This week we joined The CXFO for their inaugural London Launch meeting, ‘What We Can Do Tomorrow’, held at The Pirate Castle; a community boating charity and multi-use venue for water-based activities on the canal, as well as offering spaces for meetings and events.
The event was an informal, casual event and hosted by chairman Don Hales and Chief Executive Isobel Rogers.
After introductions from Don and Isobel, Morris Pentel took to the stage with idea’s surrounding customer emotions, staff, customer happiness and do we lose all common sense when we slip into our business attire?
It’s not rocket science but it is science….
‘Hands up who likes NPS (Net Promoter Score)?’ - Not many in the room today it seemed….. Morris suggested there was a better way to gauge customer satisfaction than a metric based upon recommendation, just how difficult it is for us to give a recommendation based out of 10 and went on to introduce the concept of ‘OK centred’.
If we think of everything in terms of OK, better than ok, not ok, there is a very simple formula to measure customer happiness and the customer experience for today’s customers.
To bring home the concept, we the audience were asked to consider a good, or a bad experience we had had, then to score that in terms of ‘would you recommend’ using 1-10, or, the OK centred model and I have to agree it made a lot of sense.
We had a video conference with Dr Richard Claydon, from Organisational Misbehaviourists, dialling in from Hong Kong. Richard talked about strategy vs culture and how hiring for a cultural fit, is not the best recruitment strategy and that winning strategies emerge from experimental ideas, allow experiments, eliminate waste, test ideas and if it works, add resources.
No company has a single consistent culture, so build communication, understanding and critical thinking.
Carole Layzell, Digital Eagle & Proactive Engagement CX Director for Barclays, was up next. Carole introduced the Digital Eagle, a voluntary movement from Barclays employees, which helps, teach and share a true omni-channel experience with their employees, customers and community.
According to Deloitte, 71% of us check our phones within 30 minutes of waking up, with young adults spending at least 5 hours each day on their phones and apparently there are now more mobile phone owners than toothbrushes.
The digital eagles run eagle labs and initiatives such as ‘tea and teach’ sessions across the UK, where customers are invited for a cup of tea in a place they can gain help and confidence with computers and the internet and ‘coding playgrounds’ which work with schools and communities to help children learn how to code – as well as how to stay safe online.
These digital initiatives, championed and supported by CEO, Ashok Vaswani, offer opportunities internally, as well as externally. One local branch which closed as it received less than 1500 visitors in a 12 month period saw 15,000 visitors to its converted ‘eagle lab’ in 9 months.
Carole also shared a touching video ‘A Life Changing Challenge for Barclays Eagle Lab, where one of their Digital Eagles, Jon, took it upon himself to design and 3D print a replacement arm for Rilee, after her Dad, Adrian bought Rilee into the eagle lab for one of their half term projects. This life changing initiative took about 24 hours and cost £7. Strong, powerful and suprising stuff.
For lunch we were given the opportunity to head out and about into Camden and their street food area, (we also got to see the original Banksy artwork, just outside the Pirates Castle for those who might be interested), as well as lock side bars and restaurants, with a view to when we returned, finding out how we rated our experience, bearing in mind, how we might ‘would you recommend’ 1-10, or, the ‘OK centred model’.
For this scenario, as with so many others, the recommendation model proved quite difficult. When asking to rate our experience, there were many factors; the food, the company, the weather (it was a glorious sunny and hot day), the price and the service…Would we recommend…..and what is the opposite to recommend? Using the OK Centred model did seem easier and less effort. Isn’t that what we are all looking for?
Next up was a line of CX expert/consultants for a Q&A;
Each expert gave their two pieces of advice on the practical steps for tomorrow. Some of which were:
The day finished with an electric guitar and hard rock message from ‘Customer Experience Rockstar’ James Dodkins.
Choose to be unique, choose to be unforgettable, choose to be a CX Rockstar!
This was an interesting event, packed full of content and with some thought provoking messages, we have only covered a fraction of it here. If you missed this one, definitely keep an eye out for the next and we hope to see you there.
Many thanks to the CXFO , Don, Isobel, Morris and everyone else.
Publish Date: September 20, 2018
In a world where customers and employees have an ever-growing number of platforms to discuss and rate your company, customer and employee experience must be at the forefront of every successful businesses strategy;
‘Businesses that have an employee, customer-centric approach are three times more profitable than their competitors on average’
A huge factor that affects customer experience, that every company can improve on and will really see the benefits from is employee engagement.
But what does that mean? Engagement comes from employees feeling good in their role, feeling passionate about the company, doing meaningful work and feeling a real sense of identity with the job. From a scientific perspective, this comes down to neurotransmitters and hormones.
Managers in a company can intentionally stimulate the brains of employees to generate dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, helping create positive feelings towards the organisation; dopamine brings the anticipation of reward, serotonin gives workers a feeling of well-being and oxytocin helps them to bond and feel connected to others.
So, how do you engage employees and in turn become a better CX leader in your industry? The key is to ensure all areas and levels of the business buy in to investment in this cultural strategy. It is imperative that not just Customer Service adopts this but that it spreads across all areas of the business; Finance, Sales, HR and Marketing.
Human Resources usually own the employee strategy, but it is really important that, in order to improve, they understand the starting point - which is how, and how often, do you monitor employee engagement within your business? There are many external companies that offer services which measure employee engagement. There are also a lot of great ideas that have been tried and tested with Customer Experience leaders that can be easily implemented in house. (Keep an eye out for my next article.)
When the starting point is measured you can break down aspects and see which areas need focus. A few examples are: internal employee communications, employee training, on boarding process, performance motivation, awards, celebrations, incentives, listening to employees, manager engagement efforts and, finally, your recruiting and hiring processes.
It is a great idea to measure throughout and beyond the cultural transformation to see how you are faring in each area of employee engagement. It is imperative that businesses continuously strive for improvement.
The process of successfully engaging an employee begins right at the start of their journey with you - their application not their start date. Candidate experience through the hiring process is vital to getting employee engagement right.
Imagine a recruitment process that is fragmented, disorganised, unreliable, poorly communicated, not communicated, interviews moved, cancelled, forgotten. You would be surprised at how this is normal for so many companies. Why would that talented, skilled professional choose to join you if this were their experience? Yet, I am sure the same company is spending £000’s on fresh fruit baskets, wellbeing discounts, pension and other benefits?
Every company I have dealt with wants to ensure that anyone new joining their business will be committed to their strategies and has the same moral values, yet for many this does not include their recruitment process.
Working in partnership with a recruiter such as Douglas Jackson enables your business to ensure employee engagement is right from the off. Working with a professional, quality led service provider, as well as our Douglas Jackson Search, digital platform, much improves your candidate experience, is more personable and a far more engaging process than a faceless ATS or automated process.
We can offer job, behavioural profiling and detailed information on a potential new employer that goes much deeper than a standard job description or company bio. Information and detail that engages potential employees from the start.
If your organisation has identified the link between Customer Experience, Employee and your Candidate Engagement and wants to act upon it to improve, Douglas Jackson Search will be a great option for you.
Please contact me for a no-obligation consultation.
Alternatively, I am really keen to hear success stories on employee and candidate engagement strategies and the ways in which businesses measure this so please do get in touch.
Anna Denning is a Recruitment Consultant at Douglas Jackson. Passionate about Employee Engagement, Anna has been a preferred supplier and account manager for some of the UK’s most recognised brands when it comes to driving better employee engagement, as well as some of the Sunday Times Top 100 companies to work for. Anna works for Douglas Jackson partnering with customer, employee and experience focused organisations, to identify, attract and hire talented, experienced professionals, who will help differentiate your business and brand, lead, develop and engage your people, driving your business transformation and change agenda.
Publish Date: May 24, 2018
What does Customer Experience mean to you?
It seems there is still a lot of confusion around Customer Experience. In an article from Beth Richardson of IJ Golding Customer Experience Consultancy investigates customer experience job vacancies. Beth highlighted something we have experienced since the term ‘customer experience’ arrived. The fact that no two roles are the same and a job title does not a job make.
In an earlier post the Growth and Development of Customer Experience, 78% of companies were already using ‘customer experience’ as a brand differentiator and this was back in 2015. With the C- Suite focussed on all things customer and with such strong evidence to support the benefit of delivering a great customer experience, it is no wonder so many organisations have adopted this term.
Beth finished with the statement ‘come on recruiters and hiring managers, don’t let customer experience become a phrase that you throw around casually’. I am not sure I agree with this thinking. The problem does not lie with recruiters, or, hiring managers using the wrong term to make something sound sexy, or more alluring. The reality is, many organisations have taken the term ‘customer experience’, to realise the benefits a great customer experience will deliver; reduced cost to serve, engaged employees, customer loyalty, acquisition and retention, however, in most cases they miss the embodiment of the concept and the realisation that true customer experience transformation takes time and a company wide cultural commitment to change.
McKinsey wrote about The road to failed customer-experience programs being paved with good intentions, in their article linking the customer experience to value. After many customer experience initiatives failed to generate the perceived value back to the business.
The truth is, there are still, very few organisations who are truly committed to a company wide commitment to delivering an outstanding customer experience, that said, it does not make each role doomed to failure, or wrong, when using the term Customer Experience in their job titles.
One of the issues we see time and time again, is a recruiter, or hiring manager who do not truly understand the differences in the CX role, or requirement and this is where bad hires start. Both hiring manager and applicant secure what they believe is a great candidate, and opportunity, which in reality will fall short of expectations and delivery. The successful hire and initiative, soon fails and everyone loses.
The question we all need to ask is What Customer Experience means to you? then set your strategy and any hiring plan accordingly.
If you would like to hire an individual who will lead, develop or manage your customer experience and need a specialist consultancy who truly understands the difference of each role, then contact the team at Douglas Jackson and see what we can do for you.
Publish Date: February 15, 2018
Wow, what a scene, it truly was a spectacular sight as we entered the grand hall at the Battersea Evolution for the ECCCSA’s, European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards.
Now in their 17th year, Ann-Marie Stagg and her team at the CCMA, Call Centre Management Association have excelled themselves with the development of these prestigious awards.
With over 1100 attendees this event is the largest across the customer service and contact centre industry. Ann-Marie and her team of judges carried out over 1800 hours of face to face judging and have considered entries from 17 countries.
The evening started with a champagne reception set in an alpine wonderland, with ski chalets, gondolas and free runner, trampolining entertainers and dancers.
Moving in to the main hall, we were greeted by the ‘voice of the balls’, Alan Dedicoat as Ann-Marie Stagg opened proceedings.
Spectacular, moving performances of acrobatics, ballet and rollerblading were interlaced between our tasty three course menu before moving on to the main awards.
The event was hosted by television presenter and journalist Fiona Bruce, who was joined by special guest and five time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave.
Douglas Jackson are extremely proud and honoured to sponsor this event, attending some of the judging site visits and our Managing Partner, Michelle Ansell was delighted to present the award for Best Quality Management Team.
The charity partner for the event was JDRF, who are funding research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.
So on to the awards and the GOLD winners were, full details of all winners can be found here:
Best Application of Technology World Remit
Best Innovation in Technology Tele2
Best Innovation in Business Transformation Genesys and DWP
Best Innovation in Customer Service Vestel
Most Effective Improvement Strategy YapiKredi
Most Effective Self-Service Initiative GoCardless
Best Risk/Fraud Management Initiative Lloyds Bank/Pindrop
Most Effective Learning and Development Programme AEGON
Best Customer Service Team of the Year (Small) East Sussex Highways
Best Customer Service Team of the Year (Large) Three(3)
Best Complaints Management Team Santander
Best Quality Management Team Barclays Premier and Offshore Quality Team
Best Operational Support Team OVO Energy
Best Multi/Omni-Channel Customer Experience Barclays Bank
Most Effective Customer Experience in Social Media Barclaycard
Best Voice of the Customer Initiative Co-op Customer and Membership Services
Best Collaboration of Marketing and Customer Service Merseyrail
Best Corporate Social Responsibility Sykes
Outsourcing Partnership of the Year John Lewis Partnership and Sitel
Employer of the Year – Great Place to Work (Small) Ops Talent
Employer of the Year – Great Park to Work (Large) Booking.com, Amsterdam
Best Multi-Lingual Contact Centre Teleperformance Greece
Outsourced Contact Centre of the Year Ventrica
Small Contact Centre of the Year Legal and General
Medium Contact Centre of the Year Firstsource, Middlesborough
Large Contact Centre of the Year BGL Group
Judges Special Award went to Presented to Pusula Call Center for their work with Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Many congratulations to all the winners!
Publish Date: November 30, 2017
8th November 2017 and the UK National Contact Centre Conference from the CCMA, held at the British Library knowledge centre.
The event, free to members was sold out with a capacity crowd of over 250 in attendance.
One particular highlight of the day, was right before the start of the conference. After taking my seat in the auditorium I introduced myself to my neighbours, on my right, two representatives from Lovehoney, Britain’s biggest online sex toy retailer, recently awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. On my left, a representative from LV=. Another hugely successful business brand, multiple award winner and one of the largest insurers in the UK with a DEFAQTO 5* rating and recently awarded Which? Insurance provider of the year 2017. As I introduced both parties to one another, Paul from LV= said to Matt from Lovehoney, “yes, we are more green hearts as opposed to love eggs”.
In addition to Paul’s whitty observation in the differences of brands, this interaction did showcase the diversity of organisations in attendance. It goes to show how far-reaching this event is. Whether you are a Utility, Insurer, Retailer, Telco, Housing Association, or Public Sector body, great value and learnings can be taken from the content rich agenda from industry leading speakers, case studies and networking.
Ann-Marie Stagg, Chief Executive of the CCMA opened the conference, sponsored by Genesys, introducing the subject of ‘The Connected Customer Revolution: How to stay engaged with (and meet) the needs of the connected customer.’
First up was Ben Page, Chief Executive of Market Researcher Ipsos Mori with ‘The state of Britain in 2017 – consumers, citizens and crazy people’; As we all know with recent surprises across our political landscape; Donald Trump, Brexit etc, predicting trends can be tricky, however there were some mega trends to consider for the future;
Technological Change - Uneven Economic Growth – Climate Change and Sustainability – Population Change - Political Change and Multi Polarity – Globalisation and Migration.
Some key takeout’s for me:
For brands and employers in general, there is lots of change and uncertainty. Overall people want to feel good about Britain and good about themselves. If we can build on these desires, we can be successful in both our employee and customer offerings.
Ben’s presentation was jam-packed full of statistics and interesting facts, I couldn’t get enough of it and took pages of notes, so apologies for any inaccuracies in my commentary, they will be mine alone! There is a report online for those interested om learning more on the subject of Millennial Myths and Realities which can be found here.
Next up Rachel Clacher, Owner and Founder of Moneypenny, a leading answering service provider, who are regularly listed in the Top 5 of the Best Companies to Work For. “Putting people first – the importance of being human”.
I almost felt a bit sorry for Rachel, pitched straight after Ben the next speaker could have struggled, I needn’t have worried. Rachel told story of the inception, development and growth of her and brother Ed’s business. With an initial £10k investment, born out of a necessity in Ed’s business, lack of a viable market offering and using their own experience of being a customer and employee, they set about founding and growing a business with a strong set of vision and values.
Without any contact centre experience, or, knowledge Rachel and team have built a business which serves over 10,000 business customers and employs over 500 FTE in a purpose built contact centre based in Wrexham.
They believe in having fabulous relationships with all clients and employees, in fact, Moneypenny are happy to ‘resign’ a client if they don’t feel they are working in partnership with the business
On the subject of robotics; “Let all the robots deal with the boring ****!”. People tend not the be very good robots, after all, we need to be continuously told what, or not what to do.
Moneypenny don’t have many rules; They employ grown ups and allow them to be grown up’s, they decide what to wear and when to take their breaks etc. Moneypenny management take performance and potential and remove interference.
Achieving 20% growth year on year with a fabulous team around them, Moneypenny you had me at hello! A great presentation from a people focussed business.
Professor Moira Clark from the Henley Business School followed: “Is Easy the new difficult?”
Moira also opened with the current uncertain times but what if you could have gone back 10 years, what would we have done differently? “invest in bitcoin” was one response from the crowd.
The subject of happiness came up, with research showing that by the age of 35 we now start to become less content with our lot. Are we are becoming a nation of grumpy old men and women?
Aging again came up as a major consideration, 30% of the population in Japan are now over 60 and 50% of the UK population will be over 50 by 2031. Thought provoking stuff.
The changes in behaviour for the Connected Customer: Spending a significant amount on their devices, 2hrs 40 mins a day, slightly less than the earlier 24 hours per week but where do we find this extra time? Because of this, the connected customer wants immediacy, (typically a response within half an hour). We also expect a rich interaction and full transparency; to know how business spend their profits, treat their employees etc.
We want a proactive service, where the customer helps create the experience/product service with customisation and personalisation.
Is it easy to be a customer?
Moira went on to talk about ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ from Daniel Kahneman;
‘Thinking is to humans as swimming is to cats. We can do it if we have too, but we’ll do anything to avoid it’
Apparently when we think more, we need 40% more calories. On autopilot we can be processing 11 million pieces of information a second, however this autopilot status also sees us jump to conclusions, which can be unhelpful and with more emotional responses. Thinking requires more effort but allows reflection and consideration.
However, be warned, asking your customers to think too much can lead to decision fatigue!:
When a retailer presented 42 types of Jam, 60% of customers stopped to look with only 3% purchasing at a value of £18.
When they presented 3 types or Jam 40% stopped to look, with 30% purchasing at a value of £120.
Making things easy is pretty difficult, we need to develop good customer insight. Companies are great at collecting data, terrible at producing insight and even worse at actioning it.
Should Marketing and Insight teams be part of the contact centre, or at least work within it?
NPS as a measurement tool is ok, but it needs explaining and it doesn’t tell us if we are easy to do business with, or to work for. Do not measure effort, measure ease, it is either easy or it is not. If not why? Then analyse this feedback and close the loop by responding to the customer.
The golden rules for closing the loop on customer easy and feedback; Make the interaction authentic, relevant, in the moment and low effort. To do this you have to map the customer journey but the key is collaboration.
Moira ended with an example from Disney’s Magic Band, a $1bn dollar project to drive out friction points across the Disney experience, working in coordination with MyMagic+ you can see more in this video here. Moira left us with the thought:
“If you don’t make life easier for your customers, your customers will make their lives easier” and you will no longer be part of the conversation.
Event sponsors Genesys invited Atom Bank to take their slot and give us a view into ‘Delivering Digital Brilliance’ hearing how the UK’s first digital bank is building its customer experience.
Michael Sherwood, Head of Customer Experience and Helen Wilson, Head of Customer Service, took us through the journey of this Durham based, low cost, no branch challenger brand and fintech, recently named by LinkedIn as one of UK’s top 25 start-ups.
As an Atom customer, you can register in less than 10 minutes using their digital app and or platform. Atom took the decision to avoid an IVR, accepting that customers who were calling them already had a problem, so it was all about accessibility. However, Helen is also focussed on keeping the size of the Customer Service team as small as possible, removing failure demand wherever possible across the business.
Mike was bought in to develop the Voice of the Customer, how they could capture the right insight and then how this was fed back; Userzoom, Appbot, Conduent and Genesys were just some of the tools used to achieve this.
The focus is to measure what matters, getting real-time feedback, with emotion mapping and actual comments allowing root cause identification, followed by action.
A customer panel records and tests customer interactions whilst in their own homes and has led to over 100 app changes and developments in 12 months!
After Lunch Ed Creasey of NICE introduced a panel debate on The Rise of the Robots -and how it is driving the customer revolution.
Ed asked, with 89% of companies competing on customer experience, why do our employees spend 80% of their time on dull and unfulfilling tasks?
Forgetting AI for the moment, Robotics removes mundane and repetitive tasks using automated processes. this can be done with assisted front office interactions, or non assisted back office.
5% of interactions can be fully automated and 30% partially automated (McKinseys).
Ed was then joined on stage with representatives from HMRC, Cap Gemini and NICE Robotics to discuss some key questions:
What opportunities do robots give us?
What challenges do robotics bring?
Where to start with robots?
One of the key pieces of advice from all on the panel; do not start with the most complicated difficult problem.
Next up, John Callachan, Managing Director at DDC outsourcing with David Rowlands, Contact Centre Sales Director UK & EMEA at 8×8 Global Solutions. supported by 8×8 John took us through the development of their multi channel, multi site operations in an industry case study ‘Sharing the secrets of modern customer engagement’
Jason Pillay, Guest Experience Manager at Premier Inn offered a bright, positive and humorous overview of ‘Premier Service Guaranteed’ using digital customer service to wow guests. Jason shared his 5 building blocks for a successful digital team.
Speed of answer is still a major digital requirement. 15 minutes is now acceptable as opposed to 30-45 minutes in the past.
“Don’t be afraid to stand your ground and be brave on digital”, Jason said. You don’t have to give them the world, if you are already offering a good service.
Use Digital interactions and insight to wow your customers.
With Twitter opening up to 240 characters, potential Whatsapp interactions for B2C in the future, interactive focus groups and bots/automation digital, how customers use the various channels is continuing to change and business needs to do the same.
If you like to be kept awake at night by a good horror story then the next session is definitely for you; Sandra Peaston, Assistant Director for Insight at CIFAS and Nikolay Gaubitch from Pindrop on ‘Protecting the connected customer’ - Contact Centre fraud techniques unmasked.
With 325,000 cases of fraud recorded by CIFAS last year, Identity fraud is rising. Fraudsters are utilising different methods and channels for fraud all the time and the age of victims is falling as we share more of our information socially and online.
Fraudsters are also targeting information we would not necessarily protect so fiercely, as they look to socially engineer information which then allows them to commit further fraud, such as opening false bank accounts to launder money. The fraudster is also using call centres to gather more of this information about the customers they are targeting.
Nikolay from Pindrop led with ‘No contact centre does not have fraud’ and a shocking statistic that 86p is the average fraud loss for every call handled in a call centre!
Fraudsters are using multiple calls, sometimes 3-5 interactions, targeting a certain account to obtain the information they need to carry out a fraudulent act.
Prolific fraudsters identified by Pindrop’s audio intelligence biometric engine such as Mr & Mrs Smith and Teen Vader are using voice altering software, or pretending to be both male and female callers and are making significant amounts of calls, 160 calls a week to target 13 customer accounts. Fascinating but scary stuff!
Last up, it was over to Suzi Caesar, Head of Customer Service at The Daily Mail Group. Suzi presented the case study ‘Turning your customers into your employees’ - a new model for the Digital age.
Suzi and team have launched a service where their most loyal digital customers were invited to provide help and information to other, or new subscribers, earning money and rewards as they go. An interesting concept, which takes onlin forums and communities to a new level, no doubt one to watch.
Phew….that is it! This event was certainly jam-packed full of content and one of the longest posts I have had the pleasure to write (and I left out a good few pages of notes). For those of you who are members of the CCMA but were not able to make it, copies of all the presentations are available if you get in touch with the CCMA directly.
Thank you to Ann-Marie, her team and of course, all the speakers and attendees I met on the day, it was a great day. We look forward to seeing you next year!
Michelle Ansell is a Managing Partner at Douglas Jackson, partnering with customer and experience focused organisations, many of which are global brands, FTSE 100, or award-winning organisations, to identify, attract and hire talented, experienced professionals, who will help differentiate your business and brand, lead, develop and engage your people.
Publish Date: November 13, 2017