Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiJune 16, 2020
Caroline-King-1280x853.jpg

3min831

Insurance firm Ageas UK has appointed new Customer Operations Director to take over responsibility for front lines and service operations alongside the business-wide customer service strategy.

Former Chief Customer Officer, Ant Middle, now CEO of Ageas UK has created two new appointments to replace his previous role.

Caroline King (pictured), the former Director of Sales and Service, has been appointed Customer Operations Director. Caroline joined Ageas in 2014 with extensive experience of leading customer operations within the industry, and has transformed the company front line sales leading to financial benefits and award-winning initiative.

A Chief Distribution Officer will be appointed to lead both Ageas’s intermediated and direct to customer distribution channels. Significant progress has been made in the recruitment of this role, with the appointment to be announced in the coming months. The role will work with Mark Auchterlonie, Darren Whittaker and Russell White, who were appointed as Directors of Distribution last year further cementing Ageas’s commitment to the intermediated market.

Ant Middle, the company’s CEO said: “As I take on the role of CEO, my priority is to lead Ageas to emerge strongly from the current situation. We remain financially strong, we have a sound strategy, and the priorities we set out at the start of the year remain highly relevant. If anything, our experience in recent months has enhanced our focus on some elements of our strategic development, not least our desire to grow profitably over time and maintain our reputation for customer service and claims excellence.”

“I welcome the broad and valuable experience that Caroline brings to the executive team, ensuring both the customer and our customer facing colleagues are at the forefront of the strategic decisions we make.  I am well advanced in the process of recruiting for the Chief Distribution Officer and look forward to announcing that news in the near future. ”

Ageas UK won Gold in the Contact Centre Large category at the UK Customer Experience Awards 2019.

CXM had the opportunity to speak with Caroline in January 2020.


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiJune 10, 2020
Genesys_002-800x450-1.jpg

3min1220

The findings of the survey show that 71 percent of UK contact centres were not fully ready for remote working under the lockdown restrictions.

The recent nationwide survey conducted by the global leader in cloud customer experience and contact centre solutions Genesys in partnership with a customer experience technology specialist, IST, surveyed 150 UK contact centre executive and managers.

According to the results, only 29 percent of the businesses said that their contact centre were fully prepared for remote working.

Two-thirds (66 percent) had to invest in additional hardware such as laptops, networking devices and media servers. Twenty-eight percent of UK contact centres had to purchase additional remote-working licenses and an additional 14 percent had to incorporate new automation. Increased call volumes called for new port licences which were purchased by 9 percent of contact centres.

More than 80 percent of the surveyed managers said that 75 percent of their contact centre staff transitioned to remote work and more than 50 percent of the managers said they have all of the contact centre staff working remotely.

On the other hand, around 60 percent of UK contact centre managers say cloud contact centre solutions helped their contact centre operate even better under COVID-19 conditions than under normal circumstances, with 38 percent of the managers choosing cloud solutions over on-premises software.

Mark Armstrong, sales director for commercial and mid-market at Genesys: “The pandemic has put contact centres in an unprecedented situation. Businesses needed to either move staff remote, or ensure strict social distancing regulations in the workplace.”

“While businesses were addressing the health and safety of their workforce, they also needed to deal with an increase in demand. Leveraging technologies such as the cloud has provided businesses with the tools to handle the challenge, whilst ensuring high levels of service to consumers.”

When it comes to challenges of the unprecedented circumstances, ensuring staff wellbeing was the biggest challenge to transitioning to remote working, according to 58 percent of contact centre managers. The restraints of their current technology were the major obstacle for 35 percent of the managers, while an additional 34 percent were worried about the effectiveness of their workforce.

According to interaction data from the cloud contact centre platform Genesys Cloud, UK businesses faced an increase of 33 percent in customer service inquiries between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020. To deal with the increased demand, businesses chose a number of solutions – 34 percent opted for chatbots to provide quick answers to frequently asked questions. Almost 30 percent wanted to incorporate robotic process automation (RPA) in assisting agents, while 25 percent sought implementation of voice biometrics to identify callers and save agents time.


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiJune 2, 2020
savings-2789112_1920-1280x853.jpg

3min545

New research by InstantOffices reveals that UK businesses are likely to face a huge backlog of annual leave requests that could cost businesses more than £250,000, more than 8.5 million people ate currently furloughed at home.

With restriction easing as we head into the second half of 2020, too many employees may request annual leave at the same time posing a risk for most businesses.

According to the calculations by InstantOffices, the cost for companies to pay staff for a minimum of two weeks of annual leave which is outlined in the table below:

The figures are based on the average UK salary and just 50% of leave owing.

Paying out 10 employees could set the business back for more than £10,000 while an SME of 250 employees could face up to £250,000 in costs.

For a small company, paying out 10 employees for only half of their annual leave days could set the business back more than £10,000, while an SME of 250 employees faces up to £255,500 in costs.

With the working population in the UK returning to work, this is one of the businesses’ key concerns, while the government is looking at several ways to assist almost 6 million businesses who might be affected.

Lucinda Pullinger, Global Head of HR at The Instant Group, says: “In addition to the financial challenges, there is a huge wellbeing element here too. Just because we are unable to take the destination holidays we hope for, it doesn’t mean we don’t need a change of pace. The need for a break from work has never been higher. The pressures of Covid-19 on some people are extreme, and protecting mental health is key right now. Taking a break, even if that break is at home under lockdown, is still beneficial, and employers should encourage employees to take their holiday to protect their wellbeing, not just for financial reasons.”


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiMay 26, 2020
Capture.png

2min814

According to data collected by Learnbonds, the number of quarterly Paypal payments jumped 85 percent in the last three years, hitting 3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

PayPal has been providing digital commerce and peer-to-peer money transfers in more than 200 markets worldwide which contributed to steady growth in the number of transactions throughout the years.

In the first quarter of 2017, PayPal reached 1.7 billion transactions worldwide, according to Statista data.

By the beginning of 2018, the figure jumped by 30 percent, reaching 2.2 billion. Based on the statistics, the first quarter of 2019 reached 2.8 billion transactions, and by the end of that year the number hit a total of 12.4 billion, a 25 percent increase by the year.

PayPal’s major role in the digital payment landscape has contributed to building a cashless society, with continuous growth in a number of users and transactions.

Dan Schulman, President and chief executive of PayPal, said: “PayPal delivered strong results in 2019, achieving many records including revenue, net income and operating margin performance. We added 37.3 million net new active accounts, bringing total active accounts to 305 million, up 14% year over year. We strengthened our value proposition for consumers and merchants, expanded our international scope and scale, and announced transformative strategic acquisitions, investments and commercial partnerships.”


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiMay 25, 2020
person-shopping-online-3944405-1280x853.jpg

3min853

A 0.1 seconds improvement in site speed can lead to 10 percent growth in retail sales, according to new research.

The findings of the latest research report ‘Milliseconds make Millions’ reveal the dramatic impact of mobile site speeds on consumers’ willingness to spend money and engage with brands online.

The in-depth report was compiled by global data company fifty-five and Deloitte Digital, and commissioned by Google. It is based on 30 million user sessions on mobile websites of a variety of brands across a number of sectors.

Fifty-five analysed mobile site data from 37 brands from the retail, travel and luxury sectors across Europe, over a four-week period.

The results were surprising as a mere 0.1 second change in website load time can influence the next step of the user journey, ultimately affecting conversion rates.

The findings of three key sectors show:

Retail

Improvement in site speed of one millisecond across four site speed metrics made a striking increase, with consumers spending 9.2 percent more. The findings of 20.5 million sessions across 15 retail brands show that speed on product pages is essential, 3.2 percent increase from Product Listing Page to Product Detail Page and a 9.1 percent increase in progressing to Add to Basket.

Luxury

The data shows that luxury consumers seem to be the most sensitive to speed improvements. The clicks to key pages (e.g. “Contact Us”) are majorly increased, by staggering 20.6 percent, when the key site speed was improved by 0.1 seconds. There was also a 40.1 percent increase in users moving from product detail to add to basket and resulting in overall longer sessions. These findings are based on 2.1 million user sessions across 10 luxury brands.

Travel

The findings based on 7.4 million user sessions across six brands showed steady growth, culminating in a 2.2 increase in check-out completion.

Richard Wheaton, Managing Director at fifty-five London comments: “As the most comprehensive site speed research report ever completed, this is a wake-up call to brands to adopt a mobile-first mentality. The benchmarks we’ve created in this report will help brands move beyond being inwardly focused, and identify wider measures of performance that may be putting themselves ahead or behind their competitors. Brands really need to re-think their digital processes and KPIs in this mobile-first world, to ensure that site design and technical enhancements are generating the positive ROI, and not actually unintentionally harming sales by driving customers away.”


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiMay 15, 2020
meta-logo-genesys-tag-1200.png

2min1119

Genesys, the global leader in cloud customer experience and contact centre solutions helped Food4Heroes, a not-for-profit organisation deliver 100,000 meals in over a month by providing the organisation with Genesys Cloud webchat.

Food4Heroes works with local catering companies to provide nutritious and healthy meals for frontline care workers and NHS staff.

The organisation is leveraging technology from Genesys to efficiently manage the scope of demand, serving 24 hospitals across the UK, and currently employing 820 volunteers.

John Brownhill, co-founder at Food4Heroes says: “Since starting Food4Heroes we have grown rapidly in terms of the number of hospitals and catering companies we work with.”

“One of the challenges we had was that people who wanted to volunteer or donate didn’t have a mechanism to contact us immediately if they had any questions. The chat is helping us actively convert queries into donations that we could potentially lose if people didn’t have means to talk to us directly.”

The simplicity of Genesys Cloud allowed the volunteers to work quickly, regardless of their location.

“Our agents are all volunteers ranging from 18 to 60 years of age. One key requirement was to have an intuitive solution that they could use from their homes,” Brownhill explains.

“Prior to this, our volunteers had not worked with such technology, so having something that is easy to use has been a great benefit to us. Training is straightforward and something we do virtually. After half an hour introduction, the volunteers are comfortable going on queue.”


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiApril 20, 2020
avel-chuklanov-2hmXvBevyX8-unsplash-1280x853.jpg

1min671

Airline industry paid ad impressions face a dramatic fall by almost 100 percent due to the current situation caused by the COVID19.

A recent data acquired by Learnbonds shows that airline industry paid ad impressions dropped by 99 percent in the 15th week of this year compared to the same time in 2019.

Four point five million ad impressions had been bought by advertisers by the 15th week of 2019 which plunged by 67 percent, to 1.4 million for the same period this year.

In the first week of 2019, 166,747 ad impressions were bought while for the same period this year the number was 127,815. The ad impressions of the second week were 331,583 compared to 166,489 this year.

The first drop in ad impressions was noted when the outbreak started spreading across the world, causing countries to shut down borders, and limit or ban air transport. According to the report:

“Furthermore, if the virus spreads at the current rate, the borders will remain closed until further notice. This means that paid for ad impressions will remain low come in the second quarter of this year.”


Sandra RadlovackiSandra RadlovackiApril 14, 2020
person-using-black-and-white-smartphone-and-holding-blue-230544-1280x853.jpg

2min900

A recent report on online retailers by PPRO and Arlington Research unveils over half of UK customers (58 percent) would stop their purchase if the checkout process is too complicated.

The least tolerant group is comprised of Millennials (people born 1980-1993), with 67 percent easily leaving the checkout if the process takes longer than expected, along with 44 percent of customers who would not proceed if their favourite payment method was not available.

Fifty-one percent of Generation Z customers (born 1994-2001) say they avoid buying from online retailers that require entering payment credentials with each transaction.

Older generations such as Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and the Silent Generation (born before 1946) show higher levels of tolerance when it comes to online payments, with only 30 percent and 25 percent preferring one-click payments, respectively.

Convenience remains an essential to costumers in online shopping while the security of their data and money comes second, says 59 percent of the shoppers.

With over 450 significant local payment methods in use across the globe, it can be a challenge for retailers to understand which ones to offer their customers. However, this research shows how crucial it is to offer the payment methods the customer prefers. It proves that the payment methods you offer can make a break or a sale.

“Currently, 91 percent of UK consumers have used debit and credit cards for online purchases. Eighty-nine percent also confidently use PayPal or have used it in the past. Thirty-one percent are confident in using mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, and the use of bank transfers has doubled in the last 3 years. There’s a surprising range merchants must consider at the payment page to improve conversion rates,” comments James Booth, VP Head of Partnerships, EMEA at PPRO.


Peter RuffleyPeter RuffleyNovember 14, 2017
black-friday-2925476_960_720.jpg

4min709

The total online retail spend for Black Friday in 2016 totalled a huge £1.23 billion, 12.2 percent up on the previous year. But how many of these rushed, one-day-only purchases are actually kept by the customer and how many are inevitably returned?

And is this simply lost profit or is there still value to be gained? In an industry driven by intuition, at what point are retailers introducing the facts in order to learn from the sale and return trends of discount days? Is it to steer strategy for the next day? The next season? Is it at all?

So many questions.

When it comes to predictive analytics in the retail sector, how do businesses know what and how much their customers are purchasing?

With an estimated total cost of returns sitting at around 20 percent of what businesses are selling as a whole, when it comes to the key shopping calendar markers such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers are struggling to cope with the sheer demand for products and the corresponding returns process that comes with it.

Currently, this all too common scenario comes with an all too common result – piles and piles of returned goods being sold off by the pallet to the highest bidder because they don’t ever make it back to the shop floor once returned to the warehouse.

This results in a huge loss of revenue for those businesses. The cavernous gap between what retailers are selling and what customers are then later returning is enormous and it often takes businesses months to realise that a product that may have sold 100 units may have also had all 100 returned. Retailers must be able to get this data back within a matter of days to allow them to swap out stock or move it instore and online accordingly.

Shopping days such as Black Friday look great on the surface, but retailers are papering over the cracks from back of house. As the time comes for organisations to gain more insight into returns on these peak trading times to create a more joined-up culture, there often incurs heavy reluctance when it comes to technology versus intuition from the retail sector.

By using a solution that can cost-effectively and efficiently track, monitor, and pre-empt stock movements and returns to better optimise business operations in back of house, retailers will gain extensive insight into their stock and on the shelf product trends.

The key to unlocking the returns door is the data element. Although retailers operate between numerous complex operational systems, by consolidating all the data collected from those systems currently in place, retailers can obtain a single clear view of all their products and their corresponding trends.

Analytical systems can create this singular view, so retailers can quickly and easily detect issues within the returns process and adapt accordingly, such as stocking less of those items that have suffered more frequent returns and visa versa.

It’s clear that a problem still lies within the returns process for the retail sector and it can be rectified through cultural change; retailers need to align their returns process to the rest of the business and complement their intuition with the hard facts if they’re to gain value from their returns that can influence future sales.




Inform. Inspire. Include.
A free way to improve your business.

Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.


CONTACT US

CALL US ANYTIME


UK Trademark UK00002648900

EUIPO Trademark 018131832

Contact Information

For article submissions:
Editor
Paul Ainsworth
paul@cxm.co.uk

For general inquiries, advertising and partnership information:
aleksandar@awardsinternational.com
Tel: 0207 1932 428

For Masterclass enquiries:
vuk@awardsinternational.com
Tel: +44 20 86385584

Customer Experience Magazine Limited
Company number: 12450532
International House, 24 Holborn Viaduct,
United Kingdom, London, England, EC1A 2BN

JOBS IN CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Find a job in customer support with Jobsora


Newsletter