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Which? Awards 2020: Vote for Your Consumer Champion

This year you can help us recognise the individuals who’ve gone the extra mile. Steph McGovern, host of the Which? Awards 2020, explains how you can cast your vote.

08/10/20: And the winner is…

Congratulations to James Williscroft of Coventry Building Society – voted by you as Your Consumer Champion 2020.

29/09/20: Vote for your Consumer Champion

What a 2020 we’re all having. Whoever you are, whatever you do there aren’t many of us who could call this a normal year.  

I don’t think any of us expected to be working in the ways we have done this year. For business and consumers, it’s been unpredictable, it’s been relentless, and for many unbelievably tough. 

But despite all of this, there are people who have gone the extra mile to help their customers, and these guys need celebrating. So, I’m working with Which? to recognise some of the individuals who have made a difference to consumers this year, and here’s your chance to get involved. 

From all the amazing nominations they’ve received the experts at Which? have managed to whittle it down to just three very deserving finalists for the Your Consumer Champion award. But we need your help picking a winner!

So get involved, all you need to do is vote. Check out their stories below and pick Your Consumer Champion!

Our finalists

Sue Martin, Guest Services Manager, Viking UK

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Viking UK found itself having to manage an unprecedented volume of changes to bookings.

However, unlike many other travel companies, Viking customers were not left waiting months or even weeks for refunds thanks in large part to Guest Services Manager, Sue Martin.

Sue worked on a response plan so the Viking team could get up and running working from home and get customers refunds sorted at pace.

She upskilled team members to make sure enough staff were available to process rebookings, simplified the phone line so customers could get in touch easily and worked with the finance team to arrange refunds by cheque so they could get to customers as soon as possible. 

 

Kathryn Townsend, Senior Propositions Manager, Barclays UK

With many Barclays customers self-isolating, Kathryn led a team to develop a range of solutions to make sure they could still access vital banking services.

Lots of these vulnerable customers were used to coming into a physical premises for their banking needs so Kathryn developed a communications campaign online and via post, SMS and outbound calls to inform them of other ways they could continue to manage their finances. 

She also helped introduce free cash deliveries and free Pingit contactless payment devices, which could be given to trusted third parties to do shopping on their behalf. During this time, Kathryn’s team contacted over 800,000 customers and thousands of them used the cash delivery service and Pingit devices. 

 

James Williscroft, Complaints Specialist, Coventry Building Society 

James was shortlisted for going above and beyond his role to help a vulnerable customer who was suffering severe financial difficulty following an online error that saw a rent payment sent to their son’s junior ISA instead.

The ISA rules meant the customer was unable to simply send the money back to her main account.

James heard the distress of this single parent who had recently lost their job and felt strongly that, even though it was not a Coventry Building Society error and the customer’s main account was not with them, he had to try and find a solution.

James liaised with several teams and managers in Coventry Building Society to set up a new account and develop a payment plan for the customer so they could still pay their rent on time. He demonstrated true problem-solving, putting the customer first.

The Your Consumer Champion award recognises an individual who has done something in the past 12 months in a business capacity that makes an outstanding contribution to improving the lives of consumers.

As well as a prestigious Which? Award and £300 voucher, the winner will receive a coaching session with a consumer expert.

Vote for your winner

Voting will be open from 14:00 on 29 September 2020 and will close at 23:59 on 7 October. The winner will be announced on 8 October. Voting is limited to one vote per person.


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