Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 10, 2019
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3min345

UK Customer Experience Awards winner Feefo is revealing good news for the travel industry, with a new study showing 70 percent of UK holidaymakers believe a good experience is provided by companies.

The reviews ands customer insights firm, which won Silver in the Best use of Insight & Feedback – Solution or Programme category at the UKCXA finals in London’s Wembley Stadium last year – has published a new eBook using research conducted among 500 UK consumers.

It provides exclusive insights into fast-emerging travel trends from significant industry insiders such as Karl Thompson, Managing Director of Sandals UK & Europe; Gavin Tollman, CEO of Trafalgar Travel Group, and Austin Houghton-Bird, Online Customer Experience Manager at UK Complaint Handling Awards winner Thomas Cook.

Although the research finds most consumers are positive about Customer Experience in the travel industry, 30 percent are either unhappy or unimpressed with what they paid for. Moreover, only a little more than half of the 16-24 age group (54 percent) have a positive word to say about their most recent experience of booking a holiday.

Matt West, CEO at Feefo, said: “There are still serious CX gaps in the travel industry, even though the research is broadly positive. As our highly-respected contributors make clear, consumers in today’s experience economy value consistent quality and uniqueness over mundane factors such as price.

“The relatively low level of satisfaction in the 16-24 age group, for example, indicates how too often, younger travellers don’t find the unusual or spectacular ‘Instragrammable’ experiences they demand. Or it may be the full integration of technology which they take for granted, was not available.

Matt added: “Successful operators know they must use cutting-edge customer insight tools to understand demand and keep ahead of changes in sentiment or taste.”

 

 

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 9, 2019
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3min457

Capgemini, the digital transformation firm behind major wins at the UK Customer and Digital Experience Awards, has signed a contract with EDF Energy to revamp its CX offering.

Through its cloud contact centre solutions brand, Odigo, Capgemini will offer a Contact-Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) solution, as part of EDF’s wider Customer Experience transformation initiative. The energy supplier aims to use innovative technology to optimise the service it delivers to its 3 million customers.

Odigo will replace the existing on-premise contact centre platform with a cloud-native solution, enabling EDF to deliver a quicker, simpler, and more effective service to customers; have greater autonomy over the ongoing maintenance of the solution; and access to a full suite of features for future innovation.

As part of the multi-year deal, the Odigo CCaaS system will deliver a range of services, including routing inbound/outbound interactions, real-time monitoring, workforce optimisation, and secure card payments.

Niels Roberts, Digital, Automation and Process Excellence Director at EDF Energy, said: “Not only does Odigo have the tools and functionalities to help us deliver a great experience for our customers, but it also offers a flexible, cloud-based commercial model to allow us to continually adapt to our customers’ needs. We are excited to work with Odigo over the coming years as part of our CX transformation journey.”

Erwan Le Duff, Managing Director of Odigo, added:”Building on Capgemini’s long-standing relationship in the UK, we are delighted for Odigo now to be implemented at EDF Energy; together we will transform its contact centre telephony and support the realisation of its customer experience vision. In an age of instantaneous digital communication, effective customer touchpoints are critical to the success of an organisation – we believe Odigo’s CCaaS offering will give EDF Energy the tools to build strong customer relationships, both now and in the future.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthApril 3, 2019
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3min439

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 AinsworthMarch 19, 2019
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2min313

UK Customer Experience Awards winner EE has announced a new bonus for customers who love movies and TV.

The mobile provider, which won Best Contact Centre Large at the UK CX Awards in London’s Wembley Stadium last October, has announced that millions of its pay monthly customers will get a six-month subscription to the Amazon Prime Video and MTV Play streaming services for free.

The new offer will come with inclusive data, meaning users will be able to stream content from either service without impacting on their monthly data allowance. The deal is the latest signal smartphone users are increasingly using their mobile devices to stream TV and film content, with forecasts from last year’s Cisco Visual Networking Index report suggesting as much as 79 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2022.

Marc Allera, Chief Executive of BT’s consumer division – which owns EE – said: “It’s our ambition to offer our customers unrivalled choice, with the best content, smartest devices, and the latest technology through partnerships with the world’s best content providers.

“In offering all EE pay monthly mobile customers Amazon Prime Video and MTV Play access, in addition to BT Sport and Apple Music, we’re providing them with a wealth of great entertainment they can experience in more places thanks to our superfast 4G network, and soon to be launched 5G service.”

Entries for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards are now open, with an Early Bird entry offer available until May 31. Click here for further details on entering.

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 8, 2019
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3min512

UK Customer Experience Awards winner Business Stream has been awarded the YPO framework contract following a highly competitive tendering process.

The four year deal is worth up to £62 million and is one of the largest contracts to be awarded since the English retail water market opened in 2017.

The contract will enable Business Stream – which last year also won Best Digital Transformation at the inaugural International Customer Experience Awards in Amsterdam – to provide water and waste water services, including water efficiency solutions, to a wide range of public sector organisations in and around the Yorkshire area. Participating bodies include councils, police and fire services, universities, a hospital and over a hundred schools.

The YPO contract was awarded through the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Water, Waste Water and Ancillary Services Framework, which Business Stream successfully secured a place on soon after the English retail water market opened.

Jo Dow (pictured), Chief Executive of Business Stream, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded the YPO contract. We have a huge amount of experience in working with the public sector and are now looking forward to having the opportunity to offer our expertise and vast suite of value-added services to public sector organisations across the Yorkshire area to help them save water, money and time.”

At the start of the year, Business Stream announced that it had acquired the customer base of Yorkshire Water Business Services and Three Sixty, doubling its market share and cementing its position as one of the top three retailers in the UK water market. Recognising the importance of having a local presence, the retailer will be opening a local office and retaining locally-based experienced account managers who have knowledge and experience of the Yorkshire area and its customers.

Business Stream works with private businesses and public sector organisations across the UK. Recently it announced plans to help its customers reduce their water consumption by 20 per cent. The pledge, announced by the firm’s CEO, Jo Dow, forms part of Business Stream’s on-going commitment to promote the importance of water efficiency and to pro-actively work with its customers across the UK to reduce their water use.

To date, Business Stream has helped its customers save over 38 billion litres of water, resulting in almost £75 million in financial savings and over 66,000 tonnes in COsavings.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 28, 2019
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3min580

Skipton Building Society, which enjoyed huge success at the UK Customer Experience Awards, has seen membership jump to over one million customers following an incredible year.

The firm, which won three gold awards at the UKCXAs in Wembley Stadium in October, announced its annual results for 2018. It revealed that in the 12 months until December 31, Skipton – the UK’s fourth largest building society – saw a 91,366 (9.9 percent) increase in members, bringing the total to 1,010,426.

The growth in members was driven by the success of the its Cash Lifetime ISA, the first such product launched by any provider in response to the Government’s savings initiative, which attracted 85,948 new members during the year.

Group profit before tax (PBT) was £188.2m, 5.9 percent below 2017 (£200.1m). However, underlying Group PBT increased by 12.3 percent to £186.1m (2017: £165.7m).

Speaking of the impressive results, Skipton’s Group Chief Executive, David Cutter, said:  “2018 was another year of strong performance for Skipton Building Society in many ways, from increasing our underlying Group profits to growing our membership to over one million members.

“In 2018 we continued to enable more people to save for their future and finance their own home. And we are proud of our award-winning achievements in 2018 that demonstrate our commitment to this; we became a Which? ‘Recommended’ provider for both savings and mortgages (one of only two firms to do so) and we were named ‘Best National Building Society’ by What Mortgage? for the fifth year running, a tremendous achievement.

Skipton’s three Gold titles won at the UK Customer Experience Awards were Best Customers at the Heart of Everything – Project/Solution, Best Financial Services – Banking and Investment, and Best New Improved Product, which was awarded for the building society’s new Lifetime Individual Savings Account that is designed to help customers aged 18 to 39 buy their first home or save towards retirement.

“One of the achievements that we are most proud of over the past 12 months is Skipton’s success at the prestigious UK Customer Experience Awards 2018, winning gold in three categories, which included the Best Customers at the Heart of Everything award. This category showcases organisations in all sectors who ensure that, at every step of the way, customers are at the forefront of their thinking.

“In addition, for the fifth year in a row the Society was included in The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For.”

Entries for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards are now open, with a special Early Bird offer available to those entering before May 31.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 14, 2019
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3min726

Entries are now open for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards, which this year is marking ten years of celebrating the very best CX in Britain.

The gala event will take place on October 10 at London’s Wembley Stadium, where finalists representing some of the best-known brands in the country will gather to make presentations before an expert panel of judges, hoping to secure one of 24 category titles that reflect every aspect of customer centricity.

New categories for 2019 include Employee Experience, Employees at the Heart of Everything, Hospitality & Leisure, Retail, and Professional Services, and the awards will be presented during an evening black tie dinner ceremony.

Applications are now being taken from potential judges to join the line-up, and you can click here to find out more about becoming a UKCXA judge.

The finals, which are chaired once again by international CX consultant and author Ian Golding, is also one of the UK’s best CX networking opportunities, with hundreds gathering at the iconic venue to support colleagues and celebrate what makes the UK a beacon of customer-centricity in a rapidly changing business landscape.

The UK Customer Experience Awards is accredited with the prestigious Gold Awards Trust Mark from the Independent Awards Standards Council, and as always is proud to be partnered with Cranfield School of Management, Barnardo’s, and the Customer Experience Professionals Association.

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said: “The UK Customer Experience Awards has grown exponentially to become the biggest CX event of its kind in the world, and we are incredibly proud to be marking its tenth anniversary. Customer Experience is now a brand’s most defining characteristic, and it is impossible to overestimate its importance to the economy. These awards play such an important role in not only celebrating achievements, but also setting the standard for organisations to follow if they are to be successful in this new era where the customer really is at the heart of everything.”

Click here to register interest for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards. An Early Bird ticket offer is also available.

 

 


Brian SimpsonBrian SimpsonNovember 2, 2012
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4min532

You know what it’s like, staring in disbelief at the TV, calling the contestant an idiot because they don’t know the answer! Of course, in the warm and cosy surroundings of our armchair, we usually answer in an instant, but under pressure, we don’t always behave in such a logical manner. Who wants to be in the shoes of the contestant being pressed for an answer that won’t come, knowing millions of gazing eyes are waiting, and waiting and waiting….I’m glad it’s someone else and not me!

My train journey into London for the UK Customer Experience Awards was filled with thoughts of excitement and trepidation in equal measure. As Chair of the judging panel in my category, I felt a weight of responsibility for the day that lay ahead. Speaking to other judges on arrival, their opinions were unanimous. The finalists this year had entered the highest standard of submissions ever, so decision making would be more difficult as a result!

It was then that I thought, whose shoes would I rather be in, the shoes of a finalist, or those of a judge? I felt a strong sense of responsibility as our decisions would please one team but disappoint all the others. I thought back to my preparation when I carefully read the finalist’s submissions in my category several times over. I wanted to ensure I was fully prepared with any questions I had and all had been given equal time and thought with their submissions.

The importance of adhering strictly to this process was very important to us as judges. Although the finalists wouldn’t be aware of the pressures viewed from the perspective of a judge, as a matter of personal integrity and to do justice to the efforts made by all of all the finalists, I felt it was the responsibility of us all to carry out our duties to the very best of our ability.

It is not a cliché to say that when people achieve these high standards and deliver such great results, there really are no losers. Every finalist really is a winner, and all the finalists, in all of the categories, should be proud of the part they played in making the awards such a memorable, record breaking event.

Putting myself in the shoes of the finalists, I tried as best I could, to understand what they were going through as they put the finishing touches to their presentations and gathered their thoughts on how they would share their journey with us. Looking back now, would I have preferred to have been a finalist or a judge? Well, I’d like to leave you with the thought that it is always easy to criticise and point the finger, until it is you who is on stage or in the firing line to make the decision.

I would encourage everyone to view things from both sides before passing judgement. Think through the views from the perspective of a finalist, then from the standpoint of a judge. Imagine what it would be like to stand in each other’s shoes and make that call. After all, isn’t that one of the things we preach on a daily basis?




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