2008 Winners and Case Studies
The 2008 Contact Centre Innovation Awards were presented to EDF Energy, British Gas Services, Canterbury City Council, Carphone Warehouse, Orange and Vodafone at Contact Centre Planning 2008, the 7th annual conference of the Professional Planning Forum on 29th April in Manchester.
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The prestigious Contact Centre Innovation of the Year Award 2008
was presented to EDF Energy
for using analysis of the root causes of customer contact to halve workload in key areas and create a ground-breaking end-to-end service for new customers. The planning team involve advisers in creating and using bespoke end-of-call surveys to pinpoint areas where process or product changes can most improve results and establish a baseline for measuring the success of business cases for investment or service development.
“This has totally changed how managers see planning”
, explains Penny Wright, Resource Planning Manager at EDF Energy. As Su Martin, Head of Marketing Operations and Customer Experience, confirms “it’s taken us to a totally different level … we don’t just react, we plan”
. Glen Ewing heads New Customer Acquisitions, who have developed the pioneering end-to-end service in the Pontoon department. “It’s changed the business and how we make decisions”
, he comments. “I think the Internal Investment Board was surprised. It made them realise that they need a different approach”.
The following awards to recognise innovation in specific areas were also given:
The Management Information Innovation Award
went to Carphone Warehouse
for a rapid transformation of MI that gives visibility to the customer experience and has developed a coaching culture within the contact centre. The new reporting platform is outperforming external specifications at a fraction of the cost and saving £1.5m pa in Microsoft licences alone.
The Resource Planning Innovation Award
was presented toVodafone
, for taking well-established call centre planning techniques and applying them in the wider organisation, to achieve 18% sales growth and 16% efficiency gains in the retail stores in the
British Gas Services
gained the Innovation Award for Integrated Planning
for a resourcing strategy that joins together recruitment, training and resource planning. In just one year, the centres have cut churn by 20% points, boosted new starter quality scores by nearly 60%, and increased employee satisfaction by 6%.
The Innovation Award for Lifestyle Planning
went to Orange UK
for Your Time, creating new lifestyle shift options, to attract and retain a deliberately diverse mix of employees, involving radical changes to recruitment, induction training and management practices on the operational floor.
Canterbury City Council
won the 2008 Public Sector Innovation Award
for a uniquely flexible approach to home working and job variety, supported by integrated planning for both front and back office.
"The number of quality entries was especially impressive and makes me proud to be associated with the contact centre planning profession"
, concludes Steve Woosey, Membership Director and a member of the judging panel. "Their work takes performance in these centres to new levels and demonstrates that planning plays a key role in successful contact centre management teams".
The 2008 judges include managers from four previous award-winning organisations: John Tanner (Salford City Council), Steve Hubbard (Royal Sun Alliance), Paul Burgess-Clements (AXA PPP Healthcare) and Darren Leahy (Abtran).
The award programme also provides a year-round programme of discovery, with Planning Forum members gaining access to professionally prepared case studies on each finalist, with the chance to talk to them at the April conference and join the best-practice programme of site visits in the summer and autumn.
"A special feature of these awards is that they are so thoroughly judged, based on talking to front-line staff and managers and spending time looking at the results and how they have been achieved"
, explains Peter Massey, one of the external judges.
The full list of finalists is: Alliance and Leicester, BUPA, Canterbury City Council, Carphone Warehouse, Centrica - British Gas Service, Dell, EDF Energy, Firstsource, GEM, Metropolitan Police, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Northern Counties Housing Association, Orange, RBS (IT Services), T-Mobile and Vodafone.
With an exceptional number of outstanding entries, shortlisting was even tougher this year with 16 contact centres selected as finalists. Showing evidence of outstandingly strong performance improvements, the nominations cover innovative work in the use of management information, target setting, employee engagement, process re-engineering and streamlining the customer experience - as well as the more traditional areas of workforce management and schedule innovation.
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