Earlier this week I spent a splendid evening at the Engage Awards, along with many of the UK’s leading customer experience professionals. The Engage team had received hundreds of award submissions, so we were delighted that a number of Confirmit’s customers and partners were represented at the final. We were sharing a table with the CX team from RS Components, who are without a doubt one of the most dedicated CX teams I’ve come across (and who know how to have a cracking time at an awards do, as well!)
As well as the RS Components team, we were very happy to see our friends from Direct Line, Lloyds Banking Group, Virgin Money and Thomson Reuters all enjoying the evening. All were shortlisted or winners in their respective categories and all thoroughly deserved to be there to be rewarded for their hard work.
Customer Experience teams can have a tough time at many organizations. Usually they’re small teams trying to achieve an enormous amount and while there’s a great deal more awareness about the importance of CX now, there’s often a lack of understanding from the wider business about what they actually do. Worse still, it’s not uncommon for other people in the business to think they can ignore CX because “we’ve got a department to do that”. Having an opportunity to share their stories – successes and challenges together – with other like-minded professionals in this way is really important. It helps ensure the CX continues to grow and evolve into the well-supported business discipline it has become.
The awards part of the day followed the Customer Engagement Summit which has become a huge fixture in the CX calendar and which provided a more structured setting for learning, development and networking for hundreds of CX and Voice of the Customer practitioners. Again, it was a great chance to catch up with friends and partners from around Europe. Our own Claire Sporton was presenting in her usual enthusiastic and slightly off-beat way (while passing around chocolate coins to the attendees!) as she talked about the importance of bringing together Voice of the Customer with Voice of the Employee to really drive business change.
Back at the awards ceremony, I can safely say that a fabulous time was had by all. I confess, my hopes tend not to be high of food at these events, but we were incredibly well fed and watered and it really was wonderful to catch up with customers and partners alike in such a celebratory environment. I very much hope to be back there next year – hopefully with even more trophies going to Confirmit’s friends!