T&L Stellar Service Awards Entries - Tech Learning

T&L Stellar Service Awards Entries

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Tech & Learning's Stellar Service Awards are upon us and we need your help! We are asking you, the reader, to vote for this year's winners between now and December 7th. 

Below, we've listed all the candidates for each category. Please take a moment to read through the descriptions and vote here.

The winners will be announced in the January Edition of Tech & Learning Magazine. 

Best Excuse to Leave The Classroom (Best In-Person Training Program)

BrightBytes 

The Research Institute is a realization of BrightBytes’ mission to improve the way the world learns. It provides educational innovators, learning trailblazers and mission driven thought leaders with PD that makes learning personal through thought leadership that enriches practice and leadership capacity. The mission is realized through: 1. Interactive, face-to-face, socially constructed experiences to raise awareness of best practices and research 2. Cultivation of nurtured learning communities 3. Emphasis on educational leader empowerment and recognition 

CUE

When educators want high-quality, collaborative PD, there is only one organization they turn to: CUE. As a nearly 40 year-old nonprofit educator association, in-person training from CUE has incredibly high classroom impact. CUE leverages its network of “lead learner” practitioners to produce National and Fall Conferences, eLearning and Leadership 3.0 Symposia and our Professional Learning program, including the acclaimed Rock Star Teacher Camps. CUE provides training for thousands of educators across the globe annually.

Curriculum Associates

Teachers’ time is extremely valuable and that is why Curriculum Associates makes its in-person training an immersive professional development experience rather than just a product overview. The activity-based training focuses on best teaching practices that truly help teachers in the classroom. After an initial district-wide training, the training team visits school sites multiple times per year, delving into the student data collected using Curriculum Associates’ programs and working with teachers to improve their differentiated instruction. 

Gaggle

No one enjoys automated phone attendants. Members of Gaggle's customer service team answer all calls within two rings. Live Chat is replied to within seconds, while email responses occur within minutes. Support is also available on Twitter using #GaggleSupport. If questions cannot be answered, or customers need additional information, Gaggle responds as quickly as possible and follows-up to assure issues have been completely resolved. Customer service representatives and account managers proactively schedule check-ins with every customer to further ensure services are exceeding expectations. 

Vernier Software & Technology

Vernier offers more than 70 free, hands-on workshops nationwide each year. Led by experienced classroom teachers, the workshops offer novice and seasoned science and STEM teachers alike various ways to integrate data-collection technology into their curricula. During each four-hour workshop, educators explore classroom experiments using Vernier’s award-winning technology. They also receive an electronic copy of ready-to-use lab handouts and a free meal. To learn more and see participants’ reactions to the workshops, go to http://www.vernier.com/training/workshops/.

The Help Site You Want To Keep Going Back To (Best Help Site Portal)

Lightspeed Systems

Our innovative, integrated solutions are the answer to K-12 schools' needs in mobile device management, web filtering, email management, and classroom management. And our unparalleled service and support mean our solutions continue to deliver long after their easy implementation. The way we see it, if our customers have a problem, we have a problem. And we’re here to help. With 24/7, in-house technical support (by phone, email or live chat), comprehensive online knowledge bases and documentation, and our Community site (community.lightspeedsystems.com), our customers can be sure that the help they need is available whenever they need it.

Vernier Software & Technology

Vernier’s Technical Information Library (www.vernier.com/til) provides an extensive collection of support materials for Vernier’s products, including 1,000+ troubleshooting tips, detailed product specifications, and answers to a curated collection of FAQs from Vernier customers. It additionally includes links to product-specific tech tip videos produced by Vernier product developers and to Vernier’s Personalized Training Webinars, which provide individual schools and districts with a free, customized way to get educators trained on specific Vernier technology. 

Sales Support You Can Believe In (Best Sales Support)

Curriculum Associates

For more than 45 years, Curriculum Associates’ sales support team has prided itself on providing exemplary customer service. The team provides each customer with a dedicated and responsive account manager who understands and meets their varying needs. Account managers work with customers to provide award-winning programs, including assessment and instructional products, tailored to each account’s specific needs, ensuring consistency across the curriculum. A money-back guarantee is offered on all products to ensure 100% customer satisfaction. 

Draper, Inc.

Draper offers comprehensive screen selection tools. We provide educational materials and continuous training to keep dealers and techs up-to-date, and work through social media to keep in touch with dealers, distributors, and end users, even providing content for dealers. We offer literature in printed form and as PDFs on the Draper website for quick, easy access. Oh yeah-when you call you always get the same real, knowledgeable person! Our mantra is “How can we help?” 

Mentoring Minds

“Sales Rep” is a misnomer for our team of mission-minded individuals dedicated to being partners in education. The relationship doesn’t pivot on a sale, but rather on the needs of the schools they serve, extending beyond purchase into ongoing training and on-call support. Routinely, sales reps go out of their way to provide implementation support on-site (surprise raffle prizes and snacks, too!). One customer recently declared her rep a superhero: “He’s my batman!” she said. 

PresenceLearning 

PresenceLearning’s Senior Clinical Consultants (SCCs) are the liaisons between school districts and the company in providing online special education services to students nationwide. In addition, SCCs play a key role during the pre- and post-sales processes, providing clinical expertise and education to district staff and parents on how online services work, the effectiveness of online services, and in devising online programs that best fit district needs and the individualized needs of students. 

PublicSchoolWORKS

PublicSchoolWORKS’ sales support departments work together as a team to make the implementation of PublicSchoolWORKS’ compliance product suites easy. The Sales Team develops the relationship with the customer. Client Services customizes each district’s program to meet district, state and federal regulations, answers any questions customers may have, and helps them implement the program. Research & Development proactively monitors all legislation then helps customers meet those new requirements by creating new content.

Securly

Securly’s sales support goes above and beyond just implementing a solution. It all starts with engineers that truly care about the customer and empathize with their current situation, that realize it is not just about getting the product working, but also making sure a real personal connection is made, someone that listens, understands, and creates an experience that was pleasant and sets the tone for the future support relationship with the company. 

Sharp Electronics 

Sharp offers a try & buy, AQUOS BOARD evaluation loaner to educational institutions to confirm integration and compatibility with their existing IT/AV infrastructure. Our open platform architecture helps maximize ROI with existing systems (i.e. Blackboard, Promethean, Google Classroom, PowerPoint, and much more). Sharp's extensive library of videos help unlock the capabilities of our AQUOS BOARD Interactive Display Systems. We also provide an on-site 3-year limited warranty, with an optional 4th and 5th year coverage 

The Ed Tech Rep You Would Hire If You Could

Curriculum Associates - Cynthia Austen

With 25+ years at Curriculum Associates, Cynthia Austen is a rock star edtech rep. She truly cares about her customers and the success of students and is known for her strategic advice, product knowledge, and fun personality. Cynthia is extremely conscientious, never overselling and always looking to save customers money. A tremendous asset to the team, she has even turned down management roles so she could maintain direct customer interaction which is her passion. 

Loy's Office Supplies - Chad Williams 

Have you ever needed a counselor, referee, designer, financial planner, and a friend at one time? If you worked with Chad Williams, you would have all five individuals embodied in one great person. This past year I found myself charting new waters, opening a Charter School program, in a “Google” like facility on a limited budget. This was my first experience purchasing classroom furniture. All I knew was that it had to be different, exciting, and technology savvy. Did I mention – on a limited budget? To complicate matters, my Principal and I are total opposites, making the decision making process extremely intense. Chad took it all in stride, serving as a mediator with design challenges and gently offering alternatives. He worked closely with our architect to ensure that our countless colors and design goals were achieved. In the end, he became a friend of our school, investing with passion, and tireless energy to meet all of our deadlines, and endless last minute requests. Chad Williams - they broke the mold when he was created! Written by: Kathy Carlisle, Ed.D CEO, THINC. College & Career Academy 

The Number You Have On Autodial (Best Tech Support)

Alma

Alma offers an intuitive platform and built-in tech support to minimize the specialized training needed and provide teachers with the most user friendly, enjoyable experience in the industry. When educators need on-demand help, customers can reach the US-based customer service team with one click from within the system to generate a help ticket or by phone. Response times are the best among SIS/LMS platforms. Customers give Alma’s support 5 out of 5 stars on Capterra. 

AVer Information Inc. 

Our number one priority is to take care of our customers and leave them happy. AVer’s US based Technical Support Teams are well-trained, knowledgeable experts who do not robotically follow a script. Our team goes beyond the minimum to assure customers are getting the IT support they need through a multitude of options from live chat, to e-mail, and phone services. Each interaction is treated with impeccable quality and professionalism resulting in effective solutions for customers.

Boxlight Inc.

BOXLIGHT’s award winning service and technical support team is available to address your issues 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. In the event you need assistance with your BOXLIGHT, there is no need to worry about long hold times or difficulties with language barriers. Our team, located just outside of Seattle, are highly trained and ISF Certified® to ensure you get the best possible service, always. 

Curriculum Associates

Curriculum Associates’ technical support team works intimately with customers to ensure a quality experience, which resulted in a 94% renewal rate in 2014. They resolve 99.9% of cases on the spot or within the day; proactively monitor the user experience; and, partner with technical leads at schools to ensure great results throughout the year. This collaborative and customer-first approach makes them an industry leader. One customer said, “[it ’s] like I’m the only customer they have!”

Discovery Education 

In order to meet the needs of our 50,000+ school partners, we strive to deliver timely assistance by investing significantly in our systems, process and people. We have 2 geographic locations that have been trained across all services to provide phone support in a timely, effective manner. We maintain a greater than 98% live call answer rate. Customers can feel confident that calling our number will result in an immediate response from one of our award-winning team members.

Frontline Technologies

 At Frontline, stellar service is the core of our business. We expect our products to perform at their best at all times, but when there is an issue or customer inquiry, it is our mission to provide fast and professional service with the least amount of interruption to our customers' daily tasks and goals. We have an average wait time under 5 seconds, customer retention of 98% and dedicated, knowledgable service representatives per product.

Gaggle

No one enjoys automated phone attendants. Members of Gaggle's customer service team answer all calls within two rings. Live Chat is replied to within seconds, while email responses occur within minutes. Support is also available on Twitter using #GaggleSupport. If questions cannot be answered, or customers need additional information, Gaggle responds as quickly as possible and follows-up to assure issues have been completely resolved. Customer service representatives and account managers proactively schedule check-ins with every customer to further ensure services are exceeding expectations. 

Haiku Learning

Founded in 2006, Haiku Learning is a digital learning platform developed for K-12 schools. Powering learning for more than 2.5 million students, Haiku Learning’s platform is known for its simple interface, flexible tools, and powerful integrations with other leading cloud services, such as Google Apps for Education. Educators can create integrated, contextualized learning experiences that facilitate deeper learning and prepare students with the skills needed for college and career. 

Learning.com

Learning.com’s customer service team is focused on supporting educators so they can spend time on teaching rather than dealing with technical issues. Customer support reps are available by phone, email, and live chat to help customers at any time during the school day. They often assist customers with login problems, uploading student data, assigning curriculum, or troubleshooting. The team even has a dedicated Twitter account that customers can use to quickly get answers to their questions. 

Lightspeed Systems 

Our innovative, integrated solutions are the answer to K-12 schools' needs in mobile device management, web filtering, email management, and classroom management. And our unparalleled service and support mean our solutions continue to deliver long after their easy implementation. The way we see it, if our customers have a problem, we have a problem. And we’re here to help. With 24/7, in-house technical support (by phone, email or live chat), comprehensive online knowledge bases and documentation, and our Community site (community.lightspeedsystems.com), our customers can be sure that the help they need is available whenever they need it. 

Vernier Software & Technology

When educators call Vernier’s tech support with a product question, they will ALWAYS be connected to a live person and in most cases the actual product developer at Vernier who worked on the technology or even, sometimes, co-founder David Vernier himself. The product support team (www.vernier.com/support/team) consists of mostly former classroom teachers who provide timely, relative and targeted answers to customers. Read customers’ testimonials about Vernier’s unmatched support at http://vernier-catalog.s3.amazonaws.com/vernier_catalog.pdf (page 5). 

 The Ultimate Reputation Saver

AVer Information Inc

Our all-inclusive warranty program goes hand in hand with our mission to provide quality products and exceptional service. We offer a 5-year warranty, 5-year free 2-way RMA shipping, 5-year worry-free standard advanced replacement, and dedicated technical support team to ensure that our products stand up to years of constant use. Our warranty is a pledge to provide the most effective solution with minimal downtime and to maintain the best total cost of ownership. We guarantee the product experience will be seamless and satisfying.

Casio America, Inc. 

Casio LampFree® Projectors are reliable and built to last, with an estimated light source lifespan of up to 20,000 hours. All Casio projectors are backed by a 3-year parts and labor warranty and for 5-years or 10,000 hours on the light source. This industry leading warranty makes our already low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) even better and helps users to easily save up to $1000 on lamp cost during the warranty period.

Epson America

The TFCInfo Projector Brand Customer Perception and Preference Study 2015 identified Epson as the most widely-used brand in education. This is in part because of Epson’s Brighter Futures program, a unique sales and support initiative available specifically for schools. As part of the program, schools receive a three-year projector warranty, which no other projector manufacturer currently offers; a 90-day limited lamp warranty; a replacement program with free shipping; and, dedicated technical support services.

Frequent Buyer Smiles (Best Perks & Extras.)

BrightBytes 

BrightBytes empowers customers to use data from the Clarity platform as a powerful tool for driving change. BrightBytes & Clarity make research educative, engaging, and actionable, giving educational leaders data to make informed decisions to drive learning outcomes. “@kristenswanson @BrightBytes Clarity has brought us great common language to build our story on deep technology integration.” “Whole @BrightBytes team has been very helpful!” BrightBytes is dedicated to address all educators’ unique needs to achieve success 

Discovery Education

Discovery Education’s Discovery Educator Network (DEN) honors the important work teachers do year-round, but Teacher Appreciation Week brings celebrating teachers to another level. During the week, DiscoveryEducation.com is re-branded with celebratory messaging, product enhancement announcements, and messages from Discovery Channel talent. Through partnerships with other top educational companies like Tech4Learning and WeVideo, special gifts are offered daily to Discovery Educators. Additionally, members of the Discovery Education team serve as virtual substitute teachers providing in-class support. 

The Videos Most Likely to Go Viral (Best Online Product Demos) 

MAX Interactive

MAX Interactive is the industry leader in 1:1 device protection. Thousands of schools throughout America have entrusted their large scale rollouts with MAX Cases protecting their devices. Following their Best of Show award at ISTE 2015 for their Extreme Shell line, MAX has created the most innovate product video to demonstrate power behind it. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePZj8m5NWrY&feature=youtu.be 

Sharp Electronics

Access our AQUOS BOARD Interactive Display System library anyplace, anytime, and anywhere! Sharp has an extensive video library on our website (siica.sharpusa.com/AQUOS-BOARD#videos), as well as a YouTube Video channel (www.youtube.com/user/sharpelectronicsusa) with over 100,000 views just for Sharp AQUOS BOARD Interactive Display System videos. We’re always updating our video library! Our videos range from product overviews, technical product demonstrations, key feature sets, how to’s, step-by-step integration with other applications, and even some mind-blowing artistic creations!

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