Interview with Past Winners – part one


 

If you’re still unsure about whether or not to enter, here’s a quick reminder of why the effort can be more than worth it.

We went back to some past winners and asked them what winning meant to them …

Jess Hills, Team Leader, Reassure

Winner: UK National Team Manager of the Year

How was your experience of the judging process?

Having been through it once already the previous year, I knew what to expect and it was nice to have Ann-Marie judge again for the second time around. I felt like I could really be myself during the judging process and was given the time to talk about all my experiences and examples. It was a really positive day, regardless of the outcome just getting to the judging stage and being nominated by my company felt like a real achievement.

 

How did it feel when your name was announced at the awards dinner?

It felt incredible! You obviously sit and hope that it’s going to be you. But when you haven’t made Bronze or Silver you sit and desperately hope that your name will be next. Then when it actually happened it felt unreal. I felt so happy and it felt so great to be recognised at such a high level. It was genuinely one of the proudest moments of my life and it makes years of hard work feel really worthwhile.

 

What do you think have been the main benefits of entering the awards?

Recognition in the industry and raising my profile within my company. It’s meant that my name is now known and I’ve been able to get involved in more opportunities. After the first year of entering it changed me as a manager and made me look at things differently. The process showed me areas that I could improve in and I focused a lot more on how I could help and support those around me.

 

What advice would you give people who are thinking of entering the awards?

Be yourself. Be honest about your experiences and what you have learnt from them. Enjoy the day and enjoy the fantastic gala dinner. Take away from it all the positives that you can and use them to make yourself better.

Bryan Horrocks, Head of Customer Services Resourcing, Rentalcars.com

Winner: UK National Recruitment Champion of the Year

How was your experience of the judging process?

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Every stage was mapped out clearly, with a lovely point of contact if you do have any questions. If you follow the judges’ lead and keep organised you’ll have no worries.

The interview itself sounded a little daunting but the judges made me feel at ease while they walked me through a series of questions. It was challenging, but gave me the chance to tell my story and highlight what was so distinctive about the work I’ve been doing.

When that was complete, the judges took the time to speak with my Director and some members of my team. They all gave glowing feedback of their time with the judges and I concluded the visit with a tour of our building and received an idea of timescales for what would happen next.

Overall my experience was extremely positive from start to finish.

 

How did it feel when your name was announced at the awards dinner?

Time stopped! Literally.

The best feeling. Lots of smiles and support and I really felt the love in the room. I remember looking out from the stage and seeing a sea of people and lights. I managed to pick out my team who were all stood up, cheering and could feel myself beaming.

Without a doubt, there’s an immense amount of prestige attached to winning. Definitely a career defining moment in terms of recognition and pride.

 

What do you think have been the main benefits of entering the awards?

It gives you the opportunity to take stock of what you’ve done and achieved so far. You also get to meet peers across many other industries and make great connections. All the people I met throughout the process are wonderful and are all about being the best they can be. It also lets you showcase your company, offices and team – all of which I’m very proud. You also get the chance to help when people ask you for a little advice and no matter what your area of expertise, you feel like you’re part of something on a grand scale.

 

What advice would you give people who are thinking of entering the awards?

Be ready, be yourself and make the most of every single minute of the process. It’s rewarding on so many levels for you as an individual and collectively for your team and the company you work for.

Alex Marsden, Head of Sales Contact Centre, Royal London

Winner: UK National Contact Centre Manager of the Year (Small Contact Centre)

How was your experience of the judging process?

My team and I really enjoyed preparing for the judging process. The whole call centre was excited to demonstrate what progress had been made in a 2-year period. The judging process was smooth and felt really relaxed with lots of interest in our call centre rather than just lots of questions.

 

How did it feel when your name was announced at the awards dinner?

Amazing. I was lucky to bring with me some of my frontline staff and the experience for them was great as they tend to stay in the call centre rather than network. It was a very professional event and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and joining in with the celebrations.

 

What do you think have been the main benefits of entering the awards?

For me it is about creating a network of contacts and friends who can help share best practice, and offer support and advice on specific issues in the future. I also like to use the awards as a way to help my business sell its services to new partners, therefore creating increased revenue and opportunities.

 

What advice would you give people who are thinking of entering the awards?

Prepare your entry well and cover the main objectives that you have achieved. Engage with your teams so that when the judges arrive on site they are greeted with enthusiasm and interest. It really is about the whole call centre so ensure that everyone is allowed a chance to take part as much as possible.

Darren Gibbins, Contact Centre Manager, Barclaycard

Winner: UK National Contact Centre Manager of the Year (Medium Contact Centre)

How was your experience of the judging process?

I was personally extremely impressed with the process, this being my first time. The initial stages right through to the face to face meetings were a great experience and the judges were really supportive.

 

How did it feel when your name was announced at the awards dinner?

It’s a feeling that’s very difficult to describe. I knew we had a strong entry but you never think it could be you. To receive such an award has been one of my career highlights!

 

What do you think have been the main benefits of entering the awards?

A great networking opportunity to mix with other members within the same industry and for me to celebrate publicly the great work we do in Barclaycard.

 

What advice with you give people who are thinking of entering the awards?

Don’t leave it to the last minute. Take time to prepare and plan out your entry. Make sure you take advantage of the great advice from the CCMA website on submitting the perfect entry.

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