For the first time ever, individuals from Softline Pastel have been named as finalists in the Contact Centre World Awards next month in London. These awards are considered to be the Olympics in the contact centre industry.
The company’s top performers have been nominated in four categories. The best sales agent category is dominated by Softline Pastel staff with Richard Mukuka, Simbai Shutu and Zinzi Tunce taking three of the five finalist positions.
In the best supervisor category, Adnaan Adamjee is a finalist and Dingani Ncube and Florence Muranganwa will be two out of five finalists contending for the best customer service agent. Tamsin Bradford, manager of Softline Pastel’s contact centre, is a finalist for best contact centre executive.
A winner in previous years, Softline Pastel, South Africa’s leading developer of accounting and business software, is once again a finalist in the group categories: best help desk, best customer service, best community spirit and best recruitment campaign.
In both group and individual categories, Pastel was up against 1 000 entrants from 40 nations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. All of their finalists will be flown to London for the awards ceremony and for some, this will be their first time abroad.
For Dingani Ncube the trip will be his first time in an aeroplane. “I feel honoured, excited, inspired and motivated. You just can’t get me down lately. It has been quite a humbling experience as the process begins with peer nominations,” he says, and is looking forward to shopping at Harrods and seeing Big Ben.
In order to raise spending money for their team members, the Pastel staff has held fundraising events throughout the year.
Reaching the finals is no easy feat, and finalists must prove their ability to go beyond core duties to create extraordinary customer experiences for end-users and business partners. The process is a multi stage one, starting with online applications that remain anonymous.
After two more stages, remaining applicants are invited to present at a regional conference. Ultimately, the awards are given to entrants who convince the judges (their peers in the industry and not vendors or sponsors) that they are indeed the best.
When asked what it takes to be a finalist, Richard Mukuka says, “It is important to understand the environment in which a client operates, in order to anticipate their expectations especially in times of difficulty.”
Regional winners will gather in Las Vegas to compete against the Americas and Asia Pacific for best in the world.