Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 10, 2018


December bonuses are the key to preventing New Year resignations, a survey of 1,096 UK employees has found.

The study was carried out by, and found that almost one-in-two workers (46 percent) said having received a bonus or gift from their boss recently would prevent them from looking for a new job.

Almost the same number (45 percent) would be less likely to accept a new job if offered one, if the same had happened.

With workers being more likely to look for a new job in January than any other month of the year, December bonuses couldn’t be timed better for staff retention purposes.

Alan Smith, UK Managing Director at One4all Rewards, said: “It’s interesting to see just how far a token bonus can impact on workers’ loyalty to their employer. Even if you just consider the amount of money that can be lost through recruitment costs when a member of staff resigns – never mind the softer negative impacts and knock-on effects that employees leaving can have, in terms of morale in the workplace – it is clearly something that is worth investing in.

“And thanks to HM Revenue and Customs’ recent introduction of tax exemptions on trivial benefits of £50 per employee or less, it has never been more affordable for businesses to gift staff a little something to make sure they feel valued, ahead of the busiest time of the year for staff departures.”



Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 7, 2018


The annual office Christmas party is falling out of favour with employees, with more than one-in-four admitting they don’t enjoy the festivities.

According to a poll of 1,000 workers by employee benefits platform Perkbox, 29 percent of staff dislike the tradition. The top three reasons given relate to socialising at the event, with 34 percent saying they don’t enjoy mingling with colleagues.

Thirty percent said they found Christmas bashes too “cliquey”, while 27 percent said they don’t enjoy the occasion because they feel “forced” to have fun by management.

Interestingly for bosses, when workers were asked what they would prefer to do instead of a Christmas party if they had the choice, activities within closer-knit groups proved popular – more than one-in-five (23 percent) said they would like a meal with their immediate team. This was followed by seven percent who would like to do a daytime activity with their team.

The same number said they would prefer a night out with their direct colleagues rather than attending a Christmas party with the whole company. In fact, all age groups said they would prefer a meal out with their direct team as an alternative to the Christmas party.

Chieu Cao, CMO of Perkbox, said: “The Christmas party is something that many employers rely on to commemorate the festive season and use to reward staff for their hard work. However, the data shows that actually this Christmas perk is creeping out of favour amongst some sections of the workforce. It is telling that this mostly seems to be due to the social aspect – either because they don’t want to be forced to socialise with colleagues, or because they find this kind of situation where often people will break into groups too cliquey.”

He added: “Whatever businesses choose to do to mark Christmas this year, it is best organised as part of a year-long reward strategy that will help maintain good morale, staff retention and a sense of team.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 7, 2018


Nearly all of customers’ paper receipts (90 percent) end up lost, in the bin, or too faded to use, causing a significant problem during Christmas, the biggest retail event of the year.

According to digital receipts platform Flux, whose survey asked 1,008 people about their receipt habits, 50 pecrent of Brits will need a receipt to return or exchange a Christmas present this year, but the vast majority will not be able to due to missing or discarded paper receipts.

The results also revealed Britain’s best and worst gifters, highlighting the stores and cities where the most receipts are needed to return gifts.

For instance, whilst M&S and John Lewis may be well known for being kings of the Christmas advert, their shoppers are the most likely to need a receipt to return gifts, with 62 percent and 60.9 percent of respondents admitting this respectively. The least likely to return their gifts are those who shop at Asda (55 percent).

Likewise, it seems people receiving gifts from family and friends in Newcastle (40 percent) and Plymouth (40 percent) can look forward to more thoughtful presents this year as these are the cities with the lowest number of receipts needed for returns, followed by Sheffield at 44 percent.

Conversely, Scottish cities Edinburgh and Glasgow see 60 percent and 56 percent of surveyed gift-getters wanting to return or exchange their presents using a receipt. This is followed by Liverpool at 55 percent.

However, whilst Christmas might be the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also an exception to the rule when it comes to receipts, which may be what catches people out.

The reason Christmas becomes such a difficult part of the year for people trying to return or exchange items could be down to our everyday habits around receipts. Generally, less than a quarter (24 percent) of Brits use a receipt more than once a month, whilst a third (33 percent) of respondents said they never use paper receipts after purchase.

A further 37 percent said they throw most of their paper receipts away immediately after purchase, while 17 percent religiously throw away every receipt they’re given.

Flux founder Matty Cusden-Ross said: “Receipts are an essential part of everyday life. Want to return something? Receipt. Exchange something? Receipt. Figure out how to split a bill? Receipt. The list goes on. The research we have done shows that paper receipts are unreliable and wasteful, especially at Christmas.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 6, 2018


A majority of customers  have lied about their experiences for personal gain, according to new research.

A total of 92 percent of customers admitted this in the study by BI Norwegian Business School. Dishonest customers aim to gain some reward, present themselves in a more flattering way, or avoid awkward interactions with service employees.

Hannah Snyder, Assistant Professor of Marketing at BI Norwegian Business School, conducted three studies to investigate the self-reported lies of a sample of 2,060 consumers. When presented with different examples or scenarios, an astonishing 92 percent admitted that they had engaged in such behaviour at least once.

Hannah said: “The lies our participants admitted to included stating that you were satisfied with your meal when you in fact were not, changing the reason you were late to your driving lesson, exaggerating to the salesperson how often you run when buying new running shoes, fabricating the reason you are returning a product or lying about your age to get a cheaper ticket to a concert. These lies were often told to benefit the person or to avoid awkward situations and interactions with service employees, whose feelings they wanted to spare.”

Although harmless in the short term, these lies can have a substantial financial impact on businesses.

Hannah added: “In the short term, if a customer tells a white lie to hide that they didn’t like their meal, this is beneficial as their food does not need to be replaced. However, not addressing the issue just hides the real problems that might impact satisfaction and result in lost customers. Although businesses might favour dishonest claims of approval, complaints are actually a mechanism to improve services and products and can be of great value.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 6, 2018


New research has revealed that 37 percent of consumers buying telco products are persuaded to opt for cross-sell opportunities such as TV and broadband packages after seeing deals online.

However, the findings by retail & telco technology experts Conversity show this figure stands at just eight percent for purchases made in-store when customers receive advice from a sales representative. This underlines how there is room for improvement in this area across all sales channels, and indicates a clear opportunity for retailers to empower their staff to deliver an omni-channel experience in a more effective manner.

In particular, the survey – which polled 1,000 consumers from across the UK – found that when focusing purely on millennials, the number of people persuaded to make additional purchases rose to 40 percent, and up to 42 percent for those in four-person households. This further underlines where physical stores should focus their efforts, and the opportunity to make a difference in this area, especially given the dominance of these demographics.

Laura Arthurton, CEO at Conversity said: “Selling mobile phones and contracts might be the bread and butter of any telco, but cross-selling related products and services – particularly persuading customers to choose a quad play bundle – is the holy grail. If you can cross-sell effectively and pull market share away from the established players, the potential for further growth can be massive.

“Our research shows that there is still room for improvement across the omni-channel when it comes to cross-selling. Retailers must empower their staff and they must be able to offer a unified experience across the omnichannel in order to maximise results, especially given the eagerness of larger households and younger generations to take advantage of these options.”

To support this point further, almost three quarters of consumers (74 percent) consider in-store sales associates taking time to understand their needs as important. This indicates a clear desire for personalised guidance as part of the in-store customer experience.

Alongside comprehensive training for staff to help them make the most of customer interactions, technology such as intelligent guided selling technology can be used to encourage more informative, productive dialogue between customers and sales staff. Having this technology to hand enables staff to deepen the relationships they have with the customers who value human contact the most.

Arthurton added: “It is clear that consumers are now often spoilt for choice when making complex buying decisions – therefore persuading customers to consider TV or broadband packages alongside mobile phone purchases is about going that extra mile to make sure consumers are given the right guidance at every stage of the buying decision. While online inevitably plays a crucial role in consumers’ everyday life, it is clear from our research that the human connection still has a crucial role to play.

“By embracing a more comprehensive approach to guided selling and personalisation, telco retailers can make sure that they are able to offer the right products and services to the right people, at the right time, which reduces the chances of them jumping ship to a competitor, and increases the chances of telcos being able to compete on much more than just mobile phones and contracts.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 5, 2018


A new survey reveals that more than half of restaurant customers would eat food made by robots – if it tasted good.

The Refuelling Rituals survey – published by London-based international customer experience and branding agency I-AM – states that 56 percent would consider robot-made food. Fifty-nine percent also said they would be happy to see more technology in restaurants if it meant an improvement in the dining experience.

Whilst people are still eating out and ordering take-aways, 49 percent of them say they are now cooking at home more than they used to, making this a key growth area – especially in the realm of meal-kit services. Some 54 percent cite the main benefits of meal-kits as a good way to learn new recipes while 40 percent favour them as a less wasteful option. Meanwhile, 74 percent of those surveyed say eating out inspires them to cook at home more.

The survey of 2000 18 to 45-year-olds living in UK urban areas reports that ‘dining is about’: being social (76 percent); getting away from the kitchen (73 percent); special occasions (69 percent); eating something unable or unwilling to cook (64 percent); and eating something new (62 percent).

Jon Blakeney, Group Managing Director at I-AM, said: “As technology-powered ordering systems become ubiquitous, restaurants and other eateries are beginning to think about automating the back end. Like retail, automating parts of restaurants can mean more profits and more efficiency. In a landscape where margins are tight, it means more breathing space to offer better service, more interesting recipes and entertainment.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 5, 2018


Customer Experience Magazine is partnering with the Call & Contact Centre Expo, Europe’s largest and most comprehensive event connecting industry professionals with the tools, techniques, and systems revolutionising the world of customer engagement.

Coming to London’s ExCeL on March 27 – 28, the event will see experts from the likes of Microsoft, BT, SAP, EA, Oracle, and IBM on hand to enlighten visitors with the very best CX guidance available, while an array of the industry’s biggest brands and most innovative suppliers will be showcasing the solutions shaping the future of the contact centre.

We are also very excited to be partnered with the newest member of the Call & Contact Centre Expo family, the Customer & User Experience Expo. Making its London debut this March, the show will offer all the tips, techniques, innovations, and strategies you need to take your customer centric CX strategy to the next level.

Tickets to the event are available for free on the website, and Event Director Paul Webb said: “Your free ticket to the Call & Contact Centre Expo will also give you unprecedented access to the Customer & User Experience Expo, as well as the B2B Marketing Expo, Marketing Technology Expo, and Sales Innovation Expo; with a combined lineup of 1,000 cutting-edge exhibitors, 500 educational seminars and 200 interactive masterclasses, this is going to be a show like no other.”

For Call & Contact Centre Expo exhibiting and sponsorship enquiries, email

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 4, 2018


Leading insight agency and CX specialist Kantar TNS has agreed a new partnership with Bupa UK worth £2.5 million to support the healthcare specialist develop its Customer Experience programme.

The four-year contract will see Kantar TNS working across Bupa UK’s insurance, health services (wellness centres, health clinics, Bupa Cromwell Hospital), care services (care homes and retirement villages) and dental care businesses to develop state-of-the-art customer feedback and engagement tools. The ambition is to use the insights gathered from this programme to continuously review Bupa UK’s offer and ensure it remains focused around customer needs, encouraging long-term loyalty and advocacy.

The programme will draw on technology provided by Kantar TNS’ software partner, Medallia, helping Bupa UK to move beyond traditional survey research methods to combine this with analysis of real-time data. One of the benefits of the Medallia platform is that it includes automatic, real-time text and sentiment analysis of customer responses, which helps to inform subsequent questions they are asked. 

This will also allow Bupa UK to build a much more detailed picture of individual experiences, customer concerns and where its services can improve. 

Representatives of Kantar TNS have been involved in judging at the UK Customer Experience Awards over the years, including the most recent gala event in London.

Tim Pritchard, Managing Director of Customer Experience at Kantar TNS, said: “The health, care and wellbeing market is booming, with new entrants trying to grab a foothold in this dynamic sector. What sets operators apart, however, is their ability to provide a first-class Customer Experience.

“Bupa UK recognises this and has invested significantly to make sure it continues to lead the market.  We look forward to working with the business in this next iteration of its CX programme, helping its teams to improve the way they track and respond to customer feedback – whether from patients, relatives, corporate subscribers or individual policy holders.”

Sean Risebrow, Director of Customer Experience at Bupa UK, added: “Our vision is to be the world’s most admired healthcare company, putting the customer at the heart of everything we do.  Listening to customers, and then acting upon what they tell us, is the key to building exceptional Customer Experience. Our partnership with Kantar TNS and Medallia gives us the CX expertise and advanced technological tools we need to ensure that we continue to respond to our customers’ varied needs. We aim to be best, delivering a market-leading Customer Experience, that helps people to live longer, healthier and happier lives.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 3, 2018


The 2018 Brand Loyalty Index from Sodexo Engage has revealed that technology brands continue to dominate when it comes to customer loyalty and building those all-important relationships that promote future sales.

Promotions and giveaways, alongside product experience, have been the main drivers in how loyal consumers are. Maintaining their position from last year, Samsung and Apple take the top two spots in the Index, while Dyson and Sky TV also make it into the top 10 for the first time (5th and 10th respectively). Meanwhile, streaming service Netflix falls out of the top line-up altogether, with rival Amazon also dropping 11 places to 17.

The research also highlights that the relationships technology brands share with customers are now showing signs of maturing. Sky TV (79 percent), Apple (78 percent), and O2 (70percent) are all developing long track records with consumers. When it comes to loyalty, over half (51 percent) of Apple users and six-in-ten Dyson customers (58 percent), feel their loyalty is rewarded.

However, rising numbers of consumers report having had a poor experience with some tech brands which is a particular concern in a sector where quality counts. In last year’s Index, more than half of those surveyed said they have never had a negative experience with these brands. Today only Samsung, which tops the Index, maintains that claim.

Chris Baldwin, Director of Consumer Promotions and Loyalty at Sodexo Engage said: “The rise in negative experiences when it comes to tech products is hardly a surprise – consumers use these brands all the time. With about a third of consumers on their Apple or Sky products every day (31 percent for each), there’s much higher chance for them to encounter problems which impacts their loyalty to the product.”

Technology brands have seen the biggest drop when it comes to customer loyalty; eight-out-of-10 of the tech brands in the Index have seen declines of 10 percent or more, followed closely by Samsung and Sony who saw a decline of nine percent. More than half of customers also said they would be very likely to switch if another brand was offering a promotion, prize or freebie.

Chris Baldwin added: “With so much competition, maintaining a loyal stream of customers when it comes to a tech product is hard to achieve. These brands are often dependent on a continued cycle of quality items and services to keep their customers on board. In today’s world, loyalty is a tricky thing to hold onto, but promotions and giveaways are proven to be a major opportunity to keep consumers engaged with the product and help build a larger customer base.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthDecember 3, 2018

Software solutions firm Aptean has joined the UK Complaint Handling Awards as a sponsor ahead of the 2019 event in the heart of London.

The global company, which helps streamline the operations of over 2,500 organisations in 54 countries, has joined a distinguished list of sponsors for the event, including Resolver, Ecoscheme, and Henley Business School among others.

Aptean is known for Respond; a tailored case management software solution which is suited to organisations of all sizes with a need for an efficient and proven method to run their customer feedback operations.

The 2019 UK Complaint Handling Awards is taking place at London’s Park Plaza Hotel on March 8 and will see Finalists representing some of the UK’s best-known businesses compete in 19 categories before an Overall Winner is announced.

Categories in this year’s event reflect the rapidly-evolving complaint handling processes and skills utilised by organisations aiming to boost Customer Experience.

These include Innovation in Complaint Management, Artificial Intelligence, Customer Insight Strategy, and Best Use of Customer Insight & Feedback.

The ceremony will also see awards presented to the Best Complaint Handling Team of the Year, and Best Complaint Handler.

Meanwhile, Finalist presentations will be scrutinised by an expert judging panel comprising of representatives from across the Complaint Handling and Customer Experience sectors. A representative of Aptean will be joining the panel for 2019, to cast an expert eye on the strategies of those hoping to secure a coveted award.

The event is hosted by Awards International, holders of a Gold Trust Mark awarded by the Independent Awards Standards Council.

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “It’s an honour to welcome Aptean as a sponsor for 2019. To have an organisation with their standard of excellence involved serves to take the awards to the next level, and their participation is to the benefit of all entrants and Finalists.”

A spokesperson for Aptean said: “We are proud to be involved with the 2019 UK Complaint Handling Awards. We’re looking forward to celebrating effective complaint handling and those that have successfully used Respond to deliver exceptional customer service.”







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