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Article : How to Write An Award Winning Entry – Corporate Awards
In this years awards we have a number of award categories for corporates. These include:
Best Contact Center (all different sizes and also in house and outsourced)
Best Customer Service
Best Outsourcing Partnership (a joint entry by outsourcer and client)
Best Sales Campaign (either an outbound or inbound campaign)
Best Direct Marketing
Best Outbound Campaign
Best Green Contact Center (social responsibility like energy saving, paperless etc)
Best Help Desk
Best Community Spirit (volunteering etc)
Best Customer Loyalty Program
Best Incentive Scheme
Best Recruitment Campaign
Best use of Self Service
Best use of Social Media in the Contact Center
-As you can see lots of great awards!
To assist you here are some things you should know about the application and judging process.
Initial stage of entry
Once you have entered your details into the awards, you select which of the awards you wish to participate in. You will see a list showing all awards you have selected
Entering is easy at this stage – there are 3 steps as you include new awards
Step 1 – Biography
We start by asking for the name of the presenter (if known) if you do not know who this might be keep the default (your details) for now
We then ask details of the primary and any secondary contacts who may co-present (you are allowed 2 presenters for any company awards).
Next we need information about the company or contact center in no more than 100 words. There are several other key pieces of information required to help us group you into the correct award categories so make sure this information is accurate.
Finally we ask for some award background information that explains why you entered the awards and what you hope to achieve.
All the above details are for background information and assigning you to the correct categories – none of this is seen by judges.
Step 2 – Award questions
Depending upon the award you have entered, you may have anywhere between 8 to 100 questions to answer. Some are check boxes, others require numbers or free format text.
In the questions we have 2 types:
2.1 Background questions
There are several questions which aid judges in getting a ‘feel’ for your company and business. These are referred to us as ‘background’ questions and judges purely use these in this manner. You are not judged on these, however the more information you can provide where we ask for detail, the better if it helps understand the background.
2.2 Judged questions
For individual awards these are questions where we ask you to share information about your achievements, strategies and successes. These are where you really need to shine.
2.3 How judges score each entry
Firstly, it is important that judges do not know who you are or the name of the company you work for – this avoids potential bias. Second, the judges who score entrants from your region are in a completely different part of the world and it is unlikely the judge will have had any contact with your organization at any time. Third, judges are randomly assigned entrants and several judges score the same entrant and averages taken to finalise the scores.
Judges are given a rating system to score entrants. They rate each question you answer (except background questions) with the following system
A judge will rate your entry based on this system. There is a N/A should an answer not be relevant for any reason. As you will notice, judges are looking for entries that exceed expectations and entrants who consistently are rated this way by judges are the ones who typically get chosen to participate in the regional awards conference.
To assist us, Judges also add comments from time to time using the link Judge: please add any comments that would be relevant
Now onto some good and not so good examples of actual award submissions
Entry for Best Incentive Scheme
Question: What was the scheme?
We've proposed the incentive scheme as a bonus, as we were implementing an inbound sales project and we needed to have successful results. We were interested in reaching the targets requested by the client in a short period of time. It consisted in 3 IPod Shuffle for the top 3 performers in the team. We've assessed the team's results, by closely monitoring them for 3 months. At the end of the 3 months, we've evaluated the top 3 performers and rewarded them as established in the beginning.
Question: What were the results of the incentive scheme?
Individual and team performance increased in all areas measured (same metrics used in all contact centres). The over-all results are more impressive....
We’ve achieved telephone service levels above 90% with abandon rate of only 2.7%, an improvement from 69% and over 5% respectively. Email service levels are consistently 100% (percent answered within 48 hours), and practically answered in real-time (within minutes to hours of customer sending), an improvement from email backlogs of several weeks. Customer Satisfaction levels (as measured by 3rd party company) are 96% satisfied and 82% very satisfied. Employee satisfaction was measured to be 75%, with 82% indicating they’d recommend our department to friends as a good place to work. While this was not measured before the incentive program, common sentiment was that employees were bored and did not like their jobs
Examples - Entry for Best Customer Service
Question: In concluding your entry, please add any additional information on what makes your customer service outstanding from others?
Our operation is providing service to fiber internet users , for that reason especially teams giving technical support have higher technical skills than any contact secrets teams. Since our corporate client was trying to set up developements after a merger and CRM upgrade, we deal with a lot of problems during giving customer service. Despite all bottlenecks, we work on continuous improvement as the whole team. All our staff is conscious about the importance of good customer experience. We are proud of that , if we have the opportunity to present ourselves, we can show it for sure
We have spent the last 2 years as an organization, taking calculated risks, pushing the envelope and moving the skills of the entire workforce to new levels. Our understanding about call centers, e-commerce and how to compete on a Global scale has increased dramatically moving taking culture to a place where we all love to work, our customers appreciate and value our products and services and opportunity is created for all. This was all done by improving employee skills, facilitating fluid communication throughout the company, and learning more about our customers. Our social media presence, speaking engagements, public relations, etc were instrumental to our growing notoriety, with major stories in CBS Evening News TV, The White House blog, and numerous mentions all year. While we won numerous awards this year, the ones we are most proud of were AMA Marketer of the Year, National Call Center of the Year, and the Houston Chronicle’s Best Place to Work.
• 2009 was the first time any single individual sold over $1MM for the year. This year we had over 5 individuals achieve this status.
• Customer service call volume has decreased due to increases in skill development, process efficiencies and vendor performance/accountability.
• Coaching at all levels increased dramatically resulting in double digit conversion rates (as high as 50% in some cases), decreases in refunds, and increases in customer satisfaction letters specifically stating their happiness with their overall "experience".
o One customer said, "I can say that the experience is proven worthy to set as a benchmark to all other companies who do business on the Internet. I can't be more pleased with all aspects of the purchase process. From selection, order processing, communication, delivery and instructions. You should be proud of this accomplishment. Thanks again for a great experience."
o Another suggested, "I am completely satisfied with my experience. Lots of choices and good products. You could open a side business teaching other companies how to conduct customer service.<strong >
Very Good Entry
(Company) has rated our company #1 in Customer Loyalty in our industry for 13 consecutive years. Company X rated our company #1 in Customer Service in our industry (November 2010).
(Company) Experience Index is published publicly and rates us in the top two in our industry for service.
Company Y has rated our service in the top two in our industry each of the last four years.
Each of these external ratings are published publicly.
We also participate in a variety of other external assessments of service capabilities, and compare results to build cross-study correlations, anchoring them against our common metrics to validate the correlations.
For example, we have seen a strong correlation between those customers who indicate they will recommend our company to a friend on our service satisfaction surveys and higher levels of actual card usage, purchase behaviors, and higher balances.
We track "Recommend to a Friend" performance through different mechanisms, including an after-call survey delivered via the IVR system and also via our quarterly (name) study that surveys customer attitudes about their overall relationship and satisfaction with our brand.
For a longer range view, according to our IVR customer survey, between September 2007 and April 2010 we:
• Significantly decreased the percentage of those not likely to recommend us to others (those giving a score of 1-3 on our five point scale) from 28.23% to 6.77%
• Significantly increased our "5" ratings from 65.24% to 85.75%
So, key to your success
As you will see the differences are stark between poor entries and exceptional ones. Judges like to see hard concrete results not just words. They like to see strategies and cutting edge practices not the norm. So, to stand out make sure you cover all the key questions we ask – not just with lots of words, but best practices!
If you have supporting documents attach them where relevant but remember to strike out any company names or personal names in documents.
And, only where we specifically ask, use your name and company name – all other answers make sure you delete or remove your company and personal name and replace with ‘company’ or similar so it still makes sense.
Lastly, it’s easy to add documents to your submission, however do not rely on them alone or make them long to read – if you provide a 10 page document when a 1 page document will do, you could lose the attention of the judge.
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About Raj Wadhwani:
After leaving Kings College in London with a degree in Physics, Raj Wadhwani, President of ContactCenterWorld.com, spent his early years in a sales & marketing role with market leaders such as Unilever & Lafarge. In 1996 he set up his own call center consultancy & training company. Over the next 3 years his company won awards for customer care, he trained hundreds of managers from major corporations on how to manage their call centers and advised corporations on strategy & performance management. In 1999 he set up CallCenterWorld.com and changed the name to ContactCenterWorld.com in 2001
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Published: Saturday, December 24, 2011