Anatomy of an award-winner

The CCMA’s prestigious European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards are once again nearly upon us – albeit in a slightly different format to previous years!

We are once again proud sponsors of this event, which we feel is vital in helping promote excellence in our industry. Alongside sponsoring and presenting awards, we have also had the honour to take part in the judging process.

Here, our very own Martin Teasdale looks at what makes a successful entry.

The anatomy of a winner

Tip 1 – Stay focused

Making sure everyone involved with your entry has a complete understanding of what’s required by the judges is critical to making sure you show the best version of yourself and your organisation. Make sure you focus fully on how you delivered excellence within the category you’ve been nominated for.

This may be especially challenging for contact centres nominated for several categories but remember that different judges will judge different categories so concentrate on telling the story that relates to that award.

Tip 2 – Understand the entry process

Focus on deadlines, give yourself plenty of time to prepare your response. Read all the requirements, re-read them! Make sure you’re answering the brief with concise, easy to understand responses, get rid of any jargon and acronyms.

Share the great news about the entry and ask the right people in your organisation to endorse you and get their buy-in to fulfil the awards entry to the best of your collective ability.

Tip 3 – Show the improvement

Gathering the evidence that shows how you’re driving positive change and improvement is key to proving the effect you’ve had as an individual or team within your organisation. Benchmark the before and after to show the efficiencies delivered, the money saved and the metrics improved, this helps the judges to understand the impact of your work.

Supplying a balanced view is also important – think about what could have gone even better. What mistakes did you make, and what did you learn from them? Explain how you’re going to sustain the changes you’ve delivered.

Tip 4 – Focus on the Human Element

An authentic story, which details the positive outcomes for the people who have been affected by the work you’re using to support your entry is key to helping the judges understand your business, and the positive impacts you’ve made.

Build your story alongside the metrics, discuss the impact to stakeholders, colleagues and customers, use testimonials and feedback to highlight the successes. Be explicit in how this drives your business, and the contact centre industry forward.

One of the best ways of showing the Human Element of your entry is to let your colleagues, or even your customers, tell that story for you!

Tip 5 – Practice makes perfect

When people get nervous, or aren’t used to presentations, there is a tendency to waffle. Make sure you practice both your presentation and your timings. The judges will ask you to stop if you go over the allocated time, but there will also be time for questions as the judges will need to make sure they have all the information they need to assess your nomination.

If you are presenting online – increasingly likely in the current climate – then also practice using whichever online platform has been agreed for the presentation. Make sure you know how to swap presenters, show slides, play video, contribute to the Q&A – and, of course, how to unmute yourself!

Tip 6 – Have fun!

Remember that being nominated and presenting the case for your contact centre is an amazing experience. Show the judges how passionate you are about the team or project, why you have entered and what you are celebrating. Be proud!