Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiApril 9, 2020
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2min222

According to the latest predictions from the Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA), gifting industry is seeing a shift in consumer behaviour towards digital gifting solutions.

With many gifting occasions coming up, Easter, Father’s Day and millions of birthdays, people are looking for ways to show care for their loved ones in ways that minimise contact, in order to comply with the isolation rules.

The GCVA research shows that digital gifting already takes up 25 percent of all UK gift cards and the number is expected to increase dramatically in the following weeks.

The forecast says that every fourth consumer will be opting for digital gifting options, coupled with a possibility to use the gift card at a later date – also known as “sunny day gifting” – when the everyday life stabilises.

Gail Cohen, director general of the GCVA, commented: “Life as we know it has changed beyond recognition over the past few weeks, however gift cards remain a wonderfully versatile way of both showing your loved ones how much you care – even if you’re not able to be with them – and brightening up their day.

“It’s also worth bearing in mind that many physical gift cards can be redeemed online from the comfort of your home, and can often be used to purchase the essentials people may need to see them through the coming weeks.”


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiMarch 12, 2020
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2min942

New research has shown that the UK gift card market industry has reached £6.9 billion in value.

A study conducted by the Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA) involving 2,000 UK consumers shows a rising awareness around sustainability, as digital gift cards increase in popularity, making up more than a third (36 percent) of the overall B2C gift card market.

The Valuing the Gift Card Industry 2020 survey found Generation X make up the majority of gift card consumers at 37.7 percent, while baby boomers come a close second at 37.1 percent. Younger consumers (age 16-34) make up a modest 25.1 percent of the gift card market.

The most popular type of gift cards are for retail, with over 60 percent of total purchasing expenditure (2.8 billion pounds). The use of multi-store gift cards has also increased in popularity, taking just over 17 percent of consumer gift card expenditure.

The research was conducted in partnership with GlobalData, which predicts that the gift card industry will be worth around 8 billion pounds by 2025.

Gail Cohen, Director General of the GCVA, said: “Gift cards are an invaluable customer loyalty and engagement tool that hold many benefits for businesses and consumers alike, and it’s fantastic to see their contribution properly recognised.

“If this latest research shows anything, it’s that retailers and other businesses looking to attract and retain customers simply cannot ignore gift cards any longer, with their importance and relevance to consumers only growing over time.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 11, 2020
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3min822

Over two thirds of all web content published by brands still goes ‘unseen’ by consumers, according to new research.

A global study from digital experience analytics firm Contentsquare found that of all the sectors analysed, banking has the highest amount of unseen content (75 percent), closely followed by beauty websites, where 74 percent of content is rarely being accessed by visitors.

Meanwhile, technology brands are the most effective content marketers, with 40 percent of their content viewed by users.

The 2020 Digital Experience Benchmark incorporates global Contentsquare session data from some of the world’s biggest brands. The anonymised data set includes over 7 billion web sessions from over 400 websites around the world, providing insight into previously misunderstood user behaviours.

The report also found that mobile continues to be the context for most new site visits. Fifty-five percent of visitors get to a site using their mobile phone, with luxury topping the mobile traffic table (67 percent).

The energy sector, which has been lagging in the smartphone traffic boom, recorded an 11 percent increase in mobile traffic since 2019, and travel saw a five percent increase. Mobile experience is now a critical battleground in every industry, regardless of its typical purchase size,  frequency or cycle time.

Aimee Stone Munsell, CMO at Contentsquare, said: “The window of opportunity for brands who haven’t turned Digital Experience into a competitive advantage is rapidly shrinking. The good news is today, we’re able to locate with precision the stumbling blocks along the customer journey.

“Marketers and UX teams who have a granular understanding of customer behaviour can uncover simple improvements that shrink the experience gap and multiply their conversions.”


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiMarch 9, 2020
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2min883

Leader in contact centre solutions and cloud CX Genesys and their long-established partner nGUVU have joined forced in strengthening and bettering Genesys’ workforce by implementing gamified solutions such as machine learning and behavioural analytics.

Applying gamification to Genesys’ workforce engagement managemenet (WEM) suite allows businesses to fundamentally increase employee engagement, customer retention, and cost savings.

A well thought-out combination of advanced cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies including gamification and machine learning will transform ordinary transactions into meaningful connections, reminding customers about Genesy’s central vision, which is Experience as a ServiceSM.

Examples of immediate improvement of key business metrics can be seen in the results of two companies, Carestream Dental and Senske Services. The former, a global provider of imagining systems and practices management software for dental practices, has seen an increase in employee performance corresponding to 12 new team members. The latter, a tree and pest control company, notes 15 percent higher revenue since incorporating the nGUVU solution. 

According to a prediction that two thirds of global workforce will be comprised of Millennials by 2025, turning to solutions that favour game mechanics, friendly competition, and rewards will ultimately lead to evolving workforce.

nGUVU Chief Executive Officer Pierre Donaldson said: “This marks a major milestone for nGUVU, and we couldn’t be more excited to join the Genesys team. The scalability we gain from Genesys Cloud WEM benefits our existing customers and gives organisations of all sizes across the globe a powerful gamification solution to help their employees become more effective and engaged.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 9, 2020
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3min821

The 2020 UK Complaint Handling Awards have taken place in London, celebrating the people, companies, and initiatives behind some of the best customer service operations in Britain.

Hosted by Awards International – holders of an Independent Awards Standards Council Gold Trust Mark – the event saw hundreds gather at the Park Plaza Riverbank hotel on March 5, when teams of finalists made presentations to an expert panel of judges throughout the day.

Finalists were competing to secure Gold and Silver titles across 16 categories, with one Overall Winner also named for their high score at the event, with the title for 2020 going to Capita Remediation Services following the firm’s Gold win in the Best Use of Customer Insight & Feedback category.

Feather in their Capita: The Capita team accept their Overall Winner award

Other big winners this year included supermarket chain Aldi, which landed Gold in two categories: Retail & E-Commerce and Best Customer Service, while Virgin Money secured Gold wins for Best Complaint Handling Team of the Year and Complaint Handling Professional of the Year in the form of Gavin Halliday.

Speaking afterwards, Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “A huge congratulations to all of our winners, and the finalists who came and presented before our expert judging panel.

“It’s heartening to see such that complaint handling is continuing to go from strength to strength in the UK, and we are proud to offer the premier platform to celebrate those individuals and organisations that ensure customer complaints are dealt with successfully and satisfactorily.”

Click here for a full list of winners.

 

 

 

 

 


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiMarch 5, 2020
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2min817

UK cosmetics chain Lush is inviting people to wash their hands in their stores even if they are not shopping, to help hinder the spread of coronavirus.

The move comes amid calls for an increase in public hand washing stations, with UK firm Protecting.co.uk warning that shops, libraries, and restaurants should offer more facilities to clean hands and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Protecting.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall said face masks were “pretty useless” in preventing the spread of the virus, and said thorough hand washing was the main step the public can take.

We all know the basics, wash your hands when you’ve used the toilet, wash them before you eat, but that’s just simply not enough in a virus emergency,” he said.

You need to make sure you are washing your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Your hands are a breeding ground for germs, washing them regularly will stop you from spreading bacteria to other people and all over surfaces such as door handles and bannisters.

At the end of the day, an alcohol-based hand rub will do the trick in a pinch, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned scrub with soap and water  and we need more places to do this.”


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiMarch 3, 2020
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4min1055

Brands are failing to engage younger generations with their loyalty programmes, according to a new whitepaper.

A report by Mando-Connect and YouGov reveals that while 76 percent of British people are currently members of loyalty programmes, some 44 percent of men aged 18-24 don’t use them at all, and 33 percent of women aged 18-24 don’t either.

The research shows that 18-24s do like the idea of loyalty programmes (79 percent think they are a great way for brands and businesses to reward their customers) but problems such as not tailoring to their needs, not addressing social purpose and sustainability well, not enabling recommendation, not offering good enough value, and not being in the right digital or social channels hold loyalty programmes back.

Turned off: Loyalty programmes are failing to attract younger customers

Although rewards are still the number one thing that people consider most important in loyalty schemes (65 percent of 18-24s think rewards are important), marketers aren’t getting rewards right for 18-24s. 

Relevance, value, appeal, variety, and excitement are listed as the main drivers that will build loyalty. People want to feel savvy and that they have received a better deal than their peers.

They also want to feel they have been treated, and they want to help others. Twenty-eight percent of Brits want loyalty rewards to be something that helps others, such as giving to charity or helping an environmental cause.

Charlie Hills, Managing Director and Head of Strategy at Mando-Connect said: “The report shows that, whilst the Brits are major fans of loyalty programmes, the industry is failing to engage the 18-24 year old audience.

“Rewards are the most important factor for Brits in loyalty programmes. Loyalty marketers need to sit up, take notice and understand what people really want. What people really want from loyalty programme is great rewards.”

Sam Tatam of Ogilvy UK’s Behavioural Science team believes the best way for brands to engage younger audiences is to think differently about motivation and reward.

“While the research shows discounts play an important role in driving loyalty, we shouldn’t neglect the range of psychological levers available to us,” he said.

“Relying too much on finite or rational incentives doesn’t just force tough economic decisions for brands, they also limit our creative freedom. By better understanding the additional ways of creating ‘psychological value’, arguably an infinite resource, we can work to complement these initiatives.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 2, 2020
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3min690

Midlands-based CX consultant and author Naeem Arif has been accepted into the Forbes Business Council, a growth and networking organisation for successful business owners and leaders worldwide.

The founder of NA Consulting and Director of United Carpets, Naeem was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of his experience in the retail and Customer Experience sectors.

Criteria for acceptance includes a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honours.

As an accepted member of the Council, Naeem has access to a variety of exclusive opportunities designed to help him reach peak professional influence.

He will connect and collaborate with other local leaders in a private forum and at members-only events, offer his expert insights in original business articles on Forbes.com, and contribute to published Q&A panels alongside other experts.

Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, the collective that includes Forbes Business Council, said: “We are honoured to welcome Naeem into the community. Our mission with Forbes Councils is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network that helps every member grow professionally and make an even greater impact on the business world.”

Speaking of his new appointment, Naeem said: “There are a lot of great innovations and stories happening in our region that should be shared on the world stage and this is my chance to make that happen.

“When I was first interviewed, I didn’t expect this honour, but now I can’t wait for my first articles to be shared.”

Join Naeem Arif and fellow CX experts for the upcoming Unlock Your #CX Potential conference on March 25. The conference is hosted by the the Midlands Retail Forum, and will see delegates gather at the Jaguar Experience Conference Centre for a day of workshops, keynote speeches, and networking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 2, 2020
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2min664

CRM software specialists Freshworks is bringing together a community of experts in Customer Experience and IT solutions for an incredible one-day online summit.

The Refresh Connect summit is set to take place on March 12 and will feature speakers from across the globe discussing CX and tech solutions to boost business growth. The virtual gathering is being held to celebrate the launch of the new Freshworks Community – a unified platform for all content centred around CX, ITSM, sales, and marketing.

Leading the speakers on the day is Freshworks founder and CEO Girish Mathrubootham (pictured), who will be joined by a line-up including Diane Magers, founder of Experience Catalysts; Nate Brown, founder of CX Accelerator; Charles Betz, Principal Analyst at Forrester, and many more.

Master the art of delivering delightful experiences to your customers across every channel— consistently. Tap into actionable insights starting from building your CX team to keeping your customers for life.

Click here to register for Freshworks’ Refresh Connect summit.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 27, 2020
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3min1050

UK Customer Experience Award winner ContactEngine has been named as one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies in The Financial Times 1000 ranking.  

The rating is the result of a joint project by the Financial Times and Statista, which – now in its fourth year – conducted months of research, public calls, intensive database research, and directly contacted tens of thousands of companies. In the end, they were able to identify outstanding companies among the millions of existing European enterprises.

ContactEngine, the conversational AI technology used by large corporations across industries to automate customer communications, is deployed by the top UK, European, and North American brands in telecommunications, utilities, financial services, auto, and retail, including British Gas, Whirlpool, DHL, Sky, TELUS, Verizon, Virgin Media, and BT.

The winner techs it all: The ContactEngine and BT team collect their UK Customer Experience Award at Wembley Stadium for Use of Technology

ContactEngine’s partnership with BT earned the firms a Gold title for Use of Technology at the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards in London.

The company was also recently presented with the Best Use of IP Award at The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 Awards Dinner.

Speaking of the latest high-profile recognition of his firm’s work, Dr Mark K. Smith, CEO of ContactEngine, said: “We are pleased to be recognised as one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies. It’s a testament to all those involved in ContactEngine – our employees, investors, and clients – and to the technology in transforming the way global brands engage with their customers.

“Looking ahead as a business, we continue to focus on growth and expansion both geographically and by industry – it’s an exciting time for us and for our customers.”

 


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamFebruary 26, 2020
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5min1010

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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5min1172
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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2min1020

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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3min1025

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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3min1166

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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4min1016

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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2min1223

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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2min1068

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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4min1048

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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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 




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