Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 28, 2019
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3min1631

Despite being a front for a criminal empire built on crystal meth, Breaking Bad fried chicken restaurant Los Pollos Hermanos is among the best fictional food franchises for Employee Experience, according to new research.

Food box company Gousto has revealed a list of the TV and movie eateries most likely to make it in the ‘real world’, and have rated establishments such as JJ’s Diner from Parks and Recreation, The Winchester pub from Shawn of the Dead, and The Simpsons‘ Krusty Burger based on the combined averages of their real-life counterparts through success markers including TripAdvisor reviews, length of time in operation, and Instagram hashtags.

Can I take your order?: TV villian Gus Fring would make a great boss, research suggests

Los Pollos Hermanos, from the hugely successful US crime drama about the rise and downfall of mild-mannered chemistry teacher-turned drugs godfather Walter White, topped the poll for Most Likely to Succeed, and was named Most Employable and Most Influential of the 20 fictional franchises, making it among the most desirable places to work for potential staff.

Gousto found that if it were real, the chicken restaurant chain founded by sinister meth kingpin Gus Fring would employ up to 39,000 people.

Rachel Chatterton, Food Development Director at Gousto said: “There’s a clear link between food and entertainment – they are both highly emotional and our Fictional Foodie Franchise ranking is a fun way to link these, drawing on inspiration from some of the delicious scenes in our favourite television shows.

“Our study shows that there’s no one clear ‘recipe for success’ – it’s much more complex than that and takes into account a number of factors.”

Chick-it out: The fictional stats of fried chicken chain and drug front Los Pollos Hermanos from TV hit Breaking Bad

 

 

 

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 28, 2019
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2min1609

Leading insights agency Kantar has named named First Direct the UK’s top bank for CX in a new report that compares brand perception with the thoughts of customers.

Kantar’s inaugural CX+ report on retail banking surveyed 8,687 retail banking customers who were quizzed on both the banks they use and the perceptions of others they do not, but are considering.

Behind First Direct in second place was Nationwide, with Barclay’s third, and  The Co-Operative Bank fourth.

In fifth place was HSBC, with Royal Bank of Scotland sixth, Halifax and Lloyds in joint seventh place, followed by NatWest in ninth. The tenth place spot was claimed by TSB Bank.

The results were calculated by combining the mean CX performance score across five factors (clear brand purpose, empowered employees, empowered customers, lasting memories, and exceptional delivery) with the experience gap between brand promise and Customer Experience, identified by comparing the experience of current bank users with the perceptions of customers considering using that bank.

Amy Cashman, CO-CEO, Insights Division at Kantar said: “We all know the importance of delivering an exceptional Customer Experience. But to be a truly customer-centric organisation, banks must go further and consider how their brand experience aligns (or doesn’t) with the promises they’re making to their customers. Customer experience and brand strategy can no longer sit in organisational silos.

“The magic happens only when brand promise and Customer Experience come together.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 28, 2019
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4min2516

The UK is trailing behind Europe in customer service as brands race to adopt AI technologies to transform how they engage with customers, according to new research.

Customer engagement software firm Freshworks found that just over half (54 percent) of UK senior decision makers state their business currently  uses AI – in areas such as chatbots, virtual assistants, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and facial recognition – for customer service departments, compared to 97 percent in the Netherlands, 86 percent in France, and 81 percent in Germany.

The company’s report, The Good, The Bot and The Customer Experience, shows that AI investment reached a record $1bn (£803.9m) in the first six months of 2019 according to Tech Nation, making the UK the third biggest AI market in the world behind the US and China.

However, this investment does not yet seem to be far-reaching for UK customer service. The Freshworks study, which surveyed over 800 senior decision makers in customer service departments, found that only 20 percent of UK businesses have invested more than £250,000 in AI for customer services in the last 12 months, compared to nearly half (46 percent) of German companies, 41 percent of French firms, and 35 percent of Dutch organisations.

Across all territories, chatbots (37 percent), NLP (34 percent) and Robotic Process Automation (31 percent) were the most popular AI technologies for businesses to be adopting to improve their customer service.

The report suggests people do not want to take on responsibility for bringing AI in to overhaul current systems. Over a quarter (26 percent) of senior decision makers in the UK claim no one is driving AI deployment within their customer service department. Yet, C-Suite executives are leading the integration of AI in the vast majority of Dutch, French, and German companies (97 percent, 95 percent, and 91 percent respectively).

Addressing the brand perception gap

The findings also suggest a large gap between business and consumer perceptions of how good their customer service actually is. Eighty percent of senior decision makers surveyed in the UK believe their customer service departments to be excellent, while only nine percent of UK consumers have no frustrations when dealing with customer service agents.

According to the research, a quarter (25 percent) of businesses are using AI to improve their customers’ experience of the brand, for example using AI-powered chatbots to resolve issues quickly by filtering through simple questions and channelling the trickier customer scenarios through to human service agents. Yet, one-in-four (25 percent) of the 1,871 British consumers surveyed who have previously used customer service channels said that being left on hold for too long is their biggest frustration.

UK General Manager at Freshworks, Simon Johnson, said: “Our research shows that British brands’ deep distrust in AI risks leaving them lagging behind Europe in their approach to customer service. It’s incredibly difficult for brands to keep up with consumers’ expectations, but it’s non-negotiable that they constantly evolve their technology to include AI and Machine Learning and approach to keep their customers engaged and happy.

“For those who get it right, it can be a game changer that distances them from the competition.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 27, 2019
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3min1719

The finalists for the 2020 UK Complaint Handling Awards have been revealed, with high street and household names among the brands vying for success at the upcoming gala ceremony.

The fourth year for the awards, the final of which will take place at London’s Park Plaza Hotel on March 5, is set to be the biggest yet, with finalists including The Co-op, Aldi, Npower, Yorkshire Water, Capita, and BT among firms competing across 15 categories.

Well-handled: 2020 will be the fourth year the UK Complaint Handling Awards 

This year, categories include Best Complaint Handling Team of the Year, Most Improved Complaint Handling, and Zero to Hero – Transforming Customer Relations.

The finalist with the highest score from the categories will leave with the highly coveted Overall Winner title.

Click here for a full list of 2020 finalists.

The expert judging panel for 2020 is continuing to take shape, and places are still available to join. Potential judges have until December 24 to take advantage of a special Early Bird discount on the judging package.

The event is hosted by Awards International and supported by partners Worksmart, Resolver, Huntswood, Cranfield School of Management, Professor Malcolm McDonald, and children’s charity Barnardo’s.

Awards International; CEO Neil Skehel said: “2019 saw an incredibly high standard set by UK Complaint Handling Awards finalists, yet we are confident that with the calibre of entries we will see that bar raised further in 2020.

“We cannot wait to hear what innovative complaint handling initiatives will be shown in March, and I would like to congratulate all finalists on making the shortlist, and wish them good luck.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 26, 2019
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4min810

The winners of the 2019 International Customer Experience Awards have celebrated victory following the gala Final ceremony in Amsterdam.

The second year of the awards event saw contenders from across the globe descend on the Dutch capital, with the Dubai Health Authority being crowned the day’s Overall Winners thanks to their high scoring entry which also landed them Gold in the Best Use of Mobile category.

Meanwhile, UK winners accepting awards at the ceremony, which was hosted by Awards International, included Aspen Healthcare, whose Holly Private Hospital claimed Gold in the Best CX Strategy/Project category, while Aspen also secured the top spot in the Customer-Centric Culture – Transformation category.

World-class: The Aspen Healthcare team collect the trophy for Best CX Strategy/Project

Other British winners included Milton Keynes’ Centre M:K mall, winner of the Customer-Centric Culture category, and swimming lesson specialist Swimtime.

Hailing from further afield, global winners included pan-African great lakes region banking group KCB, which won for Best Digital Strategy, CX Leadership, and CX Team; and Telkom Indonesia, which topped the Customer Experience Team – Transformation / Solution category.

Click here for a full list of winners.

Speaking after the event, CEO of Awards International Neil Skehel said: “Congratulations to all of our winners, and to all finalists who travelled to join us in Amsterdam for what has become one of the most important dates in the global CX calendar.

“The standard of entries for this, the second year of the awards, has been absolutely fantastic, and we look forward to seeing more exciting customer-centric initiatives in 2020 a


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 21, 2019
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3min1798

Productivity, wellbeing, and staff retention are suffering due to a dearth of financial literacy among employees in the UK, a new report has shown.

A survey of 2,000 British workers across major industries such as retail, manufacturing, and financial services, shows that less than half (44 percent) offer programmes to help employees make informed financial choices and boost their overall financial wellbeing.

The report by payroll and HR software firm Zellis also indicates a clear need for more financial education in the workplace, as the majority of workers (58 percent) don’t fully understand their payslips, while only a quarter (24 percent) look at their statement every month.

Many also struggle to access important information about their employment package, with four-in-ten claiming they don’t know the total value of their benefits and rewards, despite ranking it as the second most important factor after base salary when looking for a job.

Additionally, nearly a third (32 percent) of employees said they aren’t given enough information about the benefits available to them, while a quarter said the same about their pension options, preventing them from making choices that truly meet their financial needs.

John Petter, CEO, Zellis said: “The best organisations are creating a modern, cohesive pay and benefits experience for their employees, with financial literacy and wellbeing at the heart of it. Unfortunately, they are in a minority. There is a real need to focus on the basics of helping colleagues understand the true value of their employment package, including their payslips, workplace benefits, and pension options, as the evidence suggests a need to significantly improve awareness. Organisations that get this right will enjoy better hiring, retention and performance – as well as happier colleagues.”

Gethin Nadin, award-winning HR author and Director of Employee Wellbeing at Benefex (part of the Zellis group) added: “The UK has some of the lowest rates of financial literacy in Europe. Add to this the effects of austerity, stagnated wage growth, and increased borrowing, and employees are really struggling. With little support available elsewhere, all eyes are turning to the employer to assist.

“This research confirms that a wellbeing strategy which focuses on improving knowledge of financial products and employee benefits is much needed.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 20, 2019
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2min1352

Black Friday offers will not be luring a majority of customers to the UK’s high streets this year, with new research showing most will stay at home.

Contact centre and CX tech specialist Genesys has released a study on the annual sales event, which shows that 74 percent of consumers polled say they will not venture to brick and mortar stores for Black Friday events.

Over half (53 percent) of those asked said they never attend Black Friday events, while 30 percent said they were put off by crowds. Twenty-one percent said they used to attend, but have since stopped.

Over a quarter of respondents (27 percent) said online shopping was an easier option. However, where this is seen as more convenient, 85 percent of UK consumers base their purchasing decisions on how well a retailer deals with customer service issues.

The second biggest influence on spending decision for 43 percent of consumers is value for money.

Mark Armstrong, Vice President for UK and Ireland at Genesys, said: “During this heightened shopping season, consumers not only look for the best possible deals, but increasingly base their purchasing decisions on how well businesses respond to issues, such as making returns and requesting technical support. Therefore, it is important that regardless of the sales channel, whether in-store or online, brands provide positive experiences and have the means to effectively communicate with customers to solve queries or complaints.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 19, 2019
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2min1933

Resourcing and consultancy specialists Huntswood has been revealed as a sponsor for the 2020 UK Complaint Handling Awards.

The company, which has featured in prestigious lists including the Sunday Times Top 100 Small Companies to Work For and The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 and Fast Track 100, are experts on the complaints journey and will join finalists next March at London’s Park Plaza Hotel.

Huntswood joins fellow event sponsors Resolver, Worksmart, Cranfield School of Management, Professor Malcolm McDonald, and Barnardos in helping to bring the annual Awards International-hosted event to life and celebrating the stars of complaint handling in the UK.

Describing Hunstwood’s approach, a company spokesperson said: “We help firms govern, transform and operate their businesses to drive better outcomes. When our clients need support, it almost always involves customer considerations, it is often multi-channel and always requires an approach that is compliant with regulation.

 “In our engagement with clients we are, above all else, collaborative and always at the forefront in the development of innovative, tailored and transformative solutions. These typically combine people, processes and technology to drive better customer, commercial, and regulatory outcomes.”

Welcoming Huntswood to the sponsor team, Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “It’s an honour to have Huntswood join the awards as a sponsor for 2020. This is a company that has its finger on the pulse of customers, and has gifted the UK business landscape with valuable insight through its Complaints Outlook research in 2016 and 2019.

“They are no strangers to winning awards themselves, and will no-doubt inspire our finalists as they compete in their respective categories.”

The full list of finalists for the 2020 UK Complaint Handling Awards will be revealed later this month.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 15, 2019
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3min2045

One hundred percent of the UK’s retail bosses claim to act on employee feedback, but only 67 percent of employees agree, new research has revealed.

HR solutions provider People First, surveyed 250 bosses and 250 employees across the UK, and along with the disconnect over acting on feedback, the research found just two-thirds (66 percent) of staff believe their bosses measure their satisfaction, even though 95 percent of employers claim to.

The research also revealed a growing sense of disconnection among new entrants to the workforce, with only 50 percent of 18-24s believing feedback leads to action.

In addition, only 56 percent of retail employers report the results of employee feedback monitoring to the wider company. More than seven-in-ten (71 percent) of those acting on what employees tell them say they do so at board level only.

Mark Williams, Senior Vice President Product at People First, said: “Trouble is brewing because although employers say they put feedback into action, it doesn’t ring true with workforces. This is just not good enough. Feedback needs to translate into action.

“If there is no feedback loop, it can do more harm than good, annoying employees and discouraging them from taking part in future.”

Indicating the importance of principles and beliefs among workers, the research found nearly half the workforce (49 percent) will accept or reject a job on values. The figure rises to more than three-quarters (67 percent) of Gen Z respondents.

Eight-in-ten bosses (80 percent) measure employee satisfaction through employee surveys, while 61 percent use structured review meetings. More than half (53 percent) use informal conversations, and exactly half use focus groups.

“Retailers don’t just need to listen to and understand employees so they can pick up warning signs of disenchantment, they must act on feedback,” added Williams.

“An ad-hoc approach is no good. That’s the same for gauging how employees feel about their own work and the company’s values and for putting that feedback into practice. This is an area that companies must tackle head-on in a much more thought-out and systematic manner, taking time to deploy the most effective and appropriate solutions to nurture employees throughout their time with a company.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 7, 2019
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3min1549
UK Customer Experience Awards winner ContactEngine has picked up yet another honour, being named Best Use of IP at the annual Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 national awards event.
The awards event was held in London this week, and the conversational AI tech firm was congratulated on their win in a video message by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The nomination for the event follows the firm being securing Gold in the Use of Technology category at the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards last month. The gong was presented following a joint presentation by ContactEngine and BT on their successful partnership.
Prized partnership: The ContactEngine & BT team accept their trophy at the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards
ContactEngine’s proprietary machine learning algorithms are devised by a team of linguists, behavioural scientists, and mathematicians to perform automated human-like conversations. The company has also attracted leading scientists like former government chief scientific officer Professor Nick Jennings to their advisory board.
Dr Mark K. Smith, ContactEngine CEO, said: “We were honoured to be ranked in the Tech Track 100 and are very proud to receive this additional accolade amongst so many technology leaders in the field. We look forward to continuing our AI journey and discovering more ways in which technology can enhance business and Customer Experience.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 6, 2019
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12min2448

It’s not your average job interview, but a description from Luke Murfitt, founder of Integrity Cleaning, of how one woman kick-started her career after a chance encounter shines a light on the ethos of his business.

Picture the scene: a dark, damp evening at a London train station, and after disembarking, a mother struggles with her children and bags as she attempts to scale steps up to the pavement and begin the long walk home.

“No-one else was offering, so I asked if I could help get her up the steps,” says Luke as he explains exactly why ‘supporting mothers back to work’ is more than just a media-friendly slogan for his firm

“We got to the top and I asked if I could help her further. She said she lived about a 20-minute walk away, so I offered her a lift in my car. During the drive I was able to ask her where she worked. She said she didn’t work, and that people didn’t want to employ her.

“I asked her what she would want to do, and she said she would like to be either a carer or a cleaner. I said ‘happy days, I have a cleaning company – would you like to start this week?”

Working with Integrity: Luke Murfitt, founder of Integrity Cleaning Ltd

It sounds like the happy ending to a feel-good film, but this was reality for the mum in this story. She was able to work as a cleaner, fitting her duties comfortably around school hours, and as a result was able to move into a larger home than the one-bedroom flat she had before. Thanks to her income from Integrity, was able to start planning for her future.

“She’s now a full-time carer, in the career she wanted,” Luke says.

“She calls me her angel, but she was pretty good to me too, working hard and driving Integrity forward.”

Integrity Cleaning has been shortlisted in the Best New Business category of this week’s 2019 UK Business Awards, and this achievement is part of the ongoing success story for a firm that was born out of personal adversity.

Luke is a former high-flying salesman at a blue-chip company, who in 2015 was handed a life-changing diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

But rather than allow this to limit his scope for life, Luke decided to challenge himself and use the diagnosis to spur a career change that has led to a current total of 85 cleaners signed on for employment through his company, ranging in age from 19 to the mid-60s.

“After the diagnosis, which was obviously a bit of a challenge, I realised I didn’t want to wallow in self-pity, and so I used it as a catalyst to springboard me on to do greater things, and here we are,” he says.

That route first took him to his local job centre where he was told to seek benefits following his diagnosis, but his hunger for something more led him instead to seek advice on starting his own business.

“I felt I had a lot more to give. I told the staff at the centre ‘there are people over there who are looking for jobs, and I’d like to employ them’. I wanted to set an example of what can be achieved, and they said ‘fine, go for it’. So they sent me upstairs to the next level and a department that assists in setting up businesses.”

From the window of that same building, Luke gazed out at London’s ever-sprouting skyline, with gleaming new buildings taking shape.

What was simultaneously taking shape was his own business future, thanks to Luke “turning adversary into opportunity”.

He continues: “I looked into the cleaning industry, and spent six months planning. I was careful though, as I had seen people who set up cleaning companies and ended up cleaning themselves out!”

However determination, and the hard work and support of wife Diana, pushed Luke towards realising the recession-proof nature of his chosen sector, and what it could do for them as a family, along with the wider community.

“Cleaning has grown and grown and is a massive employer. I saw it as a chance to impact many more lives and provide better opportunities, rather than with, say, an office of five people.

“With around 33,000 cleaning companies in the UK, with 700,000 cleaners, there’s plenty of scope. I knew I needed only a small portion of that to be successful, and not to fear the competition, but actually be better than them.

“And also be something that they are not, because what I realised was – not many people actually choose to be a cleaner. Instead they often ‘resort’ to being a cleaner.

“I thought to myself, these are the people I want to help. They’ve found themselves in a situation they didn’t choose to be in, but I could at least assist them and make the area of work they’re in as pleasant as possible – give them opportunities and ensure they feel respected and are able to grow, move on, and not just remain cleaners forevermore.”

Mum’s the word: Integrity cleaning offers mothers a chance to get back to work in a supportive environment

Integrity continued to take shape, and the ethos of assisting mums at a crucial time of their lives grew from Luke meeting fellow parents at the school gates while waiting to collect his daughter.

“There comes a point when a lot of mothers want new working opportunities, but there are often few firms offering that. This was part of my plan – to offer such opportunities, and make a success of it.”

The company got off the ground when Luke secured a significant contract with a hotel in London’s Bromley borough, having first garnered a workforce ready and willing to put the hours in.

Low start-up costs and lots of hard graft helped Integrity gain momentum, and as the journey continued, so too did the cleaning contracts with churches, community groups, and other eager clients.

However, it was a return to the skyscrapers of central London that saw Luke land the firm’s most significant contract.

“I was at a training event and I looked out the window at these apartment buildings which were going up, 41 storeys high, and I thought ‘they need cleaning’. I had no experience of construction cleaning at all, but I walked over to the site, which had around 600 people all milling about.

“I was wearing a suit while they were in their construction safety gear, so I got some looks. I found a door saying ‘staff only’, walked in, and eventually located the project manager. I said to him, ‘Hi, I’m Luke from Integrity Cleaning, you’ve got some great buildings here, and we’d like to be the company that cleans them’.

“He told me my timing was interesting as they were just three days away from tendering for a cleaning company, so he took me to the senior management in order to apply.”

Several months later, having seen off competition from some of the biggest companies in the market, Integrity was offered the contract.

“They could see I wanted to do a good job, and we ended up replacing a company they had used for the last 25 years.”

Luke’s bold approach to securing employment for his team provided many months of solid work, cleaning 1,000 or so million-pound apartments, over four thorough stages each, to make them ready for residents.

And so Integrity rose to its current position as one of the UK’s most caring and community oriented commercial and construction cleaning firms.

“My primary goal isn’t about making money, it’s about helping other people,” Luke states.

“This year alone I’ve helped 25 mums back into work. Of course, helping mothers doesn’t just help them, it helps their children, families, husbands, and whoever else. It impacts lives.

“We help with their training, and we look towards assisting with transport costs, and being flexible with working hours. We’re also there to provide references for when they’re ready to move on. We work as a team, and they love it. To me, each of them isn’t merely a cleaner – they are a person; something they never normally hear in this industry.”

From year one to year two, Integrity has grown by 650 percent, and his nomination for a UK Business Award tops a hugely successful year that has also seen him share his story with thousands of listeners on radio station LBC.

“I have appeared twice on LBC’s The Business Hour, and plan to return to answer questions from listeners in the near future and share my advice.”

On the subject of advice, Luke leaves us with one final inspiring message.

“Never let a challenge – in my case my diagnosis – stop you from doing what you want to do. Never limit yourself.”

 

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Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 5, 2019
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3min2194

A fresh crop of eager professionals has benefited from the expert knowledge of CX and contact centre guru Daniel Ord at the latest High Performance Management for Inbound Contact Centres Masterclass.

Delegates from across the UK arrived in London for the two-day course, which equips participants with the skills to reshape their call centre through effective management processes and performance enhancement.

Masterclass leader Daniel is the founder and Director of OmniTouch, and has delivered public and in-house training courses in over 40 countries. This class helps students understand which metrics matter most for each call centre role, and comprehend the interrelationships between metrics and how to interpret results.

The class, which is delivered over the two days in four comprehensive modules, also debunks common call centre myths and misunderstandings, and provides knowledge on how to calculate budgets and effectively manage a team, while mastering effective wait time practises.

Ready to learn: Dan Ord (front row, second right) and his recent Contact Centre Masterclass students

Places are now available for the next Masterclass with Dan, which takes place in may 2020 at Cisco Systems HQ in London’s Park House at Finsbury Circus. A special Early Bird booking offer is available for those who secure their place before April 17 2020, saving an incredible £100 off the fee.

Further Masterclasses will be held in July, October, and December. Click here for further details on upcoming dates.

Meanwhile, those who attended the recent Masterclass have praised the experience, and are urging fellow professionals to take the plunge.

Sophie Tozer, Customer Service Manager at goto.energy, said: “It has been really useful to refresh myself in areas which are now more relevant to my company.”

Cary Rowland, Team manager at Santander Consumer Finance, said: “This is a very informative and well-run course. Dan is engaging and I would highly recommend the class to anyone running a contact centre.”

Meanwhile, Joanne Fullwood, Customer Operations Director at software firm Advanced, added: “We covered interesting and thought-provoking topics, and what we learned can easily be applied in the workplace. The pace of the course was great, and Dan is an excellent tutor, who provided us lots of opportunities to question and discuss what we were learning.”

Click here to book your place in the next High Performance Management for Inbound Contact Centres Masterclass.

 

 

 

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 4, 2019
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3min2049

New research offers an insight into how employers and employees differ on a range of issues, including being fully engaged in their roles.

A study by HR solutions provider People First found that 93 percent of UK employers think it’s important to be liked, but 90 percent of their staff want their day-to-day experience of work improved.

Exploring the attitudes of 250 bosses and 250 employees in UK firms, the research revealed how employers lack an accurate picture of how staff feel and the way it affects their work.

Eight-four percent of bosses think their staff are happy and 76 percent believe most of their employees are fully engaged in what they do. Howeverr, only 64 percent of staff find work makes them happy, and just 42 percent are fully engaged or absorbed in what they do to earn a living.

Mark Williams, Senior Vice President Product at People First, said: “Likeability is good in a boss. But with so many staff wanting their experience at work improved, you have to ask if employers really understand their workforces. There’s obviously a happiness gap where managers believe morale is better than it really is. They are clearly failing to measure staff engagement regularly.”

The research found men are more likely to say their work really engages them (48 percent) than women (37 percent), reflecting the longstanding difference in support and career development offered to women, as well as the well-publicised gap in pay between the sexes.

Meanwhile, lack of understanding plays a role in another difference between bosses and workers. Whereas 39 percent of employers believe most staff quit a job for emotional reasons, only 17 percent of employees say that’s the main cause of them handing in their notice.

The research also found more than half of UK employees (56 percent) regard being rewarded for excellent work as important to their experience at work, while 51 percent want more opportunities for flexible working.

“Poor productivity is a British disease which we can cure through better understanding of what motivates employees and gets them into the flow where time flies and work is more enjoyable and fulfilling,” added Mark.

“That’s why it’s important to rely on more than gut feeling about how happy or engaged staff are. Regular check-ins must replace the dated annual appraisal as only with regular conversations can an employer see the true picture of their employees.

“There are so many different aspects to any job, such as training, career development and flexible working, that making assumptions about what employees want is misguided. As an employer you need to know what makes your staff happy to work hard and what makes them leave.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 31, 2019
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3min1535

UK Customer Experience Awards finalist Confirmit has announced a new Principal Director of CX Consulting.

Howard Lax (pictured below) is a former Vice President, Customer Experience Practice Lead for Directions Research and held consulting roles with Kantar TNS, Harris Interactive, ORC and GfK Custom Research. He holds a PhD in Political Science from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

With more than 20 years of consulting experience, Lax has a deep background in Customer Experience,  Market Research, and employee engagement strategy. He has supplier and client-side experience in B2B and B2C space in industries like technology, financial services, retail, automotive, and hospitality.

In his role, Mr Lax will support clients in their efforts to design, develop, and implement their Customer Experience vision.

He said: “I am eager to bring a new perspective to the table, leveraging my experience and Confirmit’s wide array of services to help drive real change and better business outcomes for customers. In my experience, emotions are the driver behind the attachment a customer feels for a business. Driving a premium customer experience solidifies these relationships, and great technology is a critical enabler in this process.”

Chris Brown, Vice President of Global Consulting at Confirmit, added: “Adding a highly knowledgeable industry veteran to our team solidifies our commitment to providing our clients with access to talented consultants that can help their CX programmes drive real business success. Our consulting services ensure our technology can drive real insight and change. Howard’s expertise in customer and employee experience will help our customers further leverage our solutions to differentiate themselves from competitors.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 31, 2019
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3min1406

Among the successful partnerships at this year’s UK Customer Experience Awards was ContactEngine and BT Enterprise, which together won Gold in the Use of Technology category.

The winning team secured the title following a presentation on the success of BT’s ‘Brilliant Installations’ initiative. BT Enterprise implemented ContactEngine conversations across broadband and landline customer services in order to deliver an unrivalled Customer Experience.

Technology triumph: The ContactEngine and BT team collect their trophy 

ContactEngine engages customers in intelligently automated conversations using Natural Language Understanding, from initial order through to appointment scheduling, billing, and surveying. The accolade represents the outstanding results achieved with ContactEngine, which exceeded the targets set out at inception. 

These included a 40 percent reduction in customer-driven cancellations; a 50 percent reduction in customer calls related to enquiries; an 85 percent customer engagement rate; and a 38 percent improvement in NPS.

Dr Nicola Millard, Principal Innovation Partner at BT, said: “This is a fantastic example of how innovative technology can be deployed as a win-win for both the customer and the company. Using cutting-edge AI to create proactive, intelligent conversations with customers about things they want to know, whilst freeing human agents up to have the really important, value-add interactions.”

Dr Mark K. Smith, Chief Executive Officer at ContactEngine added: “We’re very happy to be recognised for our achievements in partnership with BT Enterprise. BT has long made it a priority to deliver a differentiated experience for both their customers and employees, and we’re pleased to be able to deliver that for them while achieving significant business benefits along the way. We look forward to continuing our partnership and to achieving more fantastic results together.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 31, 2019
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5min1524

Opportunities to turn app users into paying customers are being missed, a new report has indicated.

The findings by mobile attrition and analytics firm AppsFlyer show that marketers are missing their chance when it comes to converting, with the average share of paying users lower than 10 percent based on app install-to-purchase ratio (only 3-5 percent in gaming apps and double that rate in non-gaming apps).

In a space dominated by free-to-install apps, where actual value is tied to post-install in-app activity and share of paying users, the study examined over 12,000 apps with a user base of over 2.3 billion users. Findings determine the importance of granular in-app event measurement, and provide insights to improve campaign effectiveness and increase the percentage of app installs that lead to a purchase.

The rate of paying users is lower when marketers don’t measure, and therefore optimise for, enough in-app events. On average, the report found that marketers are measuring only 4-7 events per app, depending on the vertical, but performance based on the share of paying users is much higher, hitting its peak at 16-20 events, or 26-30 in the gaming space.

In-app events contain specific information about actions taken using an app. For example, purchasing a product, booking a flight, or – in a gaming context – completing a game tutorial, or passing level 10.

In fact, almost 60 percent of apps measure revenue events, but the second and third most popular events – Login and Registration trail far behind, as they are measured by only 30 percent of apps. Among Gaming apps, the average number of apps measuring for Level Achieved is 42 percent, while only 19 percent of apps measure Tutorial Completion, significantly lower than the 70-80 percent that measure revenue.

Since app performance is significantly higher in apps that measure events throughout the customer cycle, closing this gap can certainly lead to better results.

Across nearly all verticals, performance is significantly higher in apps that measure granular in-app events, rich with information about the action taken, rather than standard events that only contain information about whether the action was taken.

For example, granular in-app events measured for purchases that include data on the content purchased, specific content ID, currency used, value of the purchase, customer user ID, final purchase, and more, give more insights into conversions within an app.

Overall, the report found, granular event measurement helps marketers make smarter decisions and ultimately drive higher  user retention rates.  Since retention is highly correlated with revenue, it is critical that marketers optimise to encourage ongoing usage of their apps and increase the likelihood of purchases and the lifetime value of their users.

Shani Rosenfelder, Head of Mobile Insights at AppsFlyer, said: “Although performance app marketers have shifted their efforts from focusing on driving installs to post-install measurement, most are still measuring only a fraction of the in-app activity they could be.

“Converting more users to paying users and maximising their revenue potential requires measuring events that span the full conversion cycle and all significant milestones in the consumer journey, allowing marketers to identify gaps and optimise accordingly. The insights that can be drawn from this data are vast and can help maximise user lifetime value by informing smarter acquisition and re-engagement decisions.

“With all of the information marketers have at their fingertips, it is critical they invest in an infrastructure that allows for more granular measurement, as well as in advanced tools, tech and people that are equipped to draw the most actionable insights from the data without compromising productivity.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 30, 2019
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4min2509

The ability of workers to improvise and innovate while on the job is being underused, a new report has revealed.

A study of 1,000 workplaces published in Thinking on your feet, a report by the commercial subsidiary of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, RADA Business, found that 91 percent of people say they regularly experience situations where employees have failed to apply a flexible way of communicating and common sense as a result of not being able to think ‘in the moment’, respond appropriately, and improvise a creative solution.

The report identifies the effects of not being able to think creatively and reveals that 46 percent of people have experienced impatient customer service. Other poor staff behaviours found include unhelpfulness (45 percent), poor communication (38 percent), or rudeness (37 percent).

Customers are quick to make judgements about organisations as a result, with 88 percent admitting that they make negative assumptions about the entire organisation due to inappropriate staff behaviour.

Those working as professionals in the healthcare sector were revealed to have the strongest ability to improvise and work well under pressure (40 percent), followed by counter staff in banks (23 percent) and admin staff in the NHS (23 percent).

At the other end of the spectrum, the research found that those working as estate agents (nine percent), staff at utility companies (10 percent), or staff on public transport (15 percent) struggled to think quickly and be able to improvise effectively.

Stage craft: Customers value staff ‘thinking on their feet’

Although all three sectors require the ability to communicate well with customers and to make a positive impression, it’s clear that often this isn’t always delivered effectively. This can be due to a range of reasons including difficult customers or stressful situations.

Kate Walker Miles, tutor and Client Manager at RADA Business, said: “Customers appreciate being heard and react positively towards workers who go the extra mile, but robotic service and a diminishing ability to improvise can leave customers feeling frustrated.

“By viewing the organisation from the perspective of your customer, you can understand clearly how the business is being perceived and encourage a positive culture of improvisation.

“There are simple training techniques available to support workers who struggle to think quickly and react to situations in a flexible way, tapping into the power of improvisation, which can empower everyone in your workforce to make imaginative yet informed decisions.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 23, 2019
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4min1892

Festive traditions in the workplace can boost employee productivity according to new research.

In the study, 74 percent of employees said they were motivated to work harder if their employer embraces Christmas, despite only 36 percent of businesses offering a party for their staff and almost a quarter of businesses (24 percent) avoiding Christmas completely.

December is traditionally a low productivity month, but in the poll by artificial Xmas tree manufacturer Christmas Tree World, 78 percent claimed to work as hard or harder in December, with 22 percent of these citing the reason as so they can enjoy time off over the festive break.

The research of 1,000 UK workers also revealed that more than half (60 percent) of employees are likely to be more productive if Christmas incentives such as bonuses are available, despite only 15 percent of UK businesses offering this.

However, it’s not just financial rewards which are proven to drive productivity, with 74 percent of workers claiming office festivities, such as decorations, trees, and Secret Santa schemes boost morale and productivity, despite only 36 percent of workplaces investing in this.

Meanwhile, 39 percent of workers polled believe Christmas parties enhance productivity levels due to improving teamwork and communication.

Stephen Evans, Managing Director at Christmas Tree World, said: “It’s shocking to see the high number of businesses which are simply missing a trick in embracing the festive season as this research demonstrates it really does pay dividends in boosting staff morale, happiness and productivity.

“It’s understandable that some companies are unable to offer financial rewards such as Christmas bonuses, and even a Christmas party as costs can escalate, though it’s surprising to see how few companies even put up a Christmas tree and decorations in the workplace.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 17, 2019
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5min1931

A positive company culture is more important for businesses now that at any stage in their history, with a recent poll suggesting 92 percent of senior executives cite cultural change as a critical driver to increase their firm’s values, but only 16 percent agreeing their culture was where it needed to be.

As anyone in a management position can tell you, poor company culture can lead to workplace bullying, harassment, and a lack of productivity among other things, and a new book by Colin D Ellis, Culture Fix: How to Create a Great Place to Work is a game-changing guide to building an enviable company culture.

Ellis argues that culture is key to success for every organisation, and is increasingly critical for millennials, who are prioritising organisations which offer a great culture over other traditional factors such as salary.

Culture Fix contains exclusive case studies from brands such as HSBC, Zappos, Google, and Manchester United among others, and the author employs his experience from working with global brands including Red Bull, and the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

In a competitive jobs market, culture is essential to attracting – and retaining – top talent in a new era of employment. As flexible and remote working becomes the norm, Ellis reveals how to ensure this doesn’t negatively impact the drive, cohesion, shared purpose, and innovation of teams.

His highly practical book will teach CEOs, managers, and team leaders to build self-motivating teams that not only bring value but create a fantastic Employee Experience.

Culture Fix is based on the six pillars of company culture: Personality & Communication, Vision, Values, Behaviour, Collaboration, and Innovation. Readers will learn to build an aspirational vision for teams and organisations, and about the importance of emotional intelligence in a successful team.

The book will tell you if your current team is stagnant, and offer skills to manage diverse teams which often cross cultural barriers.

Speaking to CXM, Ellis said: “Culture pervades through absolutely everything that’s done on a day-to-day basis in every organisation around the world, from the behaviour of senior leaders in large global organisations to the way that a sports team trains for a game at the weekend.

Man of culture: Colin D Ellis

It dictates where people sit, how meetings are run, how decisions are made, how people are hired, how teams work together and how new ideas are implemented.

“When time is made for the staff to define the culture they need in order to be able to achieve the goals, then engagement will increase.

This leads to greater productivity, more sales, improved revenue, fewer safety incidents, reduced turnover of staff and, most importantly, happier staff and customers.

“This is why culture is important.”

 

Culture Fix: How to Create a Great Place to Work is out now, published by Wiley, priced £15.50.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 16, 2019
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4min1299

It was a night of glitz and glamour as the evening gala ceremony at the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards brought Britain’s brightest CX stars onto the red carpet…

 

Teleperformance UK: Left to right – Dave Green, Client Service Director; Helen Pidduck, Account Director; Rachel Robinson, EVP Public Sector; Jamie Smith, Assistant Contact Centre Manager; and Daniel Henshaw, Contact Centre Manager

 

Medallia & Fidelity Investments: Zoe lambrou, Medallia’s Engagement Manager, and Annette Ramsey, Fidelity’s Client Services Manager
Kantar: Sam Kitchen, Director; John White, Consulting Director CX; and Tim Pritchard, Managing Director CX
Baringa Partners: Caitlin Jones, Senior Manager, and Manager Katie Broadbent

 

BUPA: Tehya O’Hare, Head of Digital Product; Katie Panayi, Group Customer Engagement Manager; James Elliott, Head of Operational Excellence; Dean Arcan, CX Manager; and Uditha Jayaratne, Head of Partner Distribution
Allied Universal: Troy Hewitt, MD; Steve Douglas, Head of Operations; Barry Chapman, Operational Manager; and Gary Langham, Senior Security Manager

 

Swiss RE: Patricia Stone, Head of CX and Analytics 

 

Legal & General Homes: Andrew Dicker, Tech Director, and Denise Stewart, Sales and Marketing Director

 

NewDay: Deepak Nandwani, CX Manager; Francesca Rea, Director of Customer Services; Matt Baxter, Interaction & Speech Analytics Specialist; Danielle Fisher, Head of Risk Control and Regulation; and Matt Miller, Voice of the Customer

 

Microsoft: Helen Wilson, Customer Success Director

 

Aspen Healthcare: Keisha Robinson, Head of Radiotherapy & Quality at Parkside Hospital; Alison Bullivant, Head of Outpatients & Quality at Parkside Hospital; David Henderson, Hospital Director; Noleen Turner, Director of Marketing; Helen Cairney, Physiotherapy Manager; and Barnette Lessem, Director of Consulting

 

 

 

 

 

 




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