Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 11, 2019
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5min666

London’s home of champions Wembley Stadium lit up with the stars of CX as the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards took place at the iconic venue.

Hundreds of guests arrived at the event as finalists presented details of the country’s most innovative CX strategies in front of an expert judging panel before results were announced at a glittering evening gala ceremony.

The most important CX title in Britain today, the UK Customer Experience Overall Winner award was claimed by Aviva’s Solus Accident Repair Centres, which earlier in the evening won the Customer Centric Culture Gold award.

No accident: Solus Accident Repair won the 2019 Overall Award

The Solus team were also presented with Silver awards in the Customers at the Heart of Everything and CX Professional of the Year categories, with the firm’s National Customer Experience Manager, DeAnna Avis, earning the latter title.

Meanwhile, 2019’s CX Professional of the Year title was awarded to Jo Mayes of Business Stream. Her outstanding work this year secured her the highly coveted Gold award, and she said afterwards: “It was an amazing night and I am delighted to have won. A huge thank you to the Business Stream team for their hard work and belief in me.”

Business Stream’s dream team also secured Gold in the B2B Customer Experience category and Bronze in Utilities.

Team of the Year was awarded to CPM International, while Team of the Year – Programme went to Game Digital PLC. The Team of the Year – Customer Centricity title was presented to Capital One UK.

Other big winners on the night included estate agents Knight Frank, which took home an incredible four Gold category titles, and DHL, which landed three Golds to add to the firm’s trophy cabinet.

Setting the standard: 2019 UK CX Professional of the Year, Jo Mayes of Business Stream

Guests partied late into the night after the ceremony, deftly presented by CX consultant, awards chairman, and author Ian Golding, while attendees were also treated to a live performance from the legendary Heather Small, a star possessed with one of the most powerful and recognisable voices in the British music industry.

CEO of hosts Awards International, Neil Skehel, said: “This has been an incredible year for Customer Experience in the UK, and this event celebrates those who continue to make it the key brand differentiator for modern consumers.

“The teamwork on display during the presentations and the infectious enthusiasm of the finalists is inspiring, and it’s safe to say CX in the UK is in safe hands with the organisations represented at this, our flagship event.

“Congratulations to all who made it to the finals, and of course a special congratulations to our winners, who will be setting the trend for others to follow as we head into 2020.”

Awards International also thanked the partners and sponsors who helped make the tenth anniversary of the UK Customer Experience Awards a memorable occasion: The Customer Experience Professionals Association, Genesys, Kantar, Elite Business, Barnardo’s, and Customer Experience Magazine.

For a full list of 2019 winners, click here.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamOctober 9, 2019
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4min469

Most UK employees anticipate a positive impact from artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace, a new report from Genesys has revealed.

The global leader in omnichannel Customer Experience and contact centre solutions studied the evolving relationship between employees and technology in the workplace. They found that 64 percent say they value AI, but the exact same percentage believe there should be a legal requirement for companies to maintain a minimum percentage of human workers and for relevant bodies to implement regulation around it. 

The survey also found that while employees welcome new technological tools, a significant majority (86 percent) expect their employers to provide training for working with AI-based tech, as less than half of all respondents say they possess the right skills.

When asked whether they would use augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) for job training, more than half (53 percent) of employees said they would be willing to do so. This finding is significantly higher than those who would be open to being trained by an AI-powered robot, with just over a third (35 percent) of employees accepting this method. 

The convergence between humans and technology is increasing, as reflected by the fact 41 percent of millennials say they spend at least half of their time at work interacting with machines and computers rather than humans. These findings suggest that when it comes to implementing new technologies, employers will need to find the right balance between tech and human workers.

When it comes to how employees expect to use new technologies, 58 percent would like to use a digital or virtual assistant to support them in managing tasks and meeting deadlines. This appetite for virtual assistants suggests that the widespread use of technologies like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri in workers’ personal lives is opening people’s minds to the possibilities that similar AI-driven assistants can bring to the workplace.

Meanwhile, almost a quarter of workers believe AI will have a positive impact on their job in the next five years, and
69 percent say technology makes them more efficient at their jobs. Forty-three percent say new technological tools in the workplace save time and allow them to focus on other things.

Mark Armstrong, interim Vice President for UK and Ireland at Genesys, said: “Employees across the UK are ready to embrace new technologies in the workplace. The research shows that UK workers understand the benefits of AI and are overwhelmingly positive about its potential impact. It is also evident that employees understand that businesses will need to leverage AI and other emerging technologies to maintain longevity, as only 21 percent believe their companies will remain competitive without it.”

To obtain the full survey report or for more information, contact genesys@whiteoaks.co.uk.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 8, 2019
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4min442

Online complaints resolution specialists Resolver has been revealed as a sponsor for the 2020 UK Complaint Handling Awards.

The free independent service is the go-to for customers to connect with businesses around the world and successfully resolve issues. The firm joins fellow partners Worksmart, The Malcolm McDowell Academy, Cranfield School of Management, and children’s charity Barnardo’s for the awards final which takes place on March 5 at the Park Plaza Riverbank in London

The daytime event, hosted by Awards International, will see finalists from across the UK compete in 16 categories, including Best Use of Customer Insight & Feedback, Customer Retention Strategy, and Complaint Handling Professional of the Year.

Organisations have until October 18 to take advantage of an Early Bird Discount Offer, before the final entry deadline of November 14.

The finalists for 2020 will be revealed on November 26.

Resolver CEO and Founder James Walker said: “Resolver captures the lost voice of dis-engaged consumers and diffuses friction between them and the business to create better outcomes for all. We achieve this by informing consumers of their rights and managing their expectations to help achieve a smooth resolution.

“With over 5 million complaint cases and counting, Resolver Group’s business brand, Egeria Insights, are able to use this unique data to support businesses to improve their complaint handling processes through the intelligent application of natural language processing, industry benchmarking and predictive technology.”

Speaking of the partnership with the 2020 UK Customer Experience Awards, he added: “In the future, successful firms will be defined by how well they treat their customers. Increasingly, businesses across the spectrum are realising the importance of listening to what the people who use their services are saying and learning and evolving in response.

“That’s why I’m thrilled to be working in partnership with Awards International to recognise these awesome businesses that are getting in right. And I’m looking forward to celebrating the winners of the future.”

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “As any of the millions of consumers who used Resolver to successfully lodge a complaint – either directly to a firm or through an ombudsman – will tell you, their service makes the entire process as quick as possible.

“No longer are people being put off complaining because of a long, laborious process. Thanks to Resolver, the consumer is more powerful than they have ever been before, and the onus is now on businesses to prove they are able to handle complaints more effectively than ever before. These awards will celebrate those who are doing just that.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamOctober 8, 2019
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3min472

An upcoming webinar will shine a light on how midsize call centres can adapt and thrive in the digital era, with expert advice from Genesys and Frost & Sullivan.

Hosted by Customer Experience Magazine, the free webinar will take place on October 17 at 11am BST, and will feature Alexander Michael, the Director of Consulting at F&S, who will be joined by Genesys’ Nick Wingrove, the firm’s VP of Solutions Consulting for the EMEA region.

The pair will deep-dive into a collaborative report, Midsized Call Centres take a Digital-first Approach, which examines how how call centres in the UK, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands are dealing with the changes in customer engagement and their impact on business.

The whitepaper is part of a global series on how CX is the main factor in call centre operations, and explains how most call centres are taking a digital-first approach to customer engagement, with the majority considering, or utilising, cloud technology to boost performance and meet goals.

The webinar will see Alexander and Nick discuss how mid-size businesses approach CX and which technology trends will shape their operations going forward. The CX approaches of these firms will be compared with that of larger organisations, to provide insight into the most effective methods of customer engagement today.
CXM Editor Paul Ainsworth said: “Competition is fierce, no matter which industry you operate in. Mid-sized businesses face consistent pressures to define and implement strategies that will enable them to successfully acquire and retain customers.
“Knowing how your peers have accomplished this gives you an advantage. Leveraging the results from the recent Frost & Sullivan global mid-market study, you’ll get details on real-world Customer Experience initiatives.”

To register for the webinar, click here

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 2, 2019
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The 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards is almost here, and finalists from among Britain’s most customer-centric organisations are preparing to put their best foot forward at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Marking a decade of celebrating the very best Customer Experience initiatives, this year’s 10th anniversary event, hosted by Awards International, features finalists including O2, Capita, Sky, Aldi and many more.

Representatives from each organisation will spend the morning and afternoon of October 10 presenting details of their CX strategies before official UKCXA judges, including some of the most important names in the world of Customer Experience.

Joining Awards Chairman Ian Golding – global CX consultant and author – are some of the country’s most influential figures involved in CX management, and other prominent business leaders. A full list of 2019 judges is available here.

Meanwhile, new parters for this years event are CX and call centre tech revolutionaries Genesys, and data consultancy experts Kantar. They join existing partners Cranfield School of Management, Barnardo’s, and the Customer Experience Professionals Association.

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “This event has grown exponentially to become the biggest CX event of its kind in the world, and we are incredibly proud to be marking its tenth anniversary.

“Customer Experience is now a brand’s most defining characteristic, and it is impossible to overestimate its importance to the economy. These awards play such an important role in not only celebrating achievements, but also setting the standard for organisations to follow if they are to be successful in this new era where the customer really is at the heart of everything.”

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 1, 2019
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3min783

It’s CX Day, and CXM would like to wish all its readers the very best as we celebrate the hard work and professionalism of those who make memorable Customer Experiences happen.

Celebrated globally on October 1, the day is championed by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), with events taking place across the globe, from Lagos to London, and from Dubai to Dublin.

Alongside in-person events, at 5pm, a live panel is being held, where winners of the CXPA’s Impact Awards will discuss the individuals igniting the spirit of CX in their various organisations.

Along with official CXPA events and networking, organisations are encouraged to embrace the spirit of CX Day by engaging with employees and discussing new methods to bring customer centricity into the heart of their brand.

Among those encouraging brands to embrace CX Day is Ian Golding, CX consultant and author of Customer What? The honest and practical guide to customer experience.

He said: “Whilst a focus on Customer Experience is a never ending cycle of activity, it is hugely important to recognise the amazing work being done by CX professionals all around the world on CX Day. The global CX community puts the human at the heart of business a little more every day – you are all an inspiration.”

Meanwhile, October begins with CX Day, before bringing the focus of the CX community to London shortly afterwards with the hosting of the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards in London’s home of champions, Wembley Stadium.

Stay tuned to CXM as we bring you exclusive coverage and insight from winning brands in the weeks to come.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 30, 2019
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4min1202

New research reveals that business leaders who thank their staff experience reduced staff turnover, improved staff retention, and more successful talent acquisition.

A study of 1,253 workers, carried out by workplace and incentives provider, One4all Rewards, and published in The Magic Word for Business Growth Report, surveyed workers on the impact their existing and potential employers and bosses have when they say thank you or express gratitude for a job well done.

The research revealed that 61 percent of UK workers said that a company which rewards their staff with an individual cash bonus or gift card at regular intervals is a more desirable place to work.

The same number (61 percent) of workers stated that they would be more likely to apply for a job with a company that gifts staff an annual cash bonus or gift card. Non-cash rewards such as treats, or gifts shared at regular intervals, would make a company a more desirable place to work for 56 percent of respondents.

Gratitude and appreciation expressed by business leaders is not only an effective tool to attract new talent but also for motivating and retaining existing staff.

The data found that 65 percent of UK workers would be motivated to work harder if they received an individual cash bonus or gift card at regular intervals from their employer. On the opposite end of the motivation scale, 40 percent of workers cited that they would feel less motivated to work hard if their employer did nothing to say ‘thank you’ or show gratitude for a job well done.

Reducing people’s propensity to leave is also key to reducing staff turnover and increasing business growth. Almost half (48 percent) of the UK workers surveyed said that rarely receiving any form of thanks or gratitude from their employer would make them want to leave the company.

Forty percent of UK adults also said they would be unlikely to apply for or accept a job offer from a company which did nothing to say ‘thank you’ to their staff.

Michael Dawson, CEO of One4all, said: “Recruitment issues are something that affect all UK businesses regardless of size, industry, or stage of business they may be. A simple thank you from business leaders can create a butterfly effect retaining existing staff, attracting new talent and motivating employees to be more productive. High staff turnovers can be costly when considering the recruitment fees and training costs and reducing these costs can ultimately result in business growth and success.

“It’s important that business leaders understand the accumulating effect two simple, yet effective words can have on their overall business success. Not only do employers need to make sure they express thanks to their staff for a job well done but the timing and delivery of that gratitude is also key.”

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 27, 2019
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3min1018

Insurers are the least trusted companies in the UK and are unable to answer over half of routine customer questions successfully, according to new research.

Digital Experience firm Eptica has released its 2019 Eptica Insurance Digital CX Study, which found that the insurance sector could answer just 46 percent of all queries asked via the web, email, and social media, trailing other industries (food retailers, fashion retailers, banking and travel) evaluated in an overall Eptica study.

Insurers still seem to be struggling to match customer expectations, although overall performance had risen by 10 percent from 2017. Only 20 percent successfully answered a basic question sent via email, despite 49 percent of consumers identifying it as their primary or secondary channel for finding information.

By contrast, with a 65 percent success rate, Facebook came top, but a mere eight percent of consumers said they wanted to use it to find information from insurers.

All of this points to a growing disconnect between what customers want and what is being provided by insurers, which undermines CX and trust. Trust begins with delivering on basic promises – 59 percent of consumers ranked giving satisfactory, consistent answers as a top factor in creating trustworthiness, while 63 percent rated making processes easy and seamless as key.

As well as email, chat also fared badly. Despite 49 percent of consumers voting it as their first or second preferred channel to find information, and 30 percent of insurers advertising it on their websites, just 10 percent (one company) had it working when tested.

Given these results, it is unsurprising that just three percent of consumers ranked insurance as the sector they trusted most, putting it joint last of 15, alongside airlines, the automotive industry, technology and telecoms.

Olivier Njamfa, CEO and Co-Founder, Eptica, said: “Insurers are facing a perfect storm of increased customer expectations, rising costs, and market disruption. The Eptica Insurance Digital CX Study shows that the majority are simply failing to cope, being unable to deliver adequate customer service on consumer’s channels of choice.”

“As we explain in the report, Insurers need to act quickly and do two things if they are to safeguard current and future revenues. First, they need to embrace processes, technology and knowledge to help them deliver the service that customers expect. Second, they need to listen to consumers and use this Voice of the Customer insight to drive continual CX improvement to ensure that they successfully compete moving forward.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 26, 2019
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3min660

Customers using smartphones to shop has skyrocketed by 141 percent in 12 months, according to new research.

Insights tech firm Feefo has published results of a study that shows the use of laptops and desktop computers has plummeted at the same time as smartphone shopping has increased. The findings have prompted a warning for firms to catch up, or risk “disappearing”.

Exploring the habits of 2,000 UK adults, the research reveals 53 percent of shoppers are now most likely to use their mobile for online shopping, compared with only 22 percent in Feefo’s research last year. And whereas 59 percent of respondents mostly used laptops and desktops for online shopping 12 months ago, this year the figure has crashed to 31 percent.

In another indicator of the future, the research revealed a big increase in the percentage of consumers buying through social media. More than four-in-ten (42 percent) have bought through an advert on a social platform, compared with only 30 percent in 2018.

CEO at Feefo, Matt West, said: “Huge tectonic shifts are rapidly changing how UK consumers shop. Retailers need to react swiftly or risk being undermined faster than a home built over a sinkhole. Unless you understand exactly how your customers’ habits are changing, you’ll lose out to a competitor who does. You may simply disappear.”

The research reveals significant differences between sexes and age-groups in shopping. Shopping online with a smartphone is more popular among women (the favourite method of 64 percent) than men (41 percent).

The research also found that more than four-in-ten consumers (42 percent) prefer to shop by researching and buying products or services online when they are at home, up from 38 percent last year. And with this, retailer websites and marketplaces such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace are identified as the most frequent shopping sites.

Matt added: “Any business of any size needs a mechanism to understand customers as quickly and intimately as possible. It’s all about Customer Experience. Consumers’ habits are changing so rapidly that unless your business has a feedback mechanism, you stand little chance of spotting trends and staying ahead of the pack.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 20, 2019
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4min958

The Customer Experience Professional Masterclass is coming to Sweden, where world-renowned CX consultant and author Ian Golding will impart his knowledge over two days in October.

Taking place on October 22 – 23, the Masterclass is held in collaboration with the AROS Congress Centre in Västerås, where attendees will gather for an intense course covering all core Customer Experience competencies, such as strategy and brand proposition; the role of employees in delivering the strategy; customer journey mapping; CX measurement (VOC, VOE, and VOP), CX improvement; and CX culture.

Highly practical and engaging, The CX Professional Masterclasses are hugely popular in the UK, UAE, and beyond, and now is the chance for Sweden-based CX professionals to learn from Ian, founder of the Customer Experience Consultancy, and author of Customer What? The honest and practical guide to customer experience.

In 2015, Ian (pictured) became the first person in the world to become an Authorised Resource and Training Provider for the CCXP accreditation, and his Västerås Masterclass is taking place ahead of the 2019 International Customer Experience Awards in Amsterdam on November 21, which will be chaired by Ian and will feature some of the biggest brands in Europe competing across a wide range of CX categories.

Speaking of her experience at a previous UK CX Professional Masterclass, Pam Whitehouse, Customer Engagement and Improvement Manager at LGSS, said: “Ian Golding is utterly knowledgeable in this subject matter, and is able to bring the training to life using real-life examples that anyone can relate to. His passion and drive for helping people to improve their customer experience is inspirational.”

Speaking to Customer Experience Magazine, Ian said: “I’m really looking forward to the Masterclass in Västerå this October, and to bringing our curriculum to a Swedish audience. Customer Experience is continuing to redefine how brands do business right across Europe, and it’s exciting to have the CX Professional Masterclass at the vanguard of this movement. It’s a busy time for CX in the continent, with the International Customer Experience Awards also set to take place in Amsterdam in November.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 19, 2019
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2min1588

Data insight leader Kantar has appointed a new Commercial Director to drive its CX strategy into 2020 and beyond.

Chloe Woolger (pictured), the former Marketing Director of Watermelon Research, will be based at Kantar’s London HQ, reporting to Tim Pritchard, Managing Director of CX at Kantar UK.

The Vice Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Surrey Branch and a committee member for ‘&Thrive’, a support network for women in research and marketing, Chloe’s new Kantar brief is to build on the brand’s commercial success with its expanding CX offer.

Working closely with Kantar’s UK marketing team, Chloe will help to develop the go-to-market strategy for CX, managing client and business development activities. Her aim is to strengthen Kantar’s existing CX partner ecosystem, working with Medallia and SAP-owned Qualtrics, to drive sales.

Kantar’s end-to-end CX capability helps organisations better understand their customers, improve how they deliver CX and, in turn, improve their business outcomes and commercial ROI. Capabilities includes programme design, best-in-class platform solutions, advanced analytics, activation consulting, and managed services.

Tim Pritchard, Managing Director of CX, Kantar UK said: “We are pleased to welcome Chloe to a growing, successful team. Over the last 18 months, we have secured over £20m in new CX contracts including client wins such as Bupa, Hyundai, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays and most recently Post Office and Nationwide Building Society. Her appointment will drive the business forward, helping to maintain Kantar’s reputation as a global centre of excellence for customer experience management, and ensure our long-term commercial success.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 19, 2019
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5min933

Global leader in omnichannel CX and contact centre solutions Genesys has announced the creation of two business units, Genesys Cloud and Genesys Core.

The firm, which is sponsoring the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards, is enhancing support for its diverse, global customer base, which includes organisations of all sizes, spanning private and public cloud, hybrid, and on-premises deployments.

Customers will benefit from faster delivery of targeted portfolio enhancements and artificial intelligence-driven applications at scale. The Genesys Cloud division will unify the company’s next-generation public cloud solutions and services by combining the PureCloud and workforce engagement management (WEM) groups. The second unit, Genesys Core, is comprised of PureEngage and PureConnect on-premises and cloud.

The company has appointed two general managers to lead the business units: Olivier Jouve takes the helm of Genesys Cloud, and Barry O’Sullivan heads up Genesys Core. Both executives report directly into Genesys CEO Tony Bates. The company also announced that Peter Graf was appointed Chief Strategy Officer.

Tony Bates said: “This new structure enables us to provide even greater value to our customers and partners by rapidly delivering innovation across our market-leading product portfolio. I want to acknowledge the tremendous work Peter and his team have done to deliver AI-powered, cloud-based common services that make this new structure possible.

“I look forward to his contributions as our new Chief Strategy Officer as well as those from Olivier and Barry to drive our future growth and disruptive vision of hyper-personalisation.”

As general manager of Genesys Cloud, Olivier Jouve adds to his existing responsibilities as Executive Vice President of PureCloud, the company’s leading Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

In addition to continuing to head its operations, product strategy and commercial activities, he will take on ownership of the company’s WEM business. Since joining Genesys two years ago, Olivier has been instrumental in continuing to drive the triple-digit revenue increases PureCloud has experienced since its launch, furthering its hypergrowth. His career spans more than 30 years and includes senior executive roles for IBM, such as vice president of offering management for IBM Watson IoT, among others.

Meanwhile, Barry O’Sullivan moves from the Genesys operating committee and joins the company as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Genesys Core. In this role, Barry will leverage his extensive industry, AI, and unified communications knowledge, along with his intimate understanding of the business, to take the Genesys Core division to the next level.

Previously, Barry founded and served as the CEO of Altocloud, the cloud-based customer journey analytics provider acquired by Genesys in 2018. Earlier in his career, Barry was senior vice president and general manager for Cisco Systems, leading several multi-billion-dollar divisions including Collaboration, Unified Communications and Voice over IP.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have executives of Olivier’s and Barry’s calibre leading our business units. With their extensive experience, strong leadership and incredible business vision, they are each ideally suited to help us continue to solve our customers’ toughest challenges and further propel our ongoing momentum,” added Tony Bates.

In addition, Peter Graf will transition from Genesys Chief Product Officer to a new role as Chief Strategy Officer. He will be responsible for developing, communicating, sustaining and executing the Genesys strategy, and will also assume responsibility for strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, business operations and disruptive innovation for the company.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 19, 2019
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Gaming firms in the UK are facing a customer loyalty crisis, with 96 percent of punters saying they switch betting providers every year.

Customer insight firm Feefo found that despite this challenge, 93 percent of customers claim they can be persuaded to stick with a favourite firm, and 98 percent admitting that they value aspects of their current gaming firm.

Exploring the habits of 1,000 adults who use UK gaming firms, along with the views of 50 gaming industry decision-makers, The Gaming Report  found customers feel no incentive to be loyal. More than a fifth of customers (21 percent) switch every three-to-five months. Younger and more frequent customers are more likely to switch.

A quarter (25 percent) of 18-34-year-olds switch every two months, for example, compared with six percent of over-65s.

Punters are tempted away by better odds (40 percent) and better introductory offers (39 percent). Only 44 percent of decision-makers say their company can persuade more than half its customers to make more than two deposits.

Ben Marley, head of market development at Feefo, said: “UK gaming companies are employing lower league loyalty tactics against top-level competition, constantly losing customers to rivals. Almost all punters are ready to quit their company at least every 12 months, yet more than nine-in-ten tell us they will stay loyal if they get the right offers, odds or overall quality of experience.

“It’s time for a serious re-think about the tactics betting companies employ. The majority still lack real insight into what precisely customers want.”

The research found that 82 percent of respondents use more than one company at any time and more than half (51 percent) use two. Half of players (50 percent) stick with a company because they like the loyalty programme, and almost as many (46 percent) because a firm is ready to match another company’s offers. However, 50 percent of customers choose a company because of its good reputation.

Ben Marley added: “There’s an ace up every company’s sleeve they continue to overlook – using customer feedback insights to understand precisely punters want, so that loyalty programmes, odds and offers hit the jackpot more often. They need advanced, AI-powered Customer Experience platforms to provide game-changing levels of insight into what players want right now.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 18, 2019
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2min846

Customer engagement software firm Freshworks Inc. has been named in the Forbes Cloud 100 list for the third year running.

Compilers describe it as “the definitive list of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world”, and Freshworks has moved up the list to number 40, having first entered in 2017 at number 95, before climbing to 60 in 2017.

The Cloud 100 Judging Panel, made up of public cloud company CEOs, reviewed the data to select, score, and rank the top 100 private cloud companies from all over the world. The evaluation process involved ranking companies across four factors: market leadership (35 percent), estimated valuation (30 percent), operating metrics (20 percent) and people & culture (15 percent).

Freshworks CEO and founder, Girish Mathrubootham, said: “Providing simple yet powerful customer engagement software has always been our main focus, and the market continues to embrace our approach. As our 2019 momentum continues, our latest jump in the Forbes Cloud 100 List completes a trifecta of analyst, customer and investor recognition we’ve received this year. Forbes’ just-released ranking comes on the heels of our technology landing in three Gartner Magic Quadrant reports and recognition from peer review platform G2 Crowd.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthSeptember 11, 2019
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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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7min954

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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6min1080

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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3min1683

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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3min1225

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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2min1303

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




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