Mark Brannen, Associate Director, Contact Centre Operations for BGLGroup, shares some of the benefits that his organisation has had from its involvement with NECCA over the years.
BGL has been involved in NECCA for a number of years now. We’ve been lucky enough to have had some success in previous years, including winning Contact Centre of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017, but have also been shortlisted for a variety of awards.
Why is that important? At BGL we have learnt nearly as much from the application and judging process and benefited from that as much as actually winning an award. If that sounds strange, let me explain a little.
There are three ways in which we have seen benefits: to our colleagues, our site and our business.
The Awards have had a really positive impact on our colleagues. When it comes to individual and team awards, I think it goes without saying that if your organisation is saying to you “I think you’re great” or “I think your team’s great” that’s a pretty special feeling. It’s a complete endorsement that the nomination offers.
It’s a really bold statement to be able to say to the whole team “We think everyone here is great and we might even be the best.” Entry to the awards encourages people to want to come and work for us because we demonstrate our pride in them.
The other benefits to our colleagues come from the awards process itself, for example, to write our awards submissions we put together a small working party which is great for engendering team spirit and is a really good development opportunity. What we try to do is create a buzz from day one, and if we win; brilliant, and if we don’t win; what a great experience.
When it comes to our contact centre, the benefits move up a notch. I have a reasonable idea about how we measure up against other insurers, but we use NECCA to benchmark against contact centres outside of the insurance sector too.
During the judging process you are asked questions and asked to provide evidence. Sometimes answering those questions is easy and sometimes it can be challenging but these shine a light on where you can improve and raise standards. So, when we’ve been unsuccessful in winning an award, we try and learn, and when we’ve been successful, we celebrate. But we know there are some fantastic centres in the region and think how we can maintain our number one position. In short, I think the application and judging process helps feed our ambition.
Another benefit of attending the Awards is in attraction and retention of colleagues. Sounds straightforward, who wouldn’t want to work for the best or an organisation that recognises you when you are at your best? In a competitive market we have been able to start our job adverts with ‘do you want to work for an award-winning organisation’ and candidates are actively coming back and telling us, yes I want to be part of what you’re achieving.
The Awards provide great benefits from a PR perspective, both internally and externally. We have six offices around the country and our Sunderland contact centre only accounts for a quarter of our workforce but on Awards night messages of support come in from across all our sites.
At BGL we partner with some of the UK’s major high street and banking brands and our contact relationship teams in particular love sharing news of shortlisted award-winning entries as well as using the examples of best in class when talking to current and prospective partners.
In short, we ensure we use NECCA to add tangible value to our offerings.
Finally, the Awards night itself, it’s always a great evening to see old friends and make new ones and grow my network. It’s really great to be part of something bigger and celebrate with the rest of the industry.