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8min1595

Work on the internet requires a high level of data security, and setting up a VPN connection to the server will effectively solve this problem and ensure absolute confidentiality on any network.

Nowadays, this technology is actively used by both large companies and individual users, since it fulfils its task one hundred percent.

Key features of VPN technology

A virtual private network is technology that provides the creation of one or more tunnels, located on any other system when connected to the internet. The tunnel  is secured using robust cryptography algorithms, and according to VPN-review.com, such means as authentication, protection against a repetition of data, encryption, and critical public infrastructure are used.

Depending on the settings, a VPN provides a connection of three different types:

  • network-to-network
  • network-to-device
  • device-to-device

The network-to-network VPN connection is straightforward for clients and controlled by the framework manager on the server.  However, its fundamental disadvantage is the absence of encryption inside the system.

VPN compatibility with various operating systems

Creating and configuring a VPN connection is possible based on the most common frameworks. At times, you simply need to download and run a special program. For this situation, the VPN connection will be made with the servers for which the utility was made.

Protocols bolstered by working frameworks are involved in VPN connections with corporate systems. PPTP is utilised in Microsoft Windows customer and server versions. When using Linux, PPTP-Linux customer and PPTP server are required. Independently, an MPD server with PPTP and L2TP backing is executed.

For gadgets running Mac OS or Android, no outsider applications are required because the capacity to use VPN is incorporated into them. Installation and setup of VPNs should be possible not just on PCs or smartphones. As of late, L2TP and IPSec conventions are made by Cisco routers (from OS form 11.3T). Likewise, the capacity to utilise a VPN is available in individual firewalls.

Benefits of using a VPN connection

Connecting to a server through a VPN has several economic advantages. Since the work does not need a dial-up connection, there is no need for modems or a dedicated line. It’s enough for a user to have a device with Internet access to easily connect to his corporate network. The general availability of data does not mean that they are not protected. A VPN connection is a secure shield that protects all information from unauthorised access or interception.

The global development of the internet makes it possible to use limitless amounts of information present on various resources. The Virtual Private Network makes it possible to reduce the costs of internal corporate communications and make the transmitted and received information more secure and confidential.

Among the options for implementing a VPN are software and hardware products. A ready application installed on a computer refers to a software solution for VPN. Many companies offer to use this service by connecting to servers that belong to them. Some developers supply VPN packages that interact with software firewalls and operate on different operating systems.

Software products are relatively inexpensive. The hardware method of using VPN implies the presence of a computer, a private operating system, and specialised software. It has high performance, but its cost is also high.

The VPN device is located between the internal network and the web at the end of the connection. During transmission, data disappears at the point of origin. It is then encrypted and appears only at the destination. For guaranteed access to the data of individual users only, the private network can be amplified by an appropriate authentication protocol.

Moreover, VPN is often used by providers to control network access. Simply put, the user connects in the usual way, and then starts the VPN client for further work online. It helps to protect the connection from hackers and organise personal access.

Not all VPN services are equally useful

With free VPN services, you can save a lot of money, but only at the expense of your security. Other VPN services may have the most advanced security system and low connection speed (the more complicated the encryption, the lower the speed). Of course, this service is not well suited for those who want to work online and want to finish a job fast.

Therefore, be careful when choosing a VPN provider.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamJune 24, 2019
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3min1938

Global CX and call centre tech leader Genesys has been revealed as the Gold Sponsor for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards.

Taking place in London’s Wembley Stadium on October 10, the awards celebrate the country’s best CX strategies, transformations, and innovations, and there are now just days left before the entry deadline.

The new partnership with Genesys – creators of the world’s most trusted Customer Experience platforms – will elevate this year’s ceremony to new heights as it marks its tenth anniversary.

More than 11,000 companies in over 100 countries trust Genesys to help them connect effortlessly with consumers across any channel, be it voice, text, web chat, or social. The company offers both cloud and on-premises solutions that enable businesses to deliver the hyper-personalised experiences today’s always-on consumers demand, while producing targeted business outcomes such as increased revenue, lead conversion, and customer satisfaction.

“Sponsoring the UK Customer Experience Awards is a natural fit for us,” said Senior Director at Genesys, Brendan Dykes, who will be among the judges scrutinising entries at this year’s event.

“We are laser-focused on helping brands create lasting relationships with their customers. This is a tremendous opportunity to shine a light on the businesses that are setting new standards for delivering exceptional customer experiences in innovative ways. We are thrilled to serve as a Gold sponsor and help celebrate their successes.”

Meanwhile, Neil Skehel, CEO of event hosts Awards International, said: “Genesys is a prestigious global organisation and commands great respect in the industry. Having them involved further goes to show that anyone who’s anyone in Customer Experience will be at our awards.”

Click here to learn more about the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamJune 11, 2019
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3min1853

Entel, one of the largest telecommunications companies in Chile, has implemented Genesys AI-powered orchestration capabilities to seamlessly connect and manage native and third-party artificial intelligence (AI), resulting in significant efficiency gains.

Now, its customers smoothly transition between automated systems and employees for truly effortless journeys.

Entel has worked with Genesys, the global leader in omnichannel customer experience and contact centre solutions, for several years to help meet their goal to deliver the best experiences to customers as well as optimise the company’s processes.

“Our customers have changed the way they interact with us. They are much more focused on digital and want anytime, anywhere service on the channel of their choice,” explained Pablo Oyarzun, Customer Experience divisional manager of Entel.

“Without our AI, bots and automation tied together using Genesys AI, we couldn’t deliver this kind of service.”

Entel leverages the Genesys Customer Experience Platform at their contact centres in Chile and Peru to support all of their agents and telemarketers. In addition, Genesys provides the common data framework for Entel’s many AI integrations with other vendors.

For example, the company uses the Genesys integration with Google Cloud for its text-to-speech capability to transcribe automated conversations. Genesys AI then sends that data to IBM Watson to determine the customer’s intent and identifies the next best action.

Oyarzun continued: “The new orchestration capabilities powered by Genesys AI provide us with more knowledge about customers, enabling us to take new approaches to address their evolving expectations. With the help of Genesys, we can improve our customers’ satisfaction.”

Entel is sharing its success using Genesys AI at Xperience19, its signature annual customer-focused event. Hosted by UK Customer Experience Awards sponsor Genesys, Xperience19 unites more than 2,000 industry experts in Denver from June 10 to 13.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamJune 11, 2019
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9min5446

Genesys has introduced new orchestration capabilities powered by AI that connect native and third-party technologies to enable the most comprehensive customer journey management available today.

Currently, businesses are adopting an increasing number of artificial intelligence (AI) point solutions to solve specific challenges. However, businesses are failing to realise AI’s full potential to improve customer and employee journeys because data remains fragmented across the end-to-end experience. As a result, AI’s ability to impact business outcomes remains limited.

New orchestration capabilities from UK Customer Experience Awards sponsor Genesys make it possible for multiple AI applications to work together harmoniously in real-time from marketing to sales to service. By leveraging all relevant data throughout the customer’s entire journey, Genesys AI can orchestrate, measure and optimise processes at every touchpoint. This enables businesses to tailor automation, communication channels and marketing and sales offers for individual customers, introducing new levels of personalisation.

AI innovation at your fingertips

Genesys makes it easier for businesses to flawlessly connect and manage native and third-party AI across voice and digital channels. With its simple centralised orchestration, Genesys AI enables customers to map complex business logic, perform various back-end system integrations and swap AI providers. Businesses can move their AI technologies into production quicker by building once and deploying across all channels, leveraging microapps to reduce development time by 90 percent and improving analytics, resulting in 40-60 percent faster time to value. This enables businesses to leverage existing AI investments and buy a future-proof solution.

Both on-premises and cloud customers around the world are realising additional advantages. An example is Entel, one of the largest telecommunications companies in Chile. In just six months, Entel has increased revenue by five percent, decreased costs and improved customer satisfaction by using Genesys AI to orchestrate all customer interactions with technology from Google Cloud and IBM Watson.

Other Genesys customers, such as DNB, are achieving additional benefits including improved accuracy leading to better predictions and faster responses to customer inquiries. In speaking about the benefits of this advanced orchestration capability, DNB Head of Technical Operations and Customer Solutions, Anders Braten said: “Genesys sews everything together to make the perfect customer journey.”

Breaking down AI silos to realise value

“In customer service alone, on average, nine out of 10 enterprises deploy AI for six distinct uses, such as automated self-service, chatbots in instant messaging and IVR support,” said Peter Graf, Genesys Chief Product Officer.

“Genesys AI is an elegant solution that masterfully links underlying technologies and synchronizes data and event streams as needed. These AI capabilities are delivered by Genesys Cloud, the company’s high-velocity innovation platform that provides new ways to optimise customer and employee journeys.”

With hundreds of technology applications integrated with its Customer Experience platform today, Genesys is the only company in the industry able to orchestrate any AI for self and assisted service. This includes Kate, the customer and employee virtual assistant powered by Genesys AI, as well as third-party AI solutions such as Amazon Lex, Google Cloud Contact Center AI, Nuance and IBM Watson.

Dan Miller, lead analyst at Opus Research, said: “Genesys has stepped up to provide a framework for enterprises to support conversational engagements that helps businesses leverage existing investments in AI resources more fully. Genesys AI enables them to integrate natively developed elements of AI along with offerings from recognized, leading third parties.”

How Genesys AI orchestrates the cest Customer and Employee Experience

Genesys AI provides the common data framework for all AI integrations so systems are not working in silos. It captures, processes and analyzes third-party data in the same way as its own AI applications, such as Genesys Predictive Routing, Altocloud Predictive Engagement, and Automated Forecasting and Scheduling. In addition to delivering advanced orchestration, Genesys AI enables real-time predictions, speech and text analytics, self-service automation and more.

An example is the coordination between Genesys AI and chat and voice bots. When a customer begins an engagement with a bot, Genesys AI can detect if escalation is needed. It can then use Predictive Routing to identify the employee deemed the best match and pass the inquiry to that individual with full context for resolution.

Advanced AI orchestration kicks off summer innovations

The company announced its new orchestration capabilities at Xperience19, its signature event taking place this week in Denver. Genesys is also introducing a new analytics dashboard, enabling businesses to better understand customer intent, visualize containment rates and optimize bot usage in a single view.

The new dashboard and Genesys AI’s advanced orchestration capabilities are available now among a broader collection of the company’s Summer Innovations.  The Innovations are comprised of multiple feature enhancements across the Genesys PureCloud®, PureConnect™ and PureEngage™ solutions and delivered via Genesys Cloud.

Register for the Genesys Summer Innovations webinar on June 26 and 27 for a closer look at what’s new and coming next from the leader in Customer Experience.


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4min1472

Employers are risking alienating millennials by treating them as if they are a different ‘culture’, a hospitality industry forum has heard.

Hosted by industry thought-leader, EP Business in Hospitality, in partnership with online learning specialist Upskill People, the event in London highlighted that continually referring to millennials as though they are a different ‘culture’ or ‘nationality’ is both patronising and short-sighted and puts businesses that do not place compassion and people at the top of their agenda at risk of alienating future talent altogether.

In an industry clearly changing at speed, core messages emerging from the session included the need for a modernised learning culture that seeks to understand all perspectives while embracing shared knowledge across all genders, ages, and job titles.

Different goals: Millennials require a fresh approach when it comes to employee engagement

CEO at EP, Chris Sheppardson, explained:  “It’s becoming more apparent that the younger generations do have a different perspective and agenda on work and life. They are less focused on getting onto the housing ladder and being saddled with a lifetime mortgage, and are instead living more ‘in the moment’ with a genuine interest in environment and society – arguably to a higher degree that many business leaders. As businesses we must build a stronger connection with our people and change our approach to developing talent.”

The debate also reinforced the harsh reality that talent today doesn’t remain with one employer long-term and will move around more regularly, suggesting that employers need to embrace and even support this concept in the future. Leaders also agreed that to develop talent successfully today, there is a greater need for stronger coaching-led approaches.

Chris added: “Empowerment has almost become an old-fashioned concept and re-engagement is needed here. Too many companies try to control and limit any risk. Too many decisions on people are based on spread sheets and figures. Talent looks to embrace culture, compassion for people and communities in work. People are still the greatest asset of a business and young people today expect companies to play a meaningful role in society as well as in business.”


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13min1203

Throughout our careers, we experience many different personality types that influence our behaviours and professional personas.

These encounters can often shape who we become as leaders, but have you taken the time to reflect on your management approach and considered how your team view your performance as a manager? Whether you consider your leadership style as autocratic, democratic, transformational, or laissez-faire, your ultimate aim is to keep your business running smoothly; which includes keeping your staff happy.

Love Energy Savings recently conducted a study on employee satisfaction, investigating how UK employees would rate the performance of their managers. The statistics were largely positive, with almost 50 percent of respondents rating performances as good or excellent.

However, 20 percent of respondents claimed that they work with an inadequate manager. This would indicate that some managers are struggling to build a rapport with their employees, which could have an impact on staff loyalty, retention, and ultimately affect their company’s bottom line.

The data collected in the survey revealed the following key findings:

  • 49.9 percent of respondents think positively about their manager’s performance
  • 33.5 percent of respondents think negatively about their manager’s performance
  • 16.5 percent of respondents feel their manager is satisfactory
  • Men aged 18-24 are most likely to rate their manager as inadequate
  • All other age brackets, for men and women, are most likely to rate their manager as good or excellent

Common mistakes managers can avoid

To better understand why so many workers are dissatisfied with their company’s management, we need to take a closer look at the root causes. There are many common issues that can be easily avoided, and if approached properly, can empower staff to perform to the best of their abilities.

1. Give your staff space to excel

When you have a lot of responsibilities as a manager, it’s only natural to want to get stuck in and make sure things are running smoothly. The danger here is that there’s a thin line between taking care and taking over.

Nobody likes to be micromanaged, and by doing so you’re advertising the fact that you don’t trust your team enough to let them do their jobs without supervision. By taking a step back and showing your employees that you trust them, they’ll feel empowered – after all, you hired them for a reason.

2. Show you value your staff
As a manager, your staff are your greatest asset. However, too many people take their employees for granted. Thinking of your business as a well-oiled machine may be a good way to visualise your day-to-day operations, but your team are more than just cogs.

Lucia Knight, a career satisfaction coach, explained: “Many of the individuals I work with feel that no one really cares about their career within their organisation, just what’s needed from them.”

She goes on to offer a simple solution to this: “A ten-minute real listening exercise can really nip some small problems in the bud before they become big problems in the future.”

By understanding what makes your team tick, you’ll be able to help them overcome any issues and excel in their careers.

3. Leave your ego at the door

When working in a position of authority, it’s crucial to make sure you’re not abusing your power. It can be all too easy to assume that you know best…after all, you are the boss.

Not only will staff morale plummet in the shadow of your ego, but you’ll lose your objectivity, which could lead to poor business decisions. Recognise that you have teams of intelligent and enthusiastic employees at your disposal, giving you a pool of expertise to put to good use.

Sue Andrews, Business and HR Consultant at KIS Finance, recognises the importance of listening to and understanding your team. She says: “Empathy is not always at the top of the list of characteristics that people see as essential in a good leader. But without the ability to place themselves in others’ shoes, and see the wider picture, leaders run the risk of taking an autocratic approach, which may eventually prove unpopular with those around them.”

What can managers do to inspire their staff?

Although managers can fall into bad habits, there are a number of ways to make sure you’re appropriately managing your employees. Here is some guidance on how you can ensure you’re enabling your employees to flourish.

1. Invest in your staff

Your employees are your strongest commodity, so it’s only right that you invest the time into helping them grow and develop their skills. Without proper attention, you’ll find your team will quickly stagnate if they’re not pushed to achieve their highest potential.

Let your staff get their hands on an exciting new task to flex their creative muscles and break the day-to-day monotony of their regular work. This will give them something new to try, as well as show them that you have faith in their abilities. It’s also crucial to make sure you put personal development plans into place – giving your employees the chance to have a say in how they want to progress and giving you the chance to say how you’ll help them achieve it. By investing in your staff, you’re helping to shape the future leaders of your organisation.

Mireille Harper, PR & Communications at Catalyst Collective, believes that a business’ success rests on how well it can adapt to new ideas. “In today’s rapidly changing and dynamic world, our companies need the value that diversity brings. Good leaders seek to find, promote, develop and champion those who’ve historically been excluded from leadership in the workplace,” she said.

“Strong leaders can handle the ambiguity and creative tensions that come with diversity, and still foster an environment of inclusion, value and respect, where each person can show up at their best.”

2. Be transparent

If you want your employees to respect you as a manager, you need to be open and honest with them. By creating a culture of communication, you’re empowering your staff to ask more questions and gain a better understanding of the direction of your business. Showing your team that you’re all in it together is the quickest way to create a real connection – rekindling their sense of purpose and reminding them why they’re there.

3. Be a leader who inspires their team

Actions speak louder than words. Think about your own performance and how you’ve managed situations in the past. Take the time to reflect on your experiences: could you have seen better results if you had reacted differently to the situation? Every failure and success story should be used as a learning experience to help your team reach new heights and avoid mistakes. Self-reflection helps you and your team develop and shows that you’re all working towards shared targets.

Bob Bradley, Managing Director and Founder of MD2MD, knows how inspiring your staff can help your business reap the benefits. He said: “Business leaders have three choices. They can try to command hierarchical power, expert power, or respect power. The latter is the most effective for an organisation.

“Leaders must have the ability to create willing followers. Naturally, in order to do this, they must create something tangible to follow: a shared vision, a common goal, a culture, and a way of working.”

Suzanne Haughton, Recruitment Consultant for Love Energy Savings, added: “Making sure people feel involved and listened too is something that filters from the top down in our organisation and is a responsibility that every manager takes seriously. Our CEO, Phil Foster, is a great example of this. He’s currently in the middle of a project called ‘Food with Phil’; hosting sessions and bringing together teams from different departments, breaking down silos, and learning about the organisation from the people on the front line and buying everyone lunch in return. Staff feel empowered, the business benefits, and everyone gets fed.”


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7min1410

Working with people is great, but taking care of a whole team requires much more work than you can imagine.

Thankfully, we live in a time when employers pay a lot of attention to making their employees happy, satisfied, more productive, and motivated. Trends come and go, but there are ones proven to deliver results, no matter the kind of company being discussed.

Check out these five motivation ideas, and help provide your team with the boost they may need to achieve success.

1. Team exercise

Starting the day with exercise is a proven method that boosts creativity and strongly motivates employees. A study researched the so-called Köhler effect, which explains the correlation of increased motivation when exercising in groups. They came up with the most interesting results…

“An inferior team member performs a difficult task better in a team or coaction situation than one would expect from the knowledge of his or her individual performance. Results suggest that working out with virtually present, superior partners can improve persistence motivation.”

This is just one of the reasons why you should implement group workouts with your team. It can be early in the morning, or before or after lunch. Challenges are very efficient for the entire group – the exercise might last only 10 minutes, but will do so much good for overall productivity.

 

2. Gamification

Gamification is one of the latest trends when it comes to motivating employees. Turning work into a game is risky, but it sure does yield results. The only thing you have to be careful about is not to ‘over-gamify’. So start thinking of fun, exciting ways to have the team do the job through a game.

Use it once in a while, and everyone will be more creative, productive, and motivated. Every game should end with a reward for the winner – think of badges for milestones, gifts, and of course, praise!

3. Empower them with better tools

Everyone wants to work at a place equipped with the latest tools. It’s not only tech firms who need gadgets, and you can boost motivation in the workplace by purchasing some new tools that are better and more efficient compared to ones you had before.

The team will be able to get the work done much faster, and they will be stimulated to perform better. It will be an investment that brings results right away. If you are seriously thinking of implementing this tip, you can use some of these discount codes for the best prices available.

4. Attend events as a team

Enjoying social events can help a lot with team bonding and boosting motivation. People love working in companies that also pay attention to this social factor.

Spending eight hours in an office together will not help people get to know their colleagues as much as you might think. Some of the best and simplest ideas are to organise a lunch, breakfast, or dinner once a month, or to schedule a game day, cocktail night, party and more.

“Companies with engaged employees make 2.5 times more than their less-engaged counterparts. Engaged employees are a whopping 87% less likely to leave their companies.”

5. Manage employees as individuals also

Yes, you are working as a team, but every single employee is different and has a different way of communicating. Make sure that you manage them as individuals and not only as a group.

People have diverse characters, so to push them and boost the motivation you have to pay attention to each individual. Take five minutes for a quick meeting with each employee at least once a month. Get to know them well, and it will pay off for the whole team.


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7min2174

Each year, analysts predict trends that will determine the course of the advertising, media, and digital industry in the near future.

Year after year, we see the same predictions about the importance of video content, new approaches to SEO optimisation, growth of mobile internet penetration, and related advertising tools. However, it seems that a lot is going to change in 2019. So let’s take a closer look at the new revolutionary solutions and approaches that are going to shake the market this year.

1. Personalised marketing

Personalisation is a key trend in many business areas. The idea of ​​delivering a personal message to the client, taking into account the characteristics of his or her behaviour, personality, and sociography is not new. However, such an approach becomes a reality thanks to the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Even if a person uses hidemyass, it will be still possible to track his online actions.

The love of marketers for digital is largely due to the possibilities of fine-tuning the targeting for advertising, but now more advanced personality recognition mechanisms are being tested. Thus, Amazon uses AI-based solutions that combine user data from various sources, such as transaction archives, trending sales, competitor information, CRM data, and information from social accounts. At the latter point, the machine predicts the desires and capabilities of the user. As a result, a company is able to formulate and prepare a 100 percent personalised offer, which will hardly be refused.

2. Voice services

There are some technologies that burst into our lives suddenly. Voice assistants are one of them. At first, users limited themselves to comic dialogues with smartphones; with time, they began using voice assistants for their intended purpose. Siri, Google Now, Alice, Amazon Alexa, Cortana, and others teach users to use the voice dialogues with the software. Markets are saturated with Voice Search Tools, Amazon Echo, Google Home, and others.

According to NPD Group, by the end of 2019, sales of ‘smart speakers’ will grow by 50 percent, and the market volume will reach $2.7 billion. This technology is in the trend of marketing integration with services and applications for delivering food, calling a cab, searching for the right locations, and other things. Just like vpn services were popular a few years ago, voice assistants are on the peak now.

3. Communication automation & chatbots

According to Gartner, 85 percent of user interactions with companies will occur without human participation by 2020. Nowadays, many companies use chatbots in social networks and instant messengers to simply communicate with their audience. In the future, scripts will become more complex, and the bot will be able to imitate a live seller or manager, saving companies’ resources.

4. Augmented reality (AR)

According to the estimates of the Harvard Business Review, global investments in the development of the AR sector will exceed $ 60 billion by 2020. The research centre MarketsandMarkets states that market growth will exceed 75 percent over the next five years. In 2022, it can reach an estimate of $120 billion.

The largest technology brands have seized upon this promising technology because it is extremely interesting to the end user and does not force it to acquire new products. Everything works on your favourite smartphone. AR is used in education, medicine, and, of course, marketing solutions, especially in a retail segment. The investment volumes are impressive, and we will see a lot of interesting consumer variations using augmented reality in the coming year.

5. 5G

Standards for deploying fifth-generation mobile networks are still in development, but individual elements are being tested by operators around the world. 5G networks will create new opportunities for users, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as broadband media services and real-time communication in areas of natural disasters or mass events.

Final Say

According to many experts, we are now entering the era of digital technology, which will mostly depend on the introduction and development of artificial intelligence (machine learning) and all the consequences associated with it. The incredible development of the digital environment over the past ten years (social media, improved search technologies, the AppStore, and PlayMarket, cybersecurity, streaming video, etc) will not slow down, but go to a new level.

In 2019, marketers will need to prepare for constant experimentation with new technologies. Only a continuous stream of testing new ideas will allow you to be on the success wave.


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10min2257

Customer Experience is a global movement – across the world, an increasing number of companies are understanding the business case for focusing on the customer, and are seeking the right tools to achieve this goal.

Some countries have, however, reached a greater level of CX maturity than others. The roots of CX culture run deepest in the United States, where organisations such as Amazon have set a global standard in customer centricity.

In fact, an Ipsos + Medallia study indicated that 19 percent of US customers feel their expectations were exceeded in online retail experiences, compared to just nine percent of UK customers.

While there remains considerable variation among sectors – only 11 percent of American customers feel similarly positive about their offline retail encounters – there is also a striking difference in CX perception among countries.

             

 

In Germany, relatively few online retail customers say their expectations were exceeded – eight percent compared to 19 percent in the US.

Customer Experience in the UK lies somewhere between these two extremes; more sophisticated than in Germany, but not yet at the level of the US. Some UK sectors, such as the hotel industry, perform particularly well, with 21 percent of customers saying their expectations were exceeded. Yet the overall average across sectors is under 10 percent – well behind the US figure of 17.3 percent.

So the UK is getting there with Customer Experience, but it’s far from consistent and there is still significant progress to be made. The question at this stage is: what can UK companies do to take Customer Experience to the next level and establish themselves as the uncontested CX leaders of Europe?

1. Be smart about your surveys

There is a tricky balance to strike in Customer Experience: you want to know as much as possible about your customers, but they don’t want to spend all afternoon answering your surveys. Fortunately, a limited number of open-ended questions will typically get your customers sharing their most pressing concerns.

This is why it’s so important to get surveys right. The best time for your customers to answer questions is in the moment, when memories of the interaction are still fresh and likely to elicit the most accurate responses.

A great way of capturing these fresh opinions is by embedding surveys throughout your customer journey. These provide more granular responses than general end-of-transaction emails, and they’re a great addition to your CX toolkit.

It’s now possible to embed surveys at highly specific stages of the journey, such as when customers are watching media-heavy content or reading product pages and descriptions. You can decide which approach is best for the specific needs of your business.

2. Use real-time text analytics

Qualitative feedback is essential for gaining a more nuanced understanding of customer issues. Many companies in the UK still employ large teams of people to sift through this feedback, looking for trends, but the truth is that technology can enable your staff to make smarter, data-based decisions while saving valuable time.

For example, text analytics can identify the tone of written responses using artificial intelligence, automatically sorting them into clusters and enabling you to identify and prioritise the most important areas going forward.

This enables your team to operate at a higher level, interpreting the findings from your text analytics and putting them to good use.

3. Bring Customer Experience into instant messaging

Capturing feedback at the right time, and on the right channel, is vital. However, instant messaging integration isn’t just about feedback – you can also include targeted features that your customer will really appreciate, such as holiday or entertainment recommendations.

Using platforms like WhatsApp or Messenger also enables customers to share a wider range of media by uploading videos or sending photos while having a more convenient and frictionless feedback experience.

4. Integrate with voice technology

Abound 10 million Brits use a smart speaker, and that number is expected to grow by a third in 2019. Since this is an increasingly significant touchpoint, it’s important to measure precisely what customers think.

It is now possible to integrate surveys with Alexa and other web-connected devices through solutions such as Medallia’s Digital Anywhere.

When you combine these insights with data about how your customers interact with IoT (Internet of Things) devices, you can get a clear picture of their priorities across the whole customer journey. It’s also important to remember that Customer Experience expectations continue to rise. If your CX innovations don’t keep up with consumer trends, how do you expect to retain customers?

5. Do more to personalise

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to Customer Experience. Customers will respond differently depending on the circumstance. Being sensitive to these nuances is crucial for anyone working in CX. For instance, if a passenger’s flight has just been cancelled, that may not be the best time to ask for feedback: it will most likely serve to irritate them.

The more advanced the technology you have informing your CX strategy, the more you will be able to personalise and deliver outstanding experiences.

6. Incorporate artificial intelligence platforms

The potential for this goes far beyond text analytics, and we’re now seeing revolutionary new products using AI to optimise Customer Experience. AI-driven CX solutions can deliver targeted, precise insights about every touchpoint in your customer journey.

Beyond helping you understand qualitative feedback, these types of advanced solutions automatically assess your survey responses and can help you predict the impact of changes to your CX strategy.

What next for the UK?

Although a European leader, there remains a significant CX gap between the UK and the US. It’s only by harnessing world-beating technology that Britain will be able to deliver experiences to that same high standard.

Whether it’s collecting feedback in a smarter, less intrusive way, or using artificial intelligence to inform decisions, truly embracing the digital revolution and adopting more advanced CX capabilities is the best way to enhance Customer Experience.

 

 


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 18, 2019
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4min952

The future of marketing is personal!

As the expectations of your customer skyrocket, and the relationships they forge with their brands grow looser, it can be challenging to continually inspire loyalty while also driving growth. With so many companies now vying for the attention of your audience, it’s now imperative to stand out from the crowd and deliver not just punchy, but personalised and thoughtful, marketing.

“Understanding the customer journey is the single most important factor in delivering personalised interactions,” according to Michal Szaniecki, Managing Director of SEAT and Cupra at Volkswagen.

At this year’s Brand Marketing Summit Europe, we will be taking a deeper look at how to elevate your marketing; check out the full speaker line up here.

To truly understand your customer’s journey and inspire loyalty, you need to first get to grips with what your customer wants. Leveraging data from across your different channels and placing this at the forefront of your marketing strategy can guarantee that customers receive the right content, communications, and offers at the right time.  

“The customer journey is crucial and the foundation for the approach towards (future) clients. The ‘traditional’ push campaign and (cold) calling initiatives are diminishing in relevance fast.”

This is the opinion of speaker Arjen Vissers, who is the Managing Director of marketing and comms at financial giant AON. Furthermore, a brand such as Harrods – with a versatile clientele – builds up a picture of who their customer is, what they buy, and when they buy it, to directly impact the products they then recommend and also what other areas of the Harrods portfolio of products they might be interested in browsing.

Download the brochure for 2019’s most important gathering of marketing leaders.

On the other end of the spectrum, Burger King have become renowned for their witty and mould-breaking marketing campaigns, which rely heavily on external agencies to help ensure freshness in their work. From cheeky geofencing of McDonald’s restaurants, through to creative adverts like the Andy Warhol piece, the emphasis is solely on standing out from the crowd and inspiring loyalty with a clear brand purpose.

This shift towards standing out from their competitors has shown clear results for company growth and will harvest attention and positive consumer thoughts.

At this year’s Brand Marketing Summit Europe (25th-26th June, London) we are bringing together strategic decision makers from the brands mentioned above and over 120 more to form a movement of marketers seeking out the way forward.

The future of marketing is personal and we now have, if we’re lucky, one chance to impress our customer. Join us this summer to hear from the most important brands in the marketing space and revolutionise your own marketing in the process!

Download your brochure here for the full range of insights.

 


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 18, 2019
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5min1616

Customer service has always been a critical tenet of any business model, and the internet is beginning to take centre stage in terms of exposure alongside revenue generation.

However, the entire concept of client relations is changing at what can only be called a breakneck pace. This is partially due to the increased level of online competition. Visitors who feel that their needs are not being catered to will simply look elsewhere in order to procure quality products or services.

This is why the concept of engagement needs to be taken very seriously. What changes are taking place and why is it critical to choose the best ecommerce platform for your organisation?

The demanding nature of the Millennial generation

Millennials now represent a significant demographic, and their numbers continue to grow. Coincidentally, this population segment also tends to be the most fickle and challenging in terms of securing a sale (and for good reason). They are well aware of the technology at their disposal. No longer is a visitor willing to wait 20 or 30 seconds for a page to load. In the event of a question or problem, they expect relevant and helpful answers. So, there is little room for error.

In the past, the majority of customer service solutions involved nothing more than a generic page addressing the most frequently asked questions. This is no longer sufficient due to the ‘organic’ nature of the buyer-seller relationship. The needs of the individual should be addressed as opposed to presenting blanket support in the hopes that it will remain sufficient. There are several ways in which this can be accomplished:

 

  • Real-time chat windows with a live representative
  • Dedicated email addresses for different topics (such as sales issues or technical faults)
  • Social media profiles to enhance real-time interactions


The main issue is that these solutions can be difficult to implement for those who lack the time or the financial flexibility. This is why adopting robust e-commerce solutions is essential.

Targeted and agile e-commerce solutions

E-commerce software was previously defined as architecture meant to expedite the sales process. While this is still relevant, many flexible solutions such as those engineered by Shopify have taken a broader approach to the entire concept.

No longer are these applications limited to online transactions alone. They now provide an all-around means to interact with customers and to present products in an eye-catching manner. In other words, they are intended to streamline the entire notion of client engagement. This is also why e-commerce bundles are absolutely essential in this day and age.

The truth of the matter is that nothing can replace a quality product or service. Still, what takes place ‘behind the scenes’ in regards to customer engagement is now extremely important. Businesses which are able to embrace this decidedly human touch are bound to enjoy sustainable success in the future. There is no better time than the present to implement these techniques in order to meet and exceed the expectations of an online audience.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 10, 2019
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1min2108

Ian Golding is a world-renowned Customer Experience consultant, and author of the most influential CX book available today, Customer What?: An honest and practical guide to customer experience

In this interview, Ian – who also leads the CX Professional Masterclass and CCXP Exam Workshop – outlines the work of CX professionals, how companies test their CX offering, how organisations can change and improve to become more customer-centric, and more…


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 10, 2019
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1min2107

The International Customer Experience Awards is returning to Amsterdam in 2019 following an inaugural event that brought together some of the biggest names in global CX, and the very best customer-centric organisations from around the world.

Entries for the event are now open, with a special Early Bird offer available for those who register before June 12th. Finalists for the event, which is hosted by Awards International UAE & Netherlands, will be announced in August, with the gala ceremony taking place on November 21st.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 10, 2019
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1min1521

The Gulf Customer Experience Awards, hosted by Awards International UAE, is the biggest celebration of CX in the Middle East and beyond, with the next awards finals taking place in Dubai next January.

As Customer Experience continues to be the key differentiator for competitive brands, leaving product and price in its wake, these awards recognise and celebrate the businesses and organisations which are truly placing customers at the very heart of what they do.

Click here to register your interest for the next awards in 2020.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 9, 2019
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6min839

Do you want to grow your business? Well, if your answer is yes, then you need to understand a simple rule: most products are just commodities for users.

If the product addresses the issue of the customers, then two different companies offer the same value to the customers.

You have to understand that the key to getting a sale is to offer the best Customer Experience. The benefit of this practice is that it will help to increase the revenue of your company. Plus, you will be able to add profit to your business.

The essential aspect is that you need to audit the various customer experiences within the business. As a result, you will be able to improve the way your business interacts with the customers.

The audit will also offer insight into your vendors and inventory. The best approach is to hire professional help to conduct retail audits for you. For example, you can seek the assistance of the brand name in retail audits that is Assosia.

However, it is essential that you understand what retail audits are all about, and the different aspects that get judged.

The Aspect of Brand Awareness

The essential aspect of judging is what the customers think of your brand. The brand is a crucial aspect that separates your company from its competitors. What you need to keep in mind is that the brand sets the expectations even before the customer steps into your store.

You need to audit this aspect. For this, you will need to survey the current customers. Secondly, you need to put some questions to the customers. For example, what they think of your company, and they should give this answer in one word.

Evaluation of the Shopping Experience

The shopping experience is yet another aspect that gets judged in retail audits. Some customers prefer to shop in-store rather than online because they feel that they get good advice from the staff. However, you will need to provide relevant training to your staff in this regard. They should be able to empower the customers to make decisions.

If you want your retail audit to bring up positive feedback, then it is vital that as a business owner you should work with your staff for some time. The advantage is that you will get an idea about the floor operations and how the staff deals with the customers.

When you want to audit the shopping experience, observe when customers enter the store. Look at what the customers buy. You may get hold of some mystery shoppers as well and get their opinion on the shopping experience by making them fill forms.

Look into the Return Policy

The return policy is yet another crucial aspect that gets judged in retail audits. Many of the retailers are reluctant to provide a return policy for all those products that cannot get resold with ease. As a business owner, you need to fight this reluctance and show confidence in your products.

You should review the customer complaints on a positive note. When you know the complaints, you will have a chance to bring about improvements in your products, and convince the unhappy customer to become a loyal customer.

For retail audits, the first thing you need to know is to analyse the return rate and look at the reasons due to which the products come back. It is also important that you should calculate the LTV of the customers from time to time.

Remember these essential aspects if you plan to have a retail audit conducted soon.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 2, 2019
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3min918

Nearly two-thirds of Millennial and Gen Z consumers express a preference for brands that have a point of view and stand for something.

As customers demand a more personalised and meaningful relationship with the brands of their choice, it is imperative you have a clear brand purpose, and if not, you reinvent your strategy.

Brands such as Burger King and Millennium Hotels and Resorts will discuss how they ensure their marketing messages hit the right note with their audience and ensure they stay ahead of the curve during Incite Groups free webinar, 14:00 GMT 3rd April.

Marketing leaders contributing include:

  • Franck Kermarrec, Chief Marketing Officer, Millennium Hotels and Resorts
  • Andrea D’Aloia, Brand Director EMEA, Burger King
  • Ben Roberts, Digital Marketing Strategist and moderator of Marketing Buzzword Podcast 

Hear how these brand leaders are:

  • Strategically reinventing their brand purpose
  • Positioning themselves in an increasingly congested ecosystem and standing out from the crowd
  • Moving beyond traditional marketing and what this means for you

(FYI – if you can’t join live, we will send you the recordings if you register).

The Incite Group – a business intelligence company devoted to helping large corporations serve their customers better – is part of FC Business Intelligence Ltd, a registered company in England and Wales – Registered number 0438897. 7-9 Fashion Street, London, E1 6PX, UK.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 11, 2019
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5min1587

For any product or service, a good Customer Experience is essential.

We see this in video games, casino, and bingo games. They are designed to ensure that the player will have a great time, remember the game, and as a result, have that desire to play again. These basic design factors are included in many traditional games, and have been kept in their online and mobile versions.

The perfect example is mFortune and their games like bingo. Consequently, there are many lessons that can be learned from gaming and how the Customer Experience continues to engage and maintain the interest of the player.

Good first impressions

New games are often available to download for free, whether it is a demo or a game that will have content to purchase within the application. Studies suggest that a quarter of games are only installed once, meaning that it is crucial that the developers create a good impression to ensure that the game doesn’t get deleted.

To do this, it is important that loading times are limited, advertising isn’t over the top, and the game must be easy to understand and have a good interface. If a game goes against any of these, the player is likely to be very frustrated and is likely to delete the game and not recommend it to family and friends.

Feedback

One thing you will notice when a new game is installed and played for a short amount of time is that you will be asked to rate the game and add your comments. This ties into first impressions, as the game developers and/or operator want the player to be immediately engaged, and want to know whether or not this is happening.

Negative comments can help the developers identify bugs within the games and quickly fix them for a new release. Many developers will release beta versions of a game and hire players specifically to test them to find and report any problems. This is a very useful Customer Experience lesson – embrace feedback, and if there is a problem, fix it quickly or your customers will go away.

Promotion

The established gaming franchises, such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, start the Customer Experience with their promotion, sometimes years before the game is released. Trailers with sneak previews are shown to gather interest amongst the die-hard fans. This is an example of how brands look to keep their existing customers engaged, and it is proved very successful when some gaming trailers get up to 50 million views on YouTube over a year before the release of the game.

Another way of keeping existing customers interested is by offering additional content and rewards if the game is pre-ordered. Here we see how the gaming industry successfully uses promotion techniques to keep their loyal players engaged.

There we have it – the gaming industry is a great example of how the Customer Experience is designed to be perfect and to ensure customers remain loyal and engaged. Businesses can learn a lot about how the Customer Experience is a constant ongoing theme, from promotion, right through to release and obtaining feedback.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 8, 2019
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3min933

The average UK consumer spends £41 more than the original value of their gift card, according to a new study.

The UK Prepaid Consumer Insights Study released by First Data found that 34 percent of consumers visit a store they would not have visited otherwise due to their receipt of a gift card.

Researchers looked at trends in branded currency, giving business owners insight into how gift cards can benefit and grow their businesses. This year’s study was based on survey data from more than 1,000 UK consumers and aggregated responses across four unique age groups: Generation Z (ages 18-23), Millennials (ages 24-37), Generation X/Y (ages 38-53), and Boomers (age 54+).

John Gibbons, Executive Vice President, Head of EMEA & Co-Head of Global Financial Solutions at First Data, said: “Our study shows a distinct opportunity for UK business owners to drive more sales, strengthen their brand, and bolster customer loyalty by implementing smart branded currency strategies.

“From employee rewards and customer service programs to social media promotions and targeted marketing campaigns, both physical and digital gift cards offer valuable incentives to both businesses and consumers.”

The study results showed increased interest for digital currency and a growth trajectory that is expected to continue. It found that 55 percent of consumers purchased plastic gift cards, while 45 percent of consumers purchased digital gift cards in 2018. While a majority of purchasers still prefer plastic, consumers are accelerating their use of digital cards largely due to convenience – as these can be sent instantly and are easier to reload.

Last year, UK consumers spent on average £203 or 38 percent of their annual gifting budget on gift cards; and while 81 percent of consumers surveyed purchased a gift card as a present for an occasion or event, one-in-three respondents spent more on a gift card than a traditional gift.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 7, 2019
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9min1040

It’s no news that satisfied employees are one of the pillars of a successful company, but what makes an employee happy and motivated?

How do we know which processes are working well and which ones are criticised? What are the attractive factors of a workplace and what are the sources of conflict between team members? The answers to these questions can be easily found out by a suitable employee satisfaction survey and the responses can be evaluated within minutes with tools  like automated text analyzer systems. Here is an example, showing the whole process from data collection to the application of results.

To collect employee feedback quickly is a big challenge for most companies without the suitable tools, let alone the next part – the data evaluation and identification of the matching points of hundreds of responses.

However, nowadays there is no need for HR professionals to do the work manually, spending long hours with it. There are tools that cut down the evaluation time and effort, while the accuracy of the results are also better.

In this case study by media monitoring firm Neticle, we see how employee feedback can be processed quickly and easily, and how it can be used as an input for organisational development processes.

Methodology

Neticle used their own text analyser tool to uncover the opinion of every co-worker in detail about the most important factors:

  • atmosphere in the office
  • organisational structure
  • progress of the company (in business and in technological terms)
  • internal communication
  • the rights for decision-making
  • working hours
  • salary
  • tasks
  • the management

To let team members describe their opinion as accurate as possible, open-ended ones were included in the survey alongside multiple-choice questions.

To process the results, Neticle used Zurvey, an automated text analyser tool which identifies the tone of every text-based opinion as positive, negative, or neutral based on the phrases that occur in the text.

It also recognises topics, brands, locations, and persons in the text. Therefore, there was no need to analyse the survey responses manually and subjectively. The strongest and weakest points of Employee Experience within the organisation could be found out within a matter of minutes.

Results

Malfunctions in the operational processes – negative topics

The text analyser identified three critical points regarding the operation. The most frequently mentioned one was the office, indicating that that co-workers do not respect the common places in the office: they often leave dirty dishes in the kitchen, make too much noise, and speak loudly. Moreover, many complaints have been written about the office becoming “too small” for the fast-growing team.

The second pain point appeared to be the organisational structure. Many proposed the revision of the management processes and suggested that weekly status meetings could be more structured and time-saving if attended by relevant team members only.   

The other request was to have middle management. Given that Neticle is a startup with a non-hierarchical organisation structure, there is no-one between the C-level executives and other members of the team. As the survey showed, many began to feel the necessity of managers, who could coordinate within and across teams more clearly.

Besides the above, Neticle employees need more accurate briefs. As many people from different teams work on the same projects, the tasks are often fragmented and it is difficult to detect who’s in charge.

The well-functioning processes – positive topics

The average score for the question how employees like working at Neticle was 9.25 out of 10. Employees highlighted the importance of an assembled but open team where lots of friendships have been made and outdoor activities have been organised together. Because of this friendly atmosphere, employees start working happily, even on Monday mornings.

Effect came as second best, indicating that employees love being involved in important decisions because of the flat and democratic structure. This not only means that members are asked and informed about important changes, but they are also free to work from home flexibly and can turn to anyone in the team for help. The team also find it inspiring to work for a successful company where they can see the fruits of daily hard work through constant growing.

Application of the results: some examples

The honest responses made valuable insights for the process of development and helped the firm discover which areas are satisfying and which ones need improvement. Results were shared with the whole team as part of  transparent internal communication habits and solutions for the problems were discussed.

The survey data can be further used in external communication processes too. For example, the positive aspects can support the employer’s brand and attractive features can be highlighted in job advertisements also. Shared opinions of team members increase the authenticity and uniqueness of job posts, while it also can increase the number of applicants.

With a clear view of the weaknesses, companies can look for solutions, considering the workers’ suggestions. Identifying problematic areas will save time and make a HR team’s work more efficient and successful in creating an excellent Employee Experience within a company. 




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