L&Q’s customer service team wins gold and silver at UK National Contact Centre Awards

Published on 08/10/2021

L&Q’s customer service team took home a gold and a silver at the UK National Contact Centre Awards last week.

Suki Sarai, Customer Service Support Manager, won gold in the ‘Support Manager of the Year’ category, and the Operational Support Service team won silver in the ‘Operational Support Team of the Year,’ category, at the event, held at The Brewery, in London. 

Suki Sarai collects 'Support Manager of the Year’ award with host Vernon Kay

Suki wins gold in the ‘Support Manager of the Year’ category

Suki, who manages recruitment, training and service improvement within the customer service centre, was nominated for her work supporting the team throughout the pandemic.

As soon as the pandemic hit, she moved training from classroom-based, to an online format.

In April 2020, there was a 14 per cent increase in the number of residents calling the income line to discuss payments. In response, Suki and her team upskilled 91 customer service advisers in just a few weeks. This allowed L&Q to reassure residents that we were still here to support them with their financial needs.

Over the following months, Suki also moved all the customer service training modules into online platforms using Microsoft Teams, and the web-based phone system and inducted more than 50 new customer service advisors.

In addition to helping the team adapt to working from home, Suki also mentored two apprentice customer service advisors and was selected by the G15 for a scholarship to study for a Diploma in Strategic Leadership and Management with the Chartered Management Institute.

The Operational Support Service team, headed up by Kim Baker and made up of 43 employees, took home a silver at the event, on 27 September. 

Part of L&Q’s customer service team inside the UK National Contact Centre Awards event

 The Operational Support Service team won silver in the ‘Operational Support Team of the Year’ category

The team carried out several projects to revolutionise ways of working remotely and helped navigate the contact centre through the pandemic seamlessly.

As it became apparent that thousands of residents were struggling financially because of the pandemic, but that maintenance and repairs lines had seen record falls, the team reforecast demand and amended schedules to suit the needs of residents.

Working patterns were adapted to support homeschooling while also ensuring calls were answered and dealt with efficiently.

As part of the team’s hard work, the refund process was reviewed and streamlined, 246,415 out of date system alerts were removed to improve data quality and work has begun to introduce a new person-centred risk assessment process.

The awards, which celebrate those individuals and teams who deserve recognition for the work they are doing in their contact centre operation, are judged by five Head Judges who work in the industry.

Ashley Bryant, Customer Service and Revenue Director, said:

“I am so incredibly proud of Suki and the Operational Support Service team. These awards are so well-deserved after the incredible work they did to support residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Suki has been a tremendous support manager over the last year. She has transformed our processes, training and recruitment and has been instrumental in allowing the customer service centre to move forward during the pandemic while delivering an enhanced service to customers and colleagues.

“Kim and her team have worked incredibly hard to make sure residents are heard and supported, all while keeping engagement and morale high.”