Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 18, 2018


Some of the best businesses in the UK to work for have been honoured at the 2018 UK Employee Experience Awards.

Taking place in the heart of London at the Park Plaza hotel overlooking the Thames, the spectacular day-long event saw the winners of 22 categories take to the stage following a morning of detailed presentations before expert judging panels.

Firms, including some of the best-known brands in the UK, outlined strategies and initiatives that lead to high staff satisfaction and retention rates, and explained how this translated into customer satisfaction and even boosted profits.

Attendees also enjoyed a day of networking opportunities and met with representatives from the event’s influential partners. This year, they included employment engagement specialists Benefex; global professional services provider FDM; Cranfield School of Management; Therapy Solutions; and the new venture from awards judge Donna O’Toole, August: The Awards Consultancy, the world’s first online course designed to help firms win awards and significantly raise their profile.

Meanwhile, also partnering the awards was The World Employee Experience Institute, and its founder Ben Whitter, AKA Mr Employee Experience himself, met with finalists throughout the day and also took to the stage during the gala ceremony to share valuable insights.

The event was also sponsored by children’s charity Barnardo’s, which outlined to attendees their amazing work in rescuing victims of child sexual exploitation.

The highlight of the day was the award presentations, which saw wholesalers Bidfood UK take home the coveted Overall Winner title after an outstanding victory in the Team of the Year category.

Other notable success stories includes London’s Jubilee Street Practice, which won Overall Best Employee Engagement, and the Holly Private Hospital in Essex, which won an amazing three category titles: Employee Engagement – Values & Strategy; Reward & Recognition; and Talent Management.

Speaking with Customer Experience Magazine, Ben Whitter said:

“Employee Experience is one of the most important aspects of business in the UK, and this event is the premier celebration of that.

“I have heard of some truly amazing EX initiatives in the run-up to today’s event, and I was lucky enough to tour the HQ of finalists to see for myself exactly why they deserve to be here today competing for these titles. They are all raising the standard for other businesses and I salute each and every one of them.”

Meanwhile, Matt Nathanielsz of Benefex added:

“EX is a massive trend in industries after years of being overlooked and undervalued. It’s great to see so many companies making the experience for their employees so special.”

Judges were also “hugely impressed” with the presentations. Judging Chairperson Hina Sharma, Head of Communications with Pitney Bowes UK, said:

“What was most impressive for me and many of the judges was how the finalists linked their employee engagement initiatives to overall business success. That standard of entries was exceptional. Well done to all who entered.”

Neil Skehel, CEO of hosts Awards International, added:

“It was fantastic to see so many inspiring companies who are leading the way in effective employee experience. Congratulations and thank you to all of our finalists, winners, and judges. See you again next year.”

Employee Engagement – Recognition & WellbeingStaysure

Employee Engagement – Growth by Design – Startle

Diversity & Inclusion –  Sky

Employee Engagement – Values & Strategy – The Holly Private Hospital

Employee Engagement – Transforming through EX – Jubilee Street Practice

Employee Engagement – EX Design – Manpower Group

Health & Wellbeing – Let’s get healthy

Insight & Feedback – Sparks Grove and FCA

Learning & Development – BT Business and Blue Sky

Reward & Recognition – The Holly Private Hospital

Talent Management – The Holly Private Hospital

Innovation in Recruitment – Marketing VF

Business Transformation & Managing Change – Homeserve

Organisational Development – BT Business and Blue Sky

Thought Leader in Employee Experience – Rebecca Robinson, Sparks Grove

SME – The Holly Private Hospital

Technology for Productivity – LifeWorks

Agency of the Year – Manpower Group

Leader in Employee Experience – Marketing VF

Team of the Year – Bidfood UK

Overall Best Employee Engagement – Jubilee Street Practice

Overall Winner – Bidfood UK



New findings from a study by Veritas Technologies, a leader in multi-cloud data management, indicate that many organisations will be inundated with requests for personal information from UK consumers, with two in five (40 percent) already planning to take advantage of their data privacy rights within six months of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force on May 25, 2018. 

Under the new GDPR, European Union (EU) residents will have greater control over their personal data. Currently, EU residents already have the right to ask a company what personal data is held on them (e.g., gender, age, location, sexual preference, religious beliefs, passport/ driver’s licence information, etc.) and beginning May 25, 2018, they will also have enhanced rights to ask to have their data deleted (‘right to be forgotten’). Businesses will be required to sufficiently respond to these requests within one month of receiving the request.

A new study, commissioned by Veritas and conducted by 3GEM, surveyed 3,000 adults, including 1,000 in the UK. It reveals that consumers are most likely to target the following industries with personal data requests:

  • Financial services companies, including banks and insurance companies (56 percent)
  • Social media companies (48 percent)
  • Retailers (46 percent)
  • Former, current or potential employers (24 percent)
  • Healthcare providers (21 percent)

The findings come as consumers reveal an increasing need to regain control over their personal data as trust in businesses to protect data fades, and as more and more consumers express a desire to put organisations to the test to understand whether they value consumer rights.

“In light of recent events surrounding the use of personal data by social media, and other, companies, consumers are taking much more of an interest in how their data is used and stored by businesses across many industry sectors,” said Mike Palmer, executive vice president and chief product officer, Veritas.

“With a flood of personal data requests coming their way in the months ahead, businesses must retain the trust of consumers by demonstrating they have comprehensive data governance strategies in place to achieve regulatory compliance.”

 The driving force behind a rise in data privacy requests

The forthcoming GDPR will impact any organisation that gathers, processes or stores the personal data of individuals in the EU. The research shows UK consumers welcome their enhanced privileges. Of those that intend to exercise their rights, two-thirds (65 percent) plan to request access to the personal data a company holds on them, while the majority (71 percent) intend to exercise their right to be forgotten under the new regulations.

The key drivers for exercising their data privacy rights are:

  • Increased control over personal data: over half (56 percent) of respondents don’t feel comfortable having personal data sit on systems that they have no control over.
  • A clearer understanding of what data companies hold on them: over half (56 percent) want to understand exactly what personal information companies hold on them.
  • Data breaches increase the likelihood of receiving requests for personal data: nearly half (47 percent) of respondents will exercise their rights to request personal data and/or have that data deleted, if a company that holds their personal information suffers a data breach.
  • Businesses are not trusted to protect personal data: over a third (37 percent) intend to exercise their data privacy rights because they do not trust companies to effectively protect their personal data.
  • Consumers want to put companies to the test:over a quarter (27 percent) want to test businesses to understand how much their consumer rights are valued before deciding whether to continue doing business with them.
  • Consumers want to get revenge:  eight percent will exercise their data privacy rights simply to irritate a company that they feel has mistreated them.

Under the new GDPR, this influx of personal data requests will need to be answered by organisations within a one month time limit. But meeting this timeframe may be difficult as many organisations have limited visibility into what data they have and where it is located.

Most consumers do not expect organisations to be capable of fulfilling their requests under the new regulation. The majority (79 percent) believe that organisations won’t be able to find and/or delete all of the personal data that is held on them, and a fifth (20 percent) believe that businesses will only be able to deliver up to 50 percent of the personal data they hold.

“It’s imperative that businesses embrace technology that can help them respond to these requests quickly, with a high degree of accuracy. This means having the ability to see, protect and access all of the personal data they hold regardless of where it sits within their organisation. Businesses that fail to recognise the importance of responding effectively and efficiently to personal data requests will be putting their brand loyalty and reputation at stake,” added Palmer.

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 14, 2018


The finalists for the 2018 UK Digital Experience Awards have finally been revealed, and the line-up promises an exciting day of insightful presentations and tough decisions for judges.

The UKDXAs are one of the highlights of the Customer Experience calendar, celebrating the businesses and organisations providing the best digital experiences for customers across the UK and beyond.

This year, the event takes place in London’s Park Plaza Hotel on the banks of the Thames on July 12, and finalists will compete in 18 categories covering every aspect of expert Digital Experience.

These include Best Online User Experience B2B and B2C, Software as a Service, Best Use of SEO, and Best use of AR or VR.

Among the big names competing for the coveted titles this year are Sky, Three UK, Lloyds Banking Group, Tesco Bank, and BT.

Meanwhile, this year’s exciting judging panel includes Gordon Rimmer, Director of Marketing at Connect Managed Services; Paul Blunden, the CEO and Founder of Usability 24/7; and Kate Thompson, Managing Director of Business 3.0, among many others.

The event is hosted by Awards International, and CEO Neil Skehel said:

The UK Digital Experience Awards has risen to become one of the most important industry awards events of its kind, thanks to the spectacular growth of DX as a concept for businesses in the last few years.

“Customers are continuing to engage with brands digitally, and the challenge for companies is to provide the best, and most innovative touchpoints along the way, translating into exceptional Customer Experience.

“The awards celebrate the best customer journeys in a field that will only continue to expand as ever-more people choose to shop and interact with businesses through smartphones, tablets and other devices.”


UK Digital Experience Awards 2018 Finalists
Category Finalist
Financial Services: User Experience
  • Jumio and Monzo
  • Wipro-Lloyds Banking Group
  • Right Indem Limited
  • Click Consult
Financial Services: Innovation
  • First Direct
  • Divido
  • Tesco Bank
  • Alta Pay, a Valitor Company
Customer Reviews & Feedback
  • Feefo Holdings Ltd
  • Novus
  • Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd T/A
  • Strategiq Marketing Limited
  • Tesco Bank
Data Analytics & Insight
  • Feefo Holdings Ltd
  • Wipro Digital
  • Three UK
  • Sky UK
  • Unit4 prevero
Leisure & Tourism
  • Novus
  • Seatfrog
  • Sagittarius – Red Carnation Hotel Collection
  • Ethos Farm
Best Use of AR or VR
  • George P Johnson
  • Virgin Experience Days
Mobile Strategy
  • Aston Barclay
  • Resilio
  • EE
  • Three UK
  • Octopus Energy
  • Nelson Bostock Unlimited
Not for Profit & Charity (Including Public Services)
  • Staffordshire County Council
  • PA Housing
  • Dotlabel
  • Valtech Limited
  • HMA
  • Click Consult
Software as a Service
  • Wipro Digital
  • FoundIt!
  • StaySafe
  • Proteus
  • Mention Me
  • Redstone Connect Labs
  • MVF
Use of SEO
  • Receptional Limited, Liberis
  • Receptional Limited, Discount Supplements
  • Impression
  • Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd T/A Protyre
  • Click Consult
Personal Entertainment & Telecoms
  • Three UK
  • BT
  • Kitty
  • Sky UK
  • EE
Best Online User Experience B2C – Retail
  • Mamas & Papas Ltd
  • EE
  • Three UK
  • Octopus Energy
  • The Underfloor Heating Store
  • Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd T/A Protyre
Best Online User Experience B2C -Best Digital Customer Journey
  • McCarthy & Stone
  • FoundIt!
  • Dotlabel
  • Amigo
  • Jumio and Monzo
  • Vortex Commerce on behalf of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group
Digital Team – Transformation
  • The Share Centre
  • Three UK
  • Micheldever Tyre Services Ltd T/A Protyre
  • EE
  • Wipro Digital
Digital Team – Digital Marketing/Campaign
  • Impression
  • George P Johnson
  • Amigo
  • Virgin Trains
  • Mamas & Papas Ltd
  • The Underfloor Heating Store
Best Online User Experience B2B
  • Absolute Design Associates Ltd
  • HMA
  • BMJ, with Box UK
  • MVF
Digital Change and Transformation – Software
  • Mamas & Papas Ltd
  • Novus
  • The Share Centre
  • Three UK
  • drp for Worcester Bosch
Digital Change and Transformation – Digital Engagement Platforms
  • drp for Worcester Bosch
  • Active Digital
  • BMJ, with Box UK
  • Grovelands Consulting
  • drp for Jaguar Land Rover x




Over a third (32 percent) of digital marketers admit to losing sleep due to fears about how the competition from Amazon will impact their business over the next 18 months, according to a survey by digital marketing agency Greenlight Digital.

In a bid to understand how marketers today are approaching competition from Amazon, digital marketing agency Greenlight commissioned a survey of 200 marketing professionals across a range of industries.

Up against the eCommerce juggernaut Amazon, it seems the biggest concerns are Amazon’s competitive pricing and logistical efficiency, worrying 33 percent and 31 percent of those surveyed respectively. Yet, it is a double-edged sword as it is exactly that logistical prowess that encourages businesses to collaborate with Amazon, indicated by the 38 percent of people who want to use the Amazon Marketplace to aid global distribution.

Despite these concerns, digital marketers are clear on where they can compete, and it’s largely focused around understanding their customer. For 39 percent of those surveyed, offering higher quality customer service is key to remaining competitive against Amazon, and 36 percent feel it is niche expertise that will give them a competitive advantage. Offering a unique customer experience was also a focus for 27 percent, which is unsurprising as many businesses are coming to understand the importance of personalisation, omnichannel experiences, and delivering brand value to their audiences.

Although there are concerns about Amazon’s sheer dominance in many markets, many understand how Amazon can be used to their advantage to capture a digital audience, such as by utilising the captive Amazon audience and using ad space (37 percent of those surveyed want to use Amazon in this way) and voice search (25 percent) to market to potential customers.

Furthermore, marketers seem to understand what can differentiate them from Amazon in terms of offering more personalised, specialised and personable customer experience – the key factor here is that they need to ensure they have the tools and infrastructure to deliver what their audiences want, particularly when it comes to a consistent online and offline journey.

With a handful of well-known UK high street retailers recently announcing store closures, it’s vital that brands take action when it comes to understanding who their audiences are, how they’re interacting with the brand, the areas the brand can deliver value to them, and then evaluating where their brand stands in light of this. Brands that fail to do so, or are too late to take action, are the ones who will likely be most susceptible to losing customers to Amazon.

Andreas Pouros, CEO at Greenlight Digital says:

“It is no surprise that Amazon’s dominance concerns businesses who are made to question how they can compete. But it doesn’t need to be seen as a competition or threat.  

Amazon provides an immense opportunity for businesses wanting to reach a wider audience, whether that be through advertising space or access through global distribution. Digital marketers can’t ignore the sheer value of Amazon’s global marketplace and captive audience.

Partnering top quality customer service with effective brand communications via Amazon’s advertising capabilities is the most effective way to work together moving forwards – be that for small, independent retailers or large organisations. The focus on the customer experience and customer service remains at the heart of competition.

Only once this is widely accepted will businesses with niche expertise and high quality customer service co-exist and thrive in a world where Amazon continues to deliver on large-scale eCommerce efficiency.”



One year after WannaCry infected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries globally, 40 percent of respondents say their organisation is more exposed than it was a year ago.

The WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled the NHS and infected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries has not translated into action at many organisations. According to a Tanium survey of 500 frontline IT security workers in the U.K, one third (36 percent) of respondents admitted there was panic immediately after the WannaCry attack, but nothing has changed since.

The findings show that two fifths (40 percent) admit their organisation is more exposed than they were a year ago. Whilst, just 31 percent state their organisation has invested in a new security solution since WannaCry, despite their boards claiming to have placed more importance on IT security since the attack.

Major issues highlighted in the research include:

Critical actions have not been taken

According to the findings, UK firms responded immediately after the attack, reviewing existing security systems (62 percent) and redefining the process for reacting to security incidents (38 percent). However, it seems that immediate concern did not translate into long-term action.

Businesses are still struggling with basic systems management tasks, such as patching, which are critical to preventing future attacks. According to the study, more than sixty percent (66 percent) of respondents admitted that they haven’t improved their patch management process since the WannaCry attack.

For many survey respondents, the need to innovate quickly is causing them to compromise on their security practices. In fact, one in five stated their cyber practices haven’t changed as other IT initiatives had to take priority. Lack of budget was also cited by almost a quarter (23 percent) of respondents as a factor holding them back from implementing the cybersecurity technology and policies.

Matt Ellard, Vice President, EMEA at Tanium, explains:

“It’s genuinely concerning that U.K. organisations claim to have learnt lessons from WannaCry but are struggling to take actions to stop a similar attack from happening again.

 The attack, which grabbed headlines all over the world, should have been a wake-up call for businesses to get their houses in order. However, legacy systems and architecture, fear of patching, fragmentation of point solutions, limited budgets and silos that exist within the IT operations and security teams are still leaving UK firms vulnerable to attack.”

The accountability gap

Almost half (42 percent) of the frontline IT workers surveyed believe their senior leadership team fails to realise how exposed their companies are to cyber threats. Whilst over a quarter (28 percent) say their organisation prioritises client entertainment and employee welfare initiatives such as Christmas parties. In fact, 43 percent say they struggle to get funding for urgent cybersecurity projects. This has led one in 10 to admit they are not confident their organisation could immediately respond to or recover from another WannaCry-style attack.

Ellard concludes:

“We’ve seen countless breaches in the last 12 months and businesses need stronger resilience to fight future threats. Having clear visibility of all of the endpoints across the network and being able to act on this in real-time is crucial to fighting off cyber-attacks and safeguarding future business.

Businesses can no longer afford to overlook the scale of the threats they face and the IT operations and security teams need to bridge the accountability gap to protect the network, company and customer data.”

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 27, 2018


Within every business, there will be those who suffer in silence to the point that control is lost and the very act of getting out of bed can become utterly overwhelming.

Employees are still reluctant to share mental health information with their managers or bosses, seemingly for good reason. The stigma associated with mental health, and being treated unfairly, becoming the subject of office gossip, or compromising their employment terms are all legitimate fears.

To tackle this global issue, workplace providers  Instant Offices encourage businesses to support their teams in speaking about and prioritising mental health. They also promote a healthy work-life balance, reducing the stigma attached to mental health issues, and introduing initiatives to support and encourage staff who choose to speak up.

Mental health and work in the UK

Studies from Manpower Group suggest that millennials display the highest levels of anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide of any generation, considering they are also simultaneously on the cusp of becoming the largest global workforce by 2020.

According to Deloitte, the average person spends 90,000 hours of their life working, and poor employee mental health can be due to factors internal or external to the workplace. Without effective management, this can have a serious impact on physical health, productivity, and more.

In the modern workplace, smart employers are placing workplace wellness at the core of their business by recognising the importance of their staff. They are going beyond protocol, processes, and profits to ensure individuals feel valued and supported. Wellness and workplace health initiatives are varied but include everything from serious interventions and counselling services to mindfulness training, flexible working, and even options like yoga, time off, and massages at work.

That said, an alarming number of companies are still avoiding the topic of mental health in the workplace. A report by the Centre for Mental Health revealed that absence due to mental health cost the UK economy £34.9 billion last year. Additionally, the economy lost:

  • £21.2 billion in reduced productivity
  • £10.6 billion in sick leave
  • £3.1 billion in staff turnover

It’s time to prioritise wellbeing at work

Of the 5 million people being signed off from work every year, data from NHS showed an alarming 31 percent are taking time out due to mental health, with a shocking 14 percent rise in doctor’s notes relating to anxiety and stress in one year. This is why the NHS has called on businesses to wake up to the reality of mental health and its dire effects on the wellbeing of its employees and on overall workplace success.

Here’s what employers can do:

  1. Minimise the stigma: A study from Business in the Community shows, only 53 percent of employees feel comfortable talking about mental health issues like depression and anxiety at work. Instead of making employees feel like liabilities or burdens, employers need to take active steps to encourage conversations around these issues. Taking a mental health day or asking for support around mental health issues should not impact an employee’s reputation and how they are treated at work.
  2. Pay attention: Around 91 percent of managers agree that their actions affect their staff’s wellbeing, however, only 24 percent of managers have received any training in mental health. This lack of training and sensitivity only works to perpetuate the culture of silence around mental health and wellbeing at work. Companies should be working to combat this by monitoring employee stress, encouraging communication and taking active steps to increase knowledge around the issue.
  3. Be more flexible: There are several ways to boost employee engagement and happiness in the modern workplace. Around 70 percent of employees want a say in when and how they work, and a growth in flexible working shows more businesses are responding. Introducing a flexible working option is one of the ways businesses can prioritise their employees’ personal needs while benefitting from their productivity boost, too. Data from LSBF shows nearly half of employees advocate for flexible working hours as a way to reduce workplace stress and anxiety, increase productivity, and to improve morale and engagement.
  4. Introduce mental health initiatives: It is crucial to increase employee awareness of mental health at work, support employees at risk and take steps to support those suffering from mental health problems. Education is key, and strategies need to be tailor-made to suit each business and its needs. Aside from increasing workplace happiness with perks, time off and better communication, businesses need to look at long-term policies which advocate for better treatment for at-risk employees from every tier of the organisation.
  5. Manage via a coaching approach: Historically, tyrannical managers focused on ‘the numbers’ or ‘getting the job done’ have been the norm, but fortunately, the modern workplace has changed. Today, the manager who adopts a more holistic approach by focusing on the growth and development of their team, personally and professionally, will see greater results and engagement. Investing in a coaching approach has shown clear improvements across all areas and improved trust between managers and employees. Getting this balance right enables employees to speak about their levels of stress, their worries about their role and more.

Placing health and wellbeing at the heart of business can help employers attract and retain talent, improve productivity and happiness, and positively impact the bottom line.

Educating the workforce on the availability of such programmes where they can find support in a confidential and respectful manner, will help to address personal challenges before they become overwhelming.

CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamMarch 9, 2018


Twenty percent of businesses will have dumped their mobile apps by next year, it has been predicted, as firms move further towards chatbots and artificial intelligence to communicate with customers.

Research by Gartner Inc has found that by 2019, 20 percent of companies will “abandon” their apps due to a lack of customer engagement. Brands are finding the mobile apps are not meeting the level of adoption initially expected, and are turning their attention towards establishing a presence with popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

However, the change in preferred customer communication is likely to hit the banking sector before most others, according to Antoine Hemon-Laurens, Customer Experience Expert at Quadient.

“As Open Banking and PSD2 will lead to banks providing services across whichever platforms their customers want, it makes sense that they will focus less on their own dedicated websites and apps,” he said.

“This is underlined by Gartner’s statement that by 2019 20 per cent of brands will abandon their mobile apps; financial services is a prime example of an industry where the form of digital channels used to interact with customers is evolving.

The new rules set out in Open Banking and PSD2 mean the days of digital banking being carried out within the secure walls of their proprietary website are behind us, as customers can now dictate to banks which channels work best for them. In practice, this could see them contacting a bank on Facebook messenger and asking them to display all of the accounts they hold (across different providers) and transfer money between them, or even manage them by taking out a short-term loan from one bank to pay off an overdraft with another.

This potential for customers to use whichever digital platform they want for their banking services means that banks are likely to place much less of a focus on their own websites and apps than they have to date.”

The changes should not pose a threat, however, as Antoine explained:

“The key to success as this change comes is treating it as an opportunity rather than a threat; by providing banking services over social media sites, for example, they can provide a great customer experience by allowing people to make transactions without having to ever visit the official banking site or app.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 28, 2018


BT’s Business and Public Sector Complaints team has picked up one of the top honour at the 2018 UK Complaint Handling Awards.

They won the coveted Team of the Year award at the gala event, which was held at London’s Park Plaza Riverbank hotel.

Judges bestowed the title after a thorough presentation from the BT delegates on how major internal changes on dealing with customer dissatisfaction occurred following a review in 2016.

The team collected feedback from customers on how to make improvements, and following their implementation BT B&PS has seen their net promotor score rise by 46 points, and complaint resolution times drop by over 50 percent.

The effects are not just being felt by customers, as employee satisfaction has also risen by 17 percent.

Speaking of how the process was carried out, a BT B&PS spokesperson said:

“We listened to calls and we listened to our customers, asking them directly how we could make their experience better. We listened and we changed.

 They told us they wanted us to: take ownership of problems provide a speedy fix and they wanted us to care. We completed extensive analysis on complaint drivers and we worked with a company called Blue Sky to conduct a comprehensive diagnostic of the business. We looked at our top performers to develop nine key advisors’ skills, which were pulled together in a blueprint, so we could share what good looked like to improve performance across the estate.

Any transformation for customers requires investment and belief in our people. We left no stone unturned and have totally transformed our ways of working to exceed our customer needs by introducing a leader led solution and empowering our workforce.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 28, 2018


Accountancy software firm Sage, in partnership with Trustpilot, have been named winners in the Utilising Customer Reviews category of the 2018 UK Complaint Handling Awards.

The B2B company told judges of their customer reviews process, in which every customer who leaves a negative Trustpilot Trustscore review is contacted directly within 24 hours, and arrangements made to resolve the issue.

Sage beat off competition in this category from Lanes Group and WoolOvers in partnership with Feefo.

Speaking of the process and its success, a Sage spokesperson said:

“The vision was to provide customers with the means to convey authentic feedback with one team at Sage that would handle all reviews feedback across various Sage products, with a single process for handling reviews.

The Sage Trustpilot customer reviews programme has seen Sage establish an industry-leading approach to collecting, managing and using insight from its customer reviews. The company’s Trustpilot TrustScore has increased to 9.7/10, one of the highest of any brand using the Trustpilot platform.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 28, 2018


Uniting complaints teams from across their various departments has led to huge improvements for United Utilities, whose achievement has been celebrated at the 2018 UK Complaint Handling Awards.

The UK’s largest listed water company, United Utilities was unhappy with how complaints were handled and the length of time it took on average to deal with problems highlighted by customers.

In 2016 the firm founded its Service Recovery Team, whose aim was to transform the complaint handling process to ensure problems were dealt with in a much faster timeframe – as well as deal with issues before they caused customers to complain.

Instead of four separate teams dealing with complaints, the Service Recovery Team brought them together as one body before introducing a new set of visible key performance indicators and targets, to be reviewed daily.

Further coaching was offered to help team staff deal with challenging customers, and the firm even set a budget for the purchase of cards, flowers, and chocolates for when apologies to customers is an appropriate response.

Meanwhile, the proactive identifying of problems through recording initial customer calls and calling them back to offer help has reduced overall complaints.

Texting of customers when incidents arise is another new practise that prompted judges to award United Utilities Gold in the Pro-active Complaint Handling – Utilities category. Silver in the category was awarded to South West Water.

Following this achievement, United Utilities was then awarded the title of Team of the Year – Utilities, Housing &Trains.

A United Utilities spokesperson said:

“Recognising where we have done a great job for the customer is important for team morale and motivation. Team managers are encouraged to provide treats, such as a bottle of wine when an individual agent gets a thank you from a customer. Thank you letters have now become part of our daily post and our teams have been sent vouchers and chocolates by happy customers.”

Speaking of the new moniker for the group dedicated to warding off complaints, the spokesperson added:

“The name says it all – we are no longer complaint handlers but are proud to be empowered to do the right thing and recover the service and trust of our customers. The name gives the team a sense of pride and their results speak for themselves.”

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