The Customer Experience & Telco Sales Association (CETS) recently announced the winners of the CETS 2021 Best in Class Awards.

“We are excited to launch the first-ever CETS Best in Class Awards in 2021 which recognizes teams and companies that demonstrate innovation and excellence related to customer experience and telco sales,’’ said Ellis Hill, President of ResearchFirst, Inc., CETS’s management firm. This year’s awards went to three service providers, MTA, Tbaytel, and Smithville, each of which executed best in class practices over the last year.”

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The winners are:

1.    MTA “Go Big AND Go Home!”

During March of 2020, the demand for MTA’s services significantly increased while at the same time they needed to relocate 13 residential sales consultants to a remote working environment for the first time in the history of MTA. During this transition time, MTA also released a new product, MTA Shield, and their sales consultants took part in remote sales campaigns and a behavioral shift in their sales step process. As of May 2021, they are still in the same remote working environment and have not experienced a decline on a single metric.

“We are honored to accept this award on behalf of our Residential Sales team. Their collective efforts during this difficult time allowed us to continue to change the lives of our member owners and keep our community connected. I believe the value CETS brings to us as a company is the consistent flow of ideas and knowledge sharing that really sets us apart from our competition; a collective think tank if you will of industry professionals that face the same day-to-day challenges that we all face in this industry,” said William Spear, MTA’s Sales Manager.

2. Tbaytel “Tbaytel Store – Response to COVID”

The Tbaytel Store has worked to adapt its business practices to reflect the ongoing changes presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The most significant innovations the Tbaytel Store has implemented are modifications to handling Tbaytel Store phone traffic, the creation of a remote location, abiding by health and safety protocols, creating same day curbside pick-up, as well as implementing a mobile queueing system with a greeter to triage in-person customer traffic. A Tbaytel Store direct phone number for customer use existed prior to COVID-19 but was limited to full time staff and acted as a supplementary service option for customers unable to access the store in person. Tbaytel Store phone traffic has grown in volume, and their approach continues to evolve by layering in more full service options with shipping or curbside pick-up available. The remote location was announced in March 2020 as a byproduct of the lockdown order and has continued into 2021 and for the foreseeable future. The mobile queueing system launched in October 2020 to manage limited in-person capacity and continues to grow into 2021 with plans to continue utilizing this moving forward.

“We are grateful to receive this award and feel like our Tbaytel Store staff and management deserve all of the credit. Their ability to adapt in order to serve our customers effectively throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of remarkable. We sincerely appreciate CETS for honoring our team with this best in class award. We will use this opportunity as a way to recognize the Tbaytel Store team and validate their efforts through a difficult time,” said Justin Nucci, Tbaytel’s Director of Sales.

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3. Smithville “Adjusting a New Door-to-Door Program During a Pandemic”

Smithville started a door-to-door sales channel in 2019, with good results. They were looking forward to increased sales from the channel in 2020, and then the pandemic happened. In March, the outlook for the channel looked bleak, but they knew customers needed connections to learn and work from home. In late April, they adjusted the program to be a community event and flyer program, that way those who were comfortable coming to them at the events could do so and they could follow up for sales over the phone. The program ran in this unique fashion throughout 2020.

“On behalf of the entire Smithville team, we are grateful for this award and acknowledgement. While 2020 was a challenging year, we all worked together and adapted to ensure our customers were connected to work, school, telehealth, and entertainment,” said Ryan Lentz, Product Manager of Channels at Smithville. “Part of that was adjusting our already new door-to-door sales channel to focus more on events and flyering in our communities. That adjustment worked so well that we kept moving the door-to-door team to new areas to help balance out full technician schedules in different areas. I am thankful for the many teams who worked together to make our door-to-door program a success, including Customer Service Representatives who entered a large number of these orders from home, Technicians who installed service temporarily through windows to maintain social distancing, and all other Smithville employees dedicated to serving our customers and communities.”

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