Digital Experience

Andrew TavenerAndrew TavenerMarch 20, 2018


Online retailing has expanded rapidly; the growth of the internet and advancements in delivery capabilities have seen many small businesses take advantage of this, selling through online marketplaces to maximise their reach.

These global marketplaces are predicted to own 39 percent of the online retail market by 2020. On the surface, this approach is perfect for consumers who can easily shop from their favourite retailers all in one place. However, underneath, retailers are faced with the difficult and sizeable task of managing the deliveries and returns efficiently and at a low cost.

For while more marketplace exposure means more sales, it also equals more returns; made even more complex by the requirement to offer the return policies designed by the marketplaces. For example, Amazon now requires third-party sellers to accept “automatically authorised returns”.

This means retailers must accept returns without having any direct contact with the customer, exactly when many businesses try to resolve customer issues to preclude returns. There are, however, ways to improve the control of online returns in the face of changing customer expectations and marketplace practices, which are critical in this competitive environment.

Understanding how best to manage product returns to reduce costs and maximise efficiency is key. Here are four strategies online retailers can use to tighten the returns process:

Return policies must be a forethought

Marketplace policy changes give retailers the opportunity to rethink how they handle returns. According to recent research from Royal Mail, nearly half of shoppers (47 percent) said they would be unlikely to shop with a retailer again if it charged for returns, and 60 percent would be less likely to shop with them again following a difficult returns experience.

Clearly a well thought-out returns policy is critical to good customer relations. Sellers need to decide whether to offer one return policy – for example, Amazon’s – or different policies for each marketplace/channel or for various product offerings (for example: low-end versus high-end).

Some businesses set policies based on the most generous marketplace policy. If sellers choose an ‘Amazon-style’ return policy with instant returns and free shipping, this can be promoted up front as part of a company’s brand. Unmistakably, a simple online returns process helps drive sales and cement customer loyalty – and overlooking the impact of a poorly considered returns opportunity can be costly.

A free returns policy might not always work

Returns can have a big financial impact on profits. Depending on the industry, return rates can be very low or very high. Book and video returns can run two/three percent, while clothing and jewellery can run upwards of 30 percent. Companies should right-size return policies based on industry standards and actual return rates.

Businesses with healthy profit margins can build the cost of returns into a product’s price. Charging restocking fees or not accepting online returns is less common but, for certain products or industries, it makes financial sense. For example, companies selling new laptops might find a restocking fee may be the only way to support thin margins. Likewise, for clothing subscription services a restocking fee for returns makes sense, since the items are essentially specifically tailored for an individual.

Evaluating whether the return policy of a particular marketplace works is therefore a critical part of the business decision to sign up to the marketplace in the first instance.

Sellers should right-size returns automation based on business needs

Retailers with high return rates may need a great deal of automation. Small businesses with fewer returns can often manage them in-house using cloud-based shipping solutions that simplify printing, or electronically creating return postage labels that customers print themselves. Barcodes on labels quickly identify customer records and product numbers to speed the return process, cut down on errors, and save time.

Integrating with internal systems is important for large retail operations with high return volumes. Returned packages sitting on the warehouse floor cannot be effectively put back into stock without the right system in place. Connectivity must flow from the customer to the warehouse to the shipper into marketing, sales, and accounting.

For companies with few internal fulfilment resources, a third-party processing service can help. Merchants need to weigh the benefit versus the cost of using fulfilment and returns processing by marketplaces or third-parties. Another way to manage returns if there aren’t in-house resources is to monetise returns by sending returned merchandise directly to a reverse logistics partner that liquidates inventory.

Returns cut into profits so minimising them is important

Good customer service helps avoid unnecessary returns by solving a customer’s problem with support, rapidly replacing missing/damaged items, or making exchanges. However, heading off an unnecessary return is hard when marketplaces allow automated returns with no merchant contact.

To combat this, sellers should use ‘scan-based’ return labels when possible. With these labels, the retailer is only charged if the label is used. Some retailers report that 10 percent or more of the requested returns are never actually sent in, making scan based return labels an instant money saver.

Providing customers with current, accurate product information is also important. By connecting ecommerce marketplaces to internal order status, pricing, and inventory processes, customers know if a product is in stock and when it will ship. Detailed product descriptions and quality images help to avoid misunderstandings. Customer feedback/review functions provide even more information to support making the right choice.

Finally, it’s useful to track which products are returned and why. Develop a ‘reason for returns’ report by manufacturer and SKU. This allows vendors to troubleshoot and avoid future returns.

Changes in return policies by Amazon and other marketplaces are an opportunity for ecommerce businesses to take charge of returns. Online sellers can use this as a chance to create better customer communication and loyalty, whilst addressing how returns affect the bottom line and streamline logistics.


Howard WilliamsHoward WilliamsMarch 16, 2018


Forget keeping up with the Joneses, today it’s all about keeping up with Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI assistants now live in our back pockets, and smart speakers now run our homes. This makes home life simpler and smarter than ever before. But it also puts businesses in an ever-lengthening race to keep up. After all, when you have smooth, AI-driven experiences at home, you come to expect the same from businesses.

Advancements in AI, while cool, make it harder for businesses to impress us. From personalisation to immersion, to streamlined experiences from the word go, businesses are getting smarter. Our experiences may not be as slick as the ones we got with our devices, but they’re getting better. Brands should now be harnessing the evolving power of AI to revolutionise Customer Experience.


The quiet personalisation creep

For businesses, AI is being used to power personalisation. From adverts to recommendations, and personal greetings to location-relevant offers, ecommerce is getting personal.
It’s not magic that the tech you were looking at on Amazon yesterday is splashed across your Facebook feed today. Nor is it a coincidence that you see a constant drip-feed of news articles that centre on your interests and political leanings. Businesses are getting better at using your data, and AI algorithms are remembering the items you’re interested in. In fact, technology and data mean that almost every advert you see online panders to your personal interests and styles.

Our customer journeys are becoming more tailored to us, and it’s not just the big fish like Amazon leading the way. Nowadays, pretty much any website will suggest targeted recommendations based on your online activity and page views. You most likely don’t even notice the levels of personalisation websites have become capable of. Yet they greet you by name, know your location, and act depending on your customer status, new or returning.

Pay no attention to the AI behind the curtain

All this fancy personalisation isn’t even the smartest part of the AI behind the business curtain. For example, the personalisation mine is now running deeper as biometric technology continues to grow. Businesses can use this branch of AI as a shiny new tool to learn what we look like, understand our actions, and recognise our differences.

At home, your iPhone can be unlocked by scanning your face. Retail quickly followed suit, and you can now pay for things with just your fingerprint. And this is only the beginning – your face is now being used to display relevant digital ads to your demographic as you shop around a store.

Online and offline are beginning to merge together. Amazon Go has already demonstrated how to harness AI to optimise and automate the checkout experience in the physical world. It won’t be long before purchasing online and purchasing online are near-identical. You can view items almost tangibly through augmented reality, you can chat to a chatbot for immediate assistance, and a single click can complete your purchase. All around you, everything is getting faster, more convenient, and more AI-infused.


A view to the future

As businesses get more savvy when it comes to AI, you can expect your experience as a customer to transform. Rather than navigating a website, you’ll be conversing with it through machine learning chatbots. Rather than clunky two-factor authentication processes, you’ll be able to complete transactions using voice as your unique identifier.

And rather than dealing with slow customer service, you’ll have companies immediately knowing who you are, your service history, and what mood you’re currently in – using a touch of AI and sentiment analysis.


Put the past behind you

First, we had to keep up with the Joneses. Then, the world became obsessed with keeping up with the Kardashians. Now, the only thing brands need to worry about keeping up with is AI.

Today, we as consumers have information at our fingertips. It’s available to us immediately, on any passing whim. So, when it comes to businesses, we demand the same level of service and speed. We’ve grown to expect effortless interactions with tech. When a business falls short of this expectation, customers take notice.

In the past, we might have had to – shock horror – wait for things. Even recently, we’ve all been frustrated by poor technology integration, and painfully slow customer service. But when businesses harness the power of business AI, customers can fall down the rabbit hole into the wonderful world of real-time service. A world of service that’s quick, efficient and effortless.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 15, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 15, 2018


Live video tech provider Go Instore has announced that Marriott International’s European Convention Network (ECN) has grown its Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) business using the Go Instore solution.

The ECN is a collection of 21 gold standard convention hotels across Europe and is part of the 6,500 property Marriott International group. The ECN partnered with Go Instore to give event planners from around the world the option of having one to one live online consultations, tours and virtual site inspections of its largest conference venues across 10 European countries.

The ECN reports that 51 percent of customers who took a live virtual site inspection between March and December 2017 went on to book or were progressing with their enquiries.

“We have been able to attribute a significant amount of event revenue from across the globe to using Go Instore’s live video streaming technology,” said Pauline Bronkhorst, Head of the European Convention Network, Marriott International Inc., who leads the Go Instore project.

“Customers and associates love this new way of interacting, and it has helped the ECN to deliver an increase in leads and bookings from around the world since it was launched.” she added.

The Go Instore platform, which utilises technology to help businesses sell their products and services via immersive, live video, is an ideal means for local staff who have expert knowledge of each hotel to take event planners on an in-depth tour of each venue, providing them with a personalised experience and a real feel of the hotel while saving them travel time.

Go Instore’s real-time video technology uses smart phones to enable hotel sales executives to capture and stream a live video feed to their customers from anywhere in Europe.

“I’m delighted that Marriott International’s European Convention Network has experienced so much success from the immersive experiences that Go Instore provides,” added André Hordagoda, Co-founder, Go Instore.

“We look forward to helping more event planners gain rich experiences of Marriott venues without having to travel to venues and to connect them live to the knowledge of Marriott’s local experts.”


Philippe AiméPhilippe AiméMarch 14, 2018


Applying even the most basic psychological principles will tell you increased personalisation is essential for improving Customer Experience.

It is a well known fact that people gravitate towards the people, places, and things that resemble themselves. As a result, customers are attracted to websites they feel they have something in common with or they can relate directly to. For this reason, personalisation in Customer Experience is vital for businesses. The following techniques are easily implementable ways for retailers to improve their ecommerce sites with more personalised customer experiences.

Consistent messaging

Having a consistent message throughout is essential for a campaign, particularly from PPC adverts to a company’s landing page. First and foremost, this consistency ensures that the website’s bounce rate is reduced. Using specialised personalisation techniques such as using dynamic text headings on your landing pages which can be modified according to what adverts visitors click through to arrive on your website, you can ensure a consistent and coherent message through the users journey.

If a pet owner is drawn into your site through one advert that mentions cats, that same wording will appear on your landing page. If a different visitor arrived via an advert that is targeted at dog owners, the wording on the landing page will change to reflect this advert.

Businesses can adjust their landing pages’ copy in accordance to which advert the user has clicked on, ensuring perfect consistency throughout. The best dynamic text plugins allow you to create a whole range of possible messages simply by adding them as a parameter in the URL.

Personalised location

Another way personalisation can enhance Customer Experience is by personalising locations. Companies can also utilise visitors geolocation and insert this into the website pages, allowing for the creation of personalised content to improve engagement with products and services. This ensures that not only are you providing a personable service, but also customers will be more engaged in products and services.

Sites can use the nearest city or country that the visitor is in and can create personalised adverts and landing pages that the visitor is more likely to engage with.

Creating a sense of urgency

Websites can also use neuromarketing-based personalisation techniques such as creating notifications that capture the audience’s attention and create a sense of urgency which encourages the visitor to take action. Techniques such as scarcity notifications make Customer Experience feel more personalised by using real-time visitor data.

For certain products, such as where there is only a few items left in stock, scarcity can make the product seem in high demand and encourage the user to make a purchase. This will encourage customers to finalise purchases quicker as it places more value on their minds, optimising the results for a business in real time and displaying the most persuasive message at the correct time, which is essential for businesses.

Information bias

The more personal information customers receive on a product, the more confident they feel when making a purchase. Providing more information to customers such as the ideal size for their height or what they could style with the product ensures that they are making a well-informed decision based on a more rational basis, even if the information to the product isn’t all that relevant.

Through using the technique of information bias, your business makes customers feel secure as plenty of detail has been provided. This technique can be applied when displaying all products and offer. It is also ideal to treat product images with a similar mindset, if you can provide several angles or a video of the same shot then make sure you do.

Through following these simple techniques, businesses can enhance their customer experience by personalising their journey and make visitors feel like they can relate to what they are being offered. Consistent messaging in a campaign, personalising what the user views based on their location, and the use of real-time data to personalise their experience can make visitors feel like the brand has focus on ensuring that they have a unique and tailored experience on the website.

Frédéric DurandFrédéric DurandMarch 12, 2018


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a much discussed and debated subject in recent months.

From newspapers to world leaders, everyone is talking about what machine intelligence and robotics might do for businesses. With all the buzz it is generating, AI is rapidly emerging as a lucrative technology. By 2035, global consulting firm Accenture has suggested that AI could add an estimated £654 billion to the UK economy.

The upcoming Government Digital Strategy will formalise the UK’s investment in cutting-edge technologies and aims to position the country as a pioneer in the field. While there is much fascination (and profit) surrounding AI across various sectors, there is also an anxiety over the future of machine intelligence and its impact on human jobs.

At the end of 2017 Gartner reported this troubling statistic: AI will create 2.3 million jobs by 2020 but eliminate 1.8 million. The complexity of this new technology is illustrated by a recent study on AI in France. There, the popular feeling towards AI is a mixture of curiosity, concern and excitement, with 72 percent of individuals having an overall “positive” attitude towards the technology.

Inevitably, many businesses are now asking whether they should incorporate AI into their services. Many of us experience AI in our daily lives, whether we are using Amazon’s Alexa or conversing with a chatbot on an online retail site. The end user can experience more efficient and personalised services, which in turn improves their relationship with the product and brand. Through machine intelligence businesses can develop richer customer insight; meeting and even exceeding the demands of consumers.

With Customer Experience being one of the most widely known benefiters of AI, it is unsurprising that call and contact centres is an important industry which employ AI services. I believe that it is not a question of whether businesses should utilise AI, but how they use it.

AI has become the ultimate symbol of modernity in business, yet while many companies trialled AI in 2017 they also discovered that it is not a magic tool. Intelligent machines and robotics are building blocks which, when integrated into processes and client pathways, allow businesses to boost productivity, performance, and quality of service.

In call centres, using intelligent conversational agents should inspire rather than create fear; the purpose of AI is not about replacing employees but rather augmenting their capabilities. Adding intelligent voicebot services equips call agents with the means to better support customers and manage recurring requests.

While there is still much concern surrounding AI and its long-term effects, it is nevertheless a technology which holds infinite possibilities. Ultimately, the key to machine intelligence in business is incorporation: integrating these technologies into business processes to enrich human capacities. The result is greater customer engagement, productivity and commercial impact

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 9, 2018


Twenty percent of businesses will have dumped their mobile apps by next year, it has been predicted, as firms move further towards chatbots and artificial intelligence to communicate with customers.

Research by Gartner Inc has found that by 2019, 20 percent of companies will “abandon” their apps due to a lack of customer engagement. Brands are finding the mobile apps are not meeting the level of adoption initially expected, and are turning their attention towards establishing a presence with popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

However, the change in preferred customer communication is likely to hit the banking sector before most others, according to Antoine Hemon-Laurens, Customer Experience Expert at Quadient.

“As Open Banking and PSD2 will lead to banks providing services across whichever platforms their customers want, it makes sense that they will focus less on their own dedicated websites and apps,” he said.

“This is underlined by Gartner’s statement that by 2019 20 per cent of brands will abandon their mobile apps; financial services is a prime example of an industry where the form of digital channels used to interact with customers is evolving.

The new rules set out in Open Banking and PSD2 mean the days of digital banking being carried out within the secure walls of their proprietary website are behind us, as customers can now dictate to banks which channels work best for them. In practice, this could see them contacting a bank on Facebook messenger and asking them to display all of the accounts they hold (across different providers) and transfer money between them, or even manage them by taking out a short-term loan from one bank to pay off an overdraft with another.

This potential for customers to use whichever digital platform they want for their banking services means that banks are likely to place much less of a focus on their own websites and apps than they have to date.”

The changes should not pose a threat, however, as Antoine explained:

“The key to success as this change comes is treating it as an opportunity rather than a threat; by providing banking services over social media sites, for example, they can provide a great customer experience by allowing people to make transactions without having to ever visit the official banking site or app.”

Alison HolmlundAlison HolmlundFebruary 27, 2018


In recent years, there’s been a significant shift in the software industry – applications moving from on-premise deployments to be managed and hosted in the cloud.

The implications of this move have caused significant reverberations in the way software organisations operate, and especially so in the customer service and support functions.

In today’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) world, software renewals are brokered every year or two; this is a huge departure from days-gone-by, when there was a large up-front software buy-in that essentially ‘locked’ organisations into a long-term relationship – no matter whether that relationship was good, bad, or indifferent.

Today, customers demand ongoing value from their SaaS software investments; and if they’re not seeing the value, they know the switching opportunity cost is low and there are plenty of companies that will vigorously compete for their business.

Churn is the single metric that determines the success or failure of a SaaS company – if you can’t keep your clients happy, you can’t keep your clients. As a result of this Customer Experience imperative, we’ve seen an entirely renewed, reinvigorated, and re-energized emphasis in this area with new best practices bubbling up – something organisations across all sectors can study and learn from.

Have a customer success manager for every customer – regardless of shape or size

Many companies don’t take this to heart, but it’s a vital practice. Assigning the Customer Success Manager before a customer comes on board, so they can understand the client’s requirements even before day one, can be a very powerful sales tool. The Customer Success Manager should then be engaged throughout the onboarding process – whether the software implementation is done via internal resources or through a third-party partner.

From there, the Customer Success Manager is responsible for a customer’s ongoing success and is the key customer advocate/champion, whose job is to continuously develop and nurture the relationship with that customer.

I often view the Customer Success Manager as akin to a conductor in an orchestra – ensuring all the right cross-functional resources are summoned and synchronised as needed to ensure proper execution against the vision set forth between vendor and client.

Invest in developing a thriving customer community

One of the best investments brands can make is to develop an online customer community forum where customers can organically connect with one another, 24/7, to learn tips, tricks, and best practices; new ways of leveraging functionality; and even gain insights and answers to solve similar problems. This has been shown to drive loyalty and lower churn.

Put in place a customer-centric technology framework

Many organisations evaluate customer satisfaction via surveys. These feedback mechanisms are very valuable for benchmarking and trending. What’s more, automation and dashboarding/analytics can help organisations scale customer service and support and provide critical insights to help identify key engagement opportunities to deliver the right support at just the right time.

With today’s technology platforms (and thanks to the integration benefits of the cloud) organisations have the ability to support one holistic view of the health of the customer and a full accounting of customer history, i.e: how many times they’ve renewed their software, how many users are licensed, how they are using the application, and even when customers are logging into the application – as well as corresponding survey responses.

If a customer hasn’t logged in for a while, a Customer Success Manager can be alerted to reach out to the customer to understand why.

Make sure your org chart reflects your company’s commitment to customer success

If the executive in charge of customer success has a C-level position, then you are effectively giving your customers a voice and a seat at the table. After all, customers are the lifeblood of any company – shouldn’t the voice of the customer resound throughout the boardroom?

Whether or not you work in the software industry, the increased digitisation of goods, services, and business models is leaving its mark: newfound customer flexibility and choice is giving organisations new impetus and a new urgency to hone their Customer Experience strategies.

Jonathan SharpJonathan SharpFebruary 8, 2018


Customer expectations are ever-rising, competition is fierce, and retailers’ number one priority at present is improving Customer Experience.

A study by Walker revealed that by 2020, Customer Experience will have overtaken both product and price as the key brand differentiator.

Customers do not want to deal with companies that offer a poor service. If you have phoned a contact centre and experienced inadequate service you will probably feel let down, and the company in question may well lose your business.

For customers to stay loyal to a brand and businesses to win new customers, companies need to invest in Customer Experience. A staggering 62 percent of companies view Customer Experience delivered by the contact centre as a competitive differentiator (Deloitte). Gartner even predicts that by 2018 more than 50 percent of organisations will redirect their investments to Customer Experience innovations.

A seamless journey

Omnichannel takes the customer through a series of touchpoints on their journey from online, to store, to purchasing, and delivery. Companies need to ensure that their omnichannel is seamless and easy to use. Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91 percent greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t (Aspect Software). However, for those companies that do have an omnichannel strategy in place, 87 percent of customers think that brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience (Zendesk).

Customers now expect service to be slick and effortless without delay or errors, and for all the personal data consumers have become used to providing, they increasingly expect to receive a personalised service experience in return.

It’s all about you

Whilst personalised emails have been around for a number of years, the next level of personalisation has seen retailers create custom content and personalised promotional offers.

Major online retailers and music providers offer personalised content and some even deliver personalised home pages. With consumers time-poor and reluctant to sift through lots of product information, retailers use technology to predict what they are going to purchase based on their buying and browsing behaviours. Although many retailers are stuck at the level of ‘mass personalisation’ but new big data, cloud, automation, and communications technologies are heralding one-to-one personalisation at scale.

Increase efficiencies with technology

The advancement of technology in the contact centre is causing a stir, particularly around artificial intelligence (AI) where there is uproar on how AI will contribute to people losing their jobs. A study by Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than 85 percent of customer interactions will occur without a human.

However, AI will also help contact centre agents to get rid of the mundane everyday tasks that are part of the job and hand them over to technology instead. This could include anything from call routing to answering basic questions that an auto attendant or Web Real Time application can assist with. Essentially, the more advancement in technology in the call centre, the more contact centre agents’ roles will be refocused on soft skills to deliver empathetic, personal service and advice.

Delivering the personal touch

With intelligent call-based routing using CRM records and intuitive self-service options, your customers can connect to the right people and services that they need to speak to – at the right time. This will help resolve their queries quickly and effectively. Inbound automation speeds up low-touch interactions and frees up your best-skilled contact centre agents to solve complex customer issues and add value to higher value interactions.

Agents will then be able to focus on more difficult queries that require a one-to-one conversation with the customer. Inbound automation will also enable companies to personalise content and offers by handing the enquiry over to an agent to speak with the customer, who can then deliver the personal touch over the phone.

With routine and mundane tasks being handled by AI, contact centre managers and agents can focus on creative strategic thinking to improve customer service.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) helps companies to create the ‘wow’ factor in personalisation by empowering agents with the technology and information they need to deliver a seamless Customer Experience. When a customer calls the contact centre the agent instantly gets a screen pop on their screen which tells the agent who the customer is and what their history is.

This reduces the repetition of the agent having to ask the same mundane questions to the customer and  eliminates frustration.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 7, 2018


With the 2018 UK Complaint Handling Awards just around the corner, CXM spoke with James Walker, the CEO of awards partner Resolver, the online complaints portal that helps consumers raise and resolve issues quickly and effectively. In our exclusive interview, he outlines best practise for dealing with customer complaints in the digital age, where customers hold more power than ever before thanks to social media platforms…


Tell us about Resolver and the idea behind the organisation

It sounds clichéd, but Resolver really was founded by consumers, for consumers.

I started Resolver after having an issue with my boiler insurance policy and finding that it was inexplicably hard to resolve my problem. I saw that submitting a complaint was a time-consuming activity, and that consumers had to do some serious research to figure out where they stood when it came to their rights.

Resolver is a single, awesome resource that provides consumers with quick and easy access to the tools and knowledge they need to raise their issues efficiently – for free.

We believe that the best way to help consumers is by educating them about their rights and working with businesses to improve their services. To this end, we try to remain impartial wherever possible and bridge the gap between consumers and businesses.

We stick to a strong ethical code – we’re always going to be free to consumers, we don’t feature adverts, we don’t sell on our users’ personal data. Overall, we aim to be a guiding force that people can trust, building better markets for both businesses and consumers.  When someone complains, what do we do? We listen, and gather the details of their bad experience. We then explain what we are going to do to resolve it.

Do you think the UK has previously lacked an effective complaint handling culture?

While the various ombudsmen and regulators have all operated to the best of their capacity, the problem is that consumers faced a convoluted nightmare of differing rules, regulations, and powers that made for a highly inconsistent system of complaint handling.

Things are definitely getting better, but some industries are more focused on learning from consumers than others. The response to Resolver has been fantastic – we’ve been visited for guidance and advice by over 37 percent of UK households; had over 1.2 million cases raised in 2017; and seen the average consumer satisfaction score of our top 20 companies rise to 7.12 – up from 5.68 in 2016.

All signs that Resolver is delivering a massive improvement to the way the UK looks at complaints.

Why is complaint handling so important in the digital age?

It’s a simple fact that it’s getting a lot cheaper to keep existing customers than it is to find new ones. Firms only have a finite marketing budget, and there’s no point forking out a fortune on pulling in new customers if you’re haemorrhaging existing ones left, right, and centre.

The thing is, building a loyal base of customers previously demanded that businesses commit a certain amount of resources to customer services – difficult to do when businesses are already committed to other areas of growth. This is why efficient complaint handling is so important: businesses can commit less to customer service, build customer loyalty, and improve customer retention.

What are some of the basic skills a business requires to placate frustrated and angry customers?

It sounds so simple, but I can’t emphasise this enough – listen to your customers.

We believe that good customer service is about more than just papering over the cracks, and that complaints offer businesses a chance to make crucial improvements.

What most people want is pretty simple: we want to see that our comments have been listened too and addressed, even if we disagree with the response.

We want to feel like we’re being spoken to by a human being, not a cut-and-paste or auto-generated response. And increasingly we want our complaint addressed quickly. This speed in resolving an issue is also beneficial to the business in question.

What are some of the advances you foresee in Resolver and other digital platforms in this field?

It’s all about the data! At Resolver, we encrypt and keep our user’s data protected. We don’t sell it on or monetise it in any way. Resolver remains a free service.

But our experience with helping millions of people resolve complaints means we can use that knowledge to help businesses learn from the complaints they receive.

We can design software tailored to their individual needs that enables them to spot trends in complaints and act quickly. We can predict with increasing accuracy the complaints that can be resolved quickly and those that are likely to escalate to an ombudsman or the courts.

And we can help businesses navigate the legal and compliance requirements that come with regulation.

Speaking to businesses across a range of sectors, it’s clear from what they tell me that this will be invaluable in helping them improve the service they offer to consumers, and will make things quicker and simpler for everyone involved.

Similarly, as we make our data do more for consumers and businesses, we hope to work on automating certain sections of the complaints process. We want to make it as easy as possible for consumers to raise their issues – and as simple as possible for businesses to resolve them.

Inform. Inspire. Include.
A free way to improve your business.

Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.



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