Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 21, 2019


The willingness of UK professionals to relocate to other parts of the country has been revealed in a new survey, which shows that Londoners are most keen to move for the chance of a better lifestyle.

Professionals in London (73 percent), Northern Ireland (64 percent), the North & Scotland (63 percent), and the Midlands & Wales (59 percent) would all “strongly consider” relocating job roles if it provided a higher quality opf lifestyle, according to recent research undertaken by recruiter Robert Walters and job board CV-Library.

This compares with only a fraction of professionals who state that “securing a substantial pay rise” would be a number one career priority right now: London (13 percent), East of England (13 percent), South East & South West (10 percent), Scotland (10 percent), Midlands (nine percent), Wales (nine percent), North (six percent), and Yorkshire & Humber (two percent).

This was most prevalent in IT & Tech (50 percent), Accounting & Finance (43 percent), Manufacturing & Engineering (32 percent), Banking & Financial Services (30 percent), Marketing & PR (30 percent), and the Public Sector (30 percent), where candidates stated that lifestyle would be the main reason to trigger a job move.

In fact, almost half of UK professionals (40 percent) would consider working in a temporary, interim, or contract position for more flexibility and a better lifestyle.

Despite employees valuing ‘soft benefits’ such a flexi-working, work-life balance, and ‘being valued’ as key to feeling fulfilled in their job role, almost half of companies (45 pecrent) still maintain their belief that an attractive salary & package is what drives the motivation of today’s workforce.

Whilst 60 percent of professionals state career development as an important part of a job offering, less than 10 percent of companies believe that a lack of career progression and development would be a key reason for losing talent.

Chris Hickey, CEO at Robert Walters said: “With Brexit on the horizon and a challenging time ahead, it is important now more than ever that employers retain top talent. Given that over a third of professionals claim that their employer is failing to meet their career expectations, it is concerning how slow companies are to act towards better understanding their employees’ needs.”

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, added: “Candidates hold the power in the current market, putting more pressure on employers to pull out all the stops in order to attract, recruit and retain the very best workers. If you’re struggling with your hiring efforts right now, consider whether your job offers and workplace environment are truly meeting the needs of today’s job hunters. It’s clear from our findings that it’s not just about pay anymore.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 20, 2019


The proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda would lead to a “poorer shopping experience”, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has warned.

The concerns from the UK’s competition watchdog has cast doubts on the £12 billion merger – plans of which emerged last April – and led to Sainsbury’s shares falling by 15 percent.

The CMA’s provisional report on the deal said the merger would lead to less choice and higher prices, including a rise in fuel costs at over 100 locations.

The watchdog has said options now include blocking the deal, or requiring the two firms to sell off a “significant number” of stores and other assets to recreate the competitive rivalry lost through the merger.

However, it also said it was “likely to be difficult” for the chains to address the concerns.

Chair of the CMA’s independent inquiry group, Stuart McIntosh, said: “These are two of the biggest supermarkets in the UK, with millions of people purchasing their products and services every day. We have provisionally found that, should the two merge, shoppers could face higher prices, reduced quality and choice, and a poorer overall shopping experience across the UK. We also have concerns that prices could rise at a large number of their petrol stations.”

He continued: “These are our provisional findings, however, and the companies and others now have the opportunity to respond to the analysis we’ve set out today. It’s our responsibility to carry out a thorough assessment of the deal to make sure that the sector remains competitive and shoppers don’t lose out.”

A final report on the merger will be published by the CMA on April 30.

Meanwhile, responding to the CMA’ report, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Mike Coupe said the findings were “fundamentally flawed” and accused the document of “inaccuracy and lack of objectivity”.

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, he said: “They have fundamentally moved the goalposts, changed the shape of the ball and chosen a different playing field. A UK plc with Brexit looming, and a completely unpredictable set of competition rules, who would invest in this country? This is just outrageous.”




Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 20, 2019


Telefónica, whose O2 brand has enjoyed success at the UK Customer Experience Awards, has announced a new deal to use crowdsourced data as its global standard for mobile network CX testing and benchmarking.

The firm has signed an agreement with the world’s largest mobile network data company Tutela, which collects over 30 billion crowdsourced network performance measurements from more than 250 million devices around the world every day.

This new agreement will enable Telefónica and its global operating businesses to make use of Tutela’s crowdsourced data and tools in each of its 17 active markets, and will enable the organisation to measure key mobile network performance indicators continuously, including signal strength and quality, download speed patterns, and device performance in order to make ongoing Customer Experience improvements.

Juan Manuel Caro, Global Director of Network and IT operations  at Telefónica, said: “We are continually striving to improve the mobile experience of our customers, and using Tutela’s data and tools as part of our Customer Experience strategy will ensure our customers enjoy the best experience on our networks.

“Tutela’s global crowdsourced dataset will allow us to evaluate our main KPIs related to Customer Satisfaction as a function of different factors like the device, kind of connection, technology or location, in order to continue improving Telefonica Network Customer Satisfaction.”

Tom Luke, Vice President at Tutela added: “We’re thrilled that Telefónica has adopted our crowdsourced data, methodology and tools as its global standard for crowdsourced network performance benchmarking, expanding on the successful projects that we have already had with a number of their operating businesses. We will contribute our data solutions and expertise to assist Telefonica in making network investment and optimisation decisions which will have the biggest impact to their Customer Experience.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 15, 2019


UK Complaint Handling Awards winner NewDay is undergoing a new Voice of Customer (VoC) transformation with the help of crowdsourcing service providers Limitless.

The credit card firm, which was named Overall Winner in last year’s UK Complaint Handling Awards in London, is using  Limitless’ soon to be launched Crowd Feedback solution to easily capture valuable customer feedback and drive key product improvement.

NewDay has over 5 million customers across the UK, and is inviting them to enrol on the Limitless app. Customers are tasked with conducting tests on a range of products and then provide feedback, in exchange for cash rewards. All feedback is channelled to NewDay’s customer support and product teams to accelerate service improvements and generate fresh ideas for new product development.

The VoC programme was launched with NewDay customers using Aqua and Amazon MasterCard credit cards. Both cohorts are providing vital feedback that is fuelling product and process changes.

Francesca Rea, Director of Customer Service and Service Delivery at NewDay, said: “Our company vision is to help people be better with credit. We put our customers at the heart of whatever we do, and the Ambassador programme is very much in the spirit of what we believe in. We’re delighted that this has opened new avenues for us to connect with and reward our most engaged customers.”

 “As a business, we are focused on delivering innovative credit products; timely customer feedback is critical as it accelerates our speed to market and allows us to stay ahead of competition. We will continue to work with Limitless to explore new ways of capitalising on the knowledge, experience and brand passion of our customers to improve our service offerings for everyone.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 14, 2019


Entries are now open for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards, which this year is marking ten years of celebrating the very best CX in Britain.

The gala event will take place on October 10 at London’s Wembley Stadium, where finalists representing some of the best-known brands in the country will gather to make presentations before an expert panel of judges, hoping to secure one of 24 category titles that reflect every aspect of customer centricity.

New categories for 2019 include Employee Experience, Employees at the Heart of Everything, Hospitality & Leisure, Retail, and Professional Services, and the awards will be presented during an evening black tie dinner ceremony.

Applications are now being taken from potential judges to join the line-up, and you can click here to find out more about becoming a UKCXA judge.

The finals, which are chaired once again by international CX consultant and author Ian Golding, is also one of the UK’s best CX networking opportunities, with hundreds gathering at the iconic venue to support colleagues and celebrate what makes the UK a beacon of customer-centricity in a rapidly changing business landscape.

The UK Customer Experience Awards is accredited with the prestigious Gold Awards Trust Mark from the Independent Awards Standards Council, and as always is proud to be partnered with Cranfield School of Management, Barnardo’s, and the Customer Experience Professionals Association.

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “The UK Customer Experience Awards has grown exponentially to become the biggest CX event of its kind in the world, and we are incredibly proud to be marking its tenth anniversary. Customer Experience is now a brand’s most defining characteristic, and it is impossible to overestimate its importance to the economy. These awards play such an important role in not only celebrating achievements, but also setting the standard for organisations to follow if they are to be successful in this new era where the customer really is at the heart of everything.”

Click here to register interest for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards. An Early Bird ticket offer is also available.



Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 14, 2019


In an age where customer loyalty is key to repeat revenue and profits, three-in-four consumers (76 percent) admit they switch to a competitor if they have just one bad experience with a brand they like.

That’s despite the fact that most consumers (52 percent) say that, once they’re loyal to a brand, they’re loyal for life – highlighting a huge difference between what consumers say and how they behave.

These conclusions are part of Acquia’s inaugural annual global report entitled Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019.

Part of the problem lies with brands’ inability to predict what loyal consumers want, argues the report. Sixty-six percent of consumers say brands don’t do a good job of using their personal preferences to predict their needs – damning marketers’ claims that they’re improving personalisation.

And in a double blow, 77 percent of marketers are arguing that tech has made it harder, not easier, to offer customers personalised experiences.

Sylvia Jensen, VP of EMEA marketing at Acquia said: “This research uncovers that what consumers say they want is completely different to what they actually want – but that’s the fault of the marketer, not the consumer. Without being able to track customer journeys and build up a digital picture of customer behaviour, it’s difficult to really understand customers effectively – and therefore personalisation becomes extremely challenging.

“The result is a poor experience – just one of which can be enough to send a loyal customer into a competitor’s open arms.”

Addressing the issue of loyalty, the report finds that 78 percent of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand if the brand demonstrates an understanding of them as the customer – yet 64 percent of consumers feel that brands who should know them well don’t know them well at all.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 13, 2019


Leading UK video game retailer GAME has partnered with Customer Experience measurement firm Service Management Group (SMG) to drive field engagement and customer loyalty.

GAME is using the SMG customer feedback management platform to collect, analyse, and share feedback data while working side-by-side with SMG’s client insights team to uncover key customer loyalty drivers.

Founded in 1992, GAME is an established specialty retailer that offers video games, consoles, and accessories at more than 300 retail locations across the UK. Known for midnight product launches, overnight gaming “lock-ins”, and live events, GAME is both a platform and contributor to the gaming community.

Dave Howard, GAME Retail UK Managing Director, said: “With technology that allows us to capture location-level feedback and an experienced research team that delivers actionable insights, SMG is the ideal CX partner for our organisation. The insights from this programme will not only improve our retail operations, they’ll help us more effectively train our employees to deliver a better Customer Experience.”

Jeremy Michael, SMG Managing Director – EMEA, added: “With the constant challenges on the high street, it’s great to see GAME reaffirm their intentions to tangibly improve the in-store experience. The focus on creating an inspiring customer journey will, without a doubt, lead to greater consumer loyalty and long-term sales.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 8, 2019


The UK’s employers are failing to earn the trust of staff when it comes to dealing with cyber attacks, new research shows.

The findings from insurance governance experts Mactavish reveals 43 percent of senior executives and managers believe their employers have suffered at least one cyber-attack in the past two years.

However, only 31 percent of those who said this thought it had been dealt with ‘very well’. Just over one-in-five (21 percent) thought they dealt with it ‘poorly’.

The findings also reveal that less than half (48 percent) of senior executives and managers feel their employers are not worried about cyber-attacks, and this helps explain why just 51 percent believe the organisations they work for have good strategies in place for dealing with cyber-attacks. Some 13 percent described their strategies here as ‘poor’,  and 30 percent as ‘average’.

Bruce Hepburn, CEO of Mactavish said: “The chances of suffering from a cyber attack are increasing, but our research suggests many employers are not taking this growing risk seriously enough. Given this, it is fair to assume that many have also not reviewed their insurance policies to make sure they have adequate cover here.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 7, 2019


Scientists have found that offering employees chocolate could be the key to increased workplace productivity.

Researchers at London Metropolitan University worked with gift firm Bloom & Wild to see if offering staff chocolate and prompting the body to produce the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin played a role in boosting productivity levels.

Oxytocin is produced when people are in happy relationships and is linked to reducing anxiety and stress. A study conducted by the Social Market Foundation proved that employees who were happy reported a 12 percent increase in productivity alone.

The research at London Metropolitan University was conducted to see if receiving gifts can induce higher levels of oxytocin, leading to increased employee efficiency and morale

Dr Una Fairbrother (Head of Biosciences), Dr Sheelaugh Heugh (Head of Student Experience and Academic Outcomes), and PHD Student Elliot Kidd led the experiment and analysed the results.

They split 30 volunteers into three groups to receive a gift of flowers, chocolate, or water. They took saliva samples before the gift arrived, 10 minutes after delivery, and finally 40 minutes after receiving the gift. After the gifting, the saliva samples were tested to detect any changes in hormone levels, including those that are normally associated with love.

Higher levels of oxytocin were detected amongst those receiving chocolates and flowers, while those gifted with water saw the least change.

Dr Fairbrother said: “Participants in the study were selected randomly (only their age, gender, and date of birth was recorded), in order to maintain anonymity in compliance with data protection and the Human Tissue Authority.

“Interestingly, the results show that there was a significant increase in oxytocin after receipt of any gift. Furthermore, within this small group, the effect of the more desirable gifts, such as chocolate and flowers, was more pronounced, with chocolate being marginally on top. This is not surprising since chocolate induces feelings of wellbeing, including an oxytocin response when eaten, thus anticipation is likely to provoke a similar (if smaller) response.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 5, 2019


Nationwide is the UK’s most trusted financial service provider for 2018, according to new research from experience management company and former UK Customer Experience Awards entrants Qualtrics.

The research, which surveyed 1,000 UK consumers about the banks and financial services they use, explored aspects including customer loyalty and trust, and the technology trends that are defining the future of banking.

Of the UK’s most-used banks, Nationwide, RBS, and Barclays have the highest levels of customer trust and there’s a direct link to customer engagement, with those banks seeing higher levels of loyalty, with 86 percent of RBS customers and 75 percent of Nationwide customers saying they are likely to stay with their bank for the next two years, compared to an average of 68 percent across the sector.

Commenting on this finding, Luke Williams, CX strategy lead at Qualtrics said: “It’s long been said that customer trust takes a lifetime to build and a moment to destroy. In our experience, this isn’t the case. Customers do not stop trusting brands because of one specific crisis – no matter how severe. In reality, customer trust is eroded over time through continuous, disappointing experiences.

“The brands that have come out on top in our trust index do not have a magic formula, they are simply providing consistent experiences that regularly meet the expectations of their customers. For the most part, this comes down to listening to customers and understanding the little things that define a great experience. That is where true trust, and ultimately, true customer loyalty is forged.”

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