If you’re thinking about entering the Customer Experience Awards held by Awards International, you may want to gather all the details about the biggest award event in the world. At CXM, we believe that nothing speaks better than the first-hand experience.

That’s why our team spoke with judges and entrants to get diverse perspectives and a more rounded view of the Customer Experience Awards. They all commented on the same questions, providing us with inspiring thoughts on the CXA and the entire industry. Whether you’re looking to enter the event as a company or become a judge, this interview will help you find your way to CXA.

First off, thank you for being a part of our awards and the CX community. Now that some time has passed, what kind of impact the awards have on you and your work?

The first one to answer the question was judge Lisa Garthside:

I have judged at the awards on many occasions, and I find that these events provide a great insight into real innovative CX. This makes me stop and think about what else I could do for my clients.

The CXA entrant had a comment with similar spirit but different perspective.

Yvan Goupil from Virgin Money said:

Getting the award has added strong value for our team, no doubt. Having our achievements validated by CX professionals has brought even more legitimacy and weight to our work in the eyes of our internal stakeholders.

What do you believe is one’s team strongest competitive advantage when applying for the awards?

We heard another truly inspiring answer from judge Lisa Garthside:

I always look for a story – where teams came from and where they are going. A really strong entry tells that story in a compelling way

Once again, Yvan Goupil from Virgin Money had a slightly different approach to the question:

We had a compelling story to tell supported by strong success metrics and we managed to deliver it in what I believe has proven to be a unique and engaging way.

Usually, winning an award shakes things up in an organization. Would you say your approach to CX changed after you received the recognition?

Our two interviewed entrants experienced similar internal transformations after the awards. Here is what they shared:

Customer experience is key to business success. As a team, we have always worked with speed, velocity, and high success measures to deliver results. Our approach will continue to focus on improving the experience spotlighting success stories and encouraging continual improvement at a time of uncertainty, said Ami Verma from Intuit.

More than shaking things up in the organisation, winning these awards have shown our colleagues how much good has been done within our customer experience, added Yvan Goupil from Virgin Money.

Could you share with others your biggest insights from the awards experience?

All of our interviewees had some inspiring thoughts to share on this question! It was a pleasure hearing them talk about the captivating and fun moments from the CXA events.

Here is what Lorraine Day, a judge from Teleperformance, shared with us:

For me, learning new experiences across the companies and teams never stops within the CXA. Many of these stories we continue sharing over the years.

CXA entrant Ami Verma from Intuit had a different perspective, speaking in the name of companies that were from the other side of the judging panel:

This was the first time the awards were going virtual, and the pressure was high. It was truly amazing to be amongst organisations that showcased company heroes and the changes made for customers during the pandemic. We saw organisations share initiatives around a shift in business alignment or activities as opposed to being traditional CX programme initiatives.

Do you have any advice for companies deciding to enter or professionals wanting to judge at the awards?

I’d say in both cases go for it, what have you got to lose! If you are interested in being a judge, I’d recommend it. I started judging for awards international in 2018 and have got so much from it that I’ve judged each year since in the CX awards, said Catherine Lindsay, a judge from Hitachi Capital.

Ami Verma, Intuit entrant, concluded with a strong point:

CXA is a fantastic way to benchmark against the best in the industry, as well as provide an independent proof point. It also allows you to work with diverse, cross-functional teams that share different perspectives and bring out the best in each other. CXA showcase what matters to your customers and enables you to improve the experience.

Could you walk us through the awards process, starting from the nominations to the final ceremony? What were some highlights for you?

The CXM team was interested in first-hand experiences entrants can share to help other companies deciding to enter Customer Experience Awards. Yvan Goupil said:

The awards process is paved with a lot of excitement, exhilaration, and emotion. Every step is inspiring, from deciding for the right category, over-preparing the papers and presentations, to attending the ceremony and expectantly awaiting the announcement of the winners in your category.

On the other hand, Ami Verma provided us with lots of useful details from the awards process.

We identified a core working team and selected the best 4 categories that reflected our business success. The great news was we were finalists in all of them. This gave the team a huge boost, but we knew a long path was still ahead of us. We were yet to present virtually at the finals to a panel of judges.

The team had 4 weeks to put together presentations. We supported each other and made efforts to meet on a weekly basis, sharing updates via email and internal messaging.

In the end, how would you describe the help provided by our team?

Judge Catherine Lindsay had only great things to say for the Awards International team:

Your team is extremely capable, organised, and professional. There is always someone to make sure things run smoothly whether the awards are held in person or virtually. From my perspective, this team gives the best support and above all manage to have good fun too.

Things were no different for entrants. Yvan Goupil commented the following:

I can only compliment you all for the support you have provided us with. The fact you have specialist roles dedicated to each critical step of the process is proven very beneficial. Everyone at Awards International has been friendly, professional, and supportive.

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