Countdown to CCMA Awards 2017 – Time To Start Writing

As the deadline for 2017 submissions looms we thought we would give you a flavour of last year’s awards ceremony…

We are delighted to announce that we are now accepting entries for the 2017 edition of the Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services awards.

These prestigious awards recognise companies that are the best in our industry sector. They highlight the tremendous work that our people undertake to deliver exceptional service to our many customers at home and abroad.

The application pack with details of all 17 categories and criteria for entry can be downloaded from our website.

The closing date for entries is 5.00 p.m. Wednesday 6th September, 2017.

The 2017 Irish Customer Contact & Shared Services Awards hosted by CCMA Ireland will take place on Saturday 11th November 2017 in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Entries will be accepted by e-mail only to

A judges call for companies who are considering entering the awards providing hints and tips on preparing a submission took place recently and a recording of the call can be viewed in the video below.

CCMA Leadership Summit 2017-Review

Round up from the CCMA 2017 leadership Summit

CCMA Leadership Summit 2017

What a great day last Thursday, May 25th at the Killashee House Hotel and many thanks to everyone who joined us to learn, network and share at the CCMA annual conference sponsored by Oracle. We had over 200 attendees physically attend and another 170 people join us on our Live Stream on YouTube.

If you missed the event, or would value a recap, we have pulled together some of the key learning’s from the day.

We kicked off the day with an inspirational keynote address from Gerry Duffy.  Gerry reminded us that in the pursuit of continuous improvement, company executives need to show that they care and take on the role of “Chief Inspirational Officer”.

He spoke about how to set effective goals for your business and introduced some great acronyms originating from Keith Cunningham (Author and Speaker) outlining three keys for good business:

  1. FOWTW – Find out what THEY want. Most companies fail at this one because we give them what we THINK they want.
  2. GAGI – Go and Get it.
  3. GITT – Give it to them

Gerry closed out the keynote with a great quote laying down a challenge for us all.

“The company that does not innovate invariably declines. Get uncomfortable”

Our discussion then moved to an economic focus where Gerard O’Neill from Amarach Research presented some insightful statistics confirming the value of digital streams as a means for successful customer service (Open the dialogue where your customers are – online). Here you can see a breakdown by industry type the propensity to use a website or social media to communicate with their provider.

29-05-2017 12-35-29 PM

We discussed the value crisis and deflation and therefore the importance of value versus price as we are combating against the Amazon-factor.

“Price is what you pay, value is what you get. Unlock the surplus value.”

Our case study, “The Wayfair Story,” with Renate Kohlmann, really showed a great example of a business built with customer experience at the centre of its focus and how it helped to shape the nature of their online retail store. They give their customer service personnel autonomy to handle issues and filter those back to the organisation for greater team learning. The customer web experience is also solidified with Wayfair’s phone channels where they offer consultant selling to maximize revenue and the value to the customer.

We also got to see some cool technology with the new augmented reality demo, where you can see the Wayfair products in 3D and use the camera to see it in your space.

Service EngagementMoving over to a look at some global trends, Les Bayne from Accenture, showed us an opportunity to change from “Service as a remedy – Service as engagement” in order for our customer interactions to contribute to growth versus cost for our business.

Whether engaging via phone or web, it is more critical than ever to set up your front-line teams with more intelligence, more skill and more responsibility to deal with these issues without having to connect through several people/channels to get the issue solved. By the time the customer is interacting with you it is already “mission-critical,” as Clare Tibbitts from Plantronics pointed out. They expect you to connect the journey, remember them, be aware of their past interactions, and adapt to their needs.

We heard from several speakers stressing the importance of synergy and consistency between all your communications channels and the impact of the Omni Channel.

Len Mason from Oracle stated,

“It’s not the strongest Company that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

I think we all got a good laugh when Len started speaking Mancunian for the Argos example outlining the Twitter customer experience where someone complained and received a quick response to a problem and spoke in the customers’ “language”. It did allow us to see how different the conversation can be on different platforms however.  An email interaction with this customer would likely be much different in the response.

Fergal Coburn  from AIB explained that customers are going to use the optimal channel to best suit their needs, so it is important to let data help you be more relevant to your customers – no matter what channel they choose.

Finally we explored best practices to setting up great customer experiences through your people.  Starting from the inside out, Dr. Ui May Tan explained the importance of wellness and some best practices for setting up a wellness program in your organization, while Cormac Murphy reviewed with us a 7-stage plan to help guide you through the process – We hope that you also kept your booklet, “Delivering customer experience through your people – A Practical Guide,” for a more in-depth review.

7 stages

Presentations from the conference are available for members to download on the members area of our website.

Thank you again to everyone who came out and joined the conversation and shared information.

Resources mentioned:

  • Pat Lencioni, author of fables about issues in companies (death by meeting) (5 dysfunctions of a team).
  • Gerard O’Niell – A new proclamation for a new Generation

Some great Tweets #ccmasummit

tweet tweet1 tweet2 tweet3 tweet4 tweet5

This Guest Blog post was contributed by Cormac Farrelly

Cormac is a Digital Marketing Strategist with WSI. He enjoys helping executives, business owners and entrepreneurs understand how to take advantage of digital technologies to support their business objectives.

Opinions presented in this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily those of CCMA.

WSI is a digital marketing agency – With over 1,000 offices in 80 countries, they support local businesses with global insights.

Countdown to CCMA Customer Experience Conference 2017

CCMA Customer Experience Leadership Summit live From Killashee House…

killashee-house-smallWe are looking forward to welcoming over 200 delegates to our Oracle Sponsored Customer Experience Leadership Summit at Killashee House Hotel on Thursday 25th May.

However we understand that many team members from our extended community will not be able to join us on the day so we are delighted to announce that we will be streaming the event live from 9am on Thursday morning.

You can tune in and watch the event live on your computer, tablet or smartphone using the following web address:

Live Twitter Feed

We also invite everyone to join the conversation on twitter using the hashtag #ccmasummit.  All tweets to this hashtag will be displayed on the large conference monitors during the conference.

We will also be awarding a prize, Plantronics Back Beat Fit Wireless Sports Headphones , sponsored by Plantronics who will be exhibiting at the conference, for the best tweet so keep those tweets coming in!

Panel of experts

We will be hosting a panel discussion with some of our speakers and industry professionals at 3:15pm.  This is a great opportunity to pose questions to our panel of experts – You can also tweet your question to us using #ccmasummit

We look forward to meeting you in person at Killashee House Hotel on Thursday or meeting you virtually through our digital options.

CCMA Leadership Summit 2017 – Streamed Live

Live Streaming of CCMA Customer Experience Leadership Summit

We are streaming our conference live from Killashee house in Naas, Co Kildare on Thursday 25th May 2017.  The stream will start at 9am and you can view it directly on this page (See below).

Join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ccmasummit

CCMA Leadership Summit 2017 – CX 2020 Digital, AI and Wellbeing

The CCMA annual conference will take place on Thursday 25th May in Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare.

gerry-duffy-keynote-speakerThis year our annual industry gathering will see leading national and international speakers sharing their experience and thoughts on Customer Experience in 2017 and beyond.  We have a fantastic line up of speakers who will address a range of topics including current challenges and trends in our sector. Presentations will include:

Presentation Speaker
New Rules, New Engagement. Keynote Speaker – Gerry Duffy, Author of The Goal Getter.
The Economics of Experience: how better CX leads to better Business Results (but sometimes doesn’t…) Gerard O’Neill, Chairman Amarach Research.
The Wayfair Story, EU Sales & Service & CX Strategies. Renate Kohlmann, Director EU Sales & Service Wayfair.
Global Trends & Busy Fools …. what’s going to make a difference to CX. Les Bayne, Managing Director Accenture.
CX for Millennials – What Should we Do? Clare Tibotts, Head of Marketing & Insides Sales, Plantronics.
Mind The Gap Len Mason, Digital Experience Strategy Lead, Oracle.
Wellness – Why it is so important? Dr. Ui May Tan, Health & Wellbeing Clinical Lead, Vhi Healthcare.
Digital Relationship Management. Fergal Coburn, Head of Digital Products & Payments, AIB.
Delivering CX Through your People – A Practical Guide. Cormac Murphy, Managing Director, Ennovate Consulting.

Collette-Fitzpatrick TV PresenterMC for the day will be Eoghan McDermott of The Communications Clinic. The cost per delegate for CCMA members is €199. Cost per delegate for non members is €229. If you would like to book a place at this event, please click on the button below.   register-for-event

Workplace Wellbeing Day 2017

CCMA Celebrates Workplace Wellbeing day 2017

National Workplace Wellbeing Day 2017


CCMA Ireland are proudly supporting Ireland’s National Workplace Wellbeing Day taking place this Friday, 31st March 2017.

This is a great opportunity for Customer Contact teams to get together and support this great employee wellbeing initiative – Everything from walking the lunch time mile, to yoga sessions to desktop exercises.  For some inspiration check out the Twitter hashtag @WellbeingdayIrl

To celebrate this event, we invite you and your team to enter our competition with a chance to win a fabulous Nespresso Zenius coffee machine for your office.  A big shoutout to our CCMA Silver Sponsor, Nespresso for kindly donating the prize!

To enter simply visit our Facebook page and share a photo of your team illustrating how you plan to participate in National Workplace Wellbeing Day – Remember this can be as simple as taking the stairs for the day rather than using the lift!

To enter you can simply post a photo on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #CCMAwellbeing or complete the simple form and upload your photo by clicking on the Enter Now button below.

Enter Now

For more information about this National initiative, visit the National Workplace Wellbeing Day website.

Good Luck!

The Learning & Development Pathway of an Advisor

vhi open forum

CCMA Members Forum: Vhi Healthcare Showcasing The Learning & Development Pathway of an Advisor

Vhi’s Business Centre in Kilkenny will host members of the CCMA this Thursday March 23rd, to provide a unique insight into the CCMA award-winning training programme they undertook to support the launch of Vhi Life in 2016.

On an annual basis, the Vhi learning and development team design a training plan to support the business strategy and goals for the coming year. Training is one of the key enablers in supporting the company’s business goals and strategy in the year ahead. Vhi makes a significant investment in training their people and in their continuous development. This helps them to remain Ireland’s leading health insurer and to ensure their customers receive the best quality service possible.

The Learning and Development team provide on-going training as well as in-house lectures to ensure the customer service team retain their “can do” attitude and continue to provide customers with the “Vhi experience” on every contact.

At the CCMA session on March 23rd, key members from Vhi’s Learning and Development team will give an overview of the bespoke training programme they designed to ensure the dedicated Vhi Life agents could have a professional, informed, knowledgeable and compliant conversation with customers in April 2016. They will outline some of the challenges faced, the approach taken and the results achieved.

In awarding the accolade Best Training & Development Programme 2016 to Vhi at last year’s CCMA awards, the judges noted the level of innovation demonstrated throughout the design, development and execution of the Vhi training programme for the launch of Vhi Life.

We look forward to learning more about this effective learning and development programme in Kilkenny this Thursday.

To find out more about attending this event please contact

Navigation to Digital Customer Care

Cover image from BT-CCMA business evolution event

Rory Devitt, CS Group Manager, Blizzard Entertainment provides highlights from the recent BT Evolution Series business lunch in association with CCMA.

Greetings! My name is Rory Devitt and I am a CS Group Manager for Blizzard Entertainment, the computer games developer behind titles such as World of Warcraft and Overwatch. With a support centre of 500 people in Blackpool, Cork, supporting the EMEA region, we’re always interested in the new and emerging trends in the customer support industry. This is why I was keen to attend the recent BT Evolution Series business lunch in association with CCMA event titled “Navigation to Digital Customer Care” at the RDS in Dublin.

The three speakers for the event really piqued my interest and the first speaker, Gillian Chamberlain, the Commercial and Marketing General Manager for BT, spoke about how customer service is changing in the modern world, and it proved to be a very interesting topic. She argues that the digital age is being considered as the fourth industrial revolution and today’s customers build on expectations from the past and they expect a seamless, personalised experience with any service company they interact with. Her argument continued that traditional contact centre models are a frustration for customers today and we all need to be thinking about how to adapt our channel strategy, our guided entry and how we can personalise the experience.

Gillian’s main point is that it is no longer about the product or the service, it is about the experience as a total package, which is an interesting concept.

After Gillian, Ken Hughes, a Leading Consumer, Shopper Behaviouralist, Playologist and Keynote Speaker, gave a fascinating talk about the “Blue Dot Consumer“, a new type of consumer who has grown up within the digital age and does not know any other way to interact with the world. In great detail, he laid out how they want everything hyper personalised, fast and they want it now.

He said that they expect us to know their needs before they do and to tailor our interactions directly to them as an individual.

It really built upon the foundation Gillian laid regarding experience as the key element to successful customer service. One of the most interesting concepts Ken spoke about was the idea that consumers today compare experiences from all interactions – not just those within a similar space. As a result, he said, we are no longer competing with our natural competitors, we are competing with every experience an individual has accumulated. Ken spoke for roughly 50 minutes but it honestly felt like 5 and was highly engaging and inspiring.

Finally, Dr. Nicola Millard, the Head of Customer Insight and Futures at BT’s Global Service Innovation Team, was speaking about automation and AI. I was really excited to hear Dr. Millard talk as a few of my colleagues had previously attended a CCMA event where she spoke and they gave high praise after her presentation. She spoke about the future of Customer Service in relation to automation and the advances in AI. The challenge was presented beautifully and really helped illustrate the need for AI and Customer Service to work in tandem and not against each other. Building upon the theme of the day which was Customer Experience, Dr. Millard highlighted how an AI could assist Customer Service organisations to hyper-personalise contacts and identify customer problems ahead of time.

Overall it was a fantastic event. I thoroughly enjoyed how thought provoking the various speakers were and they provided me fuel to brainstorm new approaches to Customer Service for the future. The venue was perfect for the event with the Young Scientists Exhibition taking place next door, the consumers of tomorrow were right there with us. It was also a great opportunity to meet other industry professional from a wide variety of companies and I would highly recommend the event for the future.

Happy Christmas

CCMA Ireland donate over 5,000 Euro to Childline on behalf of our members

contact-centre-santaOn behalf of the board of the CCMA I would like to wish all our members a Happy Christmas and every success for you and your business in 2017.

We are delighted to advise members that on behalf of the association we recently presented Childline with a donation of €5,026.22  bringing our total donations to Childline over the last six years to €33,943.18. These funds were raised at the Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services Awards 2011-2016 hosted by CCMA. We thank all attendees for their generous contributions to our raffle for this very worthy cause.

We are busy working on our schedule of events for 2017 and plan to have a packed agenda with monthly network forums sharing industry best practice and our annual conference in May. Details of all upcoming events including our industry jobs fair will be on our website shortly.

If there are any particular subject areas that you would like addressed as part of a CCMA Network Forum in 2017 or if your company would like to participate in our industry jobs fair please contact me at

Thank you for your continued support for our industry association.

We wish you and yours health and happiness in 2017.


Photos from 2016 CCMA Awards

Oh What a Night!

We are delighted to announce that the photos from the awards night are now available on the CCMA Facebook page. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page!

Thank you once again to everyone for attending and making this such a special occasion!