Five ECCCSA tips from LEGO’s Steven Lee
LEGO’s Director of Business Operations EMEA is a judge for the 2019 European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards. Steven Lee has worked in the contact centre industry for over 20 years and in 2016 his operation won an ECCCSA for Medium Sized Contact Centre of the Year. This year Steven was one of the judges for the ECCCSAs, so we caught up with him to find out more about his judging experience where he gave us five tips to share.
“Having been through the nomination process before, I was keen to get a different perspective,” he says. “I was very curious about what it was like on the other side of the process and was looking for inspiring professional development. What better way than to join the other judges on the ECCCSAs!
“I was amazed by the judging process back in 2016 but seeing it from the judge’s viewpoint, I stand even more impressed. It is an extremely thorough approach, from the comprehensive review of the written nominations and reading through the further evidence that companies provide, through to the face-to-face judging.
“Working with at least one other judge on every visit means you get to share observations, challenge each other and spa with them so that you get to the real detail behind the nomination you’re judging. Whether doing a site visit or listening as part of the judging panel, you get into the nitty gritty, then have an opportunity to stand back and reflect before scoring against a predefined criterion. On top of that, it is not just based on one judges’ opinion, but it is a true 360o review. My goodness, it’s robust! It gave me enormous comfort that this really is a credible process.”
Judging across boundaries
“The ECCCSAs provide such a breadth of categories that everyone that has delivered a specific area of improvement can enter, no matter how large or small. Of course, with the awards being pan-European you can benchmark yourself across boundaries. This can be challenging when you take into consideration the cultural aspects, but at the end of the day as a judge you’re still looking for organisations that have made a positive difference to their customers, their colleagues and their business performance.
“The investment that is made in the judging process really sets it apart from the other awards programmes in the industry. Enabling judges to do site visits across Europe is not cheap, but it is really worth it. As judges, after reading the written nomination we can ‘smell the air’! The written entry gives us a vision of what to expect and then we go and validate that vision. And because the judges are all from the industry, we properly understand the realities and the challenges that the customer contact operations are experiencing.”
Long live voice
“Like many other contact centre leaders, I am watching the growth and advancement of technology in our space. So, it was great to see first hand that contact centres are being quick to adopt innovations such as artificial intelligence and bots to drive up the customer journey. Seeing it in practice is a nirvana.
“Of course, that doesn’t mean that technology will take over voice. On the contrary, the evidence suggests that voice is continuing to grow, and digital has not come close to taking over. It was a great reminder that businesses need to continue to invest in frontline people, giving them transferable skills. The people within a customer service operation have incredible emotional intelligence to manage the complexity of the conversations and personalities that they have to deal with every day.”
Five tips for entering the ECCCSAs
“If you’re looking to enter the ECCCSAs next year, here are my five tips:
- Commit. If you’re going to enter, do it well. You get much more from the process if you put the effort in from the outset. If you are not successful, commit to learning more about the winning stories.
- Reflect. You should be taking time to reflect on the progress you have made in your operation anyway, but with things moving so rapidly we often don’t have time. Entering the ECCCSAs is a compelling reason to give you time to do that reflection.
- Engage. Try not to make it a management project; involve your teams, encourage them to contribute and get everyone behind it. If you are a finalist or win, involve everyone when you celebrate. This is a brilliant engagement tool.
- Articulate. I would recommend you find a good writer in your team that can articulate your story well and if you’re fortunate enough to be a finalist then take time to present your story to someone outside of the function so that you can be challenged further before facing the judges.
- Play back. Whether you reach the finals or not, play back the story with the evidence you gather to show your teams just how far you have come. Use it to raise the profile of the customer contact operation in the business and a platform for investment.
What to expect
Meet our Media Partners