis in a green and sustainable manner.”

“I enjoy the challenge of re-using and re-engineering furniture and soft goods (bedding, window treatments) from items my clients already have,” Benson adds “I also love educating them on how to save money by making small changes to their lifestyle, such as changing light bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) in a main living space, and using proper window treatments to hold down the energy loss in a room, just to name a few things.”

green consultingThis sounds like a great idea for people who are trying to make a positive change to better the environment and aren’t really sure how to begin. As Benson points, out the changes don’t have to be costly, and customers can start small and work their way up to more significant changes. The consultations can be done for private residents as well as commercial companies.

Benson has a positive outlook on the future of eco-consulting, not only locally, but also globally.

“I see eco-consulting encouraging people to save on resources, giving motivation to explore new design modes and methods, pushing people to think outside of the box, helping people who spend hard-earned money to use it more efficiently and to encourage saving,” she says. “I see eco-consulting bringing people to the outdoor style of living again by cooking more during the pleasant sunny days. I even see eco-consulting prompting healthy eating and encouraging more community activities again!”

www.greenirene.com