The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been recognized for its superior customer experience, winning a Bronze award for Front Line Customer Service Team of the Year in the Advertising, Business & Diversified Services, Marketing & Public Relations category at the 7th Annual Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service.

The award, conferred in Las Vegas at the end of February, recognizes excellence in customer service and sales from companies and organizations around the world.

“As the green building movement has grown, so too have the complex needs of those who are implementing the LEED green building program,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, Chief Operating Officer, USGBC. “I am extraordinarily proud of our team that has risen to the challenge of helping our customers, large and small, build green and create the sustainable built environment that is so critical to addressing the myriad environmental challenges that we face as a global community.”

“We have been improving and enhancing our customer experience over the last three years,” said Vincent Chiusano, Director, Customer Experience, USGBC. “We’ve had incredibly positive feedback from our customers on the interactive customer experience we are striving to provide. And while we have heavy call volume, we answer every call and treat each one with equal importance.”

One key customer experience initiative USGBC took on was setting up Salesforce customer relationship management software. Thanks to the resulting improvement in measurement and tracking of customer service inquiries, the team was better able to anticipate the staffing and resources needed to enhance its customer service.

Additionally, since 2010, USGBC has focused on beefing up the size and expertise of the in-house LEED review team, while also applying exacting quality controls to outside contractors. In that time, the team has grown from seven to over 50, and includes licensed engineers, architects and other design professionals.

USGBC is also improving the reliability and user interface of LEED Online, the online LEED certification management tool. With LEED version 4 (LEED v4) launching later this year, USGBC is coordinating the development of the new LEED reference guides with the LEED Online credit forms to ensure alignment between how the LEED requirements are described and the documentation that users have to provide.

For the first time, USGBC is engaging a large group of volunteers in a pre-launch beta test of the supporting tools and resources for LEED v4. These beta testers will provide feedback on documentation requirements, reference guide language and LEED Online functionality before LEED v4 registration opens. This beta test will greatly reduce the adjustments that have to be made in response to user feedback after the system launches. Taken together, these changes are dramatically improving the LEED customer experience.

As a result of these initiatives and creating a culture that has embraced measurement and tracking of customer interactions, customers have expressed greater satisfaction with their experience resolving inquiries. USGBC is grateful to its customer base for the critical feedback they provide that drives these service enhancement initiatives.

“We’ll continue to push the bar higher,” added Chiusano. “The customer experience is central to USGBC’s existence, and we are continuously striving to make things easier for our members and customers.”