What made you enter the 2013 awards in the first place?
At Sage Pastel Accounting we continuously aim to function as a world class Contact Centre and provide our customers with an extraordinary customer experience on every interaction we have with them. By attending the Best Practices and Networking event and by competing against world class Contact Centres in the EMEA regions will not only assist us to benchmark ourselves against these top Contact Centres but also to gain Best Practice ideas to further enhance our service delivery.?
What were you hoping to achieve in the process? Was it recognition? Benchmarking? Something else or a combination of things?
We had several objectives we wanted to achieve. Firstly for Benchmarking purposes, secondly innovative ideas that could enhance our customer experience when calling our Contact Centre and then lastly definitely for recognition purposes as well. By winning the Gold Medal for Best Help Desk it proves to everyone in our Contact Centre that the hard work and dedication put into every single day is worth it.
When you were invited to be a finalist, what was your reaction and how did you share this with your co-workers?
We were really excited about the news and we knew that it’s the first step in achieving our objectives we set out to achieve when we decided to enter for the awards. We have a monthly meeting where the entire company is present. The Contact Centre was congratulated by our Managing Director, Mr. Steven Cohen. That definitely already made every member of the Contact Centre extremely proud.
You were asked to prepare a presentation, how did you decide what to include and what to share?
Preparing the Presentation was equally as fun as it was challenging. It’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on your Contact Centre successes and initiatives and it made me realise that we truly run a World Class Contact Centre. It made me feel extremely proud of everything we’ve achieved in the past year. What made the Presentation’s preparation challenging was to decide what needed to be included and what not because everything we do is valuable but you only had 15 minutes to share your ideas and thoughts. It was a lot of time and effort spent on it and well worth it in the end. Gold!
Can you share with our readers a couple of ideas you presented at the conference and how you apply those in your center?
I don’t want to give too much details away. I would like to share a lot more details at the Conference in Las Vegas instead. www.contactcenterworld.com/conferences. For details about our awards, www.ContactCenterWorld.com/worldawards
As a sneak peak I’ll provide you with one example.
The Technology you use in your Contact Centre should be aligned to how it affects your Customer’s experience. An example of this within our Contact Centre is our IVR system. We have Customer Pin numbers for every customer and we use this to categorise and identify our customers when they call the Contact Centre. Customers calling more than once in the same day are categorised as a higher priority with a potential recurring problem and they will be routed to the front of the queue to a more senior consultant. Our agents answering these calls get an automatic screen pop with the customer’s details pre-populated in order to save time and effort from the customer’s point of view.
How did you feel about sharing with your peers – including those competing against you?
The Conference and Awards are not just about competing and winning awards. It’s about sharing Best Practices and building a solid network of Contact Centre Professionals. It’s an event to promote the Contact Centre industry as a whole and to showcase and celebrate the Industry. In South Africa I don’t feel that the Contact Centre Industry carries the same prestige as in other countries. I feel that the Conference as a whole will help us promote the Contact Centre Industry in South Africa more and prove that it’s a lucrative career for young individuals to pursue.
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 fact that you hear from Contact Centres from all over Africa, Europe and the Middle East should already give you an idea of the wide spectrum of Best Practices you expect to gain. Something that truly inspired me personally was the passion and enthusiasm of all the Delegates at the Conference. It’s an experience I’d like all Contact Centre Professionals and Agents to experience as it just makes you feel so proud and inspired to be part of a Contact Centre.
How did you feel before and after presenting?
I had mixed emotions on the morning of my first presentation as it was the first time I ever presented or participated at such an event. I was definitely nervous but at the same time felt extremely confident and excited to do my presentation. I’m a very competitive individual and I remember telling myself "Make it happen" when I stepped onto the stage.
I was definitely relieved and even more excited after my presentation. I think realising that it was over and a success made me feel a sense of accomplishment and I felt proud to represent my company.
What do you think makes this award process valuable?
The award process brings multiple valuable aspects into play. The recognition your Contact Centre receives is more valuable than anything else you can imagine. As a Contact Centre Professional you build an International Network of Professionals who can support you and offer opinions on any new challenges you face in your Contact Centre. The amount of experience around you amongst all of these Professionals are invaluable.
How did you celebrate your win at your company?
Apart from all the hugs and congratulation emails from my colleagues we again were congratulated by our Managing Director at our monthly company meeting. Our CEO of Sage South Africa also came to personally congratulate our Contact Centre.
How has entering and winning this award changed your company and motivation?
By winning the Gold Award for Best Help Desk it confirms that the Contact Centre is headed in the right direction and that all the hard work pays off. This has motivated everyone in the Contact Centre to perform even better and now to raise the bar to new heights. The recognition and sense of accomplishment has filtered down from Top Management to Agent level and it’s raised energy levels and morale immensely.
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?
We are extremely excited about the prospect of competing at the Best in the World event in Las Vegas. We believe that we are good enough to win Gold at this event as well and all that is required is to bring our best presentation to this event to make this possible.
We are using the presentation and information from the EMEA Regional event as our base but we will be enhancing and improving this to meet the standards at the Best in the World event. You can definitely expect the best and one amazing presentation at the event. Sage Pastel Accounting are definitely "the new kids on the block" in the world arena but we are ready to Rock and Roll in Vegas.
Any final comments you would like to share about the whole process?
As a first time attendee, I would strongly recommend anyone in the Contact Centre industry to attend the Conference. I believe this experience will transform the way you think about and see Contact Centre’s as a whole.
Sage is a FTSE 100 company in the North East. Even though we've become a global company, we're still rooted in the North East, with our head quarters in Newcastle where around 1,500 of our people work. 6.2 million companies around the world use Sage products and services across 100 countries. We’re a company that lives and breathes business. Not just our own, but our customers’ businesses too. What makes us different is our people and our passionate commitment to doing what’s right for our customers, going the extra mile and exceeding their every expectation. We do this because we care. Because we care about business. Because we want our customers to be successful and to be able to do things the way they want to do them. We live and breathe business. Every day. That’s what we do.
# ContactCenterWorld ContactCenterWorld is The Global Association for Contact Center & Customer Engagement Best Practices. Today we have over 215,000 corporate 'individual' members have joined the association's website 'ContactCenterWorld.com'. We were established in 1999. www.contactcenterworld.com
Published: Thursday, August 8, 2013
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