Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 18, 2019
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3min172

A failure by firms to consider Employee Experience is leading to staff not realising the value of workplace technology investments.

That is the finding of the Digital Wellbeing survey, comissioned by Avanade, which revealed that rather than empowering employees, the proliferation of new technologies can cause confusion, leading to a lack of adoption.

Of those surveyed, only 39 percent are embracing modern workplace technology like Slack, Teams, WebEx, and Skype, while an overwhelming proportion remain wedded to more dated technology like email (73 percent). This is preventing businesses from bringing about the productivity gains and improvements in Employee Experience (EX) they expect from their technology investments.

The study was carried out by YouGov, analysing the working habits of 1,000 UK professionals. It showed that adoption, ROI, and value are all impacted when technology is implemented without consideration for EX. The study also found that while 68 percent of employees react positively to new technologies, only 39 percent actually use them on a regular basis.

Almost two-thirds of employees believe that new workplace technologies are being deployed without consideration of their needs, and they feel this is something HR should contribute in partnership with IT.

Stanley Louw, UKI head of digital innovation at Avanade, said: “We see the workplace as the new frontier for competitive advantage and a driver of sustainable growth. Worryingly, the study shows that while businesses continue to invest heavily in Customer Experience (CX), many are still underinvesting in EX. Considering that employees play a major role in delivering CX this would appear counter-intuitive. Poor EX can also impact engagement, creativity and ultimately wellbeing.

“New technologies offer new capabilities which, not only provide opportunities to improve the way employees work, but also create new ways of working. Successful organisations are those which work with employees to help them understand the relevance new technologies have for them and their specific role, identifying how day-to-day processes and activities can be improved by incorporating these new capabilities.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 17, 2019
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3min413

Employees in UK businesses are optimistic about the future impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on their jobs according to a nationwide study.

The research was carried out by global leader in omnichannel CX and contact centre solutions Genesys, official sponsor of the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards.

It found nearly two-thirds of employees value new technological tools such as AI in the workplace. In fact, 64 percent of UK employees say it makes them more effective and allows them to focus on other tasks.

The findings reveal an overwhelmingly positive outlook from employees, despite the negative headlines anticipating such technologies would replace humans in the workplace. More than two-thirds of employees say they don’t feel threatened by technology at work. They don’t expect the technology to become a threat anytime soon either, given that 59 percent don’t believe AI or bots will take their jobs within the next ten years.

In fact, employees see AI as pivotal to business success with more than a fifth saying they believe AI or bots will be crucial to their companies ability to stay competitive in the future. While the survey shows that people are more excited about AI technology than fearful, it also found that in the long-term they want assurances from their employers in the form of training. The research showed an overwhelming majority (86 percent) of employees expect their employers to provide training that helps them prepare for an AI-enabled workplace.

Meanwhile, a fifth of employees say they are already working with AI, while just 16 percent report a negative experience of new technological tools in the workplace.

Other findings include 64 percent of employees believing there should be a requirement that companies maintain a minimum percentage of human employees versus AI-powered robots and machinery, and 41 percent of millennials saying they spend 50 percent or more of their time interacting with machines and computers rather than humans.

Steve Leeson, Vice President for UK and Ireland for Genesys, said: “It’s encouraging that the UK’s workers recognise the potential new technologies such as AI have to make their jobs more fulfilling and the value it can bring to businesses.

Some jobs will evolve as human work combines with the capabilities of AI. It’s increasingly important for companies to assess the need for training programs to help employees further skills like creativity, leadership and empathy, which AI just can’t replace.

“Businesses that adopt a blended approach to artificial intelligence, where AI-technologies work in unison with employees, will get the best out of their technology investment and their skilled workforce.”

 

 

 

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 17, 2019
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3min291

UK businesses have struggled to handle an upswing in personal data access requests since General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force, it has been revealed.

Research by business process outsourcer Parseq was conducted following the first anniversary of GDPR, and shows that two-thirds of UK businesses (63 percent) saw an increase in data access requests from customers and their own employees in the 12 months following GDPR’s introduction in May 2018.

One-in-ten (10 percent) businesses experienced an increase of more than 50 percent in the volume of requests. This rose to almost a fifth (17 percent) for businesses with a turnover of £500m or more. Almost nine-in-ten (87 percent) businesses that have seen an increase in requests reported they had found effectively responding to them challenging, citing complexity (54 percent) and cost (54 percent) as the biggest obstacles.

A third (34 percent) of businesses that had experienced an increase in data access requests cited a reliance on paper documentation as a barrier. This figure rose to 47 percent for businesses with a turnover of £500m or more, tying with a lack of time as their second most frequently flagged hurdle after cost.

Under GDPR, individuals can submit a data access request free of charge to receive a copy of personal data that organisations hold on them, along with information on factors such as why their personal data is being used. In general, GDPR requires that organisations must respond to data access requests within one month.

Craig Naylor-Smith, Managing Director at Parseq, said: “GDPR made it easier for people to access their personal data from organisations. With this power at their fingertips, we expected to see that data access requests would rise. However, the fact that so many firms have struggled to respond to the surge in requests suggests that the pressure this has put on businesses has been greater than they anticipated, or that many were simply unprepared for what GDPR would bring.

“It could also have been affected by the August 2019 deadline for consumers to claim back Payment Protection Insurance, with individuals possibly using data access requests to help them uncover information to support their claims.

“What’s particularly interesting to see is that so many businesses state a reliance on paper documentation as a barrier. The digitisation of paper documents can make personal information easier to process and manage, make data access requests easier to respond to and, ultimately, help businesses use data to deliver innovative services in an increasingly competitive, digital landscape.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 16, 2019
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5min484

The victors of the 2019 UK Digital Experience Awards have celebrated success in London, with swimming school Swimtime making waves by being crowned as the day’s Overall Winner.

The event at London’s Park plaza Riverbank saw firms from across Britain present before an expert panel of judges, offering insight into the digital journeys customers make when connecting with their favourite brands. The very best across 23 categories were identified, with organisations competing to claim titles including Best Digital Change & Transformation, Best Digital Marketing Campaign/Project, and Best Mobile Strategy.

Swimtime, which helps over 15,000 children learn to swim at over 300 venues across the UK, made a huge splash in the Transport/Leisure/Tourism category, beating tech firm rivals Valtech and car rental brand Sixt to claim the Gold award.

Their entry focussed on the innovative SwimCloud digital platform, which manages every conceivable stage of the customer journey from booking to delivery, managing payments, lesson planning, and much more.

Victory lap: The Swimtime team accept the 2019 Overall Winner award

That category entry secured the Overall Winner title later in the day, and a spokesperson for the firm said: “Our team and franchisees across the Swimtime family are delighted that the work and investment that has gone into SwimCloud, is not only paying off internally but being recognised as revolutionary in such a competitive award.”

The day was jam-packed with other significant wins for household name brands, including HCL Technologies UK in partnership with Manchester United. Together they secured Gold in the Best Digital Change & Transformation – Project/Platform category after showing judges how they are delivering a unified fan experience, combining subsystems, fan touchpoints, and revenue streams.

Best App was won by BT for its innovative My BT app, while Sky in partnership with Journey Further won Gold for Best PPC Strategy.

Appy days: The BT delegation receive the Gold Award for Best App

Click here for a full list of the day’s winners.

The event was hosted by Awards international, and along with the UK Customer Experience Awards, the UK Employee Experience Awards, and the UK Complaint Handling Awards, proudly holds a Gold Standard Awards Trust mark from the Independent Awards Standards Council (IASC).

CEO of UX design piuoneers Usability 24/7, Paul Blunden chaired the awards, steering the development of the event towards its most impactful year to date, and he will return in the coming years to ensure the event continues to explore and reward the very best digital experiences offered by brands.

Congratulating the day’s winners, Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “These awards highlight the most innovative Digital Experiences customers will come across in the UK today, and show just how vital a trusted digital journey is for today’s tech-savvy consumers.

“Well done to all who attended to present before our judges, and a special congratulations to all of the category winners, who truly deserve their success. We look forward to further exciting DX developments from our winning brands in the coming months and years, and hope to see many return to compete at next year’s UK Digital Experience Awards.”

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 15, 2019
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4min354

UK financial services and utilities businesses are underperforming when it comes to complaint handling, despite their growing belief that customers are satisfied with their performance.

That is according to Huntswood’s Complaints Outlook 2019 report, which combines research from financial services and utilities firms with survey responses from over 5,500 consumers. The nationally representative survey was carried out by Huntswood’s research partners, YouGov, and has revealed a perception gap between businesses and customers – 69 percent of firms believe that their customers are satisfied with their complaints are handled, while the reality is that only 26 percent of customers actually report being satisfied.

When asked, 87 percent of firms interviewed also said that their complaint handling staff are well equipped to do the job, however 61 percent of customers are currently dissatisfied with the empathy of the staff member they interacted with and 59 percent are dissatisfied with the knowledge of the staff member they interacted with.

Resolution times also remain an issue – 49 percent of firms believe they are resolving complaints at the first point of contact, yet only 18 percent of customers claim that their complaint was resolved immediately.

Complaints Outlook 2019 also reveals a disconnect between the perceived importance of complaints handling by businesses and a lack of focus on building required professional skills. This is evident in the fact that, despite 96 percent of businesses agreeing that the impact of the complaint handler on customer satisfaction is high or extremely high, 52 percent admitted that their employees do not complete professional complaint handling training programmes or qualifications.

With increased regulatory scrutiny around the treatment of vulnerable customers, 75 percent of the firms interviewed believe that their staff are equipped and empowered to deal with customers in vulnerable circumstances, with the remaining quarter feeling they are only part of the way to achieving this.

Furthermore, 57 percent of firms believe they are creating advocates in at least half of all cases, however only eight percent of customers surveyed had a positive complaints experience and shared it with friends and family.

This perception gap should be treated as a warning to firms, with 60 percent of customers adding that they would change provider as a result of a poor complaints experience.

Paul Scott, Chief Commercial Officer at Huntswood, said: “Firms are increasingly recognising the value that can be derived from the complaints journey.  However, despite this, our research shows that there are discrepancies between how financial services companies believe they are dealing with complaints and the reality for customers. Complaints are an unavoidable part of business, so it’s critical that they are handled well and that customers feel valued throughout.

“Firms should therefore be looking to create an effective complaints handling operation, underpinned by a robust strategy which focuses on providing the best possible outcomes for customers. Doing so can deliver enormous benefits, such as deeper relationships with existing customers and an increase in new relationships from customer advocacy.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 15, 2019
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3min451

Another group of passionate Customer Experience professionals has benefitted from a Masterclass with world-renowned consultant and author Ian Golding.

Held this month in the Stevenage Business & Technology Centre, the CX Professional Masterclass saw attendees from across the UK attend the two-day intensive training with the country’s foremost authority on customer centricity, and the first person in the world to be authorised by the CXPA to teach the CCXP accreditation.

As a result, Ian – whose book Customer What? The honest and practical guide to customer experience has become one of the most respected texts in the industry – has personally mentored around one quarter of the world’s CCXPs to date.

You too can learn from the very best at the next two-day CX Professional Masterclass on September 16 & 17, and a special Early Bird Discount offer is in place for those who book their place before August 16. The Masterclass will be followed by a one-day CCXP Exam Workshop on September 18, for those who wish to prepare for, and undertake, the exam.

Sharpening skills: Attendees of the July CX Professional Masterclass with Ian Golding (second from right)

Following the recent Masterclass, participants spoke with CXM to describe what they gained from attending.

Muss Haq, Strategic Customer Insight Manager at TSB, said: “Meeting Ian and networking with people who are as passionate and enthusiastic about CX as I am, was a fantastic experience.”

Meanwhile, Chris Durnford, Customer Experience Director at London Stone, described the Masterclass as “easily the best training course I have ever attended”. He added: Ian was a great host and really made the course interesting and informative. The time flew by, and the stories and videos were very memorable.”

Click here to book your place at September’s CX Professional Masterclass.

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 11, 2019
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4min618

With almost one-in-two UK workplaces having introduced gamified rewards for staff, new research has revealed which of this kind of incentive has the biggest impact on productivity.

A survey of 1,219 UK workers, carried out by workplace incentives and rewards provider One4all Rewards, has been published in The Gamification Report. It surveyed employees from different age groups, genders, and industries, revealing which type of gamified rewards systems would motivate them the most or for the longest period of time.

Virtually one-in-two (49 percent) workers were most likely to cite surprise or unexpected rewards as being the biggest motivator. However, the research shows just 36 percent of businesses are utilising this type of gamified reward.

Fixed action reward came in second place (39 percent), with workers stating they would be motivated to work harder if their employer offered them, while random rewards in return for completing a certain task or action would work for a third (29 percent).

Prize pacing style rewards – such as rewards that are given in one small piece at a time, for example a number of small rewards given at a staggered rate – were motivating for 27 percent. Meanwhile, 23 percent of UK workers stated they would work harder or for longer to unlock social treasure style rewards, which are awarded by peers.

The majority (42 percent) of businesses offering gamified rewards systems are relying on fixed action rewards – which award a specific prize for a specific action, such as a named bonus or prize for hitting a set target.

Michael Dawson, Managing Director of One4all, said: “It’s fantastic that almost half of UK businesses have already adopted a gamified reward and bonus system for their staff – but the research shows that some could be using them to greater impact employee productivity.

“Fixed action rewards and bonuses are often the number one style of gamified rewards offered amongst UK businesses – and it’s easy to see why, as the idea of giving a set bonus for hitting a specific target is something that has been around in the workforce for a long time – but it’s definitely worth bosses considering that it’s actually surprise rewards which will have the biggest impact on productivity and effort.

“Given that these types of rewards truly embody the spirit of gamified rewards – which recognise and praise good behaviour, to encourage workers to repeat this in the hope of receiving another reward – this makes sense.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 11, 2019
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9min718

From poor work/life balance and long working hours to a lack of progression and difficult interviews, new research reveals what it’s really like to be employed by some of the biggest organisations in both the UK and US.

Based on LinkedIn’s annual report of the most sought-after companies to work at in the UK, Power House Truths curates and dissects over 210,000 employee reviews to see where each company really ranks across a number of metrics, including senior management rating, interview difficulty and average salary.

The 2019 LinkedIn Top Companies report discloses where jobseekers want to work, based on the four main pillars of interaction on the platform: interest in the company, engagement with the company’s employees, job demand, and employee retention.

The research shows that despite being the most desirable workplace in the UK and the third most popular in the US, Amazon sits tenth in the rankings. Analysis of the organisation’s 32,000 employee reviews reveals a poor work/life balance, low senior management rating, and smaller salaries when comparing them to the US coveted companies.

The US companies do far better in the overall rank in comparison to UK organisations, holding an average rank position of 5.9 compared to the UK’s 9.2. This may be due to the discrepancy in average salary between major organisations, with UK-based BP paying its employees a staggering £47,700 less than Apple – despite making £29 million more in revenue.

Although Google is the most desirable workplace in the US according to LinkedIn, analysis of its 11,000 employee reviews actually places it in fourth position. Compared to other notable organisations featured on the rank, the tech company has the most difficult interview process, but offers a high average salary and good benefits.

The research also includes an extensive list of the advantages and disadvantages of the businesses included. For example, Google’s Free Food Everyday scheme for its 57,000 employees has been upvoted by 790 people leaving reviews. However, people who work their say it can be hard to maintain a healthy work/ life balance at the company, and they feel because the company is so large, “you don’t always get a lot of responsibility”.

Uber is praised for its flexible working hours by its drivers, but over 500 employees say drunk riders and the cost of car repairs are a huge downside to working for the organisation.

Top company benefits for those working at supermarket giant Sainsbury’s include good sick pay, critical illness cover, and a 10 percent employee discount card. Downsides to working for Sainsbury’s include finding that team leaders are often contradictory and its long working hours.

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline offers one of the most favourable work/life balances, as well as its culture and values rating, with employees praising the company’s work environment and career opportunities. However, the company could improve its senior management rating, decision-making process and average salary.

According to recruitment partner Karen Dykes, the benefits companies choose to advertise play a key role in how quickly they accumulate staff and grow. She said: “With talent shortages reported in many sectors, top candidates are looking beyond basic salary offerings to attract them to certain roles.

“Benefits packages are most certainly in the spotlight, with a particular focus on those that support work/life balance. These include generous holiday entitlement, healthcare advantages and flexible working. If a skilled candidate has multiple interview offers, benefits packages will come into play. They may be time poor in terms of interview preparation, so will narrow the field by evaluating the overall package.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 11, 2019
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3min502

Current digital marketing techniques are failing to win over customers, a new report warns.

Published by London-based tech firm Ogury, The Reality Report examines the attitudes of over 287,000 mobile users towards marketing and data, and suggests that current practices of digital marketing fail to provide value to users and could endanger organisations’ long-term prosperity.

Fifty-two percent of respondents agree that intrusive or irrelevant messages give them a poor opinion of the app or website that hosts these messages, while only 25 percent of UK respondents believe that targeted messages are useful.

Wider market data suggests that the majority of mobile  ads are served by Big Tech companies, otherwise known as the walled gardens. These technology behemoths have access to an incomparable mass of user data, enabling them to target users with relevant messages. However, nine out of 10 UK users find targeted marketing messages annoying, even though 13 percent out of the 88 percent find them also useful.

Thomas Pasquet, Ogury’s co-founder and co-CEO, said: “If users feel any form of intrusion, they will be annoyed regardless of the relevancy of the message they receive. Therefore, brands and publishers should always offer consumers clear and fair choices: accept anonymous data to be collected to receive customised marketing; opt-out from sharing data and therefore receive irrelevant ads; or pay a fair price in exchange for a marketing free and data collection free environment.”    


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 10, 2019
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4min394

New research has shone a light on a potential recruitment crisis which could lead to “failure” for firms.

A study published by recruitment-tech firm, Worksome found that up to a third of new employees are not passing their six-month probationary reviews, while only eight percent of businesses feel new hires have all the skills needed for the job, costing companies thousands of pounds and creating long-lasting negative effects.

The research found that, on average, businesses spend nearly £6459 a year on recruitment and hiring. If a candidate doesn’t work out, not only are these fees lost, but the salary for the probationary period is also wasted. With the average advertised UK salary being £35k, this equates to potentially £17k lost over a six month probation period.

In total, that means that one in every three new hires could be wasting £23k for a business.

The research also revealed that over a quarter of businesses prioritise cost over quality when it comes to recruitment, but 21 percent say they later come to regret that decision. Meanwhile, 32 percent of business owners say recruiters are too pushy, and rush them to make a decision.

Hiring hindrance: Only six percent of business believe that recruiters have access to the best talent.

According to Mathias Linnemann, co-founder of Worksome, there are many reasons why a business may turn to a recruitment consultant.

“The prospect of saving time can be a major lure especially in a world where it’s essential to fill positions quickly, and promise to deliver a quality of candidate that businesses are otherwise unable to access,” he said.

“For business leaders lacking confidence in recruitment, the promise of quickly supplied talent is enough to make the recruiter’s commission fees seem worth it.

“However, our research demonstrates that the traditional recruiter method of securing talent is simply no longer working. Businesses are clearly feeling that there is lack of knowledge in their business which – in a fast moving world where getting the right skills, at the right times – could be the difference between success and failure.”

Sharing his thoughts on how employers and recruiters can ensure that they don’t fall foul of the failings in the recruitment process, he added: “With a third of candidates not making it past their six-month probationary period, we can see that something is broken in the recruitment and hiring process.

“While our research suggests pain-points relating to the use of recruitment consultants, there is no one single factor to blame. For many businesses, recruitment consultants offer a vital service and so shouldn’t be dismissed, or all tarred with the same brush. If hiring managers can feel more confident about candidates and recruits before they walk through the door, they can take back a level of control and feel more empowered to make the right decisions.”




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