Preview: Fall SSPA Recognized Innovator Awards
Several SSPA members and partners have emailed asking for updates on the upcoming Recognized Innovator Awards, and asking about the categories. The Recognized Innovator Awards program is my favorite job function, and with our Fall Leadership Conference just 2 weeks away, I will take this opportunity to give a preview of the awards.
My tagline for the awards program is “Business as usual won’t cut it anymore.” To provide really exceptional customer service, companies have to constantly evolve, and be early adopters of new technology that can improve the customer experience. Innovation can be risky: after the tech crash it became much harder for software vendors to receive funding for doing things differently. And enterprises lost their appetite for risk as well, with many companies deciding to become more conservative toward adopting new technology.
For the companies that take that risk, and produce innovative products and services that set a new standard for the industry, these awards are for you. The SSPA presents Recognized Innovator Awards twice a year to technology vendors and service providers. The categories for the awards change each time, and winners are selected by a panel of judges composed of SSPA members and industry insiders. (If you are interested in being a judge for a future round, please email me!)
For the Fall 2007 awards, the categories are:
- Innovation in Proactive Support. A key element of Value Added Support is moving from the traditional break-fix model to one of proactive and preventative monitoring and support. As technology becomes even more ingrained in our personal and work lives, customers are becoming even less tolerant of technical problems and any subsequent downtime. This award will recognize an SSPA Partner whose innovative solutions better enable companies to proactively support customers.
- Innovation in Interaction Quality. When companies focus on cutting talk times and deflecting live agent interactions, the customer experience sometime suffers. Ongoing agent monitoring and training are critical to be certain every customer interaction offers a memorable experience. This award will recognize an SSPA Partner whose innovative solutions allow companies to more easily assess the quality of agent interactions, identifying agents in need of additional training or coaching, and improve the customer experience.
- Innovation in Globalization. Enabling breakthrough customer success is not limited to customers who speak English or are located in Eastern Standard Time. Thanks to the Internet, even smaller companies are finding growing customer ranks around the world, and support organizations often struggle to effectively support customers who speak different languages and have different cultural attitudes toward service. This award will recognize an SSPA Partner whose innovative solutions permit companies to successfully support global customers, regardless of location, time zone, or language.
The votes are, the results have been tabulated, and the winners will be announced during my conference keynote on Monday, October 1st. I will publish a post announcing the winners later that day.
If you have questions about the awards or categories, let me know. Thanks for reading!