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12min949

Last year, the 90s masterpiece Friends, which has been running and rerunning on TV for the last two and a half decades, caused joy and uproar when it made a return to the small screen via Netflix.

It was back! Hardly daring to believe this stroke of luck, many people of a certain age (these fearsome millennials we’ve been hearing about) took to their sofas to binge watch.

As one of these millennials, I was a happy cog in this machine of nostalgic fervour. However, alongside my uncritical enjoyment of this frankly problematic TV show, as I watched there was one aspect that stuck out, which I hadn’t paid much attention to before…

Phones.

Phones and phone calls, and the sheer amount that these are used. Friends was filmed in the 90s, so there weren’t really mobile phones yet. They appear in later seasons, but they’re not a big feature. What struck me, though, wasn’t just the absence of mobiles and internet and so on, but rather the easy, natural, unstressed way they all use the phone. They ring each other constantly! They call strangers and service people! They’re always just picking up the phone and…ringing! Unannounced!

How you doin’?: Not great, actually. We have phone fear

Fast forward to the present and things are quite different.

Firstly, our phone usage has decreased – we’re all calling each other far less. Three years ago, 96 percent of smartphone owners were making at least one voice call per week. Now, only three quarters of us do, while a quarter of us don’t make weekly phone calls at all.

Research commissioned back in 2012 by O2 found that the ‘telephone’ app is only the fifth most used app on the general public’s phones. Based on the rate of development of smartphones and communicative practices, chances are high that this has decreased again in the seven years since.

Secondly, phone calls make us nervous. A new, but increasingly prevalent problem for the modern age is so-called “telephone apprehension”. And it’s not only millennials who suffer from this (although they famously do). Around 10-15 percent of the population suffer from anxiety or fear when using the telephone; of these, around 2.5 percent are so anxious that they can be described as truly “telephonophobic”.

But where is this anxiety coming from? One argument is that for some, it’s about politeness. People born since the late 80s and 90s have grown up with numerous methods of communication, and as such, are never out of reach. Accordingly, they might be more likely to choose written rather than verbal communication, because it’s less intrusive – it doesn’t create an immediate demand on someone’s time.

“We gravitate towards the least intrusive (type of communication) because we know how it feels to be digitally prodded on a range of different channels”

For many, it’s not the case that phone calls are The Worst and to be avoided at all costs – but their intrusiveness needs to be managed. It’s become common courtesy to send a quick message before you pick up the phone, to check whether the person is free. This might seem odd, but it’s commonplace in the workplace – in many professions, people are far more likely to schedule non-urgent calls than to pick up the phone and demand immediate attention.

Hang-ups: ‘Telephonobia’ is a real problem for many

This is something to consider for companies like ContactEngine, which conduct multichannel customer conversations. It’s all very well sending SMS or email or other written comms, but voice calls are a different beast.

Because looking at the above in reverse, if people are making fewer calls, they’re not answering calls either. Another new (or not new anymore) aspect of phones is caller ID. We used not to know who was calling us when we answered the landline. Without caller ID, you just had to risk it. And we did!

But now? How many of us actually answer calls from an unknown number?

When designing our communications, we talk about the problem of customers not answering phone calls – but when I asked my colleagues if they answer calls from an unknown number, none of them said they do. I know I don’t. And we’re not alone, as some recent ContactEngine research indicates…

As shown, when receiving a call from an unknown number, some people decline the call (27 percent), some wait for a voicemail (21 percent), some Google the number (18 percent), and some do nothing (20 percent) – but none of these pick up the phone. Only around 14 percent of those we asked said they would actually answer the call.

As a business based around conversations, if people simply don’t answer their phone – whether because they’re anxious or they just don’t want to – what can we really do? Receiving cold calls isn’t nice, and especially not from an unknown number.

Well, there’s a couple of things we can do. First, we can consider the customer journey as a whole and take a holistic view of the communications. For example, ContactEngine may try to call a customer about their delivery details.

They may not pick up. Fair enough. But we can configure the conversation so that if there’s no answer, it leaves a pre-recorded voicemail explaining why we called and setting an expectation about what will happen next – for example, that we will send an email, and asking them to look out for it.

Or we could send an SMS – ‘We tried to call you earlier’ – and let them know what our next move will be: ‘We’ll try again tomorrow’. Adding context, or attempting contact via a different channel, makes the communications more trustworthy and increases the chances of contact.

Secondly, we can ask people when they’d like to be contacted. If a phone call is really necessary, we can ask via a written form of communication when would suit them. Our AI can interpret responses and book a slot, and they can be called back at that time by a human. If you’re expecting a call, you’re more likely to answer the phone.

As argued here, gaining permission is key to a successful phone call, and this could be a key to solving telephonobia too.

Consensual telephoning, basically.

These approaches might be unrecognisable to Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, et al – but times are a-changing. Friends celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. If this much has happened, technology-wise, in just those years, I wonder where we’ll be in another 25? Hopefully Friends will still be available on Netflix, anyway.

It’s a comfort thing. Don’t @ me.

 

This article was written in partnership with Zoey Planjer, Head of Customer Journey at ContactEngine.


John BrunoJohn BrunoOctober 15, 2019
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7min1462

B2B companies know the kind of Customer Experience they should be offering.

Buying experiences should be seamless and rich, with tailored product information, relevant pricing, and payment options, and the right combination of flexible and adaptable buying and selling touchpoints. These features are more important than ever for B2B buyers and sellers as retail giants like Amazon encroach into B2B territory.
Unfortunately, based on Elastic Path’s study of 300 B2B eCommerce decision makers, it seems the reality of the B2B experience lags well behind the expectation. Nearly half (45 percent) of B2B businesses have lost customers as a result of their commerce experience. Eighty-two percent believe that they will likely lose customers if they don’t make improvements to the commerce experience within the next year.
Despite company leaders seeming to understand the urgency for CX innovation, few are making the right investments. In an attempt to meet the needs of digitally savvy customers, most B2B companies have to turn to B2C-focused commerce platforms. But these leave buyers unable to complete the fundamentally different and more complex steps required in a B2B sale.
Instead, B2B businesses must focus on digitising the B2B buying experience rather than attempting to mimic B2C commerce. The Customer Experience must be the driving force behind B2B commerce innovation.

Enabling the true B2B experience

Many brands have implemented technology to improve Digital Experience for customers, but few are offering the tools required to truly enable B2B buying online. With platforms designed for consumer sales, buyers are left without the ability to complete orders online in the same manner they have completed orders historically.
Nuances like contract-based pricing or project-based ordering – activities traditionally handled over the phone with a rep – have not been accounted for on digital channels, leaving buyers frustrated and confused. Most B2B commerce sites today are basic, B2C-like, digitised catalogues with the ability to personalise recommendations.
But B2B buyers are buying for their businesses, not their lifestyles – basic digitised catalogues and shopping carts aren’t enough. For these buyers, it’s all about enabling efficient buying and selling, and solving both long-and short-term problems.
For example, a buyer might need to create a new order for a quickly moving project. But in a traditional shopping cart set-up, that buyer would need to discard any orders started for long-term projects. It’s a frustrating and inefficient process.

The missing piece of the puzzle

What B2B brands really need are purpose-built systems with features designed specifically to ease the complexities of B2B buying and selling. These systems position B2B businesses to evolve right alongside buyer expectations. A purpose-built B2B commerce system should:

1. Elevate your sales team beyond administrative order-taking roles.

2. Support organisation-specific digital catalogues on a single platform to deliver buyer and organisation-specific product assortments.
3. Provide account-based experiences and provide division and role-specific pricing depending on contract agreements.
4. Offer streamlined reordering and guided selling experiences that ensure products and services ordered together are compatible with one another.
5. Support flexible pricing models through account-specific pricing, subscription billing, usage pricing, tiered billing, or negotiated and contract billing.
6. Deliver unified experiences across channels using API-first platforms to power both online and offline CX as buyers traverse channels.
With a purpose-built B2B commerce system, the pieces just fall into place. They support the enormous complexity of the industry whilst allowing you to offer the quality experience buyers expect.

Happy customers make for better results

More than half (53 percent) of respondents in our research that have achieved profit margin growth in the last few years strongly agree that this has resulted from investments in digital buying and selling tools to provide better service to customers.
When customers are given the buying experiences they expect, they buy more and remain customers for life. Our findings make it clear that the missing piece of the B2B commerce puzzle is a purpose-built system designed specifically to address the complexities of B2B buying and selling.
B2B sellers should abandon the B2C-like methods hamstringing sales and implement solutions that empower the business to deliver customer experiences that meet increasingly elevated expectations. The message is simple – B2C commerce tools do not work for B2B businesses, and they never will.

Tony LynchTony LynchOctober 15, 2019
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18min1415

According to a recent survey published by Harvard Business Review, 41 percent of board members recognise their biggest challenge is attracting and retaining top talent.

We also know that with good leadership, talent does not come and go – rather talent comes and grows.

Effective leaders focus on ways of developing talent within their teams and organisations. Retaining and growing talented teams to reach their potential grows fulfilment, effectiveness, productivity, and profitability.

However, this all starts from recruiting the right type of people to your organisation. Selecting the right person to your team can be a challenging task. Having interviewed and hired numerous people for over 25 years, I fully understand the importance of getting this right.

The hiring of people to join your team can have a huge impact upon the company one way or the other. Therefore, the interview procedure must be carefully planned out. Strategic coaching questions should be crafted in order to get inside the heart and mind of the person you are interviewing.

The 7 C’s Strategic Approach for Successful Recruiting I am about to share with you will provide a solid process, which will enable greater success for you in hiring the right person to your team.

It is a process I have used and added to over the years. As a business consultant, I know that the process for selecting the initial interviews, the questions asked in the interview, and the process to the appointment can be weak and needs to be addressed.

I often say that in order to develop a company, develop the team – however for this to be successful you must have the right team members on board.

So be honest with yourself as you answer the following question:

  • On a scale of 1-10 how effective would you describe your recruitment process?

Which areas need to be up levelled in order to attract the very best to your company, and to ensure you are saving on recruitment fees?

It can often be said that when someone joins your team, they are one day closer to leaving. However, the aim and intention is that you attract the very best in the marketplace and that you both enjoy a long-term and very successful business relationship.

What should you be looking out for when recruiting someone to join your company? 

This is a key question that must be given great consideration before the interviews start. So where do you make a start?

Always have an agreed established process in place to ensure that you are making a wise judgement when offering someone an opportunity to join your team. Don’t rush this, think into this well. 

What will your process look like?

As I have previously mentioned, the interview process for some companies and teams may not be as robust as they could be, which can lead to the wrong person being offered a job as well as costing the company a large amount of time and money.

Too much money is being wasted when it comes to recruiting. Successful recruiting allows you to reinvest in your own business. Making the wrong choice when it comes to increasing your team can have huge financial implications for the company. 

For small companies with less than five people, this can even lead to the company failing. Don’t let this happen to you – the pain is far too great and not needed!

So, first, recognise that hiring the best staff is an art. It takes time and wisdom as you seek to determine who could be the best candidate to fill a function or role you have available.

Good employers ask great questions – at the interview stage, well-crafted, well-thought questions will help to determine the quality of answer that you are looking for. Never rush this process; consider in advance the questions you want to be asking.

Don’t just think of questions during the interview. If there is a panel interview, decide in advance which questions each of you will be asking. Don’t put yourself in the position that you say after the interview has finished thinking to yourself I forgot to ask a good question!

Prepare in advance for the interviewing process. Always use a personality profile approach as this will help to reveal the strengths and limitations of an individual, but will also reveal how they respond to being part of a team.

As a Business Consultant I would highly recommend for you The Seven C’s Strategic Approach for Successful Recruiting:

1. Character

A member of staff with a good attitude, who is able to learn, and with skills that can be developed will have huge positive effect on your team, productivity, and profitability. Character is often described as what are we like when no one is watching.

Good character will ensure you have someone working not just for you but with you, someone who is honest with you, the customer, and themselves. They will not be compromised.

2. Coachable

Are they coachable or do they think they know everything there is to know?

Are they open to change? When you employ coachable people on your team, you can be assured they will have a great attitude. A coachable person will always go far within a team. You can see this in business as well as in sport.

A team member with a very pleasant attitude is a great person to be working with. It will be easier to work with someone with a good coachable attitude than with a poor one.

3. Care

Do they care?

It is so important to have team members who care – about the vision, mission, fellow team members, and values of the company. Caring team members know how to care for their customers.

Caring team members will go the extra mile. They care about the work they do. Ask them to share with you some examples of how they have displayed a caring approach in their work situation. You want to hear their stories about this.

4. Conscientious

You can always spot conscientious team members; they are often good listeners.

They will always look out for what is best for the company, team, and customers. They can often be great thinkers.

You want these types of people on your team. They won’t be looking to cut corners. They have high standards and will always seek to do their best.

5. Can-do attitude

Do they have a can-do attitude? Do they see the possibilities, or do they just see the problems? 

A can-do attitude is very contagious; it spreads well within a team and causes it to become very courageous. Are they prepared to have a go and take on new responsibility?

When you have a can-do attitude amongst your team, when it becomes part of the team DNA, it inspires everyone to step up. Ask leading questions to find out if they have this approach and if they do, ask them for a few specific examples and the difference it made.

6. Competent

Do they have the competency to fulfil the position you are offering? Can they do this role today and are they someone you can develop for a wider role in the future?

Do they have the skills and talents you could develop as you look to grow your business? A good leader will look to develop the talents in each member of their team, both for now and the future.

Therefore, it’s important to see if they have the capacity for growth as you grow your business.

As I mentioned earlier, with good leadership talent does not come and go – rather it comes and grows. It’s important never to despise a small acorn when it comes to talents. If you want to grow your company, grow the talents within your team.

7. Chemistry

Can I really work with this person? Can they work with me? Is there a personality clash? Can they work with the team? Are they a good team player? Will they be accountable?

Get this one wrong and it can spoil your entire team. Just because someone is competent does not mean they are a right match for your team! 

There have been times when I have not appointed someone to join my team, not because they lacked the competency –  in fact they could do the role very well – however they were simply not the right match for the others.

The chemistry just did not fit. Team to me is more important than just one person.

You need to be asking tough questions such as: will this person not just work for me, but will they work with me?

Is it all about them or is it about working towards the vision and mission of the company? There is a huge difference between someone just working for you (pay cheque) and someone working with you (loyalty).

Don’t be tempted just to take someone on because of their reputation or record achievements alone; you are interested in the future success of your team and company.

Get this one right and you are doing your best in building a great team. This is so important, please read this part again! I really want you to succeed with this.

So, when recruiting, consider The Seven C’s Strategic Approach for Successful Recruiting. 

You may be a manager, or in HR, or maybe it’s your job to lead the interview process. Ensure you have a solid process and plan ahead to stay ahead when it comes to recruiting.

Your ability to recruit well will determine the success of your team and company. These effective recruitment strategies and practices will save you time and money so that you continue to build a successful and sustainable business.

Some final questions to consider:

  • How will you upgrade your process for successful recruiting?
  • What could the impact be on the company once you make those changes in the next 12 months?
  • What could the impact be on the company in the next 12 months if you did not actively change your recruiting process?

Tony Lynch has authored a white paper, Developing and Growing a Team for Optimal Performance: A Close Up Look at a Team Development Model That has Stood the Test of Timewhich is available to download for free from Keep Thinking Big.

 


Hannah Louise CoxHannah Louise CoxOctober 14, 2019
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4min1190

Hannah Louise Cox is Executive Search Consultant at Douglas Jackson, and earlier this year joined the judging panel at the 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards.

Here she tells CXM of her experience, and the benefits of judging at industry awards events such as those hosted by Awards International

 

Hannah Louise Cox accepts her Outstanding Contribution to Judging Award from Awards International CEO Neil Skehel

First of all, I have to say, what a wonderful industry we work in!

The customer industry, where there is a real focus on people – customers and employees. So much great work is done for the good of people, and it’s great to be involved in it. 

Judging at the UK Digital Experience Awards has given me a fantastic opportunity to learn more about our wonderful industry and to discover, from grass roots level, some of the changes that businesses have made in order to serve people better – both customers and employees!

We see very compelling entries, from smaller businesses which compete against household brands, to the achievements of some of the larger corporate organisations – breaking down internal silos and really utilising influencing skills and working collaboratively to achieve great results.

What amazes me most during these prestigious events is the passion that people have about their businesses. Passion about other people – customers and employees – and about technology.

Passion about ideas, from conception through to delivery, and of course about the impact they have made. People love to make a difference, and our industry certainly has some very capable and inspirational leaders of people to spearhead change.

However, never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to be on the receiving end of such an award myself, but at this years’ UK Digital Experience Awards, I did indeed pick up an award, Outstanding Contribution To Judging.

Receiving such an accolade is definitely one of my proudest moments. I wasn’t expecting this at all, and when Neil Skehel, CEO at Awards International, came to present my award to me, I was overwhelmed with emotion.

I am so honoured.

I cannot emphasise enough how valuable I find judging at these events, and I would highly recommend looking into it. So, if you are deliberating, please do get involved!

I’m certain that you will find the experience as fulfilling as I have.

Judging positions are now available for the 2020 UK Complaint Handling Awards in London next March. Click here for more details.


Dave BrunoDave BrunoOctober 14, 2019
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8min1128

FOMO, or ‘fear of missing out’, has become a phenomenon among the millennial generation.

Millennials are spending more, travelling more, and seeking experiences more than any other generation, with Gen Z close behind. Of course, millennial instincts for sharing are well documented, as they are constantly in search for places to post about their experiences. Social media only adds fuel to their FOMO fire, enticing them to spend ever-increasing shares of their disposable income on experiences so they feel like they are keeping pace with their perpetually posting peers.

While these behaviours may strike fear in the heart of retailers attempting to capture their share of millennial disposable income, they actually point directly toward new and unprecedented opportunities to differentiate. For perhaps the first time in my lifetime, price is no longer the defining factor in purchase decisions. In fact, just the opposite is the new norm: millennials are consistently willing to pay premium prices for products, when they are accompanied by engaging experiences.

Taking full advantage of this unique opportunity requires more than the occasional loyalty perk, trunk show, or Instagrammable moment. Building a dedicated community of loyal customers requires one to become an active part of that community. And there really are no shortcuts. Joining a community takes time, dedication and persistence. If retailers ultimately want to bring the community to their brand, they first have to bring their brand to the community.

To date, few retailers have capitalised on this rare opportunity to differentiate on something other than product or price, generally by investing in mobile engagement strategies that extend beyond the smartphone. Those who have succeeded at becoming a meaningful part of their communities, have done so through innovative content tactics that engage with people who share a core set of interests, beliefs, and behaviours:

1. They develop a sense of purpose for their brand, and they design brand experiences that reflect that purpose, to create connections with people who have similar lifestyles and values.

2. They consistently go where their customers gather and bring their brands to them through pop-up experiences and shopping opportunities.

3. They develop a mindset and culture that embrace mobile engagement first – and then design each experience accordingly.

Creating a reason for millennials to connect

In a world of endless choices filled with new competitors around every corner, brands that have lived by the ‘one-stop-shop’ mantra are being picked off one by one. Meanwhile, more focused niche brands are thriving. These brands – which most typically have a clearly defined sense of purpose – understand that “finding your tribe” is critical to developing meaningful connections.

Finding your tribe requires that you identify a community based upon shared interests, values, beliefs, and behaviours. Doing so can reap both short – and long-term – benefits for the business:

  • Developing and nurturing a tribe can help brands identify, establish and design experiences based upon a value proposition that is relevant to and resonates with their target community.
  • Identifying with people of similar values and lifestyles can help nurture authentic relationships that tend to be durable and long-lasting.
  • Relationships built upon common beliefs and shared values typically engender feelings of loyalty that can lead to greater long-term recurring revenue.

Brands that will thrive for the long term will do so by recognising that they must continually contribute to and empower their communities, which will result in deeper, more meaningful relationships.

Building communities

Nurturing relationships requires a commitment to being an active part of the community, and retailers can no longer rely solely upon their stores as the centrepiece to their community-building strategies. Once again, we can learn from the emerging niche brands. Most emerged as digital natives, but they quickly learned that physical, ‘in real life’ (IRL) connections are critical to nurturing community, particularly with the millennial generation. Many have looked to pop-up shops as a key element of their IRL engagement strategies, and the pop-up industry is suddenly booming.

As the experience economy continues to expand, the number of opportunities to connect where your community gathers grows exponentially. Festivals, for example, exist to bring like-minded people together. Today, people – particularly millennials – gather in large numbers at Harry Potter festivals, craft beer festivals, cat video festivals, yoga festivals, chocolate festivals, duct tape festivals, The Big Lebowski festivals and, yes, even FOMO festivals.

From portable canopies at local events to elaborate temporary shopfronts in high-rent city centres, savvy retailers are investing in imaginative pop-up experiences that bring their brands directly to those places where people gather. By their very definition, pop-up shops – temporary, soon-to-disappear experiences – are perfectly suited to capitalise on Millennial FOMO. Unsurprisingly, pop-ups have grown into what many analysts estimate to be as much as a £60B industry.

Creating connections that last

Whether it be through pop-up shops, permanent shops, social media or digital channels, retailers need to connect with millennials on their own terms. Each experience must be designed to reflect the values, behaviours and aspirations of these FOMO-fearing shoppers. Because FOMO is here to stay. It’s simply time to learn how to benefit from it and to create connections that last beyond the next promotion or offer.

Retailers can tap into this rapidly expanding opportunity by considering their audiences values, finding where they gather, and becoming an active, engaged part of their community.

Otherwise, I fear it’s retailers who will be missing out.


Farrell HoughFarrell HoughOctober 14, 2019
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7min1967

Managing a large customer service operation can be a tricky and complex task, especially if an organisation is having to juggle multiple CRM platforms that can’t share information effectively.

This impacts customer service agents, making it hard for them to deliver great Customer Experience. There is a real need to manage this complexity and to help agents use fewer resources but provide a better and faster CX.

Optimising customer data

Out of the four most common types of CRM on the market – sales, commerce, marketing, and service – service CRMs have seen the fastest growth. This is unsurprising when you look at how many organisations are prioritising  Customer Experience. What is surprising however, is that 60 percent of that market is still filled with homegrown solutions, of which many are only capable of providing simple case-logging abilities, which is causing all sorts of headaches for those trying to achieve fantastic experiences for their customers.

What’s needed is a solution that brings together core capabilities such as omnichannel, case-management, and self-service features and uses digital workflows to easily connect the customer with the right information or agent via their channel of choice. This creates an end-to-end experience that for many customers, means the difference between a frustrating and slow experience and one that gets to root causes and solves problems faster and more effectively.

For example, by connecting the customer service agent with the back-end operations team or the engineering team that built the product customer service, employees can identify the issue more accurately and fix the issue once and for all.

Because great service means more than just engaging your customer, it’s also connecting customer service with other teams to resolve issues quicker and proactively.

Adopting a single platform model

A single platform approach enables users to access a single data model rather than having to navigate and integrate a myriad of data models from different platforms into their customer service workflows.

The result is that you are able to take full advantage of capabilities that are either missing or difficult to manage in legacy platforms such as machine learning, native mobile experiences, and self-service portals – all features that customers are coming to expect from every brand.

Such a platform is also built to grow and evolve alongside the enterprise. Third-party capabilities can be added, or new different data sources integrated if the business requires it. Or a virtual data source capability can be added, which allows customer service agents to access external information, such as account records, that aren’t native in other customer service management tools.

Creating a Customer Experience that drives loyalty

A great example of how customer service can be improved with this approach is ServiceNow customer, NICE Software, a leading analytics software company.

NICE was handling 70,000-plus customer cases a year, with 1,000 cases a month that required individual attention. However, they lacked the capabilities to assign cases to the most appropriate agent based on their skill set, so many were allocated to the wrong people. When a case finally reached an engineer with the right skills, often they’d in fact not come across many of the issues before and lacked access to a knowledge base that could help resolve the issue. As a result, it was taking an average of 24 days to resolve a case.

By implementing a single platform model, NICE was able to automate and accelerate case management. Within a week of implementation the volume of assignments had reduced by identifying the required skills during case creation and automating routing enquiries to the right agent straight away. Thanks to these intuitive processes and a more engaging user interface, NICE reduced back-end case volume by 72 percent, saving $450,000 a year.

Another success story is Vodafone, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. Prior to the implementation of ServiceNow, the customer service team were dealing with siloed systems across multiple platforms, meaning it was a very complex environment with a lack of unified data. Often a customer would know about a problem before the business did.

By streamlining all of this data into one platform, Vodafone can now be proactive and notify a customer that there’s an issue and that its being rectified, thanks to a single 360 degree view of them, with one application that is simple, intuitive and streamlined to clearly see their journey. Customer satisfaction is now up by over 25 NPS points and customer agent productivity levels have increased by 45 percent.

Start delivering a better customer service today

In today’s competitive environment, the kind of customer service you provide may mean the difference between you and a competitor. And today’s customer expectations go far beyond what traditional CRM systems deliver.

The modern customer service organisation must connect with every corner of the enterprise to diagnose, fix and prevent issues. This multidepartment functionality resolves problems at once, meaning agents can respond faster and provide real solutions, as well as free them up to deliver proactive strategies that drive business improvement and growth.


Oliver MaussOliver MaussOctober 9, 2019
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7min1140

In their earliest days, dynamic startups are so intently concentrated on the product or solution they have created, and the innovative, creative concept behind it, that they lose focus on the key process of taking it to market, engaging with prospective customers, and driving up sales volumes.   

If you are a budding entrepreneur, you will recognise the scenario: you wake up with the best idea ever – an idea that creates something you see as ‘incredibly unique’ or that solves a problem that your ‘customers-to-be’ didn’t even realise they had. You start working on it with dogged intent, overtaxing your energies, getting all the raw materials together and assembled, until one day you have a product in your hands. All you have to do now is let the customers roll in.

But as time goes by, you realise your plan has a flaw. Your products are still on the shelf. Prospective customers are not jamming up your email or heating up your phone lines. Sales aren’t rolling in. Why not?

Because people have no idea your product even exists.

 If you are developing a startup, it should be no surprise that marketing is key to the success of your business. It’s your route to customers and enhanced sales revenues. In fact, it is just as vital as the product itself.

One doesn’t work without the other. Understanding that is the easy part. But if you don’t have a marketing background or knowhow, you are likely to find it difficult to decide how much to spend on marketing and then how to allocate your budget.

A great place to start answering these questions is to see where other companies spend their money and how that’s working for them.

Marketing spend as a proportion of revenue

A good way to analyse different marketing budgets is to look at them as a percentage of revenues. This way a single metric can be tracked and measured against a key performance figure and more easily compared with the strategies of other businesses.

In its CMO Spend Survey 2018-2019 report, Gartner found that among companies (with $500 million to $10 billion or more in annual revenues) in North America and the UK, had levelled off in 2018 to an average of 11.2% of company revenue.  Of course, these figures represent relatively-established businesses and brands that have already made their mark in their desired target markets, whereas start-ups and smaller businesses need to invest significantly more to achieve the same level of market awareness.

Bright prospects for digital marketing

Moreover, despite the slight levelling off in chief marketing officer (CMO) spend over recent years, the future of marketing does look bright. According to the 2018 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey, 57 percent of CEOs expected to increase their investment in marketing in the coming year. In addition, it is also true that digital marketing is rapidly accounting for a bigger slice of the pie, often at the expense of traditional marketing.

For example, Marketing Charts estimated, based on the PwC 5-year outlook, digital advertising in the US that in 2018 was nearly $30 billion larger than TV advertising.

Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey broke down the numbers.

The report states: “Spending on digital commerce chimes with CEOs’ digitisation goals. In a Gartner survey of 460 CEOs and senior business leaders last year, 62 percent of respondents said they have a management initiative or transformation program underway to make their business more digital. In short, the majority of CEOs recognise that they need to transact with their customers online, be they in B2B or B2C brands.”

These figures indicate the ongoing journey that many businesses are on towards digital transformation today. If you are a budding entrepreneur or start-up business, this growing focus on digital should also act as a clarion call that you must not neglect marketing as you launch new products, solutions and innovations but also that you are likely to need a strong focus on building a digital approach.

There is no magic number of how much to invest; it depends on your industry, your product, your growth aspirations and you have to keep the stage of your business life cycle in mind. Digital marketing provides a cost-effective and measurable way of targeting and engaging with a defined group of prospective customers. And it also provides a great way of educating them about your business in that crucial early engagement phase. Given its benefits in attracting prospects and building customer interest, it should come as no surprise that, for any start-up business, digital marketing is here to stay.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 9, 2019
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4min1129

UK employees are wasting two hours each week trying to track down the right information internally, which is in turn impacting the quality of customer service they deliver.

That is the findings from new research by 8×8, which quizzed 2,000 employees in mid-market and enterprise organisations. The study looks into how work is carried out and uncovers the communications challenges that fast-growing organisations face.

The main reason productivity suffers is because 29 percent of people can’t find the information they need to do their jobs effectively on the systems they use.

Fourteen percent said they are not able to locate the right expert internally, while 17 percent say they are held back by information not being shared in a central place.

Employees also say that a few experts within their organisation hold most of the information about the company (63 percent) but they can’t always contact them.

This is impacting customer service teams in particular, with at least two different people required internally to get the right information to answer a single query. This means it takes them longer to answer customer queries (50 percent) and the quality of service falls (52 percent).

Not being able to access the right information has impacted businesses in a variety of ways. Thirty-four percent of employees said they are working longer hours to complete their tasks, while 34 percent reported a ‘slow’ resolution of problems. Inaccurate information was also used, according to 24 percent.

The data was also analysed by age group and organisation size. When asked what channel they would respond most quickly to, millennial workers said email (39 percent), followed by phone (35 percent) and online chat such as Slack (nine percent), but baby boomers preferred phone (50 percent) followed by email (31 percent).

Those in large organisations say the problem has gotten worse as they’ve grown. Almost half of employees (43 percent) say it has become more difficult to reach the right experts internally as the business has scaled.

Collaboration technology makes it possible for expert knowledge to be open to all staff at any time – 71 percent say that this type of tech would help them do their job more efficiently.

Lisa Clark, VP Product Management, Contact Centre at 8×8, said: “Typically, a small portion of a company’s staff holds the majority of the expertise. This isn’t an issue when these employees are available, but when this isn’t the case, staff and customers face potentially difficult situations.

“We can see that employees across organisations are struggling to complete everyday tasks and answer queries because they aren’t able to get the information they need. This is impacting productivity on a massive scale, as time is being wasted scrambling around for answers on systems that aren’t connected across a business.

“By using one cloud communications platform, teams and individuals can collaborate much more efficiently and all employees can access information faster – no matter what channel they use.”


Sid BanerjeeSid BanerjeeOctober 9, 2019
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9min1047

It can be easy to think of customer experience programs as one homogenous aspiration for organisations, but with a little probing, what often emerges are two discrete types of programs: analytical, and operational CX.

In both cases, CX professionals will use operational data (such as customer attributes, financial data, product data) along with customer interactions, feedback, and social conversations, plus agent and employee feedback, to understand and improve the Customer Experience. Programs are designed to help understand and improve experiences and drive financial or market advantages to the company. But there are significant differences between the two approaches.

Analytical CX

Analytical CX programs are often outgrowths of traditional customer insights, market research, or even agency-led initiatives designed to look for specific answers to specific questions about the customer. Analytical CX programs typically display these attributes:

1. Analytical CX is project based

A project has a discrete objective, desired outcome, and deliverable designed to answer a specific type of question about a product, a service, a marketing campaign, or a customer service initiative. Often the project is timed to a strategic initiative about to be taken or underway.

2. Analytical CX is driven by hypothesis-testing, scientific method approaches

A customer insights analyst might want to test assumptions about customer affinity to a new product. Or hypothesise on the reasons a website is or isn’t meeting customer needs. Using customer feedback, surveys, social content, or conversations, that analyst will test his hypothesis, adapt it if it fails, and iterate until proving or disproving the theory.

3. Analytical CX is performed by analysts or data scientists

This is typically done in a dedicated customer experience function, or by marketing, operations research, or even IT personnel whose day job is to live in the data and analyse it. These are people fluent in many types of research, comfortable with advanced tools, and with wrangling data from diverse sets, often on a whim, to answer the pressing question of the day.

There is a home for Analytical CX in most large organisations. As businesses become more complex, data becomes more diverse, dynamic and increasingly more unstructured, analytical CX professionals provide the technology, tools, and process skills to answer the strategic questions of the day.

Operational CX

Operational CX programs, by contrast, are designed to help organisations manage their own performance to achieve operational goals, business improvement goals or successful transformation goals. Operational CX programs typically display these characteristics:

1. Operational CX programs are ‘always on’ because businesses are always on

They are visible to employees for whom analysing data isn’t a full-time job, but for whom receiving insights to drive continuous improvement and performance to goals is valuable and useful both personally and organisationally.

2. Operational CX programs go through long-term evolution

Just as performance objectives evolve and as business practices and customer interaction channels evolve, Operational CX programs evolve but it is measured in quarters and years, not days and weeks.

3. Operational CX programs aren’t projects with a start and end

They’re initiatives that persist until goals are achieved, and then often persist further to ensure goals are maintained.

Typical CX goals that are aligned to operational CX programs would include:

    • Increasing customer satisfaction, or NPS scores
    • Reducing churn
    • Achieving and/or maintaining product quality, and competitive differentiation
    • Streamlining support procedures to improve first call resolution, increase contact centre deflection from high cost to low cost channels, or to maximise utility and capability of newer support channels such as self-service, mobile apps, or online chat, chatbot, and messaging clients
    • Driving increases in marketing outcomes like brand equity, loyalty, or market awareness
    • Driving increases in sales outcomes like rep sales achievement, or improving sales organisational performance
    • Reducing product safety, financial or regulatory risk

 In an Operational CX paradigm – regardless of the type of outcome an organisation is aiming to achieve – the program is structured using a programmatic approach:

  1. Outcome measures are established (NPS, call centre performance metrics, sales goals)
  2. Input drivers are collected from operational, feedback, and conversational sources. Typically input drivers would include cost information, performance characteristics of agents, sales reps, calls, and most importantly, conversational attributes and feedback attributes extracted from call transcripts, surveys, social conversations, chats, chatbots, and more.
  3. Where needed – input drivers, if contained within unstructured sources such as calls, transcripts, text, etc, are extracted and tagged using text analytics solutions designed for such purposes.
  4. Lastly – reports, and dashboards, based on performance management best practices and templates, are created and disseminated across the organisation to provide performance feedback to staff, management, and executives. These dashboards provide a feedback mechanism so that staff can identify ways to improve to achieve outcomes, and provide management tools to help management and executives manage their teams to achieve their goals.

 To drive CX maturity in an organisation, it’s often easier to start with an analytical approach, but sustainable cultural alignment to CX best practices, and more importantly financial return on CX initiatives (through saving money, improving loyalty, or reducing risk) is most likely to come from an Operational CX approach.


Jonathan McKenzieJonathan McKenzieOctober 7, 2019
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9min1121

David WharramDavid WharramOctober 7, 2019
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11min1471

Data-driven analysis has been the cornerstone of our understanding of digital performance, from campaigns and websites, to all the components that contribute to them.

Analysis and the production of objective data to demonstrate performance has been one of digital’s greatest strengths since its inception. Yet, with all this talk about how our digital assets have performed, isn’t it about time we take a step back and think about how people actually feel about our content?

After all, it’s estimated that  over a third of users will stop engaging with a website if the content or design is perceived as unattractive or clumsily laid out. What’s more, with increasingly distracted audiences, creating an intuitive and positive user experience is more important than ever before.

Biometrics’ 101

Do customers understand what we’re trying to communicate? Do our values resonate with audiences? Does our content excite? Are people even watching our videos and, if they are, what keeps them engaged?

For all these questions and more, biometric testing gives us an answer. As marketers, we need to step away from the constant ‘push’ techniques that we’ve become so reliant on and start thinking more about our customers. It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But until now, we haven’t had a reliable way of understanding and measuring human emotion. For the first time ever, we can tell not just what people think about our content, but how it makes them feel.

Biometrics refers to the measurement of life, or more specifically, the scientific evaluation of human traits and emotions. The technology itself isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around for years but has mainly been utilised in the security and pharmaceutical industries.

The technology has been slowly establishing itself within the mainstream conscious as over 75 percent of consumers have used or experienced biometric technology. As this groundbreaking technology has matured, more digital marketers are investing in the opportunities it provides to examine the effectiveness of their marketing techniques. By utilising high-end hardware and software, biometrics can monitor and record a user’s biological reaction to certain stimuli.

With 87 percent of marketing budgets predicted to be spent on digital by 2022 and businesses investing so much money in their digital marketing, going one step further to analyse the user experience of that investment is just good sense – particularly as 40 percent of users would abandon a web page of any kind if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

One of the most significant advantages of digital marketing is the ability to measure performance across a variety of metrics. Layer on top of this user insights and thorough surveys or interviews, and what you get is a clear picture of what your digital marketing is doing and who it’s interacting with. The real challenge comes when you try to bridge this gap by understanding the connection between data and user behaviour.

The capabilities of biometric technology are unparalleled, allowing marketers to analyse eye movement and facial expressions in order to assess an individual’s emotional responses to a particular stimulus. Facial mapping technology comes into play by tracking any sudden facial movements, such as a furrowed brow or curved lip, and categorising them into the implied emotional response.

As well, galvanic skin response (GSR) technology provides the ability to measure a user’s emotional arousal to what they are seeing on screen. This works by monitoring changes in sweat gland activity, therefore showing whether users are annoyed or pleased with their stimuli. The fact is that emotions play an enormous part in our purchasing decisions, so measuring this metric is important for brands to see how people react to their buying process.

Biometrics and the user experience

One way to measure a user’s response to a web page is to see it through their eyes – not via surveys, but by actually tracking their eye movements and identifying responses the user may not even be aware of. This kind of testing highlights what content immediately draws their attention and where they may look first on a website’s landing page, as well as demonstrating whether a user has read the entire copy of a webpage, or just skimmed their eyes across it.

Measuring time spent on a webpage is important, as most users spend an average of seven seconds on a page before deciding whether to exit the site or not. Eye-tracking helps to identify key areas of interest, as well as areas that might need a little extra attention.

In addition to eye-tracking, being able to analyse the facial expressions of audiences provides additional insight on digital content by looking at their immediate emotional responses – whether this be delight, confusion, or disgust. Measuring this provides valuable insight into the user’s journey and how each stage of that journey made them feel.

It was recently reported that 52 percent of users say the main reason they wouldn’t return to a website is due to the aesthetics of a particular page. By using biometrics to measure what part of a company’s website is troublesome or off-putting for users, marketers have an edge over the competition as they are able to determine which type of user experience (UX) they are delivering and how this can be tailored to give users what they want and what they expect.

This is especially important as only one percent of users say ecommerce websites meet their expectations every time, meaning most websites are failing to address the needs of their users. The customer journey not only includes the way a customer interacts with a web page, but also how they feel emotionally whilst doing so. If a brand’s website has been difficult to navigate and the customer becomes annoyed, they will have a negative association with that brand, which could result in audiences turning to competitors.

Biometrics & ROI

As brands continue to invest heavily in their digital marketing efforts, having the ability to track how effective those efforts have been is paramount. Measuring performance is a vital component of digital marketing, using various different methods to build a picture of how content is performing and with whom it’s interacting. Data and user behaviour are difficult to measure at the same time, and therefore it can be difficult to interpret results from user interviews and insights.

As the industry continues to look for new ways to measure the effectiveness of their digital content and places more emphasis on how to improve user experiences, it seems that the answer lies within the advanced insights that biometrics provides. Results from biometric studies can be used to create more conversions and purchases for a brand, as the user experience can be reviewed and refined in line with the emotional response of users found within the measurements.

This data is effectively the key that can open the door to optimal user engagement.


Rory OConnorRory OConnorOctober 7, 2019
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13min1216

Customer Experience is shaping the future of ecommerce.

AI is no longer science fiction – it’s real present-day technology and many ecommerce businesses are already using some form of AI to understand their customers better and provide an enhanced CX.

2019 is shaping up to be the year that AI becomes truly prominent in ecommerce. Investment in AI and machine learning is increasing across the board, just as the developments in technology are expanding the range of uses. According to IDC, the global retail industry is set to spend $5.9 billion (£4.45 billion) on AI systems this year.

AI is changing how people find products and shop online; there are systems that can analyse millions of daily interactions to create targeted incentives to individual customers.

In a highly competitive and dynamic marketplace such as ecommerce, the drive to integrate these emerging technologies is accelerating. AI has the power to be a game changer in ecommerce by pushing CX to the next level. Virtual assistants, product recommendations, voice search, and augmented reality are just some examples of these technologies. 

AI is a trend, but it is not a fad, so brands that wait to implement it into their business will rapidly find themselves eclipsed by their forward-thinking competitors.

What can AI do for your ecommerce store?

It’s predicted that ecommerce businesses that personalise successfully could see profits rise by 15 percent by 2020 (source: Gartner).

There are various ways of capitalising on AI and machine learning platforms for your business but the most significant advantage of AI is the level of hyper-personalisation that becomes available to your customers.

The demands of online shoppers are evolving at a spectacular rate, faster than human retailers can respond to them.  Consumers now expect personalisation as standard as they are used to experiencing it on a daily basis. For instance, the recommendations Amazon and Netflix make based on the user’s prior interactions. Eighty percent of watched content on Netflix comes from algorithmic recommendations, according to findings by Mobile Syrup.

Meanwhile, McKinsey found that 35 percent of Amazon’s revenue is generated by its recommendation engine. Your business may already be collecting data on the online behaviour of your visitors but vast amounts of data can be overwhelming and pretty useless if you don’t know how to analyse it for the purposes of putting effective strategies in place.

An effective AI system has the capacity to filter through petabytes of consumer data to predict online behaviour, and offer individually specific recommendations that are buyers find relevant. This level of intelligence is vital in delivering a personalised shopping experience to the consumer.

Quite simply, stores that have not deployed ecommerce personalisation will lose out on revenue. Brands that engage this tactic can transform their online stores in a way that serves the customer’s needs and best interests. And do it efficiently and even cost effectively!

Humans cannot compete with AI when it comes to deconstructing big data. AI facilitates multiple ways to segment your audience to gain intelligent insights that allow retailers to personalise in a range of different ways.

  • Product recommendations: Algorithmic recommendations that update in real time, depending on the visitor’s behaviour. Buyers expect the ‘you may also like this’ feature to show items that are relevant to their tastes. Personalised merchandising sorts the product display to show customers products that genuinely appeal to them.
  • Personalised website content: Presents visitors with various configurations of online content according to their personal preferences. This can even include personalised navigation of the site, with a personalised home page, which is proven to increase conversions.
  • EA (Evolutionary Algorithms, a subset of AI): This can carry out sophisticated content testing and optimisation at a rate that humans simply cannot, by assessing which layouts and content drive the highest conversion with different customer segments and then configure the online experiences to the individual in real time.
  • Customer-centric search: Using tools such as natural language programming, searching online is becoming more intuitive to what the customer is actually looking for during online searches.
  • Currency auto-detection: Detects and presents the correct currency for your visitors and converts the prices accordingly so there are no surprises or extra steps for the customer.
  • You can even use AI to tackle fake reviews by finding and removing bot generated reviews by competitors. Negative reviews and lack of customer trust impacts sales. Ninety percent of shoppers surveyed said that positive reviews influence their online buying decisions. 

Brand benefits

The benefits of creating such a personal and convenient Customer Experience are vast. By increasing the level of visitor engagement through recommendations and customised content you reduce bounce rates, improve conversions, and increase sales. And better still, generate repeat business.

These tools eliminate the need for time-consuming content testing, and reduce the amount of money spent on ads. They can create valuable efficiencies across operations that free up precious time to focus business at the strategic level. An AI engine that continuously monitors all devices and channels has the ability to create a unified universal customer view; for the first time its possible to deliver a seamless cross-device and cross-platform experience.

AI systems can be integrated with digital marketing solutions and can be utilised to build unique customer experiences that are consistent across all marketing channels.

For instance, since implementing AI, clothing brand Footasylum saw a 28 percent increase in email campaign revenue from hyper-personalised marketing communications.

Marketing copy that speaks directly to the customers based on their purchase history, search queries, and page visits, is an extremely effective tool for cart recovery and post-purchase promotions. Abandoned cart emails achieve a 4.64 percent conversion rate, according to Proteus Themes.

Personalised ads on social media as a tool may not lead to people buying directly from the SM platform but they do drive relevant traffic that increases conversion rate so should not be left out of the AI strategy.

Privacy and ecommerce personalisation

Of course, the price of hyper-personalisation to the customers is their private data, but even cautious shoppers will part with their intimate details for a high level of customisation and ultra convenience.

Building value-based, trusting relationships with your customers is essential for long-term loyalty, so remaining fully transparent on how and why you collect people’s data and the security levels in place are vital.

Invespcro found that 57 percent of online shoppers are comfortable with providing personal information to a brand, as long as it directly benefits their shopping experience.

Chatbots and virtual assistants

Chatbots are a machine learning technology that interacts with shoppers in a chat environment simulating human conversations. Chatbots and virtual assistants are being deployed across online retail to mimic the personal touch of a shop assistant.

They learn and evolve to become better at assisting the visitor with customer service needs and product queries. They can even be trained to say ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’, making them more forgivable if they do frustrate a customer.

Chatbots present an effective and low-cost way of providing customer service, 24/7, which reduces the need for expensive humans. Virtual assistants are impacting the way customers make purchases and provide retailers with a creative opportunity to deploy across the customer journey.

Where to start?

Investing in AI may still seem like an enormous undertaking, but there are several ‘off the shelf’ platforms available, many of which offer 30-day free trials. By testing out different applications on your site, you can see which works for your business. The real question is, can you afford not to invest in ecommerce personalisation for your business?

The smart approach is to do so with the intent of ensuring your customers feel personally valued and focus on providing them with an engaging and seamless shopping experience that will build long term brand loyalty.


John CheneyJohn CheneyOctober 7, 2019
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8min1284

There are rare occasions when technology breaks out of the bonds of the geeks in the basement and impinges on the national consciousness.

The debate around AI is just one of those occasions.

Politicians, business leaders, trade unionists, and media commentators have all weighed in on the subject: AI is going to create jobs; AI is going to destroy jobs, AI is going to make us more efficient, AI is going to make us money…and so on.

Above all, it’s particularly prevalent in business. According to research from Accenture, the use of AI can improve enterprise efficiency by up to 40 percent. No organisation is going to turn away from gains like that!

Naturally, the CRM market hasn’t been immune from these pressures. Adherents of ‘AI-is-the-future’ point out many ways that AI will transform the way businesses interact with their customers, for example by pulling together information and insight on customers from a multitude of sources, websites, and different social media, without any need for human intervention. 

But AI offers more than pulling together and making sense of disparate information; it can use a range of different techniques to ascertain a customer’s views and desires to help customise approaches to them.

It sounds like a utopia for marketers: better customer engagement; more sales; more profits with less human intervention. 

What’s stopping them?

Sadly, like many utopian dreams, there are some practical matters to deal with. The biggest of them all is the way in which information on customers is scattered around many disparate sources. Enterprises have been used to storing data in corporate silos and pulling it all together is not the most trivial of tasks – companies have rarely been designed to work that way.

And it’s not just a question of simply collating all the information, but also understanding how it’s sorted and what common formats there are. Some of the data could come from financial records, some from email output, some from SQL-based databases, while some could be image or video unstructured data – there’s a wide variety of possibilities and somehow they all these have to be pulled together.

It’s not purely about technology. Companies need to think about how they gather information and how they work together – it may need a completely new mindset. Small businesses understand this instinctively – there’s much more co-operation (and fewer specialist roles), larger organisations are not geared up for this way of working, and each department will often zealously guard its domain.

In an ideal world, companies should set up a cross-functional team to manage the implementation of technology such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management). This CRM team should be working with different departments to work out ways in which they could share skills and data to ensure that everyone is working with a common purpose.

There’s another consideration too: people skilled in AI are really thin on the ground. The use of AI requires some specialist expertise in gathering and interpreting the data. What many organisations mean when they say that they’re using AI is that they’re making use of algorithms – just one part of the AI armoury, but not everything.

In fact, this is one of the issues when it comes to talking about AI. The concept is often confused with the other elements – for example, deep learning, machine learning, and neural networks. Technologists are aware of all the distinctions, but very often business commentators aren’t. There needs to be full comprehension of what all the terms mean when we’re talking about AI engagement.

Of course, AI will have a considerable future when it comes to customer engagement, no-one denies that. But there’s a lot of work to be done first. AI shouldn’t be treated as some sort of magic bullet that will immediately transform company fortunes; we have to be careful that we don’t succumb to the hype too easily.

What companies should be doing is making sure that their CRM systems are configured correctly and are pulling in all the relevant information; businesses may think that they need a magical touch of AI but the answers could be sitting there in their own, existing software.

There’s a long way to go before CRM investment in AI bears fruit. For that to happen, there’s a need to have an enterprise-wide CRM platform (as opposed to a functional/departmental CRM) installed and all data in one place. And, on top of that, for a corporate culture that understands that the days for data silos have passed.

Until that happens, AI is going to be something that generates the column inches in the paper but not a concept that will have an effect on the way that we handle customers. Its day will come – but just not yet.


Sean RusinkoSean RusinkoOctober 4, 2019
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12min2635

Today’s Customer Experience doesn’t begin or end with a visit to a store or a website.

Customers shift between channels and devices depending on where they are and what’s convenient for them. In order to offer consumers exactly what they want, on the platform of their choice, brands are increasingly offering services such as personalised product offerings, discounts for loyal customers, and subscription models.

In part, this has been fueled by the ‘Amazon effect’, whereby popular online brands have set a precedent of using customer data they collect to offer personalised, quick, and consistent customer experiences. On top of this, many consumers also expect their shopping experiences to be made as convenient and fun as possible, with brands there to support, advise, and entertain them throughout the purchase journey.

Therefore, in order to acquire and retain customers, brands need to deliver against these expectations. Here, we not only discuss the five customer demands made of today’s retailers, but how brands can meet them and ensure they offer the experience that is desired. 

1. Make it easy for me

Frictionless journey navigation, easy access to products and information, and lighting fast speed make for happy consumers who are more likely to purchase.

According to the The new retail ecosystem report from PwC, fair prices are the most important factor for customers when shopping offline, with 64 percent basing their purchase decision on a good price. However, when shopping online in particular, customers rank convenience as the most important factor. Therefore, brands looking to improve Customer Experience should make the online experience as convenient as possible, giving the shopper all the necessary information needed to make a purchase decision.

More specifically, the KPMG International Global Online Consumer Report found that the flexibility to shop when they want, the convenience of not having to go to a store, and free shipping offers are all in the top ten reasons that consumers shop online. In fact, stores such as Walmart are using their brick and mortar presence to meet this demand. For example, in 2018 Walmart installed click-and-collect kiosks in 500 of their stores to offer quick, simple and convenient collection for customers.

Another convenience trend is ‘Try now, Pay Later’ services, which encourage consumers to try a larger assortment without having to pay upfront. For example, Sitecore customer ASOS use a ‘Pay Later’ capability, and Amazon’s ‘Prime Wardrobe’ gives customers seven days to try clothes at home and only paying for items they decide to keep. 

2. Assist me

As well as having the flexibility to collect their purchases from a store of their convenience (or have it delivered), consumers also expect to be assisted throughout the entire purchase journey. Many brands are meeting this expectation with personalised experiences, which includes individual product offerings, using data collected about each customer to tailor the messaging, offers, and experiences each receives.

And they are right to do so – research from Econsultancy found that 93 percent of companies see an uplift in conversion rates from personalisation. 

Nemlig.com, an online supermarket in Denmark, has used Sitecore’s platform to personalise customer journeys, and has reaped the benefits. It uses customer data around product preferences and buying histories to personalise the front page, category pages, and search results for each shopper, and engages customers with individual messages throughout the site, via email and text messages.

Since doing so, the number of site visitors has grown by 55 percent, the average basket size has increased, and turnover has risen by 28 percent.

However, it is also worth being mindful on how data is being used to target customers. The Consumer Perceptions of AI Survey from Rocket Fuel found that while consumers are open to being targeted based on product interest, search, and purchase history, they don’t want to be targeted with ads using their name, sent urgent notifications that a certain item is low in stock, or reminders to make repeat purchases of the same product. 

3. Reward me

The battle for winning brand-loyal consumers is extremely difficult, but the benefits are equally rewarding to the business. PwC’s The new retail ecosystem report found that more than 70 percent of people are staunch brand-loyal shoppers, and less than a third are willing to try new offerings. What’s more, many also respond well to loyalty programs and appreciate brands showing that they value customers. 

However, it is no longer enough to offer a one-size-fits-all offering, such as the generic discounts or specific free products offered by brands in the past. Today, a personalised loyalty program, where different promotions are offered based on individual customer data and preferences, is needed to meet customer expectations. One company which has created a successful personalised loyalty program is Ulta Beauty Inc., which uses customer data to offer a wide variety of products to test, personalised birthday gifts and a tiered system of rewards based on levels of loyalty. As a result, 90 percent of its sales are now driven by loyalty program members.

4. Inspire me

Virtual and augmented reality (VR & AR) experiences are increasingly welcomed by customers. However, while in-store experiences such as VR mirrors previously just showed how customers would look in an item of clothing and were merely an entertaining addition to the in-store experience, they now offer added value and convenience to the customer.

For example, AR can allow those browsing online to visualise how a product will look on them before they make a purchase, allowing them to be better informed and removing the inconvenience of returning undesired products. L’Oréal has used AR and face mapping technology in its mobile app, allowing customers to try out different styles, such as hair colours, and lipstick shades, before making a purchase.

VR can also enhance the experience of using retail mobile applications. Fashion brand H&M is using its Image Search tool within the H&M app to allow consumers to upload an image of a similar product into the app. The app then presents several similarly looking, instantly purchasable items from the H&M catalog – moving the consumer closer from the moment of inspiration to a purchase.

5. Convince me

Finally, consumers do not take what message a brand puts out there as fact – they base their purchase consideration on what everyone else has to say about the brand and its products. When Amazon pioneered and implemented ratings and reviews, their business transformed overnight.

One way to convince customers to choose your brand over others is through user-generated content. In fact, research from Stackla found that 79 percent of consumers say user-generated content such as product reviews and ratings both on the brand’s own website and on other listing pages, is highly influential in increasing their propensity to buy.

Also, although social commerce has grown in popularity in recent years, with many consumers starting their search and even completing purchases on social channels, user generated content still remains more impactful than influencer content published on social media. In fact, according to Stackla, consumers find user generated content almost ten times more impactful than influencer content when making a purchasing decision.

Today, customers are more demanding than ever, expecting an experience that goes above and beyond just the available products. In order to offer quality experiences, build brand loyalty, and remain competitive, brands must consider these five main demands and put tools in place to meet them, from the use of effective personalisation to quick, reliable delivery services, through to providing loyalty programs and investing in VR and AR technologies.


Jayne HarrisonJayne HarrisonOctober 1, 2019
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8min1486

The number of men taking paternity leave dropped to 31 percent in 2019, according to law firm EMW. 

 Despite the introduction of shared parental leave, figures marginally decreased from the 2018 figure of 32 percent. The question is: why are the numbers falling despite increasing legislation in support of working parents?

Debates have been sparked as to the type and receptiveness of employment rights held by working mothers and fathers in organisations. Therefore, this article aims to provide much-needed guidance on the differing employment rights for working parents.

Maternity rights

Simple as it may seem, women have the right to not be dismissed because of pregnancy, maternity leave, or childbirth.

In fact, they are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave legally, with a two-week mandatory period post-birth. This breaks down further to two 26 week periods, where returning after the first 26 weeks ensures you return to the exact job you left.

After this first 26th week, the rules are slightly more lenient. Your employer may not offer you the exact same role after your maternity leave, but it must be a job with the same terms as those you had before. For example, the conditions and salary which you are offered must be on par with those you had before maternity. Therefore, if your employer does not abide by these rules, you are entitled to seek protection from the law. 

Paternity rights

To receive paternity leave, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be the biological father of the baby and have (or expect to have) responsibility for the upbringing of the child; or
  • Including same-sex relationships, be the spouse/partner of the mother (but not the father of the child) the main responsibility (apart from any responsibility of the mother) for the upbringing of the child.

There are a few major differences between maternity and paternity rights. Starting with the length, men can receive one or two consecutive weeks off work. They cannot book this period until at least the due date and men are unable to physically start their leave until the day their baby is born. This, then, requires flexibility from their employer in terms of arranging cover for their leave.

Men also need to have worked with their employer for 26 weeks to be eligible for paternity leave, with the 15th week falling before their baby is due. In a similar manner to maternity, men have the right to return to their own job after leaving and can bring a claim if they feel they are being discriminated against upon returning. 

Shared parental leave

Surprisingly, only six percent of working parents choose to take shared parental leave. This leave is designed to give parents greater flexibility in caring for their new-born children. With the ability to share 37 weeks’ pay and 50 weeks of leave, this right can be used at any point through the baby’s first year.

Shared parental leave involves fathers or partners sharing the mother’s maternity period, whereby women effectively lessen their time off so that their partner can have this leave. During this period a flat pay rate of £148.68 (or 90 percent of average earnings) is offered depending on which is lower. This pay lasts for 37 weeks. 

Flexible working

Having an adapted work pattern to suit changing needs can be highly important for some working parents. Flexible working can take any of the following forms:

  • Part-time: less hours than the norm
  • Homeworking: working from your home
  • Compressed hours: completing the agreed hours over fewer days
  • Flexi-working: ability to change/adapt your hours
  • Term-time (applicable to the education sector): working purely in term time

Flexible working can be requested by employees and must be considered by an employer before an answer is given. Existing legislation gives most employees the legal right to inquire into flexible working. If you feel your employer has unfairly dismissed your request for flexible working, this should be discussed this with your HR department. If unsuccessful, then  consider whether to take this matter further.

Discrimination 

If your employer insists upon you working inflexible or long hours, despite your childcare responsibilities, this can be seen as discrimination. Being put at a disadvantage to men through imposed shifts or full-time work can be labelled as indirect sex discrimination and is against your working mothers’ rights. This type of employer’s behaviour is unacceptable, so if you believe you have experienced this type of offence, you can reach out for legal advice on your flexible working case. 

Working fathers can also experience sex discrimination, most commonly through direct cases. If your request for flexible working was declined, where a woman in a similar job was allowed, you can go to a tribunal to claim discrimination against the disadvantage you were placed in. 

In the face of declining paternity leave figures, it is crucial now more than ever for working parents to understand their rights. 

With differing rules for paternity and maternity leave, there are options for mothers to share their maternity leave with their partner to ensure both parents are involved with the post-birth period. There are also several flexible working schemes offered by employers to aid parents in adjusting to childcare. 

However, the road is not always smooth for working parents. After reading these rights, you may feel you have experienced discrimination from your company. If so, you can choose to firstly raise this with your employer or HR team. If the matter cannot be resolved this way, you should swiftly seek legal advice in order to find a solution and receive justice.


Joe GlassfieldJoe GlassfieldSeptember 30, 2019
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8min1884

Corporate strategy is a funny beast.

It’s often built from a few extremely well worn phrases: statements like “We are one team”, or “Sustaining the future”, or “Empowerment”, perfectly executed in the brand colours and font, as tall and wide as the most prominent office wall allows.

Some of your more cynical colleagues suggest it can all sound a little 1984-esque. But most people ignore these statements: research shows our brains actually switch off when we hear clichés. Even when we make people wear these words around their necks every day, they ignore them. The words are the starting point of 200-page-long “agile transformation blueprints”, “pyramids”, “love keys”, and “brand onions”. Most of us ignore those too.

Why? Why does the clear and guiding light that the C-suite wants to become a fog generator for the company’s people and customers? And how do you find your way out of it?

Behavioural science has some answers.

From top-down to bottom-up

Imagine you’re on your C-suite away day. You’ve hired a top consultancy and they’ve got everyone in the room energised and focused. In three hours you’ve come up with a fresh vision (or purpose, or core idea, or whatever it’s called this week). It has a PR-able social dimension, and you can fully explain why you’ve picked these things to your stakeholders, colleagues, and customers.

Unfortunately at this point, you’re probably suffering from The Ikea effect: like the shelves we build for ourselves at home, we put more value on something if we’ve made it ourselves than other people do. But you can make that effect work for you: involve people beyond the top team and more people will feel that sense of ownership.

In the jargon, this is “co-creation”. Maybe it’s about working groups to flesh out how you’ll show and deliver “one team”. Maybe every employee gets an equal vote on what your strategy should be. You might even try to find out about the personal values of your people, and match your corporate values to those. The point is to include as many people as you can.

From words to behaviour

Think about the last time you tried to get a child to stop having a tantrum. You could say “In this family, our aim is to always be well behaved”. But that would probably be met with continued crying and rolling on the floor. In real life, we instinctively focus on their behaviour: “get up”; “follow me”; “put the sweets down”.

Behavioural science helps us understand the difference between giving people a goal, like “be healthy”, and giving them practical steps to hit that goal, like “eat five pieces of fruit and veg a day”. There’s lots of evidence that focussing on day-to-day behaviour is the only way abstract big picture thinking to work.

The same applies to strategy. You need to give people clear and defined steps that lead to the goal. If your culture is to ‘empower’, then don’t just talk about it, change how your business works to empower people: let the people doing the work set the timelines. Let call centre staff decide the outcome of a complaint. Give votes on HR issues to employees as well as the board. (Changing what people actually do also shifts their attitude than any amount of top-down communication.)

Test what’s actually working

A crucial insight from psychology is that as humans, we spend a lot of our time substituting questions. If a question seems too big, we’ll trick ourselves into answering an easier question. Instead of answering “Am I healthy?”, we ask ourselves: “Do I eat salads sometimes?”. Because we’ve answered a question, we feel good. Feeling good offsets the fact we didn’t answer the first, trickier question (and justifies our whole tub of ice cream in one sitting).

Say you wanted to “put customers first” as your strategy. Maybe you’ve hired a whole bunch of Customer Experience people and given them a fancy toolkit. They’re happy, and you’re happy: it feels like you now have progress towards being more customer-centric.

The hard question you need to answer in time is: “Are we actually putting customers first?” But often we substitute easier ones: Is my Customer Experience team changing things? Are they spending a lot of time changing things? Is everyone involved happy? Did I pay a lot to make this happen?

But answering those questions doesn’t mean you’re necessarily answering the harder one.

This is where well defined behaviour come back in. You can measure that people are really doing the practical things that lead to your strategic goals, and make sure that behaviour is having an impact on your business results. That way you can prove your strategy isn’t just languishing in a PowerPoint deck, but really making a difference.

The brutal truth is that just because a strategy’s clear, it doesn’t guarantee that anything ever changes. Thinking about how people actually think and behave means you might need to shift your focus. Yes, paint a big picture. But you also need to think about the 10,000 tiny behavioural brushstrokes that make it up.


Audelia BokerAudelia BokerSeptember 30, 2019
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9min1433

You’d think it would be easy for airlines to provide a good Customer Experience for those seeking to purchase tickets online or via a mobile device. 

After all, every customer follows the same path: insert dates and destination, choose the shortest or least expensive flight, and complete the purchase. Nevertheless, bad CX is a common complaint from airline customers and often leads to defections.

In the 21st century, the air traveler’s journey begins on the airline’s website or mobile app. It is absolutely crucial that the company’s digital channels be highly responsive, user-friendly and fully optimised for any device the traveler might be using. Nevertheless, airlines struggle time and time again to keep potential customers from growing aggravated and heading to a competitor’s site.

The digital Customer Experience issues most often faced by aviation consumers include:

Failure to complete or revise a booking

As unbelievable as it may seem, some airlines still haven’t worked out the bugs in their online ordering system, leaving hopeful travellers frustrated and angry when, after spending 20 minutes filling in personal details, they are unable to complete their booking. Airlines lose tens of millions of dollars in revenue to this problem, as well as driving countless potential customers to their competitors’ sites.

No way to get questions answered

Booking travel can be complicated, and many people – especially those using an airline’s site for the first time – have questions as they work their way through the booking process. Unfortunately, airline customer service departments are notoriously difficult to reach in the digital age, and the web sites don’t always make it easy to find the answers.

Inability to compare different flights 

When planning leisure travel, customers are generally not tied down to a specific arrival and departure date, so they like to compare prices for different options. Some also have two or more local airport choices to choose from. However, for some reason, airline sites often make it incredibly complicated or even impossible to make these comparisons.

The solution: CX analytics

Identifying the key challenges is one thing, but how can airlines solve them? How are they to know when a customer is experiencing difficulties on their site or app? Luckily, there are now many CX monitoring and analytics tools to provide guidance.

For example, session-replay technologies enable airlines to view the customer’s entire journey through the company’s website or mobile app (with private data hidden, of course). They can therefore see for themselves exactly why a customer has failed to complete a ticket order. 

Was it due to a site error? Did they click through to seat selection and discover that the only seats left were next to the bathroom? Or did they feel blindsided by all the extra fees and taxes piled on top of the ticket price?

By discovering the exact point on the site at which the booking was abandoned, airlines can determine whether changes can be made to prevent future customers from giving up at the same point. In addition, if a site error is to blame, this first-hand data eliminates the need to try and ‘recreate’ the error; airlines see exactly what is at fault so that they can fix the issue immediately.

The problem of customers being unable to get their questions answered can also be addressed through analytics, thanks to the chat boxes now present on most airline sites. Chat box data analytics provide a wealth of information on CX issues that airlines don’t even know they have. For example, if customers are using the chat box to ask simple questions that are already addressed elsewhere on the site, clearly the information is too hard to find. Airlines can also use chat box data to discover frequently asked questions whose answers need to be added to the site – preferably on a clearly-marked ‘FAQ’ page.

Finally, customer journey analysis enables airlines to see for themselves the frustrations of customers who must keep clicking back and forth between different flights and airports because there is no easy way to compare them. Armed with this knowledge, the airline can address the difficulties and create a more user-friendly experience.   

Counting the cost

The reason that many of these sites are still so confusing and difficult may be that airlines don’t realise how much money they are losing due to CX issues. Thankfully, today’s most advanced analytics tools enable them to calculate the revenue lost due to a site error or other CX problem. 

This means that the problem is no longer abstract; airlines can visualise exactly how much money they’ve already lost and how much more they are likely to lose if they do not identify and fix the issue immediately.

This type of data is crucial for IT resource allocations. For example, if an airline sees how much revenue it is losing due to booking errors, it can make a better decision about whether to take the site off-line and correct the issue, or provide a quick work-around and develop a permanent fix in the background.

The bottom line is that airlines are throwing money away and many don’t even realise it. By using big data analytics, they can collect invaluable information on the actual workings of their digital channels, and take a giant step towards maximising customer satisfaction and revenue.


Ed ThornburyEd ThornburySeptember 30, 2019
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7min1235

The workplace has evolved beyond recognition for many people in recent years, with one of the most significant changes being that more and more people are now offered the option of working remotely.

This incentive is a result of a combination of changing attitudes, enhanced technology, and software solutions, all of which have been transforming the way that businesses of all shapes and sizes are run and how customers interact with them, as well as allowing employees to work outside of the office.

The TUC estimated that the number of UK people working from home has increased by a fifth in the 10 years to 2016, and with everything becoming increasingly digitised and technology enhancing at such a rapid rate, we can safely assume that this trend will only continue to grow. In fact, it is expected that 50 percent of the UK workforce will work remotely by 2020.

For many businesses, the biggest apprehension around making the movement towards remote working is making sure staff remain streamlined and connected with colleagues and managers at all times, but one concern which is not being properly addressed is data security considerations.

While this incentive has been well received by employees, and it certainly makes a difference to that healthy work-life balance we are all searching for, it is vital to make your team members aware of the extra security risks that they face when working from home, on the train, or at a local coffee shop.

In this article, we are sharing actionable advice on certain risks that should be considered, and steps that employers should be taking, to ensure that they are educating employees on protecting company data from security threats.

Consider transfer risks

The way in which data can be moved around transferred is taken for granted by most people nowadays, as electronic communications are available on the go 24/7. When working remotely, it is likely that you will still be working with the same sensitive company information and customer data as you would be if you were on site – but without the digital privacy you are used to.

Transferring data can take many forms, whether it be over email via your domestic internet connection, through your mobile phone network, or on a physical medium such as a USB stick. Each of these methods have inherent risks that should be addressed:

  • Domestic internet, even with WPA2-PSK security, is vulnerable to various forms of hacking and malicious access
  • Mobile phone networks can be even more open to attack as information can be accessed without leaving a trail
  • Physical media can be lost or stolen (and could end up in the wrong hands)

Employers and remote workers should be working together to tackle this issue and potential cyber security threats; from enforcing security and implementing and remote working policy, to educating the importance of commitment to security best practises. Simple actions such as using a USB data blocker, encrypting sensitive data within emails and avoiding public Wi-Fi will make a huge difference.

Utilise the cloud to minimise risks

If your business take advantage of cloud hosting, then you are already one step ahead in avoiding potential security breaches. The ease of use that ‘anytime/anywhere’ password protected cloud access offers means that whatever device or platform your employees prefer, they can still connect with your work systems remotely.

The concept that digital information can be accessed instantly around the world actually becomes part of a security solution, rather than posing risks, meaning the cloud takes the flexibility of working from home to a totally new level.

In addition to being able to access files and documents and log into relevant systems safely, remote workers should also be encouraged to back up data frequently so that a lost device doesn’t mean lost data, and cloud storage solutions are a great solution for this. By migrating to the cloud, you can also ensure that applications are patched and updated regularly to maximise protection.

Whilst ensuring your remote workforce is protected and safe from security breaches is vital, your security policy shouldn’t add to employee’s workload; they should be simple and efficient. It is one of the most important investments you should make as the safety and security of your data and systems has to be a priority, and although it will take a bit of work, you will reap the benefits including reduced office costs, higher morale and increased staff retention as well as access to a wider talent pool.


Phil DurandPhil DurandSeptember 27, 2019
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10min1348

It’s not long before the winners of the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards will be unveiled.

As one of the judges, Phil Durand (pictured), Director of Customer Experience Management at Confirmit knows that success comes in many forms and that the key to continued success is a combination of evolution, and the occasional spot of revolution…

 

 

Such is the growing acceptance of CX that there are few businesses today which have not embraced customer insight or deployed Voice of the Customer programmes in one form or another.

A greenfield site really is a rare find! This is great, but it’s fair to say that whether you are ‘doing it yourself’ or doing it on behalf of a client, there may be elements that you have inherited from a previous initiative that are no longer providing the insights that you need today.

There may some great foundations in place, but your business objectives may have changed and the CX programme may therefore need a refresh.

The challenge is how do you decide which aspects of the CX programme would benefit from renovation, and which elements should be discarded? From time-to-time, you need to take stock of what is working, what would benefit from remodelling, and where you need to pour new foundations and build from the ground up.

Take a listening inventory

A useful way to initiate a CX remodelling exercise is to take a listening inventory to help you identify and increase your focus on current business objectives; improve the integration of operational data with customer feedback; better understand how, when, and what types of questions are asked; and how you can use the results (beyond improving NPS and customer satisfaction scores) to drive business change.

Note: do not assume that your CX team controls every customer survey, because you’ll almost certainly be wrong. In any large business, it is incredible to learn how many well-intentioned but often ill-advised surveys are being sent out to customers seemingly at random. Find them!

Consider the following questions:

Is anyone using the data?

If people are no longer taking action on the feedback gathered, why ask?

You may be asking survey questions that are no longer aligned to current business objectives. If surveys and reports aren’t motivating people to do things differently within your organisation, don’t be afraid to consign them to the bin.

Ask yourself what business problems need to be solved, or what business objectives need to be achieved. What should be the focus of your CX surveys? Achieving culture change? Increasing revenue? Reducing costs? Uncovering cross-selling opportunities?

Is it too vanilla? 

If the CX programme only uses surveys to gather data, it’s probably time to try something different. Try integrating background data with simple surveys to make the process easier on customers and to add depth to reporting. This will enable CX teams to more efficiency prioritise key customers and critical actions with the additional context. 

If you are not integrating operational data with customer feedback, it will be much harder to create a truly accurate and complete picture of the customer. Mapping and integrating data from across the business could help to make CX data more useful and actionable, providing additional detail and different perspectives.

Too many questions? 

This is the most common cause of low response rates and dismal completion rates. The last thing any organisation should do is turn customers away from the brand by deploying surveys that are too long.

The solution is to minimise disruptions to customers by cutting irrelevant or unnecessary questions. Try to look at survey questions from the customer’s point of view – what would they like to answer and when? Is the relationship survey being sent around a customer renewal date? Are you using triggers like when people have filed a complaint or purchased an additional product?

Are you addressing shrinking attention spans by keeping questions short and using phrases customers will easily understand? Can you replace half a dozen closed questions with more open questions that invite customers to share their stories in their own words?

If so, do it and use text analytics to mine the insight from these words.

Spread too thin? 

If the CX team is trying to do too much, there could be an increased risk of programme sprawl. This will not only result in haphazard data and customer-facing chaos but potential damage to the brand. Your CX programme must have a clear structure, a well-defined plan and a commitment to consistency. Otherwise it will be hard or nearly impossible to connect all the data. 

What is your definition of success? Is there an executive sponsor sharing the results? Is there a dedicated team responding to systematic issues customers are raising? Is there a network of frontline CX champions with a clear role?

Sharing ownership of CX across the entire business will help you to drive business change. Remember, collecting data is great but the aim is not just to analyse it but to use it to bring about business change. Can you link your CX activities back to financial metrics like an increase in revenue or cost reduction? Look beyond improvements in NPS and customer satisfaction scores.

Continuous improvement

Whether your CX programme requires a complete rebuild, an extensive remodel, or a lick of paint, completing a listening inventory will help you take a step in the right direction. Taking the time to audit the programme will help you to protect the brand; ensure the efficient use of technology and help you engage with your customers.

The single source of VoC truth is an achievable goal and if you put in place a process of continuous improvement, you will achieve your goal of delivering richer insights and enhance Customer Experience at the same time.




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