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Who Are the Leaders in Customer Contact? Find Out at the CCW Excellence Awards!

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Kindra Cooper

CCW Vegas

Top-performing organizations know that CX is iterative and there’s no standing still. They also understand the interplay between culture, employee experience and CX.

The 2019 CCW Excellence Awards, taking place on Tuesday, June 25 during Customer Contact Week Las Vegas, honor, recognize and promote individuals and teams most committed to customer contact and customer experience. The awards recognize world-class thinking, creativity and execution across a spectrum of customer contact functions.

Given the record number of applications this year, our judging panel of executives from Verizon, Target, GrubHub, Electronic Arts and more were hard-pressed to earmark this year’s winners.

We caught up with three of our finalists ahead of next week’s awards to hear about their CX priorities and their elevator pitch on why their brand should win.

Roy Thompson Samsung ElectronicsRoy Thompson, senior manager training and quality at Samsung Electronics America

1. What’s your proudest CX achievement this year?

From a training standpoint, our biggest achievement this year was developing our online global resource library of about 80 micro-learning videos for our agents. Each video is less than two minutes long and they’re simple how-to videos based on our most common call drivers.

From a support standpoint, this year we have really focused on customer experience and customer effort. We implemented an SMS messaging system that has improved CX by allowing customers to take pictures of the model and serial number of their product and text it rather than trying to relay this information over the phone. It has also improved our ability to collect and validate bill of sale by letting customers simply take a picture of the receipt.

2. What’s your biggest challenge for next year?

Training! This year we’re taking our training experience on the road in the form of video podcast events. We’re purchasing some A/V equipment with the intent of hosting a one-hour weekly live training event where all our vendors can login and participate from anywhere around the world and get live training from Samsung Master Trainers. The second thing is service. Next year, we’re focusing on omni-channel and expanding our digital service offerings.

3. Why should your company win the CCW Excellence Awards?

We’re always looking for ways to improve our training processes. The core fundamentals of training - knowledge, skills, behavior - never really change. What you have to continuously strive for, is finding ways to connect with your audience, communicate in a meaningful and impactful way, and evaluate that impact. I believe that Samsung takes the same innovative spirit that we put into making our products and applies that same spirit to developing and delivering our training programs for our employees.

Casey Macmillan WhirlpoolCasey MacMillan, trade manager at Whirlpool

1. What’s your proudest CX achievement this year?

Our year-round commitment to our specialists is what makes us most proud. This year, we’ve reinforced our Continuous Improvement Culture to offer more opportunities for specialists to experiment, work towards ideal states, provide feedback, and own their roles in the contact center. They offer feedback and ideas on more than just their workflow but also how we as leaders communicate with and support them. Our leaders also get to experiment and ask for feedback to improve the agent experience.

Our mission is: "Create a culture that elevates the employee experience to drive a positive and consistent customer experience." We believe strongly in this and work everyday towards achieving our goal.

2. What’s your biggest challenge for next year?

Continuing to embed the importance of providing a superior customer experience deep within our organization. We have to find ways for all employees to see Whirlpool through the eyes of our trade customers and consumers. Customer experience has to be at the forefront for all of us -- not just our sales or leadership team.

Every member of the organization has to have a passion for our customers and a deep understanding of how our customers perceive Whirlpool. We have to hold ourselves accountable as leaders to continue finding creative ways to educate our teams on CX both within the appliance industry as well as the broader customer contact industry.

3. Why should your company win the CCW Excellence Awards?

Our company is deserving of this award because of the people within that help us achieve excellence every day. Our organization is full of problem-solvers and drivers of change. We continually ask ourselves how we can be better for each other, and better for our trade customers and consumers. We are innovators. We are a family.

And we are proud to work for a company that supports our efforts, lives and leads with core values, recognizes and celebrates success, and sees failures as opportunities for learning. We have had an extraordinary year of transformation that is leading to more highly engaged employees and more satisfied customers that believe we have their best interests top of mind.

Jim Conner, Travel Operations Director at Gant Travel

1. What’s your proudest CX achievement this year?

What stands out most to me is that we were able to make adjustments to our IVR that helped reduce our pre-queue IVR time (the time people spend pushing buttons or answering questions) by 14 seconds. This means our customers get to speak with an agent 14 seconds sooner on average than in years past. Shorter wait times means happier customers.

We also rolled out a survey program that not only asks about the customer’s overall experience with Gant Travel but with individual agents. We even include the question: Would you hire the person who helped you today? The customer feedback has been incredibly valuable to supervisors and agents since they get to hear what their customers really thought of the interaction. We’re running at a +64 NPS score currently and are amazed at the feedback we’re getting!

2. What’s your biggest challenge for next year?

Our biggest challenge will be anticipating the changing needs of our customers in the ever-changing travel industry. To do this, we’re opening up new communication channels through chat, building our own AI “booking bot” to provide automated customer support, and expanding the capabilities of our Gant Gateway which provides self-service for tasks like reporting, invoice requests, booking requests, and meetings or events. We’re also exploring SMS communication in the near future and trip disruption automation to make sure our customers are taken care of while on the road or in the air.

3. Why should your company win the CCW Excellence Awards?

I truly believe that Gant Travel works hard to personalize the customer experience and demonstrate excellence in the contact center industry. Our mantra is to become “our customer’s last best experience” and we reinforce this at all levels of the company, whether it’s a new product or even a routine phone call from a customer.

When that person walks away, we want them to think of Gant Travel when they think of good customer service. With this in mind, I believe we can be an example of the type of customer experience that others in the contact center industry can emulate.