If you want to apply for the UK National Contact Centre Awards but are feeling stumped by a blank entry form, here are some top tips on how to convey the amazing achievements of your people and teams over the past year.
1. You can enter in minutes – but you’ll want to get input from others
There are only 2 written questions to answer for each category this year, but you will still want to leave enough time to get input from around the business.
2. Involve your team
After all, they know what they’ve acheived as well as anyone else
3. Give proof – Evidence, evidence, evidence
Keep statements factual, as this will help with the credibility of your entry. For example, instead of saying: “We have an excellent training programme, say: ‘our new training programme has contributed to our customer satisfaction increasing by 20% since the programme began.” Statistics are important, but remember that customer service is about people – so try to mention your teams as often as possible and what they think about the initiatives or individuals your entry focuses on.
4. Link it back to the customer
They’re at the heart of everything we all do
5. Be personable and avoid acronyms
Approach your entry in the same way you approach customer service and remember we dont know your business or the acronyms you use.
6. Think carefully about which category you want to enter
Don’t just go for the one you like the sound of. Think about what your main achievements have been and play to your strengths by entering the most relevant category. Also, bear in mind that you will need hard, quantifiable results to really wow the judges, so if you can’t find these, then it could be that you’re entering the wrong category.
7. Be focused
The temptation is to tell the judges about everything you’ve done that is fantastic, but you will usually end up with a confused entry that doesn’t stick to the criteria. Tell the judges about your best and most valuable achievements in a clear, consistent way. It’s a bit more difficult as you’re answering questions, but if you can, try and tell a story in your entry. For example, the reason for the initiative is the beginning, the middle is how you implemented it and the ending is the results you have gained.
8. Don’t forget the customer!
It’s essential that you make it clear to the judges the effect the individual or initiative has had on customers – including customer testimonials is incredibly powerful – but just choose the best two or three, don’t overload the judges.
9. Presentation, spelling and grammar
It sounds obvious, but it’s difficult to overstate how important this is. I have seen judges who want to disqualify entries simply because they have lots of spelling mistakes or are not clear in their presentation. Make sure you have built time into your entry process to get it proofed by at least two different people. Try reading the answers to the questions in your entry aloud to a friend or relative – if it makes sense to them, it will definitely make sense when read on paper.
10. Supporting material
Don’t overload judges with this and make sure that it is used to back up your entry. For example if you have talked about your team building events, supply photos of these, but not too many. If you’ve talked about your people, attaching photos of them will help give you entry personality and the judges are more likely to buy into your company.
For additional information on the UK National Contact Centre Awards or to enter Click Here
Nominations close on Friday 23rd February.
Chief Executive of the Call Centre Management Association in the UK and President of the European Confederation of Contact Centre Organisations (ECCCO). Ann-Marie is also chair of the judges for the European Contact Centre and Customer Services Awards.