2019 CCMA Awards – Judges Call Listen Back Now

Dorothy O’Byrne, MD, CCMA Ireland, launches the 2019 Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services Awards with the annual Judges call.

The Judges call is a great opportunity for companies to learn more about the awards process and to get a good understanding on what needs to be considered when preparing a submission.

Dorothy kicked off by explaining how the awards showcase what is best about the customer contact and shared services organisations operating within Ireland.  It provides organisations with the opportunity to be recognised for their ability to deliver excellence in customer services, sales and technical support and is a great springboard for entering European & Global Awards.  Above all it is a great opportunity to give recognition to key staff and teams!

Dorothy moved on to provide an overview of the 17 awards categories and gave some great hints and tips on how to create a winning submission.

The call, hosted via web conference, took place earlier this week and was well attended by Customer Service organisations.  Many thanks to everyone for participating and in particular a big thank you for all the great questions.  We were delighted to be able to record the call so if you missed the live call and are considering submitting an entry this year we would really encourage you to watch the recording!

The presentation deck referenced in the video can be downloaded here.

Still considering if it makes sense for your company to enter?

Watch the following short video to get some insights from other organisations like AIB, Electronic Arts and Paypal who share their experiences of being involved with the awards

It’s That Time Again – CCMA Awards 2019 Are Open for Applications

We are now accepting entries for the 2019 Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services awards!

Its time to get the creative juices flowing for this year’s submissions!

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, 4th September, 2019.

The 2019 Irish Customer Contact & Shared Services Awards hosted by CCMA Ireland will take place on Saturday, 16th November, 2019 in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Entries will be accepted by e-mail only to awards@ccma.ie

We plan to host a judges call at 2.00 p.m. on Wednesday 3rd July for companies who are considering entering the awards.  The purpose of this call is to provide hints and tips on preparing a submission.  The call will also be recorded.

Register for the Judges call

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or would like additional information about the CCMA annual awards please contact dorothy@ccma.ie

Introducing Voice ID with Biometric Technology, a first for Ireland

CCMA Open Forum – Learn how AIB Bank are introducing innovative Voice ID for their customers in Ireland

We are delighted to announce our CCMA  June Open Forum event with AIB Bank.  The event will be held at AIB HQ on 10 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 on 19 June 2019.

As part of AIB’s commitment to provide customers with innovative new services, they have launched Voice ID, a simple, fast and secure way to authenticate customers over the phone. Voice ID uses the customers voice to authenticate them and recognises over 100 unique vocal characteristics.

Simply speaking the phrase ‘My Voice is my Password’ into the phone will do the job that security questions did in the past.

Voice ID,is a first to the Irish market, developed in conjunction with biometric technology from Nuance for all AIB, First Trust and Allied Irish Bank GB personal customers.

At this breakfast briefing, AIB will talk through this programme of work, from project inception to technology consideration. They will also cover insights on staff and customer adoption.

This is a great opportunity for CCMA members to Join AIB and meet the teams that develop, design, deliver and support their propositions, products and services for their customers.

The AIB team will walk attendees through their journey to implement Voice ID and CCMA members will get a “behind the scenes” view of the challenges and considerations in taking on a project like this.

Discussion topics include:

  • Business overview of Voice ID
  • Technology walkthrough of Voice Biometrics
  • Our deployment approach and managing stakeholder engagement
  • Bringing our staff on the journey with us
  • Customer communications

The agenda is as follows:

Time Topic
8.30 – 9.00 a.m. Registration, Tea and Coffee
9.00 – 9.30 a.m. Introduction to Voice ID, Approach & Business Case Overview
9.30 – 9.50 a.m. Technology Overview
9.50 – 10.00 a.m. Managing customer consent and communications
10.00 – 10.15 a.m. Deployment approach and stakeholder engagement
10.15 – 10.30 a.m. Staff Engagement
10.30 Wrap Up, Q & A

To register for the event plase contact dorothy@ccma.ie of click the button below.


CCMA Leadership Summit 2019 – Streamed Live

CCMA Live Stream

We are streaming our conference live from Killashee house in Naas, Co Kildare on Thursday 23rd May 2019.

The Live Video Stream will start at 9am and you can view it directly on this page.

Watch Live Stream

Join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ccmasummit.  All of your Tweets will be published on our Twitter Wall during the day so get tweeting and be sure to include the #ccmasummit in your tweets!

CCMA Leadership Summit 2019


CCMA announces CX Evolution Leadership Summit 2019

CCMA releases action packed agenda for this year’s annual CX Evolution Leadership Summit…


2019 CCMA CX Leadership Summit

We are delighted to announce Dr. Andrea C. Johnson, Director Global Business Systems, Workhuman as our keynote speaker for this year’s CCMA annual leadership summit which takes place on Thursday 23rd May, 2019 in Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Acknowledged as a brilliant, invested and energetic senior technology leader, Dr Johnson is highly experienced in human-centred change management, digital transformation and creating high-performance teams through targeted coaching and personal development.

In addition to this fabulous keynote, we are really excited to announce a great line up of speakers which promises some great content around the delivery of CX excellence in the digital era.

Here is a brief snippet of some of the exciting content that we have lined up for the summit event:

Presentation Speaker
Harnessing the winds of change to make work more human Dr Andrea C. Johnson, Workhuman (Keynote)
The Digital Revolution Matt Buttery, Head of Digital Sky Ireland
Launch of the CX Transformation Strategy, Vision & Roadmap for Ireland Mary Buckley, Executive Director IDA
Accelerating your teams potential through effective coaching Karen Quinlan Byrne, Senior Manager Global Quality & Coaching, Electronic Arts
The rise and rise of the Chief Customer Officer Emma Sutton, Senior Customer Director EMEA, Oracle
Working with Mindfulness Maurice Whelan, Founder Unleash Potential
Report on 2019 CCMA Members Study Shauna Callagy, Associate Director Coyne Research

We also welcome an impressive group of senior industry executives to our discussion as part of our Ask The Experts panel. Many thanks to Oracle sponsors of our annual conference for a second year. This is a great opportunity to engage and network with industry experts.

eoghan-mcdermott-mcMC 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 €249. If you would like to book a place at this event, please click on the button below.


Overcoming Customer Contact Barriers

Depositphotos_75549767_xl-2015As our events calendar fills up for 2019, we have an exciting breakfast briefing we would be delighted for you to join us at on Tuesday, February 26th, at the Westbury Hotel, Balfe Street, Dublin 2.

A key challenge in the Customer Service industry is around managing frictions throughout the customer journey and finding ways to improve the service experience. One of the more challenging topics is in the area of Credit Control. This briefing will focus on tactics and tools to help manage these challenges.

SSE_airtricityWe welcome our guest speaker, Andy McNulty from SSE Airtricity, who will discuss their approach to handling sensitive issues around credit collections and proactive methods that can help set the stage for a positive engagement.

447-x-189-Purple-TransparentMatt Weil  from  VoiceSage, our sponsor for the event, will present on their latest developments in customer contact technology and how to overcome some of the barriers with a particular focus on credit collections.

For more details on the event and to book your spot, please visit our event page.

The Psychology of Online Persuasion

Cormac Farrelly, Digital Strategist with WSI, explores how Psychology can help us build better relationships with our customers.

Business Technology I had the pleasure recently of attending Nathalie Nahai’s keynote address to the Customer Service community at a CCMA Ireland event in the RDS, kindly sponsored by BT.

In fact, the keynote was perfectly pitched to align with the backdrop of the Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and Joseph Walsh from BT reminded us that this remarkable event is now in its 55th year.

In her presentation, Nathalie spoke about the BIG FIVE personality traits and how they can be used to predict emotional, behavioural and cognitive patterns.

Considering our customer is at the centre of what we do, it’s not surprising that Psychology should take a leading role in helping us better understand their needs and manage and respond to their behaviour.

First things first, I think it is important to acknowledge that customer expectations from brands are at an all-time high while trust is at an all-time low.

This in part is fueled by an online environment where information is available more freely than ever before; customers are more connected than ever with multiple devices and with the advancements in technology they expect a hyper-personalised experience from the brands they interact with.

With the introduction of GDPR and other data protection legislation in Europe, they also have greater expectations in terms of privacy and this, of course, leads to the trust issue.

Nathalie’s view is that brands need to cut through the noise so they can attract and hold the attention of the right people within their customer circle.

Once the brand has the customer’s attention, it is much easier to build a relationship and ultimately build trust by delivering great customer experiences.

So how can Psychology help us do this?

First of all we need to understand what drives our customers – Why are they coming to you in the first place? Why are they using your product or service?

In most cases, the underlying reason is “Homophily”.

Literally, it means a love of the same. If you meet a stranger but find some common ground, for example, someone you both know or you went to the same college or you both have kids, you are much more likely to bond with them.

Business Technology

What’s interesting from a sales and marketing perspective is that sources that are seen as homophilous or similar to ourselves, are much more likely to be perceived as credible, trustworthy and reliable which means that the persuasiveness and effectiveness of your communication is going to be greater.

The concept of brand storytelling is well talked about in content marketing circles but taking Nathalie’s insights a step further, the stories we relate to most, feel authentic to us and reflect our own experiences.

Brands need to consider this when they are trying to reach their audience using advertising campaigns. As a starting point the ad campaign strategy needs to answer the following questions:

  • What is their demographic profile? (gender, age, background)
  • Why do they need you? (what’s their story)
  • How are they feeling? (excitement, anxiety, stress)
  • What do they need now? (emotional / practical)

Let’s look at some examples.

The first is a Christmas campaign that was run in the UK to drive awareness around drink driving.

The ad is targeted at a very specific audience – Young Males and is promoted by Lad Bible, an entertainment channel that targets that audience.

The ad campaign ran on Instagram which again fits with that demographic.   The campaign was very successful with 1.4 million views of the video.

The second campaign was for Lloyds bank.  The concept is around “the next step” and Lloyds are promising that they can help their customers with the next step. It’s an emotionally charged ad but unlike the drink aware ad it is very universal in its reach.

Although the audience reach was different, the common thread between these two campaigns is that they were both able to leverage homophily to understand and most importantly mirror the experience of their intended audience.

The role of Psychographics and introducing the BIG FIVE

Using the concept of Homophily we can see how it is possible to really connect with our customers and start to understand what they are experiencing.

However when it comes to understanding customers and creating content and messages that will have the biggest impact, the Holy Grail is smart personalisation.

Balanced relationship concept. Masked woman and man expressing different emotions exchanging faces

Nathalie introduces the concept of Psychographics which allows us to adapt persuasive messages to align with the customer or potential customer’s personality traits.

Tailoring the message (be that the ad copy, the social post or even the contact centre phone script) to match the person’s personality traits can be a very effective way of increasing the impact of the message.

Many of you will be familiar with personality assessment tests like Disc or Myers Briggs. The challenge with these tests is that they often want to box us into one single personality type but the reality is that most people exhibit multiple traits and personality indicators that can shift and change as we go through different stages of life.

However the Big Five model introduced by D.W. Fiske in 1949 is a little different. The model started with approx. 4,500 traits and ultimately distilled this down to 35 traits in 5 categories.

Let’s take a closer look at what these BIG FIVE personality traits look like. 1

You are organised, dependable and self-disciplined and prefer to plan & aim for achievement.

2 extraversion

You are energetic, positive, assertive & sociable.  You tend to seek stimulation in the company of others. 3 openess   You exhibit a high degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety. Interestingly people who score high for extravert are usually high in openness.

4 agreeableness Your tendency is to be compassionate and cooperative… rather than suspicious or antagonistic towards others.

People who score high for agreeableness are good to have around if there is a customer issue or bad news to communicate – These are the people most likely to soothe things over.

However it is also good to have some people on your team who are low in agreeableness as they tell you how it is!

5   This is the tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily… such as anger, anxiety, depression, and vulnerability.

All of us experience this at certain times but if your baseline is high, chance are it relates to emotional stability.

Putting the BIG Five to work: Bullseye Targeting

OK – so now that we understand the principle of homophily and the BIG FIVE personality traits, it’s time to see how we can use these Psychological concepts to target our customers with personalised messages that they will be more receptive to.

Here are some examples of Digital ad campaigns online that target specific traits.

The first one is an ad for Men’s deodorant:

If you look closely at the language you will pick out words like “Adventure”, “Sport Defence”, and “Extreme”.

These action words are aimed at the Extravert type.

The second ad is around helping make your community a better place to live.

It’s about friends and family, communal goals and home life.  This is very much aimed at the Agreeableness type.

The last example is for Evernote.

It’s about being organised and remembering everything. This ad is aimed at the Conscientiousness trait.

To create a personality specific campaign like these examples, it is key to fully understand the motivations behind each trait. We can summarise these as:

  • Open: Creativity & intellectual stimulation
  • Conscientious: Efficiency & goal pursuit
  • Extravert: Excitement & social rewards
  • Agreeable: Connection with family & community
  • Low E.S.: Safety & security

Challenges Ahead

We’ve spoken a lot about personalisation and the positive impact it can have.

However with this comes a lot of responsibility for brands. Just because it’s technically possibly to create hyper personalised campaigns DOESN’T mean that we should do it.

Brands have an obligation to protect their customer’s privacy.

If we get this wrong, we end up with a negative Psychological effect – Nathalie refers to this as the “creepiness factor” – The feeling that your every move, both public & private, is being watched, tracked, followed, analysed & capitalised on.

I mentioned at the start of this blog post that customer expectations are at an all-time high and in fact they are still evolving.

Our collective opportunity is to use this Psychological methodology to better understand our customer so we can better serve them, ultimately creating a “win win” for marketers, customer service and of course the customer!


Cormac Farrelly Cormac is a Digital Marketing Strategist at WSI and enjoys helping executives and management teams understand how to take advantage of digital technologies to support their business objectives.




nathalie-nahai Nathalie Nahai is an international speaker and author of the best-selling book, Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion. Her work explores the intersection between persuasive technology, ethics, and the psychology of online behaviour.


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Highlights from the Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services Awards 2018

Congratulations to all our winners!

CCMA Awards 2018

This year’s prestigious Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services Awards ceremony was held last Saturday night, 10th November, in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin. The night was a great success and couldn’t have taken place without the support of BT and Cisco.

The event was attended by over 700 industry professionals. Once again we had a live video stream of the Awards ceremony and we were delighted that so many people logged on to watch the event live.

We hope everyone also enjoyed our host Andrew Ryan and the lively band, The HeeBeeBeeGee’s, which brought everyone out on the dance floor. We hope your feet aren’t too sore.

Our photographer was busy snapping photos throughout the night of the award winners and the fun, so please be sure to visit our Facebook Page to see them.

We also had a live stream of Tweets to our hashtag #ccmalive and the response was fantastic. If you are not connected to us already, please follow us on Twitter using the button below 

If you would like to learn about the winners and those highly commended on the night please download the Book of the Night.

We are delighted that through our raffle and the generous donations of attendees at the awards ceremony we raised €5,680 to be shared between two charities Childline and Enable Ireland. Many thanks to all for your contributions.

Countdown to 2018 Irish Customer Contact & Shared Services Awards

Awards Logo 2017

Are your dresses and suits dry-cleaned and pressed?

CCMA’s biggest industry event is this Saturday night (November 10th) with the hosting of the Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services Awards at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

The event will be attended by over 750 leading industry practitioners from across Ireland for what promises to be a very enjoyable evening.

The gala awards ceremony will be hosted this year by Andrew Ryan and we will showcase the The HeeBeeBeeGee’s, bringing some pure energy, dancing and costume changes that are sure to entertain.

Awards Logo 2017

Once again, a big thank you to our Gold Sponsor this year BT and Cisco.


Once again this year we will have a live video stream of the Awards ceremony which will be relayed on the night. You will be able to access this on www.ccma.ie/live. Our Twitter hastag will be #ccmalive so if you cannot join us on the night please do tweet your messages to friends and colleagues nominated for an award as a live stream of Tweets will be on show during the ceremony.

#ccmalive is now up and running so feel free to send us your messages before Saturday!

As we do every year, we will be asking guests at the ceremony to participate in a raffle to raise funds for Childline and, new to this year, Enable Ireland.

Childline’s volunteers answer over 1,000 calls, texts and online contacts from children all over Ireland every day. Some of those children have everyday worries, while some are at-risk, with nowhere to turn. Childline is the only 24-hour listening service for children.

Enable Ireland provides vital therapy & rehabilitation services to over 7500 children and adults with physical and neurological disabilities.

Support of these worthy organisations helps them to continue to provide the best possible service – critical to our children’s health and growth.

Many companies attending on the night have generously provided great prizes. What more reason do you need?
Awards Logo 2017

2018 CCMA Awards Streamed Live

Awards ceremony streamed live…


Can’t be there tonight? We are delighted to offer a live stream of the awards ceremony live from the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road,  Dublin, on Saturday, 10th November, 2018, @7:15pm

Watch the CCMA Awards live

Join the conversation on Twitter using #ccmalive