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Acu-Shield Financial Recognized for Call Center Customer Satisfaction Excellence


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 7 February 2006 — Acu-Shield Financial has been recognized for call center operation customer satisfaction excellence under the J.D. Power and Associates Certified Call Center Program.SM This distinction acknowledges a strong commitment by Acu-Shield’s call center operation to provide an outstanding customer service experience.

Acu-Shield’s call center operations handled 46,435 telephone, e-mail and fax interactions in 2005 from its call center in San Diego, Calif. The call center operation successfully passed a detailed audit of its recruiting, training, employee incentives, management roles and responsibilities, and quality assurance capabilities. In addition, J.D. Power and Associates conducted a random survey of Acu-Shield customers who recently contacted its call center. For certification status, a call center must perform within the top 20 percent of customer service, based on J.D. Power and Associates’ cross-industry customer satisfaction research.

“Acu-Shield’s call center operations far surpassed the rigorous standards of the certification process, demonstrating the company’s strong commitment to providing customers with a consistent, positive experience with its call centers,” said Steve Kirkeby, senior director of the telecommunications practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Customer interactions with a call center can have a profound and lasting impact on overall customer satisfaction and loyalty. Acu-Shield has created a highly customer-focused culture that stresses the importance of meeting customer needs at every touch point opportunity. Acu-Shield customers give particularly high ratings to both its customer service representatives.”

The evaluation criteria used during the survey include: courtesy of the customer service representative (CSR); knowledge of the CSR; the CSR’s concern for the customer questions and/or problem; usefulness of the information provided; convenience of customer service operating hours; ease of getting through to a CSR; and the timely resolution of the customer’s problem, question or request. Certification is valid for one year.

“We are very enthused at becoming certified by J.D. Power and Associates as this exemplifies our hard work and dedication in providing clients with a positive, consistent customer service experience,” said Karen Wantke, Project Lead and Customer Service Director at ACU-SHIELD. “Our team has always excelled at providing excellent customer service and vocalizing ideas and suggestions to the company that would improve the experiences of clients. This certification is the staff’s recognition for their commitment, valuable work and consistent input over the years.”

The Call Center Certification Program was launched by J.D. Power and Associates in 2004 to evaluate overall customer satisfaction and help call centers in various industries increase their efficiency and effectiveness by establishing best practices for handling service calls.

There are more than 75,000 call centers in North America and an estimated 125,000 worldwide that help customers with product and service questions across a multitude of industries, ranging from credit cards, financial services, investment services, utilities, service warranty and insurance to telecommunications, healthcare and office products.

J.D. Power and Associates is currently evaluating call centers across a variety of industries to determine if they are eligible for certification.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. The firm’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, BusinessWeek and McGraw-Hill Education. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 37 countries. Sales in 2004 were $5.3 billion. Additional information is available at

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates.


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