Looking to recognise the achievements of your team, by entering a Call Centre Award?
Want to know which one is the best or which one is coming up next?
We have compiled a list of the good, the bad and the ugly of the contact centre awards……
Professional Planning Forum Contact Centre Innovation Awards
When: Shortlist announced 14th December 2010, Finalist’s presentations and awards ceremony will be held on 11th-12th April 2011 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole near the NEC.
Purpose: To celebrate and showcase innovation in the contact centre industry, and demonstrate how planning can make a real difference.
Who can enter? The awards are open to all contact centres in Europe.
Categories: Seven altogether, with an overall winner given the Contact Centre Innovation of the Year Award, and a further six recognised in specific areas such as the Public Sector, Outbound, and Customer Experience Transformation.
How to enter: An information pack containing nomination forms will be made available to download from the Professional Planning Forum’s website when the awards open.
Judging: A team of judges visits each of the 17 shortlisted organisations and judges them according to a set of strict criteria. Winners are included in a series of case studies produced by the Planning Forum, and a series of site visits are arranged to exchange knowledge.
Costs: Entry is free. A table for ten at the awards dinner and presentation evening costs £990, and extra individual places are available at £99+VAT.
Editor’s comment: This is probably the best of the call centre awards in terms of the judging process. You really get to see where the finalists have scored and if you are a member of the Planning Forum, have the added advantage of getting to go on a site visit.
European Call Centre Awards
When: Late September
Purpose: “ECCA is unique in the fact that it is able to focus on every sector within the call centre and contact centre industry.” It is 15 years old.
Who can enter? Organisations in both private and public sectors, with no limit on the number of categories entered.
Categories: Altogether 15 awards are given across individual, team and business categories including ‘Contact Centre Manager of the Year’, ‘Best Centre to work for’ and the ubiquitous ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.
How to enter: Via an online entry form
Judging: Shortlists are selected by the judges, based on information in the entry forms. At least two judges then visit each organisation.
Costs: General entry costs £150+VAT, and there is also a fee for each category entered. Based on 2010 prices, several packages for the awards presentation are available. The premium option guarantees a table for 12 in a prime position, including two bottles of champagne, six bottles of wine, six bottles of Budweiser and mineral water for £3075+VAT. The same package in a less prominent position cost £2460 this year. At the lower end of the scale, the ‘Individual’ packages gets half a bottle of wine and a bottle of Budweiser for £240+VAT.
Editor’s comment: The most prestigious of all of the call centre awards. The judging process is primarily by consultants, with limited peer review and could be more transparent.
Customer Contact Association Excellence Awards
When: Awards are launched early February. Submissions must be in by late May, and shortlists are announced in late June. Awards ceremony and gala dinner held mid-November.
Purpose: To recognise and reward excellence in the contact centre industry.
Who can enter? Contact centres in all business sectors, individuals, and teams.
Categories: 22, including ‘Best Environmental Campaign,’ ‘Professional of the Year: Director,’ and ‘Customer Service Complaints Team of the Year’.
How to enter: Fill out the downloadable application form for each category by late May. The shortlist is announced in mid-June.
Judging: An extensive panel of judges is selected from all industry sectors, including senior executives. All judges have worked in the contact centre industry for at least three years, have multi-channel experience, and a sound knowledge of operational processes.
Costs: CCA Members can submit up to three entries for £200 + VAT. Each submission thereafter is £50 per entry. Non members can submit up to three entries for £400 + VAT. Each submission thereafter is £100 per entry.
The awards ceremony and gala dinner cost £299 for individual non-members, £199 for individual members, £2995 for a corporate table of non members, and £1995 for members on a corporate table.
Editor’s comment: We have never had much exposure to the CCA awards, but they seem to be reasonably reputable.
Call Centre Management Association – http://www.ccma.org.uk/
When: Entries to be received by 19th March 2011. Shortlists are announced soon after. Awards ceremony to be held on 12th May 2011 at the Palace Hotel, Manchester.
Purpose: Now in their sixteenth year, the CCMA awards aim to endorse best practice, promote innovation and recognise outstanding performance by managers and supervisors.
Who can enter? Members of the Call Centre Managers Association – managers and supervisors of contact centres, helpdesks and customer service organisations throughout the UK.
Categories: Call Centre Manager of the Year, Team Manager of the Year, Emergency Control Room Manager of the Year, and Support Manager of the Year.
How to enter: Complete the nomination form on the CCMA website and a brief description of why you think you should win. Entries are to be received by 19th March 2011.
Judging: Two judges will visit the nominee’s place of work for 60-90 minutes. They conduct brief interviews with the nominee and the nominee’s line manager, assessing the nominee based on seven criteria. These include job performance, policies and legislation, and workplace culture. Judges also take into account the nominee’s job description, personal development plan and CV.
Costs: Membership of the CCMA costs £125 for the first year. There is no entry fee for the CCMA awards – a table at the Awards dinner for 10 people will cost £1000, individual tickets are £95 for CCMA members or £110 for their non-member guests.
Editor’s comment: While the CCMA as an organisation has a very amateur feel the awards are professionally done, and are well managed. They have a high credibility.
North West Contact Centre Awards
When: Awards nominations close late June. Gala dinner and presentations held mid-October
Purpose: To reward excellence in the contact centre industry in the North West.
Who can enter? Any contact centre in the North West of England.
Categories: 14 in all, including ‘Best Technology Partnership’, ‘Trainer/Coach of the Year’ and ‘Best Training Partnership.’
How to enter: Details of the 2011 awards entry process will be announced in the new year.
Judging: Submissions are given a mark out of 20 by the judges, based on the strength and relevance of the application. Criteria vary for each awards, but full details can be found on the website.
Costs: Free to enter for all contact centres in the North West. 2010 table booking fees started from £1,100 for a table of 10 places and guests can book any number of individual places they wish, or full tables of 10 – 12 (and multiples thereof). Prices may increase slightly for 2011. Members get a discount on tables.
Editor’s comment: A very good example of a regional award. A solid judging process and good visibility of the wining criteria.
North East Contact Centre Awards
When: Early November
Purpose: To celebrate the success of one of the North East’s leading industries, highlight role-models in the industry and attract new career-seekers.
Who can enter? Any contact centre within the North East region, including both private and public sector organisations.
Categories: Nine categories including ‘North East Customer Champion,’ ‘Contact Centre Dream Team’ and ‘North East Community Heroes’.
How to enter: Complete the application form on the website by early September. Entry is free.
Judging: All applications are judged by a panel of industry professionals led by Shona Harper of CCP. For each category there is a first and second reader and then all the judges meet to agree on the final shortlist, runners-up and winners. The finalists for the two company awards, Contact Centre of the Year under 250 seats and Contact Centre of the Year over 250 seats, also receive a site visit from the judges before the winners of both categories are chosen.
Costs: The awards are free to enter for all contact centres in the North East. Tables for the awards presentation cost £700 each.
Editor’s comment: A good regional award. The awards ceremonies are normally held on a Friday night which gives finalists a chance to let their hair down.
South West Contact Centre Awards – http://www.swccf.co.uk/index.php/awards/
When: Entries deadline is usually late April. Presentation evening in late June.
Purpose: To recognise commitment to customer service, and the individuals who deliver it to a high standard.
Who can enter? Any call centres, contact centres, IT help desks, and inbound or outbound customer communication network that employs more than five people and is situated in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon or Cornwall.
Categories: 14 in all, including awards such as ‘Support Person of the Year’, ‘Best Retention Practice’ and a ‘Business in the Community’ award.
How to enter: Complete a downloadable application pack, and either email or post it back to the South West Contact Centre Forum by late April. Organisations can enter any number of categories, up to a maximum of three entries per category.
Judging: The awards are judged by a panel of experienced call centre management professionals, selected by the South West Contact Centre Forum.
Costs: The awards are free to enter. Prices for the 2010 presentation evening ranged from £950+VAT for a table of ten Forum members – £1200 for non members – to £98 for individuals, or £130 for non-members.
Editor’s comment: A good regional award, with the dinner on a long summer evening.
National Customer Service Awards
When: Entries to be submitted by late July. Presentation in early December.
Purpose: “The National Customer Service Awards celebrate the effort and impact of excellent customer service on the customer and the business”.
Who can enter? Any customer service professional.
Categories: 23 awards are given altogether, for teams, individuals and ‘Innovation & Excellence’. The team awards go to the best customer service team operating in a certain industry sector, job role or call centre size. For example, ‘Customer Service Team – B2C’ or Customer Service Contact Centre – Up to 100 Seats.’ There is a specific individual award for an outstanding Customer Service Contact Centre Professional. The innovation awards include ‘Best Use Of Technology in Customer Service’.
How to enter: By registering online. Entrants complete an entry form, giving details of their business and information on how they’ve excelled over the past year.
Judging: The judges shortlist a designated number of entries, based on the information given in the entry forms. Shortlisted entrants then make a presentation to a select panel of judges selected for their specific expertise in that particular category.
Costs: All entrants paid a fee of £170 plus VAT per entry in 2010. The fee for 2011 is to be announced. Table booking fees for 2010 varied depending on the chosen hospitality package. Individual places, including a three-course meal, cost £260+VAT. At the opposite end of the scale, the ‘Executive’ and ‘VIP Patron’ packages cost in excess of £3500 for a table of ten with meal, drinks and extras.
Editor’s comment: One in a wide number of customer service awards.
Welsh Contact Centre Awards – http://www.welshcontactcentreforum.co.uk
When: Entries to be received by mid-October. Judging takes place in November. This year’s awards will take place on 17th February 2011, at Cardiff City Halls.
Purpose: To celebrate excellence and innovative practice from individuals and organisations across Wales. Now in its thirteenth year.
Who can enter? Any inbound or outbound call centre in Wales that employs more than five people.
Categories: 15 categories in all, seven for individuals and eight for organisations. Individual awards include ‘Support Person of the Year’ and ‘Agent of the Year’. Organisation awards include ‘Most Innovative Use Of Welsh In a Call Centre’ and ‘Retention Practice’.
How to enter: Companies are encouraged to run the awards internally, putting their three best entries in each category forward to the nationwide finals. Entrants are requested to include a brief company overview– approx 750 words or two pages of A4 written in a 12 point typeface. This is for judges’ information only, and will not form part of the Awards process. Entries should be written by someone more senior than the entrant, with the entrant’s countersignature. Entries must also be submitted in electronic form, so that they can be uploaded on to the Awards website. Forms can be downloaded from the website, and entries must be received by late October.
Judging: Entries are judged by a panel of experts, and entrants invited to make a presentation to the judges in November.
Costs: Free to enter for all contact centre employees in Wales. Tables at the awards dinner cost £135 per person for Forum members and £155 per person for non members.
Editor’s comment: A good regional call centre award, that is trying to become more professional.
Talking Tayside Awards
When: Entries open in August. Presentation event held in late November.
Purpose: To recognise the contact centre industry in the Dundee area.
Who can enter? Contact centres in the Tayside region of Scotland who are members of Talking Tayside.
Categories: The 11 categories recognised include ‘Best Newcomer Agent of the Year’, ‘Contact Centre Manager of the Year’ and ‘Best Company Culture Award’.
How to enter: Fill out the individual application form for each category, available on the Tayside Contact Centre Forum website.
Judging: The winners of each category are decided by a panel of experienced judges selected from the local contact centre industry.
Costs: Membership of Talking Tayside costs £500+VAT and this allows participation in the awards and includes two free places. Attendance at the awards costs around £500 per table.
Editor’s comment: The only Scottish regional award. Probably the best chance to be a big fish in a small sea.
National Outsourcing Association Awards
When: Submissions will be due in late June and the shortlist should be announced in late August. The awards will be held on 20th October 2011 in London.
Purpose: To reward and recognise excellence in outsourcing.
Who can enter? Outsourcers.
Categories: The NOAAs feature 16 categories, including ‘Financial Services Outsourcer of the Year’, ‘Outsourcing Professional of the Year’, and a sponsored award for ‘Offshoring Destination of the Year’.
How to enter: Entrants can submit to multiple categories, but separate application forms are required for each category entered. Four copies of each form, plus a 250 word synopsis of the submission, should be posted to NOA.
Judging: The NOAAs are judged by the NOA board and invited journalists and academics in the outsourcing industry.
Costs: Entries are free. Table bookings cost £1,950 per table of ten excl. VAT (£2,291.25 inc. VAT) and NOA members get a 10% discount.
Editor’s comment: Of little relevance for our sector. The judging process is rather murky.
What’s been your experience of entering call centre awards? Please share your thoughts below.