An exuberant atmosphere prevailed at Zurich's premier address: The ballroom of the posh Dolder Grand hotel was transformed into a stage for role models, pioneers and thought leaders in customer centricity. With a view of Zurich, 130 passionate customer managers celebrated service experiences that make companies successful, customers happy and improve their quality of life. Werbewoche was there and conducted interviews with personalities from the evening, which shed light on the topic of customer relations from different angles. After the videos, you can read who won awards in 2023 and why. Meike Tarabori, Editor-in-Chief of cmm360.ch, was the confident and authentic host of the evening.
Nancy Wayland is CEO and founder of Wyland Consulting GmbH. She does C-level mentoring and strategy consulting. She was head of the jury in the Customer Culture category and talks about the outstanding importance of culture in customer relations.
Prof. Dr. Nils Hafner chaired the jury in the Customer Management category. In the talk, he discusses the evaluation criteria and explains why Cembra deserved this year's award. Hafner is an international keynote speaker, blogger, author and professor at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
Jennifer Aegerter is Newcomer of the Year 2023, having completed the best apprenticeship as a "Customer Dialogue Specialist". In this refreshing talk, she explains why young people should learn this profession and which skills are an advantage. Jennifer works as a Management Assistant at Swisscom.
Antonio Coviello is one of the proud winners of last night's event. He won the award for Customer Management for Cembra. In this interview, he talks to editor Beat Hürlimann about the winning case, recipes for success and challenges in project implementation.
About the award
The award for sustainable customer relationships and excellent customer interactions was presented for the 15th time on November 15, 2023. 15 jury members conscientiously assessed the 15 projects submitted in two rounds of judging. Meike Tarabori is delighted with the positive response to the Customer Relations Award: "With the award, we want to help give customer-centric companies a stage and passionate service role models a platform to learn from each other and become even better from year to year," says the host. Together with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts as scientific partner, three award categories were defined: Customer Management, Customer Technology and Customer Culture. And these are the winners:
Winner of the Customer Management category: Cembra Money Bank? But Certo!
Understanding customers even better, serving them in a personalized way, giving them a strategic, procedural or operational moment of happiness in service: That is the goal of the companies that competed in the Customer Management category. This year, Cembra Money Bank won the race:
When Migros said goodbye to Mastercard together with Cembra last year, Cembra was at the starting line with an innovative successor product. Two competitors were vying for the same customers, but Cembra came out on top: the company used the behavioral data to develop customer journeys based on customer preferences and back them up with use cases. With the new Certo! brand, Cembra made the switch very easy for customers. No new application was necessary, and even the card number and PIN remained the same. The result: the majority of cardholders stayed with Cembra and now use Certo! for their purchases.
Jury member Prof. Dr. Nils Hafner from Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts praised Cembra's commitment, especially considering the factors of complexity and time. "The team had to be ready on a certain day, otherwise the existing business would have been lost. That was enormous pressure, which the team met with a high degree of professionalism." Category sponsor Bruno Schmed from T&N presented the award to Antonio Coviello, Head of Customer Relationship Management, who accepted the prize together with colleague Ioana Corodan, Lorraine Fischer and Tobie Witzig from the agency Qmart AG.
Winner of the Customer Technology category: Video consulting at Migros Bank
Which company has used technology to generate added value for customers, employees and the company? Where has technology unlocked new potential that may not have existed before? Companies that offer customers and employees a fresh digital experience can apply in the Customer Technology category. Migros Bank did just that - and won the Customer Technology Award for its video advice service. Due to changing customer behavior - customers increasingly want to carry out their banking transactions from their sofa and still be touched emotionally - Migros Bank opted for video advice as an additional channel in customer service. "The video offering has brought us closer to our customers and enabled us to pick them up emotionally. At the same time, we were able to optimize our efficiency," says Lukas Bucher, Product Owner Value Stream at Migros Bank.
David Marces, category sponsor Customer Technology and Managing Director at Genesys, presented the award to the project team Lukas Bucher, Product Owner Value Stream, Bosko Bozanovic, Team Leader Banking Direct, and David Andreae, Head of Banking Direct.
Rémon Elsten, Category Chair Customer Technology and Managing Partner at Forward Partner and co-founder of the Service Excellence Cockpit, praised the initiative: "The people responsible have involved the employees right from the start, creating a new, attractive job profile and added value for the company at the same time."
Winner in the Customer Culture category: Continuous improvement process at ewz
"Giving people who are really passionate about customers the necessary framework and at the same time generating substantial business value is what unites the three nominees in this category," says a delighted Nancy Wayland, chair of the jury for the Customer Culture category. ewz came out on top in this category. The energy service provider has recognized how much power there is in customer feedback and complaints. Employees at the Customer Welcome Center work in small groups to develop service experiences and optimization based on customer feedback. In the spirit of "feedforward" as part of daily 15-minute huddle board meetings. "Listening to customers and taking complaints seriously is the only way to optimize and grow the service," says project manager Sandro Aeschlimann, Team Leader Customer Welcome Center at ewz, who is delighted with the award. When employees contribute ideas and are allowed to implement them, they are part of the change process. "Every team member ensures that the cycle closes and that added value is generated for ewz, for our CWC team and for our customers," explains Sandro Aeschlimann. Nancy Wayland adds: "We on the jury were impressed by how simple and effective the use of the huddleboard is. The team has consistently involved customers and employees and thus created the best conditions for cross-divisional transformation."
Stephan Isenschmid, host, category sponsor and founder of the Swiss Leadership Forum, congratulates the award winners: "I am proud that purpose, empowerment and culture are taken very seriously in the customer service community and are also put into practice."
The next generation: Best Talent and Best Newcomer
The customer service scene doesn't have to worry about the next generation either:
Nathalie Müller, VBZ, a graduate of the "Contact Center Supervisor" course, not only passed her federal examination, but also wrote her master's thesis at the same time. "I gained a lot of knowledge from the course - and a promotion," says the young talent happily. Peter Peterlechner, founder of customer connection and category sponsor of Best Talent, offers his heartfelt congratulations and is delighted with the young talent's drive.
Jennifer Aegerter secured the best apprenticeship qualification. "I wanted to do a commercial apprenticeship first. But a colleague recommended the "Customer dialog specialist" apprenticeship to me." What does she love about her job? "The humanity between people is what makes the job!" Category sponsor Gerd Oser, founder of the experience factory, wishes the best newcomer lots of fun putting her customer skills into practice.
Winner Field Service Management: Gilgen Door Systems
Gilgen Door Systems opens the door to Field Marketing as a Service: the team led by Christian Gilgen, Head of Customer Service Switzerland, has analyzed trends in customer service and identified sustainability and a focus on core competencies. This resulted in the "Field Marketing as a Service" offer.
Jury chairman Jürg Hofer on the winner: "The innovation factor convinced us. Portfolio expansion meets new partners, more self-determination for employees - a win-win situation for all stakeholders.
The award was presented in cooperation with the Swiss Service Association SKDV. Jürg Hofer emphasizes: "Field service is the last mile to make the value proposition tangible for customers. Service technicians are often the only contact customers have with a company, the face of the company, so to speak. They represent the brand, the company, the values."
The Customer Relations Award will have a new name from 2024: Swiss Customer Service Award - in connection with the takeover of the Swiss Customer Service Summit.
Save the date: 12.11.2024 in another Zurich landmark: the Metropol.