CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 18, 2018


According to the Health and Safety Executive, around 12.5 million working days are lost due to work related stress in 2017, with 526,000 British workers suffering from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Following these statistics, Ciara Morrison, Head of HR and Talent at Instant Offices, has identified the early signs of Burnout and how to effectively avoid hitting rock bottom…

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 29, 2018


Anticipation is building ahead of the release of the debut book from international Customer Experience consultant Ian Golding.

Titled Customer What?: The Honest and Practical Guide to Customer Experience, the book is set for a late spring/early summer release following a successful Kickstarter campaign that saw Ian – who is also CXM’s Non-Executive Editor – smash his fundraising target.

The new tome is described as “part practise handbook, part novel, and part therapy”, and “a practical guide to creating, and sustaining, the focus on Customer Experience to create value in the long-term”.

It distils Ian’s many years of knowledge and experience in the field, and serves it up in the approachable, witty, and informative manner familiar to those who have been trained by Ian at one of the CX Masterclasses.

Speaking of the inspiration behind the book, Ian said:

“Those who know me personally will be only too aware I have been living and breathing the Customer Experience profession for many years. As someone who has been around since the very beginning, it feels – finally – as though the business world is beginning to grasp the potential of putting customers front and centre in an organisation. We are getting through!

But we still need more people like you to join this growing movement! If this is something you aspire to do, whoever you are, regardless of your job title, this book has been written for you.”

He continued:

“Customer Experience is a challenging career choice. I learned a long time ago that just because it’s obvious to you and me that putting people and customers first makes good business sense, does not mean it will be obvious to someone else.
For every one of us that has the luxury of working in organisations that want to listen, another ten of us will be faced with the prospect of having our ideas met with cynicism, or outright rejection.

I feel there’s a need to talk a little less about theory, and more about the practical aspects of customer experience management. How do you write a CX strategy statement? How do you measure a customer journey? How can you create the right supporting culture to sustain it?

A large part of my message is that you need to understand not only the customers of a business, but the business itself. The raw materials – people, culture, business model, resources, and commitment – should always shape your approach.”

Upon the book’s release Customer Experience Magazine will publish exclusive excerpts, so keep an eye on CXM for further details.

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 27, 2018


Within every business, there will be those who suffer in silence to the point that control is lost and the very act of getting out of bed can become utterly overwhelming.

Employees are still reluctant to share mental health information with their managers or bosses, seemingly for good reason. The stigma associated with mental health, and being treated unfairly, becoming the subject of office gossip, or compromising their employment terms are all legitimate fears.

To tackle this global issue, workplace providers  Instant Offices encourage businesses to support their teams in speaking about and prioritising mental health. They also promote a healthy work-life balance, reducing the stigma attached to mental health issues, and introduing initiatives to support and encourage staff who choose to speak up.

Mental health and work in the UK

Studies from Manpower Group suggest that millennials display the highest levels of anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide of any generation, considering they are also simultaneously on the cusp of becoming the largest global workforce by 2020.

According to Deloitte, the average person spends 90,000 hours of their life working, and poor employee mental health can be due to factors internal or external to the workplace. Without effective management, this can have a serious impact on physical health, productivity, and more.

In the modern workplace, smart employers are placing workplace wellness at the core of their business by recognising the importance of their staff. They are going beyond protocol, processes, and profits to ensure individuals feel valued and supported. Wellness and workplace health initiatives are varied but include everything from serious interventions and counselling services to mindfulness training, flexible working, and even options like yoga, time off, and massages at work.

That said, an alarming number of companies are still avoiding the topic of mental health in the workplace. A report by the Centre for Mental Health revealed that absence due to mental health cost the UK economy £34.9 billion last year. Additionally, the economy lost:

  • £21.2 billion in reduced productivity
  • £10.6 billion in sick leave
  • £3.1 billion in staff turnover

It’s time to prioritise wellbeing at work

Of the 5 million people being signed off from work every year, data from NHS showed an alarming 31 percent are taking time out due to mental health, with a shocking 14 percent rise in doctor’s notes relating to anxiety and stress in one year. This is why the NHS has called on businesses to wake up to the reality of mental health and its dire effects on the wellbeing of its employees and on overall workplace success.

Here’s what employers can do:

  1. Minimise the stigma: A study from Business in the Community shows, only 53 percent of employees feel comfortable talking about mental health issues like depression and anxiety at work. Instead of making employees feel like liabilities or burdens, employers need to take active steps to encourage conversations around these issues. Taking a mental health day or asking for support around mental health issues should not impact an employee’s reputation and how they are treated at work.
  2. Pay attention: Around 91 percent of managers agree that their actions affect their staff’s wellbeing, however, only 24 percent of managers have received any training in mental health. This lack of training and sensitivity only works to perpetuate the culture of silence around mental health and wellbeing at work. Companies should be working to combat this by monitoring employee stress, encouraging communication and taking active steps to increase knowledge around the issue.
  3. Be more flexible: There are several ways to boost employee engagement and happiness in the modern workplace. Around 70 percent of employees want a say in when and how they work, and a growth in flexible working shows more businesses are responding. Introducing a flexible working option is one of the ways businesses can prioritise their employees’ personal needs while benefitting from their productivity boost, too. Data from LSBF shows nearly half of employees advocate for flexible working hours as a way to reduce workplace stress and anxiety, increase productivity, and to improve morale and engagement.
  4. Introduce mental health initiatives: It is crucial to increase employee awareness of mental health at work, support employees at risk and take steps to support those suffering from mental health problems. Education is key, and strategies need to be tailor-made to suit each business and its needs. Aside from increasing workplace happiness with perks, time off and better communication, businesses need to look at long-term policies which advocate for better treatment for at-risk employees from every tier of the organisation.
  5. Manage via a coaching approach: Historically, tyrannical managers focused on ‘the numbers’ or ‘getting the job done’ have been the norm, but fortunately, the modern workplace has changed. Today, the manager who adopts a more holistic approach by focusing on the growth and development of their team, personally and professionally, will see greater results and engagement. Investing in a coaching approach has shown clear improvements across all areas and improved trust between managers and employees. Getting this balance right enables employees to speak about their levels of stress, their worries about their role and more.

Placing health and wellbeing at the heart of business can help employers attract and retain talent, improve productivity and happiness, and positively impact the bottom line.

Educating the workforce on the availability of such programmes where they can find support in a confidential and respectful manner, will help to address personal challenges before they become overwhelming.

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 26, 2018


The 2018 UK Employee Experience Awards are fast approaching, and finalists are being encouraged to take advantage of an Early Bird offer for booking tables.

The awards finals are taking place in London’s Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel on May 17, while the list of finalists for each of the 20 categories now available to view at the official awards website, and here on CXM.

Among the household names competing in this year’s finals event are clothing retailer River Island, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and beer innovators Brewdog.

Categories include Best Talent Management, Best Innovation in Recruitment, and Agency of the Year.

Meanwhile, judges scrutinising presentations on the day include Lara Plaxton, head of HR at awards partners FDM. For a full list of judges, click here.

Finalists attending the daytime event – which will see presentations taking place in the morning, and winners announced during a gala lunch – are being encouraged to take advantage of an Early Bird table offer, which allows for an incredible £300 saving on a premium table booking for 10 people (which includes champagne and wine, and a choice of table close to the stage), and a standard table for 10.

A £40 saving on individual seats is also available within the same timeframe. The Early Bird offer on all tables ends at midnight on April 13.
For more information on the awards, which are also partnered with Benefex and the World Employee Experience Institute, click here.

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 23, 2018


The recent cold weather snap known as ‘the Beast from the East’ may have caused havoc to the UK’s transport system, but it provided a welcome increase in online sales, according to newly released figures.

UK online retail sales were up +13.1 percent year-on-year (YoY) in February, according to data from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. With the Beast from the East hitting the UK in the last week of February, the cold weather saw shoppers turn online in their droves, driving a +3.5 percent lift in sales compared to the previous week. This continues 2018’s positive start, with overall year-on-year growth averaging 13.5 percent year-to-date.

Despite the strong sales however, the overall market conversion rate (the percentage of site visitors that complete a purchase) was 4.2 percent, down from 4.6 percent last year. The conversion rates for both multichannel and online retailers also came in lower than February 2017. However, the average basket value (ABV) rose by £11 in comparison to last February.

Meanwhile, smartphone growth remained strong at +38.5 percent on last year, but is certainly slowing when compared to the +57 percent growth of last year. Tablets, on the other hand, continued their now four-month long decline trend, decreasing -6.7 percent year-on-year, a record low for this device type.

Some sectors performed notably well this February. Health & Beauty grew by +33.85 percent year-on-year – its highest growth in the last five years. In addition, Clothing continues to show strong year-on-year growth, up +14.9 percent, with accessories and footwear the top performers within this at +22.3 percent and +20.4 percent respectively. Finally Gifts also grew by a strong +9 percent year-on-year, a significant improvement on last year’s -3.3 percent.

Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement at Capgemini, said:

“February’s sales patterns clearly demonstrate the power of extreme weather on shopping habits; as people avoid the high street in favour of cosier shopping from their well-heated living rooms. As the snowy weather continued well into March we anticipate a continuation of this trend in next month’s results. We’d also draw attention to the performance of the US retail market, which has just reported its third consecutive month of falling sales. As the US market is often seen as ahead of the UK’s this could foreshadow a similar trend in the coming months. Fortunately for internet retailers, the US reported +1 percent online sales growth.”

Justin Opie, managing director, IMRG, added:

“Over the course of many years, the overall conversion rate for online retailers crept up very slowly but this has stalled recently and has now actually been in decline for three consecutive months. This suggests that shoppers are spending more time browsing, potentially across a greater range of sites, before making a final purchase decision and that may well be true, but a clear influencing factor is a shift in the devices people are using for shopping. In Q4, 32 percent of online retail purchases were completed on smartphones (the rest were through desktops and tablets) – these devices tend to have lower conversion rates due to a variety of reasons, particularly how much more susceptible users are to being distracted when using them.”

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 19, 2018


The upcoming CX Professional Masterclass is now sold out, but there is still time for you to book your place at the CCXP Exam Preparation Workshop, held in Stevenage on April 18, with an Early Bird Offer available until the end of this week.

What are the CX Masterclasses and Workshops?

The Customer Experience Masterclasses are a must for anyone wishing to master their CX skills, or become a certified CX Professional. The next available Masterclass will be announced in CXM at a later date

The CCXP Exam Preparation Workshop is designed to help attendees prepare for taking the CCXP Exam. The Workshop places a focus on understanding CXPA’s six competencies and the exam methodology, while offering sample questions for each competency.

Who is teaching them?

Ian Golding, CXM’s Non-Executive Editor, is a world-renowned CX trainer and the first person authorised by the CXPA to teach the CCXP accreditation. Ian has mentored around a quarter of all CCXPs globally to date.

He is a highly influential Customer Experience consultant who advises leading companies on CX strategy, measurement, improvement, and employee advocacy techniques and solutions.

Why become a Certified Customer Experience Professional?

  • Obtain professional recognition for your high level of knowledge of the CX industry
  • Demonstrate your expertise and accomplishments as a CX practitioner
  • Get formal credentials that showcase your standing in the CX industry
  • Increase marketability and demonstrate your commitment to continuous improvement

Do you need to attend the Workshop to take the CCXP exam?

No, attending the Workshop is not a requirement for taking the exam. However, every exam re-sit or re-application carries a cost, and attending the workshop can reduce the likelihood of re-applying and make the whole process of becoming a CCXP more rewarding.

Ian’s Workshop Masterclass is designed to fully prepare you for taking the CCXP exam, boost your confidence and enable you to take the exam stress-free.

The early bird price (£195) is available until March 23.

Can you take the exam immediately after attending the CCXP Exam Preparation Workshop?

Yes. Everyone whose application has beforehand been accepted and approved by The Customer Experience Professionals Association is eligible to take the exam after attending the Workshop.

Check out your eligibility and the details about the application process here.

There are only a few spots left for Ian’s CCXP Exam Preparation Workshop. Those interested in attending are advised to book now.

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 19, 2018


The 2018 UK Customer Experience Awards will bring the cream of British CX talent back to London’s Wembley Arena this autumn, and potential entrants are being encouraged to take advantage of the Early Bird Offer to save businesses an amazing £100.

The awards will feature finalists competing in 22 categories, with presentations taking place before judging panels on the morning of October 11, before the winners are announced during a black tie gala dinner in the evening.

Categories open for entry include Best Small and Large Contact Centre; Best Hospitality, Leisure and Travel; and Best Customer Experience Training.

The final deadline for entries is June 8, with the shortlisted finalists being announced on June 22.

However, entries secured before midnight on Friday April 27 will save £100 off the standard entry price. Big savings can also be made for companies keen to enter additional categories when the order is made at the same time.

Those who apply for the Early Bird Offer by the April 27 deadline will still have until June 8 to submit their final entry forms.

For more information on categories and entering, visit the official 2018 UK Customer Experience Awards website.

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 15, 2018


A recruitment agency is taking an industry lead by publishing the results of a pioneering ‘scorecard’ on its staff’s performance.

Peace Recruitment offers every candidate and every client the opportunity to rate how well the Edinburgh-based firm’s consultants service their needs.

Immediately following a consultation and at other key intervals throughout the process, candidates and clients submit their scores directly from their smartphone and the results are instantly live on Peace Recruitment’s website. There is no intervention by the firm in the process.

The system has gone live and the first results are now in, with an average score of 8.9 out of 10 candidates and 8.8 for clients.

Managing Director Chris Peace created the Rate My Recruiter software with a web developer as an industry “differentiator” and says it has helped build relationships with clients and candidates.

“It is about giving control back to the customer, allowing them to make an informed decision about which agency they can trust with this important task,” Chris said.

Low scores are followed up with a personal phone call to gain further understanding on where staff failed to match the expectations of the customer.

“As we have grown it has become important to get this feedback, as it ensures my finger is always on the pulse. It’s the glue that holds the process together, and the response has been really encouraging,” Chris added.


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