by Rayland Chan, Executive Director HKCCA
With the HKCCA Awards 2010 Gala Dinner and Awards Presentation on 15 Oct 2010 in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel beckoning, those who have participated in this year’s Awards are excited, if not anxious, to know how well they have done and what accolades they are going to receive. While trophies will be presented to the finalists in the Gala Dinner and the finalists will be notified shortly, I have been asked if I would provide updates on this year’s Awards with highlights and observations. Probably because I wrote on the same subject last year that people expect it and are interested to learn more about the Awards and the views of the panel judges.
This 11th annual HKCCA Awards attracted over 100 entries – by far the highest number of entries and the highest number of participating organizations. The entries came from Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Macau. A number of those organizations compete in the Awards for the first time. I like to think one of the reasons contributed to the positive participation is that the reputation of the Awards that grew over the last 10 years, and the learning experience that the assessment process could offer had encouraged more participants to come forward and benchmark with the industry best.
There were keen competitions in many of the categories. Some Gold winners of the corporate category in 2009 chose not to compete in the category they had won. Perhaps the worry of losing had got the better of the motivation for continuous improvement that these past winners preferred to stay back and enjoy the status as winner rather than compete again trying to retain their title. Those who did compete again have done well. They showed sheer commitment for continuous improvement, implemented new initiatives to achieve good results.
Mystery Caller Assessment Award
Mystery Caller Assessment is the only new category introduced in this year’s Awards. One thing unique about this Mystery Caller Assessment Award is the 6-month duration of competition. Mystery Callers from Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) made calls every month and conducted the assessment. The competition was started in April and will be ended in September 10. Individual progress reports have been provided to the participants on a bi-monthly basis. The level of Award that the 10 participating organizations are going to receive will be determined by their performance over the 6-month period. So they actually compete with themselves rather than other participants.
It is encouraging that more contact centers nominated people to participate in the Awards as recognition as well as development opportunities for their good performing staff. We have contact centers actually organized internal competitions to select the winners to compete in the HKCCA Awards. Some dedicated a team to guide the participants throughout the competition. Some engaged external resources to train the participants the skills to present themselves in the panel interview. All these efforts added value to the Awards in terms of respect and at the same time raised the standard of the competition. The participants in return benefited from the guidance and training and will enjoy greater sense of achievement when they ultimately won the Awards.
The “Inbound Agent” and “Inbound Team Leader” categories had attracted more entries than the other categories. 22 “Inbound Agents” entries and 21 “Inbound Team Leader” entries were short-listed to the second round of assessment. Except for a few individuals who were not properly prepared, the overall standard of the participants in respective categories was higher than that of in previous years. They were knowledgeable in their domains; they displayed passion to customer service; drive to improve themselves and desire to win. Some of them received strong customer testimonials and the highest grade in their last Performance Review. The success stories they shared with the panel were interesting and meaningful, and certainly helpful to support their cases.
A number of participants lost sight of the basics and focused on things beyond the role requirements of the category they competed in. For example, the major role of a team leader is to manage the team to perform and meet the targets. Spending too much time away from the team doing ad hoc things and manager’s assignments would affect the team management effectiveness.
The panel judges had had a tough time trying to recognize the efforts of the participants in giving out more Awards and at the same time preserve the Awards creditability. For those who do miss out the Award this year, there is no need to be disappointed. The fact that they had been nominated by their organizations to compete in the Awards is sheer recognition in itself. And by going through the entire assessment process is invaluable learning experience that could be beneficial to their career development. .
The panel judges appreciated the efforts respective contact centers put together to ensure the on-site assessments were smoothly conducted.
Seeing is believing. On-site assessments allow the judges validate the information provided in the written submissions and experience the unique ambience of the contact centre. The general comments from the judges are that most centers have comprehensive staff motivation and wellness initiatives in place to cater for their staff’s needs, such as massage chairs, breakout rooms, social activities, Wall of fame, Heroes chart etc. A number of contact centres that performed well in customer experience management still have room for improvement in contact centre technology application.
As the competition in some categories was strong that winning and not winning the top Award was of a thin margin.
Theme of the Awards
The Awards Committee selected “Heroes’ Recognition” as the theme for this 11th HKCCA Awards. There are many heroes within each and every contact centre – hero of their customers, hero of their colleagues, hero of their families. They are in the fort front of customer interface. They are working silently behind the scene. HKCCA would like to salute to everyone that help develop Hong Kong into one of the world leaders of contact centers where best practices, best technologies and best talents are in place. They are the Heroes of the contact centre industry.
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