Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 11, 2019
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6min571

The G-Summit Europe event, hosted by global Customer Experience and contact centre solutions firm Genesys, is underway in Amsterdam.

The three-day conference brings together CX professionals from across Europe to share the latest in technology solutions and good practice, and features guest speakers including Huib Van Bockel, the former head of Marketing at Red Bull Europe and author of The Social Brand, and Dave carroll, whose famous viral video, United Breaks Guitars, helped usher in a new era of accountability to customers.

Genesys customers, including, HeinekenKiwi.com, and Lowell Group will illustrate how they are using innovative technologies such as the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), digital channels, and more. G-summit Europe will also celebrate agents from Swisscard, Harambee and Ving as Genesys CX Heroes for going above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service.

Merijn te Booij, Chief Marketing Officer at Genesys, said: “Through G-Summit Europe we aim to show attendees how immersive, experiential service is the new standard for every customer, every time. Attendees will glean insights from industry experts and businesses that have had success using innovative technologies to empower their employees and turn conversations with customers into the best-connected moments across marketing, sales and service.”

Meanwhile, Genesys is making it even easier for businesses to extend the power of its PureCloud software with the launch of single-click free trials for Premium Applications. Now available on the Genesys AppFoundry, this is the industry’s first fully self-service, automated free trial program available on a dedicated CX marketplace.

Jeff Wise, Vice President, Application and Developer Marketing at Genesys explains: “Our free trial program is a truly modern approach for companies to buy software. We’re offering a hassle-free way to try trusted apps, integrations and services that seamlessly tie into our leading SaaS solution, PureCloud.

“In a matter of minutes – not days or weeks – customers can test drive solutions to help them address real business challenges and deliver value. This is just the latest example of how we’re removing barriers to help businesses build deeper, more meaningful relationships with their customers and enrich their employees’ experiences.”

Quickly and without risk, Genesys PureCloud customers can sample a variety of select integrations, applications and services that work in lockstep with their cloud contact center software. Currently, there are 11 free trial applications from AppFoundry partners including: Avtex, CustomerView, nGuvu, PureInsights, Softphone, Survey Dynamix, CoBrowse, SmartVideo, Outleads, and more. These span a variety of capabilities including business intelligence, workforce management, CRM and more.

With fully automated installation and setup, Premium Applications are built to accelerate speed-to-use and deliver optimal time-to-value.

Softphone, a leading contact centre solutions developer & system integrator, currently offers free trials of four Premium Applications on AppFoundry.

Alan Lugiai, Softphone chief executive officer said: “We expect free trial offers to generate an incredible response from Genesys customers. This is a tremendous opportunity to help even more businesses amplify the value of their Genesys Cloud Customer Experience solutions by giving them friction-free access to and integration of our products.”

Businesses have 30 days to evaluate the offering and can choose to license or cancel at any time without friction. In addition, Premium Applications are fully integrated with PureCloud’s subscription and billing system, further streamlining and simplifying the entire process for customers.

Learn more about Premium Applications providers and the full roster of Genesys AppFoundry partners here.

Genesys is sponsoring the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards in October. Click here for booking details.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 10, 2019
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7min536

A new report from customer engagement software firm Freshworks Inc has cast light on a staggering number of hours wasted annually by sales and service agents who struggle to navigate software they are forced to use, despite having no say in its implementation.

The Voice in the Choice survey, which was released at Freshworks’ user conference, Refresh ‘19, shows that US-based sales staff waste a combined 516 million hours a year as a result of top-down ‘software dictatorship’. The report shows that having no say in the choice of software, and using it despite the problems it creates, is costing firms time, money, and morale.

It is also affecting firms’ ability to control customer retention and satisfaction. It is estimated that in the US, the wasted hours amount to an incredible $8.3 billion in lost productivity every year.

The survey, which questioned 400 frontline customer service and success employees, showed that respondents feel powerless to determine which software they use, with 96 percent having little or no influence into its selection. Likewise, 57 percent have no clue who chooses the software they use, and 43 percent don’t know why the software was chosen. In fact, respondents indicated that they have greater control over snack selection at their offices than they do regarding the software that they use day in and day out.

Employee’s influence in decisions affecting their work life

  • Personal work schedule (28 percent)
  • Seat or desk assignment (20 percent)
  • Office snack selection (17 percent)
  • Software they use (7 percent)

Conversely, when it comes to the biggest impact on end users’ ability to do their jobs well, software becomes the top factor. Forty-seven percent say the software they use has a major or complete impact on their ability to do their jobs well.

Work life factors that improve employee performance

  • Software they use (47 percent)
  • Work schedule (41 percent)
  • Seat or desk assignment (16 percent)
  • Office snack selection (6 percent)
Demand freedom: ‘Hated’ software brings frustration to the workplace

The report shows that the pain of software dictatorship has both quantitative and qualitative ramifications. Half (50 percent) of respondents say that when they have to use software they hate, it is harder for them to satisfy their customers. One-in-five report that when they are frustrated with software, they are more likely to be rude to customers.

Exclusion from their organisations’ software decision-making also impacts overall employee morale and, ultimately, employee retention. Nearly one-in-four end users (24 percent) say that using software they hate makes them want to quit their jobs. This flight risk is more acute with millennials, with 30 percent reporting that handcuffing them to bad software makes them want to pack up and leave.

Tellingly, using ‘hated’ software brings frustration and unhappiness at work to more people (26 percent) than the drudgery of long hours and working overtime (23 percent).

The survey revealed that increased user involvement not only increases productivity but increases their job satisfaction as well. End users report that if management involved them in deciding what software to use, it would make them feel respected (60 percent) and empowered (40 percent) while boosting employee morale (43 percent).

The survey revealed that increased user involvement not only increases productivity but increases their job satisfaction as well. End users report that if management involved them in deciding what software to use, it would make them feel respected (60 percent) and empowered (40 percent) while boosting employee morale (43 percent).

Enlightened managers are adopting a more democratic approach to selecting software for net positive gains. Over half of end users say that helping to choose the software their company uses to engage with customers would result in happier customers (53 percent) and higher employee productivity (52 percent). In fact, over half of millennials (52 percent) report that they’d be at least 25 percent better at their job if they could choose the software they use.

Freshworks CEO and founder Girish Mathrubootham, said: “This lack of employee involvement is an outrage for those on the frontlines of the customer relationship and should be a wake-up call for companies who are looking to increase both employee productivity and customer satisfaction. Organisations have a responsibility – to their employees, their customers and themselves – to bring the voice of their workers into the technology-buying process. The happiness of their employees and customers depends on it, as does the health of their business.

“As our productivity and happiness at work becomes more closely tied to the technology we use, executives and managers have a true opportunity to make better software choices by giving a voice to their employees. Organisations can enact a more democratic selection process through a number of best practices, including employee surveys, pilot programs, employee committees and many other tactics to ensure worker voices are heard and can be as productive as possible.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 9, 2019
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6min893

Global companies are expecting to apply artificial intelligence (AI) within their organisations in the next few years, but are lagging behind when it comes to discussing the ethics of the technology, it has been revealed.

New research from CX and contact centre solutions firm Genesys has revealed that more than half of all employers questioned in a multi-country opinion survey say their companies do not currently have a written policy on the ethical use of AI or bots, although 21 percent expressed a definite concern that their companies could use AI in an unethical manner.

Genesys, which is sponsoring the upcoming 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards, questioned 1,103 employers and 4,207 employees regarding the current and future effects of AI on their workplaces. The 5,310 participants were drawn from six countries: the UK, Germany, the US, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of the employers surveyed expect their companies to be using AI or advanced automation by 2022 to support efficiency in operations, staffing, budgeting, or performance, although only 25 percent are using it now.

However, in spite of the growing trend, 54 percent of employers questioned say they are not troubled that AI could be used unethically by their companies as a whole or by individual employees (52 percent). Employees appear more relaxed than their bosses, with only 17 percent expressing concern about their companies.

Twenty-eight percent of employers said they are apprehensive their companies could face future liability for an unforeseen use of AI, yet only 23 percent say there is currently a written corporate policy on the ethical use of AI/bots.

Meanwhile an additional 40 percent of employers without a written AI ethics policy believe their companies should have one – a stance supported by 54 percent of employees.

Meanwhile, just over half of employers (52 percent) believe companies should be required to maintain a minimum percentage of human employees versus AI-powered robots and machinery. Employees are more likely (57 percent) than employers (52 percent) to support a requirement by unions or other regulatory bodies.

The Genesys survey found that millennials (ages 18-38) are the age group most comfortable with technology, yet they also have the strongest opinions that guard rails are needed. Across the countries, the survey questions about AI ethics resonated more with millennials than with Gen X (ages 39-54), or Baby Boomers (ages 55-73).

Whether it’s anxiety over AI, desire for a corporate AI ethics policy, worry about liability related to AI misuse, or willingness to require a human employee-to-AI ratio – it’s the youngest group of employers who consistently voice the most apprehension. For example, 21 percent of millennial employers are concerned their companies could use AI unethically, compared to 12 percent of Gen X and only six percent of Baby Boomers.

Steve Leeson, VP UK & Ireland, Genesys, said: “As a company delivering numerous Customer Experience solutions enabled by AI, we understand this technology has great potential that also comes with tremendous responsibility. This research gives us important insight into how businesses and their employees are really thinking about the implications of AI – and where we as a technology community can help them steer an ethical path forward in its use.”

He continued: “Our research reveals both employers and employees welcome the increasingly important role AI-enabled technologies will play in the workplace and hold a surprisingly consistent view toward the ethical implications of this intelligent technology. We advise companies to develop and document their policies on AI sooner rather than later – making employees a part of the process to quell any apprehension and promote an environment of trust and transparency.”

Read CXM’s interview with Olivier Jouve, Executive Vice President of Genesys Purecloud, for more on ethics in AI.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 4, 2019
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3min1079

Over three-quarters of IT teams don’t understand the buzzwords that marketers use, causing concerns over how firms handle their Digital Experience (DX).

A new report from content management system (CMS) provider Magnolia, Straight talking content management, incorporates a survey of over 200 IT professionals and 200 marketers across both the UK and US and garners unique insights into the DX landscape and the attitudes both groups hold in relation to their peers.

It reveals that the emerging field of DX has become swamped with buzzwords and jargon, which has led to a huge disconnect between marketers and IT teams.

The research found that almost a quarter (23 percent) of IT teams believe that marketers use too many buzzwords, with 21 percent saying they don’t know what marketers mean when they ask for ‘omnichannel’ content, and 24 percent saying they don’t know what a ‘call to action’ is online.

Furthermore, with 80 percent of marketers collaborating with their IT team on a weekly basis – and 46 percent interacting on a daily basis – it’s crucial that both teams can communicate with one another effectively.

Commenting on the research, Rasmus Skjoldan, CMO at Magnolia, said: “In order for brands to create great content, both IT teams and marketers must work together to understand each other’s unique pressures and objectives. Talking in technical jargon and marketing buzzwords isn’t helping, if anything it’s just causing more frustration for both groups.

“Too many CMS brands add to this problem, expanding rather than bridging the divide. As an industry we need to focus on developing straight-talking solutions that work for everyone across the business – from marketers, to developers, to customers and IT teams.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 3, 2019
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3min814

Financial services compliance solutions firm Worksmart has joined the 2020 UK Complaint Handling Awards as a sponsor for the event, which will take place in London next year.

The firm, which has been supporting Britain’s leading financial service businesses through the challenges of regulatory compliance for over two decades, is bringing its considerable influence to the awards final next spring, where companies will compete in 15 categories, including Best use of Insight & Customer Feedback and Complaint Handling Professional of the Year.

Worksmart is the firm behind cutting-edge complaints software Caresmart, which has revolutionised complaint tracking and resolving for organisations keen to protect their reputation with both customers and regulatory bodies. It joins fellow partners Cranfield School of Management and Professor Malcolm McDonald in backing the awards, which are once again also sponsored by children’s charity Barardo’s.

2020 will be the fourth year of the event, hosted by Awards International, and finalists will descend on the Park Plaza Riverbank on March 5 to present details of complaint handling initiatives before a panel of leading experts including representatives of award-winning firms such as Capita.

Entries remain open for the awards, and hopefuls have until October 18 to take advantage of an Early Bird discount offer. The final entry deadline is on November 14, with shortlisted finalists set to be announced on November 26.

Julie Pardy, Director of Regulation & Market Engagement at Worksmart, said: “We’re delighted to be a sponsor at the UK Complaint Handling Awards, as it promotes best practice in complaint handling. Our complaints product, Caresmart, helps companies resolve complaints compliantly and in a way which ensures the best possible chance of retaining the relationship with the customer for the future. As such, sponsoring these awards is the right thing to do.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamSeptember 2, 2019
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2min919

Customer Experience Magazine is giving away three tickets to this month’s Winning With Complaint Handling Conference, which is taking place in central London.

This not-to-be-missed one-day event on September 25 will bring together Gold winners from the annual UK Complaint Handling Awards for a series of panel discussions that will help you improve your brand’s complaint handling techniques and strategies, and offers insight into how to bring your level of customer service to an award-winning standard.

Brought to you by Awards International, the event will be chaired by CEO Neil Skehel, who will be joined by the one-and-only Daniel Ord, founder and Director of OmniTouch International, to oversee the day’s activities, which include discussions from award winning brands including Capita, Three UK, HSBC, and more.

Held at the Park Plaza riverbank, the conference will offer unparalleled networking opportunities to help boost your complaint handling power.

Neil Skehel explains: “This isn’t just another conference – you are an integral part of this event and your priorities will shape what we discuss. It promises to be an educational and inspirational experience for everyone involved.”

For your chance to win, follow these simple steps before the closing date of this Friday September 6:

1. Follow Customer Experience Magazine on LinkedIn
2. Like the contest post
3. Complete and submit the Contest Entry Form below


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 30, 2019
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2min881

Luxury hotel group Calcot Collection has enlisted a guest experience management firm to help monitor staff happiness through the company’s employee survey function, in order to motivate and retain its team.

The move follows the sacking of a senior chef and launch of an investigation into a scalding incident in the kitchen of one of the group’s venues in Gloucestershire, the Calcot & Spa (pictured).

The agreement with guest experience management firm HGEM serves 575 employees across five venues, and will provide Calcot Collection with in-depth reports to track employee engagement at all stages of the career process, and identify opportunities for development and improvement. The reports will enable Calcot to establish and reinforce best practice, while The Hub (HGEM’s innovative reporting platform) will give the company access to e-learning modules for ongoing improvement.

Pat Sparkes, HR Manager, Calcot Collection said: “We are pleased to be working with HGEM to monitor employee engagement and identify any areas for improvement. The company’s detailed analysis in this area will help to inform our ongoing strategy and ensure we create the best possible culture for our employees.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 30, 2019
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2min825

Forty percent of UK employees would consider working in a temporary, interim, or contract position, according to a new poll, in order to enjoy benefits including a better lifestyle.

Research undertaken by staffing business Walters People found that for those who would take on such positions, 47 percent said the motive would be an improved lifestyle, 29 percent cited higher hourly pay, 26 percent said more flexibility, and 19 percent said they would accept a temp post in order to be exposed to new skills.

Regions where the ambition to contract is most prevalent include Wales (47 percent), Yorkshire & Humber (44 percent), East Midlands (42 percent), and London (40 percent).

Further analysis shows that for the first time in 18 months, contracting vacancies in the UK has seen a significant boost – increasing by 29 percent in Q2 of this year.

Regions which have seen the biggest increase in contract or interim vacancies over the past three months are Birmingham, Manchester, London, Bristol, and Leeds.

Director of Walters People London, Phill Westcott said: “There are almost 5 million self-employed people in the UK – ten years ago, this number would have been in the tens of thousands. This shift is not down to any one generation but is an indicator of where the mindset of the UK workforce is moving.

“Work life balance, reticence to be part of corporate structures, lack of training or progression, unpaid overtime, exposure to new industries, and the desire to seek out interesting project type work are just a few of the common reasons we often hear professionals who have made the contract-role switch or would like too.”

The desire to contract is most prevalent for professionals in Technology & IT (48 percent), Procurement & Supply Chain (46 percent), and Banking & Financial Services (45 percent).


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 29, 2019
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3min665

UK and International Customer Experience Awards finalist Northern Gas Networks has been recognised for its innovative work to improve the impact of traffic management on customers when improvements to its network are taking place.

The North of England’s gas distributor has already been shortlisted in six categories for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards, and three categories in the 2019 International Customer Experience Awards, and now the firm has been nominated for a national award by the UK Society for Trenchless Technology (UKSTT) – a charity which promotes new technologies and practices which don’t involve digging.

Considerate: NGN aims for as little disruption as possible when carrying out upgrades or repairs

Traffic management, such as temporary traffic lights or lane closures, can be necessary when work such as the replacement of gas pipes is taking place. In traffic sensitive areas, a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) is always required before work can start; agreed with the local authority and other stakeholders. However, these plans can be complicated and slow to produce.

Now, the Innovation Team at Northern Gas Networks (NGN) is developing new ways to plan traffic management so that it will have less of an impact on people’s lives.  New software developed by NGN and project partner 1 Spatial now makes it possible to generate automated traffic plans far more quickly, with clear benefits for road users, local businesses, and other customers.

It’s this responsive approach which has seen the project shortlisted in the UKSTT awards’ category for the Application of Digital Technology, and winners will be revealed next month.

NGN’s Head of Innovation, Richard Hynes-Cooper, said: “This shortlisting recognises the ability for our designers, planners and engineers to generate traffic management plans, at the click of a button. This is a potential game-changer for the industry.

“It will save money on every traffic management scheme that we create, as well as ensuring that our key local stakeholders, such as councils, have quick and easy access to our plans.

“However, what is most exciting about this innovation for me is the ability to make our schemes even more customer-focused. Bu building in key information such as local traffic flows, we can design schemes which are less disruptive, and more sensitive to local issues.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamAugust 29, 2019
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4min896

International event management company Westrade Group has been quick to follow up on the enormous success of its inaugural event with the forthcoming and newly branded OSX, the only outsourcing summit and expo of its kind. 

ExCel London will once again play host to the event which takes place on 1 -2 October and offers a unique opportunity for professionals to forge new partnerships that could change the way we do business.

Last October, Westrade Group welcomed over 800 delegates through the doors across the two-day conference and exhibition, many of whom had travelled from Europe and Asia to attend the highly anticipated event. 

This year, delegates can look forward to a more open and airier exhibition space which will be carefully crafted into five designated zones: Digital Disruption, which will celebrate those using digital technologies to challenge the status quo; IT Design & Development, which will focus on those developing IT services on web, mobile and CRM/CMS; Customer Experience, which will focus on the importance of delivering high level CX; Business Process Services, where you can meet providers who can help streamline your business and reduce costs; and International, where we will connect ambitious companies looking for exciting new locations to base their businesses.

OSX has already attracted leading names synonymous with outsourcing as sponsors: household names such as Accedia, Innovify, Kogific Consulting Group, and Profitnit. The ‘live’ element has always been key to the success of many Westrade signature events and OSX is no different; an incredible array of talented speakers from across the industry have already been lined up for presenting duties, including Anthony Welfare of Oracle, Rob McCargow of PWC, and Emma Hall of Domestic and General.

Kevin Lloyd, Event Director of OSX, said: “All of our businesses, no matter what the industry, are either being transformed, digitised, automated, migrated to the Cloud, buried under a heap of Big Data, or liberated by the Internet of Things. The convergence of these great domains has created a whole new ecosystem, bringing with it opportunity and challenge in equal measure. 

“We believe that OSX meets these challenges head-on and can provide powerful insights into future developments in the world of outsourcing.  It’s a meeting place where like-minded attendees come together to unlock the untapped potential in their business.”

Register for free to visit


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 21, 2019
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4min993

Local authorities in the UK are failing to provide an acceptable level of customer service, according to a new poll.

Over a third (37 percent) of UK citizens have been denied critical information from their local councils because they couldn’t reach the right department through the customer service team, according to new research from cloud and contact centre solutions firm 8×8.

Difficulty getting through to their local authority has significant consequences, with one-in-five people (20 percent) missing council tax payments; 17 percent missing rent payments; and 14 percent signing up for the wrong benefits because they were unable to get hold of the information they needed.

According to the poll, it takes seven minutes on average for residents to get through to their local council, speaking to at least two different people before reaching the right department. As a result, 71 percent of residents believe that customer service at their local council should improve in line with recent rises in council tax.

The study also reveals that councils are offering a limited number of channels for residents to contact them on. Around half of the public can contact their local authority by phone (58 percent), but when it comes to digital communication, only 50 percent of all residents say they are able to contact their local authority by email, 14 by social media, and just five percent using a chatbot.

Communication concern: Councils are lacking in digital communication channel options, a poll has found

Nearly half (44 percent) of residents would value more digital communication channels from their local council to get a quicker and easier response to queries.

Despite residents facing a range of issues when contacting their local council, the vast majority (85 percent) say that they have also received good customer service from their local authority in the past.

When asked about what they value from these interactions, the most important factors were being able to reach a person to speak to (39 percent), getting queries resolved quickly (38 percent), and getting their query answered the first time, without being passed between multiple agents or having to contact the council again (35 percent).

Mary Ellen Genovese, MD of European Operations, 8×8, said: “While there are countless examples of local councils delivering great service for residents with a human touch, our research reveals that many people are dissatisfied with their experience. At best, this is an inconvenience but at worst, residents are missing out on vital payments or services because they can’t easily get the information they need.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 21, 2019
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3min916

Global customer engagement software firm Freshworks has announced a 61 percent year-over-year billings growth in the second quarter of 2019, driven by considerable momentum in multiple areas.

In addition to the Q2 growth, Freshworks broadened its corporate footprint in Europe by opening offices in Paris, France, and Utrecht, Netherlands. On the heels of expanding its existing office in London, Freshworks hosted Refresh19 London, its first ever UK user conference, attracting over 400 attendees.

Outside of the EU, the company also grew its presence in APAC by partnering with OrangeOne Corporation, a leading software services provider in Japan. Freshworks also opened its third office in India in the city of Hyderabad, and Melbourne, its second in the Australia-New Zealand region.

The company rounded its Customer 360 platform with the acquisition of Natero, which leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered technology to help put actionable data in the hands of customer success professionals. With Natero, Freshworks helps companies engage with their customers from first web visit to latest inquiry.

Earlier in the quarter, Freshchat, the company’s modern messaging software added an integration with WhatsApp Business solution. As part of Proximity, a bundle of features aimed at bringing businesses closer to their customers, businesses can now send customers text, images, GIFs, attachments or canned responses via WhatsApp’s enormously popular messaging platform.

Additionally, Freshworks launched Freshrelease, an agile product management tool that helps teams quickly complete bug fixes and get new products to market faster.

Building upon this momentum, Freshworks has exponentially expanded its ecosystem of partners. The Freshworks Marketplace has grown to 700 apps and counting, created by more than 350 partners globally.

Overall, the business from the partner network from over 40 countries registered 100 percent YoY growth in the first half of the year ending June 2019, underscoring its value to solution partners and ISVs working closely with Freshworks’ customer engagement suite.

Girish Mathrubootham, Founder and CEO of Freshworks, said: “While we are pleased by our growth, we continue to invest in product development efforts to expand our addressable markets. The ultimate reward for us is seeing greater customer success as businesses court, close, and keep customers for life.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 20, 2019
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3min869

The North of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), is having an outstanding year, and is aiming for an autumn of awards success as it competes for CX recognition nationally and globally.

NGN has been shortlisted for six categories in the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards, and employees recently learned they will also compete in three categories at the 2019 International Customer Experience Awards.

The UK Customer Experience Awards take place at London’s Wembley Stadium this October, and NGN will present before judges overseeing the following categories: Team of the Year – Customer Centricity, Use of Insight & Feedback – Customer Satisfaction, Customers at the Heart of Everything – Initiative, B2B Customer Experience, Product or Service Development, and Employees at the Heart of Everything.

The following month, on November 21, the NGN team will be in Amsterdam for the second International Customer Experience Awards final, with the goal of winning gold in the Best Customer Experience Strategy – CX and Beyond, Business Change or Transformation and Customer-Centric Culture – Transformation categories.

NGN is hoping that 2019 rivals 2014 for awards success, as it was the year it secured an incredible six gold titles at the UK Customer Experience Awards.

Eileen Brown, Customer Experience Director at Northern Gas Networks, said: “We are immensely proud to be shortlisted for both the International and UK Customer Experience Awards. Our customers are always front and centre in everything that we do and to receive this recognition is testament to the quality of service delivered by our dedicated teams. We deliver gas to over 2.7 million homes and businesses across the North of England, and we are absolutely thrilled to be acknowledged for our service both nationally and globally.”

Global gathering: The International Customer Experience Awards is taking place in Amsterdam on November 21


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 20, 2019
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2min943

UK Customer Experience Awards finalist Three has activated its 5G service in parts of London, ahead of rolling out the service for mobiles in other areas before the end of the year.

The first wave of the service is for 5G broadband home hub users in three areas, Camberwell, Camden, and Southwark, meaning householders there can access wifi speeds without landlines or installations.

Three has, appropriately enough, been nominated for three titles at the UK Customer Experience Awards, which take place in London’s Wembley Stadium on October 10. The network provider will present before judging panels in a bid to win the Customers at the Heart of Everything – Leading Edge, Online Customer Experience, and Telecoms category awards.

Three aims to have mobile 5G active in up to 25 UK towns and cities before the end of 2019, including Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Manchester.

The switching on of the service means Three joins fellow UK Customer Experience Awards finalists EE in providing next-level coverage. EE launched 5G in six cities in May, while 2019 UK Complaint Handling Awards finalist Vodafone’s network went live in July.

Meanwhile, O2, which has been nominated for an incredible seven awards at the UKCXAs, will launch its 5G network in October.

Speaking of the launch this week, Three CEO Dave Dyson said: “It’s clear consumers and businesses want more and more data. We have the UK’s best network for data and we have led the market on customer usage on both 3G and 4G technologies.

“We have worked hard over a long period of time to be able to offer the best end-to-end 5G experience.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 16, 2019
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4min1063

The CX Professional Masterclass is coming to Dubai in September, led by global consultant and author Ian Golding.

The two-day class will see participants learn from one of the world’s foremost authorities on all things Customer Experience, and receive direct advice on steps that will place customer centricity at the very heart of your organisation.

Topics covered include customer journey mapping, CX measurement, and how employees can affect and deliver CX strategies.

All graduates of the course will be provided with case studies, exercises, and stories that bring to life the skills needed to succeed as a CX professional. Attendees will create a relevant and personalised action plan that can start immediately and graduates will be able to demonstrate greater knowledge, confidence and credibility in Customer Experience within your organisation.

Ian’s many years of CX consulting led him to pen one of the best received texts in CX today, Customer What? The honest and practical guide to customer experience, and now is your chance to learn directly from Ian (pictured left) himself at the workshop on September 25 – 26th.

Following the class, graduates will also have the opportunity to take the CCXP Exam at a CCXP Assessment Centre in Dubai.

The Masterclass will take place at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, and for those who register before Thursday August 29, a special Early Bird Discount offer is available. Click here for more details.

In the UK, Ian’s CX Masterclass is going from strength-to-strength, and the next takes place on September 16 – 17.

The Dubai CX Masterclass will allow those in the Gulf region to benefit from the same standard of excellence as the UK events.

UK attendee Rebecca Farnworth, a Customer Excellence Manager, said of her time at the Masterclass: “Ian is a very strong commanding facilitator, presenter, and teacher rolled into one. He makes you want to listen!

“His experience is immense which makes him very credible. I liked the stories and the videos which helped maximise learning in a very adult accelerated learning way. I have never left a training programme wanting to stay and learn even more. My three things to implement into my workplace’s current culture is already on the agenda at the next leadership meeting.”

Meanwhile, Dubai staff can also avail of Ian’s outstanding teaching without having to leave their office.

In-house training offers both employers and employees a whole new set of advantages compared to sending a few people from your team to external training. The entire training process happens much more naturally in the familiar environment and enables your employees to improve their skills without going out of their way.

For more details of in-house training in Dubai, contact Antonija@cxm.co.uk.

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 16, 2019
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3min807

A petition by UK employees is calling for workers to be allowed “bereavement leave” in the event of a pet’s death.

The campaign began after 18-year-old sandwich shop worker Emma McNulty, of Baillieston in Scotland, was fired after missing a day following the death of her Yorkshire terrier Milly.

Despite having the dog in her life from the age of four, Emma was sacked the day after informing bosses she was unable to attend because she lost her “best friend”.

A petition calling for the allowance of bereavement leave following the death of a pet has nearly reached 10,000 signatures. Emma started the petition in the hopes that other employees facing similar circumstances can take compassionate leave and not place their job at risk.

Dog-gone: Calls have been made to compassion to be shown to bereaved pet owners

In the UK, all employees have the right to take time off to deal with an emergency concerning a dependant. This can apply to spouses, parents, grandparents, children, or someone who depends on you for care.

However, more employees than ever consider pets as family, with 85 percent of millennials agreeing pets should be treated as loved ones. Fifty-three percent of millennials also believe employers should allow for a period of ‘pet-ernity leave’ to spend time with newly arrived pets.

The survey revealed that 46 percent of millennials see themselves as a ‘pet parent’ rather than a pet owner.

Dr Steph Wenban, Front of The Pack’s vet and pet wellbeing expert, said: “For many homes, pets constitute as family members and are treated with the same love and care as a relative. Therefore, the loss of a pet is extremely saddening and can affect the owners ability to function just as the bereavement of a normal family member. Employers should recognise this, compassionate leave should be granted on emotional attachment and subsequent loss, not black and white guidelines that are hugely subjective from person to person as to what constitutes as loss.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 15, 2019
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3min890

UK Customer Experience Awards finalist Confirmit has announced a new Vice President of Global CX Consulting, to lead a team that will deliver CX consulting services to outstanding for clients worldwide.

Chris Brown has stepped into the role, and will ensure Confirmit’s consulting offering provides the clear, consistent guidance that its customers need to deliver successful Customer Experience programmes. Increasingly, this means aligning CX to Employee Experience to drive real business and cultural change.

Chris (pictured left) has worked with the CX Consulting team since joining the company in 2012. He has extensive experience across the CX and Market Research industries, and during his time at Confirmit has worked in close partnership with many clients to design and develop highly successful CX programmes.

His experience, combined with the team’s varied expertise, creates a world-class CX resource delivering best practices across different regions, industries, customer types, and partners.

Confirmit has been shortlisted as finalists in two categories at the UK Customer Experience Awards, which take place at London’s Wembley Stadium this October. Both entries are in partnership with healthcare provider Bupa.

Speaking of his new role, Chris said: “Technology is a huge enabler in the development of data-driven CX programmes. However, most businesses will also benefit from being able to draw upon real world experience and expertise to make their CX vision a reality.

“We work hard to form strong partnerships with our customers, enabling them to learn, apply and benefit from our experience. I’m looking forward to working with the growing consulting team to ensure that we deliver the added value that our customers require in their pursuit of CX excellence.”

Meanwhile, Ken Østreng, President and CEO of Confirmit said: “Chris’ promotion highlights the importance Confirmit places on building true partnerships with our clients. We are committed to providing world-class software but have long recognised the vital role that guidance and experience take in ensuring real business success. Helping our customers to unlock the full potential of our solutions not only delivers the results they are looking for, but also provides us with an opportunity to respond to market demand for continued innovation.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 15, 2019
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2min877

It has been a sizzling summer of success for digital marketing agency Receptional, which landed two prestigious titles at the 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards.

From their headquarters in Bedford, Receptional is at the forefront of search marketing, and its exceptional work with two UK firms earned two Gold awards at the fifth annual UKDXA finals last month in London, hosted by Awards International.

The first gong was in the Best Digital Marketing Campaign/Project category for their work with UK holiday park operator Away Resorts.

Their UK’s Most Instagrammable Forest campaign was brought to life by Receptional’s talented team, and inspired many to get back to nature and experience the delights of the country’s precious woodlands.

Meanwhile, Receptional’s second gold award was for Best SEO Strategy in partnership with mobile app development agency Tappable, which guided a successful rebrand and site development.

Speaking of Receptional’s success, Managing Director Justin Deaville said: “This is a recognition of the dedication and innovation we’ve demonstrated over the past year, and a chance to celebrate the teamwork that made it possible.”

Well-deserved: The Receptional team pictured with their Gold Awards 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 15, 2019
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3min769

In a further death-knell for traditional print media, British firms are focussing their ad spend away from newspapers and magazines more so than ever before, new research has revealed.

A survey of 1,325 UK marketing professionals carried out by digital marketing agency, Marketingsignals.com, revealed that 56 percent of UK based businesses have turned their main focus away from spending on print advertising during the past 12 months.

The top reason given for this shift was the increased control companies have over their ad spend, with results being much more measurable as they are fully trackable and attributable.

In fact, 64 percent of those surveyed said that this transparency over ROI was their main reason for moving the majority of their ad spend over to digital.

In addition to being able to accurately measure ROI, almost the same number of respondents (62 percent) said that the increase in conversions – compared to traditional advertising methods – was a major reason why they shifted their budgets.

For more than half of the companies surveyed (55 percent), the ability to reach a more targeted audience (with an investment level that’s much lower compared to other traditional advertising methods) was cited as their primary reason for preferring digital advertising.

Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed said they were actively using social media advertising as a tool to acquire new customers. A strategic social media campaign can ensure that businesses are speaking to the most relevant potential customers for their products or services by building out tailored personas based on location, gender, interests and income level (amongst many others).

Completing the top five reasons why UK businesses are focussing their advertising spend on digital, was flexibility, with one-in-four (24 percent) of those surveyed saying that having the agility to change tact and strategy mid-campaign was a key reason for their increased focus on digital.

Gareth Hoyle, Managing Director at Marketingsignals.com, said: “It’s fantastic to see that in 2019, more companies than ever have become fully on board with the digital age.

“Pretty much every company has some form of online presence, as it’s almost a necessity to survive in this day and age, though it’s really interesting to see some of the reasons behind the upscaled shift in budgets being researched and published.

“In short, British businesses are fast seeing the benefits to their bottom line when their marketing departments focus their advertising spend on digital.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 8, 2019
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3min974

Data harvested from Google Images has revealed the extent to which women around the world appear to be underrepresented in senior management roles, compared to the actual number of women holding these posts in real life.

Global data provider Creditsafe replicated a standard first impression for a search engine results page and looked at the top 25 Google Image results for the search term ‘CEO’ in 15 countries to see how many times women were shown.

According to statistics from the International Labour Organisation, women represent an average of 31.3 percent of the world’s senior business leaders. However, just 11.9 percent of Google Images results for the search ‘CEO’ were of women.

In the Creditsafe research, Colombia was revealed to be the country with the largest discrepancy between Google’s results (zero percent) with the country’s actual percentage of women in managerial roles (53.1 percent). Russia, Norway, Mexico, and Japan were the only other countries to have no female representation in their respective top 25 Google Images results.

The UK was found to have a negative discrepancy of just over 15 percent. With 34 percent of the nation’s business leaders being female, just 19 percent of search results showcased women in these types of leadership roles.

Meanwhile, Canada was the only country in this analysis to have a higher percentage of women in its Google Images than in real life (up by 2.68 percent). The United Arab Emirates (UAE) depicted the truest representation out of all countries referenced in the research, however, this was reliant on the country only having 10 percent of women in senior managerial positions.

Commenting on the results, Carys Hughes, CFO at Creditsafe, said: “Google collects images from sites across the web and shows an aggregation to users. If we want to change this, we need to ensure women are being represented accurately in our media, as well as our boardrooms.

“Data accuracy is crucial to our performance as an international business intelligence supplier. It allows our customers to make informed decisions to help grow their organisations and we think it’s astounding that the statistics are so far from reality in most countries around the world. Our analysis has revealed that once again a source such as Google is not always the most accurate and whatever we are researching always needs to be backed up with accurate and up-to-date information.”

 




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