Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 31, 2019
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5min1565

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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4min2621

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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4min1950

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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5min1988

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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4min1361

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

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 11, 2019
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5min2988

London’s home of champions Wembley Stadium lit up with the stars of CX as the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards took place at the iconic venue.

Hundreds of guests arrived at the event as finalists presented details of the country’s most innovative CX strategies in front of an expert judging panel before results were announced at a glittering evening gala ceremony.

The most important CX title in Britain today, the UK Customer Experience Overall Winner award was claimed by Aviva’s Solus Accident Repair Centres, which earlier in the evening won the Customer Centric Culture Gold award.

No accident: Solus Accident Repair won the 2019 Overall Award

The Solus team were also presented with Silver awards in the Customers at the Heart of Everything and CX Professional of the Year categories, with the firm’s National Customer Experience Manager, DeAnna Avis, earning the latter title.

Meanwhile, 2019’s CX Professional of the Year title was awarded to Jo Mayes of Business Stream. Her outstanding work this year secured her the highly coveted Gold award, and she said afterwards: “It was an amazing night and I am delighted to have won. A huge thank you to the Business Stream team for their hard work and belief in me.”

Business Stream’s dream team also secured Gold in the B2B Customer Experience category and Bronze in Utilities.

Team of the Year was awarded to CPM International, while Team of the Year – Programme went to Game Digital PLC. The Team of the Year – Customer Centricity title was presented to Capital One UK.

Other big winners on the night included estate agents Knight Frank, which took home an incredible four Gold category titles, and Direct Line Group, which landed three Golds to add to the firm’s trophy cabinet.

Setting the standard: 2019 UK CX Professional of the Year, Jo Mayes of Business Stream

Guests partied late into the night after the ceremony, deftly presented by CX consultant, awards chairman, and author Ian Golding, while attendees were also treated to a live performance from the legendary Heather Small, a star possessed with one of the most powerful and recognisable voices in the British music industry.

CEO of hosts Awards International, Neil Skehel, said: “This has been an incredible year for Customer Experience in the UK, and this event celebrates those who continue to make it the key brand differentiator for modern consumers.

“The teamwork on display during the presentations and the infectious enthusiasm of the finalists is inspiring, and it’s safe to say CX in the UK is in safe hands with the organisations represented at this, our flagship event.

“Congratulations to all who made it to the finals, and of course a special congratulations to our winners, who will be setting the trend for others to follow as we head into 2020.”

Awards International also thanked the partners and sponsors who helped make the tenth anniversary of the UK Customer Experience Awards a memorable occasion: The Customer Experience Professionals Association, Genesys, Kantar, Elite Business, Barnardo’s, and Customer Experience Magazine.

For a full list of 2019 winners, click here.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 9, 2019
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4min2049

UK employees are wasting two hours each week trying to track down the right information internally, which is in turn impacting the quality of customer service they deliver.

That is the findings from new research by 8×8, which quizzed 2,000 employees in mid-market and enterprise organisations. The study looks into how work is carried out and uncovers the communications challenges that fast-growing organisations face.

The main reason productivity suffers is because 29 percent of people can’t find the information they need to do their jobs effectively on the systems they use.

Fourteen percent said they are not able to locate the right expert internally, while 17 percent say they are held back by information not being shared in a central place.

Employees also say that a few experts within their organisation hold most of the information about the company (63 percent) but they can’t always contact them.

This is impacting customer service teams in particular, with at least two different people required internally to get the right information to answer a single query. This means it takes them longer to answer customer queries (50 percent) and the quality of service falls (52 percent).

Not being able to access the right information has impacted businesses in a variety of ways. Thirty-four percent of employees said they are working longer hours to complete their tasks, while 34 percent reported a ‘slow’ resolution of problems. Inaccurate information was also used, according to 24 percent.

The data was also analysed by age group and organisation size. When asked what channel they would respond most quickly to, millennial workers said email (39 percent), followed by phone (35 percent) and online chat such as Slack (nine percent), but baby boomers preferred phone (50 percent) followed by email (31 percent).

Those in large organisations say the problem has gotten worse as they’ve grown. Almost half of employees (43 percent) say it has become more difficult to reach the right experts internally as the business has scaled.

Collaboration technology makes it possible for expert knowledge to be open to all staff at any time – 71 percent say that this type of tech would help them do their job more efficiently.

Lisa Clark, VP Product Management, Contact Centre at 8×8, said: “Typically, a small portion of a company’s staff holds the majority of the expertise. This isn’t an issue when these employees are available, but when this isn’t the case, staff and customers face potentially difficult situations.

“We can see that employees across organisations are struggling to complete everyday tasks and answer queries because they aren’t able to get the information they need. This is impacting productivity on a massive scale, as time is being wasted scrambling around for answers on systems that aren’t connected across a business.

“By using one cloud communications platform, teams and individuals can collaborate much more efficiently and all employees can access information faster – no matter what channel they use.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 8, 2019
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4min2746

Online complaints resolution specialists Resolver has been revealed as a sponsor for the 2020 UK Complaint Handling Awards.

The free independent service is the go-to for customers to connect with businesses around the world and successfully resolve issues. The firm joins fellow partners Worksmart, The Malcolm McDowell Academy, Cranfield School of Management, and children’s charity Barnardo’s for the awards final which takes place on March 5 at the Park Plaza Riverbank in London

The daytime event, hosted by Awards International, will see finalists from across the UK compete in 16 categories, including Best Use of Customer Insight & Feedback, Customer Retention Strategy, and Complaint Handling Professional of the Year.

Organisations have until October 18 to take advantage of an Early Bird Discount Offer, before the final entry deadline of November 14.

The finalists for 2020 will be revealed on November 26.

Resolver CEO and Founder James Walker said: “Resolver captures the lost voice of dis-engaged consumers and diffuses friction between them and the business to create better outcomes for all. We achieve this by informing consumers of their rights and managing their expectations to help achieve a smooth resolution.

“With over 5 million complaint cases and counting, Resolver Group’s business brand, Egeria Insights, are able to use this unique data to support businesses to improve their complaint handling processes through the intelligent application of natural language processing, industry benchmarking and predictive technology.”

Speaking of the partnership with the 2020 UK Customer Experience Awards, he added: “In the future, successful firms will be defined by how well they treat their customers. Increasingly, businesses across the spectrum are realising the importance of listening to what the people who use their services are saying and learning and evolving in response.

“That’s why I’m thrilled to be working in partnership with Awards International to recognise these awesome businesses that are getting in right. And I’m looking forward to celebrating the winners of the future.”

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “As any of the millions of consumers who used Resolver to successfully lodge a complaint – either directly to a firm or through an ombudsman – will tell you, their service makes the entire process as quick as possible.

“No longer are people being put off complaining because of a long, laborious process. Thanks to Resolver, the consumer is more powerful than they have ever been before, and the onus is now on businesses to prove they are able to handle complaints more effectively than ever before. These awards will celebrate those who are doing just that.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 2, 2019
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2min1528

The 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards is almost here, and finalists from among Britain’s most customer-centric organisations are preparing to put their best foot forward at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Marking a decade of celebrating the very best Customer Experience initiatives, this year’s 10th anniversary event, hosted by Awards International, features finalists including O2, Capita, Sky, Aldi and many more.

Representatives from each organisation will spend the morning and afternoon of October 10 presenting details of their CX strategies before official UKCXA judges, including some of the most important names in the world of Customer Experience.

Joining Awards Chairman Ian Golding – global CX consultant and author – are some of the country’s most influential figures involved in CX management, and other prominent business leaders. A full list of 2019 judges is available here.

Meanwhile, new parters for this years event are CX and call centre tech revolutionaries Genesys, and data consultancy experts Kantar. They join existing partners Cranfield School of Management, Barnardo’s, and the Customer Experience Professionals Association.

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “This event 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.”

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 1, 2019
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3min2017

It’s CX Day, and CXM would like to wish all its readers the very best as we celebrate the hard work and professionalism of those who make memorable Customer Experiences happen.

Celebrated globally on October 1, the day is championed by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), with events taking place across the globe, from Lagos to London, and from Dubai to Dublin.

Alongside in-person events, at 5pm, a live panel is being held, where winners of the CXPA’s Impact Awards will discuss the individuals igniting the spirit of CX in their various organisations.

Along with official CXPA events and networking, organisations are encouraged to embrace the spirit of CX Day by engaging with employees and discussing new methods to bring customer centricity into the heart of their brand.

Among those encouraging brands to embrace CX Day is Ian Golding, CX consultant and author of Customer What? The honest and practical guide to customer experience.

He said: “Whilst a focus on Customer Experience is a never ending cycle of activity, it is hugely important to recognise the amazing work being done by CX professionals all around the world on CX Day. The global CX community puts the human at the heart of business a little more every day – you are all an inspiration.”

Meanwhile, October begins with CX Day, before bringing the focus of the CX community to London shortly afterwards with the hosting of the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards in London’s home of champions, Wembley Stadium.

Stay tuned to CXM as we bring you exclusive coverage and insight from winning brands in the weeks to come.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 30, 2019
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4min2393

New research reveals that business leaders who thank their staff experience reduced staff turnover, improved staff retention, and more successful talent acquisition.

A study of 1,253 workers, carried out by workplace and incentives provider, One4all Rewards, and published in The Magic Word for Business Growth Report, surveyed workers on the impact their existing and potential employers and bosses have when they say thank you or express gratitude for a job well done.

The research revealed that 61 percent of UK workers said that a company which rewards their staff with an individual cash bonus or gift card at regular intervals is a more desirable place to work.

The same number (61 percent) of workers stated that they would be more likely to apply for a job with a company that gifts staff an annual cash bonus or gift card. Non-cash rewards such as treats, or gifts shared at regular intervals, would make a company a more desirable place to work for 56 percent of respondents.

Gratitude and appreciation expressed by business leaders is not only an effective tool to attract new talent but also for motivating and retaining existing staff.

The data found that 65 percent of UK workers would be motivated to work harder if they received an individual cash bonus or gift card at regular intervals from their employer. On the opposite end of the motivation scale, 40 percent of workers cited that they would feel less motivated to work hard if their employer did nothing to say ‘thank you’ or show gratitude for a job well done.

Reducing people’s propensity to leave is also key to reducing staff turnover and increasing business growth. Almost half (48 percent) of the UK workers surveyed said that rarely receiving any form of thanks or gratitude from their employer would make them want to leave the company.

Forty percent of UK adults also said they would be unlikely to apply for or accept a job offer from a company which did nothing to say ‘thank you’ to their staff.

Michael Dawson, CEO of One4all, said: “Recruitment issues are something that affect all UK businesses regardless of size, industry, or stage of business they may be. A simple thank you from business leaders can create a butterfly effect retaining existing staff, attracting new talent and motivating employees to be more productive. High staff turnovers can be costly when considering the recruitment fees and training costs and reducing these costs can ultimately result in business growth and success.

“It’s important that business leaders understand the accumulating effect two simple, yet effective words can have on their overall business success. Not only do employers need to make sure they express thanks to their staff for a job well done but the timing and delivery of that gratitude is also key.”

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 27, 2019
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3min2070

Insurers are the least trusted companies in the UK and are unable to answer over half of routine customer questions successfully, according to new research.

Digital Experience firm Eptica has released its 2019 Eptica Insurance Digital CX Study, which found that the insurance sector could answer just 46 percent of all queries asked via the web, email, and social media, trailing other industries (food retailers, fashion retailers, banking and travel) evaluated in an overall Eptica study.

Insurers still seem to be struggling to match customer expectations, although overall performance had risen by 10 percent from 2017. Only 20 percent successfully answered a basic question sent via email, despite 49 percent of consumers identifying it as their primary or secondary channel for finding information.

By contrast, with a 65 percent success rate, Facebook came top, but a mere eight percent of consumers said they wanted to use it to find information from insurers.

All of this points to a growing disconnect between what customers want and what is being provided by insurers, which undermines CX and trust. Trust begins with delivering on basic promises – 59 percent of consumers ranked giving satisfactory, consistent answers as a top factor in creating trustworthiness, while 63 percent rated making processes easy and seamless as key.

As well as email, chat also fared badly. Despite 49 percent of consumers voting it as their first or second preferred channel to find information, and 30 percent of insurers advertising it on their websites, just 10 percent (one company) had it working when tested.

Given these results, it is unsurprising that just three percent of consumers ranked insurance as the sector they trusted most, putting it joint last of 15, alongside airlines, the automotive industry, technology and telecoms.

Olivier Njamfa, CEO and Co-Founder, Eptica, said: “Insurers are facing a perfect storm of increased customer expectations, rising costs, and market disruption. The Eptica Insurance Digital CX Study shows that the majority are simply failing to cope, being unable to deliver adequate customer service on consumer’s channels of choice.”

“As we explain in the report, Insurers need to act quickly and do two things if they are to safeguard current and future revenues. First, they need to embrace processes, technology and knowledge to help them deliver the service that customers expect. Second, they need to listen to consumers and use this Voice of the Customer insight to drive continual CX improvement to ensure that they successfully compete moving forward.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 26, 2019
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3min1571

Customers using smartphones to shop has skyrocketed by 141 percent in 12 months, according to new research.

Insights tech firm Feefo has published results of a study that shows the use of laptops and desktop computers has plummeted at the same time as smartphone shopping has increased. The findings have prompted a warning for firms to catch up, or risk “disappearing”.

Exploring the habits of 2,000 UK adults, the research reveals 53 percent of shoppers are now most likely to use their mobile for online shopping, compared with only 22 percent in Feefo’s research last year. And whereas 59 percent of respondents mostly used laptops and desktops for online shopping 12 months ago, this year the figure has crashed to 31 percent.

In another indicator of the future, the research revealed a big increase in the percentage of consumers buying through social media. More than four-in-ten (42 percent) have bought through an advert on a social platform, compared with only 30 percent in 2018.

CEO at Feefo, Matt West, said: “Huge tectonic shifts are rapidly changing how UK consumers shop. Retailers need to react swiftly or risk being undermined faster than a home built over a sinkhole. Unless you understand exactly how your customers’ habits are changing, you’ll lose out to a competitor who does. You may simply disappear.”

The research reveals significant differences between sexes and age-groups in shopping. Shopping online with a smartphone is more popular among women (the favourite method of 64 percent) than men (41 percent).

The research also found that more than four-in-ten consumers (42 percent) prefer to shop by researching and buying products or services online when they are at home, up from 38 percent last year. And with this, retailer websites and marketplaces such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace are identified as the most frequent shopping sites.

Matt added: “Any business of any size needs a mechanism to understand customers as quickly and intimately as possible. It’s all about Customer Experience. Consumers’ habits are changing so rapidly that unless your business has a feedback mechanism, you stand little chance of spotting trends and staying ahead of the pack.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 20, 2019
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4min1548

The Customer Experience Professional Masterclass is coming to Sweden, where world-renowned CX consultant and author Ian Golding will impart his knowledge over two days in October.

Taking place on October 22 – 23, the Masterclass is held in collaboration with the AROS Congress Centre in Västerås, where attendees will gather for an intense course covering all core Customer Experience competencies, such as strategy and brand proposition; the role of employees in delivering the strategy; customer journey mapping; CX measurement (VOC, VOE, and VOP), CX improvement; and CX culture.

Highly practical and engaging, The CX Professional Masterclasses are hugely popular in the UK, UAE, and beyond, and now is the chance for Sweden-based CX professionals to learn from Ian, founder of the Customer Experience Consultancy, and author of Customer What? The honest and practical guide to customer experience.

In 2015, Ian (pictured) became the first person in the world to become an Authorised Resource and Training Provider for the CCXP accreditation, and his Västerås Masterclass is taking place ahead of the 2019 International Customer Experience Awards in Amsterdam on November 21, which will be chaired by Ian and will feature some of the biggest brands in Europe competing across a wide range of CX categories.

Speaking of her experience at a previous UK CX Professional Masterclass, Pam Whitehouse, Customer Engagement and Improvement Manager at LGSS, said: “Ian Golding is utterly knowledgeable in this subject matter, and is able to bring the training to life using real-life examples that anyone can relate to. His passion and drive for helping people to improve their customer experience is inspirational.”

Speaking to Customer Experience Magazine, Ian said: “I’m really looking forward to the Masterclass in Västerå this October, and to bringing our curriculum to a Swedish audience. Customer Experience is continuing to redefine how brands do business right across Europe, and it’s exciting to have the CX Professional Masterclass at the vanguard of this movement. It’s a busy time for CX in the continent, with the International Customer Experience Awards also set to take place in Amsterdam in November.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 19, 2019
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2min3441

Data insight leader Kantar has appointed a new Commercial Director to drive its CX strategy into 2020 and beyond.

Chloe Woolger (pictured), the former Marketing Director of Watermelon Research, will be based at Kantar’s London HQ, reporting to Tim Pritchard, Managing Director of CX at Kantar UK.

The Vice Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Surrey Branch and a committee member for ‘&Thrive’, a support network for women in research and marketing, Chloe’s new Kantar brief is to build on the brand’s commercial success with its expanding CX offer.

Working closely with Kantar’s UK marketing team, Chloe will help to develop the go-to-market strategy for CX, managing client and business development activities. Her aim is to strengthen Kantar’s existing CX partner ecosystem, working with Medallia and SAP-owned Qualtrics, to drive sales.

Kantar’s end-to-end CX capability helps organisations better understand their customers, improve how they deliver CX and, in turn, improve their business outcomes and commercial ROI. Capabilities includes programme design, best-in-class platform solutions, advanced analytics, activation consulting, and managed services.

Tim Pritchard, Managing Director of CX, Kantar UK said: “We are pleased to welcome Chloe to a growing, successful team. Over the last 18 months, we have secured over £20m in new CX contracts including client wins such as Bupa, Hyundai, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays and most recently Post Office and Nationwide Building Society. Her appointment will drive the business forward, helping to maintain Kantar’s reputation as a global centre of excellence for customer experience management, and ensure our long-term commercial success.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 19, 2019
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5min2160

Global leader in omnichannel CX and contact centre solutions Genesys has announced the creation of two business units, Genesys Cloud and Genesys Core.

The firm, which is sponsoring the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards, is enhancing support for its diverse, global customer base, which includes organisations of all sizes, spanning private and public cloud, hybrid, and on-premises deployments.

Customers will benefit from faster delivery of targeted portfolio enhancements and artificial intelligence-driven applications at scale. The Genesys Cloud division will unify the company’s next-generation public cloud solutions and services by combining the PureCloud and workforce engagement management (WEM) groups. The second unit, Genesys Core, is comprised of PureEngage and PureConnect on-premises and cloud.

The company has appointed two general managers to lead the business units: Olivier Jouve takes the helm of Genesys Cloud, and Barry O’Sullivan heads up Genesys Core. Both executives report directly into Genesys CEO Tony Bates. The company also announced that Peter Graf was appointed Chief Strategy Officer.

Tony Bates said: “This new structure enables us to provide even greater value to our customers and partners by rapidly delivering innovation across our market-leading product portfolio. I want to acknowledge the tremendous work Peter and his team have done to deliver AI-powered, cloud-based common services that make this new structure possible.

“I look forward to his contributions as our new Chief Strategy Officer as well as those from Olivier and Barry to drive our future growth and disruptive vision of hyper-personalisation.”

As general manager of Genesys Cloud, Olivier Jouve adds to his existing responsibilities as Executive Vice President of PureCloud, the company’s leading Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

In addition to continuing to head its operations, product strategy and commercial activities, he will take on ownership of the company’s WEM business. Since joining Genesys two years ago, Olivier has been instrumental in continuing to drive the triple-digit revenue increases PureCloud has experienced since its launch, furthering its hypergrowth. His career spans more than 30 years and includes senior executive roles for IBM, such as vice president of offering management for IBM Watson IoT, among others.

Meanwhile, Barry O’Sullivan moves from the Genesys operating committee and joins the company as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Genesys Core. In this role, Barry will leverage his extensive industry, AI, and unified communications knowledge, along with his intimate understanding of the business, to take the Genesys Core division to the next level.

Previously, Barry founded and served as the CEO of Altocloud, the cloud-based customer journey analytics provider acquired by Genesys in 2018. Earlier in his career, Barry was senior vice president and general manager for Cisco Systems, leading several multi-billion-dollar divisions including Collaboration, Unified Communications and Voice over IP.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have executives of Olivier’s and Barry’s calibre leading our business units. With their extensive experience, strong leadership and incredible business vision, they are each ideally suited to help us continue to solve our customers’ toughest challenges and further propel our ongoing momentum,” added Tony Bates.

In addition, Peter Graf will transition from Genesys Chief Product Officer to a new role as Chief Strategy Officer. He will be responsible for developing, communicating, sustaining and executing the Genesys strategy, and will also assume responsibility for strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, business operations and disruptive innovation for the company.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 19, 2019
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3min1431

Gaming firms in the UK are facing a customer loyalty crisis, with 96 percent of punters saying they switch betting providers every year.

Customer insight firm Feefo found that despite this challenge, 93 percent of customers claim they can be persuaded to stick with a favourite firm, and 98 percent admitting that they value aspects of their current gaming firm.

Exploring the habits of 1,000 adults who use UK gaming firms, along with the views of 50 gaming industry decision-makers, The Gaming Report  found customers feel no incentive to be loyal. More than a fifth of customers (21 percent) switch every three-to-five months. Younger and more frequent customers are more likely to switch.

A quarter (25 percent) of 18-34-year-olds switch every two months, for example, compared with six percent of over-65s.

Punters are tempted away by better odds (40 percent) and better introductory offers (39 percent). Only 44 percent of decision-makers say their company can persuade more than half its customers to make more than two deposits.

Ben Marley, head of market development at Feefo, said: “UK gaming companies are employing lower league loyalty tactics against top-level competition, constantly losing customers to rivals. Almost all punters are ready to quit their company at least every 12 months, yet more than nine-in-ten tell us they will stay loyal if they get the right offers, odds or overall quality of experience.

“It’s time for a serious re-think about the tactics betting companies employ. The majority still lack real insight into what precisely customers want.”

The research found that 82 percent of respondents use more than one company at any time and more than half (51 percent) use two. Half of players (50 percent) stick with a company because they like the loyalty programme, and almost as many (46 percent) because a firm is ready to match another company’s offers. However, 50 percent of customers choose a company because of its good reputation.

Ben Marley added: “There’s an ace up every company’s sleeve they continue to overlook – using customer feedback insights to understand precisely punters want, so that loyalty programmes, odds and offers hit the jackpot more often. They need advanced, AI-powered Customer Experience platforms to provide game-changing levels of insight into what players want right now.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 18, 2019
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2min1960

Customer engagement software firm Freshworks Inc. has been named in the Forbes Cloud 100 list for the third year running.

Compilers describe it as “the definitive list of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world”, and Freshworks has moved up the list to number 40, having first entered in 2017 at number 95, before climbing to 60 in 2017.

The Cloud 100 Judging Panel, made up of public cloud company CEOs, reviewed the data to select, score, and rank the top 100 private cloud companies from all over the world. The evaluation process involved ranking companies across four factors: market leadership (35 percent), estimated valuation (30 percent), operating metrics (20 percent) and people & culture (15 percent).

Freshworks CEO and founder, Girish Mathrubootham, said: “Providing simple yet powerful customer engagement software has always been our main focus, and the market continues to embrace our approach. As our 2019 momentum continues, our latest jump in the Forbes Cloud 100 List completes a trifecta of analyst, customer and investor recognition we’ve received this year. Forbes’ just-released ranking comes on the heels of our technology landing in three Gartner Magic Quadrant reports and recognition from peer review platform G2 Crowd.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 18, 2019
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3min1293

Outrage culture has left businesses unable to sincerely say sorry.

Instead they apologise routinely for trivial transgressions, issuing ‘fauxpologies’, ‘nonpologies’ and baffling their customers with incomprehensible jargon in a way that undermines their reputation, damages their credibility and impacts on their bottom line.

In The Apology Impulse, authors Cary Cooper and Sean O’Meara reveal how businesses are getting it wrong on an epic scale.

Whether it’s Paperchase apologising to the Twitterati for a marketing promotion with the Daily Mail and cutting themselves off from the Mail’s 1.5m readership by promising never to advertise with them again. Or the boss of United Airlines apologising for ‘reaccomodating’ a peaceful passenger who was bloodied by United staff and physically dragged from his reserved seat so it could be given to aircrew for United’s operational convenience.

Cooper and O’Meara show how the business world is increasingly driven by an instinctive fear of mass disapproval and hyper-sensitivity to even the smallest criticism. They apologise for the most trivial of things but withhold the big apologies when things really go wrong, due mainly to an unfounded fear of litigation.

Getting it wrong is damaging, but getting it right can enhance an organisation’s reputation even in the midst of a major crisis. Nick Varney, the CEO of Alton Towers, was widely praised for his direct, plain-speaking and empathetic handling of the 2015 rollercoaster crash. He accepted full responsibility and made sure the victims were at the heart of his response, famously replying: “You’ll forgive me if I’m not really focused on the share price at the moment,” when asked about the commercial impact.

The Apology Impulse explores our modern addiction to apologising without really saying sorry. It looks at the best and worst examples to help readers understand when and how to make meaningful amends and why respectfully holding your ground makes you better at being sorry.

It reveals the tricks and techniques we all use to evade, reframe, and divert from what we did. Explaining the psychological reasons why people quickly demand apologies and why businesses are so quick to give them.

The book illustrates why stage-managed apologies can harm businesses and their clients and provides essential lessons for every business, CEO or communications professional who may find themselves in the eye of a crisis in the future.

The Apology Impulse is published by Kogan Page and out 3 October, priced £14.99. 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 17, 2019
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25min1129

The 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards is just around the corner, and CXM is shining a spotlight on how fantastic training can help your strategies burst out of the boardroom and become worthy of awards recognition.

Among this year’s finalists is finance and admin solutions provider Equiniti Group, which is partnered by First Impression Training (FIT), a firm that enhances CX by assisting companies in developing their employees to build better relationships with customers.

However, good training goes deep, especially when it comes to earning awards recognition for your efforts, and FIT have been assisted in crafting an entry worthy of judges’ admiration by the one-and-only Donna O’Toole, the force behind August – The Awards Consultancy.

Donna lives and breathes awards, and knows exactly what it takes to bring your in-house achievements to a wider audience, with the aim of garnering industry recognition that can open doors to future success.

In a special look behind the scenes of an awards journey, CXM spoke with Donna and FIT’s Training Director and co-founder Marie Cross, about how dedicated training can lift a business to new heights and, ultimately, awards glory…

Donna O’Toole

Hi Donna. Tell us about August and yourself. What inspired you to found a masterclass aimed at preparing organisations for an awards journey?

I started August – The Awards Consultancy in 2015 as a way of helping people to achieve their dreams. I’m a true ‘people-person’ and my background is in English linguistics, so I combined my geeky language skills with my deep knowledge of the awards industry to create an agency that empowers businesses by using awards as a growth tool. August actually means respected, celebrated, and admired, and that’s exactly what we help our clients to become. 

Over the years, I have overseen literally thousands of award entries, including nominations for high-profile awards like the Queen’s honours, and award panel presentations. I see every single entry as unique. It needs to reflect the true values of the brand or individual, but it also needs to deliver a powerful, highly-evidenced argument that makes the reader (in this case a panel of judges) truly believe in them and want them to win too. 

I continuously analyse award entry results, stories, evidence, and feedback, and I’m never satisfied with good results; I strive for excellence in everything – both for my clients and for my own team. It’s this determination to succeed, and to see people truly shine, that has driven me to develop a unique blueprint for awards success.  

I created the unique awards training programme for my own team, then expanded this to train individuals and teams around the world who don’t want to outsource their awards, but do need support to win. I also train PR teams and communications professionals in exactly what they need to do to help their clients win too. I think sometimes people think writing an award entry is just ‘copywriting’. Well, I can tell you for free that it’s not!

We are not a copywriting agency – we eat, breathe, and sleep awards, so the copywriters I train get a surprise when they realise what they have written for a website or blog is completely and utterly wrong for an award entry!

For a firm like FIT, how does the Masterclass help bring out the confidence to put themselves forward for industry awards such as the UKCXAs?

When Marie came to our training day she had the same issue that a lot of people have – she was so busy making sure her customers were achieving everything they wanted and needed to, that she had very little time left to focus on getting recognition for her own business.

First, she needed to think about which awards to enter, and be objective about the value they could deliver back to her business. Then she had to think about what she needed to collect from her own business and that of her clients’ in order to win. When you are running a customer-focused business like FIT, you really don’t have time to think about promoting yourselves, so this was a fantastic opportunity for Marie to take a good look at her achievements so far, and make a clear plan for the future progress of the business, using awards to support and drive further growth. The little time Marie did have to focus on awards needed to be used effectively. She needed a formula that would allow her to put an award entry together that had the right structure, story, content, and evidence right from the off. 

With First Impression Training, you were essentially ‘training trainers’. Did Marie’s training background help when it came to her adopting the skills she learned?

Working with Marie was a dream, because she was not only ‘ready to learn’, she is a trainer herself, so she knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the table! Marie has also judged lots of awards too, so she knows what the judges are looking for in a winning entry. 

Marie and I also have in common the fact that we work with global brands and organisations, as well as smaller businesses and leaders who want to bring out the best in their business. So she understands the challenges that her clients face and was able to use these in our awards training to bring out their unique qualities and achievements, as well as her own. This is so valuable for award entries where businesses are working in partnership, or where you have a supplier relationship and want to gain recognition for both brands. 

 

There is always a ‘eureka’ moment during the training day, when you see a light come on for the trainees. Suddenly, they can see exactly what their strategy should be; what their ‘win theme’ should be; what to include in their entries, and what to leave out.

They can also see exactly why previous entries haven’t been winning, and what can make them win next time. Marie was able to draw out what was both challenging and unique about the projects she had been working on with her clients, and see what she needed to do to present these in a way that would truly ‘wow’ the judges. 

As an awards industry expert, what would you say to a company that is considering taking the plunge and entering, but might have reservations about the process and what benefits it will bring?

The canniest businesses know that you really don’t have to be changing the world to win an award. And you don’t necessarily have to be the best in your industry to win!

You only have to know how to beat the businesses you are competing against at that particular time, in that particular category, to win.

However, when you do win, that’s when the value of awards comes into its own. Your team will be massively motivated by the recognition, and happy employees make happy customers! Your customers have another ‘reason’ to trust you, which means they are more likely to choose to spend their money with you rather than your competitors. And you can use your awards to leverage interest in your business for PR, recruitment, referrals, investment, and Thought Leadership, as well as in your advertising. We are constantly asking our clients for feedback on what’s been happening in their business since winning awards, and the results are always hugely positive. Winning awards can create an immediate uplift in sales, help you to secure significant investment (investors love to see you winning awards), help you to recruit the best talent, and even lead to personal benefits like promotions and pay rises.

What’s not to love?

However, the value in entering awards is not purely in the win – it is in the entire process. Many people are put off entering by the amount of time it will take to prepare their entries, or by looking at previous winners and thinking they are bigger/better and so they couldn’t possibly win, or by a previous awards experience where they didn’t win.

These are all big mistakes, and probably why their competitors keep winning awards and they stay on the sidelines looking like the poor relation in the industry! 

Going through the process of entering awards gives you an opportunity to do a gap analysis on your business – anything you don’t have ready for that award entry (evidence, feedback, growth, and performance stats etc) needs to be either gathered, created, or implemented. And once you’ve got this, you can use and reuse the information, usually for at least a year, to enter and win lots of awards. So you’re already adding value to your business just by starting the process! 

How does August help an organisation that has lots of talent and drive, but has less knowledge about what it takes to enter – and ultimately win – an industry award such as the UKCXAs?

We help businesses in lots of ways – not just by training them to win, but by doing all their awards work for them if they wish. Firstly though, and most importantly, before we can help a business to win, we need to get to know them. What do they want to achieve over the next few years? What are their biggest challenges? What are their biggest achievements? What are their company values? How are they different from their competitors? Why do they want to win awards, and what is their experience with awards so far? Just going through this process reveals so much and allows us to make sure our clients only enter awards where they will have the best chances of success. 

 

An awards event like the UKCXAs is outstanding for recognising and celebrating the success of so many different types of business, but it takes work to win it! And it is one of my absolute favourite awards to judge because the competition is fierce, and you know that during the presentations you’ll hear stories that make you proud to be part of the process.

It is an award that aligns completely with our own ethos too; it’s not just about doing the right thing by your customers, it’s about making their hearts sing!

Marie Cross

Hi Marie. Tell us about First Impression Training and the work you do with firms seeking to boost their CX offering.

First Impression Training is a small organisation with a big pedigree, having worked with some of the giants of industry over the last 18 years since our launch, including AXA, Aviva, Kuoni, Equiniti, Legal & General, BUPA, and the NHS.

We’re an award-winning, people development consultancy specialising in the CX arena.

Wholly focused on developing the talent of frontline teams and leaders, we enable cultural and behavioural change that enhances our clients’ Customer Experience, increases employee engagement, and improves operational efficiency on the front line.

Our training solutions are tailor-made for each client we partner, applying our unique S.H.A.P.ETM methodology, which enables clients to fully own and internalise the FIT solution in a smooth and seamless way, so that the ‘FIT Way’ is kept living and breathing within the organisation, long after we’ve left the building!

 

You met Donna while judging at Awards events. Did your judging role inspire you to take FIT down the awards entry route, after seeing the success enjoyed by winners?

I’ve been involved with many award programmes over the years, since industry legend Don Hales and I first met (over 18 years ago) when he persuaded me to become a judge for the (then) National Customer Service Awards and the National Sales Awards. 

I was also heavily involved with the National Training Awards led by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills for five years, before the programme was taken over by the National Apprenticeship Service.

So yes, I’ve certainly been witness to some amazing winning entries during this time.

And this experience definitely does get you motivated to go for it yourself, partnering your clients – which is exactly what FIT has done this year with the culture change programme we’ve delivered for Equiniti’s 400-seat Customer Experience Centre, and now we’re finalists in four categories across three prestigious award programmes with them!

Donna’s Masterclass is the UK’s premier ‘how to win awards’ tutorial. What skills did you learn from August that FIT will use in its goal of achieving industry recognition?

Donna is a consummate pro! She’s an articulate awards expert, PR guru, and marketing whiz! I love what she’s about and I learned heaps from her at the Masterclass, from designing an award-winning strategy and creating your ‘win theme’, through to the very specific techniques she teaches for crafting your story, content, and evidence for your award entry.

She also shows you how to get the best out of your PR once you’ve actually taken your well-deserved place on the winners’ podium.

If you need a hand ‘bigging yourself up’ and getting your story out there, Donna’s yer gal!

While learning from Donna, what did you discover about your own organisation that you now realise needed improving, but might not have been aware of beforehand?

At the risk of sounding a little boastful here, what Donna really helped me recognise was that we’d spent the last 18 years helping our clients get the recognition they deserved, both inside their organisations and externally, putting them forward for the big award programmes, shouting from the rooftops about their commitment to employee engagement and staff development, without actually doing anything to ensure we stood out alongside them! 

As Donna said to me: “Why on earth would you not consider entering awards – both independently as a training provider and jointly with your clients – when you’re half the reason for your clients’ success stories?” 

So that’s exactly what we’ve done this year!

Donna helped us realise: it’s not that we needed improving – we needed to become our own publicity agent and stop hiding our light under a bushel if we really wanted to get noticed and stand out from the crowd in this increasingly busy marketplace in which we operate. And the result? As I said: finalists in four categories across those three prestigious award programmes: the UK Customer Experience Awards, the UK Business Awards, and the European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards.

Would you recommend other organisations to take the plunge and prepare for their own awards journey through August guidance? 

Yes, wholeheartedly!

I’ve already paid tribute to Donna and the August Consultancy publicly through my social media posting and our weekly blog to our ‘FIT fans’.

I know for sure that our written entries were as good as they were, resulting in us reaching those four finalist positions, thanks to the lessons I learned at Donna’s Masterclass. 

I’m a creative myself; I love to write and I’m told I’m good at it too! However, I also know that I couldn’t have crafted such a brilliant story – as I have done for the entries we submitted – if I hadn’t first learned the award-winning tips, techniques, and strategies that August has taught me.

The 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards, hosted by Awards International, takes place in Wembley Stadium on October 10.




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Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.


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