In this interview, Ian – who also leads the CX Professional Masterclass and CCXP Exam Workshop – outlines the work of CX professionals, how companies test their CX offering, how organisations can change and improve to become more customer-centric, and more…
The International Customer Experience Awards is returning to Amsterdam in 2019 following an inaugural event that brought together some of the biggest names in global CX, and the very best customer-centric organisations from around the world.
Entries for the event are now open, with a special Early Bird offer available for those who register before June 12th. Finalists for the event, which is hosted by Awards International UAE & Netherlands, will be announced in August, with the gala ceremony taking place on November 21st.
The Gulf Customer Experience Awards, hosted by Awards International UAE, is the biggest celebration of CX in the Middle East and beyond, with the next awards finals taking place in Dubai next January.
As Customer Experience continues to be the key differentiator for competitive brands, leaving product and price in its wake, these awards recognise and celebrate the businesses and organisations which are truly placing customers at the very heart of what they do.
Click here to register your interest for the next awards in 2020.
Boston Dynamics demo clip shows we are not quite living in an I, Robot future – even if the machines can skate better than you can
Technology baron Elon Musk is scared of AI, warning of visions of the robot apocalypse when Terminator-esque machines decide they no longer need humans. But judging from the progress made by arguably the most advanced humanoid robots, if Terminator does show up, it won’t even be able to stack shelves without falling over.
The hilarious outtake was part of a video demonstrating the advances made by former Google-owned Boston Dynamics, featuring a series of robots including the Atlas humanoid automaton, which while impressive in many respects is far from a highly capable robotic killing machine – or job taker.
While robotics have certainly come a long way, now able to stand, or even roll on skates in a video that can only be described as the stuff of nightmares, Boston Dynamics has shown that an i, Robot-style future is currently very, very far from reality.
So for the time being, the now Soft Bank-owned Boston Dynamics may not have achieved the goal of a house robot, but at least it has provided the world with amusement at a robot that tries so hard, but ultimately fails. But maybe don’t laugh too hard, a machine never forgets.
(Reuters) – Shares in Direct Line Insurance Group (DLGD.L), Britain’s largest motor insurer, jumped to a record high on Tuesday after it reported better than expected first-half profit and raised its interim dividend.
Intense competition in British motor insurance has put pressure on premiums in recent years but the average price of car insurance hit a record high in the second quarter, driven by new rules for personal injury claims and a tax rise.
Direct Line said operating profit from ongoing operations rose 9.5 percent to 354.2 million pounds, well above a company consensus forecast of 268 million pounds, and it raised its interim dividend by 1.9 pence to 6.8 pence.
Its shares jumped as much as 7.6 percent to 403 pence and were 6 percent higher at 0900 GMT, the top gainer in the FTSE 350 index of non-life insurance companies. FTNMX8530. The previous record high was 399.1 pence on Dec. 17, 2015.
Shares in smaller rival Hastings (HSTG.L), which reports half-year results next week, were up 2.8 percent while British motor and home insurer Admiral (ADML.L) was 2.9 percent higher.
Direct Line said its solvency capital ratio rose to 173 percent from 165 percent.
It also released 49 million pounds of reserve after a review of the additional costs from a lower Ogden discount rate indicated a smaller than expected increase to claims costs.
The Ogden discount rate was cut to minus 0.75 percent from 2.5 percent in February, effectively raising the amount insurers must pay out in the event of successful personal injury claims.
Direct Line, whose brands include Churchill, Green Flag and Privilege, said gross written premiums rose 5 percent to 1.69 billion pounds in the six months, with a 10 percent rise in gross written motor premiums.
Its in-force policies from continuing operations rose to 15.8 million, up 0.5 percent from a year earlier. It reported a combined operating ratio of 88.9 percent and maintained its target of 93 percent to 95 percent for 2017 and the medium term.
Does your work have a free bar and give you free ski trips? If not, you’re in the wrong job.
What if going to work was more than just doing your 9-5? Imagine if on top of your usual salary you also benefited from a load of great perks. It might seem like a pipe dream to many but there are businesses out there with on-site hair salons, free beer on Fridays, all expenses paid ski trips and rooftop bars.
Not to mention one that offers a £10,000 bonus once you complete 10 years of service. Here we have rounded up some of the best perks enjoyed by Greater Manchester workers. Now get updating that CV!
There are hundreds of full-time, part-time, permanent and temporary jobs available on our jobs site here.
The scheme, thought to be the first of its kind, has been set up to give employees time to bond with their new pet.
BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: “At BrewDog, we care about two things above all else: People and beer. We also just really, really like dogs.”
Manchester City FC
Being a fan as well as a staff member would reap the greatest benefits at Manchester City .
Employees at the Premier League club benefit from 20 per cent discount on merchandise and are also entitled to two half price season tickets.
The club is keen to promote a healthy lifestyle and all employees are entitled to free breakfast and lunch which is carefully prepared by a first team nutritionist.
Although sugars, chocolate and red meat are out we are told the chicken, fish and quinoa is plentiful.
Employees at electricals giant AO.com may be the least stressed in the region – with an on-site pamper pad they can using DURING work hours.
The online retailer certainly knows how to look after staff as its Bolton headquarters boasts a glitzy nail and hair salon, relaxing massage room, and on-site Starbucks.
Workers can book to use the spa facilities during contractual hours as management believe ‘personal time should be spent on things that matter the most like friends and family.’
The treatments are heavily subsidised by more than 50%, with a gents haircut starting at just £3, and the cost taken straight out of wages – with a cashless card system in place.
This business management consultancy is all about Zen.
Staff enjoy free weekly exercise classes, including rock climbing and Tai Chi, to keep fit in mind and body.
They also hold a family BBQ for Peninsula employees and their children with face painting and bouncy castles. Founder Peter Done said:
“In the media, there has been a huge focus on creating more fulfilling and decent work in light of the recent scandals over bad working conditions and insecure contracts and here at Peninsula, we are happy to offer good work to all our employees.”
Not content with a cutting edge new office in Salford Quays, telecommunications giant TalkTalk have some great staff perks.
Starting with the obvious – free broadband, TV and discounted mobile packages for workers. And if they live in a superfast broadband area they will upgrade you free of charge. Bonus.
Personal benefits range from Beer Club, which delivers a crate of different craft beers every month, while others are tempted by the ability to purchase the latest Apple gadgets directly through their payroll.
Accountancy firm Sedulo are vying for Manchester’s coolest office space with a retro sweet shop, pool room and swanky bar.
Staff get to use the quirky business rooms named after influential entrepreneurs and have access to a fully-stocked Tiki bar on the roof.
The festive season must be circled in every office calendar as workers get whisked away to a European destination for a long weekend of fun and team building. These have included Barcelona, Milan and Portugal.
“The Auto Trader is a little northern secret,” says operations director Nathan Coe.
With 650 people based at its ‘super cool’ office at Number One First Street, not many people realise the sheer size of its operations right here in Manchester city centre.
But here it is and the people who work there are possibly having a great time of it.
With a beauty room, gaming area and film and knitting groups most bases are covered.
While the serious stuff looks good too – adoption leave with enhanced pay, volunteering days to spend with a charity of your choice and flexible working.
The Dash Wand first launched in the US in 2014 (though only made it to the UK in 2016), and now it’s getting an upgrade. Amazon is banking in Alexa, its voice-controlled assistant. Press a button and you can talk to it to place shopping orders, or ask it questions, or control your smart home’s lighting. (It doesn’t play music, however, unlike the Amazon Echo smart speaker.)
Alexa originated in the Amazon Echo smart speaker, but Amazon is now on a mad dash to include AI assistant in as many platforms as possible, from fridges to cars. Amazon — like Google, Apple, and others — is betting that the next big frontier for tech will be AI and smart assistants that control your home, and it’s determined to take advantage of its early start on the competition.
The Dash Wand with Alexa now means it is cheaper than ever for people to get Amazon’s AI assistant in their homes. The Echo Dot, Amazon’s previous cheapest Alexa-enabled device, costs $39.99 (or £44.99 in the UK). The new Dash Wand is going for just $20 in the US and includes $20 of Amazon credit — making it, Amazon says, “essentially free.”
UK customers may have to wait, however. It’s not currently listed on Amazon UK, and Amazon’s tech products often launch months or even years later in the UK compared to the US. A spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Here’s a video of the Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa in action:
Google has released a pair of new ads to promote its connected home speaker Google Home. The ads arrive alongside a current Google Home sale, and both embrace that playful style common in a number of the search giant’s commercials.
The videos make use of almost identical visuals — featuring a slow zoom into a Google Home speaker that appears to be sitting on a kitchen counter, and the same voice actress, but they cover different aspects of the Google Home experience.
One is concerned with impressing your friends with TV casting and music streaming, while the other focuses more on what it can do as a personal assistant. Take a look at them in the videos above and below.
Google seems to be targeting a relatively young audience with these commercials — using phrases like “oh-em-gee” (OMG) and situations like showing the Google Home off to friends — while its Super Bowl commercial was more family-oriented (and even featured presumed retirees making use of it).
Whoever they’re for, it looks like smart speakers could be here to stay, with Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Essential, and possibly even Samsung, all now involved in their production.
For more on the Google Home, visit our full review at the link.