Forum Customer Contact Innovation Awards Winners

Forum Customer Contact Innovation Awards Winners Announced at the Forum’s 15th anniversary conference in Newcastle on 28th April 2015

Five organisations won prestigious innovation awards for outstanding initiatives that are making customer operations great places to work and transforming the experience of customers.

The overall winner was British Gas Service and Repair, with individual awards taken by Hughes Insurance, LV=, Motability Operations and RESPONSE.

Organised by The Forum, these sought-after awards, celebrate and benchmark excellence in the industry. These awards, together with our five Forum Heroes, were presented at the Forum’s 15th anniversary conference in Newcastle on 28th April, where each talked about how they achieved their outstanding results. The Forum also organise opportunities to see them and learn more during their best practice site visit programme during the summer and autumn. Award for Customer Experience
British Gas Service and Repair

British Gas Service and Repair gained the overall Innovation of the Year Award for delivering an exceptional end-to-end customer journey. A focus on customer experience led to a new operating model for planning, and used insight to improve NPS, backlogs & efficiencies at the same time in Service & Repair, cutting broken promises 78%. They were also presented with the Innovation Award for Customer Experience.

“Why did we change? Customers were telling us that we needed to change. The change in our operation can be summed up quite simply. Every team member has an input into what we do,” explained Ian Noden, leader of the National Planning Team.

Steve Woosey, Chief Executive of The Forum, highlights the way in which planning, advanced forecasting and data-led decisions are making a direct impact on the end-to-end customer experience. “British Gas Services stood out for the way in which all this was brought together; engineers find happier customers when they visit!”

The winners were selected by a team which included 15 experienced industry practitioners, many of them previous winners or finalists. Judges visited each of the 13 shortlisted organisations, and then assessed them against a strict set of criteria.

“Every year judging visits exceed our expectations and amaze our external judges”, says Paul Smedley, Founder and Chair of The Forum. “It is exciting to see how customer operations are developing. This year’s theme, Changing Gear – Rise to the Customer Challenge, is exactly what all our winners have achieved. They have been asked to speed up, do more with less or deliver a result that has never been achieved before in our customer operations. They are addressing the twin challenges of sustainable improvement and responsiveness to a fast changing market.”

Four further awards recognised innovation in specific areas:

The Innovation Award for Sustainable Culture
Motability Operations

The Innovation Award for Sustainable Culture was awarded to Motability Operations, whose approach to knowledge management builds trust and supports effective conversations, getting it ‘right first time’, optimising call length and – above all – helping advisors give customers confidence.
The Innovation Award for People Empowerment
Hughes Insurance

The Innovation Award for People Empowerment was won by Hughes Insurance, where continuous improvement has transformed the organisation’s culture, engaging everyone in shaping improvements to customer service, streamlining processes and realising over £150,000 in cost-savings. The Innovation Award for Customer Outcomes


The Innovation Award for Customer Outcomes was gained by LV=, whose focus on the customer, led to removing sales incentives & targets, part of a strategic change involving new approaches to engagement, performance management and cross-skilling.
Innovation Award for Transforming Communications

RESPONSE swept away the Innovation Award for Transforming Communication, using a desktop and mobile APP to connect people, focussing performance around one version of the truth and opening up a two-way conversation in the business. Hero awards

Forum Hero awards were presented to five outstanding customer contact professionals, recognising their exceptional personal contribution in developing the role of planning, analysis or quality. They join our growing ranks of heroes, reflecting excellence at all levels in our profession.



The 2015 Heroes are:

–  Richard Abdy, Workforce Scheduling & Planning Manager, NE Ambulance Service

– Ivan Smith, Support Services Manager, Motability Operations

– Dee Chapman, Call Centre Manager, Essex & Suffolk Water

– Ruth Mercer, Service Quality Manager, Hughes Insurance

– Colin Whelan, Senior Solutions Consultant, Aspect



For additional information on the Forum Event please visit their Website

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