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7min410

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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4min404

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.”


Joey MooreJoey MooreMay 16, 2018
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7min622

In an increasingly fluid retail marketplace, where purchasing continues to shift from the physical to the digital, companies both big and small must look for new ways to differentiate their brands, build loyalty and keep their customers coming back for more.

Whether through personalisation, same-day delivery, or digital payment solutions such as Apple Pay, retailers are turning to new technologies as the source of this differentiation.

At the forefront of this trend is a focus on Customer Experience, with brands increasingly realising that it can be just as beneficial to change the way consumers experience a brand as it can be to change a product itself.

Unfortunately for retailers, however, many of the experiential factors that they must use to differentiate their brands are extremely subtle. As a result, it can be difficult to identify those areas of the customer’s experience that are points of frustration or cause for cart abandonment. To address this challenge, retailers are once again turning to technology – this time in the form of artificial intelligence (AI).

Research suggests that as many as 80 percent of businesses incorporate some form of AI into their organisations, with customer service being the most popular application. Yet in retail, we find that many are basic examples of AI and machine learning – either simple personalisation scripts or basic customer service chatbots. And looking ahead, retailers’ plans to incorporate AI do not yet extend much beyond robotic chat-boxes in their ecommerce stores.

Yet there are potentially hundreds of examples of retail tools and applications where AI could be used to improve the Customer Experience. Here are three such applications that we expect to come to the fore in 2018:

1. AI-Powered Personalisation

AI-Powered Personalisation involves providing visitors with specific content and offers based on the purchasing behaviours of previous customers. Sounds familiar? It’s true that these principles of personalisation have long been a staple of the ecommerce industry, but AI takes this toolset to a new level. By analysing a huge wealth of customer data, machine learning can tailor offers based on everything from weather patterns to current user moods.

Such advanced personalisation technologies already exist, but very few retailers are embracing them. In part, this is due to the silos and lack of connectivity that exists across a brand’s data sets, with the average marketing department using 12 different tools to personalise its content.

To effectively personalise content and genuinely improve customer experiences, AI requires as much information as possible about customers’ existing interactions with a brand, but retailers are faced with disjointed data sets, that are difficult for AI systems to analyse.

The key to successful personalisation is seamlessness, where websites and analytics work together to inform AI tools that will create actionable insights for developing more relevant ecommerce campaigns.

2. Behavioural analysis

While there have been plenty of retail surveys asking consumers for their views on the optimum design and flow of ecommerce sites, the reality is that such responses cannot offer the same level of insights that behavioural web data provides. Only by monitoring how consumers are actually browsing a site – whether through mouse tracking, click paths or behavioural analytics – can retailers build a true understanding of what their customers are looking for.

Such behavioural data provides invaluable insights, but it requires significant time and effort to review and analyse. This is where artificial intelligence comes in. By crunching the massive volumes of behavioural data collected across a site, AI can find the subtle points of frustration so they can be removed from or improved within the user experience.

3. Identifying hidden consumer trends/patterns

Tracking consumer behaviours through customer log-ins allows you to open up previously unseen insights. For example, if you own a pizzeria and you require customers to log in each time they make a purchase, with the right AI program, you can start to analyse predictive patterns, suggesting deals, combos and preferred toppings, ultimately resulting in a faster delivery time. By speeding up the process of ordering – and the potential delivery time – AI helps to provide a more seamless Customer Experience. While this may seem like a fairly minor improvement, in reality, these subtle AI-driven changes can be the deciding factor in whether a consumer chooses to return to your ecommerce site in future, or try a competitor instead.

As an example of such competitive advantage, consider the Arcadia Group – a collection of nine popular fashion brands. By incorporating an intelligent, AI-driven cross-selling and upselling system, Arcadia Group increased order value by 67 percent – a significant increase based on only a small change to the company’s existing processes.

While AI will never be a perfect predictor for human behaviour, it can help us to make seemingly minor – yet high impact – improvements in Customer Experience, which can ultimately mean the difference between making a sale or not. To start on this journey, retailers must first ensure that they are collecting customer data in a meaningful and joined-up way.

At the end of the day, an AI system can only be as effective as the data that it works from, it is down to retailers to build the relationships and data sets needed to feed this machine.


Bhupender SinghBhupender SinghMay 15, 2018
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4min384

Billing and accounting errors have become disappointingly normal for the telco industry; a recent study from software company Brite Bill found that a substantial proportion of complaints about telecoms operators were due to billing and contract issues, with billing issues accounting for 30 percent of complaints.

As a way to compete in the new digital age, telecom providers have diversified their services into wireless, broadband, TV & digital, and M&A activity to thrive in challenging market conditions. But unfortunately broadening their remit has opened them up to overlap, negligence, and redundancy in billing.

Telecoms companies are under pressure to put an end to the overbilling of customers for the services they use. This requires a conscious effort to implement internal controls and processes which provide a holistic overview of customer activity and span across different services offerings.

Telcos providers work from multiple systems, which makes it harder for them to create an agile system fit to compete against new innovators. Ageing legacy systems are one of the main causes of inaccurate telecom billing for customers. This traps service providers in a repetitive cycle of overcharging, slapped with fines and investigations by regulators.

Success in today’s business landscape hinges on a telecom provider’s ability to deliver high quality customer service. Delays in telecom providers dealing with customer requests can fuel further frustration.

At one point or another we’ve all felt the stress of waiting endlessly in a queue, and so can understand the urgency of getting in touch with someone when a problem arises – especially when it’s something as crucial as billing. Telecom providers can improve customer experience by carefully listening to feedback and maintaining quality customer service when problems occur. With the stakes in the battle for customers higher than ever, innovative technologies can boost efficiency for back-office processes and can manage customer requests in a more timely and accurate manner.

Automation can also enable telecoms businesses to take a proactive approach to customer care by modernising the back office. For instance, automation can reduce the average handling time for billing calls by 70 percent, allowing staff to direct their energy towards customer needs and provide the best experience possible.

Real-time data allows telecos to measure user experience, enabling better informed decisions. Monitoring customer behaviour at different touch points of a customer’s journey allows businesses to adopt a proactive approach and pivot accordingly. With brand loyalty being a thing of the past, customers will not be afraid to air their discontent on social media platforms after a bad experience or instantly look elsewhere.

In order to reduce this risk, telecoms companies need to focus on improving contactability and cutting down the call rate, ensuring that complaints are handled effectively. Partnering with digital experts who have deep domain knowledge of the industry will support telco companies in their quest to become more agile. It will enable them to take back market share from new entrants who are not hindered by old data management systems.


James LeeJames LeeMay 15, 2018
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6min436

The widespread adoption of mobile and cloud technologies are ‘consumerising’ Digital Experience within the enterprise and driving the reinvention of business.

Organisations in every sector are benefitting from, and seeking to take advantage of, new technologies and models that were developed in the consumer space, rather than in the enterprise sector.

It’s changing the way we work. This ‘digital dexterity’ is driven by information intensity and the desire to share and collaborate. We’re all used to an on demand experience in our personal lives – we order a movie on Netflix, it plays immediately; we order a taxi on Uber, it arrives within minutes; we order food on Deliveroo, or an item on Amazon, and both will arrive within the hour.

Many of these services learn from our interactions to deliver a more relevant and appropriate experience, and this is something we’re coming to expect from every interaction with technology. According to Accenture, by 2020, 51 percent of consumers and 75 percent of business buyers expect companies to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions.

So why should the tools and services we use in the workplace be any different? Employees want to be connected with their colleagues and processes across multiple devices during their workdays. Workers expect enterprise tools for searching, sharing, and consuming information to be as ‘smart’ and compelling as those they use in their personal lives. They want information and analytics to be contextualised, based on their work, and delivered when they need it. In short, they want to be enriched.

Yet Human Resources is one sector that has fallen behind in terms of adoption of consumer grade technology. Despite being the part of the organisation that deals with people, it’s also the part that’s most affected by legacy systems and processes. HR professionals are often working with outdated tools and information that lacks context, as well as being targeted on ‘keeping the boat steady’, rather than driving change.

But the digital workplace offers significant potential for organisations strategically prepared to re-engineer processes around how employees currently work and engage each other. Organisations need to take advantage of interconnected trends that Gartner identifies as the ‘four factors in the Nexus of Forces’ – mobile, social, cloud, and information – which reinforce the digital workplace with a sense of responsibility for all stakeholders: consumers, the workforce, shareholders, communities, and the environment.

Work is no longer somewhere you go, it’s something you do at a time and on a device that is most appropriate to you in the moment. With the work-life balance becoming ever more important, it is incumbent on employers to proactively maintain the health and happiness of their employees. But to do that, HR professionals need the right tools and so do the employees. For example, an increasingly remote or mobile workforce struggles to feel a sense of community without social interaction and recognition.

Legacy HR tools are equivalent to an itemised phone bill – they deliver information but they don’t tell HR professionals the full story, because the tools often exist in silos. Many organisations will claim to have a well-being strategy, but it is one that has evolved piecemeal, with a benefits tool and an EAP in separate systems that don’t talk to each other.

Wellbeing needs to be delivered as a holistic approach, covering physical, emotional, personal, financial, and professional wellness, because all elements are interlinked. As the World Health Organisation defines it, health is “the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of diseases or infirmity.”

So, with the consumerisation of employee benefits, instead of rigid organisation-oriented offerings, the focus shifts to the individual employee. This allows each employee to customise their own experience with personally relevant benefits and make the maintenance of their own well-being more convenient.

By consumerising employee well-being, employees have the freedom to evaluate and choose their own benefits – using employer-provided money. It makes sense for both parties that the money spent on the employees is spent to the benefit of the recipients. This is where LifeWorks sits – at the intersection of the people and the business solution. And what’s more, a healthy and happy workforce can help companies save money and turn a profit.

So be aware that consumerisation is coming and it’s not a ‘strategy’ or something to be ‘adopted’. As Gartner says, consumerisation can be embraced and it must be dealt with, but it cannot be stopped. It will also become so entrenched within business that employees will gravitate towards employers that offer the best well-being experience and away from those that are lacking.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 14, 2018
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9min479

The finalists for the 2018 UK Digital Experience Awards have finally been revealed, and the line-up promises an exciting day of insightful presentations and tough decisions for judges.

The UKDXAs are one of the highlights of the Customer Experience calendar, celebrating the businesses and organisations providing the best digital experiences for customers across the UK and beyond.

This year, the event takes place in London’s Park Plaza Hotel on the banks of the Thames on July 12, and finalists will compete in 18 categories covering every aspect of expert Digital Experience.

These include Best Online User Experience B2B and B2C, Software as a Service, Best Use of SEO, and Best use of AR or VR.

Among the big names competing for the coveted titles this year are Sky, Three UK, Lloyds Banking Group, Tesco Bank, and BT.

Meanwhile, this year’s exciting judging panel includes Gordon Rimmer, Director of Marketing at Connect Managed Services; Paul Blunden, the CEO and Founder of Usability 24/7; and Kate Thompson, Managing Director of Business 3.0, among many others.

The event is hosted by Awards International, and CEO Neil Skehel said:

The UK Digital Experience Awards has risen to become one of the most important industry awards events of its kind, thanks to the spectacular growth of DX as a concept for businesses in the last few years.

“Customers are continuing to engage with brands digitally, and the challenge for companies is to provide the best, and most innovative touchpoints along the way, translating into exceptional Customer Experience.

“The awards celebrate the best customer journeys in a field that will only continue to expand as ever-more people choose to shop and interact with businesses through smartphones, tablets and other devices.”

 

UK Digital Experience Awards 2018 Finalists
Category Finalist
Financial Services: User Experience
  • Jumio and Monzo
  • Wipro-Lloyds Banking Group
  • Right Indem Limited
  • Click Consult
Financial Services: Innovation
  • First Direct
  • Divido
  • Tesco Bank
  • Alta Pay, a Valitor Company
Customer Reviews & Feedback
  • Feefo Holdings Ltd
  • Novus
  • Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd T/A
  • Strategiq Marketing Limited
  • Tesco Bank
Data Analytics & Insight
  • Feefo Holdings Ltd
  • Wipro Digital
  • Three UK
  • Sky UK
  • Unit4 prevero
Leisure & Tourism
  • Novus
  • Seatfrog
  • Sagittarius – Red Carnation Hotel Collection
  • Ethos Farm
Best Use of AR or VR
  • George P Johnson
  • Virgin Experience Days
Mobile Strategy
  • Aston Barclay
  • Resilio
  • EE
  • Three UK
  • Octopus Energy
  • Nelson Bostock Unlimited
Not for Profit & Charity (Including Public Services)
  • Staffordshire County Council
  • PA Housing
  • Dotlabel
  • Valtech Limited
  • HMA
  • Click Consult
Software as a Service
  • Wipro Digital
  • FoundIt!
  • StaySafe
  • Proteus
  • Mention Me
  • Redstone Connect Labs
  • MVF
Use of SEO
  • Receptional Limited, Liberis
  • Receptional Limited, Discount Supplements
  • Impression
  • Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd T/A Protyre
  • ROAST
  • Click Consult
Personal Entertainment & Telecoms
  • Three UK
  • BT
  • Kitty
  • Sky UK
  • EE
Best Online User Experience B2C – Retail
  • Mamas & Papas Ltd
  • EE
  • Three UK
  • Octopus Energy
  • The Underfloor Heating Store
  • Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd T/A Protyre
Best Online User Experience B2C -Best Digital Customer Journey
  • McCarthy & Stone
  • FoundIt!
  • Dotlabel
  • Amigo
  • Jumio and Monzo
  • Vortex Commerce on behalf of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group
Digital Team – Transformation
  • The Share Centre
  • Three UK
  • Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd T/A Protyre
  • EE
  • Wipro Digital
Digital Team – Digital Marketing/Campaign
  • Impression
  • George P Johnson
  • Amigo
  • Virgin Trains
  • Mamas & Papas Ltd
  • The Underfloor Heating Store
Best Online User Experience B2B
  • Absolute Design Associates Ltd
  • HMA
  • BMJ, with Box UK
  • MVF
Digital Change and Transformation – Software
  • Mamas & Papas Ltd
  • Novus
  • The Share Centre
  • Three UK
  • drp for Worcester Bosch
Digital Change and Transformation – Digital Engagement Platforms
  • drp for Worcester Bosch
  • Active Digital
  • BMJ, with Box UK
  • Grovelands Consulting
  • drp for Jaguar Land Rover x

 


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5min531

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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5min339

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.”


John TschohlJohn TschohlMay 8, 2018
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6min713

Creating highly engaged customers is forcing companies to provide their customers with a consistent experience whenever and wherever they need it….digitally.

Did you know that highly engaged customers buy 90 percent more frequently, spend 60 percent more per purchase, and have 3x the annual value (compared to the average customer)? That’s a huge revenue opportunity you could be taking advantage of by digitally transforming your business!

But, in order to deliver on a better customer experience, you first need to understand who this new kind of digital customer is and what they want. It’s clear that the customer is firmly in the driver’s seat.

Personalized customer experiences

Today’s consumer wants organizations to treat them as unique individuals, and know their personal preferences and purchase history.

According to Accenture, 75 percent of customers admit being more likely to buy from a company that:

  • Recognizes them by their name,
  • Knows their purchase history, and
  • Recommends products based on their past purchases.

This sounds like Amazon, one of the best retailers in the world and the best part is customers are happy for Amazon to use their data. Technology has empowered customers to get what they want, whenever they want, and how they want it. Again, Amazon is a “Master” at providing this service to every single customer.

Consumers now expect immediate response (speed) to customer service requests on social media and they would rather engage digitally as opposed to pick up the phone. They also expect the same response times on weekends as on weekdays. This need for instant gratification has forced organizations to remain accessible and on-demand, 24/7 with live people, no IVR and answer in one to two rings. Customers expect responses to be tailored to their needs and issues. They do not want to re-explain the issue.

Everything is now happening in real time, which is why those companies that can offer speed, personalization and accessibility to their customers will win out in the long-run.

Today’s consumers are not loyal to a single mode. They browse in-store, shop online, share feedback through mobile apps and ask questions for your support team on social media networks.

In today’s fast-moving, always connected and always on society, companies are forced to seriously consider implementing a digital transformation strategy, if they haven’t already.

Digital transformation offers organizations an opportunity to engage modern buyers, and deliver on their expectations of a seamless customer experience regardless of channel or place.

1) Customers Expect Immediate Response

Speed matters. How fast you get your product to a customer, how quickly you can accomplish a service task for a client. A three day turnaround on an email, or a long list of menu options on an automated phone system drives customers crazy.

2) Customers Will Figure It Out – With or Without You

It’s always better that they figure it out with you. Cutting-edge technology devised by Apple and Google has led consumers to expect a digital service experience that is clean, simple and user-friendly. No second chances to make a first impression in today’s world. And, if you want to know how to do-it-yourself, just look it up on Youtube and 9 times out of ten, it’s there with instructions. So much easier than reading manufacturer’s instructions.

3) Make Your Website Customer Service Friendly

Whatever you think about your website: it’s one of the main channels your customers will use to figure out how to solve a problem they have.  Do you see your website as a sales tool? Do you see it as an interactive version of your brand? Maybe you feel as though it’s one of those things that “you just have to have nowadays”. I promise you that your customers will search your site for information, even if it’s only to find a phone number to call you.

What are you waiting for? The digital disruption has revealed fantastic opportunities for higher levels of customer engagement. The time is now for customer service teams to take advantage of this and step up to the plate. Think like your customer and give them what they are looking for.

“Deliver first-rate digital experiences and watch your customer knock it out of the park for you.” – John Tschohl


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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.”




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