ICON Communication Centres s.r.o. (ICON), a leading supplier of business process outsourcing (BPO) services, proudly won the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSA) coveted Gold Award for the ‘Best Implementation of Technology’. The award recognised ICON’s success in devising and deploying a technology solution that unified the disparate systems of its client, a leading supplier of global payment solutions for car parks around the world. This is the second year in a row that ICON has won the Gold award in this category, the first announced of the evening.
“It was tough winning an ECCCSA this year. Organisations across Europe are doing outstanding things to improve the employee experience, and the ramping up of technology focused on progressing the customer experience in line with customer demand is incredible. Winners this year are fine examples of how the customer contact industry is pushing boundaries and delivering excellence.”
Ann-Marie Stagg, Chair of the Judges, ECCCSA
Judges recognised how ICON streamlined the management of incoming customer inquiries across thousands of parking sites worldwide to positively impact the customer experience of car park users in Europe, South America, and the United States. ICON effected significant improvement to the client’s customer experience and return on investment.
The client’s fixed budget meant that ICON absorbed the entire cost of the technology outlay. Highly accurate forecasting ensured confidence in the solution outcome, which ultimately resulted in the client being able to achieve more within their budget whilst vastly improving their customer experience. ICON moved its client from an unstructured system and a lack of business intelligence, to having 100% visibility across all customer care costs and location costs. The BI now available significantly improves the client’s ability to confidently scale their business. ICON’s entire customer care transformation took just weeks from conception to delivery. Achievements, include –
- a reduction in the cost per customer service interaction to less than 25% prior to the solution implementation
- a reduction in average handle time (AHT) of incoming customer calls from 3-4 minutes to less than 1 minute
- a reduction in email response times from 1-2 days down to 4-5 business hours
ICON’s goal for its business is to empower technology and talent that best connects global brands with local customers. In securing the Gold Award, the contact centre is further solidifying the realisation of their momentum within the outsourcing industry.
“This BPO solution was driven entirely by ICON’s Operations and Customer Success teams. They identified how technology integrated with talented colleagues could provide a vastly improved customer experience for our client. The consultative value of ICON’s mature and experienced workforce was vital to the success of this transformation as it was deployed across multiple global markets and languages.”
Helen Hickin, Managing Director, ICON Communication Centres
Highly regarded for the integrity and credibility of the judging process, the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards are the largest and longest-running awards in the customer contact industry. High calibre judges were handpicked for their contact centre experience and knowledge, as well as their ability to recognise organisations that are leading the way in delivering exceptional service to customers.
The ECCCSA took place last night at Evolution, Battersea Park, London, and were hosted by BBC journalist Fiona Bruce. The awards programme saw companies from 24 countries participating, including some of the most senior customer experience professionals in Europe, as well as key industry influencers on customer contact.
November in Prague paves the way for the holiday season with lots of festive events!
Prague has a great selection of music venues of all sizes, which means there are frequently some internationally touring artists coming through town. You’ll see a few big names in November:
- Lewis Capaldi – November 7
- Sarah Brightman – November 8
- Little Mix – November 21
- Skillet – November 28
- Andrea Bocelli – November 30
2) St Martin’s day
11th November is St Martin’s day and the one-day festival largely revolves around food and specifically, goose. Almost all restaurants in the centre will have a St Martin’s goose menu and be serving special St Martin’s wine.
Blacklight theatre has become a staple in Prague’s theatre community.
These performances are great for audiences of all ages and nationalities, as they are nonverbal and therefore without a language barrier. IMAGE Blacklight Theatre is one of the main spaces presenting this type of entertainment.
There will be multiple performances throughout the month of November.
4) Christmas Market
The Christmas Market at Prague Castle opens on November 23, 2019, and runs through the first week of January 2020. More than 70 stallholders will display their wares at Christmas markets here.
5) Whisky Life!
Whether you’re a whisky connoisseur or simply curious, the Whisky Life! Festival is a perfect way to learn more and appreciate this spirit. Food vendors will be onsite so you won’t go hungry as you sample all the spirits and cigars.
6) Free Art Exhibit
Until November 30, 2019, you can see an impressive photographic exhibition covering the 1989 Fall of the Iron Curtain in Central Europe.
The exhibit is on display at Prague Castle and is free to view from 10:00 am – 18:00 (6:00 pm). The photos are from multiple photographers who were front and center for these events 30 years ago.
This weekend the eighth year of the Prague Coffee Festival will take place in Holešovice.
It is the biggest coffee festival in the Czech Republic where professionals from the world of coffee, as well as enthusiasts from the general public, regularly meet.
The festival will also offer a variety of refreshments from both salty and sweet bakery products and pancakes, home-made cheesecakes, and doughnuts to hamburgers and Asian or vegan specialities. The music scene will be taken care of by DJ Pocoloco (Cabaret Manana).
Recently a lot of attention has been paid to coffee, particularly to specialty coffee and to new brewing techniques which have even become popular among the general public. The festival weekend will be filled with tastings, coffee shop and roastery presentations, workshops, lectures, and a music program.
During both days, several lectures led mostly by foreign guests from the world of coffee will take place. These include:
- Dr. Samo Smrke, who works at the University of Applied Science in Zurich, in the department of Coffee Competence Centre and Analytical Technologies;
- Martin Hudák, the World Champion in the Coffee in Good Spirits competition, who will speak on the coffee cocktails of the future;
- Gwilym Davies, an internationally known jury member in coffee competitions and tutor, who will present the basics of coffee to the visitors;
- Veronika Tázlerová, a blogger and author of Prague Coffee Guide and the map of cafés, who will give you advice on how to simply take photos and arrange (not only) coffee to be put on Instagram, and how to use this social network effectively for marketing presentation of a café or roastery.
You can buy the tickets for the festival in electronic form at coffeefest.cz.
A one-day ticket costs CZK 399 and includes the unlimited degustation of coffee at the festival and, at the same time, the entry to the lectures, workshops, and cuppings. The entrance fee includes also the map of Prague cafés, containing all businesses from all the existing editions of Book of Cafés, to be received by the visitors at the venue.
The Prague Coffee Festival is organized by the Coffee Embassy association whose mission is to promote coffee culture and raise public awareness about coffee, coffee growers and processors, and new trends. The Prague Coffee Festival was established in 2012 by a team of the mamacoffee roastery
Many catering facilities work ineffectively and non-ecologically. The overproduction of waste is a big problem that the Circular Economy Institute is trying to change. Cafés and restaurants turn out to be some of the main contributors to waste production, due to strict hygiene measures or financial advantage.
The Institute has launched the “Circular Café Project”, which focuses on the most basic aspects of running a cafe, and at the same time, makes it the easiest to work with. For these purposes, the so-called “Ten commandments of Circular Café” were created. The ten points that every Cafès should try to follow, include, for example, the reduction of use of disposable tableware, the use of coffee grounds or the reduction of wastewater. Which each café should perform in order to obtain the status of a circular café.
The project is carried out in five cafes in Prague 7: Lajka, Letka, Alchymista, Vnitroblock and Cobra bar.
“We needed to start somewhere, and these cafes had themselves offered to start,” said Institute spokesman Ivan Hekerle.
The pilot project was launched last year in November and it will end in April. The main purpose now is to gather information and experiences, that will be used in the future. “At the end of the pilot phase, we will take into consideration the condition of the cafés, the shortcomings and we will examine the strength and the weakness of the project. We would also like to create a handbook of the “Circular Café” project, that we could offer to other businesses” adds Hekerle.
In addition to the “Circular Café” project, the Institute organizes many workshops and lectures to inform people about the theme.
The realization of these events is only possible due to the support of the Prague Services and the Prague 7 city district. “I would consider it a great success if other Cafés supported and perhaps took part in the project”, concludes Ondřej Kolínsky.