2019 Customer Experience Manager winner Laura Welch from Home Group
What attracted you to the UK Awards in particular?
Home Group have entered the UK National Contact Centre Awards regularly since 2015 – we take part in these awards because we believe that they are the most prestigious national awards in the industry. We also take part in the North East Contact Centre Awards which my colleague Michael nominated me for and when I won Customer Experience Champion there, he decided to nominate me for the UK Award off the back of it. I didn’t think too much about it at the time because I didn’t think I had a chance up against national standard!
How did you decide what category to enter?
We entered the Customer Experience Manager category, as it linked perfectly with my regional award and it’s what I’m really passionate about.
How did you find the Judging process?
The judges were all so lovely and made me feel really comfortable. It felt reassuring to be judged by people who really understand my role and the industry. They did ask pretty challenging questions throughout, so it wasn’t an easy process. But on the whole, they wanted to really understand what I had done, which I really liked because I got the opportunity to tell them all about what we had delivered!
Do you have any tips for people think of taking part?
I would definitely say ‘go for it’. Like I said, I didn’t think I was in with a shot just because I know the national standard is so high, so I didn’t really get nervous until the day of judging. I would say just relax and be yourself as much as possible! It’s such a great experience and will definitely help me in future job interviews!
How would you say it’s impacted your role / career inside or outside of Home Group?
Since the ceremony last May, I’ve had the opportunity to be a speaker at several conferences and I’ve been contacted by a number of external organisations to advise on best practice and share our customer experience story so far. I definitely wouldn’t have had these opportunities if I hadn’t won the UK Contact Centre Award! I also recently won the ‘Amazingly Innovative’ award at our Home Group ‘Home Star’ Awards in October which celebrates colleague achievements across the group.
Can you put into words how you felt when you won and how you celebrated?
I was completely gob smacked when my name was announced. It was such a special moment (even better as my Mum, Dad and Husband were streaming it from home, so they all got to see it!) and one I’ll never forget.
The evening itself was such a fab night – made even better by a trophy and a bottle of champagne!