Visitors and subscribers to contact-centres.com will realise that we are great supporters of the CCMA (Call Centre Management Association) simply because they are completely independent, not-for-profit, provide invaluable and in-partial advice and training, to name but a few, to both the industry and its members.
Although there are a few ‘other’ contact centre awards the CCMA Awards are the highlight of the contact centre calendar and the pinnacle of achievement should a company or individual be shortlisted for an award let alone win an Award.
On 20th May over 700 contact centre professionals gathered at the prestigious Brewery in London to celebrate and acknowledge both company and individual successes; as I was privileged to be one of the Judges I was aware how high the standard of entries were and to be even mentioned was an achievement in itself.
In the first of many interviews with Award Winners we took the opportunity of interviewing Ann McCormack of Sky UK after she achieved the ‘Quality Manager of the Year’ Award.
How did you start with SKY?
I began working with Sky 25 years ago on a temporary basis within the Data Entry team on the evening shift. I had just had my 2 boys and was looking for a bit of money for Christmas….I’ve been with Sky ever since
How has your contact centre changed since you first started with SKY?
The People have always been fantastic and have supported the company through the very many technology and content advances which has put Sky at the very leading edge of the industry.
Everything that happened way back 25 years ago was a “manual process”, from switching on a viewing card to enable our customers to view our content to having our customers manually sign a paper contract which had to be “processed” to enable billing to take place. There was one contact centre where the environment felt like the stock exchange – now we have 23 contact centres, knowledge available at our fingertips and the environment is one we’re proud to showcase internally and externally. We’ve become an employer of choice, working with local communities giving young people the opportunity to feel and see the bigger picture and that we’re not just about a contact centre and “numbers”, we’re about helping our customers get the best out of our products.
What makes SKY different to other similar contact centres?
I’ve not worked in other contact centres but having had the opportunity to network with other companies and indeed talk to friends and family my thoughts lead me to believe it’s all about how Sky looks after and invests in their people (the passion pyramid comes to mind).
We have the freedom to Believe in Better (which is our brand) and through collaboration we come up with ways to improve all the time.
Best or notable achievement in your business life?
Being recognised by the very best is inspiring – to know that Ann- Marie Stagg and her team at CCMA who have so much exposure to lots of companies have recognised me as a role model….. so it has to be this recognition.
What thing was the pivotal point contributing to the success of Sky under your leadership?
The launch of Digital and my drive to move away from a paper environment meant that our customers had a much simpler and more effective service. It also meant that our business could do things faster and allow our people to be deployed into areas of further growth.
What advice would you give to people contemplating a career in the contact centre industry?
Remember that every single thing you do is for a person, your customer. Service is a differentiator in today’s world so it’s important to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
What do you look for in staff applying for positions at SKY?
A positive “can do” attitude, passion, enthusiasm, motivation and team player.
If you had £1m to invest in your contact centre would you invest in technology or staff?
Most definitely people – they are the front face of our business. Happy People = Happy Customers.
Top tip for contact centre improvement?
Share and recognise best practice.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I’m almost at retirement age on paper but not in any other way! I’d love to help other companies achieve their goals from a quality perspective so perhaps a bit of consultancy.
Sum up SKY in 10 words
We want to offer the best service in the country.
Sum yourself up on 10 words
I want to offer the best service in the country.