Looking for a bit of guidance to help you with your ACE Awards submission? No problem. Not only have we extended the deadline to March 16th to give you more time to perfect your answers, but we’ve also got a few tips, tricks and words of wisdom for you as well. Grab a coffee and let’s get started.
Why should I enter the ACE Awards?
There are lots of reasons to enter – from industry recognition, to rewarding your dedicated employees to having a shiny new trophy to display to new customers and partners. Find more reasons here. You can also see what past winners have said here.
Should I plan my answers in advance?
Definitely! The questions are mainly qualitative in nature so it’s well worth planning and refining your answers to give you the best chance of winning. We recommend having a read through our sample submission form which is available here and drafting your answers in Word (or similar) so you can paste your final answers in easily.
What are the Judges’ Choice awards?
Good question! Within each category, there will be several winners and then just a handful of these Judges’ Choice winners. These are the “best of the best” and are hand-selected by our VoC team for special recognition. Last year’s Judges’ Choice winners included Virgin Money, Best Buy, Philadelphia Insurance and Grant Thornton.
I work for a Market Research Company – can I enter?
If you are running a VoC program for a client – yes! You should you enter the Insight Through a Market Research Agency category. This is because for this category, the judges will be looking specifically for evidence of an MR agency working closely with their client, and demonstrating the use of their research expertise in delivering a great VoC program. You can see a sample submission form here.
What will the judges be looking for?
The judges are big on taking action. There are a few metrics-based questions in the submission form, and metrics are great, but we know they don’t always tell the whole story. Focus on demonstrating what you’ve done to turn the Voice of the Customer into genuine action. The big areas that the judges are looking for are around increasing revenue, reducing costs and driving culture change. Do include any numbers that show the actions you’ve taken have had an impact – e.g. ROI, cost savings, revenue increases.
Some of our judges are also a little obsessed with the idea of “viral change”. That is, ensuring that your VoC activities don’t just impact one or two areas or the business, but that every department and all employees are able to see how their role affects the customer. Show evidence of that type of change in your business, and you’re in great shape!
Ok…what should I avoid doing?
Cunning question! Don’t assume that non-financial issues don’t matter – areas like culture change are high on the judges’ priorities. So while you may not be able to show financial results, do tell us about how your processes, approach, attitudes have changed for the better as a result of listening more closely to customers.
Another thing to avoid is waffle or vagueness. Saying “the customer experience is better now” doesn’t really tell us anything. Use examples of specific things that have changed, no matter how small, so the judges can get a sense of how your Voice of the Customer program is having real impact.
Are there any examples of previous winners I can look at?
We don’t share previous submission forms, but the 2016 ACE Winners Showcase provides highlights of some of last year’s winning program which may inspire you.
I’ve completed my submission – what’s next?
You’ll receive a confirmation email initially and then your nomination will be reviewed by the judges once the nomination period closes. Winners will be notified in mid to late April and public announcements will be made in May.