Customer Service Awards Blog

11 Ways to Honor Customer Service Departments in the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

There are 11 customer service awards categories specifically for departments in the 2013 (7th annual) Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. (All organizations and individuals worldwide are eligible to submit entries for sales awards and customer service awards. The final entry deadline for the 2013 awards is January 15; request your entry kit here.)The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service Logo

The customer service department categories recognize everyone who works in customer service in an organization, regardless of their role or location. Our customer service award categories specifically for departments include:

  1. Customer Service Department of the Year – Airlines, Distribution & Transportation
  2. Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Hardware
  3. Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Software
  4. Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Services
  5. Customer Service Department of the Year – Financial Services
  6. Customer Service Department of the Year – Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Related Industries
  7. Customer Service Department of the Year – Telecommunications
  8. Customer Service Department of the Year – Leisure & Tourism
  9. Customer Service Department of the Year – Public Services & Education
  10. Customer Service Department of the Year – Retail
  11. Customer Service Department of the Year – All Other Industries

Information required for entries in these categories include:

  1. An essay of up to 500 words describing your customer service department’s accomplishments since July 1, 2011.
  2. A brief biography (up to 100 words) of the leader of the nominated customer service department.
  3. Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

In addition to the possibility of receiving a peer-reviewed honor in the Customer Service Department of the Year categories, all nominated customer service departments that are chosen as Finalists will also be automatically included in the voting for the People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service.

People's Choice winners will receive a special People's Choice Stevie Award trophy allowing for honorees in these categories to have the opportunity to receive a second award, as voted by the general public. Online voting will open to the public worldwide in mid-January and will continue through early February.

Winners of the crystal People's Choice Stevie Awards will be celebrated at the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service gala on February 25, 2013 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. 2012 winners were celebrated on February 27, 2012 at the Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas. 2012 People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service results are summarized here.  

Begin submitting your entries today! All sales and customer service entries are submitted directly online through your account. You can begin by registering here.

Tags: customer service awards, customer service award, business awards, sales awards, stevie awards for sales and customer service, customer service department of the year

8 Categories Honor Customer Service Teams in the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 @ 02:11 PM

There are eight customer service awards categories specifically for teams in the 2013 (7th annual) Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. (All organizations and individuals worldwide are eligible to submit entries for sales awards and customer service awards. The early-bird entry deadline, with discounted entry fees, is October 10; request your entry kit here.)

Our customer service award categories specifically for teams include:

  1. Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer ServiceCustomer Service Team of the Year – Recovery Situation
    Recognizing service teams who have demonstrated exceptional skill in recovering either an individual case or in rebuilding an underperforming service department.
  2. Customer Service Complaints Team of the Year
    Recognizing service teams whose primary focus is to address and resolve customer complaints.
  3. Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year
    Recognizing service teams that directly engage customers.
  4. Back Office Customer Service Team of the Year
    Recognizing teams that provide service functions that do not directly engage customers, such as billing, credit and collections, payments, security and support services.
  5. Contact Center of the Year (Up to 100 seats)
    Recognizing call and contact centers that have no more than 100 seats.
  6. Contact Center of the Year (Over 100 seats)
    Recognizing call and contact centers that have more than 100 seats.
  7. Customer Service Management Team of the Year
    Recognizing the leadership teams of customer service organizations and contact centers for their achievements.
  8. Customer Service Training Team of the Year
    Recognizing teams that develop and deliver training to customer service organizations and contact center personnel.

Information required for entries in these categories include:

  1. An essay of up to 500 words describing the nominee’s accomplishments since July 1, 2011. 
  2. A brief biography (up to 100 words) of the nominee.
  3. Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

2013 honorees will be celebrated at the 7th annual awards banquet at Paris Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on February 25.

Submit your entries by October 10 and receive discounted entry fees! All sales and customer service entries are submitted directly online through your account. You can begin by registering here.

Tags: customer service awards, customer service award, business awards, sales awards, stevie awards for sales and customer service

3 Tips for Winning Customer Service Awards in The 2012 IBAs

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, May 18, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

The final entry deadline for The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition is 27 June. (All individuals and organizations worldwide may submit nominations to the IBAs. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit today.)

Here we highlight three customer service awards tips to help you showcase your organization's customer service excellence.

1. Review the business awards categories.
There are three customer service award categories being celebrated at the 2012 IBAs including:The Stevie Awards

  • Customer Service Department of the Year
  • Customer Service Team of the Year
  • Customer Service Executive of the Year

There are a number of other IBA categories that may be of interest to customer service professionals, including many of the annual report awards and other literature categories, website awards categories, and live event awards categories.

2. Review the entry submission criteria.
Information to be submitted online for entries in these categories include:

  • An essay of up to 500 words describing the nominee's accomplishments since 1 January 2011
  • A biography of the nominee or the leader of the nominated company, department, or team of up to 100 words, and
  • Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files, work samples, and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

3. Contact us.
If you have any questions about the 2012 IBAs, email us at help@stevieawards.com or call us at + 1 703-547-8389.

The 2012 International Business Awards will include the Second Annual People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Companies, in which the general public worldwide will vote for their favorite companies. Each company honored with a Gold, Silver or Bronze Stevie Award in The International Business Awards’ company of the year categories will automatically be included in people’s choice voting, which will open in late July.

Winners of the competition will be celebrated at the ninth annual awards banquet on Monday, 15 October at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Seoul, South Korea.

Leave us a comment and let us know how our
corporate awards categories will help you to highlight your organization's successes.

Tags: customer service awards, customer service award, business awards, customer service excellence, corporate awards, International business awards, corporate literature awards, annual report awards, website awards, live event awards

3 Customer Service Awards Categories in The 2012 IBAs

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 @ 09:51 AM

There are three customer service awards categories in The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition, to help you showcase your organization's good customer service. (The entry deadline for the 2012 IBAs is 16 May. All organizations and individuals worldwide may submit nominations, request your entry kit here.)

Our customer service award categories include: International Business Awards

Information to be submitted online for entries in these categories include:

  • An essay of up to 500 words describing the nominee's accomplishments since January 1 2011,
  • A biography of the nominee or the leader of the nominated department or team of up to 100 words, and
  • Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

The 8th Annual International Business Awards were presented in October 2011 in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. 2011 honorees for excellent customer service included:  

2012 honorees will be celebrated at the 9th annual awards banquet on Monday, 15 October in Seoul, South Korea.

How will you highlight your organization's best customer service in the 2012 IBAs?

Tags: customer service awards, good customer service, excellent customer service, customer service award, business awards, best customer service, International business awards

4 Tips for Winning Customer Service Awards in The 2012 ABAs

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:16 AM

The entry deadline for The 10th Annual American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A., is April 25, 2012, and we want to help you highlight your organization's good customer service. If you haven't received an entry kit yet, you can request your entry kit here.

To make the most out of your customer service awards entries, we suggest the following four tips:

1. Review the business awards categories.
There are three customer service award categories:

  1. Customer Service Department of the YearThe American Business Awards
  2. Customer Service Team of the Year
  3. Customer Service Executive of the Year

2. Review the entry submission criteria.
Showcase your organization's excellent customer service by including all of the required information in your submissions. You can review all entry requirements here.

3. Watch our video, How to Enter The 2012 American Business Awards.
Get step-by-step instruction on how to submit your 2012 entries.

4. Contact us!
We are happy to answer any last minute questions you may have. Contact us at help@stevieawards.com or call us at + 1 703 547 8389 and we'll help direct you to categories that are right for your organization.

How will you recognizes your organization's best customer service practices in the 2012 ABAs?

Tags: customer service awards, good customer service, excellent customer service, customer service award, business awards, American business awards, best customer service

How to Make Your Mark in Customer Service, From Sales & Customer Service Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Jan 12, 2012 @ 01:47 PM

Cameron Hurst, Vice President of Targeted Solutions at Assurant is Chair of the final judging committee of  the Customer Service & Call Center Achievement categories for The 2012 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. (The final entry deadline is January 18th; request your entry kit here and submit your entries before next Thursday.)

We asked Cameron for some advice on how to improve customer service.

What are your top 3 tips on how to make your mark in Customer Service?

  1. Be innovative!Cameron Hurst
    Come up with a game-changing way to deliver stellar service to your customer that differentiates you from the competition. All too often, customers have to repeat themselves, from the interactive voice response (IVR) to the agent. That negatively impacts customer satisfaction.
  2. Don’t chase offshore cost savings.
    Offshore has its place, but a good customer experience is often about the customer service representative (CSR) resonating with the caller. I have moved many jobs offshore for previous employers, but at times when you need to create affinity on calls, you have to find elements in the CSRs’ and the customers’ backgrounds that drive commonality. And often those elements are shared demographics or cultural backgrounds. Superior customer service can be achieved onshore or offshore, but it’s important to think about the context.
  3. Be willing to let go of old-school metrics like average handle time (AHT), average speed of answer (ASA), and even service levels.
    Motivate your CSRs to retain, sell, collect, etc., for the RIGHT reasons versus cranking through dialer lists, aiming for the most saves per day, or selling the highest dollars for the week. Retaining a customer by down-selling him to a product that works better for him takes time on the call. But the outcome can be a customer who stays with you for five more years versus a customer that calls back in the next bill cycle to start the process over again. 

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
I was amused and intrigued by a story on the NBC Nightly News the other night. This dog (I think it was a golden retriever) was listening to his owner play guitar. The dog had this big grin on his face and his head was clearly moving to the music. Each time the music stopped, the dog’s countenance turned to an obvious frown—then right back to a smile and a head-bob when the music started again. It was an immediate YouTube sensation.

What is your favorite sport or hobby?
Sport? Trying to stay current on technology. Hobby? Trying to stay current on technology. Who has the time to do anything else?

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I always wanted to be a rock god. I wonder if Eddie Van Halen offers guitar lessons?

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
Candor, consistency, and professionalism. Tell me the truth…even when it’s uncomfortable—for me or for you. Let your reactions be predictable. Ivan the Terrible syndrome is no way to lead, in my opinion. Do what you say you will do. Do your best and pay attention to details. Show professionalism in your written and spoken words. Meet deadlines and work hard.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I work for a fantastic company that values what I think about issues that affect our business and gives me the latitude to explore complex subjects. I am empowered to make decisions and influence the direction of our company. I work for a senior leadership that is transparent, not even remotely elitist, and very open to new ideas—and that actively seeks innovation from employees. Who wouldn’t be jazzed to go to work every day in this kind of environment?

About Cameron Hurst:
As Vice President of Targeted Solutions at Assurant, Cameron leads all aspects of development and operations of a patented, next generation, analytics-based, contact routing technology for IBM commercial distribution. Previously, Cameron was Head of Delivery at the HSBC Global Technology Center in Pune, India, as well as served as Senior Vice President and Group Head of Contact Center Technology at HSBC in Sheffield, England. Cameron started his career in 1984 as an officer in the USAF, based at the Pentagon in Washington, DC and spent the 1990s as founder of Softgen International, a global Contact Center software company based in Dallas, Texas. With broad industry coverage of his achievements, Cameron is considered one of the industry's leading experts in the field of contact technology.

About Assurant:
Assurant is a provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and select worldwide markets. Its four key businesses—Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty Property, Assurant Health, and Assurant Employee Benefits—partner with clients who are leaders in their industries and build leadership positions in a number of specialty insurance market segments worldwide.  Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has approximately $27 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue.  For more information go to: www.assurant.com.

Tags: customer service awards, good customer service, excellent customer service, customer service award, stevie awards

4 Customer Service Satisfaction Tips, From Customer Service Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Tue, Jan 03, 2012 @ 06:11 PM

Carita Vallinkoski, Senior Executive-Expansion Management at Competence Call Center AG in Vienna, Austria is Chair of the final judging committee of the Customer Service & Contact Center Team categories in the 2012 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. (The final entry deadline for the awards is January 18.)

We asked Carita what it takes to create a successful customer service or call center team.

What are your top tips on how to create a successful customer service or call center team?

My years of experience as a Contact Center leader, building up Call Centers, and leading large teams of people, have taught me that the employees are the main asset in a company, so my top tips are:

  1. Carita VallinkoskiTreat every human being with respect and empathy
    Be it employees or customers.
  2. Always give your team a vision.
    Your people need to know whom to follow, what direction to take, and for what purpose. Make sure this information is clear and easy to understand.
  3. Support and motivate your team 
    Investing your time, energy, and love will help your people in providing excellent customer service because they will feel that you care about them and that you take them seriously.
  4. Care about your team and your team will care of your customers
    Always remember that your employees are the entrepreneurs in your company.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
The passing away of Steve Jobs touched me very deeply.  He was a great person, and I remembered some of the sayings from his Commencement Speech in 2005:  “We are here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” and “… the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it.“

His autobiography (I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words) motivates, inspires, and helps me because his thoughts and views resonate with me.  For example: “Sometimes the things that sound so simple are the most important and difficult ones in life, like: do what you love.” I have the book on the dresser opposite my bed and whenever I catch a glimpse of Steve’s kind face it helps me to contemplate these views and to motivate me. He changed all our lives and I thank him for that every second of the day.

What is your favorite sport or hobby?
In my spare time I love to be outdoors, to walk my dog, and to watch and interact with animals. I also love talking to people from all over the world, to encounter new cultures, and to get to know different views and opinions. I´m always keen to share new ideas, to broaden my mind, and to try to become a better person. I think about life a great deal: about helping people, animals, and the planet—I still have to find a way to do that!

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I would love to either take care of animals or to be an aid worker with Caritas or Médecins Sans Frontières.  I wish I had the strength, backbone, character, and energy that it takes to be an activist for some good cause protecting children, animals, or nature. I would love to fight unfairness everywhere in order to make the world a better place.

Instead, I channel this energy into what I do in my work life by helping employees and customers.  Thomas Kloibhofer, our CEO and founder, taught me from my first days at CCC that it is “always about helping.” The most satisfying thing about this work is to be able to say: “Today I helped hundreds of customers to have one challenge less and to be happier.” That is a great feeling.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
Integrity, honesty, humor, values, ethics, and good morals. Plus a good common vision and the same understanding of partnership.  The sense of being a unit, the sense of togetherness, and of “having each other’s back”—always.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
What keeps me inspired is the vision of helping customers at the end of the line and of developing our employees. I want to be there for the employee on the one side and for our company on the other, and to bring these two worlds together.  And finally, I want to bring in the customers and their interests.

I never forget where I came from: I was a customer service rep and sales agent and I know how tough and challenging this life can be. My aim is to develop an even better service understanding and environment for everyone. My wishes are to continue watching our company grow and our people developing—and to grow old as part of this company.

About Carita Vallinkoski
Carita Vallinkoski has held the position of Expansion Manager at Competence Call Center (CCC) since 2007 and has been responsible for the continuous development of existing CCC locations, the evaluation of potential markets, and the set-up of new CCC operations. During her time as call center manager, she had overall responsibility for personnel, commerce, and technology, and the management of more than 600 employees.

Carita was awarded the CAt-Award for Call Center Manager of the Year at CallCenterWorld® in 2001; and received the award for Best Contact Center Leader in the world at the 2006 Contact Center World Conference in Las Vegas for her management services in the call center business and for her strategic leadership of employees. Her seventeen years of call center experience in the areas of outsourcing, consulting, training, call center set-up, implementation, and employee motivation make her a leading expert in the call center and customer care industry in Europe.

About CCC
Competence Call Center is one of Europe’s leading call centers.At ten locations in seven countries, more than 3,000 service professionals provide top quality international call center services. CCC is a financially strong, rapidly expanding company with a clear focus on quality.  For more information, go to www.yourccc.com.

Q&A with Carita Vallinkoski, Customer Service Awards Committee Chair Judge

Tags: customer service awards, good customer service, excellent customer service, stevie awards, customer service award

How to Enter the World's Top Customer Service Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 @ 04:53 PM

We've published a 13 minute video called How to Enter the 2012 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

Do you provide excellent customer service?  The video covers the steps you should follow if you're at all interested in winning the top customer service award on the planet.

Entries are now being accepted for the 6th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  You'll find the entry kit online, here.

If you have questions about how to submit nominations after watching the video, write to us at help@stevieawards.com.  We're here for you!

Tags: call center awards, customer service awards, stevie awards, customer service award, business awards

Never Say No: Lessons From a Customer Service Awards Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 @ 10:36 AM

Confero, Inc., of Cary, North Carolina, USA was named Customer Service or Call Center Consulting Practice of the Year in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Entries for the 2012 awards are now being accepted.

Elaine BuxtonConfero, Inc. is a national customer experience measurement firm that helps clients provide a service to their customers. Operating throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the firm offers customer service mystery shopping evaluations, customer brand support services, customer satisfaction research, and employee incentive and recognition programs.  Here we look at how they successfully beat the competition and handled the tough conditions of 2009-10.

Never Say No

Confero has a policy of never saying “no” to its clients. People have requested some very short deadlines with seemingly impossible logistics, but Confero knew that in each case the client had a need that absolutely had to be addressed.

Turn-on-a-Dime Projects

Confero is known for its unusually fast, turn-on-a-dime projects. Most competitor companies want 30 to 60 days notice, a substantial setup fee, and multiple meetings in order to accept a project. The Confero team, however, can place a finished project in the field in 30 days or less—sometimes in only 3 to 4 days—which is quite an accomplishment in the industry. 

Because of the economic climate, client companies often would not receive funding for projects until the last minute, but these projects were nonetheless important. By using its ability to get a project into the field quickly, Confero was able to really help these clients.

8,000 Locations in 8 Weeks

With only 10 days’ notice, the Confero team was able to put a year-end program for 8,000 visits into the field last December, managing mystery shop visits to 8,000 locations in eight weeks, with pre-shipped and prepared on-the-spot prizes, which is completely unheard of in the industry. To give more of an idea of the scope of this project, it was carried out across the United States in the middle of one of the worst winters on record.

Census Project Completed in 3 Weeks

In February, just before the start of the U.S. Census, the government contracted with an agency to market the census to underrepresented sections of the population. This agency contacted Confero with just three weeks’ notice to go into independent Hispanic- and Asian-American-owned-and-operated grocery stores to educate the owners about the census and to place marketing materials in the stores to encourage their customers’ census participation. The agency came to Confero after using two other providers who had not been able to complete the project. Confero finished the project for them in the three weeks.

Making the Client Look Good

Confero aims to make its clients look good by ensuring access to the resources needed to scale up or down, depending on the project. Confero’s “Don’t Say No” attitude asks: If we do this project, how exactly can we accomplish it?

Can-do Thinking

The Confero team’s can-do thinking considers business on the table, appreciates that the client needs its services, and then figures out a way to make the project happen. Instead of saying, “Here’s a client with a project need, so can we fit it into the bucket of what we do?” Confero says: “Here’s a client with a project need, and if it’s anywhere near the bucket of what we do, we’ll figure out how to get it done.”

On the Confero team’s winning a Stevie Award earlier this year, the company’s president Elaine Buxton commented: “This award is particularly meaningful to Confero’s customer service team because it recognizes the team’s delivery of quality solutions in 2010, including many that involved quick turnaround times and tough requirements.”

About Elaine Buxton

Confero’s president Elaine Buxton earned a B.S. from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MBA from Meredith College, which named her one of its top 100 graduates. She has been recognized among the top 25 businesswomen by Triangle Business Journal, named as a Woman Extraordinaire honoree, and honored by Enterprising Women magazine.  Elaine and the Confero team ranked on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 list and at No. 51 on the Top 100 North Carolina Small Businesses list. Elaine is a founding member and immediate past president of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association and serves on the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina board of directors.

About Confero, Inc.

Confero, Inc. is a national customer experience measurement firm dedicated to helping clients provide outstanding service to their customers. The firm offers customer service mystery shopping evaluations, customer brand support services, customer satisfaction research, and employee incentive and recognition programs. For more information, call (800) 326-3880 or visit http://www.conferoinc.com.

Tags: call center awards, customer service awards, stevie awards, Elaine Buxton, Confero, customer service award

How Customer Service Award-winner Grew Customer Advocacy by 25%

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Feb 01, 2011 @ 04:01 PM

Jackie O'Leary, Vice President of Customer Operations at Everything Everywhere in the United Kingdom, was named Customer Service Executive of the Year in the customer service awards categories of The 2010 International Business Awards. Everything Everywhere is also a leading contender with multiple Finalists in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, which will be announced in Miami Beach on February 21.

Jackie O'LearyEverything Everywhere is the joint venture company running two of Britain's most famous brands, Orange and T-Mobile. It is Britain's biggest communications company, with a combined customer base of almost 28 million—half the UK adult population, 6,000 employees, and more than 720 retail stores across the two brands. Everything Everywhere was recognized in The Stevies’ customer service award categories, and here we look at how they earned their reputation for service excellence.

The explosive growth of telecommunications over the past 20 years has also often been a tale of woe for the customer, with promised high-quality customer service often proving to be something of a myth.

Jackie O'Leary, Vice President of Customer Operations at Everything Everywhere, has made it her mission to ensure the story has a different ending, one where customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and an improved bottom line for the company can live happily together.

As VP of Customer Operations, O’Leary is responsible for the customer service, loyalty, and retention functions of the Orange and T-Mobile brands and has integrated them into one efficient, effective organization that is one of the market leaders for quality as well as size. This operation supports Everything Everywhere’s 28 million customers through a team of circa 10,000 advisers.

Brilliant Service
O’Leary joined Orange UK at the end of 2008 and had a phenomenally successful first year, leading the customer services business through a rapid and complete rejuvenation to catapult it back to leadership in mobile customer services.

To identify and deliver these improvements, O’Leary introduced the Brilliant Service program, creating 20 work-streams of activities to address every aspect of the customer experience.

O’Leary believes employee satisfaction links directly to customer satisfaction. She initiated the creation of an innovative customer satisfaction and performance measurement system called Brilliance, which enables thousands of customers to rate and comment on the service they receive on a daily basis.

For the first time these scores are linked directly to the customer service agents’ rewards, ensuring they take ownership of the customer experience on every call. Brilliance has also massively expanded customer insight.

The Bee’s Knees
O’Leary introduced a new reward-and-recognition scheme, The Bee’s Knees, providing monthly awards to top performers in customer advocacy or to those who help others to excel.

O’Leary also introduced new activities and initiatives under the banner 'Brilliant Place to Work', which included charity, community, and wellbeing weeks, concierge services, and—voted "best ever"—Christmas parties.

The annual employee survey, just nine months after she joined, showed O’Leary to be the bee’s knees herself, with meaningful increases across almost all metrics of employee engagement and loyalty.

Improving Processes
O’Leary also led a cross-Orange program to identify and improve Orange processes, products, and systems that were hampering customer satisfaction and delaying achievement of the company vision to be the “best-loved communications brand.”  These improvements cut customer calls by 14% and increased first-time resolution from 13% to 72%.

The results of O’Leary’s efforts make an incredible turnaround story. Customer satisfaction increased by 9% as measured by Brilliance in the second half of 2009, a considerable change in a customer base of 17 million. At the same time, O’Leary cut operating expenditure by 11% (double figures millions of pounds). Even more impressively, customer advocacy increased an unprecedented 25% in the same period.

By these key measures, O’Leary has returned Orange to a leadership position in mobile customer services. In its annual UK survey in May 2009, industry analysts JD Power rated Orange top for Pay Monthly customer services out of the major mobile network operators. Overall, Orange came second, up from fifth just two years earlier in a highly competitive market.

Following these achievements for Orange, Jackie was appointed to the Everything Everywhere Customer Operations role, where she is now bringing her own flavor of leadership to both brands, Orange and T-Mobile.

These are the just the latest successes in a stunning track record for O'Leary over the past 20 years. While this is definitely no fairy tale, we hope that Everything Everywhere, its customers, and its employees live happily ever after.

About Jackie O'Leary
Jackie O'Leary's career has encompassed senior roles and strategic projects for over 20 years at many of Europe's leading communications providers, including Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2, AOL, and Telewest. In May 2009 she was appointed VP of Customer Operations for Everything Everywhere, responsible for customer service, sales, loyalty, and retention. This followed 18 months running customer services for Orange UK. Previously, O’Leary had been VP Customer Services at The Carphone Warehouse, where she revived customer satisfaction and cut costs by £20 million. Prior to that, O’Leary ran a strategic consultancy for ten years.

About Everything Everywhere
Everything Everywhere Limited is the company running two of the UK’s most famous brands – T-Mobile (UK) and Orange (UK). Owned jointly by Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom respectively, Everything Everywhere Limited is the UK’s biggest communications company, with a combined customer base of almost 28 million people and more than 720 retail stores across the country. Everything Everywhere Limited plans to transform the industry by giving customers instant access to everything everywhere, offering the best value, best choice and best network experience in the country. For more information on Everything Everywhere visit www.everythingeverywhere.com.

Tags: customer service awards, customer service award, good customer service, excellent customer service