By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Did you make it to this year’s Call Center Week? If not you missed a packed week of all things call center related – and more. Held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 10 to 14, the fourteenth annual Call Center Week had a record-setting 1,500 attendees, nearly 100 vendors, and scores of learning and networking opportunities.
The week began with two concurrent Master Class events on Monday, one covering coaching and the other about “fulfilling customer’s unexpressed wishes.” Tuesday featured six more workshops, covering topics such as operations, technology, metrics, and the future. Following the workshops was the kickoff keynote, presented by Brian O’Mara, vice president of national call centers at Safelite Group. His topic was “Pro US: Creating and Keeping Jobs in the US.”
The main part of the conference began Wednesday morning. Some early risers made it to the exhibit hall at 7:00 a.m., ready to talk to vendors. The presentations began an hour later with opening remarks from Amanda Powers and Brian Cantor, followed by Tim Passios, who talked about the history of the call center.
The opening keynote came from MGM Resort’s Patty Coaley. She spoke about driving an organization’s culture down to the front line. She brought with her five co-workers who helped reinforce her message. Susan Frodl of Wells Fargo and Tony Kavanagh from salesforce.com delivered the day’s second keynote address on becoming a customer-driven company. The third keynote was how to create memorable meaningful moments by Build-A-Bear founder Maxine Clark.
Just before the awards luncheon, attendees had their pick of twelve roundtable discussions; many were standing room only. At the luncheon, a number of leading contact centers received recognition for their excellence and achievement. The afternoon featured three sessions with five tracks each for attendees to pick from. Two more keynote addresses followed. The first was “The Role of Culture in Delivering World-Class Customer Service,” presented by Peter Scocimara of Google and Jeffrey Purrit of Telus International. Kevin D. Wilde of General Mills presented the next keynote about tapping talent for growth. The day ended with a cocktail reception luau in the exhibit hall.
Thursday, day four, also started early, with 7:00 a.m. breakfast roundtables, along with the reopening of the exhibit hall. Next was an enlightening panel discussion from some of leaders of the call centers honored the day before. Following the panel was a presentation on empowerment and branding by JP Saunders of Oracle and Brian Raboin of Hosting.com.
After the presentation, there were live demos in the exhibit hall, with slots for attendees to pick three vendors and experience a demonstration of their services or solutions. Next were three more keynote addresses: Kana’s James Norwood along with Garmin’s Erica Tyler; Lisa Church of 1st Advantage Credit Union; and Troy H. Mills of Walgreen Company and Mike Wooden of Convergys. After a networking lunch, there were three more sessions with five tracks each for attendees to select. Steve Riddell of Blinds.com concluded the day, speaking about coaching strategies.
The final day began with sold-out site tours of Zappos, along with a Caesars Entertainment site tour. Concurrent to these were four sessions for Global Focus Day. In addition to all this, multiple networking opportunities occurred throughout the week, providing many opportunities for attendees to meet and connect with one another.
The 2013 Call Center Excellence Award Finalists
Connections Magazine joins Call Center Week in saluting these leading contact centers and leaders for their award-winning performance and achievement. The honors were given at a special awards luncheon held at Call Center Week on June 12, 2013. The winners, runners up, and honorable mentions for the nine categories are:
Best International Call Center
Winner: Stream Global Services
Runner Up: CGS – Computer Generated Solutions
Honorable Mentions: Acronis and Genpact
Best Outsourced Provider
Winners: EGS (Expert Global Solutions) and Genpact
Runner Up: HGS
Honorable Mentions: Tech Mahindra and Hutchison Global Services and TLC Associates
Best Contact Center Learning, Development, and Recognition Program
Runner Up: aok.teleservice defacto GmbH, a member of the davero group
Honorable Mentions: Telerx and Telus International
Best in Class Call Center (Under 200 Staff)
Winner: Bath and Body Works
Runner-Up: UPMC Health Plan
Honorable Mention: Guardian Retirement Services and Louisville Gas and Electric/Kentucky Utilities (LG&E/KU)
Greatest Job Creating a Culture that Inspires World-Class Excellence
Winner: Protection 1 Security Services
Runners-Up: Stellar and Fiserv
Honored Mention: Denizbank and Teletech
Contact Center Leader of the Year
Winner: Dennis Foos, Site Director in Grand Junction, Startek
Runner-Up: Steve Ellis, Senior Director Customer Care, EyeMed Vision Care
Honorable Mentions: Roy Gaunce, Director/Customer Service and Contact Center Operations, Humana Government Business
Best in Class Call Center (over 200)
Winner: Experian Consumer Services
Runner Up: Cigna
Honorable Mentions: ARI and StarTek
Best Performance Acting on the Voice of the Customer and Voice of the Social Customer
Runner-Up: Protection 1 Security Solutions
Honorable Mention: Valvoline
Best Technology Solutions Provider
Winners: FurstPerson and Assurant Solutions
Honorable Mentions: Agero and AMC Technology LLC
[From Connection Magazine – Jul/Aug 2013]