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cust mer engagement issue ten

ISSUE TEN

January 2013

JANUARY 2013

The official magazine of the Customer Engagement Network www.customerengagementnetwork.com

Exclusive report on our Exclusive on our Multichannel and Financial Customerreports Engagement Summit voted Services Engagement Directors the bestCustomer customer event of the year Forums


Time: Venue:

9:00am – 5:00pm Gallup, The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6HS

For more information contact Chris Wood: chris@ictcomms.com and +44 (0) 1932 341828 or visit our website: www.customerengagementnetwork.com

Speakers todate include: • Matt Kemp, Customer Service Director, Lebara, Case Study • Dara Nasr, Director, Twitter, former Head of YouTube • Charles Breslin, Head of Customer Service, British Gas, Case Study • Andrew Cocks, Former Senior Employee Engagement Specialist, HSBC • Mark Bradley, Case Study: Voice of the Football Fan • Alex Nisbett, Case Study: 'London 2012' • Qaalfa Dibeehi, COO, Beyond Philosophy • Jay Freeman, former Exec VP, Wells Fargo Bank Delegates will learn: • How world class organisations are successfully implementing voice of the customer and customer feedback strategies to improve customer service and enhance customer loyalty • How focussing on taking a holistic view of customers can improve your customer engagement and measurement strategies and gain competitive advantage • How the proliferation of customer feedback and measurement channels including social media and increasingly mobile is changing how organisations interact with their customers across those channels • The latest trends in the relationships between organisations and their customers as the Voice Of the Customer plays an increasingly pivotal role in service and product development • The performance and profitability benefits that can accrue from the customer insights gained from effective feedback and Voice Of the Customer strategies • How organisations who implement strategies that enable them to feedback positively to customers on the feedback they receive can gain market share and boost the bottom line.

Voice of the Customer 14th February 2013, London Customers are playing an increasingly important strategic role in the development of organisations’ services and products across channels and the Voice Of the Customer is critical to the development of customer engagement strategies. Strategies around customer feedback and feeding back on feedback, closing the feedback loop, are business critical issues. This Directors Forum will examine the key challenges and issues facing customer experience leaders that are impacting feedback, and Voice of The Customer strategies as customers increasingly become a central part of the development of engagement strategies.

Register Host Partner

Sponsors

FREE TO ATTEND FOR CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT PROFESSIONALS

http://vocforum.eventbrite.co.uk


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Why 2013 will be the year of living dangerously - for some With tough economic times prevailing, and all the signs pointing to conditions remaining difficult for the next five years, the importance of relevant customer engagement as a competitive differentiator is going to continue to grow This is one of the key messages in our ‘Danger Ahead’ Cover Story in this issue and it was also one of the main themes that emerged from our Customer Engagement Summit at the back end of last year – an event attended by 350 delegates and hailed as THE best customer event of the year. There has never been a more critical time for organisations to be relevant to their customers and to be willing to engage with those customers at times and across the channel(s) that suit them. As leading economist Roger Martin-Fagg said so eloquently in his opening keynote to our Summit the organisations that deliver value and relevance to customers are the ones who will survive and indeed thrive in these most difficult of times. Of course those who do not deliver value and relevance, step forward Comet, Jessops and HMV, are really in the deep stuff.

A perfect storm When we launched the Customer Engagement Network close on four years ago now it was because we saw what we believed was coming - a ‘perfect storm’ created by the global financial crisis and the technology-driven emergence of a proliferation of new channels to market, led by social media and the mobile channel, that together would act as a catalyst changing customer behaviour: and by the customer we mean internal customers - employees - as well as external customers. Those dramatic changes in customer behaviour and customer expectations are now having an equally dramatic impact on how organisations who want to be successful in the long term need to interact with those customers. If anything the pace of

that change is accelerating and those organisations that ‘get it’ will continue to reap the benefits of that customer insight and understanding while others will continue to fall by the wayside.

Winners and losers It was telling that the managing director of John Lewis, in announcing fantastic festive trading figures at the beginning of the year, predicted that there will increasingly be ’winners’ and ‘losers’ as customers differentiate between those organisations that offer relevance and value and those that don’t. And of course customer behaviour in the retail sector is being mirrored in all other industry sectors. At the Customer Engagement Network our brief is to help our 20,000 plus community of executives working in organisations across all business areas and both in the private and public sectors, to develop and implement the winning customer engagement strategies that relevance and value will deliver. This is what we are doing through the pages of Customer Engagement magazine and also through our various online offerings, and our roster of highly regarded face to face Directors Forums, culminating in our Customer Engagement Summit towards the end of the year. Details of all our offerings are of course on our website www.customerengagementnetwork.com So please do engage with our network through 2013 and get access to all the tools and techniques you need to be relevant and valuable to your customers in this year of living dangerously. Steve Hurst, Editorial Director, Customer Engagement Network

Have your say - if you have any feedback on this issue of Customer Engagement share it with us by sending a text message, starting with the word ‘Engage’ to 66099.

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Customer Engagement Gets Networked Try our new Customer Engagement Network website for size www.customerengagementnetwork.com


Customer Engagement magazine is published by the Customer Engagement Network, the organisers of the Customer Engagement Directors Forums.

www.customerengagementnetwork.com

contents To join the Network (free membership) and receive weekly Alerts, Digital Magazines and Invitations to the Directors Forums go to www.customerengagementnetwork.com Editorial Director: Steve Hurst steve@ictcomms.com Sales & Marketing Director: Chris Wood chris@ictcomms.com Tel: +44 (0) 1932 341828 Customer Engagement ©ICT Communications Ltd

News Beat

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The rise and rise of the analytical customer. Mediocre managers the killer of employee engagement. Banks going mobile and coming onshore. Four in five customers will pay extra for a better experience

Cover Story Dangerous times for corporates who fail to engage their customers

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Stephen Hewett contends that many larger organisations are losing market share by navel gazing when leaders should be spending their time engaging increasingly savvy customers operating in an omnichannel environment

The Big Interview So what is the future for employee and customer engagement?

11-13

The business critical relationships between employee engagement, customer engagement, performance and profitability are being increasingly recognised, but what is the way forward for employee engagement? Andrew Cocks, former senior employment engagement specialist at HSBC and Questback consultant, has the answers

What future for the contact centre in a multi-channel world?

14-15

The latest Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report reveals a fundamental shift that has far reaching implications says Paul Scott

Customer Engagement Summit best customer event of 2012

16-17

Accolades are pouring in from delegates, presenters and sponsors of the Customer Engagement Network’s inaugural Customer Engagement Summit .Steve Hurst reports

Eight ways to embrace omni-channel retailing

18-19

Omnichannel retailing came of age in 2012 and is is crcitical for retailers to embrace the new reality is they want to survive and thrive says Darren Vengroff who shows us how

Why a culture of ‘Investors’ builds a culture of customer service

20-21

Jane Sparrow looks at the critical role that managers play in linking employee engagement to customer engagement, performance and profitability

Self-service and contact centres - more haste and less speed

25-27

Andrew McNair examines how organisations are failing to learn the lessons around customer self -service in an increasingly omnichannel business environment and how the scramble for engaging across new channels is having a detrimental effect

Stuck in noughties? Failing to live up to the ‘Big Data Promise’?

28-29

In the era of Big Data, companies must capitalise on the bombardment of new types of information – identifying and harnessing it to better engage customers and prospects says Caspar Craven

The Final Word Are you measuring your real customer experience?

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What has buying a new pair of shoes got to do with customer feedback and experience - Colin Shaw has the answer

Editorial Advisory Board Dr Guy Fielding, Richard Sedley, Rod Butcher, Hugh Griffiths, Marcus Hickman, Karine Del Moro, David Cottam, James Rapinac, Crispin Manners. Professor Moira Clarke, Professor Katie Truss, Mike Havard

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s t new bea Four in five customers will pay more for a better experience Customer Experience is now a key driver of revenue growth in Europe, providing an effective medium for brand differentiation in a globalised economy where products and services are increasingly commoditised. Oracle research shows almost half of customers will pay a minimum 5% premium for superior customer experience. The research report, entitled 'Why Customer Satisfaction is No Longer Good Enough', revealed that 81% of consumers are willing to pay more for a superior customer experience, with nearly half (44%) saying they are willing to pay a premium of more than 5%. shurst1 This article is copyright 2013 TheWiseMarketer.com). Key drivers cited by consumers for spending more with a brand included: • Improvement of the overall customer experience (40%); • Quick access to information (35%); • Making it easier to ask questions (35%). But, in addition to driving new revenue growth, a good customer experience was also found to be essential to protecting existing revenue channels, with 70% of survey respondents saying they had stopped doing business with a brand following a poor customer experience. More

worryingly, 92% of those had gone straight to a competing brand and made a purchase. With fewer than one quarter of consumers (22%) being "nearly always satisfied" with their customer experience, there is a clear opportunity for brands to improve customer service to win market share from competitors. The survey also identified five simple steps that businesses can take to benefit from the opportunities provided by a more positive customer experience. Consumers said that the top five changes to customer experience that would lead to them spending more money with a company are: 1. Improvement in the overall customer experience (40%); 2. Ensuring questions can be asked easily and information accessed before making a purchase (35%); 3. Adopting an easy return policy (32%); 4. Improving the overall website usability and search functionality (26%); 5. Providing customers with a more tailored/personalised shopping experience (20%). Consumers are generally unhappy with the amount of work involved in most customer

experiences, with 82% describing their experiences as "requiring too much effort", suggesting that brand loyalty may be closely linked to ease of communication. Respondents cited "having to use different methods of contact to resolve an issue" (26%) and "using different methods several times" (24%) as the main points at which dealing with customer service requires too much effort. Businesses wishing to benefit from the revenue implications of providing a good customer experience therefore need to focus on making their customer interactions as simple as possible, the report concluded. The study also found that many organisations are failing to make the most of the customer experience opportunities available to them through social media channels, with only 46% of respondents claiming to have received a reply from a company after posting a comment.

Banks going mobile and coming onshore Banks will start exploring cost effective ways to bring operations back on shore in 2013, as they strive to meet regulatory targets and continue to drive down costs to satisfy liquidity requirements. In its predictions for 2013, Certeco flags up the fact that financial services organisations will be adopting “smart” regulatory compliance in 2013, as banks in the EU gear up for Basel III. Smart compliance will be adopted in response to pressure to deliver business-focused change alongside regulatory compliance. Certeco’s predictions, which have been developed following qualitative research amongst clients and partners, also include: • Focus on mobile: there has been a sharp

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increase in the availability of sophisticated mobile technology. We see that there will have to be a rapid acceleration in the way banks provide services across mobile to keep pace with other sectors and prevent them being impacted by P2P providers (eg PayPal). • The rising use of “Digital Natives”: Certeco predicts an increase in the employment of digital natives (young people who have grown up with technology) at financial services companies in 2013, as banks start to realize the benefits of employing consultants with innate technological knowledge and the fresh insight they can bring to business technology change programmes.

• Digital Customer Touchpoints: the financial services industry has a lot of catching up to do in terms of mapping their “touchpoints” (i.e. all the ways in which they engage with customers) and also how they use social media and other emerging technologies. In terms of customer service they are a long way behind other industries, such as retail, and this will be a major focus for them in 2013. • Transformation in the insurance space: this industry tends to follow the banks, so with regards to mobile services, digital communication and developments in customer service. Mobile presents an opportunity to build stronger customer relationships and combat the comparison industry and Certeco predicts a sharp rise in insurance innovation in 2013.

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Mediocre managers the killers of employee engagement Not taking responsibility, passing on stress, panicking about deadlines and telling staff what to do rather than consulting them, are some of the worst attributes of bad managers. These characteristics are identified in new research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) alongside some of the more obvious ‘David Brent’ style behaviours, such as inappropriate humour or favouritism, as ways in which managers undermine employee motivation and wellbeing. These CIPD research, ‘Managing for sustainable employee engagement: Developing a behavioural framework’, pinpoints how managers need to behave to get the best out of people, by both engaging employees and preventing and managing stress.

The rise and rise of the analytical consumer IBM has conducted research that shows how consumer behaviour is radically changing in a world increasingly dominated by online and social media. Polling opinions from over 2,000 individuals across the UK, the research shows that despite living in an age of information overload - consumers are becoming more analytical in the way they make decisions, developing formidable filtering and comparison skills in order to rapidly make judgements in all areas of their lives. The research shows that: •

The report highlights how managers who are calm under pressure, invest time in talking to their staff, get to know them as individuals and discuss their career development are likely to benefit from higher levels of employee engagement and lower levels of stress and absence. These characteristics are among a number of positive manager behaviours identified by employees as encouraging them to go the extra mile at work, while also supporting their wellbeing. The research found that managers are more like to motivate and retain their employees if they: consult people rather than simply telling them what to do; take responsibility if things go wrong or mistakes are made and; who regularly ask staff if they are OK, are more likely to motivate and retain their employees. The research is based on analysis of responses from more than 500 employees and 120 managers.

62% of consumers think the internet and social media has made decision-making easier than five years ago Broadcast media is (TV & radio) is on average five times less influential on decision-making than online sources Young adults (18 -24) are twice as likely to use social media to research purchases as the 35+ age bracket Consumers now value online ‘crowdsourced’ word-of-mouth – such as opinions on review sites – as much as the opinions of friends and family Spelling and grammar have a significant influence on whether opinions are trusted or not – particularly among young adults

When browsing across social media, forums and review sites, consumers are increasingly applying cross-checking and filtering processes as a matter of course. Just as public and private sector organisations have recognised the value of ‘Big Data’ as a way of understanding their customers better, consumers are learning to analyse multiple sources of information to make more informed decisions. The next generation of consumers is set to be even more analytical, as they increasingly use online sources to aid decision making. For example, 18-24 year olds are twice as likely to use social media to research purchases as the 35+ age bracket. Young consumers also rated the influence of social media more highly than all other age groups when making everyday decisions. The research gives an insight into how being

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more analytical is affecting all aspects of our decision-making. As well as advice from friends and family and Ofsted reports, almost a third of parents consult parenting websites before choosing schools for their child. Again, the new generation of analytical consumers is more likely to use online data sources to make decisions, with 39% of 2534 year olds saying that they would visit a site such as Mumsnet before choosing a school. However, despite the growing influence of user-generated opinions online, the analytical consumer is still quite traditional in the way they judge the worth of these opinions. The research shows that over a third of consumers (35%) say that good spelling and grammar is an important factor when weighing up the value of user reviews. Perhaps most surprising is that 40% of 1824 year olds are influenced by poor spelling and grammar, higher than the average across age groups. And for those companies that think a sophisticated website with cool graphics is the way to the analytical consumer’s heart, here’s a wake-up call: ease of access still wins out over style (58% compared with 24%). “This research shows that, rather than struggling to deal with information overload, modern consumers are proactively using the abundance of data sources available to them to be more savvy about the decisions they make,” commented Vivian Braun, consumer analytics expert at IBM. “In particular, the upcoming generation of consumers are very comfortable with jumping between multiple sites and forums, polling opinion and cross-referencing information to research everything from their latest music download to their next job.” “If businesses want to develop personal relationships with their target audiences and they absolutely should do - then they need to understand what’s influencing their decision-making,” continued Braun. “To do this, the use of tools such as social media analytics - which enable companies to derive real-time insights into consumer preferences and drivers of behaviour – will inevitably become more widespread. Ultimately, as consumers get more analytical, so must the companies and organisations they interact with.”

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out is taken e v ti u c xe ll senior e f a sma harge o a jaded c n e in h t e u w p d th that ent and hundre ccident ut of a nvironm o e It’s no a s te e en the s h ra a ine c corpo mist w n e g ty rg in e n la r in o e of a up, in n kly as m joying th s startas quic ve is en ti s u e c h e is busines x n e sy va e nment oisy, bu resto, th e hot, n disillusio . Hey p e th mall t in s a h s e g rts to y if th p workin p in a a h g sun sta a ers t of custom itemen to keep raw exc g s. in s d e e busin e of ne stay in coalfac to g in s is go busines park ed ity the s sinesses (and inde ic r t n e er c ark, all bu Custom an’t all work in sm we need some sp at em), we c ause th rk in th But as ers at will c t to wo n th a n ur care w io o ll s are in e pas fl don’t a m y, to o s s rc y t, iera h alwa atalys orate h mal joy rp ri some c o p c d e n 0 th t7 ental a climb in end tha fundam high we ts to sp e w g an o it h th r r g e rathe mptin no matt e stuff how te s r u e o h tt a m n in and no ergies o f our en o t n e perc ers. custom r on our ustome ion is c s s a p nd talyst a ark, ca p s t a h T ity. e centric ity is th r centric e m to ir s e nd th vel, cu mers a rsonal le gy t custo u o At a pe l strate b a isationa aring n c a f o rg o ty and quali also an ividual . But it’s very ind e t a agenda th ring at ensu aimed

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“Customer centricity is an organisational strategy aimed at ensuring that every individual and department takes every feasible step to add value to what the organisation does for its customers”

department takes every feasible step to add value to what the organisation does for its customers.

Stephen Hewett is a member of the Institute of Directors and a partner at Charteris plc. www.charteris.com

Customer centricity needs to be delivered by the people who work in the front line and interact with customers, yet those front-line people are only going to fulfil their own potential for being customer-centric if they feel inspired by those who lead them. You can’t command your employees to be customer-centric, any more than you can command people to be charming. But you can inspire staff to be both customer-centric and charming. So how do you assess, right now, how customer-centric you are?

Ask your customers A good start is to make sure that your organisation is run so that some impartial observer (who might indeed be one of your customers) can answer all the following questions with an emphatic, and ideally an enthusiastic, affirmative: • Does your organisation make it easy for customers to deal with you? • Does your organisation give customers an enjoyable experience? • Do your customers feel you understand them?

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• Do you know what customers want from you now? • Do you know what customers are likely to want from you in a year’s time? • Are you continually improving the customer experience? • Do you offer customers products and services that delight them? Tips for winning affirmative answers to these questions: • Don’t use your mission statement as an excuse to pontificate; use it to express the core of your organisational credo - that you’re in business to sell things to your customers that they love. • Yes, you can inspire your customer-facing staff to be charming, but make charm a major recruitment criterion as well. • In your call centres, arrange things so that customers get their call answered quickly by someone well-trained who can handle all their queries. Don’t pass customers around from one department to another. • Re-assess your customer needs at boardroom level at least quarterly and ensure that your responses to those needs are embodied in your business processes, products and services. • See technology as, above all, a way of bringing you opportunities to provide your customers with new products and services that are relevant to them.

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The business critical relationships between employee engagement, customer engagement, performance and profitability are being increasingly recognised, but what is the way forward for employee engagement? Customer Engagement Editorial Director Steve Hurst has the questions and Andrew Cocks, former senior employment engagement specialist at HSBC and Questback consultant, has the answers

• First off Andrew tell us a bit about your background and your involvement in the fields of employee and customer engagement? After I finished a Masters degree in Psychological Assessment about 15 years ago, I joined ORC International’s new employee research team. At this time employee engagement was a very new concept and there was a burgeoning interest in this area. Many of the organisations that we worked with used ORC for both their employee and customer

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research so even in these early days it seemed natural to look to link the two and by extension to investigate the impact of employee engagement on other outcomes such as retention and business performance. Since then I have worked as a management consultant and in-house as head of employee engagement, and designed and managed many global employee engagement programmes, but have never lost an interest in how engagement impacts upon organisational performance.

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As far as the establishment of a link is concerned, as many of the consultancies have discovered, it is relatively easy to show a relationship between macro levels of organisational employee engagement and performance metrics such as total shareholder return. This does nothing to help illustrate a causal relationship as when shareholders are happy and organisations are performing well, the pressure’s less intense, bonuses are paid and restructures are much less likely, all of which can erode employee engagement. What is far more difficult for organisations to establish is a model of how employee engagement drives improved business performance for them. In most instances the difficulties arise from the fact that employee and customer research programmes are designed and managed independently, usually by HR and Marketing respectively, usually with the help of different external agencies. The other major problem is that, for employee surveys especially, a different reporting hierarchy is used from that used for the reporting of other business metrics making linkage of the two extremely difficult. My advice to them would therefore be to firstly to take a holistic approach to the design of employee and

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customer surveys, ensuring that they are both thematically and structurally linked. Secondly, I would urge organisations that do not already do so to attribute the data that they collect from their employees to link it to other HR data they already hold. This greatly increases the power of the insights they can derive through looking at retention and turnover, individual performance and other demographics in conjunction with engagement levels. Thirdly, I would say rather than looking at an organisational level, I would think strategically to try and maximise your chances of success by identifying smaller subgroups or teams where you can show over time how changes in employee engagement have led to changes in performance. This will almost certainly be where employees have a direct impact upon performance metrics you gather. The most obvious places to start are customer facing staff, sales staff, account and relationship managers for example.

• You have said that technologies exist now that can drive a real sea change in employee engagement research – what form should this sea change take? The technology already exists to allow organisations to take much greater control over their research programmes and to get much more from their budgets than ever before. There is no longer a need to be reliant on expensive external consultancies for the online data collection and reporting elements of surveys, areas where they actually add very little value. Effective use of technology in-house will increasingly give organisations greater control and self-sufficiency to respond quickly to changing circumstances and an immediate means of gathering targeted feedback whenever they need it. The latest platform technology can enable a more personalised, employee-centric focus for an employee research process which provides a comprehensive view of employee engagement across all stages of the employment lifecycle. This kind of employee relationship management approach ensures a detailed understanding of the events that are most influential in engaging or disengaging employees. Static and interactive data reports are available in real time on demand based on predetermined hierarchies. The systems can also be set up to prevent oversurveying of any particular individual within a specified period of time and even to draw representative samples of relevant

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• Many organisations seem to struggle with the way they measure employee engagement and its link to customer engagement, performance and profitability – what advice would you have for them? Firstly, we need to fundamentally re-evaluate existing models of employee engagement and question whether they are really fit for purpose. Most, if not all, effectively fail to take account of emotional engagement and alignment to organisational objectives, two of the factors which play the biggest part in driving organisational performance.

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employee groups if required. All of this is possible without compromising respondent anonymity. The ability to host all manner of surveys using the same technology will also greatly facilitate the strategic linkage of different data, be it employee or customer data, HR or business metrics. This might sound even more complicated and expensive than traditional methods – but is doesn’t have to be. The best technology can save both time and money. • How often should organisations survey their employees and what form should these surveys take? The model where employees are surveyed solely through a regular generalised employee engagement survey is no longer fit for purpose. While it is certainly desirable to gain a macro view of engagement and employee opinion periodically across the whole organisation this alone is not a flexible or engaging approach, nor does it allow more frequent feedback at key times, such as the first year of employment. The data collection platforms can for example be programmed to work in conjunction with HR information systems to gather specific data at the appropriate time in an automated way. This can be done following induction, training, management or structural changes, key stages in the performance management process or exit. What organisations now demand is the speed and flexibility to gather employee data when they really need to in a targeted way. Employees are also looking to provide feedback when they need to and want to. This will inevitably incorporate more effective use of social media channels as a means of engaging with employees and customers on an ongoing basis. • It is often said that people join organisations and leave line managers – what’s your take on this? This is a well-worn phrase, but while there is a lot of truth to it, it only tells half the story. Engaging managers who energise and inspire employees to perform to the best of their abilities are the exception rather than the norm. The fact is relatively few people leave an organisation as a direct result of a poor relationship with their manager, many more drift away or stay and perform at a suboptimal level due to ineffective management. We also need to look at who we are losing and keeping. Unfortunately, most employee surveys do a pretty poor job of assessing management performance as they usually focus on generalised attitudes towards managers rather than what managers actually do and how they do it that makes them effective. A lot of what effective managers need to do, including providing stretching goals and

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“We need to fundamentally re-evaluate existing models of employee engagement and question whether they are really fit for purpose. Most, if not all, effectively fail to take account of emotional engagement and alignment to organisational objectives”

challenging poor performance, risks denting engagement in the short-term and perhaps increasing turnover amongst lower performing staff, but will ultimately increase engagement and the retention of top performers. • Finally what is the role of leadership in employee and customer engagement and where do you see this sector in five years from now? When you experience a high-engagement, high-performance workplace, be it as an employee, a customer or a visitor, you know it. The difference is palpable, there’s a buzz, a common purpose and a genuine concern for service quality. People feel confident about being themselves at work and are able to make a real difference. Whenever I have experienced this kind of working environment (which has sadly been all too rarely) one common factor is always the leadership. In every case the senior management ‘get it’. They understand the power of maintaining an engaged workforce and this influences everything that they do. Employee engagement is not an HR initiative, but is woven seamlessly into the organisational culture and practices. Without the right leadership, this simply just isn’t possible.

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“These days a call to the contact centre is likely to be a customer’s second choice – a last resort turned to when other channels have failed to satisfy”

The latest Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report reveals a fundamental shift that has far reaching implications says Paul Scott

Paul Scott is Director of Strategic Partnerships at customer management specialist, Merchants. Contact him at paul.scott@merchants.co.uk

Given the familiarity we all have with contact centres today, it is sometimes hard to remember that they’re actually a fairly recent phenomenon, introduced by organisations principally in the US and UK in the early 1980’s to provide centralised services to their customers. Using a combination of telecommunications, information technologies and skilled workers, they have delivered previously unimaginable levels of access for customers and efficiency for organisations.

migrate to lower-cost communication channels in search of ever greater efficiencies. In the 2010’s it’s all change again. The telephone-based contact centre, until now the central pillar of customer contact strategy for most organisations, is evolving into a full blown support function for other, digital, channels that are beginning to replace the telephone as customers’ channel of choice. As we can see clearly from this table, the proportion of telephone interactions with contact centre agents relative to digital interactions is in rapid decline.

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For fifteen years the Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report has tracked the evolution of customer management, acting as a bellwether for the customer management industry.

Evolution of non-face-to-face interactions 1990s

2000s

2010s

Human agent

90%

65%

33%

Email

5%

9%

15%

DTMF IVR

3%

7%

7%

Speech IVR

2%

4%

Web (all devices)

12%

30%

Other

5%

11%

Change is accelerating Their role, however, is progressively changing and, as the Benchmarking Report reveals, that change is accelerating. In the 1990’s telephone-based contact centres replaced face-to-face as the primary customer communication method. During the 2000’s the trend towards multi-channel communication began, chiefly driven by organisations’ wish to

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Source: Aggregated data from Merchants’ Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report

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customer engagement

During the 1990’s, around 90% of all communications with the contact centre were telephone based and involved a live agent. This has now reduced to 33%. Web interaction (via fixed or mobile devices) now accounts for around 30% of all customer service volumes.

Customers driving change The vastly accelerated drive to self service channels that we are seeing today is chiefly being driven, not by organisations seeking to reduce costs, but by consumer demand for greater convenience and 24-hour service in a highly connected world. The unprecedented rise of smart phones and mobile communication is driving this evolution, giving rise to an expectation for easy-toaccess, constantly available service via mobile devices. The age of multi-channel customer contact has truly arrived and the dominance of the ‘physical’ contact centre is under threat. This has a raft of implications for enterprise-wide customer engagement strategies, but let us limit ourselves, for the moment, to considering its impact on contact centres and the people who work in them. The ability to filter a high volume of contacts via self service is relieving the contact centre of many of its traditional and more mundane activities. These days a call to the contact centre is likely to be a customer’s second choice – a last resort turned to when

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other channels have failed to satisfy. That means those calls are more likely to be urgent, complex and emotionally charged. And, if that contact is more important and pressured for the customer, it’s likely to be so for the organisation, too. Having searched for some vital information via the web, perhaps unsuccessfully, the customer may now want, on the positive side, to confirm a purchase or, on the negative side, to escalate an issue that threatens their relationship with the organisation. From the perspective of the business, the need to handle that call well has never been so great.

Contact centre experience key As customers increasingly reserve the telephone channel for highly critical calls, the quality of the contact centre experience will have a direct and disproportionately high impact on the business results. This year’s Benchmarking Report identifies, in more mature organisations at least, a healthier attitude to agent up-skilling and a move away from traditional activity-based measures. All of this signifies an increased recognition of the fact that – whatever transpires in the world of self service – people remain the most critical differentiator in the customer’s experience. Download your free Executive Summary of the 2012 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report at www.merchants.co.uk.

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er nt s a m e o t m led r s e i e u g a C a h om g it t f n E m cus t o m st en 2 u S be ev 01 2

Accolades are pouring in from delegates, presenters and sponsors of the Customer Engagement Network’s inaugural Customer Engagement Summit Steve Hurst reports With close on 350 delegates in attendance and a speaker line up to die for the Customer Engagement Network’s first ever Customer Engagement Summit held at the end of November is being hailed as the best customer event of 2012 – and indeed for many years. Of course content is king at events such as these and with case study presentations including the likes of First Direct, British Gas, giffgaff, Experian, Premier Inn, EE, Twitter, John Lewis, Lloyds Banking Group, Shop Direct Group, Philips, Unilever, Sony, Diageo and LV= then there was plenty for delegates to get their teeth into.

Thought provoking A packed programme kicked off in typically thoughtprovoking style with an excellent opening keynote from behavioural economist Roger Martin-Fagg , recognised as a global leader in his field - and finished with an inspirational closing keynote from Dr Nicola Millard, BT futurologist, with an update on her ground breaking Autonomous Customer research examining the changing behaviours of ‘smart’ customers operating in an omnichannel environment.

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There were many highlights in between in a Summit expertly chaired by Mike Havard, Director at Ember Services, with 38 speakers in all - and streams ranging from Mobile Engagement to Social Media Engagement to Employee and Customer Engagement to Omnichannel Engagement and those focussing on Retail, Financial Services and the public sector.

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Inspirational The mood was summed up by Andrew Lea, head of banking services at First Direct, and who has been with the organisation since launch in 1989 and who fittingly delivered the first inspirational case study of the day. Andrew said: “What a fantastic Summit. The buzz was excellent and it was clear that delegates were highly engaged with the event and were there to take ideas back to their organisations. I found it inspirational on a personal level and the day gave me some ideas too on how we can further improve our customer offering”. His views were echoed by Andrew McMillan former head of customer service at John Lewis who along with others described the Customer Engagement Summit as the best event he has been to this year – and indeed for many years. Chairman Mike Havard said: “The feedback on the event to me has been fantastic and matches my own view that the quality of speakers, the

content and material was first class – thought provoking, practical, robust and just plain interesting as well.”

Fantastic buzz Customer Engagement Network editorial director Steve Hurst added: “It was great to see so many senior execs from so many exciting brands attend our first ever Summit. There was a fantastic buzz about the whole event and it is clear that customer and employee engagement are being increasingly recognised as key business differentiators within organisations at the highest level. “That was the theme that ran through the whole Summit from the opening keynote to the closing keynote. Customer and employee engagement are business critical issues that will increasingly determine whether an organisation succeeds or fails in continually difficult economic conditions.” This year’s Customer Engagement Summit is being held on November 25th 2013 in London.

To view Summit video and download presentations go to: www.customerengagementsummit.com

SUMMIT PARTNERS SPONSORS


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Darren Vengroff, Chief Scientist, RichRelevance www.richrelevance.com

A decade after the rise of e-commerce, today’s mobile technologies and social media applications have contributed to a convergence of consumer demand and technology. Consumers now expect constant connectivity and interactivity from retail brands, with emerging technologies making transactions easier says Darren Vengroff As a result, it is critical for retailers to embrace omni-channel retailing—an integrated sales experience that melds the advantages of physical stores with the information-rich experience of online shopping. Omni-channel means seeing things from a consumer’s point of view, not from the comfort of your own business boundaries. It means interacting with customers via their three channels of exploration: social, mobile and local, at every stage of the purchasing process. Here are eight ways to embrace omni-channel retailing:

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1. Utilise social media channels to engage personally with your customers: No longer a one-way street, retailers must let the customer help create the conversation and develop their brand. Social media can create an influential marketing channel, build brand goodwill and provide an insight into the ‘voice of the customer’. Cosmetic retailer Sephora is one example of a company that has successfully created its own interactive shopping social space through the launch of its online Beauty Talk community. Not only is the brand facilitating this discussion – putting themselves at the heart of the community – but Beauty Talk is driving their customers to buy more. Sephora has created a social community where they do not push their products at their customers; instead customer discussions not only fuel authentic peer-to-peer recommendations, but drive increased basket size and value.

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customer engagement

2. Embrace customer product reviews: Apps like ShopSavvy and RedLaser allow the new connected consumer to browse products in physical stores while reading reviews and making purchases (if prices are lower) on their mobile devices. Some retailers are starting to address the potential impact of mobilephone use whilst in-store and are turning it into their advantage. For example, Overstock.com plans to include extensive consumergenerated product reviews and buying guides on their new o.info domain, acknowledging the customer trend toward trusting other buyers more than advertisers and brand messaging. 3. Integrate your physical and online presence: Developing creative and engaging personalised technology for use in conjunction with tech-savvy sales staff in stores helps to reduce the likelihood of consumers turning to competitors. Neiman Marcus in the US is currently testing an iPhone app designed for this purpose in four of its stores. The app has two parallel interfaces for customers and sales staff, providing consumers with alerts of upcoming events, new product arrivals, QR code scanning and the ability to learn which of their favourite associates are in the store. Simultaneously, in-store sensors alert staff when customers enter the store, and provide a purchase history (and even a Facebook picture for easy recognition) to ensure that they offer a faultless service. 4. Implement innovative in-store technology: Innovations that personalise the shopping experience keep customers from turning to competitors along the purchasing continuum. In-store technology that enables consumers to interact with products will create unique shopping experiences which encourage customers to shop while fostering brand loyalty. For instance, shoppers frustrated by the lack of standard clothes sizing will soon benefit from Me-Ality walk-in body-scanning stations, developed by Canadian firm, Unique Solutions Design. Now implemented in some retail outlets in the US, the scanning technology is used to generate a unique bar code containing the shopper’s detailed measurement data and a customised shopping guide. The “My Best Fit” shopping guide shows the consumer which stores in the shopping centre stock the recomended brands and sorts the results by brand, style, store or price. The technology aims to transform the in-store shopping experience for consumers, creating a unique list of product recommendations. 5. Use technology rather than staff to shop in-store: Many consumers now prefer to research and buy digitally rather than rely on less-than-informed staff – even while in store. But stores and brands can try to prevent shoppers wielding mobile decides from supplanting face-to-face customer service. How? By equipping the

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one asset they have and e-tailers don’t – salespeople in stores – with at least the same technology as shoppers enjoy, and by investing in training as well. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, retail executives listed “tech-savvy”, “brand ambassadorship” and “specialised product knowledge” as the most important skills for sales associates. 6. Engage the customer’s imagination: A good way to sell products online is by engaging imagination: consumers enjoy visualising what role a product will play in their lives, and how it will enable them to enjoy a certain kind of lifestyle. Virtual online fitting rooms, such as those implemented by fits.me and Metail, are a great way to personalise the shopping experience. For instance, Metail and We Are Social offer Tesco shoppers a trial run of how its F&F clothing brand will look on their virtual bodies. Customers can mix and match outfits and accessories on their digital selves and, just for fun, switch their hairstyles as well. 7. Monitor online shopping behaviour: Consumer purchasing decisions are influenced by a variety of external factors, including weather, location and special events. If these data sets are integrated into data management systems, it becomes possible to more accurately predict customers’ needs and capitalise on the peak online shopping times. For example, the results of a study conducted by Lovehoney highlighted that levels of shopping activity were directly proportionate to the level of customer alcohol consumption. This allowed them to target customers between the hours of 4 – 10pm, at times when they were most relaxed with the purchasing process. 8. Create local e-commerce ‘landscapes’: Personalised emails, recommendations and promotions allow retailers to maximise every opportunity to communicate with customers and relevant ads enhance the customer’s overall online experience. Retailers are starting to combine the social and the local to personalise the shopping experience on mobile, allowing customers to interact with local e-commerce ‘landscapes’. For example, Foursquare melds social interaction (friends’ locations) with commercial discounts and promotions from neighbourhood merchants to reach their customers and visitors. Lastly, and increasingly importantly, mobile enables all personalisation elements (both onsite and in-store) and delivers them to customers who are on the run or relaxing at home. When considered as a continuum, personalisation can help deliver on consumers’ increasingly higher expectations of an interactive shopping experience, while helping retailers to raise performance and maximise ROI.

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Jane Sparrow looks at the critical role that managers play in linking employee engagement to customer engagement, performance and profitability

As a ‘Saver’ in the organisation, Adam undoubtedly contributes value to the business. Thanks to corporate level engagement initiatives, employees like him often have a clear understanding of the business and know what is expected of them. It’s a vital component in the quest for high performance, but it isn’t enough to create a culture where employees will willingly exceed customer’s expectations and deliver outstanding service.

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I believe exceptional customer service happens when managers and leaders are wholly committed to being engagers of others. This means building a culture that goes beyond the commitment and understanding of employees to deep into the emotional and purposeful levers of engagement. No amount of communication, roadshows, launches and values programmes can ever hope to achieve sustained high-performance without the support of managers and leaders-asengagers. It is they who carry the engagement baton in their everyday interactions and relationships with their staff and consequently, they are the most powerful influencers of sustained performance.

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Adam has been with his company for six years. He works diligently and conscientiously as a customer services assistant for a holiday rental company. But he isn’t highly engaged. He is a ‘Saver’.

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customer engagement

“No amount of communication, roadshows, launches and values programmes can ever hope to achieve sustained high-performance without the support of managers and leaders-as-engagers”

From saver to investor Managers who are nurtured, supported and developed to be the best engagers of others have the potential to take employees from ‘Savers’ to ‘Investors’. ‘Investors’ are employees who have a level of emotional commitment to the business, with the result that they naturally care more about their colleagues and customers and will be more likely to push their performance to higher levels. At the highest level of ‘Investors’, employees also see a significant connection between their personal purpose and that of the organisation. Work symbolises and represents the values and aspirations that they as individuals can identify with. As a result, employees are more likely to advocate for the brand as well as going the extra mile – or even miles! Providing great customer service because you want to – not because you have to - will feel very different to the customer. So whilst leadership may invest in new technology, infrastructure and processes to boost customer services, the very people who can really make a difference to how customers experience a particular brand are usually left by the wayside. From my research and experience of working with great engagers, I believe there are five roles managers need to be proficient in:

Five Key Roles to Create More Investors Prophet – setting the vision and inspiring people around future direction Storyteller – painting the picture of, practically, how ‘it will all happen’ Strategist – planning activity, aligning people with actions, making it happen Coach – getting the best from people by linking what drives them to what they do Pilot – the quality and style around how people engage others – the calm hand on the tiller that ensures people feel supported, safe and included So, to create a culture of ‘Investors’ – not just ‘Savers’ – start by asking which one are you? Think about where you naturally tend to focus your time and energy on (your strength) and then reflect on the role you subconsciously or even intentionally try to avoid ( your weakness) Being proficient in all five is what helps exceptional managers stand out from average engagers - which is good news for your business and even better news for your customers.

Jane Sparrow is a consultant and author specialising in transformational change, engagement and sustainable performance. Her new book, The Culture Builders: Leadership Strategies for Employee Performance, is published by Gower and available at amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-CultureBuilders-Jane-Sparrow/dp/1409437248 Hints, tips and inspiration is available on her website www.TheCultureBuilders.com

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Employee and Customer Engagement Directors Forum Report 5th December 2012, London

The evidence of improved customer service, performance and profitability when people are optimally engaged with their work was made crystal clear at the Employee and Customer Engagement Directors forum. Steve Hurst reports Following hard on the heels of the Engage For Success launch and the Customer Engagement Network’s first Customer Engagement Summit, this Directors Forum went right to the nitty gritty of employee engagement with hard facts and figures about the link between employee engagement, customer engagement, performance and profitability. The Directors Forum, sponsored by Confirmit and Questback and hosted by Gallup, benefited from a great speaker line up including presenters closely involved with the Engage For Success initiative and there was agreement that former ASDA CEO Archie Norman was right at the Engage for Success launch when he said that employee engagement should not be thought of as simply an HR activity, but that everyone, from line managers to CEOs, should be involved. At that event Norman said "Engagement is not an HR activity, although HR should be responsible for measuring it," Norman said. "And it's not a survey. Engagement is about leadership living the values." Norman, who is credited with turning the retailer Asda around at a time of near bankruptcy, said that much of that transformation was down to completely transforming company culture and making the business less hierarchical. He added that this was something that all other UK businesses needed to think about. "Engagement is not a fashion," Norman continued. "It's a change in the business and people and their attitude to work. As employers, our attitude should be that work and where you choose to work is voluntary. What matters is good communication, people feeling involved in the business and being treated with fairness."

He focussed on the relationship between levels of engagement within organisations and the way that employees feel about the service they deliver to their customers and on how leadership and culture is so critical to employee engagement.

Not just any M&S presentation Jonathan was followed by Tanith Dodge, Group HR Director, Marks & Spencer with her ‘Employee and Customer Engagement Case Study’ Tanith, who has been actively involved in the Engage for Success initiative since its launch by Prime Minister David Cameron last year told delegates how M&S engages its people and revealed some illuminating results around that engagement - not least the fact that in terms of performance there is a £90million revenue difference between the most engaged and least engaged M&S stores.

Hot off the press

Jonathan Austin shared some hot off the press insights and trends - including the growing importance of well-being among employees - from the survey of almost a quarter of a million people in the UK, which has just been completed to compile a list of the Best Companies to work for in 2013.

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Tanith and her team are working hard to understand the differentials in employee engagement in its branches with a view to improving employee engagement and in turn performance and profitability. Tanith also touched on the work of the Engage For Success Task Force movement which is now coming to fruition Tanith was followed by Peter Flade, Managing Partner, Gallup and his presentation ‘Strategies for employee and customer engagement that deliver competitive advantage’

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Those comments were echoed by Jonathan Austin, Founder and Chief Exec of Best Companies in his opening keynote: ‘The Relationship between Employee Engagement and Customer Service’

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customer engagement

Peter discussed how in service sectors value is created or destroyed when customers and employees interact. Being deliberate about managing the employee customer encounter can deliver sustainable competitive advantage. Based on Gallup’s latest research Peter explored the seven key areas that enable truly customer centric organisations keep you coming back through consistently delivering on your brand promise.

Board level support critical Next up came Claire Sporton, VP, Customer Experience Management, Confirmit and Yves Duhaldeborde, Director, Talent and Rewards at Towers Watson with their joint presentation ‘Revenue Sums: Engaged Employees + Engaged Customers = True Business Change’ Gaining board-level support – and thus investment – for employee engagement programmes depends on proving return on investment. To do this, you need to clearly establish the link between engaged employees and increased revenue. Claire and Yves looked at the critical role employee engagement has in a customer experience programme – and describe how you can take the first steps towards achieving that crucial link and secure the investment you need. They discussed how the Voice of the Employee fits into a Customer Experience programme, how to correlate employee engagement with customer engagement, why you need to capture the employee view of the customer experience and the other data sources which can be used to truly bring your insight to life After the lunch break there was a lively and at times controversial panel debate on ‘The future of Employee Engagement’ chaired by Steve Hurst, Forum Chairman, Editorial Director, Customer Engagement Network. A wide ranging discussion came to the conclusion that employee engagement is indeed the responsibility of everybody in the organisation – with culture and leadership playing pivotal roles. Next up was academic and employee engagement expert Kerstin Alfes, Senior Lecturer, HRM and Organisation, Kingston University with her presentation "The role of line managers in creating a high engagement culture" Kerstin talked about the about different things line managers can do to increase engagement levels amongst their workforce, such as job design, creating a meaningful context and demonstrating the impact of employees' work on outside beneficiaries.

Jane told delegates how organisations that reap competitive advantage from a sustained, high performing workforce are those that best equip their middle managers to engage their people to deliver. Middle managers are at the heart of an engaged workforce that consistently delivers strong performance but this can only be done if they have the confidence and capability to achieve more in their roles as people managers. Jane’s session featured the five key roles that leaders need to ignite within managers to deliver sustainable engagement. Jane shared recent research, experience and best practice to highlight the proven performance gains that organisations achieve when they build a culture of manager-as-engagers.

The only way is Essex The final presentation of the day was another inspiring case study ‘Enslaved or Engaged’ from Lisa Sibley, Employee Engagement Manager, Essex County Council and consultant Dr Martin Reddington, Former Global Programme Director, HR ,Cable & Wireless. Martin shared latest insights from his research that evidence the importance of getting the social and economic ‘deal’ in a healthy state of balance in support of sustainable job and organisational engagement. Rising to the ‘do more with less’ mantra continues to be a challenge and organisational transformation is frequently cited as a convenient excuse for disengagement. These are genuine challenges that organisations across all sectors face and which inevitably impact employees’ experience, expectations of and happiness at work. Essex is the second largest local authority in England with 9,000 employees and has been on an ambitious transformation journey for the last four years. The Council’s commitment to employee voice and conversational practice now flows from the very top of the organisation. Accessible leadership has been crucial to instil trust and belief and in an inspiring presentation Lisa demonstrated that by creating and embedding the Council’s mantra of ‘talk, listen, connect to engage and act’, employee engagement has become a crucial driver of cultural change at Essex County Council.

The dark side of employee engagement Kerstin also warned about the ‘dark side of engagement’ where employees can become too engaged with their work to the detriment of themselves and the operation they work for. Kerstin said that ‘optimum engagement’ is the key to success. Kerstin was followed by Jane Sparrow, Former Director of Communication & Change, Sony Europe with her presentation ‘The Middle Management Miracle: Your under-utilised lever to boost performance’

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And finally ... In his closing summary Steve Hurst concluded that when it comes to employee engagement we really should all be in it together and that as Archie Norman said in the Engage for Success launch employee engagement is something where everybody in the organisation should be involved – yes HR and customer service and marketing really do need to be talking to each other.

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Employee and Customer Engagement Directors Forum 5th December 2012, London SPEAKER PRESENTATIONS

Opening Keynote: The Relationship between Employee Engagement and Customer Service Jonathan Austin, Founder & Chief Executive, Best Companies

Jonathan Austin

Jonathan Austin will be sharing the insights from the survey of almost a quarter of a million people in the UK, which has just been completed to compile a list of the Best Companies to work for in 2013. He will particularly be focusing on the relationship between levels of engagement within organisations and the way that employees feel about the service they deliver to their customers.”

Employee and Customer Engagement Case Study Marks & Spencer Tanith Dodge, Group HR Director, Marks & Spencer Tanith Dodge

Tanith will tell delegates how M&S engages its people and reveal some illuminating results around that engagement. She will also touch on the work of the Engage For Success Task Force movement which is now coming to fruition with the launch of a new website resource and with which Tanith and M&S have been actively involved since the Task Force was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron last year

Strategies for employee and customer engagement that deliver competitive advantage Peter Flade, Managing Partner, Gallup Peter Flade

In service sectors value is created or destroyed when customers and employees interact. Being deliberate about managing the employee-customer encounter can deliver sustainable competitive advantage. Based on Gallup’s latest research Peter will explore how truly customer-centric organisations keep you coming back through consistently delivering on your brand promise.

Revenue Sums: Engaged Employees + Engaged Customers = True Business Change Claire Sporton, VP, Customer Experience Management, Confirmit

Claire Sporton

Gaining board-level support – and thus investment – for employee engagement programmes depends on proving return on investment. To do this, you need to clearly establish the link between engaged employees and increased revenue.Claire Sporton, VP Customer Experience, Confirmit and Yves Duhaldeborde, Director, Talent and Rewards at Towers Watson, will look at the critical role employee engagement has in a customer experience programme – and describe how you can take the first steps towards achieving that crucial link and secure the investment you need. Claire and Yves will discuss; - How the Voice of the Employee fits into a Customer Experience programme - How to correlate employee engagement with customer engagement - Why you need to capture the employee view of the customer experience - The other data sources which can be used to truly bring your insight to life

‘Employee engagement and technology – a look into the future’ Andrew Cocks, Former Senior Employee Engagement Specialist, HSBC, Questback, Consultant

Andrew Cocks

'With organisations increasingly looking to derive greater value from their employee engagement research, now is the time to question current models and methods. Andrew will discuss how recent developments in customer research point to a future of flexible, integrated and costeffective strategic research all driven by cutting edge technology.'

"The role of line managers in creating a high engagement culture" Kirsten Alfes, Senior Lecturer, HRM and Organisation, Kingston University

Kirsten Alfes

Kirsten will talk about different things line managers can do to increase engagement levels amongst their workforce, such as job design, creating a meaningful context and demonstrating the impact of employees' work on outside beneficiaries

Case Study: Essex CC, ‘Enslaved or engaged?’ Lisa Sibley, Employee Engagement Manager, Essex County Council Dr Martin Reddington, Former Global Programme, Director, HR, Cable & Wireless, Consultant

Lisa Sibley

Rising to the ‘do more with less’ mantra continues to be a challenge and organisational transformation is frequently cited as a convenient excuse for disengagement. These are genuine challenges that organisations across all sectors face and which inevitably impact employees’ experience, expectations of and happiness at work. Currently working with a range of public and private organisations on the evaluation and re-balancing of the employment ‘deal’, Martin will share latest insights from his research that evidence the importance of getting the social and economic ‘deal’ in a healthy state of balance in support of sustainable job and organisational engagement. Essex is the second largest local authority in England with 9,000 employees and has been on an ambitious transformation journey for the last four years. The Council’s commitment to employee voice and conversational practice now flows from the very top of the organisation. Accessible leadership has been crucial to instil trust and belief and Lisa will demonstrate that by creating and embedding the Council’s mantra of ‘talk, listen, connect to engage and act’, employee engagement has become a crucial driver of cultural change at Essex. The Middle Management Miracle: Your under-utilised lever to boost performance Jane Sparrow, Former Director of Communication & Change, Sony Europe

Jane Sparrow

Organisations that reap competitive advantage from a sustained, high-performing workforce are those that best equip their middle managers to engage their people to deliver. Middle managers are at the heart of an engaged workforce that consistently delivers strong performance but this can only be done if they have the confidence and capability to achieve more in their roles as people managers. Jane’s session will feature the five key roles that leaders need to ignite within managers to deliver sustainable engagement. Jane will share recent research, experience and best practice to highlight the proven performance gains that organisations achieve when they build a culture of manager-as-engagers.

To download presentations go to: http://www.customerengagementnetwork.com/directorforum.agenda.php?a=10098 ISSUE TEN • JANUARY 2013

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Andrew McNair examines how organisations are failing to learn the lessons around customer self -service in an increasingly omnichannel business environment and how the scramble for engaging across new channels is having a detrimental effect

Companies are rapidly being forced to expand their customer relationship models to align their business with the pace of changing customer communication demands, and no longer at their own convenience. Customers are openly

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demanding more innovative multi-channel options, and deciding how, when and for which purposes they’ll use each available contact path. Consumer expectations have evolved considerably within what is a relatively short period of time. The Internet and now the explosion in smart devices are changing the way businesses operate. Consumer’s expectations to be able to access information at anytime and anywhere via their connected mobile device means that

Andrew McNair is Head of Benchmarking, Customer Interactive Solutions (Global), Dimension Data www.dimensiondata.com

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Historically, organisations have determined how they’ve communicated with their customers. But today the flexibility being afforded by mobile is driving dynamic new challenges for organisations and their customer relationship management systems.

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“In the absence of any clear strategy on how to leverage social media and other self-help channels, both of which are often now preferred by the consumer, there’s a risk of trying to cover too many channels, too quickly”

organisations are being forced to radically overhaul their service offerings. However, results from Dimension Data’s 2012 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report show that lessons learned from past self-service deployments are being ignored, and there’s a massive lack of awareness on how effective these new business enabling tools are at contributing towards the desired differentiated service position for the organisation. The abundance of contact channel offerings should provide a clear opportunity for the consumer and business alike. Whether it’s more convenient contacts, easier access to information, or faster response times, there are a number of opportunities to improve customer service and to help generate improved revenues, often at a reduced cost.

The savvy consumer Consumer awareness levels of what can be achieved are becoming greater and more visible. The smart and connected customer presents an evolutionary leap for customer service and sales. This trend is further fuelled by the phenomena of social media. The wisdom of crowds or the influence of being ‘liked’ drives customer engagement beyond waiting for a customer to contact an organisation, to a proactive understanding of how to respond and innovate.

In recent times, customers have enjoyed progressive service levels from traditional contact centres and an ever-developed focus on agent led engagement experiences. A huge focus on quality systems designed to enhance the customer experience has become visible everywhere, and aside from continued frustrations on call waiting times, the general level of customer satisfaction has been gradually improving. More recently key performance indicators (KPI’s) are being adapted to address outcome-based objectives and the availability of performance analytics has never been higher. To build on the success achieved in traditional contact centre service, according to the Benchmarking report, the top contact centre trend for 2012 was stated as the desire to encourage greater use of self- service. It is important to remember that this can only be achieved through a clear understanding of what is expected from these channels. Similarly, to ensure that any investment in self- service pays off, it is also important to understand and record customer feedback and measure the ROI (return on investment) generated by these channels. The risks organisations run by introducing additional contact channel choice are more complexity and an increasingly divided organisation: lots of ‘dead ends’ with limited outcomes. A clear understanding of the user, process and the reasons for customers shifting channels is vital in establishing a low effort, but high user satisfaction and promoter score. Similarly, there needs to be a clear understanding of the business benefit value being derived from any new capabilities, both to the providing organisation and also to the end user. However it seems that contact centres are not limiting themselves by extending simply into self-service as an additional channel. The report also found that one in five contact centres have started managing smartphone

M

A presence on certain emerging channels is becoming perceived as a mandatory requirement for many organisations. In the absence of any clear strategy on how to leverage social media and other self-help channels, both of which are often now preferred by the consumer, there’s a risk of trying to cover too many channels, too quickly. This haste to claim another channel capability is impeding many basic management practices, some of which are being bypassed, others ignored.

Improving levels of customer service

ISSUE TEN • JANUARY 2013

26


customer engagement

applications, while 33% of businesses are supporting social media – almost double the figure reported in 2011. A further 14% expect to have a capability in place within the next 12 months, by which time 46% will be using web chat to positively drive Internet traffic to a successful outcome.

cost measurement activity on every channel other than the telephone is quite staggering. Only 28% of Internet; 19% of web chat; 10% of social media; and 6% of smartphone application contacts are being measured – and only 15% of respondents currently have plans to impose new controls going forward.

The question now is how quickly organisations can facilitate this evolution. The challenge is considerable. Some 54% of participants in this year’s global contact centre benchmarking report research said their existing contact centres are still learning and developing their traditional service channel capabilities, while only 7% believe their contact centres are highly advanced.

Much of this neglect is compounded by widespread design failures and poor self-service system implementations – all of which are affecting self-service uptake levels, which could be much higher.

As businesses race to keep pace with increasing technology demands, there’s a risk that consumers receive a wider choice for their basic wants, but that expectations for their more complex requirements are falsely set and not accommodated. Instead core management techniques must be adopted in conjunction with structured implementations that can help identify usage effectiveness and clearer ROI on new capability offerings.

Listening to the customer Many contact centres are failing to track the self-help cost-toserve impact and, at the same time, are often ignoring the customers’ experience completely. They’re effectively flying blind on the business benefit derived from their multi-channel capability and, importantly, also on the value provided to consumers. This contradicts emerging practices that link customer satisfaction scores directly to profitability, such as the tracking of share price performance against the ‘voice of the customer’ – a growing trend among forward-thinking organisations. The large-scale failure to apply management information systems across new channels and the subsequent absence of

27

Maintaining the competitive edge Overall, just 16% of organisations see their self-service solutions as being ahead of the competition, despite the fact that 90% acknowledge its importance to their customer base. These results pose a real challenge for today’s contact centres, as traditional self- service channels become more universally accepted. Sustained oversights will seriously impact an organisation’s market positioning, not to mention profitability. To ensure customer satisfaction, uptake of emerging channels and agent efficiency, it’s vital that organisations review their selfservice effectiveness. Customers should be able to transition among channels without hitting dead-ends, and exit to an agent-led interaction should the need arise. There needs to be clear ownership and a much more collaborative approach between IT and Operations to the sourcing, design and deployment of solutions. The increasing pressure to deliver customer service through multiple channels and customer contact points is creating a big challenge for many contact centres who are already wrestling with ageing technology – which is expensive to maintain and upgrade. A clear strategy, business case and analytical evidence will be required to justify new spend and avoid standing still. You get what you measure.

ISSUE TEN • JANUARY 2013


2OO re

u feat

In the era of Big Data, companies must capitalise on the bombardment of new types of information – identifying and harnessing it to better engage customers and prospects says Caspar Craven

ISSUE TEN • JANUARY 2013

Our research benchmarked 100s of websites to understand what percentages of visits to a website are important, the types of web behaviour and trends from web visits. It draws on unique datasets from real life case studies, and includes trends analysis over the websites of financial services, legal and technology companies.

And it sends out a stark message that customer intelligence and social media are ‘ignored at our peril.’ Web intelligence and analytical skills are needed to make sense of data and chart the way forward.

If you think about the B2B world of banks, law firms, accountants and technology providers, customers tend to be loyal. Given that corporate decision making takes time, and they also customers tend to buy more than one service from a trusted advisor, a lot of the marketing and business development campaigns are around up and cross selling. The full engagement cycle is long, with regular interactions and different touch points between customer and supplier. They all contain intelligence ready to be exploited.

Time to move on By ‘stuck in the noughties’, I mean that many companies still rely on tools first introduced in that era. We mean the off-the-shelf web analysis tools that deliver just the basic insights into website visitors. Things have moved on. There’s much more to capturing and understanding information from our websites.

Insightful trends

We now hear terms like ‘web or lead forensics’. From web intelligence, and crucially the skills to interpret it, we can observe much more deeply the behaviours of our websites visitors. And we can turn these insights in plans of action to yield positive results that hit the bottom line, knowing when and how best to begin engaging prospects and customers.

Our research cites examples in the Legal market, where insightful trends were revealed in how market sectors reacted to announcements around changes to the legislation on the agency worker directive. It shows a 100% increase in interest in this area for Technology and Telecoms organisations over the summer months compared to the start of the year, as well as a five times increase with Financial

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Caspar Craven is Co-Founder and Director of Trovus. Trovus is a customer intelligence consultancy, see www.trovus.co.uk for more information

Recent Trovus research reveals that many organisations may be ‘data rich’ yet ‘insight poor’. It highlights that a better understanding of customer and prospect online behaviour and data – to improve customer engagement and long term relationships – eludes most companies today.

28


O Services. Engineering and Construction shows a 50% increase, while the public sector interest fell significantly over the same period.

Another example shows a significant fall in interest levels in corporation tax among media companies during the summer months, with a marked increase among professional services and technology companies. This was due to their respective marketplaces’ changing needs around planning for corporation tax calculations relative to their financial year end.

customer engagement

Trovus Research Our recent events with the Financial and Legal services industry have revealed further insights into key marketing activities and measurement tools, identifying interesting differences between the two sectors. Prior to the events we surveyed all of the attendees to help gather further insights into marketing activities within each sector. Both questionnaires were completed by Marketing and Business Development professionals. Most popular marketing activities The surveys carried out revealed an interesting mix of traditional marketing activities with Events, PR and E-Marketing as the top three marketing activities used on a regular basis by both financial and legal services firms however, only 35% of financial services firms use sponsorship as a part of their marketing mix compared to 66.7% that use sponsorships within the legal industry. Which of the following marketing activities does your organisation use on a regular basis as a part of its marketing mix?

Which of the following marketing activities does your organisation use on a regular basis as a part of its marketing mix? 20

16 14

15

12 10

10

8 6

Analysis of customer intelligence from their web site profiles uncovers who is interested in what and when. This is a powerful weapon. It reveals which clients and prospects to engage now and what to talk to them about. We’ve found that only a handful of the most innovative companies use customer intelligence and social media to understand vertical market trends and client needs. They’re doing it to gain insights into interests and behaviours and then targeting their engagement activity and messages. It’s the way forward for an entirely new generation of professionals.

Exploiting social media The research cites an unmistakably powerful correlation between exploitation of social media and number of referrals to a company’s website; referrals that can be seized upon with further personalised business development activity. The analysis shows a massive difference between those who are social media-savvy and those who are not. It equates to a 200-fold increase in relevant organisation visits from LinkedIn, 140 fold increase from Facebook and a 60 fold increase from Twitter.

5

4 2 0

Direct mail Telemarketing

29

SEO

Thought leadership research

Advertising E-marketing

0

Social media

Sponsorship

Direct mail Telemarketing

All Other Responses

Legal Services

PR Events

SEO

Thought leadership research

Advertising E-marketing

Social media

Sponsorship

All Other Responses

Financial services

Most used measurement techniques Both financial services and legal firms mainly use CRM systems, web and email analytics to measure the impact of their sales and marketing campaigns. However, 80% of financial services firms use web analytics compared to only 50% of legal firms. Half of the companies questioned are using social media marketing, but only 20% of the firms measure the impact of social media. Only 1 out of 10 companies said they use marketing data for customer profiling. Which of the following data resources does your organisation use?

Which of the following data resources does your organisation use?

12

20

10 15 8 6

10

4 5 2 0

E-marketing platforms CRM systems

From Trovus’ research and experience with clients one thing couldn’t be clearer. It’s that the most innovative companies – those who embrace the discipline of turning masses of information into meaningful and actionable intelligence – will be the ones capable of fulfilling the Big Promise of Big Data.

PR Events

Web analytics

Social media monitoring tools

Surveys Customer proofing

None of the above Focus Groups

Legal Services

Do not know

0

E-marketing platforms CRM systems

Web analytics

Social media monitoring tools

Surveys Customer proofing

None of the above Focus Groups

Do not know

Financial services

Campaign structuring The majority of both financial and legal services firms do yearly planning with quarterly reviews. However financial services firms tend to run 15% more tactical campaigns compared to law firms.

ISSUE TEN • JANUARY 2013


customer

the l i f nwaord

engagement

What has buying a new pair of shoes got to do with customer feedback and experience – Colin Shaw has the answer

When you ask your customer for feedback on their experience what aspect of their Customer Experience are they referring to when they give you their assessment? Let me explain by drawing an analogy. When you buy a new pair of shoes they may rub and produce a blister the first time you wear them. Think what is happening in this process. As you put them on they feel fine. Then, as you start to walk in them, they rub. It’s only a tiny irritation at first that is registered in your subconscious mind but it has not reached the threshold we call ‘pain’ so the subconscious mind does not disturb the conscious mind. It is only when this rubbing reaches a point when pain is produced that you think ‘Ouch, these new shoes are hurting’.

There’s the rub The important point here is the rubbing started to occur way before pain was produced. The same applies to a Customer Experience. When a Customer starts an experience with an organisation there are many things that can be subconscious irritations before the irritation turns into an emotion of frustration or annoyance. For example, imagine a Customer who calls Customer service: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

They can’t find the number The number is not a free phone number There are many layers in the voice menu system The voice menu system does not have clear options They have to wait for the call to be answered When the call is answered the agent is clearly in a hurry The agent is not friendly The agent is not helpful The agent doesn’t answer your question.

In the example above it could be that when the call is finally answered the agent is not friendly. This is the final straw and from this point the Customer emotionally thinks ‘this is a poor experience’.

Cumulative effect Most organisations ask Customers to fill out a survey at the end of their experience. The danger is that if you ask ‘what did you think about this experience’ or ‘what made you give us this score’, do you really think that Customers will list out all these aspects? Of course not. In fact, like the rubbing of your shoes at the beginning of the process, many people won’t be conscious of this causing an irritation it is the cumulative effect that becomes the issue. In addition many organisations ask ‘What did you think of the agent? The danger is the agent will not just be judged on their personal performance but the experience that precedes them. The customer is entering the experience already with their ‘shoes rubbing’ and feeling irritated. In this frame of mind they start to look for other signs to confirm their thoughts.

True feelings count The reality is that many organisations just put a band aid/plaster over the bits of their experience that are ‘rubbing’ rather than dealing with the root cause. To do that you have to break the measurement down into parts of the experience to see how a customer is feeling at each of these points. It’s also critical to look at the cumulative effect. Finally, have you ever felt unhappy but can’t pin point the reason why? The unfortunate reality is sometimes Customers can’t tell you why they are feeling a certain way. Or more problematic, they tell you something that is not true just to give you a reply. As you go through the experience we have discovered it becomes critical to use psychological techniques to understand what is happening to discover a customer’s true feelings.

Colin Shaw is founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy www.beyondphilosophy.com/ one of the world’s first organisations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books. Follow Colin on Twitter ColinShaw_CX

ISSUE TEN • JANUARY 2013

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Time: Venue:

9:00am – 5:00pm Gallup, The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6HS

For more information contact Chris Wood: chris@ictcomms.com and +44 (0) 1932 341828 or visit our website: www.customerengagementnetwork.com

Customer Engagement in Retail Sector 20th March 2013, London The retail sector is in a state of flux. While the squeeze on consumer spending is having a largely detrimental impact on the High Street, online retail sales are continuing to enjoy strong growth. And while a number of well known retail brands have disappeared over the past couple of years, others are not only surviving but thriving as they adopt winning customer engagement strategies. This Directors Forum will take a look at the key issues, challenges and trends in this fast moving and volatile industry sector. It will spotlight the developing dynamic in relationships between retailers and their customers in an increasingly multichannel environment, and how fundamental changes in consumer behaviour are impacting on retailers as they strive for sustainable success.

Delegates will learn: • How world class retailers are deploying winning customer engagement strategies that are designed to engender consumer loyalty and greater wallet share • The latest trends in consumer behaviour and how retailers are having to adapt their offerings in a multichannel retail environment • How the rise and rise of online retailing is impacting the High Street and the strategies retailers are deploying to make the best of both worlds • How social and mobile customer engagement technologies and initiatives are impacting on the retail sector in an age where customers trust their peers more than brands • The commercial benefits that come from adopting a joined-up approach to retailing through giving consumers the choice they demand in how they purchase and the channels they choose to make those purchases.

Register FREE TO ATTEND FOR CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT PROFESSIONALS

http://retailforum.eventbrite.co.uk


Directors Forums Programme for 2013: • February 14th Voice of the Customer • March 20th Customer Engagement in the Retail Sector • April 24th B2B Customer Engagement • May 23rd Mobile Customer Engagement

The Customer Engagement Network series of Directors Forums are rapidly establishing themselves as ‘must attend’ events for senior executives working in the customer space who are looking for winning customer and employee engagement strategies.

The only joined-up customer experience event to drive customer and employee engagement solutions, performance and profitability. From the organisers of the hugely successful Directors Forums series and the Customer Engagement Network a Summit providing customer engagement and employee engagement insights and profitable solutions across all channels

• June 13th Customer Engagement in Financial Services • July 17th Customer Engagement in the Public Sector • September 19th Employee & Customer Engagement • October 7th Social Media Customer Engagement • October 24th Omni Channel Customer Engagement • Customer Engagement Summit: November 25th

er nt m e 13 o t em 0 s 2 er g u t C ga i b m vemon n E m No nd Su 25 Lo

For Sponsorship opportunities contact: Chris Wood

For Speaking opportunities contact: Steve Hurst

E: chris@ictcomms.com

E: steve@ictcomms.com

Tel: 01932 340367

M: 07545 088407

M: 07775 604011

Customer Engagement Directors Forums and Summit are organised by

www.customerengagementnetwork.com

Customer Engagement Network - Jan 2013  

Jan 2013 edition of Customer Engagement Network Magzine.

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