This month we are announcing the winners of our annual C.A.R.E Awards, which recognise leading brands who have pushed their CX programmes towards exceptional gains over the past year.

In light of the C.A.R.E. Awards, we wanted to highlight the importance of benchmarking and accolades for CX initiatives. Aside from giving brands the obvious bragging rights, awards offer several other crucial benefits, including the following:

They show where your customer experience strengths lie

In an awards process, CX experts look at every single element of your programme, from the amount of feedback data received and corresponding response rates, to the number of engaged employees and customer resolutions. Not all brands are exceptional at every one of these aspects, but many of them excel at individual elements—setting them apart from the competition. So, while your overall customer experience solution may still be growing, you might learn that your brand has the highest percentage for resolved complaints, or closed-loop processes, when compared to over a hundred other industry-leading organisations. That’s a huge achievement that you might have otherwise looked over in your day-to-day CX assessments.

It’s not just lip service: the judging process is intensive and offers deep insight into how your program works

The process of determining CX leaders in an awards race is intensive. Don’t forget, this is a mutually beneficial process that highlights the achievements of the technology and services that you use, so making sure the details are substantial, accurate and impressive is a top priority for us as well. That means that you programme has been carefully scoured over with a fine-toothed comb and knowing that you’re managing it well allows you to convey your brand’s strengths to the entire organisation. It also provides direction for future CX initiatives, especially if you are deciding to focus on this already successful aspects of your solution, or if you want to branch out to other areas and achieve new goals.

For growing CX programmes, awards can spur the buy-in needed for larger CX investments.

Overall programme success is important, but many companies are building up to a fully comprehensive system. For those who are focusing on one or two key areas of customer experience, or for those who have only integrated a programme in one area of their business, awards recognition can turn heads in the C-Suite, helping to move the needle on future CX investments. This buy-in also applies to robust solutions as well—which always can use more money for technology and employee initiatives.

Awards pit the best against the best; this can be a great way to learn from your peers.

Regardless of your award category, you are in company with some of the best businesses who lead the market in CX delivery. This creates a great opportunity to network and learn from other leaders in the field, many of whom are experiencing some of the same challenges. Leaders go to other leaders for great ideas and advice, so this is the prime setting to bring great minds together for a wellspring of customer experience knowledge.

Stay tuned for the announcement of our 2017 winners!