Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 27, 2017


Leading logistics specialist Pallet-Track is celebrating double success at the 2017 UK Business Awards at London’s Wembley Stadium.

The Wolverhampton-based firm was named the Gold winner in the Operational Excellence category, in which they overcame stiff competition from Silver runners-up Tech Mahindra.

The company – which was founded in 2004 and recently recorded its 20 millionth pallet milestone – also took home a Special Commendation for Delivery and Logistics for their outstanding freight services to customers.

Founder and Managing Director Nigel Parkes told Customer Experience Magazine:

“It goes without saying we’re delighted to be recognised by our peers in the business world. We believe our track record speaks for itself – if you invest in people, they will invest in your business, and a happy workforce is a productive one. We go about our business in a socially responsible and innovative way, which has helped us grow significantly, and we’ve also maintained the attention to detail and customer service which has enabled us to build our reputation.”

He added:

“We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the last 13 years, and long may it continue. However, there is certainly no danger of us resting on our laurels.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 27, 2017


A Wrexham sporting equipment firm scored a huge goal at the UK Business Awards 2017 by netting a prized trophy.

Net World Sports was named the winner of the SME – Incorporated for less than 10 Years category, beating Nottingham’s Yu Energy, which took home the Silver title.

The company’s fast growth raised eyebrows among judges during their presentation, and after accepting the prize during the ceremony at Wembley Stadium, Net World Sports’ Communications Manager Chris Owens told CXM:

“As the UK’s biggest-selling football goal manufacturer, it’s incredibly fitting that this amazing awards victory should come at the stadium known to many across the world as the spiritual home of football.

“With this particular award, the judges were assessing whether a business truly understands the needs of their customers. This is something all our team works tirelessly to do, from our customer care and sales staff speaking on the phones or replying to emails, or our web and marketing departments ensuring our websites are clear, concise, and compelling, through to our procurement team developing the best possible products, and our warehouse and operations teams going the extra mile to provide the quickest delivery times.” 

Chris added:

“It’s thanks to their outstanding work that our customers keep coming back to us again and again, and it’s their continued dedication that keeps us growing at such a phenomenal rate. This fantastic accolade from the UK Business Awards is richly-deserved recognition for their ongoing efforts and we are extremely proud to have won.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 27, 2017


Patron Capital has taken home the Gold trophy in the 2017 UK Business Awards category for best Financial Services.

The pan-European institutional investor, which focuses on property backed investments, was named victor for backing start-up Optimum Credit – now a leading second-charge mortgage lender in the UK, which completed the first public securitisation of second-charge mortgages by a UK lender since 2004.

Established by a very experienced senior management team, led by Sam Marshall, and backed by Patron Capital, the company wrote its first loan in 2014. The business has since become a market leader in the non-bank mortgage space, with more than 20 percent market share, and lends around £200 million each year.

Keith Breslauer, Managing Director of Patron Capital, told CXM:

We are thrilled that the faith we placed in the Optimum Credit team back in 2014 has been recognised and we believe that significant growth is yet to come. This was a unique transaction for this asset class and a major achievement for a dedicated team and the loan assets, and further establishes the company as a market leader.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 27, 2017


Having a whale of a time at the UK Business Awards 2017 were the winners of the Retail and e-Commerce Category.

Blue Whale Spa Ltd, which builds energy efficient hot tubs, was named the Gold winner in the category at November’s ceremony in Wembley Stadium in London.

The panel of judges listened intently to Blue Whale’s presentation before naming them winners ahead of fellow category entrants Angel Remy Hair Extensions.

Viktoria Lellei, the Nottingham-based outfit’s Marketing Manager, told CXM their team was “thrilled and honoured” to receive the prestigious award.

“It has been a long journey and as a company we grown and learnt a lot. This is a fantastic achievement for our teams and highly committed staff. As being a winner of this award, we are delighted to have been recognised to industry leading products and services,” she said.

“The strength of our innovation and technology helped reinforce our ambition to be the market leader hot tub manufacturer and supplier in the UK. We heavily invested in technology, built strong online presence by launching new e-commerce websites, brands, and developed strong partnerships with major retailers. This summer we purchased and moved into a 26,000 sq ft showroom and offices in Nottingham and opened the UK’s biggest showroom, which showcases 35-40 hot tubs at any time.”

Explaining the firm’s foothold in the competitive sector, Viktoria continued:

“Fundamentally we wanted to create market leading hot tubs with the best specification for the lowest possible price. We adjusted our production lines, improved our processes, took on board several large finance providers and analyse every conceivable piece of information we could. As a result, we are now able to provide the UK market with high-quality hot tubs at discounted price.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 27, 2017


The Disruptive Business Model category of the UK Business Awards is one of the most hotly contested of the day, and online marketing platform indaHash have been named winners for 2017.

It has been a fast rise to success for indaHash, which since 2016 has managed social media campaigns for some of the planet’s biggest brands, including Coca-Cola, Nestle, and McDonalds.

Their app allows social media users to participate directly in the campaigns of their personal favourite brands.

They were awarded Gold in the Disruptive Business Model category ahead of Silver winners e-Careers.

An elated Joanna Pawluk, indaHash’s Chief Growth Officer, told CXM following the Wembley event about the firm’s meteoric growth.

“The award is a real testament to the hard work of the entire indaHash family who have helped us to grow from six people to 130 in seven global offices, operating in over 70 markets worldwide in less than two years. Innovation is in our company DNA with new products, services and technology designed to help bring clarity, consistency and quality to the influencer marketing world.

We’re particularly proud of our success in the UK, partnering with ClearChannel to bring influencer generated content to Digital Out of Home and working with some of the biggest brands in the country like Morrisons, Laughing Cow, Schwartz, and L’Oreal.”

Speaking of what lies ahead for the company, Joanna added:

“Our recent ICO and launch of IDH Coin offers a universal cryptocurrency for social media influencers, their audiences and brands with the goal of being the world standard for all influencer marketing activity. We are delighted to be recognised for our success and innovation as a business.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 27, 2017


The stars were aligned just right for Sagittarius Digital at the UK Digital Experience Awards at Wembley Stadium, as the company won the Business Change Category.

The firm – which has UK bases in London and Kent, alongside global offices in the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, and Sri Lanka – took the Gold trophy after impressing judges with a presentation about their work on behalf of travel business Contiki.

Entering the winning station on-time just behind Sagittarius was Virgin Trains, which clinched Silver in the category.

After the day-long awards ceremony, Sagittarius Managing Director Nick Towers told Customer Experience Magazine how their focused work helped develop Contiki’s digital offering to clients:

“The UK Digital Experience Awards recognises the best teams and brands and their adoption and use of digital. It was a real honour to win the Business Change award for our work with Contiki and to tell the story of how they have fundamentally changed their organisation to be able to deliver quality, strategic and personal customer experiences to their global digital native audience.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 27, 2017


Wholesale firm Bidfood made a triumphant return to Wembley Stadium to win at the 2017 UK Business Awards.

The company previously enjoyed success at the same venue in September, when they won Gold in the Transport and Logistics Category at the UK Customer Experience Awards.

This time around, Bidfood clinched another Gold in the Business Change or Transformation – B2B category, while Silver was awarded to international consultants North Highland.

Bidfood’s Natalie Bance told Customer Experience Magazine:

“We are delighted to have won the UK Business Award for Business Change or Transformation. We started on our journey two years ago when we set out our mission to deliver service excellence, make life easier for customers and help them to grow, inspired by our desire to provide the best Customer Experience in our industry.

The journey has meant transforming ourselves from the inside out, and has taken us through business, structure and cultural change, touching every individual in our business. Researching our customers, training our teams, tracking our service KPIs, and tailoring our proposition more closely to directly reflect customer needs has all paid real dividends. We’ve been delighted to see the difference that this focus has made on our service KPIs, customer satisfaction and retention, on employee engagement, and our profit, financial and new business targets.” 

Natalie added:

“Winning this award means a lot to all of our teams who have worked hard to deliver service excellence, and is a fantastic achievement for our business.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 27, 2017


Web design firm GRIT Digital are celebrating double success at this year’s UK Digital Experience Awards.

The Norwich-based company was named winner in the Not for Profit and Charity category, before going on to claim the Overall Winner title later that day.

Meanwhile, housing association Richmond Housing Partnership won Silver in the Not for Profit and Charity category.

GRIT’S wins are a testament to their skill in providing outstanding online content for the Association of Independent Museums (AIM).

Following the ceremony, which was held at Wembley Stadium in London, Operations Director Emma Hayden told Customer Experience Magazine:

“We were…and still are…over the moon to have been named the winners of the UK Digital Experience Awards 2017, in the Not for Profit and Charity category, on behalf of AIM.

To have then been named as the overall winner was an extremely proud moment for our team and one we won’t forget. The feedback we received from the judges was overwhelming and we’re so pleased to have been recognised for our hard-work.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 23, 2017


The standard for British business excellence and digital experience was set higher than it has ever been before this week as London hosted the UK Business Awards and the UK Digital Experience Awards.

At a duel event in the capital’s iconic Wembley Stadium, the cream of the country’s business talent joined firms striving to provide cutting edge Customer Experience through digital platforms in presenting to a panel of judges comprising key industry figures.

Following a taxing round of presentations, judges decided who had earned Gold and Silver in 13 categories for the UK Business Awards (UKBAs) – known as ‘The Dons’ in honour of Don Hale, Chairman of hosts Awards International – and 20 in the UK Digital Experience Awards (UKDXAs).

Scoring was carried out with a methodology endorsed by Cranfield School of Management.

Categories covered a wide range of business and DX talents, including Retail and E-commerce, Utilities, not-for-profit, and Online User Experience.

The 63 Judges scrutinising the UKBA entries confirmed that the standard was “outstanding”, and following the awarding of the successful category entrants, the coveted Overall Winner trophy was presented to South Shields-based energy consultants The Green Energy Bureau.

The firm’s Ricky Chaplin said himself and colleagues were “ecstatic” to be crowned winners on the day, after their initial win in the New Business category.

“This is an incredible achievement for us and will push us forward as we enter 2018 on a high,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 51 UKDXA judges named winners and runners-up before crowning Norwich-based GRIT Digital the Overall Winner.
The web-design firm conquered the Not-for-Profit and Charity category for their sterling work on behalf of the Association of Independent Museums, providing excellent online services for thousands of visitors.

Following the hugely successful event under the Wembley arch, Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said:

“What an amazing day it has been here at the home of champions in Wembley, London’s most recognised venue, and the perfect location to celebrate and recognise the companies and individuals which reach the pinnacle of success in their respective industries.

The format for this year’s UKDXAs and UKBAs was ideal – presentations in the morning and the awards ceremony in the afternoon. This was agreed by most of the finalists and judges throughout the day, many of whom we hope to see next year again.

I would like to congratulate all of our winners, and also those who succeeded in making the finals shortlist for each event, which is an amazing achievement in itself, given the fantastic standard of entries to both Awards this year.”

The UK Digital Experience Awards 2017

Overall Winner GRIT Digital on behalf of The Association of Independent Museums
Not for Profit & Charity Winner: GRIT Digital on behalf of The Association of Independent Museums

Silver: RHP Group

Financial Services & Fintech Winner: Traydstream

Silver: Divido Financial Services Ltd

Best Online User Experience B2B Winner: Thomson Reuters
Best Online User Experience B2C Winner: FoundIt on behalf of Amara

Silver: Hallam Internet on behalf of Virtual Runner

Business Transformation Winner: Business Stream in partnership with Cap Gemini
Business Change Winner: Sagittarius on behalf of Contiki

Silver: Virgin Trains

Cloud Service Winner: Consortiq
DX Innovation Winner: Leso Digital Health

Silver: MOO

Mobile Strategy Winner: Three UK

Silver: Virgin Trains

Omni-channel Experience Winner: Business Stream in partnership with Cap Gemini

Silver: Vizolution in partnership with O2

Use of SEO Winner: Three UK
Digital Team Winner: Digital Transformation Service Northern Ireland

Silver: B&Q plc in partnership with Digits Industries Ltd

The UK Business Awards 2017

Overall Winner The Green Energy Advice Bureau
Retail and eCommerce Winner: Blue Whale Spa Ltd
Financial Services Winner: Patron Capital

Silver: Continuum

Not for Profit & Charity Winner: RHP Group
Utilities Winner: SGN
Best Place to Work Winner: Startle

Silver: Wickes in partnership with Blue Sky Performance Improvement

Business Change or Transformation – B2B Winner: Bidfood

Silver: North Highland

Business Change or Transformation – B2C Winner: PPL
Customer Centric Organisation Winner: Tech Mahindra

Silver: PPL

Disruptive Business Model Winner: indaHash

Silver: e-Careers

Innovation – B2B Winner: Startle

Silver: Digital Shadows

Innovation – B2C Winner: SGN

Silver: ZapGo Ltd

New Business Winner: The Green Energy Advice Bureau
Operational Excellence Winner: Pallet Track

Silver: Tech Mahindra Business Services Ltd – Digital Assist

SME – Incorporated for Less than 10 Years Winner: Net World Sports

Silver: Yu Energy

SME – Incorporated for 10 Years Plus Winner: SDS Limited

Silver: Joseph Giles

Social Enterprise Winner: GLL
Team of the Year Winner: Language Empire Ltd

Silver: Startle

Entrepreneur of the Year Winner: Sean Ramsden, Ramsden International
Inspirational Leader Winner: Charles Vivian – North Highland

Silver: Chris Russell – Arrow Business Communications

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 17, 2017


Earlier this month, Customer Experience management firm Medallia held their Experience Europe ’17 event in London, at which hundreds of guests discussed the current state of the CX industry and the challenges it faces.

Hosted at the historic Tobacco Dock in the city’s East End, the gathering brought together customers and CX professionals from over 25 countries for an event packed full of keynote speeches, presentations, and debates, which “inspired and motivated” attendees with the theme ‘you have more power than you think’, said Medallia’s Sean Farrington.

He added:

By bringing together companies such as Generali and EDP and specialists from Medallia, attendees were able to hear first-hand what the power of good CX means for an organisation. Attendees left the event inspired and motivated to make changes to their existing programmes for the benefit of their teams and their customers.”

Highlights included Brian Solis, futurist and principal analyst at Altimeter Group, who encouraged attendees to “learn to unlearn” what they knew about CX.

Today’s customers are connected and empowered, and as such, the playing field has changed. Brands aren’t just competing with their competitors, but with every great experience out there. He said:

Experiences become memories, whether they are good or bad. And it is those experiences which define your brand.”

With figures from a CEI report demonstrating that 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better Customer Experience, he closed his session by telling attendees:

Fix what people dislike, learn what they love and give them something they didn’t know they wanted and now can’t live without.”

Isabelle Conner, Group Chief Marketing and Customer Officer at Generali Group, took to the stage to demonstrate the huge transformation this 186-year-old company has undergone to place customers at the heart of its operations.

She summed up her experience with the CX programme and guided attendees through the five key principles around which Generali’s strategy was built to deliver success. First, the CEO of the local business unit is key – Generali ensured from the outset that its CEO’s were visible and engaged.

Without them the programme would have failed. Secondly, the implementation was designed to be cross-functional. Generali brought together IT, operations, legal, sales, marketing, and HR around the same table to ensure everyone was working towards a common goal. Thirdly, Generali ensured its programme was firmly embedded in operations.

Fourthly, the company created a policy to ensure all detractors must be called back within 48 hours – in a bid to learn from their experience and try to convert them, which worked with great success. And finally, engagement with the NPS community was critical for Generali.

For the business units this meant developing a community of NPS champions and reaching out to them, alongside touch point owners and the CEOs of its customers periodically. Overall, over 300 structural improvement actions were delivered across Generali throughout its transformation programme – driving cultural change throughout the organisation and ultimately delivering substantial benefits to its customers.

Meanwhile, Jose Ferrari-Careto, CMO at leading energy company EDP, spoke about how the company worked with Medallia to deliver the multi-award winning CX programme The Voice of the Customer within Spain and Portugal.

Its CX programme has optimised operations and improved customer service, with the team learning valuable lessons along the way. These are: first, have a common approach and vision for your customers. Secondly, avoid the temptation to use custom and in-house developments – always use the experts in the field.

Thirdly, integration with legacy systems can be demanding, so be prepared for that. Fourthly, avoid the ‘set and forget’ mentality – whilst any programme making positive changes will initially be met with enthusiasm, this will decrease over time, so keep programmes invigorated.

Finally, organisation engagement is mandatory – it is not enough to have one tier, like management, involved – all must be, or the programme will fall apart.

Talks from Medallia representatives also delivered valuable insights into a variety of different topics and trends, with key highlights including sessions on employee engagement.

Julia Markish, Director, Employee Practice at Medallia, spoke about why a focus on customers and employees fuels business health. Highlighting the importance of this, she told attendees that achieving high customer satisfaction but having low employee engagement, is only half as effective as balancing the two. Additionally, Medallia’s own research found that companies that ask for and act on employee feedback see close to 50percent better engagement.

Medallia’s Tim Queenan and Mike Mohageg guided participants through the new age of Generation Z, for whom experiences are more important than stuff. This is the generation that doesn’t know a world without Amazon, Google, social media, multi-connected devices, and apps.

But this is a generation worth influencing, as by 2020 they will account for over a third of the adult population. This super-tech-savvy generation spends around 7.6 hours per day socialising, often online, preferring to communicate in short-bursts of bite-sized content. The guidance to attendees looking to target this demographic was to embrace their responsiveness and desire for feedback and to make sure that all experiences are relevant and in the moment.

Sean Farrington added:

“The day promised to ‘power up’ attendees and it did that in spades. By bringing together this community of CX professionals, we have listened, learnt and, more importantly, been inspired to do more when it comes to CX.”

Medallia’s Experience will return in May 2018 in California, USA.

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