CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamFebruary 26, 2020
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5min427

Focusing on Customer Experience directly leads to higher business growth, reveals Adobe’s 2020 Digital Trends. 

According to the study, UK brands leading in CX were three times more likely to exceed their 2019 business goals. It was also found that those leading in CX all shared a common approach to investing more in people, technology and structures.

Now in its tenth year, the Digital Trends report, in partnership with Econsultancy, surveyed over 13,000 global marketing, advertising, ecommerce, creative and IT professionals to understand their 2019 achievements and 2020 priorities.

Alvaro Del Pozo, Vice President of Marketing, International, at Adobe said: “Today’s consumers have more choice, are better informed, and are more demanding than ever.

“A customer-led approach is no longer optional – it’s business critical. Brands need to connect with customers in more dynamic and engaging ways. By focusing on creating the right culture and team, supported by the right technology, brands will be able to react to changing customer and market needs, faster than ever.”

Businesses in the UK clearly recognise the importance of taking a customer-first approach, with almost a quarter (24 percent) of British brands ranking CX optimisation as their most exciting priority for 2020. Encouragingly, the UK’s focus on CX outranks the global and European average of 22 percent, ahead of both Germany (23 percent) and Italy (16 percent), and behind only the Nordics (26 percent) and France (25 percent).

However, a clear maturity gap has opened up between CX ambition and actual capability in several European countries, with just one in 20 brands from the UK (5 percent), Germany and the Nordics (both 6 percent) ranking their CX development as ‘very advanced’.

French brands rank themselves highest in Europe when it comes to CX maturity, with 16 percent saying their strategy and technology is aligned to the customer experience, ahead of Italy at 12 percent.

For brands seeking to close the maturity gap, they must look beyond a single piece of technology or initiative, instead focusing on creating an organisational structure and culture that adopts a customer-first model.

Having the right people will be critical for brands looking to reach CX sophistication in 2020. However, the hunt for quality talent is proving to be a challenge for many, with one-in-five (19 percent) UK businesses leading in CX, admitting that attracting and retaining talent in CX-related areas is their most pressing challenge in 2020, second only to France (20 percent) in Europe.

Perhaps more worryingly, almost a third (31 percent) of British brands say finding people with the right digital skills is preventing them from creating successful digital experiences, ahead of the European average (29 percent).

To plug the digital skills gap, particularly around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), brands must ensure they take an agile approach to upskilling, which aligns to long-term business strategy, flows from the top down, and spans the entire organisation.

 The appetite for AI and ML among UK businesses is continuing to grow in 2020, with 43 percent of British brands already using AI/ML or planning to invest this year. Brands that embrace automation possess a clear business advantage. Equipped with the ability to make intelligent real-time decisions that are personalised to the individual, businesses will be closer to their customers than ever before.

Encouragingly, a third of UK companies cite targeting and personalisation as their main area of focus in 2020 – while one in five say data-driven marketing that’s focused on the individual is their top priority, ranking ahead of both France (11 percent) and Germany (15 percent). This indicates that commitment to automation will only continue to grow this year and beyond.

Click here to download the full 2020 Digital Trends report.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 21, 2020
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5min817
Customer Experience in the heart of Europe is advancing in leaps and bounds thanks to the passion of a growing network based in Belgium.
CX Brussels was founded by Jonathan Daniels and Hannah Centeno, with the ambition of building a strong CX professional community based in the Belgian capital that can offer support, information, and the promotion of customer-centric culture.
Initially sprouting from regular Meetup events, the network enjoyed its official inaugural gathering in September 2019, and has since hosted a successful webinar and a summit held at the HQ of Oracle CX Solutions in January.
Learning and sharing: Delegates listen intently during talks at the CX Resolutions event
The CX Resolutions event saw guest speaker Naeem Arif, author of Customer First and founder of NA Consulting, join fellow CX experts Sue Nabeth Moore (founder of consultancy Success Track Enterprise) and Ana Luisa Romero (Customer Experience Specialist at Brussels-based HR specialists SD Worx) to present before an audience featuring delegates from over 20 firms.
Plans are now underway for the next CX Brussels event, the CX Frameworks and Methodologies conference, set to take place in May. The summit aims to bring Customer Experience leaders from across Belgium and neighbouring countries together for a one-day event featuring keynote speeches, workshops, and networking opportunities.
Leading the way: Jonathan Daniels (centre) with CX Resolutions guests Naeem Arif and Ana Luisa Romero
Jonathan Daniels, who runs his own consultancy, CX Centric, and recently contributed to a best-practise book featuring guidance from 22 global CX leaders including Naeem Arif, spoke to CXM about the success of the January summit and the upcoming conference.
“CX Brussels has really kicked 2020 off with a bang, and the CX Resolutions event, which was all about the transformation to a customer-centric mindset, was hugely positive,” Jonathan said.
“Our speakers delivered excellent presentations, with Naeem Arif covering the vital area of trust, while Sue Nabeth Moore outlined and bridged the gap in understanding between “customer success” and Customer Experience.
“Ana Luisa Romero led our workshop on what true truly customer-centric leadership entails, and we have had excellent feedback from our attendees. CX Brussels was founded for people to learn, share and advance in the Customer Experience space, and our next event, CX Frameworks and Methodologies, is shaping up to be an excellent opportunity to drive our goals forward.”
Details on CX Frameworks and Methodologies will be released in the coming weeks on the CX Brussels homepage.

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 18, 2020
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2min776

Britain’s most employee-centric firms are preparing to present in London this May, following the announcement of finalists for the 2020 UK Employee Experience Awards.

Aspen Healthcare, Sky Betting & Gaming, University of Lincoln, and Harrods are just some of the names that will compete across 15 categories at the finals event, which takes place in London’s Park Plaza Riverbank on May 14.

Categories include Best Company to Work For (both SME and Large), Employee Training and Development,  Health & Wellbeing of its People, and HR Professional of the Year, while all category winners will also compete for the day’s Overall Winner title.

Judges on the day will feature a host of CEOs, Customer Experience Managers/Directors, and HR experts to scrutinise presentations and decide who takes Gold and Silver awards back to their workplace.

The booking deadline for seats at the event is April 24, but a special Early Bird Discount offer is available until March 27.

The event is hosted by Awards International, holders of the Gold Trust Mark for their events, which is granted by the Independent Awards Standards Council.

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “Each year we welcome the organisations most-dedicated to Employee Experience to London, where we learn of the exciting and innovative initiatives that are continuing to change how we work. It’s an honour to host these inspirational firms, and I would like to offer a huge congratulations to all of our shortlisted finalists.”

Click here to see a full list of 2020 finalists for the UK Employee Experience Awards.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 17, 2020
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3min871

The upcoming Unlock Your #CX Potential conference is set to bring global Customer Experience leaders including Christopher Brooks and Clare Muscutt to Birmingham for the unique one-day event.

Taking place on March 25, the conference is hosted by the the Midlands Retail Forum, under the guidance of CX consultant and author of Customer First, Naeem Arif, and will see delegates gather at the Jaguar Experience Conference Centre for a day of workshops, keynote speeches, and networking.

The event, sponsored by customer service review app Raggit, and hosted with the backing of Birmingham City University, will see award-winning Customer Experience case studies presented throughout the day, while each attendee will leave with a goody bag including essential CX books.

Among the speakers on the day are Christopher Brooks (pictured left), global consultant and Managing Director of customer strategy experts Clientship.

Christopher will be joined by Clare Muscutt of consultancy CMXperience, and Chloe Woolger, CX Commercial Director of global research and in sight leader Kantar.

Also confirmed as speakers are Caroline Cooper, founder of consultancy Naturally Loyal, and Kate Birtles, Director of Customer Service at BMI Group.

Case studies presented on the day will include Jaguar Landrover and United Carpets, with their successful CX strategies aiming to inspire delegates as they embark on their own journey to improve Customer Experience.

Speaking to CXM, conference organiser Naeem Arif (left) said he is very excited to establish Unlock Your #CX Potential in Birmingham, offering a new event for Midlands-based entrepreneurs and established firms to reshape their relationships with customers.

“We have been inundated with speakers who wanted to share their experience, so we have been able to put together a schedule that will amaze our delegates. Our last few speakers and sponsors are being confirmed this week,” Naeem said.

Customer Experience Magazine is a proud media partner of Unlock Your #CX Potential, and a special discount on the ticket price is available by using promo code ‘CXM’ at the following link:

CXM is a proud media partner for this event and delegates can get a CXM specific discount by using Promo Code “CXM’ at this link.

 

 

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 14, 2020
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3min1010

A new whitepaper from business guru Tony Lynch aims to help chart your firm’s way forward with steps on creating the ultimate business strategy.

The Managing Director of Keep Thinking Big, Tony has unparalleled experience in guiding business leaders as they develop strategic plans, and helping firms close the gap between expectations and results.

An in-demand speaker, Tony has turned his attention to building strategies in Keep Thinking Big’s latest whitepaper, What to Consider When Developing a Business Strategy, which is available free to download now.

The document will offer insight on:

  • The advantages to developing a strategic plan
  • How to know if you need a strategic plan
  • Where to start in developing your strategic plan
  • Developing a business plan
  • Getting employee buy-in of your strategic plan
  • The four main audiences of your strategic plan
  • The connection between your strategic plan and your business plan

Speaking of the whitepaper, Tony said: “There are few companies, if any, that have experienced long-term success without having a strategy – a plan to attain a long-term vision. But creating such a vision and business strategy is more than just a weekend retreat, a little Googling, and a pretty report.

“A strategic plan is a detailed specification of your long-term vision and how you plan to attain it. It is a great place to start. A strategic plan typically focuses on a business’ mid to long-term goals and the strategies you plan to use to achieve them.”

Click here for your free download of What to Consider When Developing a Business Strategy.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 14, 2020
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4min788

A new digital CX service is promising to alert employees and management of potential issues facing their customers as soon as they arise.

Finnish tech firm HappyOrNot is integrating ‘Real-time Collaboration’ into its product suite in order to deliver further service enhancements to its 4,000 clients, which include McDonald’s, Elkjop, Amazon, JACK & JONES, and London Heathrow Airport.

The new software allows for managers and employees in all sectors to be alerted as soon as a potential issue arises (based on spikes in ‘Smiley’ data), such as long waiting times at airport security or unstocked shelves in a retailer.

When the number of negative or positive responses from designated Smiley Terminal and Smiley Touch products exceeds a preset value, staff are sent automated push notifications through the HappyOrNot mobile reporting app.

Once these alerts are sent, managers and frontline staff are able to acknowledge the alert and comment on the situation as it unfolds.

All within the app, they are able to communicate and issue direct instructions and on how to handle the situation. For example, if ‘wait time’ is a commonly-cited problem on a Smiley Touch, receiving frequent dark red negative feedbacks, retail employees will be alerted to this and can open a new checkout in response, while also telling their colleagues the issue should be solved.

Managers and team members are also able to review alerts and log processes retrospectively, meaning organisations can learn from previous problems to prevent them from happening again in the future. Alongside this, managers can celebrate staff who respond quickly and effectively to any issues, as demonstrated through the app.

Heikki Väänänen, CEO and Founder of HappyOrNot, said: “We’ve all been there. You’re waiting, impatiently, in line at a store, confused as to why more checkouts aren’t open. If a staff member were to arrive and start serving customers, wait times would be halved and we’d all go home happy.

“Despite this frustration, it’s not fair to expect staff to have a psychic awareness of these problems. Through our data, however, teams are notified of situations like these, and can in real-time collaborate to fix issues. All this means that customers are happier and able to get on with their day, staff are less stressed and feel empowered by their ability to resolve issues more quickly, and businesses can flourish as a result.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 5, 2020
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2min996

Customer demand for cannabis-derived CBD products in the UK has skyrocketed, with brands urged to capitalise on the trend as consumers increasingly aim for healthier lifestyles.

Ecommerce specialist Bloomreach has released data showing CBD products have seen a 1300 percent year-on-year rise in searches online – soaring to over 31,000 in January alone. Sales of CBD-related products are up 1219 percent year-on-year compared to January 2019.

Derived from cannabis, which is currently an illegal Class B drug in the UK, cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the plant that consumers use for pain relief and its anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties.

The ingredient, which is legal in its derived form, is contained in products including edibles, oils, balms, and vape liquids, and its rise in popularity is attributed to customers seeking healthier lifestyles.

Michael Schirrmacher, UK MD at Bloomreach, said: “CBD is a largely untapped market with no clear market leader in the UK. This leaves the door wide open to any brand who wants to push these products as an alternative to traditional segments.

“Retailers who are considering turning CBD into one of their differentiators would do well to start communicating about these products online to meet the expectations of ecommerce-savvy Brits before large players harness it to attract health-conscious customers.

“Brands have access to huge amounts of data, from the products that resonate best with their customers to the way their audiences like to shop. This gives them a great avenue to explore how they can introduce CBD-related products to their audiences, and whether the trend is right for them.

“Now, they just need to crunch their data to see how the can use CBD to boost their sales or reach new customers, and how to do so.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 4, 2020
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2min896

One of the UK’s most popular conference venues is inviting visitor feedback on toilet cleanliness through an increasingly popular review app.

The NEC in Birmingham is now using integrated management tool and review app Cleen, which enables customers and visitors to log reviews of washrooms.

Users can either compliment accessible and clean washrooms or post feedback on issues such as the need to refresh soap supplies or toilet paper. The free app allows users to upload photographs to support their review, which can then be viewed by other Cleen users.

The NEC now has its own Cleen dashboard, enabling the venue to have immediate access to reviews in order to take action and directly respond to customer feedback. Each toilet has its own individual QR code displayed above some of the hand dryers to identify where it is located and some washrooms also have a tablet to enable customers to leave a review without a phone.

Steve Cartmell, Group FM Contract Support Manager said: “We are committed to providing all our customers with the very best experience possible. The Cleen app and the introduction of another ‘Changing Places’ fully-accessible toilet for people with severe disabilities will further enhance our offer to visitors and ensure that they can alert us if there are any issues we need to deal with quickly.

“We believe in setting and maintaining the highest standards across our venue and this is another example of how we are always striving to exceed customer expectations.”

 

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 4, 2020
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4min789

A new study has highlighted the link between offering soft skills learning/development opportunities and employee satisfaction.

As part of the GoodHabitz 2020 Trend Report by e-learning specialists GoodHabitz, working age adults in the UK were asked about their own learning at work experiences and how much they valued being offered personal development opportunities.

The results were very clear – 80 percent think that developing soft skills like communication skills, productivity, leadership, and teamworking are very important.

Those who had completed a soft skills training course in the last 12 months were much more satisfied with their employer, more motivated, and said they enjoyed their jobs significantly more. They also said it improved their performance, with 63 percent of completers saying it had a positive effect on their ability to succeed at work.

However, the results showed that almost half of employees in the study had not been offered a chance to develop soft skills. Forty-five percent had not completed one or more soft skills training courses in the past year. This reflects other industry research which found that over 40 percent of workers had not been offered any learning opportunities during a 12-month period.

Organisational psychologists have highlighted the importance of employees feeling ‘invested in’ and how this correlates with levels of engagement and employee retention. A recent study by Deloitte also found that engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave their organisations.

Entrepreneur and employee engagement expert, Glenn Elliot said: “Some of the attributes of engagement – going the extra mile, fostering a good working environment, being motivated and feeling positive, are all connected to personal development opportunities.

“It makes complete sense because skills like people management, communication, relationship building and leadership are much harder to develop than technical skills, so when a company invests in its workforce and helps them with the hard stuff, you will see an improvement in motivation and employee engagement.”

The GoodHabitz survey results showed that employees who attended one or more soft skill training courses in the past year were more satisfied with their employer (7.7 out of 10) than those who didn’t (7.3 out of 10). They are more motivated, scoring 7.9 vs 7.6) and they enjoy their job more (4.1 vs 3.9) out of five.

Country Director UK and Ireland at GoodHabitz, Stephen Humphreys added: “We see the link between learning and engagement all the time with our customers, who report that levels of engagement and retention increase after they begin offering soft skills learning. Employee engagement is actually very important metric for determining the effectiveness of an L&D programme.”

The 2020 UK Employee Experience Awards is taking place in London on May 14. 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 23, 2020
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4min1295

CX and contact centre software firm Genesys has expanded its partnership with Microsoft for a brand new cloud service promising “superior interactions” for customers.

Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure will be available later this year and will enable firms to achieve the security and stability required to manage the complexities involved with connecting every touchpoint throughout the customer journey.

To accelerate adoption, the companies are providing Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure through a joint co-selling and go-to-market strategy, in which customers will benefit from a streamlined buying process that puts them on a clear path to the cloud.

With its multi-tenant architecture, Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure will give customers the ability to innovate faster and improve their business agility. In addition, by running the Genesys Customer Experience solution on this dependable cloud environment, enterprises will be able to maximise their investment in Microsoft Azure through simplified management and maintenance requirements, centralized IT expertise, reduced costs, and more.

These solutions aim to make it easier for enterprises to leverage cloud and artificial intelligence technologies so they can gain deeper insights and provide tailor-made experiences for their customers.

Microsoft’s US President, Kate Johnson, explained: “Large contact centres receive an exceptionally high volume of inquiries across a growing list of channels and platforms. One of the biggest challenges is connecting the details of every interaction across all channels to ensure each customer has a seamless experience.

“By leveraging Microsoft’s Azure cloud and AI technologies, Genesys is helping enterprises create a seamless customer journey with Microsoft’s trusted, secure, and scalable platform.”

Peter Graf, Chief Strategy Officer of Genesys, added: “We are thrilled to give large enterprises the opportunity to run their mission critical customer experience platform in the cloud environment they already know and trust – Microsoft Azure.

“Together, we’re making it simpler for even the most complex organisations to transition to the cloud, enabling them to unlock efficiencies and accelerate innovation so they can build deeper connections with customers.”

The companies are also exploring and developing new integrations for Genesys and Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Azure Cognitive Services to streamline collaboration and communications for employees and customers. More information will be released about these upcoming integrations later this year.

Nemo Verbist, senior VP of Intelligent Business and Intelligent Workplace at NTT Ltd., one of the top five global technology and services providers for the world’s largest enterprises and a partner of both Microsoft and Genesys, sees great value in the partnership.

“Many of our customers have standardised on Microsoft solutions, and Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure gives them an additional opportunity to take advantage of their investment,” he said.

“Together, these solutions provide enterprises a secure and powerful foundation to communicate with their customers in creative and meaningful ways.”

For more information, register for the upcoming webinar, Genesys Engage + Microsoft Azure: Transform Your Customer Experience in the Cloud.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 23, 2020
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4min1314
An upcoming event will help businesses and CX professionals “unlock” their Customer Experience potential with guidance from expert speakers and relevant case studies.
Hosted by the Midlands Retail Forum, the Unlock Your #CX Potential gathering will bring together a host of CX experts and business owners to Birmingham for a unique day-long conference that will provide vital insight into improving customer service and meeting the expectations of the customer at a time when they are continuing to reshape the retail landscape.
Customer Experience Magazine is among the media partners for the event, which is taking shape under the expert leadership of author and Top 50 CX Star Naeem Arif, the founder of NA Consulting.
Seven soon-to-be-revealed speakers will join the line-up for the one-day conference, which will take place in Birmingham’s Jaguar Experience Conference Centre (pictured below) on March 25, with the event set to provide priceless networking opportunities for attendees.
Beginning with registration at 8.30am, seminars will begin at 10am, with further afternoon sessions planned until 4.30pm. Throughout the day attendees will benefit from exhibits and a “lunch and learn” workshop.
Details on the event’s speakers will be revealed soon, and speaking to Customer Experience Magazine, Naeem Arif described what the MRF are aiming for with this exciting event.
“In an age where there is so much competition in every industry, how do companies stand out? The answer is by offering a an amazing Customer Experience,” he said.
Naeem Arif
“But what exactly is Customer Experience? Many people know they need to work on it, but do they’re actually know what it means?
“The Unlock your CX Potential conference will not only help you understand, but it will also empower your own CX initiatives. The conference is designed to help you connect with other CX professionals, grow your knowledge, and create a better User and Customer Experience for your organisation.”
Look out for further details on Unlock Your #CX Potential in CXM in the coming weeks.

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 21, 2020
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2min1101

US tech firm IPsoft has unveiled what it claims is the most “advanced digital employee on the market” in the form of an updated avatar that replicates human conversational behavior.

The firm’s Amelia digital employee system is already one of the market leaders, with B2B customers told “thinks like a human but works at the speed of a machine”. Now the AI system has been updated to feature a new-look avatar (pictured), which IPsoft say “provides the most human-like digital experiences in the industry”.

This new version of Amelia brings together her sophisticated cognitive capabilities – built to mirror the functions of the human brain – with the latest advancements in avatar technology. Amelia is designed to deliver the visual elements of human interaction – conversation, expression, emotion, and understanding – to everyday user experiences, driving deeper customer connections and greater business value.

Utilizing advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP), Amelia is able to understand natural language, follow context switching, and independently execute complex tasks to resolve user requests. Her state-of-the-art affective computing and sentiment analysis enable her to recognise and adapt her responses based on the mood of the user and the context of the situation.

Dube said: “By 2025, I believe that you could pass a colleague in the hall at work and not know if it’s a man or machine. Amelia’s new lifelike avatar takes us one step nearer to closing that gap between physical and digital colleagues to create a truly hybrid workforce.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 20, 2020
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4min1513

Employers have been warned not to forget about employee wellbeing after ‘Blue Monday’, with today cited as an opportunity to begin engagement with staff about issues including mental health.

The third Monday of every January, ‘Blue Monday’ was coined by psychologist Cliff Arnall in a bid to identify the peak of January ‘blues’, and in recent years has become a date noted by employers keen to improve the wellbeing of staff.

However, firms should avoid being seen to pay lip service to the concept by only taking mental health and wellbeing seriously for one day of the year, commentators have warned.

Clare Moore, Head of Marketing at HR platform People First, said managers should understand each member of their team at a “human level”, and maintain that connection throughout the rest of the year.

“That means learning about each employee, their experience at work and, importantly, maintaining meaningful contact,” she told CXM.

“This is achieved through regular check-ins. This can now be facilitated by technology, so that regardless of whether the manager and employee is in the location, they can still have the same opportunity to meet and discuss any potential issues that may arise and put the right strategies in place to support them,”

Ms Moore added: “Businesses that only take mental health seriously on a singular day such as Blue Monday or week are simply not acting responsibly, and therefore risk harbouring unhappy employees with lower productivity which ultimately impacts the service your customers experience.”

Meanwhile, Philip Richardson, partner and head of employment at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, said employers unsure of how to begin the engagement process can use Blue Monday as a starting point.

“For many of us, feelings of stress and unhappiness, whether at work or at home, aren’t limited to one day per year, but rather a perennial problem that can have a significant impact on our mental and physical wellbeing,” he said.

“The need for employers to foster a culture of openness around mental health has never been greater and while it can often have a lot of negative connotations, Blue Monday can be used as an opportunity to engage with staff on these issues.

“For employees, it’s equally important to be open with their manager or HR team. What changes can be made and accommodated in order to help you?

“Can you explore flexible working arrangements or remote working? By law, all employees who have worked for their employer for more than 26 weeks have the right to request flexible working and in many cases, where appropriate, employers are more than willing to accommodate this arrangement.

“You can also look at setting clear boundaries about ‘checking-in’ after work hours, banishing the urge to check emails for instance.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 17, 2020
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4min1194

Customers are turned off by a 100 percent fully automated service, while high levels of customer service are more “essential” for B2B customers than B2C, a new report into CX expectations has revealed.

Leeds-based Romero Insurance Brokers have released their Customer Experience Report 2020, for which they surveyed hundreds of UK professionals to gauge their stance on CX expectations,

The report asks what the future of customer service will look like, how digitalisation will affect the customer service landscape, and whether upcoming generations will change the way businesses handle customer service.

As expected, Customer Experience is a key differentiator, with 96 percent of purchasers stating that high customer service levels are very important when making a business decision, while 34 percent labelled it absolutely essential.

The research shows customers expect a great level of customer service, but the majority of the time less than 75 percent of business purchases provide an exceptional Customer Experience.

Meanwhile, 45 percent of respondents would be more likely to choose a vendor that had digitalised their customer service offering, citing speed and ease of service.

However, although digitalisation is increasingly growing in popularity, no consumers are prepared to deal with a 100 percent automated service. Instead, customers prefer to choose from a wide range of communication methods depending on their personal situation. For example, 49 percent would choose real-person communication to resolve a more complex query.

There is a notable correlation between CX expectations and age. Twenty-nine percent of those aged 65 and over say they have never received customer service below their expectations, compared to just seven percent from other age ranges. This could demonstrate that younger generations expect more from businesses.

The report also shows the correlation between age and the importance of more personal and personalised customer service. For example, 85 percent of 18-24-year-olds feel access to good sales people is very important, compared to just 60 percent of those aged 25 and over.

A larger percentage of younger purchasers also feel a personal relationship with a vendor, a personalised buying experience, positivity and enthusiasm of sales staff, and empathy are very important. Businesses can ensure consistent, empathetic service by investing in staff training and ensuring they have an engaged, passionate team. This enthusiasm and care is then naturally passed on to customers.

Simon Mabb, Managing Director of Romero Insurance Brokers, said: “Our research shows the real value of quality customer service. It’s clear that the future of customer service lies in choice, flexibility and personalisation. Customers want to decide how they communicate with a business, and expect an empathetic, personal experience whether they’re chatting to an adviser on the phone or typing out their query on a website live chat.

“Customer service should be all about people, and genuinely connecting with each customer.”

Click here to read the full Customer Experience Report 2020.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 15, 2020
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2min1332

Omnichannel CX and contact centre solutions provider Genesys is rebranding its flagship software as a service (SaaS) offering.

The company is changing the name of PureCloud – the world’s leading public cloud contact centre platform – to Genesys Cloud.

The move is to reflect the evolution of the company and mark the launch of Experience as a ServiceSM powered by Genesys Cloud, which enables organisations to achieve true personalisation at scale.

Genesys CEO Tony Bates, explained: “Through Genesys Cloud, we’re delivering Experience as a Service to make it easier for organisations to foster customer trust and loyalty. This starts by helping them know their customers as individuals, not profiles or segments, and leading with empathy throughout every connected moment.

“When businesses can provide distinctive experiences tailored for each customer, they’re achieving the level of personalisation today’s consumers are looking for – and that’s what we enable with Genesys Cloud.”

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 9, 2020
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2min1081

Almost a third of British firms hit by cyber-security attacks last year chose to ignore them, new research has revealed.

Thirty-two percent of UK companies said they took “no action” after an online security breach in 2019. despite this type of crime collectively costing British firms a huge sum.

Research gathered by LearnBonds sows that61 percent of large businesses identified cyber breaches over the last 12 months, although this figure falls to 32 percent when the country’s medium-sized and small firms are taken into consideration.

UK travel money firm Travelex has faced days of disruption after a software virus attack on New Year’s Eve. The move also affected Sainsbury’s Bank, Barclays, and HSBC, among others, which all use the Travelex platform.

The money firm said it was forced to close take its site offline site to contain “the virus and protect data”.

The most common attacks are ‘phishing’ breaches, where fraudsters send emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to tempt firms to reveal sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. Criminals sending malware and ransomware attacks were also common.

The average cost of these attacks for large firms was £22,700, though when medium-sized and small firms are taken into consideration the mean costs falls to £9,470, according to data from Ipsos Mori for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in November.

The department added that the “costs of cyber-security breaches can be substantial”, adding: “Things like lost productivity or reputational damage tend to be overlooked. This means that when organisations reflect on their approaches to cyber-security, they may be undervaluing the true cost and impact of cyber-security breaches.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 3, 2020

4min1735

More staff in customer service roles will seek new employment this month than in any other, with new research showing that almost two-fifths of workers in these positions will seek to leave their post in January.

A seasonal slump in engagement and motivation is believed to be behind the spike in dissatisfied staff, and a survey by quality assurance improvement platform EvaluAgent found that 40 percent of customer service employees are less happy in January than any other month, leading to 39 percent actively searching for a new role.

The financial impact of this employee churn is considerable – based on the average customer service worker’s annual salary of £21,000, each departure costs businesses at least £6,300 due to recruitment expenses and reduced productivity.

The report estimates that around five percent of customer service workers will actually leave their jobs in January, so with 640,500 people currently in customer service roles across the UK, this could mean businesses stand to lose around £201,757,500 in January alone.

The survey also revealed that employers seem to be underestimating the issue, with 70 percent of workplaces not believing that staff are more likely to change jobs in January than in other months.

Fortunately, according to the research there are a number of engagement strategies that would successfully prevent customer service employees from starting their January job hunt.

According to the research, financial incentives such as salary increases and bonuses alone are an ineffective solution, with 47 percent of those surveyed saying that money would not affect their decision as to whether to stay or leave their company in January.

This was especially true for younger workers, with 59 percent of 18-24 year olds saying that money is not an effective motivation.

Instead, the research showed that businesses should be utilising a full spectrum of tools to boost employee engagement, including regular and timely feedback, which was deemed as effective as a cash bonus by 54 percent of employees.

Non-financial reward schemes were almost as popular, with 44 percent of employees saying these would prevent them from looking for a new job at the start of the year, while more than a third (36 percent) said employee benefits such as healthcare and flexitime would encourage them to stay.

Goal-based objectives can be an effective way of improving motivation, by increasing the sense of purpose and pride in a person’s work. Twenty-four percent said that this would be enough to make them reconsider looking for a new role.

Jaime Scott, co-founder and CEO of EvaluAgent, said: “High employee turnover in January is a real problem for many businesses, and can cause significant problems when it comes to productivity and customer satisfaction levels.

“Our research clearly shows there is a direct link between employee engagement and turnover, suggesting that businesses need to be making far more effort to engage their workforce at this time of year if they are to prevent the annual surge in departures.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 2, 2020
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2min1431

Banks and credit card companies in the UK faced over a million complaints in the first half of 2019, new data has revealed.

The research conducted by Learnbonds.com found that of this total, current account holders registered the highest number of complaints.

The complaints lodged with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) indicate that the number of complaints against current accounts was 590,663, while credit cards and repackaged accounts registered 354,806 and 99,600 complaints respectively. Complaints regarding arrears stood at 39,542.

Most of the complaints originated from administration and customer care services with a record 744,863 complaints, while clients who were unhappy with charges and product performance stood at 243,426. Elsewhere, some 129,838 customers had issues with advising, selling and arranging of banking and credit card products.

As per the report, UK firms must report complaints from eligible complainants in regards to activities conducted from the firm’s establishment.

The data was compiled after reviewing the total number of opened, closed and upheld complaints, the amount of redress paid, the type of firm the complaint was about, the type of product the complaint was about, and the reason why the complaint was raised.

The report states: “The complaints data is used to assess how financial institutions within the UK are relating to their customers while focusing on how their performance changes over time.”

Click here to access the data.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 11, 2019
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2min2348

Customer engagement software specialists Freshworks has shed light on how customers interact with AI tech such as chatbots in an insightful new report.

In AI in Customer Service: A Survey Report from Europe, responses from 6,000 customers and 800 senior business leaders across the continent were analysed to provide answers on what consumers think of the growing technology.

The research reveals that 41 percent of European consumers “see no benefit of chatting with a bot”, while 29 percent said answers from bots “did not help solve their problem”.

For brands, Freshworks has found that 25 percent are currently using artificial intelligence solutions to improve customer service.

The research was commissioned to highlight the disconnect between what brands believe they are providing, and what exactly customers themselves say about the services.

Among the experts providing insight in the report is CX advisor and author Adrian Swinscoe. He said: “There’s been a significant gap in brand and customer perception of the type of service being delivered and received for some time.

“The addition of new technology and new channels, in many ways, is exacerbating the situation, as customer expectations increase, and businesses have to manage more ways of communicating than ever before.”

Click here to download the full report.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 9, 2019
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7min1909

Office workers in the UK would ‘fine’ colleagues for rude or offensive behaviour the most out of a list of pet peeves.

Commercial property agents SavoyStewart.co.uk surveyed 1,466 UK office workers to find out which unprofessional actions they would fine their colleagues for and what ‘rate’ they would set the fine to for each misdemeanour.

The poll follows reports that Chelsea FC head coach Frank Lampard fines players for a list of fouls including being late for training sessions (£20,000), and their phone ringing during a team meal or meeting (£1,000).

Office workers unprofessional actions/behaviour

The percentage of UK office workers who would fine their colleagues for ‘offence ‘

The average fine UK office workers would charge their colleague each time ‘offence’ is committed 

Unnecessarily being rude/offensive

81%

£25

Not meeting an agreed/set deadline

77%

£30

Not turning up at all to a scheduled/arranged meeting

74%

£22

Making/taking multiple personal phone calls during working hours

69%

£14

Taking a longer lunch break than allocated

65%

£8

Showing up more than 5 minutes late to a meeting

60%

£10

Agreeing to come to a work social but then not turning up at all

53%

£8

Showing up more than 5 minutes late to work

48%

£6

Dressing inappropriately/sloppily

42%

£5

Personal phone ringing during a meeting

26%

£2.50

Darren Best, Managing Director of SavoyStewart.co.uk, said: “Working in an office can be fun as well as challenging. It’s an environment where people don’t have control over who they necessarily work with but should make every effort to be respectable and professional at all times. But unfortunately, this does not always happen, and people’s actions/behaviour in an office can be aggravating.

“This research highlights the unprofessional actions/behaviours that office workers most have grievances with, certainly enough to fine their colleagues considerable amounts for committing them.”




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