HDI Team Excellence Award

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The prestigious HDI Team Excellence Award recognizes technical service and support teams that have most enhanced the image of the profession by setting and achieving the highest standards of excellence in customer support.

The HDI Team Excellence Award evaluates the team with regard to maturity, innovation and efforts made to provide a stellar customer experience, and how people, process, and technology together have improved service and overcome challenges presented to the organization. Applicants must demonstrate to what extent and how the organization focuses on employee and customer engagement and satisfaction, how the support center’s mission and/or vision aligns with those of the organization as a whole, and to what extent the team’s cohesiveness is articulated and demonstrated. The team must also illustrate how well processes are defined and executed, as well as how they align with industry good practices.

In addition to recognizing excellence in our industry, the HDI Team Excellence Award enables organizations to learn from the experiences of others through the finalists’ case studies.

Each year at the HDI Annual Conference & Expo, HDI and Robert Half Technology, HDI’s premier award sponsor, publicly recognize the finalists and honor the winner, acknowledging their performance in the preceding eighteen (18) months.

Application Requirements


By submitting a completed application, applicants grant HDI the right to publish the application and the video, or any portion thereof, as a means of sharing the applicant’s story with the industry and promoting HDI’s products and services.

Any internal, external, or outsourcer support teams can apply for the HDI Team Excellence Award.

Submit your nomination now

Submissions must be received by HDI by October 31.


Each applicant is required to submit written responses as outlined below, as well as two videos: the Virtual Tour and the commercial (Section G). For additional instructions or questions, contact the HDI Customer Care Center at 800.248.5667 or [email protected].

HDI Team Excellence Award winners must wait two years from the year they win their award before applying again.

The Application

Your application, which will become a case study if your organization is an award finalist, must contain the following information. Answer each question, in the order provided, with clear, concise, and thorough responses. Please understand that the quality of the application counts. If any sections are missing or if your application is sloppy, incomplete, confusing, or inaccurate, points will be deducted from your submission. To facilitate the judging process, please list each of the application points with your detailed response and state precisely how your team met or exceeded its stated goals and expectations in each of the categories. Also, review the judging criteria below to ensure you are including the items the judges will be evaluating in each category.


  1. Company Information
    1. Company or organization name (e.g., ABC, Inc. or XYZ University)
    2. Department or support organization name (e.g., ABC Service Desk or OIT Support)
    3. Mailing address, city, state/province, country
      1. Other: If your support organization has multiple locations, please list them. (Ex: We also have locations in Mumbai, India, and Cartagena, Colombia.)
      2. Contact(s): If there is more than one contact for this application, please provide the following information for each contact.
        1. Name
        2. Title
        3. Phone number
        4. Email address
        5. Role in your organization
        6. Company Overview
        7. Describe the scope of the organization (e.g., whom you support, number of support staff, scope of support responsibilities, volume of issues handled per year, industry, hours of operation)
        8. An overview of your organization, including:
          1. The organization’s mission
          2. The support center's mission
          3. An explanation of how the support center's mission complements the organization's mission
          4. An introduction to your team and organizational structure
          5. A legal and/or marketing-approved boilerplate about your organization
          6. A high-resolution company logo (EPS format preferred)

          B. PEOPLE

          1. Leadership/Management
          2. Explain how leaders guide the organization towards success by inspiring and motivating employees
          3. Explain the process used to establish performance goals and measurements
          4. Explain how your support center staff works together to achieve established goals and measurements
          5. Team Morale and Employee Satisfaction
          6. Explain your process for measuring team and employee satisfaction
          7. Explain how the team creates an environment that encourages teamwork
          8. Explain ways in which management shows support for your team and values your team’s performance
          9. Explain your process for measuring employee satisfaction
          10. Provide key measurements for the following:
            1. Turnover rate
            2. Absenteeism
            3. Describe your team’s ergonomic considerations and working environment:
              1. Support center floor plan
              2. Sufficiency and quality of equipment, tools, furniture, work space, lighting, etc., for performing work functions
              3. Overall facility
              4. Team Development
                1. Describe the training and professional development you provide for your staff/team
                2. Describe the types of industry activities your team participates in (e.g., conferences, webinars, virtual events, associations, memberships)

                C. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

                1. Describe the processes, tools, and techniques used to measure customer satisfaction
                2. Explain how the team uses customer feedback to further improve satisfaction
                3. If the team communicates improvements back to its customers, explain this process
                4. Explain how the team communicates with dissatisfied customers
                5. Explain how the team prevents future dissatisfaction
                6. Provide customer quotes and/or testimonials and customer references
                7. If you measure customer loyalty and retention, explain your process

                D. PROCESS

                1. Goals and Strategies
                2. Describe your team’s primary goals
                3. Identify the party (or parties) responsible for measuring progress toward these goals
                4. Explain how these goals are documented
                5. Explain how these goals are communicated to team members
                6. Explain how these progress is monitored
                7. Metrics
                8. List your key metrics
                9. Briefly describe why these metrics are key
                10. Describe and explain how often you report your metrics and to whom
                11. Identify and explain metrics that show areas where you are excelling and areas that need improvement
                12. Service Level Agreements or Service Level Management/Service Contracts
                13. If you have SLAs:
                  1. Explain how expectations are managed
                  2. Describe the process for communicating to team members how they measure up to defined SLAs
                  3. If you have SLM or SCs:
                    1. If you have agreements with your customers to manage their expectations, describe these agreements (i.e., what they include)
                    2. If you do not maintain these agreements with your customer, explain why not
                    3. Innovative Processes and Procedures
                    4. Describe any innovative processes developed or incorporated by your team the past eighteen (18) months
                    5. Explain why these processes are innovative within your organizational context and discuss their impact(s)
                    6. If your team has adopted principals and processes from any of the following frameworks, please explain:
                      • ITIL
                      • HDI Support Center Standard
                      • COBIT
                      • ISO 20000

                      E. TECHNOLOGY

                      1. Support Center Technology
                      2. Explain how the team uses technology, including any social media tools, to manage the following:
                        1. Service requests and incidents
                        2. Customer questions or complaints
                        3. Explain how the team ensures technology is in place to meet the growing and changing needs of your customers
                        4. Infrastructure Technology
                        5. Identify resources, technology, and/or tools available to your team
                        6. Describe how your team takes advantage of available technology and tools to improve the transition from development to implementation to supporting new services or technology offerings

                        F. CHALLENGES

                        1. Describe any challenges/problems your team has overcome within the past eighteen (18) months
                          1. Establish context by describing where you were before the challenge(s), how you faced the challenge(s), and where you plan to be in the future after you overcome the challenge(s)
                          2. Highlight any innovations you have introduced to help overcome the challenges

                          G. VIRTUAL TOUR

                          1. Submit a two-minute video taking the judges on a virtual tour of your support center, including:
                            1. The facility and workspace
                            2. People interaction
                            3. Teamwork in action
                            4. Technology in use
                            5. Submit a short (30-second) video commercial about your organization, to be used at the HDI Annual Conference & Expo if your team is selected as a finalist

                            By submitting these materials, you grant HDI permission to reproduce selected screen shots, video clips, and text from the application as part of the award ceremony during the HDI Annual Conference & Expo.

                            Judging Process and Criteria

                            After the application window closes, a panel of judges will be asked to evaluate each application based on the following criteria.

                            The judging process involves two phases:

                            • Phase 1: Content
                            • Phase 2: Personal Interview

                            The judges’ scores in the first phase will be collected and averaged by HDI to identify the finalists for the second phase of judging.

                            Phase 1 Measures

                            • Overall Quality (5%)
                            • People (15%)
                            • Customer Experience (15%)
                            • Process (20%)
                            • Technology (15%)
                            • Challenges (20%)
                            • Virtual Tour (10%)

                            Phase 1 Criteria

                            Judges will consider:

                            • The overall quality of the award application itself
                            • Information in the application indicates that, in general, the applicant organization can be considered well above average
                            • The extent to which the organization focuses on employee engagement and satisfaction
                            • The extent to which the organization focuses on customer engagement and satisfaction
                            • The extent to which the support center's mission and/or vision aligns with the organization’s as a whole
                            • The extent to which the team's cohesiveness is articulated and demonstrated in the application
                            • How well processes are defined and executed
                            • How processes are aligned with industry good practices, such as the HDI Support Center Standard
                            • How organizational culture contributes to the support center's excellence
                            • How the people, process, and technology, taken together, have improved service and enabled the support organization to overcome challenges

                            Quality of the Application (5%)

                            • Quality and completeness
                            • The information about the applicant organization is current and accurate
                            • The application includes all requested information
                            • The application is accompanied by the required supporting materials
                            • The application is well written (e.g., no spelling errors or typos, acronyms are defined)

                            People (15%)

                            • The relationship between the leadership of the organization and the rest of the team is well defined, healthy, and supports both the organizational goals and the support center’s goals
                            • Members of the support team are valued
                            • Communication among members of the support center team, with the support center leadership, and with the rest of the organization are good
                            • Members of the team have the tools and training they need to succeed, and are given the opportunity to provide feedback
                            • Employee satisfaction is measured regularly, and is generally on an upward trend
                            • Attrition/turnover is within acceptable limits when compared to the averages in the most recent HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report, with any deviations explained
                            • Ergonomics show that employee well-being is taken into consideration in all aspects of the support center

                            Customer Experience (15%)

                            • Customer sentiment is measured regularly using customer satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter™ (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES) or a consistent and generally accepted method
                            • Customers have clear and easy ways to provide feedback in addition to survey responses
                            • Customer feedback and suggestions with regard to changes in processes, procedures, and service offerings are given due consideration

                            Process (20%)

                            • Processes are well defined and aligned with industry good practices
                            • There is a plan for the organizational change needed to adopt and adapt new processes
                            • Processes are aligned with desired business goals and outcomes
                            • Metrics and measures are in place to track critical success factors (CSFs) and key performance indicators (KPIs)

                            Technology (15%)

                            • Technologies are in place that enable efficient and effective work at the service desk/help desk and make the best use of the available budget
                            • Technology is used in ways that reduce manual operations and the potential for human error
                            • The organization's technologies are in keeping with the organization's needs, not only those of the service desk/help desk
                            • Examples of how your technologies tie to better customer and business outcomes

                            Challenges (20%)

                            • Describe a major challenge your organization has faced within the past 18 months
                              • Examples of possible challenges: ?
                                • Has the organization undergone a significant change due to merger/acquisition, service desk consolidation, or outsourcing/insourcing? ?
                                • Has there been a change in senior management goals, objectives, and/or direction?
                                • Examples of steps taken to meet the challenge and the result(s)

                                Virtual Video Tour (10%)

                                The judges will watch to see if the virtual tour of your support center shows clear examples of your facility and workspace, your staff interacting with each other and customers, teamwork between peers, and how technology is used in your environment

                                Phase 2 Criteria

                                The finalists will be invited to sit for a live interview with a panel of judges at the HDI Annual Conference & Expo. No more than three representatives from each finalist organization will be permitted to participate in the interview. HDI will provide a complimentary conference registration for one representative from each of the finalist organizations. Finalist representatives must cover their own hotel and travel expenses.

                                Each judge will receive a copy of the application for each finalist, without the scores from the Phase 1 judges, and a list of sample questions, which they can augment with their own questions. The interviews will last no longer than twenty minutes each. After all of the interviews have been completed, the judges will then deliberate and select a winner from their respective categories.

                                Finalist and Winner Recognition

                                All finalists will receive a framed certificate to acknowledge their achievement. The framed certificates will be presented to the finalists at the HDI Annual Conference & Expo during the final interview. Finalists will also be given a special ribbon for their conference badge that identifies them as award finalists, and they will be invited to the HDI Annual Conference & Expo VIP reception as guests of HDI. Finalists will also be invited to the HDI Local Chapter Officer Meeting at conference to be recognized for their achievement within the community.

                                The finalists will be recognized and the winner announced during one of the general sessions. The winner will receive a crystal award engraved with the year.

                                Case studies based on the finalists’ applications will be published and promoted after the event, because sharing the experiences and successes of leading organizations makes our community stronger.