Article : Les Blacker Shares His Experience at ContactCenterWorld's Awards
What made you enter the 2013 awards in the first place?
We have done so much in our centre over the last year and wanted to share our approach, results and how we created a truly great place to work, with other professionals within our industry.
What were you hoping to achieve in the process? Was it recognition? Benchmarking? Something else or a combination of things?
A combination of both, my people I think need to see that there hard work is recognised at an industry high standard and from a selfish point of view it was also great to have the chance to see if we could bench mark our approach and results against others within our industry and geographic.??
When you were invited to be a finalist, what was your reaction and how did you share this with your co-workers?
We were immensely proud to be short-listed and our achievement was shared across our communication channels across UK and Europe. On site, we covered within our employee rep forum first followed by team briefings on why we had been short-listed.??
You were asked to prepare a presentation, how did you decide what to include and what to share?
This was really difficult, not in terms of content to include but more what to exclude! We have executed exceptionally well many key elements that we believe have made our centre a truly exceptional place to work and one that delivers consistently and surpasses our clients expectations and being honest , 15 mins presentation time really focuses you on the stand out activities. ??
Can you share with our readers a couple of ideas you presented at the conference and how you apply those in your center?
I think as I covered in presentation, there is no one silver bullet, however 2 ideas that are very transferrable are being clear about your measures of success and how your team are lined up to both understand, execute and deliver these and a second is the investment and clarity needed to show that your people you are serious about their career development and how you are going to develop them (in a truly great industry).
How did you feel about sharing with your peers – including those competing against you?
I have no problem with this, we need to share best practice and if this helps raise the standard in our industry that can only be a good thing!
How would you describe the value of the conference to someone who has never been before – especially someone coming just to hear best practices?
The conference and CCW organisation are outstanding at drawing great professionals from across the globe to share best practice, distill this into actionable hints that in most cases can be easily replicated in our forward thinking centres. A great place to learn, share and network.
How did you feel before and after presenting?
Nervous but in a healthy way, as you are presenting to your industry peers, however everyone feels the same way, when you speak to each other. Afterwards, pleased to have had the opportunity, a little disappointed I was about 10 seconds over-running, but will know to refine that for the world finals!
What do you think makes this award process valuable?
Without a doubt the opportunity to measure yourself against your peers, but more importantly the ability to then celebrate your success, whether that’s getting short-listed, being a finalist, winning bronze, silver or gold, all are opportunities to make your people feel proud of their contribution to your business success.
How would you describe the gala dinner?
A great evening with like-minded people, who both know the industry well, but also can have a good time (some of the dancing was great, but the Harlem shake was side splittingly funny!).
As a GOLD winner, how did you feel being called on stage to receive your award?
Immensely proud to be representing the hard work and achievements of all my people and our business.
How did you celebrate your win at your company?
As per my earlier answer on our short-listing, but additionally we had a champions party at a local venue and celebrated with 200 of the team into the early hours of the morning (some of our team know how to celebrate!).
How has entering and winning this award changed your company and motivation?
Yes, I believe we have instilled pride in our whole UK and European business and increased motivation not just in terms of being happy in work, but a consolidated desire to keep on improving and changing to be successful in the future (not just now).
Now you are eligible to compete against the Best in the World in Las Vegas – how do you feel about that and how are you planning for this?
I am really proud to have the opportunity to represent my centre, business and now region at these prestigious awards; I am currently tweaking my presentation (to come in one time!) and hoping a couple of my colleagues will be joining me at the event.
Any final comments you would like to share about the whole process?
I think we are all busy people, who could very easily find a million reasons why we don’t have time to complete this process, whether that’s the submission, preparing presentations, travelling to conferences, however seeing your people faces and pride at being recognised as great within our industry is worth its weight in gold and well worth the effort!
You and your company can learn from industry leaders on how to increase performance and productivity, avoid HR challenges, improve customer service and much more. Don't miss out on this amazing learning and networking opportunity!
Visit www.ContactCenterWorld.com/conferences for conferences. For more information on how you can take part in this prestigious and sought after awards program for the best of the best in the industry visit
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Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013