Six CX Leader of the Year applicants scoop special awards


Six applicants to CX Leader of the Year have received special recognition for their achievements in fields including culture, CX evangelism and customer insight. 

17th Nov 2021

Receiving nearly 150 applications, the 2021 CX Leader of the Year programme has been the most highly contested in its three year history. 

And it wasn't just the quantity that impressed. The quality of this year's entrants was also higher than ever - making the job of judging the applications a monumental task!

Because of the supremly high quality, the decision was made the expand the number of finalists from 25 in the two previous years, to 30 in 2021, giving us the opportunity to champion the sterling work of more of our fabulous applicants. 

The ultimate winner was Sri Safitri of Telkom Indonesia, with another five receiving highly commended status from our judges. 

But this year it was felt that special recognition should also go to a number of customer experience professionals that had demonstrated excellence in particular CX fields within their applications. 

For this reason, and for the first time in the competition's history, in addition to crowning the CXLOTY winner we are also announcing six special awards for the following applicants:

Nicki Osborne, M&G - Compassion Award

The coronavirus pandemic has brought everyone perspective and has shone a spotlight on the brands that show empathy and compassion towards customers - especially vulnerable customers. Nicki’s work with M&G towards improving service for their vulnerable customers has been extensive and deserves special recognition.

Elaine Barnes, Cromwell - Culture Award

Elaine’s role at Cromwell from the outset has been about creating a consistent, joined-up, customer-first culture, whilst helping to build belief that everyone in the organisation can make a difference to CX.  Through a raft of initiatives including a laser-focus on customer and employee insight, Cromwell have become a case study in what’s required to build a customer-centric culture.

Aarthi Murali, M&T Bank - Evangelist Award

Through initiatives such as month-long CX Bootcamps for senior management, Aarthi was able to gain the buy-in necessary to build momentum for the bank’s customer experience programme, helping executives to learn about CX and how it would help the organisation to drive ROI. This support has helped the team to take ownership across major lines of business and build a platform for CX evolution.

Iain O'Connor, Aegon - Insight Award

Research and insights are at the very core of Iain’s work and Aegon has a rich and diverse stream of information thanks to a variety of insight programmes. These include its online research community/panel, its ‘Aegon Cares’ closed loop feedback programme, and knowledge transfer partnerships to better understand customers and their needs. But crucially Iain and his team are also working to ensure that these insights are not just numbers on a page.

Gemma Colby, Yell - Digital Transformation Award

Yell has been on a journey from being a purely print business to a purely digital business, but in the last 12 months it has evolved its digital offering dramatically through its Digital First Programme. This included a new asynchronous chat customer channel, a branded chatbot and a help centre to ensure customers have easy, reliable ways to contact them, even if they are on the go, ensuring a prompt response and query resolution.

Zatina Zakaria, Etiqa - Employee Engagement Award

Etiqa’s focus has admirably honed in on employee engagement during the disruption, to the ultimate benefit of the customer. Initiatives such as the CX Virtual Library, virtual chill sessions among staff via Zoom and CX engagement sessions with the senior management committee were just a few led by Zatina and her team and which contributed to employees staying motivated and customer-led during an incredibly difficult period.



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