SQM Group

SQM's Contact Center Awards Program

SQM's First Call Resolution Customer Experience (CX) Awards are the original, biggest, and most prestigious North American Call Center Industry CX Awards.

FCR/CX Awards Overview

SQM has been awarding call centers for their First Call Resolution (FCR), CX, and Employee Experience results, as well as FCR Best Practice performance since 2000.

SQM's awards are unique because they are based on customers who have used a call center and or employees who work in a call center. For a call center to be eligible for FCR Awards, they must participate in an SQM FCR benchmarking or tracking research study.

We have more than 60 different First Call Resolution and CX Awards and recognize the top-performing call centers and Agents who have demonstrated excellence for FCR, Csat, Esat, and Best Practice performance. SQM's major FCR Award categories include Call Center of the Year, Supervisor and Agent of the Year, FCR/CX Certification, FCR Best Practices, and FCR Improvement.

SQM Awards Details


First Call Resolution and CX Awards


  1. Call Center (Large) of the Year Award and Top 2 Finalists
  2. Call Center  (Small/Mid-Size) Award and Top 2 Finalists
  3. Call Center World Class FCR/CX Certification
  4. Agent World Class CX Certification
  5. Supervisor World Class CX Certification
  6. Agent of the Year and Top 25 Finalists
  7. Supervisor of the Year and Top 5 Finalists
  8. FCR Improvement Awards
  9. Agent World Class CX Improvement
  10. Supervisor World Class CX Improvement
  11. Highest Telecom/TV for FCR
  12. Highest Credit Card for FCR
  13. Highest Financial for FCR
  14. Highest Banking for FCR
  15. Highest Energy for FCR
  16. Highest Retail/Branch for FCR
  17. Highest Health Care for FCR
  18. Highest Pharmacy for FCR
  19. Highest Health Care Federal Employee Program for FCR
  20. Highest Government for FCR
  21. Highest Helpdesk for FCR
  22. Highest B2B for FCR
  23. Highest Charity for FCR
  24. Highest Non-Profit for FCR
  25. Highest IVR for FCR
  26. Highest Website for FCR
  27. Highest Email for FCR
  28. Highest Chat for FCR
  29. Highest One Contact Resolution
  30. Highest Omni-Channel CX
  31. Highest Claim Interaction for FCR
  32. Highest Enterprise-Wide Overall CX

Employee Experience (EX) Awards


  1. Highest Contact Center Industry for EX
  2. Most Improved for EX
  3. Highest Telecom/TV for EX
  4. Highest Financial for EX
  5. Highest Energy for EX
  6. Highest Health Care for EX
  7. Highest Outsourcer for EX
  8. World Class for EX
  9. Highest Work from Home for EX
  10. Customer Experience Leadership

FCR Best Practice Awards


  1. Omni-Channel
  2. Web Self-Service
  3. IVR Self-Service
  4. Email Channel
  5. Emerging Channels (e.g., Chat, Mobile Application)
  6. FCR Measurement
  7. Quality Assurance Program
  8. Desktop Applications
  9. Agent Recognition Program
  10. Career Development
  11. Call Handling Practice
  12. Escalation Agent Support
  13. Performance Management System
  14. Agent Coaching Program
  15. Agent Training Program
  16. Agent Selection Process
  17. Standard Operating Procedures
  18. Continuous Improvement Process
  19. Work from Home

Corporate Social Responsibility Certification and Awards


  1. SQ-Mpathy Corporate Social Responsibility Certification
  2. Highest SQ-Mpathy Corporate Social Responsibility Award

Customer Experience Awards


1. Call Center (Large-Size) of the Year Award and Top 2 Finalists

Definition

The Call Center (Large-Size) of the Year Award recognizes the organization with the highest combined FCR and employee experience (EX) ratings. FCR is based on the FCR metric from a customer perspective, and EX measurement is based on employee satisfaction (top box) survey rating.

The top 2 finalists receive an SQM plaque and the Call Center (Large-Size) of the Year winner receives an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

FCR is judged using a minimum sample size of 400 customer live telephone surveys taken from a random selection of calls that reflects the organization's actual call type volume.

EX is judged using a minimum sample size of 100 employee online surveys taken from a random selection of Agent employees.

(To be eligible for this award, an organization must have at least 100 Agent employees).

2. Call Center (Small/Mid-Size) of the Year Award and Top 2 Finalists

Definition

The Call Center (Small/Mid-Size) of the Year Award recognizes the organization with the highest combined FCR and employee experience (EX) ratings. FCR is based on the FCR metric from a customer perspective, and EX measurement is based on employee satisfaction (top box) survey rating.

The top 2 finalists receive an SQM plaque and the Call Center (Small/Mid Size) of the Year winner receives an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

FCR is judged using a minimum sample size of 400 customer live telephone surveys taken from a random selection of calls that reflects the organization's actual call type volume.

Employee satisfaction is judged using a minimum sample size of 90% of employees using online surveys taken from a random selection of Agent employees.

(To be eligible for this award, an organization must have between 25 to 99 Agent employees).

3. Call Center World Class FCR/CX Certification

World Class Certification ▶

Definition

Call Center World Class FCR/CX Certification is based on 80% of customers getting their call resolved on the first call (FCR). The organization will receive an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

Surveying must have been conducted for a minimum of 3 consecutive months during the Award year, from January 1 to December 31.

FCR/CX is judged using a minimum sample size of 800 customer live telephone surveys taken from a random selection of calls that reflects the organization's actual call type volume.

Certification can be done at an individual site level, on all sites, or both.

4. Agent World Class CX Certification

World Class Certification ▶

Definition

Agent World Class CX Certification is based on 85% of customers being overall very satisfied (top box response) with the Agent who handled their call, and their call was resolved. World Class CX Certified agents will receive an SQM Certificate to display on their desk.

How it is Judged

Surveying must have been conducted for a minimum of 3 consecutive months during the Award year, from January 1 to December 31.

A minimum sample size of 25 attributed customer telephone surveys taken from a random selection of calls that reflects your actual call type volume is required.

5. Supervisor World Class CX Certification

 

Definition

Supervisor World Class CX Certification is based on 85% of customers being overall very satisfied (top box response) with the Agent who handled their call, and their call was resolved. World Class CX Certified Supervisors will receive an SQM Certificate to display on their desk.

How it is Judged

Surveying must have been conducted for a minimum of 3 consecutive months during the Award year, from January 1 to December 31.

A minimum sample size of 200 attributed customer telephone surveys taken from a random selection of calls that reflects your actual call type volume is required.

6. Agent of the Year and Top 25 Finalists

Definition

To be eligible for this award, an Agent must be world class CX certified (see the explanation for award #4). Agent of the Year will receive a world class CX medallion, a trophy award to display on their desk, and $1,000 cash! Agent top 25 finalists will receive a world class CX medallion, and a plaque award to display on their desk. The top 2 Agent finalists will also be recognized with a larger plaque award.

How it is Judged

Organizations can submit an unlimited number of nominations for the Agent of the Year award and top 25 finalist awards as long as the Agent is certified as a world class CX performer.

The Agent nominee submissions must be based on a customer experience story, chosen by senior management, and then submitted to SQM.

The customer experience stories are the basis on which the SQM management team will judge the Agent of the Year and top 25 finalists.

All Agent finalists will be announced before the SQM conference. Agent of the Year will be announced at the SQM Contact Center Industry CX Conference.

7. Supervisor of the Year and Top 5 Finalists

Definition

To be eligible for this award, a supervisor must be world class CX certified (see the explanation for award #5). Supervisor of the Year will receive a world class medallion, a trophy award to display on their desk, and $1,000 cash! Supervisor top 5 finalists will receive a world class medallion and a plaque award to display on their desk.

How it is Judged

Organizations can submit an unlimited number of nominations for the Supervisor of the Year Award and top 5 finalist awards as long as the Supervisor is certified as a CX world class performer.

The supervisor nominee submissions must be based on a customer experience story from their Agents on how the Supervisor helped them improve their call resolution or Csat performance, and then submitted to SQM.

The customer experience stories are the basis on which the SQM management team will judge the Supervisor of the Year and top 5 finalists.

All supervisor finalists will be announced before the SQM conference. Supervisor of the Year will be announced at the SQM Call Center CX Conference & Industry Awards Gala.

8. First Call Resolution Improvement Award

 

Definition

This award recognizes organizations with a 5% or greater annual FCR improvement from the previous year. Each FCR improvement award winner will receive an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

First call resolution is judged using a minimum sample size of 400 customer telephone surveys taken from a random selection of calls that reflects your actual call type volume.

This award is based on the organization's current annual FCR rating compared to their previous year's annual FCR rating.

9. Agent World Class CX Improvement

 

Definition

Agents with a 10% or greater annual world class CX metric improvement from the previous year receive a world class medallion, and a plaque award acknowledging their accomplishment.

How it is Judged

SQM's world class CX criteria are based on the definition section for award #4, Agent World Class CX Certification.

Surveying must have been conducted for a minimum of 3 consecutive months during the Award year, from January 1 to December 31.

The Agent nominee submissions must include an Agent CX improvement story and be chosen by management from your organization, and then submitted to SQM.

The Agent CX improvement stories are the basis on which the SQM management team will judge the Agent World Class CX Improvement winners.

A minimum sample size of 25 attributed customer telephone surveys taken from a random selection of calls that reflects your actual call type volume for both the current and past year.

10. Supervisor Top World Class CX Improvement

 

Definition

Supervisors with a 5% or greater annual world class CX metric improvement from the previous year receive a world class medallion and a plaque award acknowledging their accomplishment.

How it is Judged

SQM's world class criteria are based on the definition section for award #5, Supervisor World Class CX Certification.

Surveying must have been conducted for a minimum of 3 consecutive months during the Award year, from January 1 to December 31.

The supervisor nominee submission to SQM must be based on CX improvement stories from their Agents on how the Supervisor helped them improve their call resolution or Csat performance and then submitted to SQM.

The Supervisor CX improvement stories are the basis on which the SQM management team will judge the Supervisor World Class CX Improvement finalists.

A minimum sample size of 200 attributed customer telephone surveys taken from a random selection of calls that reflects your actual call type volume for both the current and past year.

11 – 24. Highest Specific Industry/Sector Call Center FCR Award

 

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the highest call center FCR rating for each specific industry/sector (i.e., telecom/TV [consumer and business], credit card, financial, banking, energy, retail/branch, health care, health care federal employee program, pharmacy, government, helpdesk, B2B, charity, and non-profit). Award winners receive an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

CX is based on having the highest FCR rating.

A minimum sample size of 400 customer live telephone surveys taken from a random selection of calls reflects your actual call type volume.

25. Highest IVR FCR Award

Definition

This award recognizes the organization's call center with the highest FCR for the IVR contact channel. The award winner receives an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

CX is based on having the highest FCR rating.

A minimum sample size of 400 customer surveys taken from a random selection of customers who used your IVR.

26. Highest Website FCR Award

 

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the highest FCR for the website contact channel. The award winner receives an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

CX is based on having the highest FCR rating.

A minimum sample size of 400 customer surveys taken from a random selection of customers who used your website.

27. Highest Email FCR Award

Definition

This award recognizes the organization's call center with the highest FCR for the email contact channel. The award winner receives an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

CX is based on having the highest FCR rating.

A minimum sample size of 400 customer surveys taken from a random selection of customers who used your email channel.

 28. Highest Chat FCR Award

Definition

This award recognizes the organization's call center with the highest FCR for the chat contact channel. The award winner receives an SQM gold trophy

How it is Judged

CX is based on having the highest FCR rating.

A minimum sample size of 400 customer surveys taken from a random selection of customers who used your chat contact channel.

29. Highest One Contact Resolution Award

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the highest One Contact Resolution  (OCR) rate. The award winner receives an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

OCR rate is based on conducting customer surveys for the call center and website contact channels. OCR is determined based on the survey question of asking the customer if their inquiry or problem was resolved on the first contact using only one contact channel. OCR will be weighted based on call center and website contact volume.  

OCR is judged using a minimum sample size of 800 live telephone and or email customer survey methods. The surveys are from a random selection of customers that reflects the organization's actual contact type volume for the call center and website. Each contact channel will have a sample size of 400.

30. Highest Omni-Channel CX Award

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the highest Omni-Channel CX. The award winner receives an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

Omni-Channel CX is based on conducting customer surveys for using multi-channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem. The CX rating is determined based on the overall customer satisfaction experience (top box) rating for using two or more contact channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem. 

Customer satisfaction is judged using a minimum sample size of 400 live telephone or email customer survey methods. The surveys are taken from a random selection of customers who used 2 or more contact channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem.

31. Highest Claim Interaction CX Award

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the highest claim interaction CX. The award winner receives an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

This CX award is based on having the highest enterprise-wide customer satisfaction (top box) rating for claim interactions. A minimum sample size of 400 customer telephone surveys from a random selection of organization customers is required

32. Highest Enterprise-Wide Overall CX Award

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the highest enterprise-wide overall CX. The award winner receives an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

CX is based on having the highest enterprise-wide overall customer satisfaction (top box) rating. A minimum sample size of 400 customer telephone surveys from a random selection of organization customers is required.

Employee Experience Awards


33. Highest Call Center Industry EX Award

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the highest overall call center employee experience (EX). The award winner receive an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

EX is based on having the highest overall employee satisfaction (top box response) rating working at the call center. A minimum sample size of 100 employee online surveys taken from a random selection of agent employees.

(To be eligible for this award, an organization must have at least 100 agent employees.)

34. Most Improved EX Award

 

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the most improved overall employee experience (EX). The award winners receive an SQM plaque.

How it is Judged

EX is based on the organization's current overall employee satisfaction (top box response) rating compared to their previous overall employee satisfaction (top box response) rating. A minimum sample size of 100 online employee surveys, or 90% of employees if less than 100 employees at the organization, taken from a random selection of agent employees.

35 – 39. Highest Specific Industry/Sector EX Award

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the highest overall employee experience (EX) for each specific industry/sector (i.e., telecom, financial, energy, health care, and outsourcer). The award winners receive an SQM plaque.

How it is Judged

EX is based on having the highest employee satisfaction (top box response) rating. A minimum sample size of 100 online employee surveys, or 90% of employees if less than 100 employees at the organization, taken from a random selection of agent employees.

40. World Class EX

Definition

The World Class EX Award is based on overall employee experience (EX). Award winners receive an SQM plaque.

How it is Judged

EX is based on having an employee satisfaction (top box response) rating of 50% or greater. A minimum sample size of 100 online employee surveys, or 90% of employees if less than 100 employees at the organization, taken from a random selection of Agent employees.

41. Highest Work from Home EX

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the highest work from home overall employee experience (EX). The award winners receive an SQM plaque.

How it is Judged

EX is based on having the highest employee satisfaction (top box response) rating. A minimum sample size of 100 online employee surveys, or 90% of employees if less than 100 employees at the organization, taken from a random selection of agent employees.

42. FCR Leadership Award

Definition

The FCR Leader "walks-the-talk" of being customer-centric by demonstrating leadership using an Outside-In FCR operating practice. Customer feedback is used for designing people, process, and technology practices to deliver FCR. The FCR Leader shares FCR goals, prioritizes FCR initiatives, and demonstrates a personal passion for delivering FCR. In addition, the FCR Leader provides the resources for the FCR focus to occur in the organization, creates FCR performance accountability, motivates employees to deliver FCR, and is the driving force for improving FCR. First Call Resolution results have significantly improved or at the world call level.

How it is Judged

This award is judged by a panel of SQM senior management who work closely with our clients.

FCR Best Practice Awards


43 – 61. Award Name

  • Omni-Channel

  • Web Self-Service

  • IVR Self-Service

  • Email Channel

  • Emerging Channels (Chat, Mobile Application)

  • FCR Measurement

  • Quality Assurance Program

  • Desktop Applications

  • Agent Recognition Program

  • Career Development

  • Call Handling Practice

  • Escalation Agent Support

  • Performance Management System

  • Agent Coaching Program

  • Agent Training Program

  • Agent Hiring Process

  • Standard Operating Procedures

  • Continuous Improvement Process

  • Work from Home

Definition

These awards recognize the organization that has demonstrated improved or helped maintain high first call resolution (FCR) and customer experience (CX) performance.

For each FCR Best Practice category, SQM will recognize one organization.

How it is Judged

Organizations applying for a best practice award must submit specific practices they have used to improve or maintain high first call resolution (FCR) and customer satisfaction (Csat) performance.

The customer can determine FCR or the organization, and the customer must evaluate Csat.

For both FCR and Csat, please provide rating information for the previous year and current year. If possible, please provide details that show the link between your FCR/Csat performance and your specific practices used to improve or maintain high FCR/Csat performance.

The initial submission should be no longer than 250 words in length using SQM's online application form.

SQM will use a panel of subject matter experts to examine each submission to determine the finalists and award winner for each category. Best Practice Awards

Corporate Social Responsibility Certification and Awards


62. SQ-Mpathy Corporate Social Responsibility Certification

Definition

SQ-Mpathy Corporate Social Responsibility certification is based on having a world class SQ-Mpathy CSR Score of 65% or greater. The SQ-Mpathy CSR Score is a composite of two indexes: the CSR Triple (E) Index (based on customer and employee survey ratings for environmental & social contributions, ethical business practices, and economic impact) and the CSR Sustainability Index (based on customer and employee survey ratings for CSR greatness, willingness to continue to do business, and referring others to an organization based on their CSR initiatives). For-profit organizations also need to contribute 1% or more of pre-tax profits to social or environmental initiatives.

The organization will receive an SQM gold trophy. A company's CSR program certification is valid for one year. To maintain certification, a CSR study must be completed each year.

How it is Judged

SQ-Mpathy Corporate Social Responsibility Certification is judged using a minimum sample size of 400 customer live telephone or email surveys taken from a random selection of customers doing business with your organization.

Employee perspective is judged using a minimum sample size of 100 employee online surveys taken from a random selection of employees from different functions and levels within your organization.
For-profit organizations require verification that 1% of pre-tax profits is being used for social or environmental initiatives.

63. Highest SQ-Mpathy Corporate Social Responsibility Award

Definition

This award recognizes the organization with the highest SQ-Mpathy Corporate Social Responsibility Score for each specific organization type (i.e., not-for-profit, for-profit, charity, and based on organization size). The SQ-Mpathy CSR Score is a composite of two indexes: the CSR Triple (E) Index (based on customer and employee survey ratings for environmental & social contributions, ethical business practices, and economic impact) and the CSR Sustainability Index (based on customer and employee survey ratings for CSR greatness, willingness to continue to do business, and referring others to an organization based on their CSR initiatives). For-profit organizations also need to contribute 1% or more of pre-tax profits to social or environmental initiatives. The organization will receive an SQM gold trophy.

How it is Judged

The highest SQ-Mpathy Corporate Social Responsibility award is judged using a minimum sample size of 400 customer live telephone or email surveys taken from a random selection of customers doing business with your organization.

Employee perspective is judged using a minimum sample size of 100 employee online surveys taken from a random selection of employees from different functions and levels within your organization.

For-profit organizations require verification that 1% of pre-tax profits is being used for social or environmental initiatives.

Awards Participation and Eligibility

For an FCR, CX, or EX Award, the organization must participate in an SQM benchmarking or tracking study in the calendar year. Organizations that have participated in an SQM benchmarking or tracking study during the awards year, January 1 - December 31, are eligible for SQM's call center FCR/CX awards program. We announce the call center award winners in February in the following calendar year. First Call Resolution Awards are given out annually at an SQM Awards Virtual Gala event.

FCR Benchmarking Study

Many organizations interested in an FCR/CX Award have SQM conduct a call center benchmarking study to evaluate their FCR. Specifically, SQM's FCR benchmarking study will provide the following:

  • Benchmarking comparison to over 500 leading North American call centers
  • Benchmarking comparison to peer group, call center industry, and world class call centers
  • High level and detailed FCR, one contact resolution, CX greatness, and customer satisfaction ratings
  • Net promoter score® and net retention index
  • Amount of revenue the call center protected and lost
  • Unresolved calls impact on operating costs
  • Top 5 repeat call reasons and their improvement opportunity for financial savings
  • Targeted opportunities for reducing repeat calls
  • Best practices for reducing repeat calls
  • Entry into SQM's FCR/CX Excellence Awards Program