Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiJune 2, 2020


The finalists for the 2020 UK Business Awards have been announced, with a shortlist of hopefuls representing the very best firms in the country this July.

Hosted by Awards International, which brings events including the UK CX Awards to the capital each year, the UK Business Awards recognise the finest accomplishments from the world of British business.

Now in its sixth year, ‘The Dons’ are back with 16 categories, in which businesses of every size and sector have the chance to do well.

Among those shortlisted as finalists are Greater Manchester Police in partnership with HCL Technologies, The Green Energy Advice Bureau, Swimtime UK, The AA, and many more. For a full list of shortlisted finalists, click here.

Categories for 2020 include Best SME, Business Change or Transformation, Well-being at Work Award and Leader for the Future.

Known as ‘The Dons’ in honour of Awards International Chairman Don Hales, the event is celebrating its sixth anniversary in 2020, and the ceremony will be held on July 9 on Videoconferencing Platform.

All the biz: The UK Business Awards is celebrating its sixth year

Those who wish to attend can take advantage of an Early Bird Discount offer until June 15.

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “We are all about celebrating and rewarding business excellence, and the UK Business Awards have become one of the country’s premier platforms to do just that.

“This will be the sixth year of The Dons, and will be the most significant to date, with a wide range of categories across B2B and B2C disciplines. As ever, the event itself will be a fantastic opportunity to network with business peers and share best practise, as well as celebrate our category champions, this time live online. A huge congratulations to all those shortlisted.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 24, 2020


If you have your own business and you want to keep making it successful then, there are a lot of things that you will need to take into consideration. There are many businesses out there and each trying to be as successful as the next. When running a business, it can be hard to keep track of everything that you need to do which is why we are here to help.

Today, we will discuss the top things that you should take into consideration when running a business in 2020. If this is something that you are interested in then, make sure you keep on reading for more information.

Keep Up with Business Trends

One of the first things that you should take into consideration when you are running a business in 2020 is to make sure that you keep up with the latest business trends. This is because you want your business to stand out and to make sure that you do everything you can to make it successful. If you are running a business and you are able to keep up with the latest trends in your industry then, it means you can stand out from competitors as well as keep your business up to date with technology.

Make Sure You Set Budgets

The next thing that you should consider when it comes to running a business in 2020 is to make sure that you set budgets. This is because with technology becoming more and more advanced and prices going up for the things that you need, it can be hard to keep up with the demand. However, when you set a budget it can help you to reduce your spending and save you more money which is not only beneficial for you but, also for your business. When you set a budget, make sure you cover the costs of the things that you need to pay for such as bills, wages and equipment and keep it separate from your personal funds so that you can understand how much money you have left to work with.

Keep Employees Happy

The next thing that you will need to take into consideration when it comes to running a business in 2020 is to make sure that you keep your employees happy. This is because if you didn’t have your employees then, your business would not be able to function properly. You can’t always keep everyone happy, but it is important to be accommodating and help your employees out if they need it. For example, make sure you can accommodate holidays if you have been given reasonable amounts of notice, allow flexi time if available and give permission to leave the office in case of emergency.

Consider an Investor

If you are running a business in 2020 another thing that you might want to think about how investors can affect your business. When you have an investor as a contact for your business they can give you the funds that you need to take care of your business as well as give you advice to make your business more successful as they will have experience from working with others. If you are looking for an investor that might be interested in your business then, be sure to find out some more information about Tej Kohli and other investors that typically operate in your industry.

Make Sure You Take This Information into Consideration

Overall, there are a lot of things that you will need to take into consideration when running a business in 2020 and, in this article, we discussed some of those things that you should consider to make your business a success. If you found this interesting, make sure you keep it in mind and use it to help you.

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 19, 2019


The finalist line-up for the 2019 UK Business Awards has been unveiled, with a host of firms preparing to compete in  London for a title this November.

Hosted by Awards International, which brings events including the UK Customer Experience Awards to the capital each year, the UK Business Awards is a celebration of excellence and innovation in British business, with 18 categories that will see firms present before an expert judging panel in a bid to win.

Among those shortlisted as finalists are Manchester United FC, EDAM Group, HSBC UK, Virgin Trains, and many more. For a full list of shortlisted finalists, click here.

Categories for 2019 include Disruptive Business Model, Team of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, and the Well Being at Work Award.

Known as ‘The Dons’ in honour of Awards International Chairman Don Hales, the even is celebrating its fourth anniversary in 2019, and the ceremony on November 8 at the Park Plaza Riverbank is set to be the biggest to date.

All the biz: The UK Business Awards is celebrating its fourth year

Those keen to attend can take advantage of an Early Bird Discount offer until September 27

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “We are all about celebrating and rewarding business excellence, and the UK Business Awards have become one of the country’s premier platforms to do just that.

“This will be the fourth year of The Dons, and will be the most significant to date, with a wide range of categories across B2B and B2C disciplines. As ever, the event itself will be a fantastic opportunity to network with business peers and share best practise, as well as celebrate our category champions, and I cannot wait to welcome our finalists and guests to London. A huge congratulations to all those shortlisted.”



Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 28, 2018


Amazon has opened a new concept store selling only goods that have been rated highly online.

Located in New York’s SoHo district, Amazon 4 Star is among the brand’s first permanent non-mall or pop-up ventures, and sells items that are receiving positive ratings from customers on the Amazon website.

The inventory will change weekly, depending on what is selling well online and achieving high ratings. Among items available in the opening week are board games and a triceratops taco holder.

Cameron James, VP of Amazon’s physical retail division, said: “SoHo is not just one of the premier shopping areas in New York, it’s also one of the premier shopping destinations in the country. When opening a concept like this you want to be where there are a lot of shoppers who are super-engaged, and this is a great place to do it.”

The new store follows the opening of the first Amazon Go checkout-free outlet in Seattle earlier this year, in which customers pay by sensors recording what they leave the store with, and charge the cost to their Amazon Prime accounts.

Amazon registered a UK trademark for their Go stores in late 2017, but so far the firm has remained tight-lipped about when the first will open this side of the Atlantic.

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamAugust 20, 2018


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

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

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

Head of Marketing, Liam Howard Jones, explained:

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

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

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

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 19, 2018


Despite today being National ‘Get To Know Your Customers’ Day, three quarters (75 percent) of marketers admit they don’t actually know what they are looking for when analysing their customers’ data.

That’s according to research by experience management company Qualtrics, which surveyed 260 UK marketers.

The research found that marketers are struggling to effectively analyse data, with 87 percent saying that they don’t have time to perform the complex analysis needed to put their data in context.

Commenting on these findings, Ian McVey, Head of Enterprise for Northern Europe at Qualtrics, said:

Collecting data on customers is fruitless unless it’s used to achieve meaningful insights.

Marketers today have more tools than they’ve ever had before to take customer data and apply new machine learning and data analysis technologies to turn it into genuine customer insights. With the right technologies in place, businesses can develop ever deeper insights into their customers, allowing them to create products, offers and experiences that are tailored to them. To get there they need to gather the right kind of data, with a mix of operational and experience data, and the right tools to turn that into meaningful insights.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 3, 2018


CX is a global industry, and now a new event is set to celebrate and honour the world’s best customer-centric organisations – the 2018 International Customer Experience Awards.

The inaugural event is taking place in the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, on November 20, and entries are now open in 19 categories that cover all aspects of Customer Experience.

These include: Best Omnichannel Customer Experience; Best Digital Strategy; Most Effective Customer Experience in Social Media; and Best Customer Experience Professional.

Entrants so far hail from eight different countries and include household names such as Microsoft and DBS, with many more to be revealed in the coming weeks.

The spectacular gala event will also see an Overall Winner crowned at the ceremony, which takes place at the Movenpick Hotel City Centre, overlooking Amsterdam’s famous Ij waterway.

Meanwhile, scrutinising presentations on the day and deciding winners will be an expert independent judging panel of CX specialists from a wide range of industries. So far 16 countries are represented on what will be a truly international judging line-up.

Among the judges are the 2018 International Customer Experience awards Ambassadors, who are representing their respective countries and bringing unique takes on CX strategies in the run-up to the event.

They will be sharing their insights with CXM World as the awards draw closer, so keep and eye on the magazine for further details.

The inaugural Ambassadors include UK-based head of the Customer Experience Consultancy, Ian Golding; Mike Wittenstein, a Managing Partner of US-based consultancy Storyminers; and Daniel Ord, of Singapore firm Omnitouch International.

Mark Hamill, the Managing Director of Awards International UAE and The Netherlands, said:

For many years now, we have hosted the Gulf Customer Experience Awards in Dubai, while Awards International in Britain has successfully put CX at the forefront of the business world with the UK Customer Experience Awards.

Now it’s time to go global, and help identify those organisations all over the world that put customers at the heart of everything they do. They deserve international recognition and these awards are all about celebrating the schemes, ideas, and best practise that makes them true CX pioneers.

As always, the awarding will be carried out according to our high standards of impartiality and transparency, while all entrants will benefit significantly from the detailed feedback offered following their presentations.

This is an exciting time for Customer Experience, and we are proud to be hosting an event that will set the global standard for CX best practise, not just in the UK or the Middle East, but worldwide.”

For more information on entering the 2018 International Customer Experience Awards, visit the official website.

The deadline for entries is August 23, with the full list of finalists to be revealed at a later date.

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJune 28, 2018


The finalists for the 2018 UK Customer Experience Awards have been revealed, as the countdown begins for the country’s greatest ever celebration of CX.

Returning to London for its ninth year, the event will take place on October 11, when Awards International will welcome the UK’s most customer-centric organisations to the iconic Wembley Stadium, where they will compete across 32 categories.

Titles up for grabs during the gala evening ceremony – which follows a day of presentations – include ‘Best Engaging the Customer Online’, ‘Best Health & Wellbeing’, and ‘Best International Business’, while people-focussed categories include ‘CX Professional of the Year’ and ‘CX Team of the Year’.

This year’s shortlist of finalists represents a broad spectrum of British business, and features brands including Lloyds Banking Group, Vodafone, Scottish Widows, BT, and many, many more.

Meanwhile, the judging panel for 2018 is also shaping up to be one of the most diverse to date, with an exciting array of professionals and industry leaders preparing to scrutinise presentations on the day and award the most deserving entrants. Places on the panel are still available.

Judge and Awards Chairperson Ian Golding, Founder of the Customer Experience Consultancy, congratulated all shortlisted finalists, and hailed a record year for entries.

In our nine-year history we have never shortlisted 100 companies before. Surely this shows the growing impact of CX on business and signals Customer Experience has gone mainstream,” he said.

“The standard of entries is formidable and the number of organisations striving for true customer centricity, or transforming their organisations in the name of CX, is truly remarkable.

We listened to your feedback and we learned some lessons from last year, so this year’s finals and awards ceremony is going to be better than ever. In fact, I believe it will be the greatest event of its kind in history.

Those that didn’t make the grade, I say bad luck to you, but I hope to see you back again next year.

Congratulations once again finalists. I look forward to seeing you on October 11 at the amazing Wembley Stadium.”

For a full list of finalists for 2018, click here.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Hannington, EVP at Confirmit, added:

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

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 31, 2018


Businesses urgently need to prepare for the influx of ‘pitiless machines’ into customer services, it has been warned.

Next-gen experience firm, Servion Global Solutions has highlighted that as uptake of smart speakers and voice assistants continues apace, consumers are increasingly using them to shop for goods and services on their behalf, and for information and advice.

Servion predicts that by 2025, three quarters of customer service interactions will be driven by such platforms. The impact of smart speakers and voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, is already being felt in sales, with the screenless, ‘brandless’ marketplace posing new challenges for brands. As these channels rapidly grow in influence, Servion warns that companies must now face up to the challenge of incorporating smart speakers and virtual assistants – which are not loyal to any one organisation – into the pre-and-post-sales customer experience, or risk being outstripped by competitors.

Businesses need to face up to the reality that customers, particularly younger demographics, don’t want to call or email them anymore, and even chatbots will be too much for some. Consumers want the convenience of speaking to their surroundings and getting an answer quickly,” commented Shashi Nirale, SVP & GP EMEA, Servion Global Solutions.

Whether it’s asking for advice on holiday destinations, comparing mortgage rates, or querying their electric bill – more and more we will see customers using smart speakers and voice assistants to make their decisions for them. These machines are pitiless – they are not loyal to a single brand or service provider, nor are they swayed by marketing. Companies must prepare now to integrate voice into customer experiences and pre/post-sales environments or go the way other of other companies that were unable to adapt to new technologies and channels – think Blockbuster, Maplin, and Toys ’R’ Us.”

The pressure on businesses to build nuanced and predictive interactions through voice is growing as a generation of millennials – armed with disposable income and a healthy scepticism of traditional sales and marketing – enters the marketplace. Organisations from utilities, to public sector, to healthcare companies, need to understand this generation’s communications preferences – younger generations are even reticent to use text and chat to communicate with a company.

As speech recognition and neurolinguistics continues to advance, humanoid, natural conversations with machines will become normal and familiar. This means that the user’s trust in a voice assistant to make a purchase decision on their behalf or make a dependable recommendation will grow.

Shashi added:

The past 10-15 years have shown businesses what happens when they fail to respond to new technologies. Just as the shift to ecommerce killed off numerous high-street stalwarts, the evolution of smart speakers and voice assistants will kill businesses that ignore them as a channel. Businesses and brands must realise that in an increasingly commoditised world where technology moves fast, Customer Experience will be everything. Business must build distinctive, relevant experiences, backed by technology that can tailor and personalise responses to each user. As we deepen our trust of, and further our relationships with, this technology, businesses urgently need to find a way to incorporate these pitiless machines into their customer experience plans.”



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terry Lawlor, Executive Vice President, Product Management adds:

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamApril 24, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthApril 22, 2018


UK Customer Experience Awards sponsors Confirmit are helping to deliver a revolutionary patient-centric approach to healthcare as part of an exciting new collaboration.

Voice of the Customer experts Confirmit are working with specialist healthcare consultancy 7i Group Ltd to harness their Market Research and pharmaceutical sector knowledge and expertise to enable an enhanced approach to drug development and the evolution and delivery of medicines, devices, and treatment protocols.

7i will use Confirmit’s text analytics solution, Confirmit Genius, to listen to what patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs) are saying publicly about treatments, collating, analysing, and interpreting unstructured data from sources such as patient forums and blogs to identify themes and sentiments. This data is gathered in strict accordance with GDPR regulations (including informed consent) and Market Research codes of conduct, and is then combined with proactively generated structured feedback from surveys, SMS, voting apps, and other data sources in Confirmit Horizons.

This will allow 7i to present pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies, and healthcare providers, with deeper insights into the attitudes and beliefs of patients and HCPs via Confirmit’s real-time dashboard, Reportal.

Andrew Sellick, Managing Director at 7i Group said:

“Publicly sharing thoughts, opinions and experiences online is increasingly part of everyday life. It is often the environment in which patients and HCPs are most likely to express their views on a medicine or device in a ‘real world’ setting. It is logical, therefore, to harness this publicly available evidence to get a better understanding of the true patient experience. There is also a great opportunity to gather opinions from HCPs and to share this insight with healthcare companies and healthcare providers, enabling them to improve treatment protocols, medicines and medical devices.

“We believe that the combination of Confirmit’s leading-edge technology with our expertise in healthcare will enable the development of a new, innovative approach to generating ‘in-the-moment’ insight from patients and HCPs alike. Continuous online listening, combined with the more traditional Market Research approach, will provide valuable insights which will ultimately contribute to improved patient outcomes. It is this drive to enhance the lives of patients that is at the heart of the collaboration between Confirmit and 7i Group.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Tim Hannington, EVP at Confirmit added:

“We look forward to working with 7i in providing the pharmaceutical industry with the holistic view it requires to put the patient at the heart of improving existing medicines and future drug development. We are confident that Confirmit Genius will provide the sentiment analysis capabilities 7i requires at scale and that Confirmit Horizons will support 7i’s expansion into new territories as it enters new markets.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthApril 20, 2018


While the high street reported the steepest year-on-year drop in footfall since 2010, UK online retail sales have experienced dramatic growth.

Online sales grew by a storming +18.9 percent year-on-year (YoY) in March, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Marking the highest year-on-year growth since November 2016, March’s results round out a hugely successful first quarter, which saw average growth perform well above the 2018 forecast (+15.3 percent vs. +9 percent).

A number of key factors helped drive the month’s online sales – starting with the continued cold weather from the ‘beast from the east’, and ending with the early Easter bank holiday. Far more significant of the two, weekly analysis showed that growth doubled in the final week over Easter – surging from a steady +13 percent to +27 percent.

While all sectors showed year-on-year growth in March, there were a few standout performances. Likely linked to the bank holiday weekend, both Clothing and Beer, Wine and Spirits saw increases of +17.2 percent and +27.3 percent respectively. For Beer, Wine and Spirits this was the highest jump in the last five years. Perhaps less predictably, Electricals also had a very strong month, reversing a five-year trend of decline to record growth of +21.9 percent. In a month where Samsung launched its Galaxy S9, this could signify a concerted effort by smartphone manufacturers to increase their promotions.

Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director at IMRG, said:

“It’s possible to read this month’s results as a simple story of online continuing to benefit from the decline of the high street – which is nothing new of course, but it may be that we are seeing an acceleration of this as we’ve moved into 2018. At the same time it could just be a blip – Easter falling in March will likely have pushed up online growth (and, by extension, it may come in far lower in April) plus the weather has at times brought heavy snowfall and prolonged rainfall.

If the strong growth is sustained into April, it would be tempting to conclude that we may have entered a new retail era – where store portfolios are going to be reduced faster under a far more radical programme of store consolidation than we have seen thus far, with digital transformation going high up board agendas and more ‘Digital Transformation Director’ job titles appearing.

But what does that mean for the high street? It’s important to remember that shopping centres have generally performed better than high streets recently, so it’s not that physical retail spaces can’t work. The question is – if retail were to start again entirely from scratch tomorrow, what would a retailer’s physical space look like? Would they be shops in the traditional sense, using all the space to market stock? Would we actually even create high streets again?”

Bhavesh Unadkat, Principal Consultant in Retail Customer Engagement with Capgemini added:

“While the comparatively stronger growth of multi-channel retailers this month further supports the weather’s role in driving footfall away from the high streets, it also highlights the potential value and relevance of maintaining some form of physical presence in addition to a digital one. The trick for retailers is to figure out how the two can successfully work in combination, and what role each must play. We’re already seeing the start of this interplay in the trend for showrooming, but that is just one possible innovation of many.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthApril 16, 2018


Pub chain JD Wetherspoon will face “negative repercussions” for “ignoring” customers by shutting down their social media channels, it has been warned.

The company ran over 900 accounts on platforms including Twitter and Facebook, and has said the decision on Monday morning was taken over concerns the accounts were being used to troll MPs.

The staunchly pro-Brexit brand announced the move in a now-deleted tweet by Chairman Tim Martin, who wrote: “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business. I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers.”

However, the move has been criticised by Customer Experience experts Medallia, whose VP EMEA Sean Farrington, said:

Social media represents a way for people to share their views and opinions on anything and everything. In the world of commerce, to close the door on this vital channel and ignore the very powerful voice of the customer, is a highly risky strategy.

When used well social media acts as an additional earpiece for brands, enabling them to get insight into what their customers like and don’t like. It provides a platform to engage with customers in a positive way. It allows brands to hear the stories behind customers experiences and to proactively make changes to enhance them. Indeed, Medallia’s research* of the hospitality sector has found engaging with social media reviews boosts a company’s bottom line.

Love it or loathe it, social media is a part of our world now. We live in a 24/7 always on society that loves to share and loves to voice their opinions. Blocking access to a tool such as this could have negative repercussions for a brand, something Wetherspoons might find out quicker than they’d like.”

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 29, 2018


Anticipation is building ahead of the release of the debut book from international Customer Experience consultant Ian Golding.

Titled Customer What?: The Honest and Practical Guide to Customer Experience, the book is set for a late spring/early summer release following a successful Kickstarter campaign that saw Ian – who is also CXM’s Non-Executive Editor – smash his fundraising target.

The new tome is described as “part practise handbook, part novel, and part therapy”, and “a practical guide to creating, and sustaining, the focus on Customer Experience to create value in the long-term”.

It distils Ian’s many years of knowledge and experience in the field, and serves it up in the approachable, witty, and informative manner familiar to those who have been trained by Ian at one of the CX Masterclasses.

Speaking of the inspiration behind the book, Ian said:

“Those who know me personally will be only too aware I have been living and breathing the Customer Experience profession for many years. As someone who has been around since the very beginning, it feels – finally – as though the business world is beginning to grasp the potential of putting customers front and centre in an organisation. We are getting through!

But we still need more people like you to join this growing movement! If this is something you aspire to do, whoever you are, regardless of your job title, this book has been written for you.”

He continued:

“Customer Experience is a challenging career choice. I learned a long time ago that just because it’s obvious to you and me that putting people and customers first makes good business sense, does not mean it will be obvious to someone else.
For every one of us that has the luxury of working in organisations that want to listen, another ten of us will be faced with the prospect of having our ideas met with cynicism, or outright rejection.

I feel there’s a need to talk a little less about theory, and more about the practical aspects of customer experience management. How do you write a CX strategy statement? How do you measure a customer journey? How can you create the right supporting culture to sustain it?

A large part of my message is that you need to understand not only the customers of a business, but the business itself. The raw materials – people, culture, business model, resources, and commitment – should always shape your approach.”

Upon the book’s release Customer Experience Magazine will publish exclusive excerpts, so keep an eye on CXM for further details.

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 26, 2018


The 2018 UK Employee Experience Awards are fast approaching, and finalists are being encouraged to take advantage of an Early Bird offer for booking tables.

The awards finals are taking place in London’s Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel on May 17, while the list of finalists for each of the 20 categories now available to view at the official awards website, and here on CXM.

Among the household names competing in this year’s finals event are clothing retailer River Island, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and beer innovators Brewdog.

Categories include Best Talent Management, Best Innovation in Recruitment, and Agency of the Year.

Meanwhile, judges scrutinising presentations on the day include Lara Plaxton, head of HR at awards partners FDM. For a full list of judges, click here.

Finalists attending the daytime event – which will see presentations taking place in the morning, and winners announced during a gala lunch – are being encouraged to take advantage of an Early Bird table offer, which allows for an incredible £300 saving on a premium table booking for 10 people (which includes champagne and wine, and a choice of table close to the stage), and a standard table for 10.

A £40 saving on individual seats is also available within the same timeframe. The Early Bird offer on all tables ends at midnight on April 13.
For more information on the awards, which are also partnered with Benefex and the World Employee Experience Institute, click here.

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 23, 2018


The recent cold weather snap known as ‘the Beast from the East’ may have caused havoc to the UK’s transport system, but it provided a welcome increase in online sales, according to newly released figures.

UK online retail sales were up +13.1 percent year-on-year (YoY) in February, according to data from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. With the Beast from the East hitting the UK in the last week of February, the cold weather saw shoppers turn online in their droves, driving a +3.5 percent lift in sales compared to the previous week. This continues 2018’s positive start, with overall year-on-year growth averaging 13.5 percent year-to-date.

Despite the strong sales however, the overall market conversion rate (the percentage of site visitors that complete a purchase) was 4.2 percent, down from 4.6 percent last year. The conversion rates for both multichannel and online retailers also came in lower than February 2017. However, the average basket value (ABV) rose by £11 in comparison to last February.

Meanwhile, smartphone growth remained strong at +38.5 percent on last year, but is certainly slowing when compared to the +57 percent growth of last year. Tablets, on the other hand, continued their now four-month long decline trend, decreasing -6.7 percent year-on-year, a record low for this device type.

Some sectors performed notably well this February. Health & Beauty grew by +33.85 percent year-on-year – its highest growth in the last five years. In addition, Clothing continues to show strong year-on-year growth, up +14.9 percent, with accessories and footwear the top performers within this at +22.3 percent and +20.4 percent respectively. Finally Gifts also grew by a strong +9 percent year-on-year, a significant improvement on last year’s -3.3 percent.

Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement at Capgemini, said:

“February’s sales patterns clearly demonstrate the power of extreme weather on shopping habits; as people avoid the high street in favour of cosier shopping from their well-heated living rooms. As the snowy weather continued well into March we anticipate a continuation of this trend in next month’s results. We’d also draw attention to the performance of the US retail market, which has just reported its third consecutive month of falling sales. As the US market is often seen as ahead of the UK’s this could foreshadow a similar trend in the coming months. Fortunately for internet retailers, the US reported +1 percent online sales growth.”

Justin Opie, managing director, IMRG, added:

“Over the course of many years, the overall conversion rate for online retailers crept up very slowly but this has stalled recently and has now actually been in decline for three consecutive months. This suggests that shoppers are spending more time browsing, potentially across a greater range of sites, before making a final purchase decision and that may well be true, but a clear influencing factor is a shift in the devices people are using for shopping. In Q4, 32 percent of online retail purchases were completed on smartphones (the rest were through desktops and tablets) – these devices tend to have lower conversion rates due to a variety of reasons, particularly how much more susceptible users are to being distracted when using them.”

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 15, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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