2018’s Customer Contact Innovation Award Winners Announced


SIX organisations won prestigious innovation awards for outstanding initiatives that are making customer operations great places to work and transforming the experience of customers.

The overall winner was HomeServe, with individual awards taken by ADT Fire & Security, BT, Financial Services Compensation Scheme, RS Components and Sainsbury’s Bank.

HomeServe were the big winners at the event

HomeServe were the big winners at the event

Organised by The Forum, these sought-after awards celebrate and benchmark excellence in the industry. The awards, together with three Forum Heroes, were presented at The Forum’s Customer Strategy & Planning conference in Harrogate on 24th April, where each talked about how they achieved their outstanding results.

Also, The Forum organises opportunities to see them and learn more during their best-practice site visit programme during the summer and autumn. Detailed case studies are also available from The Forum.

The Innovation of the Year 2018 award was won by HomeServe, an organisation centred on people and customers. In achieving commercial success and building community engagement, frontline teams re-connected with the organisation’s purpose, to rebuild trust. Marked out by judges as one of the best entries they’ve ever seen, this is a story everyone can learn from and be inspired by. HomeServe was also presented with the Innovation Award for Social Transformation.

“CustomerFirst is the most important mechanism. When computer says no, it’s for them to say yes,” explains Greg Reed, CEO.

“It gives everyone power to do something for the customer that they wouldn’t otherwise,” added Gary Hilton, Retention Team Manager.

The winners were selected by a team which included 10 experienced industry practitioners, many of them previous winners or finalists. Judges visited each of the shortlisted organisations, and then assessed them against a strict set of criteria.

“Every year, our judges tell us how much they learn from and are inspired by the judging site visits, and this year was no exception,” explained Nicola Callan, Director at The Forum.

“Our 2018 theme – Be Your Personal Best – is about focus, training and teamwork. As professionals we can learn and share – continually striving for excellence and raising standards. I encourage you to take time to learn from the stories of all the finalists, not just these brilliant winners.”

“We look forward to meeting you at our June site visits and to hearing your success stories as the year progresses.”

Five further awards recognised innovation in specific areas:

The Innovation Award for Enterprise Planning was awarded to ADT Fire & Security, for delivering a step change in performance and accountability, creating a joined-up culture that shouts out “one team, one business”. A collaborative approach and brilliant use of data has engaged frontline engineers. Moreover, the planning team’s skills are now in high demand across the business.

ADT Fire & Security won The Innovation Award for Enterprise Planning

ADT Fire & Security won The Innovation Award for Enterprise Planning

The Innovation Award for Insight and Improvement was won by BT, who brought data together to generate insight from disjointed sources. This sets managers and team leaders free to lead and manage, with high-value coaching conversations that have real purpose and focused outcomes. It’s a federation of information that drives actionable insight!

BT won The Innovation Award for Insight and Improvement

The Innovation Award for Achieving Customer Excellence was gained by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, who transformed customer and colleague experience, with a new ‘customer mindset’, linked to commercial realism and effective process. This is underpinned by remarkable use of insight to drive decision-making – and a massive shift from ‘supplier’ to ‘partner’ relationships with outsourcers!

Financial Services Compensation Scheme won The Innovation Award for Achieving Customer Excellence

Financial Services Compensation Scheme won The Innovation Award for Achieving Customer Excellence

The Innovation Award for Enabling Learning was won by RS Components for demonstrating how a contact centre support team can power change in the organisation, putting ‘growth’ not ‘performance’ at the heart of the culture, personally and professionally. A passion for learning exudes across the business, their infectious energy building success on success.

RS Components won The Innovation Award for Enabling Learning

Lastly, Sainsbury’s Bank swept away with The Innovation Award for Collaboration & Improvement. The culture in this operation allows everyone to work at the top of their capability. By making full use of insight and driving change, everyone, from frontline agents to marketing and risk, is committed and empowered to champion excellence in customer service in pursuit of the brand’s success.

Sainsbury’s Bank won The Innovation Award for Collaboration & Improvement

Sainsbury’s Bank won The Innovation Award for Collaboration & Improvement

Forum Hero Awards

Forum Hero awards were presented to three outstanding customer professionals, active in our Customer Strategy & Leadership Forum, recognising their exceptional personal contribution in developing professionalism and best practice. They join our growing rank of heroes, reflecting excellence at all levels in our profession.

The 2018 Heroes are:

Jasmeet Narang, Director, Santander Operations
Phil Coole, Senior Operational Planning Manager, LV= Insurance
Richard Brimble, Managing Director, Understanding & Learning

To find out more about The Forum, visit: theforum.social

For more insight into what the overall winners HomeServe do really well, read our article: 12 Ideas Taken From HomeServe’s Contact Centre

Published On: 25th Apr 2018 - Last modified: 1st May 2018
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