CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 10, 2019
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1min542

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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1min502

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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6min389

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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3min447

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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5min896

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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3min478

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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9min579

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. 


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 1, 2019
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5min585

While Japan may have the world’s highest debt to GDP ratio of 223.8 percent, the UK has also seen this number rise exponentially in the last 25 years.

Estimated at just 29% during the first quarter of 1993, this peaked at 87.2 percent as 2017 drew to a close.

As the UK’s national debt has soared, household liabilities have also increased across the board. We’ll explore this below by analysing a debt map of the UK and reviewing the most indebted areas of the country.

The north and south divide

At the end of 2016, the average consumer debt per person in the UK stood at £603, while this year also saw unsecured credit levels break the £200 billion barrier.

However, there’s a clear geographical divide when it comes to consumer debt in the UK, with only two postcode areas north of the Midlands being among the most indebted in the country. Warrington and Crewe had a consumer credit of £728 per capita at the end of 2016, with households in these regions continuing to struggle with mounting household debts.

At least seven postcode areas in the south featured among the nation’s most indebted regions, with East London topping this list with a per capita debt of £756. Northampton followed at £749, with Salisbury trailing close behind at £739.

The bustling town of Milton Keynes also saw its per capita debt peak at £708, joining Dartford, Redford, Reading and Slough in breaking the £700 barrier.

Other regions in the south and south-east also had a per capita value of consumer credit that was significantly higher than the national average. These included Swindon and Stevenage, each of which had a per capita debt of £681 at the end of 2016.

Conversely, the majority of northern postcodes boasted a per-capita debt that was slightly or significantly lower than the national average, with Lerwick and Bradford leading the list at £446 and £450 respectively.

The last word

With regions in the south and south east boasting the highest levels of per capital debt in the UK, it’s clear that there’s a geographic divide when it comes to consumer spending and borrowing.

The relationship between real wage growth and the cost of living is central to this trend. Earnings have generally stagnated across the board during the last decade, while the cost of living has risen, meaning that people often need a little extra help with their financial situation.

This trend was bucked at the end of last year, however, with wage growth rising by 3.2% following an incremental increase in October. This, coupled with the fact that inflation dropped to 2.1% in December of 2018, may help households to reduce their debt levels incrementally in the near-term.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamFebruary 20, 2019
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10min787

Millennials have been dubbed the most ‘impatient generation’ in the workplace, with over 90 percent wanting ‘rapid career progression’.

Almost 70 percent of employers believe that this level of ambition and desire is the leading cause of conflict between generations – with a third of Generation X (34 percent) and a quarter of Baby Boomers (24 percent) and Millennials (24 percent) agreeing with this.

The findings come from a Robert Walters whitepaper, which surveyed over 2,000 respondents to find out what it takes to retain millennial professionals.

Chirs Hickey, UK CEO at Robert Walters, said: “According to our survey, almost 60 percent of workers have experienced intergenerational conflict in the workplace. As Millennials make up a growing part of the workforce, finding a way for members of different generations to work together effectively is an increasingly high priority.

“Making sure that managers understand what motivates workers from different generations, how they like to communicate, and identifying common sources of conflict is essential to creating a strong team of varied generations and diversity of opinions.”

Sources of inter-generational conflict in the workplace

1.Workplace culture

According to the Robert Walters report, three quarters of professionals (73 percent) have left a job because of poor company culture. Over half of Millennials reported that poor company culture was a source of disappointment in a new job, with 90 percent claiming that they research the culture in advance of taking an opportunity.

Whilst a third of Millennials felt that meeting their colleagues in a social setting was important, this contrasts with just 15 percent of Generation X and less than one percent of Boomers who value social outings with colleagues.

2. Technology

Millennials widely perceive technology to be at the root of workplace conflicts. Thirty-four percent reported that older workers not understanding new technology was the chief cause of these conflicts, followed by younger workers becoming frustrated at using outdated technology (33 percent).

Millennial professionals are also distinct from their older colleagues in their attitudes towards  social media. Almost 40 percent of Millennials felt that employers should actively encourage workers to incorporate social media into their work, compared to less than a quarter (24 percent) of Generation X and just 10 percent of Baby Boomers.

3. Tailored approach

Employers and employees from Generation X and Baby Boomers believe that Millennials are far more pampered than was ever the norm in the workplace – with their demands for time and a tailored approach way out of line with general expectations.

Whilst only 15 percent of employers believe personalised training programs to be necessary, over a third of Millennials rank this as one of the most important factors in retention. In fact, 53 percent of millennials have been disappointed by the lack of a properly implemented personal development plan or training program when starting a new job.

The demand of senior managements time is further exasperated by an overwhelming 91 percent of Millennials who would like to receive formal feedback at least every six months, with 60 percent stating that they would like this as often as every one to three months.

4. Experience

Given that Millennials have the most formal education of any generation in history, being likely to hold at least a bachelors degree already, the chance to earn qualifications on the job is their lowest priority – unlike fellow colleagues from older generations.

When asked what they believed employers value most in potential workers, 59 percent of Millennials gave personality fit with the team or company culture as a top priority. In contrast, 53 percent of employers felt that hard technical skills were highly important in potential employees.

5. International aspirations

Over half (52 percent) of Millennials said that the opportunity to develop their career abroad was important to them, compared to less than a third (31 percent) of Generation X and 15 percent of Boomers.

Chris states: “One of the side effects of growing up in the digital age is that Millennials often see themselves as ‘citizens of the world’, having grown up in an environment where access to the internet means that geographical boundaries are far less important than they had been in the past.

What do Millennials expect from their employer?

1. Salary

A competitive salary was rated important by all generations, but particularly for ambitious Millennials where salary is largely seen as a reflection of their status and success. In fact, 96n percent of Millennials rated a competitive pay and bonus system as important, and 25 percent stated that this would be the number one reason they would change jobs.

Chris said: “It’s important to note that during the downturn, over half (53 percent) of Millennials took a job with a lower salary than expected. As such, employers should be mindful that this may be a contributing factor as to why salary and remuneration are so important to Millennials.

“It also means that as we move out of economic uncertainty they will expect their salaries to catch up to their expectations.”

2. Progression

Millennials want more than just a job – they want a career, with 69 percent citing a clear path for progression in the business as the most important factor in keeping them engaged.

Chris said: “It is perhaps unsurprising that for Millennials at the outset of their careers, a clear path to progression is the most effective motivator. However, this reflects not just the youth but also the ambition of this generation. Millennials have grown up being told they are capable of achieving anything and this confidence means that they crave responsibility early in their careers.”

In fact, 54 percent of Millennials state that having the opportunity to ‘exercise influence’ in the workplace is a key way to keep them engaged and remain with their current employer.

3. Transparency

Millennials do not shy away from responsibility, and they want to know what needs to be done to earn it. Of all generations surveyed, Millennials placed the highest value on transparency over how they could achieve progress in their career.

Seventy-one percent of Millennials strongly agreed that their employer should provide clear guidelines over earning bonuses or promotions. However, 40 percent of employers do not currently do this.

4. Fulfilment

During the recession many Millennials struggled to find jobs that met their expectations. Thirty-one percent reported that they had taken work in a sector that they did not wish to work in. Now, as the economic outlook improves, many are ready to change jobs to find a new role that better suits their ambitions.

Chris advises: “Employers looking to retain Millennial employees should consider giving them the option to move around the business to find a position that better suits their desired career path, particularly given that 70 percent of Millennials consider job rotation within the business one of the most important aspects of their job.”




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