Meet our 2017 London and South East Contact Centre Awards judges:
Ross Parker, Claims People & Communications Manager, LV=
Ross is an experienced People and Communication Manager with an impressive track record for implementing new engagement initiatives boasting industry leading results. Ross was instrumental in LV= winning Best Employee Engagement Strategy at the 2016 UK Customer Satisfaction Awards and now leads Engagement activities for a diverse 3500 General Insurance workforce. His influence in shaping and embedding a people centric consciousness within the GI Claims arena in particular saw him recognised in the Young Achiever category at a number of industry awards. Ross is an advocate for engagement being operationally led and believes it to be critical to fully understanding context, root cause and future engagement risks.
Gary Robson, Assistant Director of Customer Services, L&Q Group
Gary has worked at a senior management level in customer contact environments for over 20 years in organisations such as Vodafone, Carphone Warehouse and now 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 is a Board member for the L&Q Foundation which funds community development projects and is a parent Governor at Tetherdown primary school in Muswell Hill. He 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.
Andrew McLeod, Customer Service Manager, ReAssure
Andrew has worked in the contact centre industry for almost 20 years. He has held a variety of positions ranging from front line representative, MI and scheduling analyst through to Head of Department. Andrew has managed contact centres in the UK, Canada, and off shore (Philippines) and currently heads up the front end operations for ReAssure (part of the Swiss Re group).
Warren Tait, Customer Services Director, Neopost Limited
Warren has worked within the call centre industry for 28 years, during this time has held many positions from the floor up to Executive board currently holding two positions, Operations Director and Customer Services Director. His current team consists of over 200 personnel located both regionally and in the Romford head office. Over the last few years Warren and his team have awards with LSECCF, CCA, CCMA, ECCA and the Forum for Customer Innovation with Speech Analytics.
Carole Campbell, Corporate Contact Centre Manager, RAC
I am a creative, positive and passionate customer service manager focused on delivering a world class customer engagement. Extensive experience in customer service across the automotive sector covering the end to end customer journey, cross function integration programmes and internal brand engagement. I bring positivity in all situations and believe people are the only differentiator in today’s market.
Simon Davies, Sales Operations Analyst, Schneider Electric
Simon has worked within the call centre industry for almost 23 years. With experience working both client and outsourced agency side, he brings a wide breadth of experience managing call centre solutions and innovative ideas in the FMCG, Automotive and Technology sectors. Simon is driven to providing a world class service offering by engaging customers and call centre agents alike. This proactive approach has seen his team scoop awards in 2015 and 2016 at the UKCCF Midlands and Yorkshire Contact Centre Awards.
Mark Persard, National Contact Centre Manager, Ingeus
Mark is a values-driven Contact Centre leadership specialist with 12 years’ experience in the health, skills, justice, youth services and employability sectors. His work has been recognised on a regional, national and international levels. He is former 3 time winner of awards from the UKCCF winning the coverted Contact Centre Manager of the Year award in 2014. In 2016, his sites won the Small Contact of the Year award at the European Call Centre & Customer Services Awards.
Darron Burness, Teleworking Operations Manager, The AA
Darron has worked at the Automobile Association for 25 years this year, working with a remote workforce therefore is nothing new.
In July 2015 following a short spell working in India, looking particularly at business improvements on a new joint venture with TVS, Darron was asked to manage the AA’s remote ‘Teleworking’ team. Next year sees 20 years of The AA’s remote call centre ‘Teleworking’, which was created following the closure of its Leeds call centre. With the average length of service running at 13 and a half years, staff love the flexibility the role brings. With no previous call centre experience, however a vast knowledge of the business and excellent networking skills, Darron and his team have delivered a reduction in AHT of over 30 seconds and increased customer satisfaction along with a quality score. 25 years of working in a fast paced Emergency breakdown environment, Darron has always been focused on a ‘one team’ ethos, listening to frontline staff and management team to deliver exceptional customer experience time after time.
Tony Smith, Head of Sales, EMEA Region, PCI-PAL
Tony’s experience in customer management and IT spans over 25 years – years that have been shaped by rapid change, the rise of digital channels, the emergence of cloud computing and a re-writing of the rules for customer engagement in an increasing and diversely regulated environment. Tony’s career has tracked these developments and brought him to PCI-PAL in November 2016, where he is the Head of Sales of EMEA.
Mark Farrant, Service Quality Manager, Close Brothers Premium Finance
I work as the Service Quality Manager at Close Brothers Premium Finance. My role is to maximise the ability of our agents to do their job well, whether this is through improvements in technology or increasing employee engagement. I also head up the Quality and Knowledge functions within Operations.
Michelle Clarke, Reservations Manager, Enterprise Rent-a Car
As Department Manager at Enterprise’s Business Support Centre, Michelle Clarke is responsible for the smooth running of a fast paced reservations department. Michelle oversees multiple teams of home based reservation agents spread throughout the UK including Northern Ireland and assisted in being a pioneer of the business’s UK based home-working programme over 5 years ago. Michelle has over 20 years’ experience in the contact centre/customer service/sales industry and harnesses this experience to mentor and develop others in the business. In addition to her current role, Michelle is active in many other areas of the business such as training, recruitment and takes an active part in the philanthropic activities of the business. Michelle previously served in the Armed Forces and has subsequently completed three Advanced Apprenticeships, Customer Service Level 3, Management Level 3 and Management Level 5 in addition to VRQ in Leadership and Management.
Stephen Jacobs, Managing Director, SFJ Consulting
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.
Lynn Gallagher, Executive Resolution’s Manager, Argos/Habitat
Heading up four specialised teams with the objective to deliver exceptional customer service, being compassionate and always putting myself in the customer shoes. With over 18 years’ experience in high level complaints, my key achievements was being awarded the judges special award for the most passionate complaints management team 2014.
Mark Turner, Principal Consultant, Curium Solutions
A commercially focused Contact Centre Consultant, with a track record of delivering positive results across a wide range of industries with Curium Solutions. With a passion for contact centre dynamics and how these impact the business, their customers and their people, Mark’s current interest is in digital disruption and supporting organisations through this inevitable change process.
Deborah McCready, Operations Manager Customer Services, Close Brothers
Debbie has 15 years experience in Contact Centres starting as an agent for an online retailer and has worked her way up into senior management. She has led both front office and back office functions prior on transitioning into leading the Customer Experience team at Close Brothers Premium Finance. She now leads their award winning contact centre.
Matt Gray, Head of Operations, ResQ
Head of Operations for ResQ Ltd outsourcing. Currently managing two call centres. Hull with c500 FTE and more recently in Seaham (Co Durham) c200 FTE. I was the winner of the Manager of the Year award 2016 for the UKCCF Midlands & Yorkshire Contact Centre Awards.
Steve Jones, Managing Director, Skills for Business Training
Steve Jones is a well -known business coach, public speaker, trainer and consultant. Steve is an expert at creating ideas and strategies that build businesses, drive revenue and improve business position & performance. He has a passion for making companies and their products the best in their product category
Roy Holmes, Managing Director, OysterCCC Consultants
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.
Simon Harrison, Sales and Marketing Director, Cirrus Response
Simon has a very strong technical background in Contact Centre and related technologies, gleaned early in his career, that lead to product leadership roles and ultimately overall sales and marketing responsibility for Cirrus. With over 23 years in the space, and having provided product to market for well-known Enterprise organisations, Simon is passionate about the innovation people use to help get people better connected and to deliver positive, memorable, experiences.
Steven Whitehead, Corporate Sales Director, Jabra
Steven has worked within the telecommunications industry for over 20 years in Sales Management and Managing Director level roles at a variety of telecoms manufacturers and consultants. In his current role as Corporate Sales Director for the North Europe region at Jabra, Steven works with organisations to ensure they deploy the right audio devices to suit their user types and role requirements. Focusing heavily on the impact of sound on customer satisfaction, Steven and his team act as a trusted advisor to UK&I and Nordic-based contact centres, demonstrating how call quality can both positively and negatively impact the customer experience and how the right technology can improve productivity and support employee engagement.
David Payne, Contact Centre General Manager, Thomas Sanderson
David Payne is currently the Contact Centre General Manager at Thomas Sanderson (the UK’s Premium Shutters and Blinds company), looking after a multi-channel and multi-product team of around 100 sales advisors. He has worked in the world of contact centres since the 1980’s both within Outsource and Corporate operations, including working with First Direct, Orange and nPower during his career to date. David has been a regular judge for the European Contact Centre Awards, the North East Contact Centre Awards and the South East Contact Centre Awards.