Cross Country Home Services CIO Named a Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader

CCHS' Chief Information Officer Joel Steigelfest and Computerworld's Executive Editor Julia King at the Premier 100 IT Leadership Conference

Cross Country Home Services Chief Information Officer Joel Steigelfest has been named to IDG’s Computerworld‘s list of 2014 Premier 100 IT Leaders. The list spotlights 100 leaders from both the technology and business sides of companies for their exceptional leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for Joel who is instrumental in helping us leverage technology to bring a seamless experience to our customers along every touch point,” said Sandra Finn, president of Cross County Home Services, a leader in cost-effective home solutions, including warranty products and maintenance plans.

Technology plays a major role in the growth and success of Cross Country Home Services, along with continued commitment to providing unmatched customer service. Steigelfest was able to balance the demands of supporting key operational business initiatives while spearheading the company’s enterprise technology platform transformation, coined “Atrium.”  The new platform will provide an improved contact and claims processing system, streamline existing processes, place focus on the end-user experience and ensure engaging user interfaces and features.  In conjunction with this initiative, Cross Country Home Services fundamentally reexamined its business processes from the ground up to create new business models and opportunities.

“The Premier 100 awards program, now in its 15th year, shines a well-deserved spotlight on a group of talented, creative and hard-working men and women who are driving technology innovation in business, education and government across the country and around the world,” said Scot Finnie, editor-in-chief of Computerworld. “Technology advances quickly, and these leaders excel at keeping pace with the changing needs of customers and employees, and making fast technology decisions that map to their organizations’ top priorities. They have developed a deep bench of talented IT staffers at their organizations and managed to keep their own skills fresh by constantly mastering new technologies and processes. We are privileged to recognize the leadership and achievements of the 2014 Premier 100 honorees.”

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How Much Could Maintaining Home Appliances and Systems Cost in 2014?

If a major home appliance or system unexpectedly breaks in 2014, do most homeowners know how much it would cost to repair or replace, and do they have the funds set aside?  According to experts at TotalProtect, a home warranty company that aims to make home ownership easier, the answer is a resounding no and it could spell trouble for many in the coming year.

“Our research shows more than 60 percent of homeowners feel that an expense of more than $2,000 would be devastating to their household finances, yet the annual cost of repairs is often much more,” said Steve Burnett, general manager and senior vice president of TotalProtect. “In addition to the financials, there is a great deal of stress that comes with finding the right service provider and trusting them to perform the job effectively and honestly.”

According to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and a Bloomberg report, the average age of consumer durable goods is the highest since 1962. This means homeowners are keeping their appliances longer than ever before – an average of 5.3 years – increasing the chance they could break from routine wear and tear.

Will These Costs Break Your Bank?

“The best way to ensure financial stability is proper planning, said Emilio Escandon, CPA, principal-in-charge of the Northeast Region Tax Practice of national accounting firm MBAF. “Setting aside a designated amount each month so you are covered in the event of a major crisis is preferable as opposed to hoping for the best and then having to incur an unplanned expense. It’s a healthy budgeting habit and provides peace of mind simultaneously.”

“A home warranty is a great option for those who want to budget throughout the year and avoid a large, unplanned expense,” added Burnett. “The truth is, things break. Homeowners should ask themselves, ‘can I withstand these costs?’ If the answer is no, now’s the time to put a new plan in place.”

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Cross Country Home Services Recognized with Gold and Bronze Customer Service Honors at 2014 Stevie® Awards

Patricia Harper (left) and Diana Conn (right) of Cross Country Home Services at the 8th annual awards Feb. 21 in Las Vegas

Cross Country Home Services Inc. (CCHS), one of the country’s leading providers of home warranty products and maintenance plans, was honored with a gold Customer Service Training Team of the Year award and a bronze Customer Service Management Team of the Year award at the eighth annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service on Feb. 21, 2014.

“Receiving this recognition from such a prestigious group of judges is a huge milestone for CCHS. Everything we do reflects the importance we place on customer service, and these awards validate our emphasis on the customer experience,” said Sandra Finn, president of Cross County Home Services.

The training team was recognized for the launch of CCHS’ innovative G.E.A.R. training program (goals, engagement, accountability, results), which allows selected employees to embark on a 12-month company immersion where they receive on-the-job training with various business units to gain a better understanding of day-to-day operations beyond their roles. The program is designed to prepare CCHS associates to become the leaders of the future.

CCHS’ management team exemplifies a spirit of true customer care that has inspired its 350 front-line associates and resulted in impressive results in increased NPS scores, a national customer service indicator based on whether customers would recommend the company to family and friends. The team truly showcased the company’s mission statement: “Do it right, first time, every time.”

More than 1,500 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition, an increase of 36 percent over 2013.  Finalists were determined by the average scores of 129 professionals worldwide, acting as preliminary judges.  Entries were considered in 43 categories for customer service and contact center achievements.

Details about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of Finalists in all categories are available at

Sponsors and supporters of the eighth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include the BusinessTalkRadio Network, Competence Call Center, and ValueSelling Associates.

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CCHS Employees Show Their Support to the American Heart Association’s Wear Red Day

Our hearts were in the right place at Cross Country Home Services this Valentine’s Day. To honor the American Heart Association’s Wear Red Day, our employees dressed in red to support AHA’s goal to raise awareness on the dangers of heart disease – the number one killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute. With an estimated 43 million women in the U.S. affected by heart disease, we want our employees at CCHS to be aware and educated and most of all, to be healthy!

Along with Wear Red Day, our employees held a fundraiser on Valentine’s Day with all proceeds donated going to the AHA. Employees had a chance to purchase flowers and teddy bears for their loved ones all while helping a good cause. It was a great way to spread some love and awareness this holiday. To learn more about Wear Red Day and the AHA’s efforts to fight heart disease in women, visit:

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CCHS Awards 11 Employees with 2013 President’s Award

Pictured left to right, back row: Sandra Finn, Wayne Malkin, Sheldon Tucker, Jose Sanchez, Kathleen Oetgen, Joe Incandela. Seated: Jennifer Howell, Pia Lanzziano, Teresa Niwore, Ed Kessinger. Not pictured: Ken Bennett, Brian Nash, Keith Hicks, Charlotte Parrott.

At CCHS, we believe our success truly depends upon the dedication and contributions of our people. Our President’s Award celebrates the achievements of our associates and their commitment to delivering on our shared values and vision.

Based on their exceptional performance, level of organizational contribution and exemplary demonstration of our core values, eleven employees have been chosen for our highest honor, our 2013 President’s Award.

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