Meet the industry experts that are involved in this years judging panel.
My passion is creating new opportunities to help clients transform their business to benefit both their customers and shareholders (efficient and effective). I do this by looking from the outside-in, ensuring that solutions and technologies are aligned to deliver additional value or remove waste and cost. I have a focus and interest on Customer experience, RPA, automation and digital services, having worked with companies who specialise in these areas for more than 25 years now. Knowledge in: RPA, BPMS, BPS, Digital, AI, IA, advisory, Customer experience strategy, sales leadership, commercial strategy, digital marketing,
Carole is a creative, positive and passionate customer service professional focused on delivering world class customer engagement.
Extensive experience in customer service across the automotive and banking sectors covering the end to end customer journey, cross function integration programmes and internal brand engagement.
Adept at building strong working relationships with a ‘One Team’ approach ensuring everyone knows how they contribute. Carole brings personality and positivity in all situations and believes people are the only differentiator in today’s market.
Entrepreneur turned international finance executive with experience in emerging and mature markets across Asia, Europe, Latin and North America. High Net Worth business development influencer, advising large corporates on people-first post-merger integration opportunities, developing client segmentation strategies, and building and leading the global award-winning wealth proposition, Jade by HSBC Premier.Passionate leader who builds and transforms teams through authenticity and curiosity to embrace innovation, embed change, and deliver commercial growth; translating strategy into reality.
Dan has been leading customer contact operations and strategies for over 25 years.
He has set up, managed, or been responsible for, customer service and sales environments in the UK and overseas for a number of organisations, in a diverse range of industries.
Darron is a Business and Customer Experience consultant at DBOMCS Limited. He is process and business improvement-driven with an extensive knowledge of delivering world class service levels across B2B and B2C (including fast response technical support environments). Darron enjoyed an impressive 27 year career at the AA.
Don Haddaway, the founder and Director of Artisiam, has been working in the telecommunications and software industry for over 25 years. Working with multinational organisations across many industry sectors including Media, Insurance Travel, Retail and utilities. Don has a reputation for innovation with a specialisation in the implementation of advanced customer contact environments. Historically Don has been a strategic planner of technology usage and its impact upon business, shaping the way leading edge IT technology is used within business.
Dan Moross is Director of Customer Experience at moo.com – an online print provider, making it simple for companies of all sizes to create beautiful, expertly crafted business stationery. MOO has served more than a million businesses in over 200 countries, supported by a team of +500 people in the UK and US. Having joined MOO as employee #7, Dan has led the growth of Customer Services and Customer Experience Teams at MOO from 1 employee to over 70 in 2018. Now in a more strategic role at MOO, he is driving cross-functional teams at MOO to create a culture of customer centricity and improve the customer experience across every touch-point in the customer journey.
Freda has extensive experience in delivering First Class Customer Service through working closely with colleagues across the business to better understand the customer journey in order to tailor services accordingly. Freda currently works at Network Homes as the Head of Customer Contact Centre having held senior roles within the Housing Industry since 2007. Network Homes has been through an extensive culture change programme with the Customer Contact Centre at the fore front the changes, championing our HART values and Mary Gober Customer Service ethos.
The UKCCF has been an invaluable source, during periods of change, for drawing on expertise of likeminded peers and as a result I am delighted to be on the Judging Panel for this year’s Awards programme.
An independent Contact Centre Consultant and Leader, Gary has worked in the industry for over 20 years. He specialises in working with organisations going through significant change, and is passionate about delivering the best outcomes for both his client, their customers, and their employees.
Gary built his career in Contact Centres through building and developing specialist teams of people in Workforce Optimisation, Quality Assurance, Management Information, Colleague Engagement, and Customer facing roles including Sales, Service, Collections and Complaints.
Gary has worked at a senior management level in customer contact environments for over 20 years in organisations such as Vodafone, Carphone Warehouse and L&Q, one of the largest Housing and property development organisations in the UK. In 2016 he was recognised as Director of the Year at the UKCCF London and South East Awards and has judged for the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards, the UK National Contact Centre Awards and the UKCCF awards. Gary holds an MBA from Henley Business School, a BA in Political and English studies from Middlesex University and is accredited in Agile Project Management and Lean Management.
James has worked for Argos (Home Retail Group) his whole career. After University (he studied Management Science and Computer Science) he worked his way up through the various management positions in store, and then became an area manager. After briefly running a region for Argos, he moved into Head Office and became responsible for the development of customer service within stores. Whilst doing this, he became involved in creating the current strategic road map for Argos, specifically around multi-channel customer service, and this then led to him undertaking his current position where he is responsible for the development and improvement of contact centre services for Argos. He also leads the customer insight and recovery teams.
Kelly Vedash is Head of Contact Centre at L&Q, a leading large housing association based in Kent. With over 25 years customer service experience working in travel, banking and housing, Kelly is also a multi award UKCCF London and South East winner gaining titles for Manager of the Year in 2012 and 2014, along with Social Media Team Public Sector Contact Centre of the Year 2016 and were highly commended for complaint management and homeworking strategies.
Kelly’s passionate about customer service and employee engagement and thrives on driving performance through a fun collaborative culture. Delivering in a highly demanding role, as an accredited lean manager and project manager she’s leading a transformation journey through a collaborative task force that will redesign and shape the services delivered through the Contact Centre.
I started my career in sales for a manufacturing business, progressing from support, through to field sales and then sales management. Changed career in 2009 and was involved in a telesales new business set up for Neopost Ltd. 2.5 years ago had an opportunity to change again and be involved with the customer contact centre at Neopost – a superb chance to change direction and have loved every minute of it (well nearly). I am passionate about putting customers at the heart of the business and creating consistent positive customer experience culture.
I believe in challenging the norm, thinking outside the box and I am not afraid of taking risks – calculated of course! I am fully behind the advisor, the voice of the employee is King/Queen to realising and improving customer service – remembering that the advisor is the Human touch in today’s CX world. Embrace the change, utilise the digital solutions available to us, and keep improving.
Lynette Hirst OBE
Lynette Hirst is the Chief Executive Officer of Clear Horizons Consultancy Limited (CHC) a business specialising in Leadership Consultancy & Interim and Change Management. Although not exclusively so, Lynette focusses on Contact Centres and Collections Management, working with talented Associates to support organisations to achieve improved business results and individuals to reach their full potential.
In her previous roles, Lynette has a successful track record as an operational manager of large diverse teams, working as a senior leader in both Public and Private Sector organisations – HMRC, Thomson Holidays, Birmingham City Council and the Rank Organisation – leading people to deliver excellent customer services by building high performing teams within fast paced customer focused environments.
Lynn Gallagher is the head of the Executive Function of the Argos, Habitat and Sainsbury’s brand which houses the Executive Complaints, Correspondence and Product Safety teams. These teams pride themselves on being compassionate when things go wrong and working tirelessly to fully investigate and resolve any issues. These teams also offer invaluable feedback to the rest of the business to ensure that as a brand we continue to improve and offer our customers an excellent service.
Lynn is passionate about Customer Service and her ethos is to listen, understand and put herself in the customer’s shoes. With 19 years’ experience across Sainsbury’s Argos, Habitat and Homebase brands, Lynn leads her specialised teams to resolve complex enquiries with the aim to provide exceptional service to all customers.
Matthew is Head of Customer Service at uSwitch.com. He has a proven ability to successfully build and manage multi-site businesses and customer-facing inbound and outbound contact and administration centres from the ground up. Matthew is experienced working and influencing globally at all levels, managing large operational & infrastructure led change projects and leading new strategic initiatives designed to deliver improved performance, profitability and customer experience.
Very recently became General Manager at ResQ Limited, National Outsourced Call Centres in our Hull site. Previously Head of Operations for nearly 3 years, during which time I won the UKCCF Manager of the Year in 2016 for Yorkshire and the Midlands. I started at ResQ in 2007 as a sales agent and progressed through the company over the last 11 years. Very proud and privileged to hold my current position working for a dynamic and progressive company with big ambitions. We currently employ around 800 staff across our 2 sites in Hull and Seaham and expect this number to grow significantly over the next 2 years. Exciting times!
Mark joined Close Brothers Premium Finance as a temp. in the Contact Centre in 2010. Since then, he has worked in multiple roles across Operations, and played a key role in delivery of a recent Contact Centre Transformation.
In his current role of manager of the Continuous Improvement team, Mark prioritises and delivers process automation and simplification, all with the goal of improving the customer journey and reducing costs for the business. His team are also responsible for delivering training to our broker community. We have designed and use contact data from brokers to ensure we deliver targeted training to increase self-service uptake and therefore reduce the number of ‘simple’ queries that we receive on a daily basis.
Mark Persard (BSc HONS)
Mark is a multi-award-winning values driven Contact Centre leadership specialist with 15 years’ experience in the health, skills, justice, youth services, employability, financial and legal services sectors. Mark’s work has been recognised on a regional, national and international level. He is a recipient of the Contact Centre Manager of the Year, and Contact Centre of the Year awards from the UK Contact Centre Forum. He has also won the European Contact Centre of the Year award (from the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards). Mark’s passion is for delivering service excellence and inspiring people to achieve their potential. He has a strong commercial, operational, and compliance focus, specifically relating to; delivering operational and budgetary performance, developing his teams, and driving efficiency through the optimisation of processes. To further his skills in managerial excellence Mark is currently completing an MBA.
Mark is a Principal Consultant for Curium Solutions, an award winning change business based in the centre of Birmingham. Winning awards with the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce in 2018 for Business of the Year and Excellence in People Development, Curium’s focus is on simplicity, their culture, their belief in individuals and a commitment to delivering change that really sticks.
Mark is responsible for delivering operational transformation programmes within front and back office environments. He has extensive Inbound call centre management knowledge and a deep understanding of the unique dynamics and metrics which are essential for success in this fast moving operational environment.
HIs skills have been used to design and deliver tailored technical skills training workshops for both Operational Managers and Resource Planners followed by embedded learning through post workshop coaching activity. This has consistently lead to the achievement of sustainable results and created an enhanced understanding of common goals.
Michael is Chief Marketing Officer at the UKCCF. He has 20+ years experience in consulting and in-house roles helping build a number of fast-growing businesses incl. Garlands, Aspect Software and Intel Dialogic. At the UKCCF, Michael manages Special Interest Groups in HomeAgent Working, Digital, Security & Compliance, and Employee Engagement – as well as driving the UKCCF’s thought leadership research programmes.
Nerys is Chair of the DMA Contact Centre Council, a Non Exec Director for Connect Assist, (a specialist outsourcer) and Founder of Injection Consulting. Before setting up her consultancy Nerys spent 18 years in some of the UK’s most responsive outsourcers managing contact centre services for clients like Volkswagen, Vodafone, British Gas, the National Apprenticeship Service and Sky.
Nerys uses these experiences to carry out CX audits, contact centre health-checks and delivers workshops around a host of contact centre related subjects. Nerys also works with the Contact Centre and UC technology provider Mitel adding value to and developing their 900 UK contact centre clients. Nerys is noted for ‘driving change’, being ‘honest’ ‘practical’ and ‘indefatigable’.
Phil Cross-Rudkin is an Associate of Clear Horizons Consultancy Limited (CHC) a business specialising in Leadership Consultancy & Interim and Change Management. CHC focusses on Contact Centres and Collections Management – but not exclusively so – to support organisations in achievingimproved business results and individuals to reach their full potential.
Previously Phil worked for HMRC and its predecessor organisation, HM Customs & Excise. As well as project managing the introduction of a new telephony system in it’s debt management contact centres, he also led the introduction of a “once and done” operation which significantly improved customer experience, business results and staff morale. Phil was also part of the senior leadership team which turned the HMRC Collections Management around and into a high performing organisation – assessed by McKinsey’s as being in the upper quartile of global debt collection organisations.
Rick has a wide range of experience in the customer contact industry, designing and delivering improvemement projects in both public and private sectors which always enhance customer experience and operational efficiency.
Sales and Marketing Director, Vocalcom) Roy Holmes has worked in the Contact Centre arena for 30 years. He has worked for many of the leading suppliers in the industry including IBM, Aspect, Rockwell, Noble, and currently works for Vocalcom as Head of Sales and Marketing. He has successfully run his own consultancy business for over 10 years.
I have a varied career both in the public and private sector, as a soft skill trainer and learning champion for the NHS to a complete change in 2006 when I started for Neopost as a Quality Control Coordinator. My experience at Neopost has been varied, CC team leader, manager and back to where my passion lies and that’s excellent customer service.
The role has become more analytical endeavouring to provide the best painless customer experience possible. My knowledge of the business has made me a “go to” person
I celebrate being approachable and credible for our advisors.
My tag line has always been “Eccentric with attitude
Simon has had the pleasure of working within the call centre industry for over 20 years and has worked for a variety of high profile companies at various levels.
Acting upon quantifiable data that allows a progressive and forward thinking solutions inspires Simon to continue to strive for perfection in this ever changing environment.
Simon has managed teams and inspired individuals who have gone on to receive industry recognition and is excited to join this years judging panel.
Hi, my name is Simon Donaldson and I work for Ikano Bank in Nottingham as the Head of Customer Operations UK. After 18 years in the banking sector I am still learning new things everyday, working with a variety of teams in our contact centre aiming to deliver a fantastic customer experience whilst giving our co-workers something special by living and breathing our culture and values. Working together is one of those values which seems simple but isn’t always the way. Working together with our colleagues across the globe creates a fantastic family environment where everyone puts their hands up to help when it is needed.
The really important thing for me in both work and home life is giving people the belief that they can always step up and the best version of themselves.
Stephen has spent 25 years working in the contact centre industry as supplier, client and consultant. He has advised many of the world’s leading customer service exponents across finance, telecoms and utilities sectors. He is active in the development of industry best practice acting as an awards judge, lecturing at the Institute of Direct Marketing and presenting at industry conferences.
Having owned three petrol stations and a pub, been a clown and sung in musicals, it seemed very unlikely that Steve would end up managing a Call Centre operation. But that’s exactly what he did.
Steve made a career change in 1999, joining Merlin Entertainments managing the front of house teams at Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Park. In 2003 Steve was asked to manage the groups small Call Centre in a back room within Madame Tussauds London with just seven seats. As Merlin Entertainments grew to become the world’s second largest visitor attraction company, (and now a FTSE 150 company), Steve has expanded the Call Centre operations to five centres worldwide with over 300 seats, supporting brands such as Alton Towers, LEGOLAND, Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park, The London Eye, Warwick Castle, SEA LIFE Centres, The Dungeons, Madame Tussauds and Shrek’s Adventure in London. He also supports the group’s hotel operations through its in-house Call Centres along with managing the relationship with a third-party partner. Not bad for someone who had never stepped foot in a Call Centre before!!!
“I put the success of delivering an excellent customer journey down to my fantastic team” says Steve. “Most of my guys have been on this journey with me throughout and delivered one of the most amazing success stories in the industry”.
Having asked the question, “how will our customers communicate with us in 5 years’ time”, Steve is now dramatically changing the way Merlin Entertainments communicates with its customers, by enhancing the voice channel whilst introducing a move to self-serve and web chat. “Merlin Entertainments is an extremely customer focused business so ensuring we deliver a best in class customer journey is paramount. This move ensures we deliver what our customers want”.
Channel Doctors’ founder, Steve Sullivan, has 20 years’ experience of solution design and delivery in customer experience and contact centres, both in the UK and overseas. This has included working with a variety of brands such as American Express, Ageas, Abel & Cole, Gucci, Land Rover, Marks & Spencer, The Guardian and Burberry.
Trevor founded The South East Contact Centre Forum Ltd in 2009. A year later, The London Contact Centre Forum and The Midlands Contact Centre Forum were established. Gaining popularity, other regions wanted events in their area and in 2014, a rebrand saw the birth of The UK Contact Centre Forum Ltd (UKCCF). Now spreading across to Yorkshire, East England and Northern Ireland, UKCCF is one of the biggest user groups for the Contact Centre Industry.
UKCCF hosts networking events, executive clubs, special interest groups (SIG), regional awards programmes and conferences across the UK.
The awards programmes and conferences became so popular that in 2018, these events were combined and made national.
UKCCF also has an online magazine: Contact Centre Monthly.
I have worked in the Contact Centre Industry for a number of years managing a range of structure, process, people and service changes– in my current role I am responsible of the sales and customer service delivery for Saga Holidays and Cruise. I have previously been a judge for the SECCF in 2016. Saga Holidays won Contact Centre of the Year 2014 (over 100 seats) in the SECCF/LCCF awards.
Vince has worked in the Contact Centre space for 30 years and gained experience in positions across a range of companies within different sectors, including roles at British Gas, easyJet, NHS 111 and most recently Diabetes UK. Vince is committed to the delivery of an excellent customer experience and has managed customer contact operations within the UK and Europe which have been delivered in-house and through outsourced partnerships.