Winners Stories: External recognition important for Affinity Water
The Head of Customer Strategy and Experience at Affinity Water was delighted when they won Best Customer Insight Initiative at the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards in 2018. We asked Katy Taqvi to share their story to help people that are thinking about entering this year. This is what she said.
“It’s really important to us as a business and for our customers to receive such recognition externally by such a prestigious awards organisation,” she starts. “It also provides an important message for our people, being recognised for all the hard work they do day in, day out.”
The winning project
Project Revolution is about transforming the customer experience, both internal and external, changing the way that Affinity Water works from a paper and calls-based customer experience to a multi-channel one.
“We wanted to provide a customer service aligned to that of the retail sector,” Katy goes on to say. “Underpinning Project Revoluton is the use of invaluable customer insight to evaluate our customer journeys. By delving into verbatim feedback from multiple sources we were able to identify and validate suggestions for improving the customer experience. We were able to create a simple hit list of the journeys we wanted to target and set about making a difference.
The results that helped Affinity Water win the award included seeing complaints massively reduce across the board, a 30% reduction in calls, and an over 50% reduction in unwanted contact.
“Although we have transformed the online experience, we hadn’t invested in digital technology like others had. We simply listened to our customers, analysed the journeys that they were experiencing with us and were empowered to make the necessary changes to improve their experience.”
The experience of being judged
“To be honest, the process was really enjoyable!” admits Katy. “We loved reflecting on the progress we’d made when creating our entry, and we were excited to share our story as part of the process. The judging itself was professional and very well organised.
“For me, it was a great opportunity to reflect on just how far we’d come and acknowledge the difference we’d been making for our people and for our customers. For our organisation, it was a great chance to showcase externally among a variety of businesses and industries, and benchmark ourselves.”
After winning the award, Affinity Water shared the great news with the company and beyond.
“Winning gave our people a real boost. This sort of recognition is invaluable in supporting the hard work that happens within the organisation.”
Advice for 2019 nominations
We asked Katy what advice she would give people looking to nominate for the ECCCSAs in 2019. This is what she said:
“Stay focused on the category you’re entering, look for as much real evidence as possible and gather a wide-ranging group of individuals within your organisation to help develop your entry to capture the full range of views and achievements.
“If you get through to the presentation stage, prepare thoroughly and practice lots beforehand. Prepare for every technical glitch possible and take lots of adapters/speakers etc with you. If something doesn’t work on the day as expected, keep calm and do your best. Take paper copies in case, too. Anticipate questions that you may be asked.
“Have confidence in your ability and have fun!”
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