Magazine article Marketing

Agency of the Year: Contact Centre Agency of the Year - CPM

Magazine article Marketing

Agency of the Year: Contact Centre Agency of the Year - CPM

Article excerpt

The agency has posted its best-ever growth figures and worked with a host of fresh clients as well as winning plaudits for its imaginative staff development programmes, writes Kim Benjamin.

WINNER

It has been a tough year for the contact centre industry, with renewed pressure on margins against the backdrop of a difficult economic climate.

CPM proved it could take on these challenges and turn them to its advantage. This year it posted its biggest growth figures to date and worked with a record number of new clients across a range of sectors Its existing clients include Royal Mail, British Gas and Mercedes-Benz.

The agency helped several companies improve their return on investment year on year, by making them more efficient and increasing incremental sales.

It has also developed an interactive contact centre for one of its clients, including a call-back and live-chat website function, which has allowed the client to offer extended opening hours.

These processes required additional training and resourcing, but generated a further six-figure revenue sum for the agency.

The judges praised CPM for its levels of effectiveness and clear contribution to its clients' business success.

They were particularly impressed by its staff development programmes, which have resulted in CPM promoting an unprecedented number of people from within. This year, it launched CPM Jobs online, where vacancies are posted on a site, supported by online assessment questionnaires to gauge potential. CPM's target is to fill 50% of vacant roles through this channel in 2012.

The company has also welcomed a new finance director on board, which has ensured tighter cost controls and the introduction of smarter procurement policies.

The senior management team has a wealth of experience. Commercial director Karen Jackson, for example, has 11 years under her belt, while Andrea Georgiou, client services director, joined 14 years ago. Fleur Tannard transferred from CPM's field marketing business in 2010, bringing 10 years of experience with her, and she is now the group client service manager.

CPM's 'double it, love it' vision encapsulates its people policy: its organisation and business growth is balanced with strategic objectives to ensure the company is a place where people want to work.

In addition, CPM has been building a reputation for being a thought leader in integrated sales and customer service solutions, in effect becoming an extension of its clients' organisations.

The company is not resting on its laurels, however. It has already launched a five-year 'vision' that focuses on working with even more clients across more sectors and geographical markets, while recruiting and retaining the best talent in the contact centre industry.

FOCUS ON CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

As well as corporate initiatives to support the environment and community, CPM's employees are encouraged to contribute either individually or as part of a broader team to a cause that means something to them. Some of its staff have, for example, been working on a garden project at a school for children with special educational needs as well as co-ordinating collections of donated towels, socks and toiletries for a homeless shelter in Oxford.

Back in the office, since 2010, the company has achieved a 10% reduction in paper use by replacing desktop printers with centralised photocopiers. …

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