Award Entry Details & Criteria


Click on a category below to view the criteria.

Category

Entry Fee

Application Required

Additional Materials Required

Best Small-to-Medium Contact Center

$150

Best Large Contact Center

$150

Best Outsourcing Partnership

$150

Best Strategic Value to the Organization

$125

Best QA/Customer Experience Program

$125

Best Use of an Emerging Channel(s)

$125

Best Use of Technology

$125

Best Contact Center Agent

$25

Best Contact Center Supervisor

$25

Best Contact Center Manager

$25

Best Customer Service Business Leader

$25

ICMI Lifetime Achievement Award

FREE

"Best of Show" @ Contact Center Expo & Conference

FREE



Entries were due 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, February 21, 2014.

1.  Complete the entry form

We highly recommend that you log into the entry system ASAP to review the application/nomination process. This will help you prepare responses to all of the questions before you begin filling out the online form. When you first log-in a password will be sent to you email address and you can use that account information each time you enter the entry system. You can start and edit your entry as much as you'd like prior to submiting.

2. Submit a virtual video tour of your contact center

This is required for Best Small-to-Medium Contact Center, Best Large Contact Center and Best Outsourcing Partnership entries

OR Submit a 5-minute (or 5 slide) presentation

This is required for Best Strategic Value to the Organization, Best QA/Customer Experience Program, Best Use of an Emerging Channel(s) and Best Use of Technology entries

You should upload these materials during the entry process, before you submit for payment.

3. Submit entries and Pay Fee

Each category has a different entry fee. The fee goes toward the judging process, finalist interviews and other administrative tasks.  

 

Important Program Dates

Entries Close: February 21
Finalists Announced: March 12
Finalist Interviews: March 17 – Apr 4
Awards Dinner: May 7
Awards Webinar: June 26

 

Previous finalists and winners > 


 

Best Small-to-Medium Contact  Center

One Small-to-Medium Contact Center (75 agents or less) who best exemplifies the “gold standard” for the industry will receive this prestigious award.

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrable understanding and utilization of the core and advanced principles of effective contact center management
  • Appropriate use of contact center channels to best fulfill the needs/expectations of customers, while also meeting the company’s goals
  • The mindful measurement and usage of metrics to achieve the best and most balanced customer and agent experience
  • Tangible evidence of consistently meeting or exceeding key performance objectives
  • A high-performance work culture that fosters employee engagement and continuous improvement, as evidenced through staff motivation, morale, and effective training, coaching and development
  • An innovative and progressive strategy in terms of technology and tools
  • Utilization of the contact center’s specific size to achieve extraordinary results for customers and team members
  • A people-centric environment with effective performance management and unique communication vehicles
  • A clear understanding of the contact center’s role within the business at all levels, with appropriate resources and systems in place to ensure success
  • Evidence of the contact center’s positive impact on the company as a whole, and the continuing quest for sustained strategic value

 

Best Large Contact Center

One Large Contact Center (more than 75 agents) who best exemplifies the “gold standard” for the industry will receive this prestigious award.

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrable understanding and utilization of the core and advanced principles of effective contact center management
  • Appropriate use of contact center channels to best fulfills the needs/expectations of customers, while also meeting the company’s goals
  • The mindful measurement and usage of metrics to achieve the best and most balanced customer and agent experience
  • Tangible evidence of consistently meeting or exceeding key performance objectives
  • A high-performance work culture that fosters employee engagement and continuous improvement, as evidenced through staff motivation, morale, and effective training, coaching and development
  • An innovative and progressive strategy in terms of technology and tools
  • Utilization of the contact center’s specific size to achieve extraordinary results for customers and team members
  • A people-centric environment with effective performance management and unique communication vehicles
  • A clear understanding of the contact center’s role within the business at all levels, with appropriate resources and systems in place to ensure success
  • Evidence of the contact center’s positive impact on the company as a whole, and the continuing quest for sustained strategic value

 

Best Outsourcing Partnership

This award is given to the organization and their outsourcing (BPO) partner that has most successfully leveraged this type of relationship to improve customer service. This includes the process in which the outsourcer (BPO) was selected, the contractual/SOW benefits, the implementation timeline, the team structure implementing and supporting, performance prior to implementation vs. after, and how the outsourcer was identified to meet the organization’s business objectives.

Applicants can submit as either the organization or the outsourcer. Although it is not necessary, it is highly encouraged to apply in tandem so that both sides of the relationship are represented.

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • A mutually beneficial contractual and operating relationship between the client/organization and the partner/outsourcer (BPO
  • Appropriate use of outsourcing to best fulfill the needs/expectations of customers, while also meeting the company’s goals
  • The process (RFP) in which the client/organization chose this partner/outsourcer
  • The mindful measurement and usage of metrics to achieve the best and most balanced customer and agent experience
  • Tangible evidence of consistently meeting or exceeding key performance objectives
  • A high-performance work culture that fosters employee engagement and continuous improvement, as evidenced through staff motivation, morale, and effective training, coaching and development
  • A mutually innovative and progressive strategy that could not have been achieved by the client/organization alone
  • A clear understanding of roles – both partner/outsourcer and client/organization - with appropriate resources and systems in place to ensure success
  • Evidence of the partner/outsourcers positive impact on the client/organization as a whole, and the continuing quest for sustained strategic value
  • Evidence of how the partnership has improved the customer experience and how it has had a positive impact on the client/organization as a whole (including a demonstrable return on investment)

 

Best Strategic Value to the Organization

The contact center that takes home this trophy is one that both understands and contributes to the overall organization’s strategic goals. It’s not simply a matter of aligning with the organization’s vision or mission statement, but rather how the contact center shapes, influences, and enables the organization’s success.

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • A demonstrable strategic value(s) to the organization that can occur through business intelligence, KPI transparency and reporting, culture, career development, increased revenue, customer retention/churn, competitive differentiation, or customer loyalty
  • The methodology in which the strategic value(s) is measured and communicated
  • The process in which the contact center was able to employ the strategic value(s) initiatives and overcome any challenges to implement
  • Evidence of the impact of the contact center on the organization – before and after the strategic value initiative(s)
  • A statement from an executive or board member of the organization that clearly describes the impact of the contact center on the organization’s success (this should align with the initiative highlighted in the presentation)

 

Best QA/Customer Experience Program

This award will go to the organization that best leverages its people, processes, and technology to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty for the brand. While most organizations use CSAT surveys and QA evaluations separately, many contact centers now utilize that combined data in new ways, or have employed fresh tactics to improve both the customer and agent experience. This QA/Customer Experience program sets the standards for the contact center and clearly proves its value to the overall business.

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • A program that effectively meets the unique requirements of the applicant’s business, customers, and contact center needs
  • The structure in which the program is designed, and the usage of internal business partners such as Marketing, Sales and Technology to bolster success
  • The methodology in which the QA/Customer Experience program is measured and communicated to customers, contact center employees, and the rest of the organization
  • The scalability and flexibility to adjust the QA/Customer Experience program based on overall business changes, and customer and agent feedback
  • A monitoring, scoring, and reporting/communication methodology and the demonstrable impact of those scores on employee behavior, VOC, and performance management
  • Any tie-in to employee incentive programs, to include the desired outcome and the success of those programs
  • The integration of QA/Customer Experience within the contact center organization
  • The mechanisms in which the contact center leaders leverage QA/Customer Experience to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • The integration of the data output with coaching, agent training and ongoing development
  • Evidence of the impact of the QA/Customer Experience program on revenue, customer retention/churn, or employee engagement and morale

 

Best Use of an Emerging Channel(s)

The contact center that takes home this trophy is one that has embraced the non-traditional channels and has either begun experimenting or fully implemented social, mobile, SMS, video, mobile chat, or virtual assistants/bots. (If there is another channel not listed here that you consider emerging and that you are utilizing, please enlighten the judges!)

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • The successful deployment (or pilot) of at least one emerging channel - social, mobile, SMS, video, mobile chat, or virtual assistants/bots.
  • A clear understanding of the key objectives and expected ROI behind the implementation of the new channel
  • The process in which the contact center chose this emerging channel and the business partners, both internally and externally that were utilized for technology and implementation
  • A demonstrable strategic value(s) of the emerging channel(s) to the organization or customers that can occur through metrics/KPIs, increased revenue, customer retention/churn, competitive differentiation, or customer loyalty
  • The process in which the contact center was able to employ the emerging channel(s) initiatives and overcome any challenges to implement
  • The methodology in which the emerging channel’s success is measured and communicated
  • The structure in which the channel is supported, and the usage of internal business partners such as Marketing, Sales and
  • Technology to bolster success
  • The scalability and flexibility to adjust the emerging channel usage based on overall business changes, and customer and agent feedback
  • The integration of the data output with coaching, agent training and ongoing development
  • A positive impact on the agent experience
  • Evidence of how the implementation has improved the customer experience and how it has had a positive impact on the business as a whole (including a demonstrable return on investment)
  • Evidence of the impact of the contact center on the organization – before and after the emerging channel implementation

 

Best Use of Technology

This award is given to the contact center that has most successfully leveraged technology to improve customer service. This includes the process in which the technology was selected or developed, the team structure implementing, utilizing or supporting it, performance prior to implementation vs. after, and how this technology or tool was identified to meet the contact center's objectives.

Although not necessary, it is highly encouraged to submit a nomination in tandem with your technology vendor.

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • The successful deployment of a single piece, or one project that integrated a number of technology systems to improve efficiency or results (please focus on ONE implementation such as CRM, ACD, WFM, Knowledgebase, Call Recording, Speech Analytics, Surveys, etc…)
  • A clear understanding of the key objectives and expected ROI behind the implementation
  • The process in which the contact center chose this technology and the business partners, both internally and externally that were utilized
  • A unique approach — there should be key points of distinction from other deployments of similar technology and a focus on continual enhancements
  • A positive impact on the agent experience
  • Evidence of how the implementation has improved the customer experience and how it has had a positive impact on the business as a whole (including a demonstrable return on investment)

 

Best Contact Center Agent

This category is open to customer facing individuals, who regularly come into contact with the organization’s end customers. Nominations must come from a colleague within the organization or a business partner. The nomination must be based on an actual customer experience story that occurred within the prior 12 months.

Although not necessary, it is highly effective to include any documentation to support the customer experience story that predicated the agent’s nomination. This could include the QA evaluation, CSAT survey, customer testimonial, call recording transcript, email/chat transcript, or social media appreciation.

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • A motivated individual who is committed to improving the customer experience, and has ambitions to progress within the industry
  • The special qualities that make them especially suited to a customer service role
  • A clear understanding of their role within the organization
  • A demonstrable impact on customer service and efficiency
  • A positive influence on the behaviors and attitudes of fellow employees
  • Glowing testimonials from colleagues, customers, partners and managers
  • Instigation of special projects/new ideas – and evidence of how these have benefited the operation

 

Best Contact Center Supervisor

This category is open to those who supervise agents regularly and provide support to customer-facing individuals. Nominations must come from a colleague within the organization or a business partner. The nomination must be based on an actual customer experience story wherein the supervisor either saved a customer interaction or helped an agent dramatically improve their call resolution, CSAT, or overall performance through coaching and mentoring. This event must have occurred within the prior 12 months.

Although not necessary, it is highly effective to include any documentation to support the customer experience story that predicated the supervisor’s nomination. This could include the CSAT survey, customer testimonial, call recording transcript, email/chat transcript, or social media appreciation from the event, or the before and after history of the agent which will showcase the impact of the supervisor’s coaching and mentoring.

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrable ability to deliver a good customer experience as an individual or escalation point
  • Strong leadership from an individual who can motivate his/her team to achieve exceptional performance
  • A motivated individual who is committed to improving the customer experience, and has ambitions to progress within the industry
  • The special qualities that make them especially suited to a customer service role
  • A clear understanding of their role within the organization
  • A positive influence on the behaviors and attitudes of fellow employees
  • Glowing testimonials from colleagues, customers, partners and managers
  • Excellent communication and problem-solving skills
  • Efforts to create the most productive environment possible, as well as effective skills training and regular coaching for team members
  • This person’s influence on the introduction or implementation of an innovative or creative new initiative that has led to improvements in customer service

 

Best Contact Center Manager

This category is open to professionals responsible for managing a contact center and customer service professionals. Nominations must come from a colleague within the organization or a business partner.

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • A clear understanding of the skills offered by their teams and how they are utilized
  • The ability to offer tangible results through their focus on and investment in people
  • Clear evidence of how the individual has moved strategy into practical reality
  • Evidence of how this person has improved the customer experience (e.g. feedback surveys, statistical data etc.) through effective implementation of processes
  • Demonstrable ability to partner with internal stakeholders or outside vendors to achieve mutual customer experience success
  • Strong leadership from an individual who can motivate his/her team to achieve exceptional performance
  • A motivated individual who is committed to improving the customer experience, and has ambitions to progress within the industry
  • A positive influence on the behaviors and attitudes of fellow employees
  • Glowing testimonials from colleagues, customers, partners and managers
  • Excellent communication and problem-solving skills
  • This person’s influence on the introduction or implementation of an innovative or creative new initiative that has led to improvements in customer service
  • Evidence of how they have held up the contact center as an important part of the business as a whole

 

Best Customer Service Business Leader

This category is open to senior customer service professionals only. They must have influence over the customer service strategy of the organization and manage the P&L of the contact center. Nominations must come from a colleague within the organization or a business partner.

Finalists are determined based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of lateral and innovative thinking in boosting the customer experience
  • An uncanny knack of keeping the concerns of the customer at the top of the “boardroom agenda”, which has the respect of other senior managers
  • A proven “before and after” strategy, as evidenced by the improvements within the contact center and the elevated customer experience during the business leader’s tenure
  • A conspicuous and sustained interest in customer feedback
  • Strong communication skills and evidence of good managerial practices, including teamwork, motivation, and support
  • Evidence of financial growth through outstanding customer service management

 

ICMI Lifetime Achievement Award

Each year ICMI chooses a new recipient for their Lifetime Achievement Award. This person embodies the spirit of customer service and has contributed to all aspects of the contact center industry - the people, the organizations, the technology, and the customers. This individual has aided in the success of ICMI and its mission to provide training, events and resources in order to elevate the reputation of the industry. Most importantly, the recipient of the ICMI Lifetime Achievement award has dedicated their career to the great people of the contact center industry.


 

"Best of Show" @ Contact Center Expo & Conference

ICMI has great appreciation for the exhibitors and vendors that help make the Contact Center Expo & Conference such a valuable event. Starting this year, we will have an anonymous team of judges decide on the best-of-the-best! This award goes to the exhibitor that exemplifies the following:

  • Knowledge of the contact center industry and its challenges
  • Innovative solutions, technology, software or ideas
  • Dedication to the industry
  • Booth creativity
  • Teamwork and charisma

 

 

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