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Award-Winning Call Centers Raise the Bar for Excellence

Large or small, some call centers stand out as the "best-of-the-best." ICMI looks at some of its past Global Call Center of the Year Award winners and why they were selected to receive this coveted award.

Each year, ICMI recognizes a select few call centers from around the globe that stand out as the best and brightest in the industry. ICMI’s criteria includes centers that expertly handle the principles of effective call center management, consistently measure and meet key performance objectives, sustain a positive work culture, demonstrate innovation in their management, processes and technology and continually strive to strengthen the call center’s overall role within the organization.

iContact Corp. received the 2011 Gold Global Call Center of the Year Award for Small-to-Medium Call Centers category for its innovative approach to social customer service.

iContact has taken a step toward shifting ownership of its social customer service from its marketing department and into the hands of the contact center. Sarah Stealey, senior vice president of customer support for iContact, attended a live panel at Dreamforce 2011 along with ICMI’s Brad Cleveland and Layne Holley where she elaborated on the company's goals for social customer service. As of late 2011, iContact’s marketing department remained the primary owner of its social customer care, but direct and indirect contacts from social media were being filtered through marketers and other points of contact to its Tier 3 contact center support team. From there, Stealey noted that iContact had set an informal goal for a 30-minute response time, and aimed to shorten that time in the future.

A great example of an award-winning call center for Quality is the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). CMPA received ICMI's 2011 Global Call Center Silver Award for Quality for its dedicated Quality Assurance program.

CMPA overhauled its QA program in 2010, tasking a team of dedicated and contributing resources and frontline agents with the development of a new quality audit program and form. The task team established weighting for each category and created a quality standards document with scoring criteria and concrete examples for each of the established categories. The team also organized calibration sessions to maintain on an ongoing basis to ensure that these standards are consistently applied, and to identify new and upcoming training topics.

You can read more about CMPA’s story and have a look at its performance scorecard in our spotlight article.

Is your call center outstanding? If so, apply for ICMI's 2012 awards.You can also tell us about it! We’d love to find out more about what sets your call center apart from the rest for a future spotlight feature. Email me at [email protected].

Christina Hammarberg is the former associate editor at ICMI.