CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamNovember 15, 2018
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5min1879

There are five key habits that successful CX professionals have in common, according to the newly published State of Customer Experience 2018 report.

The study is one of the most comprehensive global surveys of CX practitioners and was carried out by Confirmit in partnership with Engage Business Media. The resulting report analyses the factors that define leaders and laggards in CX across different industries, and across B2B and B2C markets. The results show that leaders share common attributes which are critical in driving CX success, increased investment and customer-centricity.

Claire Sporton, SVP of CX Innovation at Confirmit, explains: “Unlike other studies, our report defines a CX Leader in terms of specific business outcomes, rather than those organizations that simply achieve the best CX metrics. Our experience shows that the proof of any program is the value it delivers across an organization and as such the most successful programs are seeing significant increase in investment.

“The report makes for fascinating reading, particularly when compared to our findings from last year. We’re seeing a clear maturity curve in terms of the sophistication of responses, which is reflected in the fact that nearly 60 percent of respondents have more than four years’ experience in CX. While this is great, there are also some red flags for us to consider, particularly around how companies are investing in actually driving change based on their CX programs.”

The findings of the research identify the five habits of highly effective CX professionals which should be adopted and cultivated by a CX team aiming to have an impact across their company:

Habit 1: Define goals and drive the right ownership

Rather than focusing solely on CX metrics, successful practitioners are able to talk in the language of the wider business and define outcomes that make sense to all employees. Fifty-seven percent of leaders in the report agree strongly that stakeholders across the business are strongly invested in the goals of their programs, compared to just 25 percent of laggards.

Habit 2: Think innovation and action

The most successful CX practitioners understand that programs must drive innovation and real action, both of which must be tangible and communicated across the business. Fifty-one percent of leaders strongly agree that their programs drive measurable innovation or change within their organisation, compared to just 16 percent of laggards.

Habit 3: Listening to more voices collectively

While an increasing number of companies surveyed are actively capturing both the Voice of the Customer and the Voice of the Employee in their programs, questions still linger over whether the feedback gathered is integrated and therefore useful in its combined form. Only 31 percent of organisations strongly agree that their programs combine multiple sources of insight. Leaders are those that work to drive integration between customer and employee voices – as well as those of partners, suppliers and other stakeholders, and other forms of data such as operational and financial.

Habit 4: A focus on customer-centricity

Respondents to the report stress the importance of driving a customer-centric culture across their organisation for CX to be successful. This means that employee engagement needs to be high across all levels of the organisation, from the front line to board level. Again, this relies on a strong communication strategy, which is something 57 percent of leaders already have in place, while only 35 percent of laggards say the same.

Habit 5: Continuously re-think

The report shows that the most experienced CX practitioners aren’t necessarily those who run the most successful programs. It is easy for CX programs to go stale and get into bad habits, meaning constant innovation, re-evaluation and adjustment is critical. Sixty-seven percent of leaders in the report agree strongly that their program has driven significant investment in change, compared to 27 percent of laggards, supporting the view that continually asking ‘what’s next?’ is a key step in delivering long term CX success.

The full report investigates each of these habits, providing detailed insight and analysis that provides learning points for individuals and teams across the CX industry. To learn more, the full State of Customer Experience 2018 report is available for download here.

 


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamNovember 12, 2018
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6min978

Travel experiences are among the most memorable we have, but too often we remember airports for the wrong reasons.

Now a leading interior design expert is urging airport operators to change that by learning from the hospitality industry.

Chris Radcliffe, head of interiors at Top 100 architecture practice maber, has advised hundreds of clients in the retail, travel, hotel, and leisure sectors.

He thinks airports of the future will have to be much smarter to compete for passengers, whose demands will not only include better customer service but also a commitment to the environment and other contemporary issues. He says the key to doing this could be in emulating the strategies employed by top hotels and restaurants.

“The hospitality industry, with its insistence on superb customer service at every customer contact point, shows the direction where airports should be going,” he says.

“The hospitality sector’s attention to detail, and above all its focus on cleanliness, illustrate how airports should be positioning themselves, not just with their customer service but in the terminal architecture and interior design of their buildings.”

Chris points out that the travelling public are increasingly concerned about issues such as the environment, sustainability, health and wellbeing, and says airports ignore these hot subjects at their peril.

“Hospitality businesses globally are already tailoring their offers to address these issues. This is more than a marketing angle to be exploited, it is a fundamental shift in our society that responsible businesses are addressing, and it has the potential to be a huge driver for change across the world,” he explains.

At first glance, an airport’s role is all about managing the movement of passengers and luggage through the terminal to or from aeroplanes. While Chris acknowledges that this will always be paramount for airport operators, there is much more to take into consideration when designing and running terminal buildings.

He urges management to think about the customer journey: “It begins with your arrival at the terminal building, complete with luggage and perhaps friends, family or colleagues to see you off. They, of course, are another kind of customer that airports should be considering.

“Entrance into the terminal building is a kind of ceremony. Then there is the journey through the terminal to the check-in counters, then to the concourse beyond the screening checkpoint and finally to the departure gate. The route through the airport for departing passengers can be stressful and complicated, and this alone is potentially the difference between a poor experience that is memorable for the wrong reasons and a great experience for the right reasons.”

Chris advises airport operators to seek to bring, order, clarity and even beauty to that journey, creating what should be “a positive sensory experience”. This will be affected by the colour, texture and illumination of the space and even by smells, which could be pleasant such as fresh coffee and baked bread or unpleasant such as cleaning fluids and toilet odours.

“These are all things that will contribute to a person’s recollection of the environment. Every vertical and horizontal surface communicates something about the experience,” Chris says.

Chris praises airport building and interior design that provides clear lines of sight, views and vistas that enable people to navigate to all the services they need. The list of these services is long: travel information, check-in points, meet and greet hubs, centres of retail, food and beverage, toilets, baby change and feed areas, accessible facilities, security personnel points, currency exchange, smoking areas, and prayer rooms.

There are also design aspects that can make the experience more enjoyable, including internal landscaping and greenery, views of the sky and viewing lounges

When it comes to terminals, size matters, as Chris explains: “Because of the scale of airport buildings, they must be well designed and considered holistically, not only in two-dimensional space but also in volumetric terms.”

Another key aspect that he forecasts will become increasingly important is integrating technology into buildings: “Equipping social and functional spaces with enabled technology will play a major role in the customer experience. Designing versatility into spaces that allow for connectivity while on the move will be an important differentiator.”

As the most globalised part of the transport sector, he believes the air travel industry has a duty to develop its offer to make fit the varying demands of the world’s diverse cultures. Gender and ethnicity, with sometimes competing sensitivities, must be catered for to avoid discrimination. Meanwhile, other factors such as age, physical and cognitive conditions that affect a person’s ability to comprehend information must be considered too. That means thinking about user and visitor demographics when deciding how to present eye-level data.

Chris concludes: “Ultimately, all of this is about thinking about the needs of customers first, designing places that improve their travel experience and making a commitment to manage customer service to the highest standards. Technology, diversity and other issues make this more complicated, but they also present opportunities to take airport experiences to a new level.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamNovember 1, 2018
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4min1567

UK brands are adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) as they race to make sense of customer data and deliver more relevant, personalised experiences, while staying on the right side of GDPR, according to new findings.

Adobe research, to be published in a report entitled Context is Everything, reveals an overwhelming majority (91 percent) of UK businesses view personalisation as a priority, although fewer than one third (30 percent) said they are currently delivering the required level of personalisation.

Current levels of personalisation are behind key competitor markets (42 percent in Germany, 35 percent in Switzerland and France), meaning there is clearly still work to do and more effective data management must be a priority.

More than half (59 percent) of UK brands surveyed said they cannot process data quickly enough at present, while 52 percent said that they collect too much data from too many sources. GDPR also adds another layer of complexity to brands’ personalisation strategies. Over two-fifths of UK businesses (43 percent) said the EU’s new data protection regulation had held them back to some degree in the drive towards personalisation.

AI promises to give brands greater control of their data and a greater capability to analyse it. The research shows UK companies have an aggressive timeline for the implementation of AI for business and customer data analytics. Just under three quarters (70 percent) of UK respondents plan to have implemented AI for business and customer analytics by 2019, going up to 92 percent by the end of 2020.

Bridget Perry, Vice President of Marketing at Adobe EMEA said: “UK companies are acutely aware that they need to get closer to their customers, and provide more personalised services if they are to stay relevant. The level of analytics required for effective personalisation at scale may have seemed impossible just a few years ago, but AI has made it a reality, allowing companies to quickly gain vital customer insights from huge volumes of data.”

The need for skills and a culture of responsibility

To ensure their investments in AI prove successful, UK brands have a clear focus on hiring new talent and training their current workforce:

  • 71 percent are hiring new staff to ensure they have the skills needed to benefit from AI
  • 74 percent are training their current workforce
  • IT skills (58 percent), data analytics skills (50 percent) and ethical skills and understanding (48 percent) are the top three areas UK companies are hiring
  • Ethical skills and understanding (68 percent) is the top priority for the training of current employees, followed by marketing skills (64 percent) and customer service (64 percent)

Perry added: “UK brands don’t just see AI as a technology issue. They are focusing on a wider set of skills, including skills to help them manage the improved customer experience and skills to ensure they take an approach that is ethically and culturally right for them and their customers.”

 


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamOctober 31, 2018
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11min1020

There is an article on PeopleHR.com that will give a manager food for thought.

Despite the scrapping of nursing bursaries, student nurses in the NHS  are still motivated to stay within the profession. In the 2017 NHS staff survey, the staff was asked a series of questions which were translated into an index.

The decrease in motivation index is relatively tiny, from 3.92 to 3.90. Why is this so? The hours are long, staff is overstretched, and there has been a pay freeze for several years. By rights the drop should be more, yet motivation is still strong across the board.

Could it be that money is not always a motivator?

We all work for money. At its most basic level, employment is a financial transaction. It illustrates that in order for the effort to be expended, employees need to be paid. 

How often do we hear colleagues saying out loud in frustration “I am not paid enough for this” or “This job is way above my pay grade”? This also seems to indicate that if paid enough, we can be motivated to accomplish certain tasks; and if we are not paid enough, we will not feel motivated.

Money is the answer to some of the questions

The gender pay gap has been a contentious issue for some time but it is gaining traction lately due to several high profile cases. Mark Wahlberg was paid a cool $1.5 million to reshoot a few scenes in a movie whilst his female co-star received an extra $1000. 

Claire Foy, the lead for Netflix’s successful series The Crown was reportedly paid £10,000 less per episode compared to her male co-star, a backpay of some £300,00. Then there was the BBC, which was in hot water when the salary lists of its presenters was leaked and it showed that males were paid a lot more.

In the cases above, it is not so much about the amount of money, but the principle behind it. Such a huge disparity illustrates the disrespect for the talent and all the hard work that the women put in. In a more “real-life” situation, salary is a thorny issue. In general, people like to be treated in a fair, equitable way. Any news of a discrepancy between staff may cause friction and will cause demotivation.

The function of money as a motivator is complicated

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs illustrates that on various levels from the base of the pyramid to the apex, a person has needs that should be met. Money falls at the base. Without money, it is unlikely that a person could meet basic needs such as food and shelter. 

Once these are met, a person moves up a level and different motivating factors come into play. Higher up the pyramid, getting more pay is not as strong a motivator. Employees at this stage of the pyramid crave other things like recognition for their expertise or self actualisation. While the move up the pyramid looks linear, it has to be noted that a person’s needs could change at any time. A major life event may have a strong impact and their needs may regress downwards, instead of upwards.

Herzberg’s Theory of Hygiene Factors offers another slant. A person’s salary has always been considered one of the hygiene factors, but in the parameters of this theory, money is not a good motivator. While a good salary can initially motivate the employee, over time he will get used to it. 

When it becomes a standard, the motivational effect will wear off. In certain cases, having money as a motivator can have the opposite effect. For example, if employees are used to a five percent increase in pay year-after-year, it becomes an expectation. They are likely to be very disappointed and demotivated if they subsequently receive less.

In an article in Harvard Business Review, Dr. Tomas Charmorro-Premuzic touched upon intrinsic and extrinsic motivators and discussed how money is an extrinsic motivator. He argues that the effect from an extrinsic motivator, such as a pay raise, is likely to be brief and then goes on to explain how our relationship with money can also have an effect on motivation. Besides what is termed the “psychological symbol” of money, the individual’s income goal also plays a factor on motivation.

So what really motivates us to work?

Dr. Tomas also discussed how intrinsic motivation, such as having a sense of purpose or meaning, is likely to have a more lasting effect. Perhaps this will go some way in explaining why nurses and doctors are still dedicated to the NHS.

What is interesting in both the NHS survey and Dr. Tomas’ article, is that the quality of leadership plays a huge role in employee motivation. In the NHS survey, the staff is more satisfied with support they are getting from their line managers. They found the quality of appraisals and training better, and their confidence in raising issues was also good. In his article, Dr. Tomas also mentioned that incompetent leadership will lead to staff disengagement.

In view of the above, a leader has a big role to play in employee’s motivation

What is also clear from the various motivational theories, is that one size does not fit all. Different employees will have different motivating factors – not all of them money. Thus motivating should begin at an individual level. A leader should be able to identify the different factors that drive the individuals and work out the best way to motivate and gain their commitment. 

For example, a team member who is starting on his career could be motivated by the provision of training that would upgrade his skill set while a more experienced team member could be motivated by giving him a mentoring or coaching role that would recognise his experience and skills.  

Tailoring motivating techniques according to each individual is a huge task. It will mean the leader will have to invest time in getting to know his staff – a very worthwhile venture bearing in mind the benefits that will come. Often motivation changes depending on the individual’s situation. 

By maintaining open channels of communication, the leader can be aware of this and tweak their motivation techniques. Motivated individuals who are happy at their jobs create a positive ripple effect that will affect the whole team.  

Without motivation, an individual or a team could possibly still do the job they are tasked to do but there will be growing dissatisfaction. They will feel that their work does not matter or their efforts are not being recognised. It would be difficult for the leader to get buy-in or commitment from the team member if they feel that they are not being appreciated.

Once each individual person in the team is happy, the leader could then focus on motivating the team as a whole. 

In conclusion…

Money is not always a motivating factor. People are individuals with their own hopes and dreams. There is no one-size-fits-all and there are many other ways to motivate a team which does not involve monetary rewards. The best leaders would know how to motivate each individual member of their team and it does not necessarily mean giving them a pay rise every other month.

 

 

 

 


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamOctober 29, 2018
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6min1275

Although service providers are moving at record pace to innovate, a significant engagement channel – the bill – is often overlooked in their digital transformation strategies.

That is the findings of a study commissioned by billing and communications software provider BriteBill, and conducted by Omnisperience. It looked at 40 Tier-0 and Tier-1 service providers across EMEA, North America, and Asia, and revealed that although service providers are moving at record pace to innovate, a significant engagement channel – the bill – is often overlooked in their digital transformation strategies.

Predictably, competition is a major driver for this innovation. However, the study found that 63 percent of service providers now say their biggest challenge in the next 24 months is competing with new, non-traditional rivals. To combat these digital native industry disrupters, the strategy most service providers intend to take is to differentiate through an improved Customer Experience (88 percent), whilst also developing new products (90 percent).

Although this demonstrates a commitment to a more customer-centric business model, less than half (48 percent) of the service providers surveyed felt that their customers were currently the main beneficiaries from digital transformation efforts. This shows that while service providers are improving IT and processes, these innovations are often not directly linked to Customer Experience improvements, delaying benefit realiSation.

This is further reinforced by the fact that 50 percent of the survey respondents said they needed to increase their investment in Customer Experience.

“To capture maximum digital transformation benefits and achieve full return on investment (ROI), service providers need to harness and capitalise on both operational and customer engagement innovations,” explains Teresa Cottam, Chief Analyst at Omnisperience and author of the report.

“Service providers face conflicting investment demands, from upgrading their networks to creating new revenue streams and enhancing the customer experience, which can take years to show value. However, they’re beginning to realise that by focusing resources on customer experience blackspots such as on boarding processes and billing, they can make a more immediate impact for often modest levels of investment.”

Minimising an experience blackspot

When it comes to billing as a customer engagement channel, the study found that bills continue to be one of the most persistent Customer Experience issues. Only 23 percent of service providers currently feel their bills are a strategic asset to their company, with the majority (75 percent) saying their bills are not evolving in line with their business.

To improve the billing experience in the next 24 months, service providers are focusing on four key areas: increasing automation (100 percent), providing more clarity and advice to customers (75 percent), personalising information and offers (38 percent), and communicating the value of services delivered (23 percent).

“Service providers told us that making bills more intuitive is a necessity, with 95% believing it would significantly reduce calls to care from frustrated customers. As they bring new products to market, service providers are challenged to clearly communicate these services and their value. Failing to do this effectively puts service providers at risk of feeling the sting in the tail of their own innovation,” continues Cottam.

The research also revealed that 50 percent of service providers intend to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) to improve Customer Experience in their call centres and reduce call waiting times, but Cottam cautions this is not a cure-all.

“Billing inquiries tend to be too complex for today’s AI to deal with. It is therefore essential that service providers tackle the root cause of the problem in the shape of unclear bills,” he said.

Becky Byrne, Head of Product Management at BriteBill, added: “It’s good to see that service providers understand the importance of customer experience to their digital transformation and innovation programs. However, in the rush to transform their businesses, many have completely overlooked the bill’s role as the most common and critical customer touchpoint. Improving and innovating their customers’ billing experience is one of the most tangible ways service providers can communicate the benefits of digital transformation and innovation. This in-turn transforms bills from dull financial statements into strategic customer engagement tools.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamSeptember 4, 2018
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4min1755

Virgin Trains has partnered with Vodafone and OpenMarket to become the first company in the world to roll out the latest RCS-based ‘Chat’ service as a customer communications channel on a commercial basis.

Hailed as ‘Text Messaging 2.0’, ‘Chat’ transforms the way in which companies communicate with customers. RCS-based Chat messages carry much more information than an SMS message, enabling Virgin Trains to send photos, videos, audio, and messages containing easy-to-select buttons to customers.

Initially the technology will be used to provide onward journey information to its London Euston-bound passengers. Chat messages are sent to customers’ smartphones around 10 minutes before they arrive into the station and provide the latest updates for London Underground services.

Customers can simply tap a button within the message to find out more detailed information from Transport for London (TfL) – providing simple information to help with their onward journey.

John Sullivan, Chief Information Officer at Virgin Trains, said:

We’re proud to be the very first company in the world to use RCS-based Chat actively with our customers to enrich their communications experience with Virgin Trains. We always strive to lead the way and with a proud record of digital innovation, we’re very excited to be investing in new technology that will transform the way we communicate with our customer. It has been great working with Vodafone and OpenMarket to introduce this new type of messaging, which is incredibly user-friendly.

Chat messaging provides lots of opportunities. This is just the start and we look forward to developing our Chat service to further enhance the overall journey experience for customers.”

Jonathan Morgan, CEO at OpenMarket, added:

Text Messaging 2.0 has finally arrived. Chat is text messaging for the smartphone age, and it gives customers a richer, smarter, more app-like experience – all from their SMS inbox. There are three specific reasons why consumers will find the Chat service a significant improvement on regular text messages.

First, it makes completing even complex tasks such as providing feedback as easy as tapping a button. Second, there is no need for third party apps as Chat adds functionality in the native messaging inbox that consumers already use frequently. Third, message branding and verified sender information provide consumers with increased peace of mind when they receive Chat messages.”

The introduction of Chat messages is the latest digital initiative to be rolled out by Virgin Trains, who earlier this year became the first transport company in the world to sell tickets through Amazon Alexa. Other innovations that set Virgin Trains out as industry leaders for technology include the launch of BEAM (on-board entertainment portal), m-Tickets across all routes as well as Automatic Delay Repay.

Currently, these Chat messages can be received by any Virgin Trains customer using a device on the Vodafone network that is RCS-compatible; other customers will receive an SMS text message that contains a link to the TfL website.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamAugust 20, 2018
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2min1624

Virgin Experience Days is still soaring high thanks to their recent win at the 2018 UK Digital Experience Awards with their groundbreaking virtual reality technology.

The firm won Gold in the Best in Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality category at the event, which was held in London this summer. Their immersive VR4D Skydive experience clinched the award, with judges blown away by the concept.

The world exclusive virtual reality sky dive experience uses a combination of VR technology, a wind tunnel, and weighted parachute to simulate the physical sensation of free-falling. Skydiving experts have also backed it, with the British Army’s Red Devils saying it was “as close to the real thing as you can possibly get”.

Head of Marketing, Liam Howard Jones, explained:

We’re always looking for new experience trends and identified the growing interest in VR back in 2016. We knew there was an opportunity to enhance the Virgin Experience Days collection and use the technology to create incredible, immersive experiences for our customers.

Indoor Skydiving is a firm customer favourite. We developed the VR experience alongside our indoor skydiving partners, Twinwoods, and tech business Tunnel Vision VR, who created the integrated helmet technology alongside fully interactive, customised software.

Customers can now jump over some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, including California, Hawaii, Dubai and an Alaskan glacier, from the relative safety of a wind tunnel in the UK.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamAugust 9, 2018
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5min1502

Experts in background music and technology experiences for the retail and hospitality industries, Startle International has seen outstanding growth since beginning trading in 2015.

A start-up moulded by its team members and an employee-first culture that translates across all operations, the company adopted a remote-working model from the start. Aside from the vast employee benefits of no commuting cost or stress, flexibility, and more control over time, this meant that Startle had significantly low operating costs, allowing more to be invested in the development of the business.

Startle recently took home the award for Employee Engagement – Growth By Design in the 2018 UK Employee Experience Awards, showcasing how the business has made ‘working from home’ work exceptionally well for them. With some of the team now based in North America, a common question asked is how Startle will maintain its highly-regarded Employee Experience reputation and build on their remote-working culture as they continue to grow.

Founder and Head of Operations, Adam Castleton, advised that, while there are certainly challenges in working as a remote team, he is confident that the business will continue to benefit from doing so. He explains:

Operating remotely has been our plan from the beginning, and we’re proud to do things differently! Our team members embrace this, and we continue work on the challenges of communication while benefiting from Deep Work, enabled by fewer distractions. Expanding internationally means we’ve already faced complexities of time-difference and have had to invest more in building relationships with our American colleagues, we’ve always found ways to innovate and make this work in our favour.”

In the next year, Startle plans to implement a host of initiatives to improve team communication, productiveness, and subsequently, happiness.

The first of these is to arrange local satellite hotdesking areas for each employee, allowing them somewhere to work from outside of their homes if they want a change of scenery or prefer to meet face-to-face with a colleague. These spaces will be offered for employees to use as much or as little as they wish, giving more flexibility and everyday support.

Secondly, while Startle has always treated its team to fun-filled Christmas getaways (including an all-expenses-paid trip to a German theme park last year, for which the US team were flown over), the company has now introduced what will be an annual Summer ‘retreat’.

A mixture of company workshops and social activities, these whole-team getaways help to strengthen relationships, brainstorm ideas for growth, and importantly, celebrate success. The theme for this year’s retreat was The Customer Journey, which was entirely broken down, analysed, and re-mapped to create what the team will now collaborate towards in the months to come.

Along with a personal development programme that steers team members towards progression as Startle grows, and a share scheme that means all employees are owners of the business, these initiatives signify a forward-thinking business that, as described by Employee Experience expert, Ben Whitter, has “thrown out the tatty old rule book” and “created their own rules through experience and innovation”.

In the coming months, Startle hopes to acknowledge and celebrate its achievements further at the 2018 International Customer Experience Awards, for which the whole team will be flown to Amsterdam. But, shhh!…they don’t know that yet!


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamJuly 12, 2018
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10min1602

The following might be considered a controversial statement, but in true pioneering spirit, the founders of The Future Shapers – the global network of thought-leaders and innovators – want you to hear it anyway: the current news media model is well and truly broken.

How so? Well, an unhealthy reliance on advertising has forced media outlets to focus on chasing clicks, rather than creating real value for consumers.

The result? Fewer stories of importance are told or heard; less cutting-edge thought leadership is communicated to audiences that value such content. Consequently, the amount of available, actionable insight fails to meet demand in today’s ideas-driven world.

However, a plan has emerged to change this, with The Future Shapers innovation thought-leadership platform, www.thefutureshapers.com.

 

The potential for blockchain technology to disrupt content rights distribution is already noticeable in the music business. Streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer require an additional layer of intermediaries to ensure the artists’ rights management process is conducted fairly.

As a result, content creators need different contracts in each jurisdiction, often via multiple intermediaries, to protect copyright and enable distribution of their content.

However, putting content on a blockchain and having the connectivity for peer-to-peer transactions via a digital currency such as Bitcoin – or a smart contract such as Ethereum – allows complete transparency and automation of execution, as well as direct payments to copyright holders.

New start-ups such as Choon, Jaxx, and Voise propose utilising blockchain to simplify digital rights management through bypassing the usual intermediaries. This enables micro-payments from fans buying music directly from the artist themselves – essentially reconnecting value directly to the content creator.

Likewise, The Future Shapers are taking the strengths and disruptive capability of blockchain in order to ‘return value back to knowledge’.

The immutability and trustless nature of blockchain means it can be used in instances where record-keeping and auditable data is key, such as when thought-leadership content creators need different contracts in each jurisdiction to protect copyright and enable distribution.

Putting content on a blockchain with the connectivity for peer-to-peer transactions via a smart contract such as Ethereum allows complete transparency and automation of execution, as well as direct payments to copyright holders.

With these aims, it’s no surprise The Future Shapers are ardent advocates of the proposed updates to the EU Copyright Law and Digital Single Market, and take a similar view to the Copyright for Knowledge cross-sectoral body which aims to work with government at both a UK and EU level to achieve a balanced copyright regime in Europe. The Future Shapers believe such changes have the potential to stimulate creativity and innovation with the opportunity for a wider, more competitive platform environment.

The recent Copyright Directive vote in the European Parliament will be revisited in September, and as this once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new balance in the online world reverberates through the digital world, The Future Shapers are primed to ensure its contributors, partners, and stakeholders get a fair share of the value they create.

The Future Shapers’ Co-Founder, Cris Beswick, explains:

Building ‘The Future Shapers’ has been, and continues to be, somewhat of a personal crusade, one which I liken to when the late Steve Jobs was being interviewed and asked why iTunes had been so disruptive. In answering the question, he said: ‘When we created the iTunes Music Store, we did so because we thought it would be great to be able to buy music electronically, not because we had plans to redefine the music industry’.

In some ways I feel the same about what we’re doing with The Future Shapers. When I started this journey, I simply wanted to give people better access to actionable content around innovation and provide a better platform for thought leaders to share their expertise and build their credibility as genuine experts.

Yet there is now a sense that the technology we are building will genuinely disrupt the online media industry, or at least contribute to redefining it. We may not quite put Steve’s ‘ding’ in the universe, but if we deliver on our mantra to ‘return value back to knowledge’ we will have done something genuinely significant – we will have shifted the needle and helped shape the future!”

The Future Shapers’ exciting proposals for generating revenue for online publishers has piqued the interest of those at the coalface of the industry, including Neil Skehel, proprietor of the UK’s premier CX portal, Customer Experience Magazine.

Referencing the well-known challenges faced by publishers in a period of unprecedented upheaval, he said:

News International created a pay wall so you can only read a few lines of The Times, and I am not sure they would tell you it has really worked. There are a few other models in the online news and content industry, such as The Guardian’s appeal to readers to pay voluntarily for quality journalism.

However, Cris, Richard and their fellow Future Shapers are creating a technology based on real innovation, which will enable every single provider of valuable content to monetise it in a new customer-friendly way.

This is a value innovation – a game changer! Think Netflix for online content! My honest prediction is that this will be nothing short of massive.”

The vanguards of any industry are the ones shaping the future. To join the front runners, visit The Future Shapers current equity crowdfunding page and help return value back to knowledge.

https://www.crowdcube.com/companies/the-future-shapers/pitches/qay2mq


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4min1656

Voice of the Customer experts Confirmit, headline sponsor of the 2017 UK Customer Experience Awards, is now giving a voice to students in schools across the globe.

Independent schools group Cognita has implemented a dedicated Voice of the Student (VoS) programme across its 69 schools using the Confirmit Horizons platform.

Cognita is responsible for the care and education of over 35,000 students worldwide and is using the VoS programme to focus on student wellbeing. The programme has now been implemented across all Cognita schools in Europe, Latin America and South-East Asia.

Using Confirmit Horizons to run the programme, Cognita is able to gather detailed feedback about how safe and secure students feel in each environment. Confirmit Active Dashboards is then used to share insight with head teachers, safeguarding advisors and education directors, all of whom can access data on demand, whenever they need to and wherever they are located.

Stephan Hogenbirk, Customer Experience Programme Manager at Cognita, explained:

We want to be confident that all our students feel safe in school and, most importantly, that they know who to talk to if they have worries. The feedback we gather has allowed us to improve our curriculum and programmes to focus even more on student wellbeing, as well as enabling individual schools to more clearly identify and address the needs of the different age groups we cater for.”

Cognita has already proven the value of feedback in the education sector, having established programmes for the Voice of the Employee (VoE), capturing feedback from school directors, teachers and support staff, and Voice of the Parent (VoP), a tailored customer experience programme that uses parental feedback to drive consistency and improvement around the world.

The VoS programme gathers feedback from students in eight countries and supports four languages, which means the platform Cognita selected had to be capable of supporting multi-lingual, multi-region surveys. Confirmit Horizons allows Cognita to capture information from all students and then deliver data in a consistent format and common language for reporting and action.

The Horizons platform also delivers real-time alerting, allowing Cognita to act directly on alerts triggered from the survey and engage in conversation with the individual student if necessary.

Tim Hannington, EVP at Confirmit, added:

Cognita is a shining example of a forward-thinking organisation that understands the value of feedback and the impact it can have for improvement across the board. Giving students a voice in the same way that customers have a voice in other sectors is a real innovation, and has already proven its value for Cognita through metrics such as enjoyment of school and better teacher-student engagement. We look forward to continuing our work with Cognita across all their feedback programmes and demonstrating how successful organisations can be when they listen to the combination of voices that drive them.”


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2min1471

A new survey of senior HR professionals  has revealed a number of concerns they are facing, relating to business productivity and employee engagement.

The survey by MintCentral, an employee engagement app provider, showed that an ageing UK workforce and increasing numbers of millennials entering the workplace are seen as the biggest threat to workplace productivity in the next five years, while employee apathy and remote working were cited as the main factors influencing the effectiveness of internal communication.

When analysing the factors affecting workplace productivity, 63 percent of participants ranked an ageing UK workforce and increasing numbers of millennials as more significant than the impact that Brexit will have (21 percent), or stagnating wages (14 percent). This suggests that organisations have a very real and pressing set of age-related concerns to tackle the evolving workplace age demographic.

When the survey asked about the factors that influence the effectiveness of internal communication, employee apathy and distance were jointly ranked in first place. This is indicative of a geographically disparate UK workforce which is not fully engaged.

A MintCentral spokesperson said:

Seventy-one percent of respondents said that online surveys are the most effective technology used to measure staff engagement. Interestingly, company intranets were ranked as the least effective technology for measuring staff engagement. This questions their continued use when the average UK workforce is increasingly non-desk bound. The inability to engage with employees through their intranet was cited by one respondent as why they ranked it as least effective.
When asked about the alternatives to their current employee engagement technologies 35 percent of respondents said that an internal communications app would help boost productivity and improve staff morale. The ability to measure staff engagement was ranked as the next most desirable feature of alternative staff engagement solutions.”


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4min1254

2017 UK Customer Experience Awards sponsor Confirmit has launched a new solution designed to help stakeholders in B2B organisations understand the health of their account portfolios, and manage revenue risks from the frontline through to executive management.

The solution directly addresses the toughest challenges facing Account Management and Customer Success teams in B2B organisations. These groups typically manage large client portfolios, work to aggressive targets and are inundated with data against a backdrop of competing deadlines. Account Health collates and analyses multiple data sources to guide the decision making process.

According to Forrester in The Forrester Wave: Customer Feedback Management Platforms, Q2 2017: “Confirmit’s strengths lie in surveys, analysis, and guidance, especially for B2B firms.”

Confirmit counts many leading B2B organisations amongst its client base including: Amadeus Hospitality, Hyundai Capital America, LexisNexis and Siemens Building Technologies. The key benefits of Account Health, which is built upon this proven expertise, include:

1. Complete visibility: Confirmit Account Health provides a unique CX “headlines” feed, highlighting the impact of CX on the most important KPIs such as revenue-at-risk. Uniquely, the solution combines feedback from Account Management teams internally with insights from customer feedback.

2. Identify risk: The solution offers unmatched flexibility for calculating the many risk factors related to account health, based on all available customer, employee and business data sources, so stakeholders can make smarter decisions about how to improve account health.

3. Resolve with guidance: By linking to key business metrics for B2B organisations, such as revenue renewal rate, lifetime value, user adoption or engagement, stakeholders are guided to take actions that significantly improve business outcomes.

“Businesses that sell to other businesses have unique needs – the business proposition is typically multi-faceted, the purchasing cycle longer, the customer journey more complex, and many more stakeholders are involved than in the B2C journey,” explains Claire Sporton, Senior Vice President for CX Innovation, Confirmit.

According to research by PwC, the majority of organisations agree that empowering the frontline makes for better decisions and mitigation of risk, but few are actually able to do this. With Confirmit Account Health, everyone from the frontline to the executive team can reduce revenue risk through accelerated change, driving a culture that is focused on continuously improving customer experience.

“The stakes are high. Individual client relationships can be worth millions, so businesses need to enable the frontline to prioritise resources across their portfolio by quantifying loyalty and risk and acting on it. This is where Confirmit Account Health comes in,” Claire said.

Terry Lawlor, Executive Vice President, Product Management adds:

“Confirmit’s software is used to run the world’s largest customer experience programmes, and is uniquely suited to support the complex and varied needs of multi-national B2B organisations. We are looking forward to working with more of our customers to help them empower and inspire their employees to drive improvements in customer experience that help them achieve their desired business outcomes.”


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4min1784

Customer Experience specialist Ian Golding, author of new book Customer What: The Honest and Practical Guide to Customer Experience, today begins a new feature in Customer Experience Magazine, in which he offers his expert insight to help businesses improve their CX offering.

To ask Ian a question on how to boost the Customer Experience provided by YOUR business, please email your question to editor@cxm.world. The best questions will be featured in future instalments…

“As the owner of an SME with limited resources, how can I keep up with the level of CX that today’s customers expect? What are some simple and cheap methods of providing it?”

Every organisation has a Customer Experience, and always has had. Size and scale of the company is irrelevant – it is as important to understand the basic fundamentals as a company of two people, as it is in a corporation of thirty thousand.

In principle, the smaller the company, the ‘easier’ it should be to have everyone in it working towards delivering an experience that meets (and sometimes exceeds) customer expectation. The key is to ensure you have absolute clarity and focus. Large organisations struggle with both of these things – yet so do smaller ones. To ensure that you have the clarity and focus needed, you should make certain you are able to answer the following questions at a minimum:

Do I know who my customers are?

Not just as an account number, but as real people. To do this, everyone in my company must understand what customers want from us, what their challenges are, and what they value most.

Do I know what my company should be doing for my customers?

What experience do you want them to have? The best way for a small company to answer this question is with three more questions! Inspired by the Golden Circle methodology created by Simon Sinek:

a) why does my company exist in the first place – what is its purpose?

b) how can I make the purpose a reality?

c) what products/services do my clients actually need?

Every employee MUST know the answers to these questions and be continually focused on delivering the experience you want your customers to have.

Does every employee know the role they play in delivering the experience you want your customers to have?

Ensuring they have clarity on this, coupled with giving them the ability to think and act in the interests of the customer, should enable your purpose to live and breathe.

Ensuring that your whole organisation understands these questions and knows the role they play, is not expensive to do. The secret is to keep it simple. Simplicity of the message combined with a never-ending commitment to delivering it, will be the difference between a truly customer-centric organisation and one that is not.

Start every day reminding your people of it – a five minute meeting is not difficult to do, but will suffice to make sure that your purpose is at the front and centre of everyone’s minds – every single working day.


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7min1531

New findings from a study by Veritas Technologies, a leader in multi-cloud data management, indicate that many organisations will be inundated with requests for personal information from UK consumers, with two in five (40 percent) already planning to take advantage of their data privacy rights within six months of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force on May 25, 2018. 

Under the new GDPR, European Union (EU) residents will have greater control over their personal data. Currently, EU residents already have the right to ask a company what personal data is held on them (e.g., gender, age, location, sexual preference, religious beliefs, passport/ driver’s licence information, etc.) and beginning May 25, 2018, they will also have enhanced rights to ask to have their data deleted (‘right to be forgotten’). Businesses will be required to sufficiently respond to these requests within one month of receiving the request.

A new study, commissioned by Veritas and conducted by 3GEM, surveyed 3,000 adults, including 1,000 in the UK. It reveals that consumers are most likely to target the following industries with personal data requests:

  • Financial services companies, including banks and insurance companies (56 percent)
  • Social media companies (48 percent)
  • Retailers (46 percent)
  • Former, current or potential employers (24 percent)
  • Healthcare providers (21 percent)

The findings come as consumers reveal an increasing need to regain control over their personal data as trust in businesses to protect data fades, and as more and more consumers express a desire to put organisations to the test to understand whether they value consumer rights.

“In light of recent events surrounding the use of personal data by social media, and other, companies, consumers are taking much more of an interest in how their data is used and stored by businesses across many industry sectors,” said Mike Palmer, executive vice president and chief product officer, Veritas.

“With a flood of personal data requests coming their way in the months ahead, businesses must retain the trust of consumers by demonstrating they have comprehensive data governance strategies in place to achieve regulatory compliance.”

 The driving force behind a rise in data privacy requests

The forthcoming GDPR will impact any organisation that gathers, processes or stores the personal data of individuals in the EU. The research shows UK consumers welcome their enhanced privileges. Of those that intend to exercise their rights, two-thirds (65 percent) plan to request access to the personal data a company holds on them, while the majority (71 percent) intend to exercise their right to be forgotten under the new regulations.

The key drivers for exercising their data privacy rights are:

  • Increased control over personal data: over half (56 percent) of respondents don’t feel comfortable having personal data sit on systems that they have no control over.
  • A clearer understanding of what data companies hold on them: over half (56 percent) want to understand exactly what personal information companies hold on them.
  • Data breaches increase the likelihood of receiving requests for personal data: nearly half (47 percent) of respondents will exercise their rights to request personal data and/or have that data deleted, if a company that holds their personal information suffers a data breach.
  • Businesses are not trusted to protect personal data: over a third (37 percent) intend to exercise their data privacy rights because they do not trust companies to effectively protect their personal data.
  • Consumers want to put companies to the test:over a quarter (27 percent) want to test businesses to understand how much their consumer rights are valued before deciding whether to continue doing business with them.
  • Consumers want to get revenge:  eight percent will exercise their data privacy rights simply to irritate a company that they feel has mistreated them.

Under the new GDPR, this influx of personal data requests will need to be answered by organisations within a one month time limit. But meeting this timeframe may be difficult as many organisations have limited visibility into what data they have and where it is located.

Most consumers do not expect organisations to be capable of fulfilling their requests under the new regulation. The majority (79 percent) believe that organisations won’t be able to find and/or delete all of the personal data that is held on them, and a fifth (20 percent) believe that businesses will only be able to deliver up to 50 percent of the personal data they hold.

“It’s imperative that businesses embrace technology that can help them respond to these requests quickly, with a high degree of accuracy. This means having the ability to see, protect and access all of the personal data they hold regardless of where it sits within their organisation. Businesses that fail to recognise the importance of responding effectively and efficiently to personal data requests will be putting their brand loyalty and reputation at stake,” added Palmer.


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4min1602

The results from a recent study published recently by field marketing agency Gekko entitled ‘Smart Home Shopper’ reveals that more than half of Brits have purchased smart technology for their homes – but have little idea how to use it.  

The study which investigated smart home purchasing behaviour found that 56 percent of adults have bought the latest must-have smart home tech, including WIFI controlled security cameras, heating systems and speakers – but have been left scratching their heads when they get them home.  In fact, three in ten consumers regretted buying at least one or more items of smart home technology because it proved so difficult to get up and running.

Nearly a third of adults say they never read instructions or manuals when they buy a new piece of kit, while 21 percent admit that although they have a love of tech, they are intimidated by the complexities of it.  Thirteen percent of consumers who have invested in smart home technology said they couldn’t get all their devices to connect – which is the whole point of having a ‘smart home.’  More than one in ten have used a piece of smart home tech once and never again.

The trickiest bit of kit to install was security equipment (45 percent), including app-controlled doorbells, motion sensors and CCTV, however 28 percent couldn’t get their smart lighting to work and 35 percent came unstuck when installing their smart heating system. Twelve percent claimed poor WIFI connection made installation difficult and 15 percent confessed to lacking any technical ability.

Surprisingly and despite its current popularity, 30 percent of adults that have purchased a smart speaker such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home don’t understand all its functionality.

Those people that bought their smart home tech from a brick and mortar retail store did so to play, touch and feel the product (40 percent), get advice from sales staff (30 percent) and a demonstration (30 percent).

Daniel Todaro, MD, Gekko comments:

“It’s clear from our study that smart home tech is popular, but people don’t know how to fully utilise the devices to meet their lifestyle needs – whether that’s convenience, money saving, leisure time or learning.    

This is a great opportunity for retailers, especially brick and mortar to improve the customer experience within the smart home tech category by having an environment where consumers can ‘play’ and a retail team that understand each product in detail and can match consumer need to product performance.    By solution selling it’s a win win for the customer and the retailer – the retailer can enrich the sale by demonstrating the whole product portfolio and functionality and the customer gets a product that’s fit for purpose. 

Traditional retailers have never been under so much financial pressure to adapt to today’s market conditions, so they must use what they’ve got to make every customer visit worthwhile.”


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5min1283

Over a third (32 percent) of digital marketers admit to losing sleep due to fears about how the competition from Amazon will impact their business over the next 18 months, according to a survey by digital marketing agency Greenlight Digital.

In a bid to understand how marketers today are approaching competition from Amazon, digital marketing agency Greenlight commissioned a survey of 200 marketing professionals across a range of industries.

Up against the eCommerce juggernaut Amazon, it seems the biggest concerns are Amazon’s competitive pricing and logistical efficiency, worrying 33 percent and 31 percent of those surveyed respectively. Yet, it is a double-edged sword as it is exactly that logistical prowess that encourages businesses to collaborate with Amazon, indicated by the 38 percent of people who want to use the Amazon Marketplace to aid global distribution.

Despite these concerns, digital marketers are clear on where they can compete, and it’s largely focused around understanding their customer. For 39 percent of those surveyed, offering higher quality customer service is key to remaining competitive against Amazon, and 36 percent feel it is niche expertise that will give them a competitive advantage. Offering a unique customer experience was also a focus for 27 percent, which is unsurprising as many businesses are coming to understand the importance of personalisation, omnichannel experiences, and delivering brand value to their audiences.

Although there are concerns about Amazon’s sheer dominance in many markets, many understand how Amazon can be used to their advantage to capture a digital audience, such as by utilising the captive Amazon audience and using ad space (37 percent of those surveyed want to use Amazon in this way) and voice search (25 percent) to market to potential customers.

Furthermore, marketers seem to understand what can differentiate them from Amazon in terms of offering more personalised, specialised and personable customer experience – the key factor here is that they need to ensure they have the tools and infrastructure to deliver what their audiences want, particularly when it comes to a consistent online and offline journey.

With a handful of well-known UK high street retailers recently announcing store closures, it’s vital that brands take action when it comes to understanding who their audiences are, how they’re interacting with the brand, the areas the brand can deliver value to them, and then evaluating where their brand stands in light of this. Brands that fail to do so, or are too late to take action, are the ones who will likely be most susceptible to losing customers to Amazon.

Andreas Pouros, CEO at Greenlight Digital says:

“It is no surprise that Amazon’s dominance concerns businesses who are made to question how they can compete. But it doesn’t need to be seen as a competition or threat.  

Amazon provides an immense opportunity for businesses wanting to reach a wider audience, whether that be through advertising space or access through global distribution. Digital marketers can’t ignore the sheer value of Amazon’s global marketplace and captive audience.

Partnering top quality customer service with effective brand communications via Amazon’s advertising capabilities is the most effective way to work together moving forwards – be that for small, independent retailers or large organisations. The focus on the customer experience and customer service remains at the heart of competition.

Only once this is widely accepted will businesses with niche expertise and high quality customer service co-exist and thrive in a world where Amazon continues to deliver on large-scale eCommerce efficiency.”


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5min924

One year after WannaCry infected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries globally, 40 percent of respondents say their organisation is more exposed than it was a year ago.

The WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled the NHS and infected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries has not translated into action at many organisations. According to a Tanium survey of 500 frontline IT security workers in the U.K, one third (36 percent) of respondents admitted there was panic immediately after the WannaCry attack, but nothing has changed since.

The findings show that two fifths (40 percent) admit their organisation is more exposed than they were a year ago. Whilst, just 31 percent state their organisation has invested in a new security solution since WannaCry, despite their boards claiming to have placed more importance on IT security since the attack.

Major issues highlighted in the research include:

Critical actions have not been taken

According to the findings, UK firms responded immediately after the attack, reviewing existing security systems (62 percent) and redefining the process for reacting to security incidents (38 percent). However, it seems that immediate concern did not translate into long-term action.

Businesses are still struggling with basic systems management tasks, such as patching, which are critical to preventing future attacks. According to the study, more than sixty percent (66 percent) of respondents admitted that they haven’t improved their patch management process since the WannaCry attack.

For many survey respondents, the need to innovate quickly is causing them to compromise on their security practices. In fact, one in five stated their cyber practices haven’t changed as other IT initiatives had to take priority. Lack of budget was also cited by almost a quarter (23 percent) of respondents as a factor holding them back from implementing the cybersecurity technology and policies.

Matt Ellard, Vice President, EMEA at Tanium, explains:

“It’s genuinely concerning that U.K. organisations claim to have learnt lessons from WannaCry but are struggling to take actions to stop a similar attack from happening again.

 The attack, which grabbed headlines all over the world, should have been a wake-up call for businesses to get their houses in order. However, legacy systems and architecture, fear of patching, fragmentation of point solutions, limited budgets and silos that exist within the IT operations and security teams are still leaving UK firms vulnerable to attack.”

The accountability gap

Almost half (42 percent) of the frontline IT workers surveyed believe their senior leadership team fails to realise how exposed their companies are to cyber threats. Whilst over a quarter (28 percent) say their organisation prioritises client entertainment and employee welfare initiatives such as Christmas parties. In fact, 43 percent say they struggle to get funding for urgent cybersecurity projects. This has led one in 10 to admit they are not confident their organisation could immediately respond to or recover from another WannaCry-style attack.

Ellard concludes:

“We’ve seen countless breaches in the last 12 months and businesses need stronger resilience to fight future threats. Having clear visibility of all of the endpoints across the network and being able to act on this in real-time is crucial to fighting off cyber-attacks and safeguarding future business.

Businesses can no longer afford to overlook the scale of the threats they face and the IT operations and security teams need to bridge the accountability gap to protect the network, company and customer data.”


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2min1764

We’ve all played games in our lives, starting when we were very young. Those first games helped us learn how to follow rules, how to be respectful, and how to motivate ourselves to learn and to advance—because winning, of course, offered rewards, even if it was only to feel good about our accomplishment.

And without us really knowing it or understanding it (unless we’re involved in marketing), we’ve been taking part in the gamification of customer service basically all our lives. Think about it: You sign up for a rewards card with a store. Then you spend money, based on the feel-good nature of getting “points,” which leads you to deals, which makes you feel better about your purchase. It’s the extension of those games we learned as toddlers, only this time there’s actual money and goods changing hands. So how can you up your gamification of customer service? This graphic explains it.

Source: Salesforce


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3min1343

Women in the UK are feeling increasingly let down by online shopping experiences which are hard to navigate, not intuitive enough, and poorly designed for mobile browsing, according to a new study.

The 21st Century Woman study, published by communications network Engine, explores the “mindset of the modern independent woman” and investigates how brands can better connect with her.

Researchers interviewed UK women about how they live and shop, and what they want from their shopping experiences. The study revealed that despite women having more disposable income than ever before, they are increasingly time-poor, with 44 percent of respondents confessing that they find being a woman difficult and 37 percent saying that the best word to describe them is “stressed”.

As a result, women are relying on mobile devices to access brands and services, with 98 percent having shopped online this week and 92 percent using a smartphone to browse. However, the stark reality is that many are left disappointed by the digital shopping experience.

Fifty-eight percent say that too many websites have poor navigation; 53 percent want them to be more intuitive; and 44 percent say mobile sites don’t do enough. The result is that while 88 percent of women visit brands’ websites at least once a day, only five percent of them are buying something.

The study highlights a huge missed opportunity by brands to engage this highly influential market, as brands are failing to connect with women emotionally and commercially.

The research also highlighted that brands should not underestimate the value women continue to place on the instore experience. Fifty-four percent of respondents are influenced by what they see in shops; 26 percent use their phone to research items in store; and 13 percent use their phone to purchase while in store, indicating that brands would benefit from joining up the instore and online experiences.

Erminia Blackden, Head of Strategy at Partners Andrews Aldridge, Engine UK, said:

“This year’s 21st Century Woman study provides valuable new insight into the mindset and lifestyles of independent, modern women – the world’s largest single group of consumers. This group is the most well-educated, employed and commercially influential group in history.

These women are spending and browsing more on their smartphones than ever before, so if brands want to capitalise on their enormous spending potential, getting the online experience right should be a prerequisite. Some brands are winning at this already – the likes of ASOS and Amazon, for example. But the stark reality is that many are still failing to hit the right note. And in this challenging and fiercely competitive retail market, that’s a dangerous position to be in.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 24, 2018
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5min1216

Customers in the UK will switch brands if they do not receive regular updates on the status of delivered goods, it has been warned.

According to a global survey, 78 percent of consumers want to receive updates on the status of their orders when purchasing goods, and they won’t hesitate to switch brands if supply chain performance fails to meet their expectations.

The survey, conducted in February by YouGov and sponsored by Infor, a leading provider of industry-specific cloud applications, polled 6,285 consumers, including a nationally representative sample of consumers in France (1,016), Germany (2,105), the UK (2,035) and the United States (1,129).

Seventy-eight percent of consumers surveyed expect to receive updates on the status of their orders. Of that group, nearly half (49 percent) of consumers said Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) information – and a further 29 percent saying real-time location information – is most important to know when waiting for a purchase to be delivered at home or to a pick-up location.

The survey showed that consumers will switch brands if supply chain performance doesn’t keep pace with their expectations. According to the survey, it can suggest that consumers are more likely to switch brands related to their day-to-day needs, including groceries (59 percent), household products (53 percent), fashion/footwear (40 percent), and health & beauty products (37 percent). However, even in product categories such as high-tech (35 percent), furniture (32 percent), and automotive (19 percent), consumers indicated that they would switch brands if supply chain performance faltered.

Infor had sponsored a similar YouGov survey in 2016, and Greg Kefer, Vice President of Marketing for the Infor GT Nexus Commerce Network, said:

In 2016, we asked similar questions and at that time, among millennials (18-34), fashion was rated number one. Now, we are seeing categories such as food and beverage and consumer products rank ahead of fashion, with high-tech not far behind. This is an indication that consumer expectations are on the rise across product categories.

In our business, supply chain visibility is frequently cited as a foundational element of innovation and transformation. Companies must be able to ‘see’ across the vastness of their global supply chains, so they can identify gaps and make improvements.”

However, GEODIS recently surveyed 623 supply chain executives and found that only six percent of companies believe they’ve achieved full supply chain visibility. In working with customers, Infor has found that for consumers, next-day or even same-day delivery of goods is becoming the expectation, versus the exception.

And, as the YouGov survey suggests, this expectation goes beyond e-commerce/retail into other industries.

Consumers can now get very granular information about product status and location, and they increasingly are associating supply chain performance with brand preference,” Mr Kefer added.

In fact, the YouGov survey revealed that nearly half (48 percent) of consumers said they know what the “supply chain” is. Awareness of the supply chain was particularly high in the UK (77 percent) and the United States (58 percent) – markets typically characterised by retail/service-centric economies.

Ultimately, companies that sell to other businesses also must face the reality that their customers also are consumers, who see first-hand supply chain innovation (or lack thereof) when shopping online or on their mobile devices.

Consumers now expect a supply chain visibility solution as part of the brand experience.




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