In recent years I’ve been privileged to be involved as a judge of the European Call Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSA) and to attend the Gala night where the winners are announced and recognised for their achievements. Along with Stuart Dorman of Sabio, I was judging the ‘Best Company for Customer Service’ – in my opinion, the most important category of the Awards!
When we visit the short-list of finalists – this year 6 of them – we are looking for a real commitment to delivering excellence and we assess this through listening to calls; through exploring measures and data; through talking to front-line agents, team leaders and managers. Do they measure what the customer feels? Do they act on it? Are customer-facing staff continuously developed to deliver better and better experiences? Are people recognised and rewarded for the experience they deliver? Does the business learn from what the customer says?
This last point – treating the contact centre as a rich source of customer feedback – is something that shines through now at the best centres.
Another indicator of how truly committed a company is to the customer is whether management actually listen to customer calls…amazingly many don’t!
This year’s excellent winner of Best Company for Customer Service was Chain Reaction Cycles – a business based outside of Belfast – that is the world’s largest online bike retailer! It had been a difficult decision as we had been very impressed by all finalists as we travelled from Istanbul to Dundee and Hamburg to Abingdon!
I congratulate all six finalists whom we selected from over 30 entries based upon their submission and all of whom demonstrated some great customer service characteristics when we visited them. Our Silver Award went to Turkcell Global Bilgi who impressed us immensely and made the final decision not an easy one.
Chain Reaction Cycles or CRC are now known to all of us who followed the recent Tour of Britain but they aren’t just known by their customers – they are loved by their customers – as was demonstrated by the glowing testimonials they could show us. In summary, management empower; team leaders motivate and develop; enabling front-line staff to deliver excellence. Well done – I know where I will be buying my next bike from!