Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 8, 2019
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2min362

The UK’s employers are failing to earn the trust of staff when it comes to dealing with cyber attacks, new research shows.

The findings from insurance governance experts Mactavish reveals 43 percent of senior executives and managers believe their employers have suffered at least one cyber-attack in the past two years.

However, only 31 percent of those who said this thought it had been dealt with ‘very well’. Just over one-in-five (21 percent) thought they dealt with it ‘poorly’.

The findings also reveal that less than half (48 percent) of senior executives and managers feel their employers are not worried about cyber-attacks, and this helps explain why just 51 percent believe the organisations they work for have good strategies in place for dealing with cyber-attacks. Some 13 percent described their strategies here as ‘poor’,  and 30 percent as ‘average’.

Bruce Hepburn, CEO of Mactavish said: “The chances of suffering from a cyber attack are increasing, but our research suggests many employers are not taking this growing risk seriously enough. Given this, it is fair to assume that many have also not reviewed their insurance policies to make sure they have adequate cover here.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 7, 2019
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3min428

Scientists have found that offering employees chocolate could be the key to increased workplace productivity.

Researchers at London Metropolitan University worked with gift firm Bloom & Wild to see if offering staff chocolate and prompting the body to produce the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin played a role in boosting productivity levels.

Oxytocin is produced when people are in happy relationships and is linked to reducing anxiety and stress. A study conducted by the Social Market Foundation proved that employees who were happy reported a 12 percent increase in productivity alone.

The research at London Metropolitan University was conducted to see if receiving gifts can induce higher levels of oxytocin, leading to increased employee efficiency and morale

Dr Una Fairbrother (Head of Biosciences), Dr Sheelaugh Heugh (Head of Student Experience and Academic Outcomes), and PHD Student Elliot Kidd led the experiment and analysed the results.

They split 30 volunteers into three groups to receive a gift of flowers, chocolate, or water. They took saliva samples before the gift arrived, 10 minutes after delivery, and finally 40 minutes after receiving the gift. After the gifting, the saliva samples were tested to detect any changes in hormone levels, including those that are normally associated with love.

Higher levels of oxytocin were detected amongst those receiving chocolates and flowers, while those gifted with water saw the least change.

Dr Fairbrother said: “Participants in the study were selected randomly (only their age, gender, and date of birth was recorded), in order to maintain anonymity in compliance with data protection and the Human Tissue Authority.

“Interestingly, the results show that there was a significant increase in oxytocin after receipt of any gift. Furthermore, within this small group, the effect of the more desirable gifts, such as chocolate and flowers, was more pronounced, with chocolate being marginally on top. This is not surprising since chocolate induces feelings of wellbeing, including an oxytocin response when eaten, thus anticipation is likely to provoke a similar (if smaller) response.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamFebruary 7, 2019
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5min371

CXM has partnered with the Customer & User Experience Expo, which is making its debut at the London ExCeL on the 27th & 28th March 2019, and is running alongside four other unique industry shows at Europe’s best marketing event.

The event will equip you with the tools, techniques, and systems to revolutionise your Customer Experience, pathing your journey to success.

Over 100 experts will be on hand to enlighten visitors with the very best Customer and User Experience guidance available, while an array of the industry’s biggest brands and most innovative suppliers will be showcasing the solutions shaping the future of CX and UX, all under one roof.

Among these industry professionals are the best-of-the-best to advise, educate, and influence the development of your CX plan for your business.

Keynote speakers include:

Daniel Ord – Founder of OmniTouch International

Daniel will share multiple examples from his work on Contact Centre Mystery Shopper programs, to highlight that it may be time to reinvent your approach to quality. He will also provide practical suggestions for doing so.

Nikki Patel – Head of Evaluation for Digital Development at NHS England

This presentation will take a look at developments in digital technology in the NHS and the direction of travel for the future, to ensure new opportunities can be grasped and citizen experience improved.

Nick Iron – Lead UX Designer at John Lewis

In this talk, Nick will use principles of heuristic traps in skiing and mountaineering to illustrate some of the mistakes that are commonly made in UX and UI design, and demonstrate how, whilst rarely fatal, they can be highly damaging to our careers or business success.

For all this and more, the 2019 free ticket for the Customer & User Experience Expo will also give you unprecedented access to the Call & Contact Centre Expo, B2B Marketing Expo, Marketing Technology Expo, and Sales Innovation Expo; with a combined lineup of 1,000 cutting-edge exhibitors, 500 educational seminars, and 200 interactive masterclasses, this is going to be a show like no other.

Visit the website today to secure your limited FREE ticket.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 5, 2019
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2min286

Nationwide is the UK’s most trusted financial service provider for 2018, according to new research from experience management company and former UK Customer Experience Awards entrants Qualtrics.

The research, which surveyed 1,000 UK consumers about the banks and financial services they use, explored aspects including customer loyalty and trust, and the technology trends that are defining the future of banking.

Of the UK’s most-used banks, Nationwide, RBS, and Barclays have the highest levels of customer trust and there’s a direct link to customer engagement, with those banks seeing higher levels of loyalty, with 86 percent of RBS customers and 75 percent of Nationwide customers saying they are likely to stay with their bank for the next two years, compared to an average of 68 percent across the sector.

Commenting on this finding, Luke Williams, CX strategy lead at Qualtrics said: “It’s long been said that customer trust takes a lifetime to build and a moment to destroy. In our experience, this isn’t the case. Customers do not stop trusting brands because of one specific crisis – no matter how severe. In reality, customer trust is eroded over time through continuous, disappointing experiences.

“The brands that have come out on top in our trust index do not have a magic formula, they are simply providing consistent experiences that regularly meet the expectations of their customers. For the most part, this comes down to listening to customers and understanding the little things that define a great experience. That is where true trust, and ultimately, true customer loyalty is forged.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamFebruary 5, 2019
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3min371

Customer Experience professionals are preparing to gather in Dublin for the 2019 European Insight Exchange event.

Taking place in the Irish capital on March 13-14 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, the conference is hosted by the CXPA and is one of Europe’s premier events for sharing best practise and highlighting skills in Customer Experience.

A fantastic networking opportunity, the European Insight Exchange features workshops, a thought leader panel, and unique ‘Show & Tell’ sessions with professionals revealing inspiring details of successful CX initiatives that you can adapt for your own organisation.

Also taking place will be ‘Unwound Sharing’ forum sessions that bring attendees together for brainstorming and to receive valuable feedback on ideas. Topics covered here will include: Implementing Customer Focused Change; Going Beyond Surveys – Other Methods for Gathering Perceptions and Insights; Aligning Culture, CX and EX; Developing an Experience-Centric Culture; Measuring Customer Emotion; and Articulating the Value of CX.

The event – the theme of which this year is ‘Where is the Human in CX? – will also provide an opportunity to sit the CCXP Exam for attendees who pay the fee by February 13.

A spokesperson for the event said: “CXPA Members designed their annual Insight Exchange events to be like no other conference. These events offered in both Europe and the United States are planned, organised and executed by member volunteers just like you.

“These events are meant to be intimate gatherings with opportunities for fearless sharing and chances to learn from people who are walking in your shoes. Whether or not you’re a member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), and no matter where you are on your CX journey, the 2019 European Insight Exchange is the perfect opportunity to expand your network and your knowledge with more than 150 Customer Experience professionals.”

Two additional free workshops with a value of €1,000 are also included for those who register. To find out more about registering for the event, click here.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 31, 2019
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3min512

Eighty percent of marketers plan to take complete control of their companies’ Customer Experience (CX) initiatives over the next two years according to new research.

The findings by Episerver in its CX Today and Tomorrow report incorporates data from 100 in-house marketers across the UK, examining their views on the future relationship between marketing and CX. The data reveals that while 62 percent of marketers are already working with IT to improve experiences, less than half (45 percent) of businesses have given the marketing team total ownership over the direction of Customer Experience.

Instead, 35 percent of brands have assigned a specific CX manager or Customer Experience team – an approach that many marketers believe is not delivering the best results, especially when it comes to offering the latest technology.

Of those surveyed, 23 percent of marketers believe that their brands are still not delivering adequate customer experiences on mobile sites, while 27 percent believe they are not even delivering a high-quality experience through their mobiles apps.

Despite this fact, more than half of marketers are already looking ahead to new technologies such as chatbots, mobile games, and one-click payment technologies. In the face of these demands, many CX teams simply aren’t keeping up.

Joey Moore, Head of Product Marketing at Episerver, said: “While it’s great to see marketers taking a more active role in defining their brand’s customer experiences, the reality is that many of the basics of CX, such as high-quality mobile experiences, still aren’t being met.

“We’re starting to see too much conflict between what companies should do and what they actually have buy-in for, in the terms of organisational support and budget. In reality, for Customer Experience to pay off, investments have to be made into technologies that make it easier and more enjoyable for customers to engage with a brand.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 30, 2019
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4min379

The UK’s ombudsman system has been dubbed “as useful to consumers as a chocolate teapot” amid calls by MPs for reform.

Westminster’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Consumer Protection – a cross-party group of politicians including MPs and a peer from the House of Lords – has published a new report calling for the issue of ombudsmen reform to be referred to the Law Commission – an independent body that reviews and recommends reforms to laws.

The APPG’s Consumer Protection’s Inquiry into ombudsmen was backed by MoneySavingExpert.com, which had previously called for change in its 2017 report, titled Sharper Teeth: The Consumer Need For Ombudsman Reform.

The new report suggests a number of changes, including banning schemes that do not have mandatory membership and/or cannot enforce their decisions from having ‘ombudsman’ in their title.

Other recommended reforms are a maximum four week wait before complainants’ cases are passed to an ombudsman; ombudsman schemes to publish annual reports, including anonymised examples of complaints; and commitment to research into the viability of a ‘single portal’ for all consumer complaints.

MoneySavingExpert’s founder Martin Lewis said: “Ombudsmen should be the gold standard in independent dispute resolution, with the ability to force all players in their sector to comply with rulings. Yet not all ombudsmen are equal. Some are little more than opt-in trade bodies that firms can ignore with impunity, and are about as useful to consumers as a chocolate teapot. 

“We exposed these problems in our Sharper Teeth  report in 2017, and the APPG on Consumer Protection has agreed with many of the recommendations we made and asked the Government to refer the whole mess to the Law Commission. To be called an ombudsman, you should have the statutory powers needed to enforce decisions and be under proper scrutiny, so consumers have confidence they’ll get a fair hearing.

“Plus we need to change the antiquated pre-digital rule that means consumers have to wait a ridiculous eight weeks to escalate a problem to an ombudsman after complaining.”

Yvonne Fovargue MP, chair of the APPG, said: “We make a number of suggestions for improvement that could be quickly implemented. But ultimately, we would like to see the ombudsman system overhauled by the Law Commission, who are best able to consolidate and extend the current statutory landscape. The ombudsman system has the potential to be the ‘gold standard’ of alternative dispute resolution if the standards of the rest can be brought up to the standards of the best.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “It is vital that consumers have access to an effective, accessible and transparent system of redress. Our review of the alternative dispute resolution landscape is looking at how the ombudsman system can be improved, and we expect to publish a white paper later this year. We will study the recommendations of the APPG with interest.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 30, 2019
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5min313

Research by the British Safety Council has identified significant levels of uncertainty in the UK about wellbeing at work.

Its new report Not just free fruit: wellbeing at work, found that employee wellbeing is often ignored or misunderstood, with employers unsure how to define it or improve it, what priority to give it, and how to measure the effectiveness of wellbeing interventions and programmes.

Now, Professor Dame Carol Black, an expert Government advisor on health and work and a campaigner for better mental health and wellbeing, not only explains how it can be done simply but also the reasons why it should be done: improved welling in the workplace can improve productivity by up to 25 percent.

At a time of high job insecurity and the uncertainties of Brexit, she said: “There is no better time than now to say that we must support the staff we’ve got because we don’t know how many of them we are going to have in the future.”

Her views and advice were recorded by the British Safety Council in a series of filmed interviews about the nature of workplace wellbeing:

Professor Carol Black defines wellbeing as: “A sense of contentment which is made up of mental health, physical health and a feeling that where you are at any time is a good place to be. That good place can and should be the workplace.”

Speaking of the role of line managers in promoting wellbeing: “You have to help them understand that supporting their staff is going to give them a more engaged and productive workforce. You must enable them to do this. It’s not just about putting managers on training courses, but also ensuring that they can maintain these skills and are supported by the top of the house.

“You could incentivise them through their appraisal, which in many companies is linked to promotion and remuneration. Some organisations’ appraisals expect managers to meet certain requirements relating to the health and wellbeing of their staff. You can also incentivise managers financially.”

On measuring wellbeing, she continued: “You can measure wellbeing through sickness absence levels. You can also do this by reviewing staff turnover figures, because if staff are not content with a workplace, they leave. Additionally, you can measure engagement scores. You can also measure productivity loss, by adding presenteeism and absence levels.”

On SMEs’ requirements in relation to wellbeing, she added: “Many SMEs are very small and have limited resources, no occupational health and no HR function. Anything you’re going to offer them with regard to wellbeing has to be easily and quickly accessible. You can’t give them a large, however impressive, toolkit and expect them to read it. It has to be available online.”

Matthew Holder, Head of Campaigns at the British Safety Council, said: “We are delighted that Professor Carol Black has agreed to share her expertise with us. She is an authoritative voice on workplace wellbeing, which, although high on the corporate agenda, it is still perceived as ‘fluffy’ and difficult to measure.

“Her suggestions are accessible, practical and instantly actionable. We hope that together with the intelligence gathered in our wellbeing at work report, Professor Black’s videos will become a first point-of-call reference source for companies wishing to develop a culture of wellbeing.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 29, 2019
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3min322

A quarter of UK business customers would shun a company that had poor website usability and choose to shop elsewhere, according to new research.

The findings by full-service e-commerce agency PushON show that of the 500 UK business decision makers that were surveyed, 25 percent said a website’s usability is the most important factor when deciding where to purchase supplies from online – more so than user reviews (21 percent) or product offering (18 percent).

Aside from poor UX, the other most common issues B2B customers faced when shopping online was a lack of customer service (32 percent), issues with visualising products (20 percent), and problems with bulk orders (20 percent).

Sam Rutley, Managing Director at PushON, said: “Our research has shown that the majority (80 percent) of B2B customers would be more inclined to purchase products for their business online than in a physical store. However, our research has also uncovered that, worryingly, a large number of e-retailers do not appear to have their online offering ready for this yet.

“In a world where online commerce is rapidly overtaking the physical store, business owners need to ensure their websites are up to scratch if they are to remain competitive. Websites need to offer a good online customer experience and our research shows that they need to be easy to use and navigate, offer strong customer service, as well as clear, concise product information.

“There is no point having an online proposition, if the front end provides an off-putting experience for anyone using it. In today’s competitive and challenging retail landscape, customers expect their B2B shopping experience to match the B2C experience. Now is the time for B2B e-retailers to review their offering in order to maximise their sales opportunities.”


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamJanuary 25, 2019
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6min380

Professional salaries in the UK will remain relatively flat in 2019, as Britain’s pending departure from the EU impacts employee confidence and business willingness to spend.

The findings come from the annual Salary Survey produced by global recruitment consultancy Robert Walters.

“Uncertainty around Brexit has created a fear of ‘last in first out,’ which in turn has meant that employees are less willing to move roles as swiftly as they would have in previous years,” states Chris Hickey, CEO of the UK, Middle East & Africa at Robert Walters.

“As a result, despite there being high demand for specialist and highly skilled professionals, companies are finding themselves contending with a UK-wide candidate shortage across most disciplines.”

The news will not be met with a warm reception, as almost half (46 percent) of professionals currently believe that companies do not offer a competitive enough salary, according to recent Robert Walters survey.

However, in-spite of Brexit there will be pockets of intense hiring activity and salary increases within banking and financial services – driven by demand for skills such as compliance, risk, and audit.

In fact, salaries in Internal Audit are expected to rise by as much as 20 percent across all levels. For those in the Risk sector, starting salaries (1-3 yrs’ exp) will see a five percent growth, with this increasing at each level to 8-10 percent for those with 7-10 yrs’ exp.

It seems it is a good time to be a professional in the West Midlands, with qualified accountants expecting a 10-20% rise, and HR professionals expecting a 10% rise in salaries this year.

As one of the fastest-growing markets across the whole of the UK – growing at three times the rate of the main economy – tech seems to be the shining light for the North West, in particular in Manchester where IT salaries in the region have increased by 20 percent.

Despite employees becoming risk averse, Robert Walters data shows that it has been ‘business as usual’ for companies, with the number of jobs being advertised remaining unchanged.

“Whilst trade may be consistent, freezes on spending have been commonplace for most companies, making it difficult for hiring managers to lure candidates into job offers without an increase in pay,” said Chris.

“To counter this, businesses have been investing in themselves and their own infrastructure, in order to become a more all-round appealing place to work.”

According to Robert Walters research, 75 percent of Millennials consider an engaging and fun workplace an important part of their job.

Chris added: “It will continue to be a competitive market in 2019 and so in order to attract top talent and high-performing millennials, companies should invest in their employer brand and improve softer benefits including flexi-hours and the workplace environment.”

Career progression (91 percent), brand personality & cultural fit (58 percent), rate at which company adopts new technologies (42 percent), a sociable team culture (30 percent), and job satisfaction (25 percent) are considered the most valuable to the Millennial workforce – outside of pay.

“Our advice to businesses facing candidate shortages is to be flexible and consider hiring professionals with transferrable skills. Companies should consider taking on candidates who are ambitious and fast learners, even if they are not an exact fit for the job description, in order to support areas of growth within the business,” said Chris.

A number of companies have already started to gear up for a post-Brexit market by setting up offices in major cities within Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxembourg.

Chris said: “The UK still offers some of the most competitive salaries in Europe, however it will not surprise me to see more and more professionals move to other European countries who are known for their work-life balance and lifestyle.

“It is crucial now more than ever that employers focus on retention and maintaining headcount – variety in the job role, cross-training, secondments and lateral moves will all help retention rates with less cost to businesses when compared to introducing pay increases.”




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