Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthOctober 31, 2019
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3min695

UK Customer Experience Awards finalist Confirmit has announced a new Principal Director of CX Consulting.

Howard Lax (pictured below) is a former Vice President, Customer Experience Practice Lead for Directions Research and held consulting roles with Kantar TNS, Harris Interactive, ORC and GfK Custom Research. He holds a PhD in Political Science from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

With more than 20 years of consulting experience, Lax has a deep background in Customer Experience,  Market Research, and employee engagement strategy. He has supplier and client-side experience in B2B and B2C space in industries like technology, financial services, retail, automotive, and hospitality.

In his role, Mr Lax will support clients in their efforts to design, develop, and implement their Customer Experience vision.

He said: “I am eager to bring a new perspective to the table, leveraging my experience and Confirmit’s wide array of services to help drive real change and better business outcomes for customers. In my experience, emotions are the driver behind the attachment a customer feels for a business. Driving a premium customer experience solidifies these relationships, and great technology is a critical enabler in this process.”

Chris Brown, Vice President of Global Consulting at Confirmit, added: “Adding a highly knowledgeable industry veteran to our team solidifies our commitment to providing our clients with access to talented consultants that can help their CX programmes drive real business success. Our consulting services ensure our technology can drive real insight and change. Howard’s expertise in customer and employee experience will help our customers further leverage our solutions to differentiate themselves from competitors.”


Phil DurandPhil DurandOctober 29, 2019
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7min1960

 

If there is one lesson Phil Durand (pictured), Director of Customer Experience Management at Confirmit re-learned as a judge at this year’s UK Customer Experience Awards, it’s that there is real value in making things as simple as possible…

The aim of Voice of the Customer programmes is not to just to listen but to act.

In order to make this a reality, not a theoretical exercise, it’s vital that we all remember that creating a great Customer Experience is all about people. It requires a commitment to empowering people to use their initiative and to make a difference at every stage of the customer lifecycle. Technology is obviously an enabler, helping us to gather customer feedback, but the people that use technology to understand and harness the insight provided are the ones that make the real difference.

In the Best Use of Insight and Feedback category at the recent UK Customer Experience Awards, we were reminded of some of basic CX truths: ask the right people, the right questions, at the right time and in the right manner.

Continuous temperature checks on experience won’t necessarily drive response rates. In some cases they can do the opposite. Hands-on support was stressed, even if this means helping execs to access and make use of the VoC dashboard. Sharing voice recordings so that managers can literally hear the ‘voice’ of the customer can provide a shortcut to understanding what customers think and literally drive action to the next level.

In my view, best practice CX requires careful identification of the key challenges to be addressed. It needs razor-sharp focus on that end goal, whether it be culture change, boosting morale, increased revenue, or cost savings.

Just as important is the determination to share feedback to both the c-suite and the factory floor so that it can be used to take even the smallest of steps to improve the customer experience. Clear and effective communication is needed to make sure that the message is not lost in translation. And this means keeping it simple. If you bombard people with too much detail, you won’t take them with you.

Finals: Phil Durand judged at the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards

Text analytics as a companion to VoC surveys has proven to be the ideal partnership in this respect. They complement each other because they provide insight into what the customer really thinks, in their own words, as well as what they may divulge in answer to a direct question in a survey.

Upon combining both forms of insight in a single dashboard, comments are longer  regarded as ‘random’ but become representative, actively bringing  ‘the numbers’ to life.

The idea, of course, is not to blind people with science or to hide behind the data. There’s no point empowering employees to go the extra mile if they can’t make sense of the insight you’ve gathered. It’s more effective to present insight in bite-size chunks that are appropriate for each stage of the customer journey and then share it in a digestible form with those responsible for delivering Customer Experience at that stage.

This is why I stress the importance of simplicity.

Yes, behind the scenes there may be some serious maths, crunching large quantities of data, but in order for people to engage with the insight there is no point in making it look more complex than it needs to be. Or making it too hard to find the nugget of insight that they need to do things differently.

That won’t empower anybody.

It’s still very true to say that people are more likely to be inspired by another person than a pie chart. They respond at a basic human level so while it is absolutely essential that we embrace data analysis in the background, make sure your employees can hear what customers are saying direct. So they can do something about it.

Not so complex after all.


Phil DurandPhil DurandSeptember 27, 2019
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10min1359

It’s not long before the winners of the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards will be unveiled.

As one of the judges, Phil Durand (pictured), Director of Customer Experience Management at Confirmit knows that success comes in many forms and that the key to continued success is a combination of evolution, and the occasional spot of revolution…

 

 

Such is the growing acceptance of CX that there are few businesses today which have not embraced customer insight or deployed Voice of the Customer programmes in one form or another.

A greenfield site really is a rare find! This is great, but it’s fair to say that whether you are ‘doing it yourself’ or doing it on behalf of a client, there may be elements that you have inherited from a previous initiative that are no longer providing the insights that you need today.

There may some great foundations in place, but your business objectives may have changed and the CX programme may therefore need a refresh.

The challenge is how do you decide which aspects of the CX programme would benefit from renovation, and which elements should be discarded? From time-to-time, you need to take stock of what is working, what would benefit from remodelling, and where you need to pour new foundations and build from the ground up.

Take a listening inventory

A useful way to initiate a CX remodelling exercise is to take a listening inventory to help you identify and increase your focus on current business objectives; improve the integration of operational data with customer feedback; better understand how, when, and what types of questions are asked; and how you can use the results (beyond improving NPS and customer satisfaction scores) to drive business change.

Note: do not assume that your CX team controls every customer survey, because you’ll almost certainly be wrong. In any large business, it is incredible to learn how many well-intentioned but often ill-advised surveys are being sent out to customers seemingly at random. Find them!

Consider the following questions:

Is anyone using the data?

If people are no longer taking action on the feedback gathered, why ask?

You may be asking survey questions that are no longer aligned to current business objectives. If surveys and reports aren’t motivating people to do things differently within your organisation, don’t be afraid to consign them to the bin.

Ask yourself what business problems need to be solved, or what business objectives need to be achieved. What should be the focus of your CX surveys? Achieving culture change? Increasing revenue? Reducing costs? Uncovering cross-selling opportunities?

Is it too vanilla? 

If the CX programme only uses surveys to gather data, it’s probably time to try something different. Try integrating background data with simple surveys to make the process easier on customers and to add depth to reporting. This will enable CX teams to more efficiency prioritise key customers and critical actions with the additional context. 

If you are not integrating operational data with customer feedback, it will be much harder to create a truly accurate and complete picture of the customer. Mapping and integrating data from across the business could help to make CX data more useful and actionable, providing additional detail and different perspectives.

Too many questions? 

This is the most common cause of low response rates and dismal completion rates. The last thing any organisation should do is turn customers away from the brand by deploying surveys that are too long.

The solution is to minimise disruptions to customers by cutting irrelevant or unnecessary questions. Try to look at survey questions from the customer’s point of view – what would they like to answer and when? Is the relationship survey being sent around a customer renewal date? Are you using triggers like when people have filed a complaint or purchased an additional product?

Are you addressing shrinking attention spans by keeping questions short and using phrases customers will easily understand? Can you replace half a dozen closed questions with more open questions that invite customers to share their stories in their own words?

If so, do it and use text analytics to mine the insight from these words.

Spread too thin? 

If the CX team is trying to do too much, there could be an increased risk of programme sprawl. This will not only result in haphazard data and customer-facing chaos but potential damage to the brand. Your CX programme must have a clear structure, a well-defined plan and a commitment to consistency. Otherwise it will be hard or nearly impossible to connect all the data. 

What is your definition of success? Is there an executive sponsor sharing the results? Is there a dedicated team responding to systematic issues customers are raising? Is there a network of frontline CX champions with a clear role?

Sharing ownership of CX across the entire business will help you to drive business change. Remember, collecting data is great but the aim is not just to analyse it but to use it to bring about business change. Can you link your CX activities back to financial metrics like an increase in revenue or cost reduction? Look beyond improvements in NPS and customer satisfaction scores.

Continuous improvement

Whether your CX programme requires a complete rebuild, an extensive remodel, or a lick of paint, completing a listening inventory will help you take a step in the right direction. Taking the time to audit the programme will help you to protect the brand; ensure the efficient use of technology and help you engage with your customers.

The single source of VoC truth is an achievable goal and if you put in place a process of continuous improvement, you will achieve your goal of delivering richer insights and enhance Customer Experience at the same time.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthAugust 15, 2019
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3min1288

UK Customer Experience Awards finalist Confirmit has announced a new Vice President of Global CX Consulting, to lead a team that will deliver CX consulting services to outstanding for clients worldwide.

Chris Brown has stepped into the role, and will ensure Confirmit’s consulting offering provides the clear, consistent guidance that its customers need to deliver successful Customer Experience programmes. Increasingly, this means aligning CX to Employee Experience to drive real business and cultural change.

Chris (pictured left) has worked with the CX Consulting team since joining the company in 2012. He has extensive experience across the CX and Market Research industries, and during his time at Confirmit has worked in close partnership with many clients to design and develop highly successful CX programmes.

His experience, combined with the team’s varied expertise, creates a world-class CX resource delivering best practices across different regions, industries, customer types, and partners.

Confirmit has been shortlisted as finalists in two categories at the UK Customer Experience Awards, which take place at London’s Wembley Stadium this October. Both entries are in partnership with healthcare provider Bupa.

Speaking of his new role, Chris said: “Technology is a huge enabler in the development of data-driven CX programmes. However, most businesses will also benefit from being able to draw upon real world experience and expertise to make their CX vision a reality.

“We work hard to form strong partnerships with our customers, enabling them to learn, apply and benefit from our experience. I’m looking forward to working with the growing consulting team to ensure that we deliver the added value that our customers require in their pursuit of CX excellence.”

Meanwhile, Ken Østreng, President and CEO of Confirmit said: “Chris’ promotion highlights the importance Confirmit places on building true partnerships with our clients. We are committed to providing world-class software but have long recognised the vital role that guidance and experience take in ensuring real business success. Helping our customers to unlock the full potential of our solutions not only delivers the results they are looking for, but also provides us with an opportunity to respond to market demand for continued innovation.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthApril 3, 2019
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3min916

2018 UK Customer Experience Awards finalist Confirmit has been recognised at a prestigious US awards event for Employee Experience.

The Tech Culture Awards recognise the “best-of-the-best work cultures within the technology sector, highlighting organisations that are committed to continuously improving the work-life balances of their employees” and this year awarded a gong to Confirmit, which is among the world’s leading SaaS vendors for multi-channel Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, and Market Research solutions.

As a seasoned technology business, Confirmit – whose Director Philip Durand also judged at the 2018 UK Customer Experience Awards finals in London’s Wembley Arena – offers the stable and secure environment of a well-established company while retaining the agility and entrepreneurial spirit of a fast-moving company.

Employees work closely together, despite being based in several offices around the world, and the company offers an excellent working culture, strong career development opportunities, and the ability to make a real impact in the organisation and with clients.

Heidi Brumbach, Executive Vice President for Global Human Resources at Confirmit said: “At Confirmit, we’re very proud of our culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing. We’re honoured to be recognised for our efforts in cultivating a flexible and enriching environment that promotes employee development and encourages innovation. Our collaborative approach internally has been proven time and time again to deliver top-notch service and reliable guidance to our customers.”

The Tech Culture Awards are hosted by TMC.net, whose Group Editor-in-Chief, Rich Tehrani, said: “The mission of these Tech Culture Awards is quite simple. We have surveyed and selected companies who are looking for the best and brightest tech talent and are willing to go the extra mile to provide what they believe is the ideal tech culture.

“Confirmit has demonstrated that they are committed to growth through providing a truly distinct and upbeat environment, rewarding employees for their contributions, and focusing on work-life balance.”

Entries for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards, which will be held in London on October 10 are now open, across 24 categories.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 27, 2019
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4min770

Confirmit, one of the world’s premier names in VoC research, has won a major customer service award in the US.

The company – which was a finalist at the 2018 UK Customer Experience Awards – claimed the Business Intelligence Solution – New Version title at the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, which were held this month in Las Vegas.

Attended by more than 650 executives from around the world, the gala ceremony at the iconic Caesars Palace venue is one of the biggest awards events of its kind in the United States.

Confirmit was honoured for enabling organisations to drive real business change from their insights and feedback programmes by helping people make better decisions and then monitoring action to ensure that they have a positive impact on key business results.

This capability is underpinned by Confirmit’s engagement technologies that incorporate action management techniques, predictive analytics, and machine learning. Businesses using Confirmit’s solutions can map and connect feedback and data sources, drive smarter decisions, and enable faster reactions. Most importantly, they can monitor the impact of action taken and help determine ROI. Two key technologies that help businesses see success include Confirmit Concept Miner and Confirmit Action Planner.

Concept Miner uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced deep learning techniques to ensure quick and easy understanding of key insights that may be hidden within text data. Action Planner empowers companies to track and monitor the impact of initiatives on business results and drive viral change.

These tools give every team member access to insight that informs smart decisions – and ensures everyone can see the impact of them – uncovering new best practices and avoiding repeat mistakes.

Michael Wooh, Chief Marketing Officer at Confirmit, said the team was “delighted” at the win.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a shift from companies focusing on collecting data to a focus on connecting data and really using it – which is what Business Intelligence is all about,” she told Customer Experience Magazine.

“Confirmit is dedicated to democratising insight – putting it in the hands of people who can use it to maximise impact and ROI.

“Most importantly, enabling people to make better decisions. It’s great to be recognised for our latest innovations and to be able to demonstrate that our solutions really drive tangible business outcomes.”

Confirmit Director Philip Durand was a judge at the 2018 UK Customer Experience Awards, and entries for the 2019 event in London on October 10 are now open, across 24 categories.

 




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