At a time when the industry is supporting an unprecedented number of customers, Credit Strategy has opened entries for both the Collections & Customer Service (CCS) Awards, and the Utilities & Telecoms (U&T) Awards, which will again be co-located in Manchester.
After a three-month period in which the industry has responded to at least 1.6 million forbearance requests, agreed around two million payment holidays, and supported vast numbers of customers who either are vulnerable, or at risk of falling into this situation due to Covid-19, the categories have been opened to capture this support – and publicly recognise the work.
Returning to the Midland Hotel in Manchester on November 12, both awards programmes will once again recognise the outstanding achievements of firms, teams and individuals working in credit and collections functions across financial services, the public sector, energy, water and telecoms.
To bring collections professionals together from these and other sectors, both awards programmes will again be-co-hosted within the Vulnerability Awareness Dinner. The dinner will follow the Collections & Vulnerability Summit, also at The Midland in Manchester, under the key theme this year: Vulnerability is the new normal.
The awards will be held in person, with the venue ensuring health and safety measures under government policy for every delegate and guest.
New categories for 2020
In recognition of the widescale, rapid transitions that creditors and collections firms made at the start of lockdown – emptying call centres, overseeing WFH policies and adopting new technology while handling huge in-bound call volumes – Credit Strategy has introduced categories to reward outstanding work in managing business continuity.
Among the new categories in both the CCS and U&T Awards programmes are a new Company Award for Business Continuity, as well as continuity awards for the use of technology by creditors and collections firms, and a category for technology providers themselves.
To recognise the support for customers in distress that has been ongoing and likely to continue, a new category has been launched to champion the support of vulnerable customers affected by the pandemic; Best Vulnerable Customer Support Initiative – Covid-19.
This new category, available in both awards programmes, recognises the commitment firms have made to customers who found themselves in vulnerable circumstances due to the outbreak and subsequent lockdown.
There will again be other categories to reward agents who have supported vulnerable customers through the pandemic, and one for ‘vulnerability champions’ within organisations.
Not forgetting other major strides the industry has made in other endeavours, other new categories will shine a light on firms’ efforts to protect their local and wider environment.
The new Company Award for Sustainability will recognise where sustainability and eco-friendly polices are led by the board and promoted across the business.
The awards categories can be seen on the Vulnerability Awareness Dinner Website, while more information on the Collections & Vulnerability Summit, including an agenda outline (subject to change), can be seen on the conference website.
It is £100 for each entry until July 17; from that point on, entries will be £150 each until September 11, and then it will be £200 per entry until the final entry deadline of September 25
The Vulnerability Awareness Dinner, for which Court Enforcement Services is a sponsor, is also supported by the CSA, the CFA and the CCTA.