It’s That Time Again – CCMA Awards 2018 Are Fast Approaching

We are now accepting entries for the 2018 edition of the Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services awards.

2017 Contact Centre of the Year

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, 5th September, 2018.

The 2018 Irish Customer Contact & Shared Services Awards hosted by CCMA Ireland will take place on Saturday, 10th November, 2018 in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Entries will be accepted by e-mail only to

We plan to host a judges call at 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday 11th 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 at the awards please contact

Conversational Interfaces – The Rise of The Machines

Next Interface VisualIt may come as a surprise to you that 75% of American households will have a smart speaker by 2020. (Gartner). It may also surprise you that 90% of the population of the United Kingdom can now be addressed via either Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Would it surprise you to know that nearly half of all retail payments in China are now made through WeChat, the Chinese version of these messengers?

In 2017, Google’s word recognition matched that of a human for the first time. It will soon be better than humans at recognising objects from your mobile phone camera, your home security system, or your in-home digital personal assistant.

Chart 2The same holds for Amazon Alexa. Does anybody really think that customer interaction and customer service will be business as usual in these new environments?

CCMA, in association with our sponsor Webio, is hosting a breakfast briefing on Thursday 7th June, on the topic of “The Future of Customer Service”. At this event we will give you the understanding of what is happening in the world of conversational interfaces from two companies implementing these technologies today.

Colin Lewis leads a team at OpenJaw Technologies, a Chinese owned travel technology company with insights into how Conversational interfaces change the customer journey in that industry. Brian Heron is Principle Designer and Director at Each & Other and is working on projects implementing these approaches in the retail and finance sectors. This really is golden opportunity to gain the inside track on the fastest growing technology in history.

If you would like to attend please click “Register for Event”


CCMA Leadership Summit 2018 – Streamed Live

CCMA Live Stream

We are streaming our conference live from Killashee house in Naas, Co Kildare on Thursday 24th May 2017.

The stream will start at 9AM and you can view it directly on this page.

Join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ccmasummit

CCMA CX Summit 2018 Announcement

The CCMA Annual Conference will take place on Thursday 24th May in Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare.

This year we will discuss CX Transformation in the Digital Era and Achieving Employee Engagement. and we’re delighted to announce Daryn Mason, CX Thought Leader and Blogger, as our keynote speaker. Here is a sneak peek of Daryn’s content.

Digital Transformation and the Laws of PhysiCX

You can’t change the Laws of Physics and Customer Experience (CX) laws are no different. In his exploration of this analogy, Daryn Mason looks at how the Laws of PhysiCX and Digital Transformation are inextricably linked. He’ll expose how the unrelenting pace of innovation is both helping and hindering our efforts to improve the customer experience.

As we understand more about CX and Digital Transformation, Daryn reveals the new laws that are emerging, from the collapsing universe of Marketing, Sales and Service, to the future trajectory of CX (and why it’s not what you might think!)

Knowing the laws is one thing, but how can you exploit them? New technologies are emerging all the time, but are they the answer to better customer experience? Daryn shares his top three strategies for CX transformation.

Finally, Daryn discusses the most important “C” word of all – and it’s not “customer”.

We welcome an impressive group of senior industry executives to our discussion as well. Visit our event page for the full list.

UPDATE: We will be streamng the conference live from Killashee House and tweeting live on #ccmasummuit. Visit our livestream page for more details.

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.


Remote Working is Transforming the Contact Centre Industry

Image option 3Sue Marshall, CEO of ABodoo, will take to the podium with John Riordan, Director of Support, Shopify, to discuss the many ways in which remote working is transforming the Contact Centre industry, offering increased productivity, access to new talent pools, lower attrition levels and greater flexibility for scaling.

Sue has over 20 years contact centre leadership experience across Software, Outsourcing and Online Recruitment. Sue’s earliest success was building an outsourced contact centre start-up to revenues of £28 million in just 5 years.

On Thursday, April 12th, Sue will discuss the 4 Core Winning Principles for Building a Remote Workforce including finding the right people, the best tech tools, trust, empowerment and remote interaction.

Welcoming our new CCMA Board in 2018

board_banner-v02The CCMA Ireland Ltd. AGM took place on Wednesday, 30th November, 2017, where the Board decided to co-opt a new member to join the existing Board. We are delighted to announce that Joe Cahalane, Managing Director, Arise, has joined the CCMA Board.

At a subsequent board meeting, Derek Temple was appointed Chairperson and Derek Stalley, Vice Chairperson. Derek Temple will also continue to act as Head of Finance for the Association.

In taking on the role of Chairperson, Derek Temple on behalf of the board, thanked Helena Cooney and Margaret Ward for the significant contribution both had made over the past number of years in the role of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, to the growth and development of the Association.

I am sure you will join me in wishing the new Board and officers success in their role as we work together to continue to grow our industry Association and to meet the needs of our members.

Best regards,
Dorothy O’Byrne
Managing Director CCMA Ireland.

BT’s Digital Customer Insights Report

Joseph Walsh, Commercial and Marketing, BT Communications Ireland Ltd., sponsors of the CCMA, has provided this insightful digital customer research report.

Digital Customer Report

At BT we’ve been running an extensive global research programme since 2010, to help understand the impact digital technologies are having on consumers and how they communicate with customer-facing organisations. We want to understand what devices and channels consumers are using, what their expectations are for these communications and if they feel these expectations are being met.

Since the start of our programme, one element of consumer behaviour that has remained constant, but has become increasingly difficult to provide, is simplicity. Simplicity is top of the consumer priority list. They’ll be loyal to organisations that are easy to deal with and they will buy more from organisations who make it easy to buy from.

‘Chat, tap, talk: Eight key trends to transform your digital customer experience, is the latest output of our research programme. It’s based on a survey of 5,000 consumers across 10 countries. In the survey we’ve probed consumers preferences for messaging based services like web chat, asked their views on the emergence of bots and the role they have to play in customer service, and we’ve dived into the increasing use of video along the customer purchasing journey.

This papers provides senior executives and their customer relationship management colleagues with some fresh insight into what customers want and it shares our thoughts on how this might translate into practice. Simplifying the process for the customer comes down to understanding their journey and the different behaviours they might exhibit along the way. This needs to be done prior to mapping their requirements against the most appropriate channel or technology.

Joeseph Walsh2


Joseph Walsh   
Commercial & Marketing
BT Communications Ireland Ltd.

Happy Christmas from CCMA

CCMA Ireland donated over 4,000 euros to Childline on behalf of our members


While Santa will be busy over the next few weeks we hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy a Happy Christmas and, on behalf of the board of the CCMA, we wish you continued success in the New Year.

We are delighted to advise our members that on behalf of the association we recently presented Childline with a donation of €4,135  bringing our total donations to Childline over the last seven years to €38,078.18. These funds were raised at the Irish Customer Contact and Shared Services Awards 2011-2017 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 2018 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 available on our website soon, so be sure to check in often.

If there are any particular subject areas that you would like addressed as part of a CCMA Network Forum in 2018 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 2018.


Chatbots and AI are Here to Stay

Our CCMA Silver sponsor, Webio, is hosting a webinar Friday, December 8th.

Webinar : Learn How to Use Chatbots and AI in Your Contact Centre

A Webinar Dec 8 EM ImageBusinesses are realizing that their customers now expect 24/7 customer engagement which is a challenge for many.

The significant shift towards conversational messaging cannot be ignored anymore. With 67% of customers using chatbots (unknowingly in all cases) for customer support in the last year (Gartner) and 80% of business planning to implement chatbots by 2020 (Business Insider). The time to act is now.

So how can your business start this transition into the world of chatbots and customer conversational messaging?  It is not as challenging as you may think.

Join this 45-minute webinar, where we will look at:

  •     Why chatbots have become so popular in businesses of all sizes.
  •     What’s the reality on the ground today with AI and Chatbot usage.
  •     “Practical AI” uses and how it can augment your existing channels today.
  •     Blended ‘AI’: Letting Chatbots and Live Agents work-side-by-side.
  •     Where’s the right place to start from a cost, resource and business benefit.

Date: Friday December 8th
Time: 10:15am GMT

Learn more about Webio.

Three Tips to Help You With Cloud Migration

Enda Kenneally, VP of Sales and Business Development with CCMA Silver Sponsor West Unified Communications (UC), provides practical advice on Cloud Migration.


Legacy contact centre systems have many limitations that hinder a firm’s ability to deliver the best customer experience across all channels. These systems often have high ownership costs and, more importantly, are inflexible. It is this lack of flexibility that is most damaging to the customer experience. As such, according to a recent West UC Report, 39% of companies have already migrated their contact centre operations to the cloud, and a further 53% are planning to move to a cloud contact centre platform within three years.

The cloud offers many advantages over legacy systems, including faster deployments, higher profitability, future-proofing of the contact centre and better security. These enable the contact centre to deliver a significantly better and smoother overall customer experience.

So, if you are planning to make the most of cloud technology and migrate your contact centre too, here are three top tips to help you:

  1. Know Your Customer
    Before you decide how to transition to the cloud and with which provider, make sure you know your customers’ preferences. For example, web self-service is a feature most consumers expect for simple enquiries and straightforward transactions. Similarly, SMS messages can be very useful for outbound campaigns, and can save your contact centre agents a significant amount of time so they can focus on dealing with more complex enquiries. Would your customers be happy to receive SMS updates from you? It is essential to keep a pulse of your customers’ choices at any given time and be aware that these may change depending on the nature of the enquiry, or over time as new technologies develop. Make sure you have done your research and select a cloud-migration partner that can deliver the flexibility you need to meet your customers’ evolving expectations.
  2. Plan to Future-Proof
    It is only a matter of time before digital contacts overtake voice in the contact centre. In fact, West’s report indicates that 88% of contact centre professionals expect this change to happen in the next five years. Digital communication methods will continue to evolve, and as such so will customer behaviour. To keep up with customer expectations, it is essential that you take the time to future-proof your contact centre. Will the technology architecture of the vendors you’re considering integrate easily with your current and future systems? Will you have to pay for new features and functionalities, or are these included within your contract? Plan ahead and arm yourself with a tick-box of all the essential future-proof requirements. You should be buying into a platform that is designed for multi-channel contact from the outset and integrates easily with existing systems and infrastructure, including your CRM.
  3. Get Tech Savvy
    Not all cloud systems are equal. While moving to the cloud does not require the same level of capital investment as buying on-premise equipment, it is true that migration is a significant organisational change, so it is vital that you evaluate your choice of cloud platform and vendor carefully. It is vital to do thorough research before making the switch – find out what your business requirements are and investigate whether the providers you are evaluating are able to meet all those needs. Consider the market reputation of your chosen provider too. It is important to ensure that the company providing you with essential technology has a good track record.


written by: Enda Kenneally
VP of Sales and Business Development
West UC