These are the European Champs in our industry!
We interviewed Russell Wilson, Head of Group Contact Centres for the Markerstudy Group and an experienced judge on the European Contact Centre and Customer Services Awards, following his travels judging this years’ awards.
“I’ve been judging contact centre industry awards for more than six years,” says Russell. “I only judge on these awards and the UK National Contact Centre Awards because they have a judging process I trust, and they are the biggest and most respected in their markets.”
“The reason I do it is because I love to see how organisations are pushing boundaries to achieve brilliance. It’s a great opportunity to share ideas and see how you can do something different. The organisations that enter the ECCCSAs are really challenging the norm, so not only do I get so much from volunteering my time, but Markerstudy benefits from the ideas that I create as a result.
“There is no doubt that the ECCCSA judging process is the best in our industry. It’s not about the quality of the presentation or how well someone can present. The credibility of the judges is exceptional and as a result the finalists are challenged across all areas of the operation. You can’t hide anything from us! We ask about your approach to your people, your process and your systems, then we cross check and get into the detail.
“It’s because of this that it doesn’t matter how large or small your operation is. The small organisations are not drowned out by the big brands. The way that the judges ask the questions and the questions that we ask, puts everyone on a level playing field.”
“There is no better way to validate what you’re doing and reward your people by getting them recognised at the ECCCSAs for their outstanding work. Of course, contact centre leaders are always showing huge appreciation to their teams, but this is so much better. The impact on your people is amazing and you simply can’t mirror that.”
Having judged before, Russell gave us some insight into what he found on the judging circuit this year:
“There were two things that stood out for me. I was really impressed by the use of tech to improve the customer and colleague experience. There was plenty of evidence of innovation doing quite unbelievable things – it just goes to show that the industry across Europe really is embracing new technology.
“The second area was to see such an uplift on employee engagement programmes than in previous years, especially in colleague well-being. We all know it’s important to keep the team happy, but evidence suggests that this may have finally become more important than driving up efficiencies.”
In closing the interview, we asked Russell what advice he would give aspiring ECCCSA winners. This is what he said:
“Businesses shouldn’t hesitate to enter. If you think you’ve got a team that deserves to be recognised, then go for it. What I would say is that you need a compelling journey; you need to be able to demonstrate where you were and where you ended up, with some hard evidence. Judges want to hear the whole story and have it backed up with plenty of data!
“Let’s face it, these are the European Champs in our industry! The ECCCSAs have become ‘proper’ European awards with countries from all over Europe entering. And as for the awards evening, it never fails to wow me and is the best awards night I’ve ever been to!”
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