Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 21, 2019
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3min105

A new report has found that 20 percent of marketing and CX professionals feel they will “never truly understand” their customers’ buying decisions.

The study from analytics firm Clicktale, titled Defining Digital Experience, states that part of the reason for this is due to 34 percent of marketers and CX professionals being unable to unite data between their web and mobile-optimised sites to create a single customer view, while 39 percent struggle to unite data from their websites and mobile apps.

This inability, the report continues, also means that 71 percent of brands can’t action customer insights in real time, while 73 percent are struggling to provide a consistent experience across channels. Ultimately, this lack of ability to understand customers is hindering brands’ chances of securing customer loyalty and damaging potential sales.

The study explores the current state of digital with 200 marketing and CX professionals working in some of the world’s leading brands in the UK and the US. The report uncovers how brands are building a strategy around Digital Experience, including who is ‘owning’ the function, and what technology they’re deploying.

Clicktale CMO Sara Richter said: “With so many brands struggling to build a single customer view, is it any wonder that marketing and CX professionals feel they cannot build a true understanding of their customers?

“But while uniting data is undoubtedly key, so too is capturing the right kind of data – beyond the usual demography, geography, purchase history and preference. Very few brands are tapping into the power of behavioural data, which enriches the marketer’s understanding of the customer immensely. With behavioural data and the right analytics, brands can better serve customers, improve loyalty and drive more repeat revenue.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 20, 2019
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3min121

UK Employers are being aided in supporting blind and partially sighted staff through a new suite of resources from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

The initiative is part of the Department for Work and Pension’s Disability Confident scheme, a nationally-recognised Government accreditation that supports businesses to attract, recruit, and retain disabled employees.

Now available on RNIB’s website, the suite was launched this month at an event hosted by insurance giant and recent UK Complaint Handling Awards winner Zurich in London. During the launch, employers such as Royal Mail, O2 and John Lewis & Partners were brought together to recognise the contribution that blind and partially sighted employees make to businesses. They also got an exclusive first-look at the new resources, which have now been shared with more than 10,000 Disability Confident members.

Among those at the launch event was Caroline Casey (pictured above), a blind disability activist and management consultant, who gave a keynote speech on what the new resources would offer.

They include a menu of webinars, good practice toolkits, guides for making changes, and blogs. Employers are also invited to take an RNIB Workplace Accessibility Health Check, which assesses employers’ knowledge of the reasonable adjustments a blind or partially sighted person might need to do their job.

David Clarke, Director of Services at RNIB, said: “Although employment rates are at a record high, just one-in-four blind or partially sighted people are in work, which is a waste of valuable talent and skills in the UK workforce. As well as helpful advice and best practice, our new suite of resources includes examples of people who are registered blind in a range of different roles – proving that people with sight loss can be graphic designers, film-makers and accountants.

“With the right support, visually impaired people can thrive in the workplace and make a significant contribution to businesses in almost all employment sectors. We just need employers to realise the unique commercial value that blind and partially sighted employees can undoubtedly bring to their businesses.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 19, 2019
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2min144

UK Customer Experience Awards winner EE has announced a new bonus for customers who love movies and TV.

The mobile provider, which won Best Contact Centre Large at the UK CX Awards in London’s Wembley Stadium last October, has announced that millions of its pay monthly customers will get a six-month subscription to the Amazon Prime Video and MTV Play streaming services for free.

The new offer will come with inclusive data, meaning users will be able to stream content from either service without impacting on their monthly data allowance. The deal is the latest signal smartphone users are increasingly using their mobile devices to stream TV and film content, with forecasts from last year’s Cisco Visual Networking Index report suggesting as much as 79 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2022.

Marc Allera, Chief Executive of BT’s consumer division – which owns EE – said: “It’s our ambition to offer our customers unrivalled choice, with the best content, smartest devices, and the latest technology through partnerships with the world’s best content providers.

“In offering all EE pay monthly mobile customers Amazon Prime Video and MTV Play access, in addition to BT Sport and Apple Music, we’re providing them with a wealth of great entertainment they can experience in more places thanks to our superfast 4G network, and soon to be launched 5G service.”

Entries for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards are now open, with an Early Bird entry offer available until May 31. Click here for further details on entering.

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 19, 2019
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5min149

Forty-one percent of British customers will never return to a brand after it’s been suffered a hack, according to new research.

The findings have been published in the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, which shows that UK consumers are harder on businesses that suffer data breaches, compared to US customers.

Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN said businesses need to assess their cybersecurity risks, make relevant company-wide changes, and improve the overall approach to security.

“Organisations need to enforce reliable security measures and inform their customers about how their data is collected, processed, and stored,” he said.

“Every company should start by establishing its security policy and ensuring compliance with any applicable regulations. If a company also chooses the right security tools and educates its employees, it can prevent many potential breaches.”

Steps to protect your business from data breaches

Define your security policy: You should start by developing the guidelines or best practices for all employees to follow. IT decision makers should evaluate and update corporate policies more frequently. Such policies may include a rule to lock computers before going away from desks and to never share accounts with coworkers.

Follow regulations: It is vital that companies have rules in place to protect their data inside and outside the organisational network. Organisations process hundreds of emails and other documents daily. Some of these may fall out of the scope of specific laws yet still represent corporate liability and reputation risks. To keep HR, legal, and other documents protected and secure, businesses should work internally and with their cloud vendors to know exactly where and how the data is stored and processed. When enterprises follow the regulations for data protection, they have a better chance to prevent data leaks and avoid fines or reputation issues.

Educate your employees: It is important to cultivate the secure mindset of every team member. Keep your employees informed about the dangers of clicking on links or attachments from unknown sources. Also, make sure to educate them about phishing attacks or social engineering. You can create a cybersecurity test to understand how much your employees know about security online. You can also put up memos around the office with messages such as “do not share your password with anyone” or “log out of the system when you finish”.

Invest in the right technology: Use firewalls, a reputable VPN service, network monitoring tools, and secure backups. Consider a solution for data protection. This might include a DLP or CASB tool to protect your systems against cyber attacks through malware prevention. Enterprise rights management (ERM) software can protect your content from accidental or malicious sharing and inappropriate use.

Keep your passwords and devices secure: Can your employees view sensitive information on their phones securely? If not, your data may be at risk. According to research by Cisco, approximately 63 percent of employees admitted to using a work computer for personal use every day, and 83 percent admitted to doing so occasionally. However, the transference of files between work computers and personal computers opens companies to cyber threats and corporate liability. Employees will continue to use their own gadgets for work, so companies should help them by providing secure ways to perform work activities on such devices. You can do it by installing a VPN.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 15, 2019
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2min262

Almost a third (31 percent) of UK professionals believe their expectations are “not being met at all” by their current employer, a new study has found.

Research undertaken by recruiter Robert Walters and job board CV-Library has been compiled in a report which also found that a further 24 percent state that their needs are only just ‘moderately’ being met at work.

The dissatisfaction was most prominent in the Wales (70 percent), South West (68 percent), Scotland (67 percent), Yorkshire & Humber (64 percent), and the West Midlands (60 percent) where workers claim that employers were falling short of meeting their professional and personal aspirations.

Industries with the least satisfied employees are in Secretarial & Business Support (47 percent), Retail (34 percent), Manufacturing & Engineering (34 percent), and Health (32 percent).

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 – central to this is keeping staff happy and motivated.

“Given that 55 percent 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.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 12, 2019
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3min268

Gamified rewards and bonuses not only introduce an element of fun in to the workplace, but also increase employee performance, according to new research which also found that 52 percent of bosses are losing out on increased productivity by not making use of them.

A survey of 1,096 UK workers, by workplace incentives and rewards provider One4all Rewards, was published in the Workers on Top of Their Game Report.

It surveyed employees from different age groups, genders, and industries and revealed that almost one-in-two (46 percent) of UK workers would feel more motivated to work hard, and one-in-five (20 percent) would increase their performance if their employer introduced a points based rewards and bonus system.

Gamification is increasingly being used in workplaces, with Gartner reporting 40 percent of Global 1000 organisations are doing so to motivate and encourage positive behaviours. The technique works by setting small rewards for desired actions and then inviting workers to repeat that behaviour, which they do in anticipation of the same result.

Virtually one-in-three (32 percent) UK workers said they would work harder to unlock rewards and bonuses in this way.

There are also clear softer benefits of gamified rewards systems, with 37 percent of UK workers claiming this would also increase their happiness at work, while almost the same number (36 percent) said it would make them feel more engaged with their company.

Finally, tewo-in0-five (38 percent) of those surveyed said that working towards rewards and bonuses would make work more fun.

Alan Smith, UK Managing Director at One4all Rewards, said: “In SMEs, finding the budget for a rewards scheme can be tough, but gamified rewards can be more flexible in some ways and they don’t have to involve large budgets. While some might think that these kinds of rewards are more complex to implement, this isn’t necessarily the case and there are many companies out there that can help with implementing these rewards.

“As we can see from the survey data, and the sheer number of workers who said that the implementation of a gamified reward system would make them work harder, the cost of implementing this kind of rewards could soon be recouped by the increased productivity employers would benefit from.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 11, 2019
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4min301

The 2019 UK Complaint Handling Awards have taken place in London, celebrating the people and  initiatives behind some of the best customer service operations in Britain.

Hosted by Awards International – holders of an Independent Awards Standards Council Gold Trust Mark – the event saw hundreds gather at the Park Plaza Riverbank hotel last Friday, when teams of finalists made presentations to an expert panel of judges throughout the day.

Finalists were competing to secure Gold and Silver titles across 18 categories, with one Overall Winner also named for their high score at the event, which this year was sponsored by Aptean and Ecosheme, and partnered by Resolver, Henley Business School’s Henley Centre for Customer Management, and The Malcolm McDonald Academy.

Following a gala lunch, the 2019 Overall Winner title was awarded to outsourcing services firm Firstsource, which claimed Gold in the Customer Insight Strategy category. The victory built on the success of the company in last year’s awards, when along with mobile network giffgaff it won Best Personal Entertainment & Telecoms.

Other big winners this year were banking giants HSBC, which won an incredible four Gold category titles, and United Utilities, which won three Gold titles, including the highly coveted Complaint Handling Leader of the Year award for their Head of Service Recovery, Sally Ainsworth.

The 2019 roll of honour also included Wessex Water in partnership with The First Word, which won in the Best Complaint Handling Training category; One Vision Housing, which claimed Gold for Best Use of Customers’ Insight and Feedback; and Capita, whose team walked away with the Customer Relations & Remediation award.

Speaking afterwards, Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “What an event this has been – we are incredibly fortunate to have such a vantage point on the high standard of complaint handling services in the UK.

“So many organisations are ensuring they have a robust complaints procedure at the heart of their structure, and these awards not only celebrate the best initiatives behind that, but they also allow representatives from all of these wonderful companies to come together and inspire each other, share best practice, and ensure complaint handling continues to go from strength to strength and remains central to a quality service.”

“On behalf of Awards International I would like to offer a huge congratulations to all of our winners, and I want to thank all of our finalists for coming and competing in what is now one of the most important events in the UK’s customer service calendar.”

 

 

 

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 8, 2019
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3min271

UK Customer Experience Awards winner Business Stream has been awarded the YPO framework contract following a highly competitive tendering process.

The four year deal is worth up to £62 million and is one of the largest contracts to be awarded since the English retail water market opened in 2017.

The contract will enable Business Stream – which last year also won Best Digital Transformation at the inaugural International Customer Experience Awards in Amsterdam – to provide water and waste water services, including water efficiency solutions, to a wide range of public sector organisations in and around the Yorkshire area. Participating bodies include councils, police and fire services, universities, a hospital and over a hundred schools.

The YPO contract was awarded through the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Water, Waste Water and Ancillary Services Framework, which Business Stream successfully secured a place on soon after the English retail water market opened.

Jo Dow (pictured), Chief Executive of Business Stream, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded the YPO contract. We have a huge amount of experience in working with the public sector and are now looking forward to having the opportunity to offer our expertise and vast suite of value-added services to public sector organisations across the Yorkshire area to help them save water, money and time.”

At the start of the year, Business Stream announced that it had acquired the customer base of Yorkshire Water Business Services and Three Sixty, doubling its market share and cementing its position as one of the top three retailers in the UK water market. Recognising the importance of having a local presence, the retailer will be opening a local office and retaining locally-based experienced account managers who have knowledge and experience of the Yorkshire area and its customers.

Business Stream works with private businesses and public sector organisations across the UK. Recently it announced plans to help its customers reduce their water consumption by 20 per cent. The pledge, announced by the firm’s CEO, Jo Dow, forms part of Business Stream’s on-going commitment to promote the importance of water efficiency and to pro-actively work with its customers across the UK to reduce their water use.

To date, Business Stream has helped its customers save over 38 billion litres of water, resulting in almost £75 million in financial savings and over 66,000 tonnes in COsavings.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 8, 2019
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4min295

Over half (52 percent) of financial services customers feel firms treat consumers unfairly, according to new research.

A new report by Voice of the Customer (VoC) pioneers Maru/edr is based on a study into customer treatment in the financial services industry, which interviewed 1,000 independent customers who held at least once financial product in the UK in the last 12 months.

 The study tested key components of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) policy by questioning respondents about their perceptions and experiences of financial service providers. The TCF initiative requires brands to consistently demonstrate that fair treatment is part of their business culture – and suggests customer feedback is one of the most effective and efficient ways of doing this.

The study reveals that 62 percent of finance customers were aware of the FCA’s fair treatment policy. Despite this, findings illustrate that financial services firms are failing to capture feedback – and therefore demonstrate fair treatment – from 17 million customers every year. The report found:

  • 84 percent of customers who hold at least one finance product would willing to give feedback to their bank or financial services provider if given the opportunity – yet less half (45 percent) had been invited to partake in research within the past twelve months.
  • Just 30 percent of UK consumers currently rate the communications they receive from their financial services provider as highly with under half (48 percent) stating that they felt communication held a relevant, personal appeal to them. Under half (47 percent) of financial services customers also believed they currently receive the right amount of communication from their financial service provider(s).
  • Encouragingly however, almost three quarters of respondents (70 percent) felt communication from their existing finance provider was at least clear. It marks a significant shift for the industry – just three years ago, the FCA urged finance firms to stop using excessively complicated language in a bid to reduce customer complaints.

Steve Brockway, Chief Research Officer at Maru/edr, said: “Customer feedback is vital for brands looking to protect and grow their market share. Yet for financial brands, customer feedback holds even more value in both improving services and demonstrating FCA compliance.

“There’s clearly an appetite from customers to have their voices heard – the growth of review sites is testament to the expanding feedback culture we now live in. But financial services brands are clearly currently missing a huge opportunity leaving customers feeling unfairly treated.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 1, 2019
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3min403

The finalists for the 2019 UK Employee Experience Awards have been revealed, with businesses across Britain competing in 19 categories covering every aspect of employee engagement and its impact on overall Customer Experience. 

The daytime event will be hosted by Awards International at London’s Park Plaza Riverbank hotel on May 15, with support from awards partners FDM, August the Awards ConsultancyCranfield School of Management, and The World Employee Experience Institute, headed by one of the world’s top EX consultants, Ben Whitter, AKA ‘Mr Employee Experience’. The event’s charity sponsor is once again Barnardo’s.

Shortlisted among this year’s crop of finalists are organisations including Octopus Energy, Badoo, and the Holly Private Hospital, to name but a few. All entrants will present to judges on the morning of the event before scoring occurs and category winners announced during a gala lunch.

Along with the category winners, an Overall Winner will be named.

Meanwhile, the judging line-up continues to grow ahead of the finals, and among the names on the panel this year are August CEO Donna O’Toole; author and co-founder of Fit 2 Communicate, Karen Dempster; and Director of Rialto consultancy, Richard Chiumento.

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “Once again we see a stellar line-up of finalists competing to be the best in each category, and we are incredibly excited to be able to host such a gathering in the heart of London.

“Each year the relevance of the awards grows as Employee Experience rises to become a critical factor for businesses keen to hire the very best staff. The employment landscape is evolving, and these awards reflect this and reward those organisations that truly understand what good Employee Experience can bring to their business, and what it means for their customers.

“On behalf of Awards International I would like to offer a huge congratulations to all of the shortlisted finalists, and wish them good luck ahead of meeting them in London in May.”

Click here to view the full list of category finalists.

 




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