An image showing a person behind international customer experience awards.

Last week, we had the pleasure to talk to Vuk Vukanovic, Customer Relationship Executive at Awards International. The main topic of our conversation circled the International Customer Experience Awards in 2021. With the iCXA21 around the corner, CXM was eager to find out more details about the exciting things the Awards International team prepared for the participants.

Hi Vuk, it is great to have you today with us. To start off, tell us a bit about the International Customer Experience Awards in 2021. Are you hosting them online this time?

It is my huge pleasure to contribute to CXM and speak about the International Customer Experience Awards. Based on the CXA founded in 2010, this is our most visited event in the UK. I truly believe that the awards have a positive impact on the CX industry in general. This is the fourth year that we are running this event and the second time fully LIVE online. The Awards Finals are still to be held on November 18th.

Despite its virtual format, I am proud to say that last year’s event had over 400 participants from 48 different countries, and we all enjoyed it very much. You could see people from every continent except Antarctica – although this year we’re expecting a few participants from there as well! I am especially looking forward to seeing again our previous entrants and judges. We established a strong partnership with all our participants.

You already mentioned you believe Awards are positively impacting the CX industry. Could you tell us what is in there for companies? Why should they join you on this journey?

An image showing people presenting at the international customer experience awards.

According to my experience and observation, participating in the competition and especially being awarded leaves an immense impact on the company’s internal processes, employee motivation, and long-term goals. The entry itself is a way of team building for organizations – it makes them stronger. However, whether you win or not, you leave with the feeling of victory, connection, and growth. This is what we work hard to provide to everyone who joins us.

Moreover, companies can later promote their achievements externally and share their success with the customers. The awards are all about learning and exchanging knowledge. During the Finals Day, we will have over 150 LIVE presentations and participants will be able to watch all open presentations. It is such a great opportunity to see what companies from all around the globe are doing to make their customers feel special and appreciated.

We also have a networking feature on our virtual platform, which will enable attendees to meet each other during the day, share ideas and exchange insights.

What should companies know about the entry process?

We have 15 categories in which companies can enter and compete. You can even register for more than one category with the same initiative. This year we also put some efforts into facilitating the process for those companies who want to enter four or more categories. All about the registration can be found on the Enter Now button on the web page.

Entrants will get login details for our virtual platform called Awards Manager and start writing their story. The Entry deadline is August 13th, which means that all initiatives must be submitted by then. We have a Help & Support web page where entrants can find all the necessary details, from how you should write your entry, through scoring criteria and the process of submitting.

Awards International received Outstanding Trust Mark from the Independent Awards Standards Council for the most transparent and fairest business awards. Could you tell us a bit about the scoring process? 

There are two different parts of the scoring process, and both take 50% of the final decision. We have up to seven independent judges per panel who will be scoring written entries first, around four weeks prior to the awards.

The second part of the process takes place during the Finals Day, where entrants are presenting LIVE in front of the judging panel; their presentation is followed by a 15-min Q&A session with the judges. It’s important to mention that there is no discussion between judges during evaluation. We want everyone to score based on their professional experience and knowledge. Also, two weeks after the event, all finalists will receive a benchmark report.

It seems you worked super hard to make everything go smoothly. Can we expect something new in 2021?

There are a couple of new things. Firstly, Judges are joining the awards through The Judge Club. It is an exclusive business group where we gather judges from all over the world and all awards programmes that we are running (not just CX, but also business excellence, sustainability, digital and employee experience, and real estate).

We also have three new categories: CX in Crisis, EX in Crisis and CX Professional of the Year. In addition to that, we are organising two CX Networking Events during the summer. Last but certainly not least, we are supporting a children charity partner SOS Children’s Villages International. It’s really like a family getting back together, and we’re excited to meet all our entrants and finalists for this year’s ICXA. These events are always happy, celebratory occasions, and we are certain that the International Customer Experience Awards 2021 won’t be an exception. See you there.

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