Digital Archives ⋆ Awards International

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Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnAugust 12, 20202min3330

Over the years, we’ve heard thousands of companies sharing their story at our Awards. This process is extremely beneficial: it requires you to look at your work with fresh eyes, and you’ll perhaps gain a newfound appreciation for your efforts.

These stories evolve with the times. And recent times have been very disruptive. Some businesses have been forced to rethink their entire strategies, repositioning themselves in an economy with far less social contact.

Even though this may have been a challenging time for your business, if you’ve proven capable of adapting to the circumstances, that’s a great story to share!

Whether it’s improving your e-commerce operations, designing amazing online experiences or finding new ways to serve your customers, our judges will reward initiatives that show innovation and the ability to realise a strategy successfully. And that includes adaptation!

A particularly good place to share this story is the International Customer Experience Awards. Held fully online on November 19th, these Awards are the highest accolades we offer. In fact, last year we had 31 different countries competing! It will be a truly inspiring day, and a chance to connect with hundreds of professionals who’ve also been working hard to adapt.

Having read many comments from judges over the years, one thing keeps coming across: the judges don’t mind if you faced adversity – they care how you managed to overcome it! So if your business story of 2020 is one of transformation, that’s one we’d love to hear!

 

The entry deadline for the International Customer Experience Awards is September 4th.

 

 


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Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnAugust 12, 20203min2980

Excellence is international. 

Whether it’s customer experience or business performance, companies are competing in a global market – and international recognition matters now more than ever. 

At Awards International, we pride ourselves on celebrating the finest business talent. At the moment, we do this by running awards programmes in four different countries, and we’re aiming to be in 50 countries in the next ten years! As we expand into more countries, we want to increase the international dimension of our Awards – which is why we’re introducing the Go International campaign.

 

How can I “Go International”?

If you triumph in a category at one of our regional awards (for example, the UK Customer Experience Awards) you will be automatically entitled to be short-listed* for one of our international events: the International Customer Experience Awards and the International Business Excellence Awards

At our international events, you’ll be able to meet and compete with companies from all over the world – and have the chance to win the highest accolades we offer! 

If you’re an organisation with global ambitions, this is a fantastic way of showing your customers that you mean business! 

 

When and where are the International Awards?

This year, we’ll be holding both Awards Live ONLINE from start to finish. Without the need to travel, we look forward to welcoming finalists from a greater number of countries than ever before!

We’ve already run three different awards programmes using videoconferencing software, and it’s been an amazing success. In fact, we had 100% positive feedback for our most recent event, the UK Digital Experience Awards. We can’t wait to bring that same expertise to our biggest Awards programmes.

To find out more about Go International opportunities, get in touch with one of our Awards Consultants today!

 

International Customer Experience Awards: Book a Call

International Business Excellence Awards: Book a Call

 

 

 



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Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnApril 29, 20206min11800

Necessity is the mother of all invention, as they say. This year’s UK Digital Experience Awards will recognise those who’ve responded to the current situation with innovation and creativity. We’re looking forward to hosting the Awards online on 16th July, and we hope you can join us!

As excitement for the Awards continues to grow, we want to share the World Economic Forums top 10 trends that are emerging in the coronavirus pandemic. If you’ve been adopting any of these practices successfully, you’d be a fantastic candidate for our Awards!

 

1. Online Shopping

E-commerce was already growing massively before the virus; it’s now a permanent feature of our daily lives. After some initial delays, the logistics of extremely widespread online shopping are being figured out.

Relevant DXA categories: Best App, Best Website, Online User Experience

 

2. Digital Payment Methods

Although it may seem stupid that people have been microwaving their banknotes, this does reveal something broader: an aversion to physical cash in the age of coronavirus. Offering frictionless digital payments is something that’s only going to grow in importance in the post-corona world.

Relevant DXA categories: Digital Change and Transformation

 

3. Remote Working

Remote work certainly presents challenges (the World Economic Forum lists information security, labour laws and work life balances as potential problems) but companies that can overcome these might actually see permanent improvements in staff productivity.

Relevant DXA categories: Digital Team 

 

4. Remote Learning

We’re offering an expanded series of CX Masterclasses to help our customers learn during this time. If you’re offering outstanding training, webinars, or other forms of remote learning, this makes you an ideal candidate for the Awards.

Relevant DXA categories: Best Website, Online User Experience

 

5. Telehealth

This change has been a long time coming. To ease the pressure on health services and avoid exposure, the NHS and private healthcare providers have been substantially increasing their online presence.

Relevant DXA categories: Online User Experience

 

6. Online Entertainment

Pubs and clubs might be closed, but we’ve seen extraordinary innovation in this area. The pub quiz has enjoyed a renaissance, and we’ve even seen the emergence of some virtual pubs! More traditional online experiences, such as online multiplayer video games, have also seen large increases in traffic.

Relevant DXA categories: Online User Experience

 

7. Supply Chain Innovation

Adapting to social distancing regulations, logistics firms are finally moving away from paper-based work towards more digital solutions. Companies that have done well in this area deserve all the recognition they can get!

Relevant DXA categories: Digital Change and Transformation

 

8. 3D Printing

As this technology becomes cheaper, we’re going to see greater localisation of supply chains. This is an incredibly exciting development; the use of advanced technologies is something we want to celebrate at the Awards!

Relevant DXA categories: Best Use of Emerging Technology 

 

9. Robotics and Drones

Whether it’s disinfecting products, walking dogs or delivering items, companies will be looking for more automated solutions in the future.

Relevant DXA categories: Best Use of Emerging Technology 

 

10. 5G

Forget the idiots that are attacking telecoms engineers; 5G is going to be huge. As the World Economic Forum points out, it is the one trend that will truly enable all the other 9 to succeed long-term. If your firm is involved in the rollout of 5G technology, you deserve recognition for your efforts!

Relevant DXA categories: Best Use of Emerging Technology 

 

Read the full set of categories for the UK Digital Experience Awards.

We’re also offering an early bird discount until May 22nd – get yours today! 

For more digital stories from Awards International, click here.

 

 


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Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnApril 15, 20203min5410

We’ve seen some extraordinary examples of digital excellence over the past few weeks.

In recent years, there’s been an increasing shift towards flexible and remote working; now, that process has been sped up. Although many things will return to normal in the coming months, several changes will be here to stay – and greater amounts of remote, digital work will be one of them.

For many companies, UX and CX are even more synonymous than they once were. Companies that once blended online and real-world experiences are now forced to make their website and apps the entirety of the experience. Necessity, they say, is the mother of all invention – and we’re seeing countless examples of companies innovating in these times and becoming true digital natives.

We want to honour these achievements, which is why the UK Digital Experience Awards will be extra special this year. Held entirely online on 16th July, the UK’s top companies will be explaining how they’ve achieved outstanding digital results.

Whether you’re looking to enter or simply hoping to learn from the best, it’s time to get involved! Although the lockdown is likely to end within the next few weeks, people have become much more accustomed to conducting their whole business and personal lives online, so standards are rising as a result. In such a fast-moving environment, it’s more important than ever to know how you’re performing relative to others.

Our customers always learn from their awards experience: every finalist receives a detailed feedback report, and finalists and guests have the chance to watch open presentations at the Awards. And with networking taking place throughout the day, it’s a fantastic chance to learn from each other about creating great digital experiences.

If you’ve been doing great work in this space, recognition is also more important than ever. Your customers deserve to know if you’re one of the country’s top digital performers, and it’s a fantastic morale boost for your staff as well. Plus, if you enter before May 22nd, you can get an early bird discount! 

This is the perfect time to see how far you’ve come, and learn how to take your digital experience to the highest possible level. It’s never been more important.


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Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnFebruary 4, 20203min7360

A competition is only meaningful when the rules are fair and fairly enforced.

An award should mean something special: it’s a recognition of the hard work that’s gone into your commercial success. At Awards International, we ensure that every trophy is assessed to the same high standards, so if you win, you know it was well-deserved.

First of all, we make all our scoring criteria publicly available. We don’t believe in awards being given out by mysterious academies with utterly opaque methods; no, you need to know the standards against which you’re being assessed. Many finalists choose to structure their presentations around these criteria: Objectives, Stakeholder Engagement, Implementation and so on.

Apply to judge at the UK Digital Experience Awards

We also promote the involvement of our judges, so you’ll know exactly who’s assessing each category. Because half your score comes from a live presentation on the day of the Awards Finals, you’ll also have the chance to meet your judges in person. This makes a real difference: it reminds you that our judges are real people who aren’t employees of Awards International!

And finally, every finalist receives a detailed feedback report after the event. This contains your scores, comments from the judges on both your written entry and live presentation, and information on how you performed relative to others in your category. With many other awards programmes, you’ll only find out whether you won. We believe that entering awards should be an educational opportunity, and that those who didn’t win deserve to know how they can improve their entries in the future.

Enter the UK Digital Experience Awards

Apply to judge at the UK Employee Experience Awards

Click here for more Awards International stories


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Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnJanuary 22, 20203min6560

At Awards International, we don’t think Awards Finals should be a simple announcement of the winners. With so many professionals gathered under one roof, it’s an opportunity to do so much more.

That’s why everything is still to play for on the day of the Awards Finals: 50% of your score comes from a live presentation. This creates a real sense of competition, but also means there are scores of presentations going on throughout the morning.

Many of these presentations are open to spectators – normally a little over half. The companies presenting are more than happy for you to come in and see them pitch their initiative to the judges. .

If you bring a few team members with you, you can easily see over a dozen presentations in one morning. And these aren’t just keynote conference speeches – these are real businesses talking about the genuine challenges they faced, and how they overcame them. As ServiceNow’s Ian Ashby put it: “It was truly inspirational to see the innovation and quality on show, and gave me a number of ‘nuggets’ to take back to the day job!”

Enter the UK Employee Experience Awards

Beyond presentations, there are numerous chances to network throughout the day. Once finalists have finished presenting, they feel the pressure lift and are in a great headspace to start meeting other professionals. Unlike many conferences, which can be rather niche in their focus, our Awards feature companies from all across the economy – B2B and B2C, public sector and private, SMEs and large corporation. This diversity of companies gives you the chance to hear a wide range of perspectives – and also pick up new business!

Our events have the educational and networking appeal of a conference – plus all the wonders and delights of an Awards ceremony. This combination is what keeps our customers coming back year on year – and we hope to see you at one of our events soon!

 

For more stories from Awards International, click here

To enter the UK Digital Experience Awards, click here

 

 


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Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnDecember 10, 20193min7770

At each of our Awards, we offer prizes in a series of categories. They are specially selected to recognise the diverse accomplishments of CX and business professionals.

The best route to Awards success, of course, is having a great initiative. If you have achieved great results, that will impress the judges. But you have to make sure that you’re choosing the right category.

The first step is to figure out if you’ll be entering as an organisation, team or individual. We offer prizes in each of these areas – and you can enter all of them if you wish!

 

 

 

 

 

To enter the UK Complaint Handling Awards, click here.

 

Once you’ve determined if you’re entering as an organisation, team or individual, you need to consider your specific initiative. Have a clear idea of what it is, and what exactly you accomplished. If you’re an organisation, go through the list of categories and see which ones are the best fit. Remember: you can enter the same initiative into multiple categories – but it must be relevant to all of them!

For example, if you’ve been using machine learning to enhance the Contact Centre experience, you could enter both the Contact Centre and Use of Technology categories with the same initiative.

It’s good to figure this out before you submit the first entry, as we offer discounts when you enter multiple categories at the same time. So – have a good idea of all the categories and your preferences before you enter!

If you’re looking for additional advice on categories, you can always check out our Plan2Win document. It contains more detailed information on the Awards, as well as top tips on writing a successful entry!

To win at our Awards, you have to play to your strengths. Good luck picking the category(ies) that are best for you!

 

To enter the UK Employee Experience Awards, click here

For more customer experience stories from Awards International, click here


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Thomas FairbairnThomas FairbairnOctober 8, 20193min7890

Last week, we attended the OSX Summit & Expo at the Excel Centre in London. Representing the Customer Experience Magazine, we were there to find contributors to the magazine and customers for our various awards programmes, as well as learning about the latest innovations in customer experience.

At first, it felt like walking into a science fiction movie: there were two robots roving around the conference, taking photos and conducting surveys.

 

Once we got used to our android neighbours, we started on the main business: meeting, greeting and listening to keynote speeches.

My highlight from the speaking agenda was Mitchell Platt of Growth Tribe, who gave us a whistle-stop tour of the most empowering tools in growth marketing. There were many new techniques to appreciate here, and ones that we’ll certainly be using in the future!

There were several contact centre companies in attendance, which meant that we made some great connections for the upcoming UK Complaint Handling Awards. It was also a chance to generate some interest for next year’s Digital Experience and Customer Experience Awards.

From a judging perspective, we met some very interesting professionals who would make excellent additions to our panels of independent judges. Their passion and expertise in customer experience was truly evident, and I’m sure they can bring a lot of talent to our awards programmes in years to come.

This was also a useful opportunity to make connections from the South East Europe region, particularly business associations from Hungary. As we launch the South East Europe Customer Experience Awards next year, increasing the size of our network is incredibly valuable.

Overall, this was a fantastic experience. It was great to meet other professionals, hear about emerging trends in outsourcing and get the word out about our awards!

 

To read more customer experience stories from Awards International, click here

For tickets to this Thursday’s UK Customer Experience Awards, click here


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Awards InternationalAwards InternationalJuly 18, 20195min29830

Price Factor E-Commerce - Homo Oeconomicus In the world of sales and marketing, cost often represents the bottom line. Businesses of all sizes are all trying to cut in-house expenditures in the hopes that their return on investment will be higher. Although this might appear to make perfect sense from a purely financial point of view, let us always remember that you get what you pay for. This is even more relevant when discussing e-commerce platforms. How can you balance cost-effective solutions with an application that will produce viable long-term results? What if your enterprise is on a budget? Will you be able to encounter more fiscally reasonable alternatives to Magento Enterprise and similar third-party hosts? Each of these questions deserves to be briefly placed into the digital spotlight so that you can possess the knowledge to make an informed decision.

Why price is no longer the bottom line: long-term return on investment

Some business owners will focus entirely on the up-front costs associated with an e-commerce provider. This tends to be a slight mistake, as they fail to take into account the long-term ROI that can be expected. In many instances, any initial financial outlay will be dramatically offset by profits that may result in the future.


However, it is just as important to balance the price of a package with its innate sense of functionality. This is even more relevant when we consider the fact that software as a service (SaaS) has taken the online business community by storm. Here are a handful of questions which should always be asked before committing to any type of contract:

  • What type of uptime can you expect from the provider?
  • Can this software be integrated into your legacy systems?
  • Are you provided with a user-friendly edge or will you be required to learn a great deal of complicated coding?

This last question is particularly relevant, as some providers such as Magento have been engineered for developers as opposed to the average business owner or digital marketing specialist.

 

Obtaining a clear perspective

Price Factor E-Commerce - The Scales of Justice You should also place a great deal of effort into obtaining an objective perspective with regards to the service provider in question. Do not rely solely upon their claims (never forget that they are trying to sell a product). Scour the online community for reviews. Take a look at any testimonials that the e-commerce solution may offer. Has the firm received a fair amount of negative feedback and if so, does it appear to be justified? Making a sound decision should always take into account what others have had to say about their personal experiences.

It should now be abundantly clear that cost is not the only factor to address when choosing the best e-commerce provider for your business. Although you will still have to meet certain budgetary constraints, moderately priced packages tend to deliver the most sustainable results. So, be sure to compare and contrast the largest names in the industry so that you can make the appropriate decision.

 

For more business stories from Awards International, click here