The Contact Centre team at Spark Response was honoured at North East Contact Centre Awards held on Friday night at the Rainton Meadows Arena near Sunderland.

Spark was named winner of the Outsourced Contact Centre of the Year category at the awards, organised by Tyne and Wear Development Company to celebrate the success of an industry which employs more than 60,000 in the region.

Trevor Flack, Contact Centre Manager at Spark Response, said: “To be shortlisted was fantastic for us as it recognises the efforts put in by the whole team and gave them a chance to shine at the awards. So when our name was called out as the winner every one of us was ecstatic. It’s a real thumbs up to the way Spark Response works and is just reward for the team’s continuous loyalty and hard work.”

Spark was crowned winner on the back of winning the Large Business category at Service Network’s Culture for Success Awards this summer. The criteria of the Outsourced Contact Centre category is that entrants must demonstrate how they are an employer of choice and how they provide outstanding customer experience. Both of these attributes were demonstrated by Spark in their award entry and highlighted by head judge Shona Harper, founder of consultancy and training company, Contact Centre Professional, who presented Spark with the award.

Trevor added: “Outsourcing is becoming a widely accepted model, which allows companies to concentrate and focus on other areas of their business, and is an absoloutely vital part of our clients’ operations. Most see our contact centre team as an extension of their own and I think it’s important that companies like Spark are recognised in the industry.

“The contact centre industry is no longer about just providing customer service, it’s about achieving customer excellence, and that’s what we pride ourselves on.”

Peter Slee, Managing Director, said: “This is just reward for the excellent job the outsourcing team does. We know we’re a passionate business and for that to be seen by the judges and mentioned when our win was announced is a fantastic boost.

“We’re an accomplished north east company working with several major national and global brands so it’s great to be recognised for doing a good job, but we’d love to be engaging and working with more regional companies so the local exposure is a great way to form new partnerships in the area too.”

Now in their 10th year, the North East Contact Centre Awards introduced the Outsourced Contact Centre of the Year category this year to recognise those companies in the North East who manage customer relationships on behalf of their clients.

Noel Lambert, Operations Director, added: “The benefits of outsourcing as a model, being able to hand over large parts of your operation to another company, extend far beyond potential cost savings.

“We believe our contact centre team go above and beyond in providing outstanding service to our clients and their customers, and of course as they say ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’ as the team also handles our own retail customers for our eCommerce brands; Ethical Superstore, Natural Collection and Spirit of Nature all owned and operated by our sister company Spark Etail Ltd for which we have a 99.5% customer satisfaction rating.”