Customer Service Archives ⋆ Awards International

Thomas FairbairnSeptember 9, 20202min43270

We’re delighted to announce that we’re partnering with for the upcoming Gulf Customer Experience Awards. is the only resource in the GCC region which publishes best practices, expert interviews, in-depth articles and industry reports to enhance customer experience for all types of businesses. It also offers all-in-one social media management, training programs and DIY productivity games for customer service departments.

Aleksandar Ilic, Awards International’s Regional Manager (Middle East) had this to say about the news:

“We are thrilled to have Customer Service AE as a partner for the Gulf Customer Experience Awards 2021. They are the leading publication in the region when it comes to customer service and CX and we couldn’t think of a better partner. After a year like 2020, we all have so many things to celebrate and be thankful for, and I think the categories in this edition of the Awards really reflect that.”

Speaking for, Hamza Nasir, Director of Strategic Relations, said:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Gulf CX Awards where CX professionals can celebrate their achievements, gain insights and learn about the innovation and progress made within the sector. We hope to change the way experiential training programs can shape the future of CX. We look forward to working together.”

You still have until October 22nd to get your early bird deal for the Gulf CX Awards – a saving of 400 AED!

Once again, many thanks to for teaming up! We can’t wait to see you in Dubai on February 16th for a memorable celebration of CX excellence!


Thomas FairbairnSeptember 3, 20192min64600

Worksmart sponsor We are pleased to announce that Worksmart will be a Silver Sponsor at the UK Complaint Handling Awards 2020.

“Worksmart have built their reputation by supporting the UK’s leading financial service businesses through the challenges of regulatory compliance,” Julie Pardy, Director of Regulation and Market Engagement, explained. “From Training & Competence to Quality Assurance, SM&CR to Complaints Management, we enable smarter business responses.”

Commenting on news of the announcement, Pardy said:

We’re delighted to be a sponsor at the UK Complaint Handling Awards as it promotes best practice in complaint handling. Our complaints product, Caresmart, helps companies resolve complaints compliantly and in a way which ensures the best possible chance of retaining the relationship with the customer for the future. As such, sponsoring these awards is the right thing to do.

They join a list of sponsors that includes the Customer Experience Magazine, Professor Malcolm McDonald, the Cranfield School of Management, and our charity partner Barnardo’s.

We look forward to seeing Worksmart at the UK Complaint Handling Awards on 5th March 2020.

You have until Friday 18th October to save £100 with the early bird deal – enter today! 

For more details on sponsoring our events, click here


Thomas FairbairnAugust 6, 20195min48300

We’re delighted to announce the full list of companies that will be speaking at this year’s Winning With Complaint Handling Conference. 

These six companies all won at the UK Complaint Handling Awards 2019, and they’ll be bringing their award-winning expertise to this event. Each company will speak for 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of questions. 

Book your ticket now!

Here’s what lies in store.




Companies Announced: Capita The outsourcing and professional services firm won in the Customer Relations and Remediation category at this year’s Awards, and their presentation will discuss the use of cutting-edge analytics to find swift, effective solutions to remediation problems.



Three UK 


Winners of Best Complaint Handling Team of the Year, Three UK will discuss the importance of ‘complaint handling heroes who work consistently to raise standards and provide outstanding customer service.’ 

Focusing on how their people-centric culture is helping them become the UK’s best-loved brand by 2022, Three UK’s presentation is not to be missed. 





One of the world’s largest banks, HSBC won this year in the Product & Service Improvement Category. They will focus on fixing the root causes of complaints, and how this preventative approach helped them reduce complaints by 70%.



United Utilities


As managers of the water and wastewater networks in North West England, United Utilities impressed the judges in the Most Improved Complaint Handling – Customer Centric category. 

The presentation will give insights into their Service Recovery team, whose proactive attitude, quick response and willingness to learn help United Utilities turn their complaint handling strategy around. 



Vitality Health


The medical insurer was the Gold Winner in the Complaint Management Process (B2C) category. 

They will discuss how they incorporated customer feedback into improved complaint handling, and how they transformed their organisational culture to be more customer centric.






As Gold Winners in Customer Insight Strategy, Firstsource will share their technological expertise and discuss their partnership with NOW TV. In particular, they will focus on the innovative speech and text analytics they used to gain more precise customer insights. 




Each of these companies brings something unique to the conference; together, they give a comprehensive picture of dealing with customer complaints in 2019. 

At the conference, you can also look forward to:

  • A fully interactive experience – vote on conversation topics and put questions to the panellists using the Slido app.
  • Ample opportunities for networking throughout the day, with four short breaks and one longer break for brunch.
  • Attendees from a variety of economic sectors.

This promises to be a very special event. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Winning With Complaint Handling Conference is on 25th September. Book your tickets here

For more customer service stories from Awards International, click here



Thomas FairbairnJuly 11, 20198min107910

At Awards International, we’re eagerly looking forward to the Winning With Complaint Handling Conference in September. For the fourth year running, we’ll be welcoming a host of influential business figures and discussing the development of world-class complaint handling strategies.

Swapping stories is a great way to learn, and case studies from 6 world-class speakers will feature heavily at the event. In that spirit, I wanted to share a few examples of complaint handling excellence from the past few years that have really impressed me.

1. Proposify

Proposify is a piece of software that helps agencies and freelancers design better proposals. Unfortunately, a dissatisfied customer kept writing in to complain. It eventually got to the point where he was threatening to cancel his account.

CEO Kyle Racki recognised this as an opportunity to exercise some reverse psychology. In his message to the customer, he wrote:

I’d love to say Proposify is a great fit for everyone, but clearly we weren’t able to live up to that here. I’m really sorry about that. You may want to give Quoteroller, Nusii or Bidsketch a try, they might be more useful to you. Best of luck!

It’s always impressive when an agent recommends a competitor – it shows that they’re trying to serve you as a person, not just as a prospect, and it can actually generate more loyalty. Once the customer realised that Proposify were willing to cancel, something unexpected happened. He replied saying:

Yes we are frustrated. The refund wasn’t necessary; we just want someone to listen…Since we started using Proposify every one of our clients has asked us about it and if it’s good. We’ve been telling them we love it but it has a few bugs to iron out. I’m just one guy having a whinge. Truth is, your product is miles ahead of the rest. Keep it up.

Certain customers require unique approaches; for this one, suggesting the account be terminated reminded him how much the software meant to him, he stayed on as a customer.

2. Firstsource

As a leader in business process management services, Firstsource are at the cutting edge of complaint handling improvements.

This year, a UK telecoms company contacted them in the hopes of upgrading their complaint tagging. Using more conventional technologies – web chat, email, social media and telephones – the company’s tagging accuracy was just 70%.

Firstsource deployed its First Customer Intelligence solution to analyse conversations with customers. With state-of-the-art natural language processing and sentiment scoring, they could better understand areas of customer dissatisfaction. In a more human context, Firstsource also trained agents to tag complaints more accurately.

Within a short space of time, the accuracy of complaint tagging had risen to 90% – and this had a positive effect on the customer experience. The company’s NPS rose from +47 to +60, and first-time resolution rose from 81% to 88%.

Firstsource are a great example of how smart use of data and emerging technologies can take complaint handling to the next level.

3. Lego

In 2016, seven-year-old Luka took his favourite Lego toy with him to the shops. But, as he explained in an email, something went wrong:

My Daddy just took me to Sainbury’s and told me to leave the people at home but I took them and I lost Jay ZX at the stop as it fell out of my coat. I am really upset I have lost him. Daddy said to send you an email to see if you will send me another one. I promise I won’t take him to the stop again if you can. Thank you.

In a delightful response, Lego replied to Luka in a language he could understand:

Sensei Wu told me it was ok if I sent you a new Jay and told me it would be okay if I included something extra for you because anyone that saves their Christmas money to buy the Ultrasonic Raider must be a really big Ninjago fan… I am also going to send you a bad guy for him to fight!

Of course, this response was shared widely on social media. One customer spoke for everyone when they asked ‘why can’t your customer service be the customer service for everywhere?’

There are two lessons here: one is that the lifetime value of a customer is what really matters. The other is that well-judged humour and empathy can go a long way.

4. Ritz Carlton

Of course, no story about customer experience would be complete without a mention of Ritz Carlton, whose reputation for going the extra mile is the stuff of legend.

One of their guests in Bali was a boy with severe food allergies. His family had taken great care to bring specialised eggs and milk with them, but they were unfortunately ruined in transit. This left them in a serious situation, especially when the manager couldn’t find any of these items in Bali.

The family were understandably growing more distressed, but that’s when the manager took the extraordinary step: he contacted his mother-in-law, who lived in Singapore, and instructed her to get the correct items and take a 2.5-hour flight to Bali.





The Winning With Complaint Handling Conference will be held on 25th September. Get your tickets here

Do you have an inspiring story of complaint handling you want to share? If so, enter the UK Complaint Handling Awards today!





Thomas FairbairnJuly 10, 20193min43230

Earlier this month, we started accepting entries for the UK Complaint Handling Awards 2020.

As we prepare for the 4th edition of the Awards on 5th March 2020, we’d like to share some new details with you.

Complaint Handling - Awards Ceremony

What’s new?

  • Due to popular demand, the Awards will be a daylong event this year. Finalists will present their initiatives and network with other professionals during the day, and in the evening they’ll enjoy a sumptuous gala dinner and inspiring Awards ceremony.
  • A new, streamlined set of 15 categories covering all essential aspects of complaint handling excellence.
  • An expanded Plan2Win document, detailing exactly what it takes to succeed in your chosen category.
  • Improved user experience on our website, making your Awards journey more straightforward than ever before.

What’s familiar?

Complaint Handling - Open Presentations

  • Our rigorous two-step judging process. Half of the final score comes from a written application, and the other half from a presentation on the day of the Awards. The criteria is publicly available, so you know what our judges expect.
  • The opportunity to attend Open Presentations (pictured right): many companies allow Finalists to view their presentations, meaning you can see how other organisations are raising the bar in the world of complaint handling
  • Outstanding networking opportunities with the great and the good of complaint handling – gathered under one roof for one night only!

Early bird offer

Complaint Handling - the early bird To secure £100 off the entry price, you must enter before 18th October.

And for just a few days, we’re offering a special deal – a super early bird! Using the code SUPEREARLY10, you can get a further £50 discount off the total price of your entries. This offer is for just four organisations, and expires on Friday 12th July, so act fast!





To enter the UK Complaint Handling Awards, click here

For more Awards International stories on customer experience, click here