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Customer Advocacy Team Recognized as a Customer Service Ace

Digital communication can make it difficult to connect with customers. UL’s Customer Advocacy team works double time to hear the ‘Voice of the Customer’

Team members from the Customer Advocacy team pose for a group picture at their recent global workshop.
June 14, 2019

For many companies, it’s easy to lose sight of your customers. Especially in a digital world where face-to-face time with customers has dwindled and mass emails have taken its place.

UL isn’t exempt from these digital challenges, and our Customer Advocacy team knows it.
In recognition of UL’s Customer Experience activities, Confirmit, a B2B software and services business, recognized UL and the Customer Advocacy team at the 2019 ACE Awards for Achievement in Customer Excellence at the ceremony June 5.

UL, along with Empire Today, PennyMac and Erie Insurance, was awarded Judges’ Choice in the Voice of the Customer category, a prestigious honor that requires winners to prove the impact and value of their customer experience program.

Alison Bornstein, UL’s Customer Advocacy director, credited her global team of 15 customer advocates for their excellent customer service. Team members contact customers in their local languages and time zones to personally respond to customer feedback within 48 hours. Their efforts resulted in a 212% in UL's Net Promoter Score®, a 55-point gain from when UL started the program in 2007.

“This award is a testament to what you do each and every day,” Bornstein said in an email to the Customer Advocacy team. “Your management of the customer survey program is essential to setting the standard for customer loyalty.”

UL’s Customer Advocacy team distributed more than 138,000 surveys to its customers in 2018. Depending on the service provided, there are more than 34 versions of the survey with each available in multiple languages. Customers are emailed a survey upon project completion in their local language. Safeguards are taken to help prevent survey fatigue by limiting the number of surveys sent per service provided.

But, their journey doesn’t end there, as Alison Bornstein, UL’s Customer Advocacy director, explained. The team also works closely with UL’s sales staff to encourage customers to respond.

Participating sales departments receive weekly reports listing who hasn’t responded to date. A sales team member then follows up with a phone call to the customer to encourage survey participation. As a result, UL has increased their survey response rate and more customers are taking the time to respond with comments.

Under Bornstein’s leadership, UL has made fundamental changes to how it interacts with its customers. From including an engineer in the quotation process to launching a new online payment portal, the team has advocated for transformation based on the thousands of comments given to UL by their most important asset – their customers.

“The new format makes it easier for customers to understand invoices and allows the use of credit cards for online payment,” she said. “It’s a faster system that helps us respond more quickly to our customers.”

Which takes us back to losing sight of your customers in the digital age. The Customer Advocacy team recognizes and lives by the golden rule of customer advocacy:  to help customers succeed.

“We need our clients in order to help make the world a safer place,” Bornstein said.

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