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engage customer ISSUE SIXTEEN I SEPTEMBER 2014



DON’T MISS THE TOP EVENT OF THE YEAR www.engagecustomer.com @engagecustomer


a word from the editor

Steve Hurst, Editorial Director, Engage Customer @engagecustomer

HOW THE MOVE TO CUSTOMER-CENTRICITY IS MOVING THE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT GOALPOSTS When we launched Engage Customer five years ago it was in large part because we saw huge changes coming up in the way that customers interact with organisations and the need for greater levels of customer insight and understanding as those interactions became more complex and more challenging We also saw that the link between organisations, their employees and customers would also need to evolve against a backdrop of rapidly changing customer behaviour, coupled with consistently low levels of employee engagement across sectors and indeed across countries. As our customers have changed so have our people and the need for a more sophisticated insight and understanding applies equally to both. Monologue has changed to dialogue and the drive towards customer centricity that is finally being recognised by boardrooms as a necessity is in turn driving a re-examination of the links between employee engagement, customer engagement, performance and profitability.

Why isn’t it working and what can we do? In this issue of Engage Customer we have several articles themed around the links between employee and customer engagement and how customer centricity, and the need for greater insight is impacting on this space. Our first ever Directors Forum examined the links between Employee and Customer Engagement and was held at the offices of Gallup – an organisation synonymous with employee engagement and which has run global survey after global survey highlighting the high levels of employee disengagement that have prevailed globally for many years. So one of the things we have to examine is why isn’t it working and what can be done to make it work. This issue of Engage Customer will be at our latest Directors Forum looking at this crucial area of business


and our opening keynote speaker is Peter Flade from Gallup who will be looking at some of the areas where businesses are failing and showing how that failure can be transformed into success.

Silo mentality once again the enemy Also in this issue we have case study examples from organisations as diverse at Volkswagen and Endsleigh Insurance examining their view on employee and customer engagement and also some illuminating comments from Paul Barnes the MD of customer feedback insight company QuestBack about the need for the siloed mentality that still exists within organisations in their approach to employee and customer engagement to be done away with. Paul rightly in my view contends that the move towards customer centricity that is once again highlighted in this issue of Engage Customer means we must re-examine and re-evaluate our approach to employee engagement and its impact on customer engagement performance and profitability. Meantime watch this space for further news from Engage Customer on our commitment to Employee Engagement as a focal point of our activities. For us the virtuous circle that is formed by properly engaged and directed employees interacting with increasingly sophisticated and demanding digital age customers is a no-brainer for long term business success.


Customer Engagement in telcos/utilities 23 OCTOBER 2014, LONDON The Telco and Utility sectors are both facing a number of challenges when it comes to engaging customers across channels, with both sectors consistently scoring low across a raft of respected customer satisfaction surveys. Both face challenges in the perception of where the customer lies within their organisations and much work needs to be done – particularly in the utilities sector where accusations that the Big Six utilities effectively run a cartel are ongoing – and where Government is stepping in to control pricing. This Directors Forum will investigate the issues that face these troubled sectors in turbulent times in terms of their customer engagement strategies in an increasingly regulatory environment and shine a light on the best way forward for sustainable success.

Venue: Blue Fin Venue, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU Time:

09:00 – 17:00


Thursday October 23rd 2014

Delegates will learn: • The winning strategies that telco and utility sector organisations are employing to gain and regain customer trust and loyalty • What the regulatory changes aimed at ensuring the sectors improve their customer service outcomes mean in practical terms including controls on pricing

For sponsorship and promotional information contact Nick Rust on T: +44 (0) 01932 506 301 M: +44 (0) 7968 416007 E: nick@engagecustomer.com #engageforums Engage Customer Forums are organised by

• What the very best telco and utility organisations are achieving through implementation of customer centric strategies • How to measure and quantify the business benefits of strategic and meaningful customer engagement strategies • How telco and utilities organisations can differentiate to win customer trust and gain competitive advantage • What the future holds in troubled business sectors and what long term customer engagement strategies are needed to succeed.

Speakers todate include: • • • • •

Case study: EE Case Study: Npower Case Study: First Utility Case Study: British Gas Forrester


Register Sponsors


contents Cover Story HOW ENGAGING CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES PAYS DIVIDENDS In this exclusive interview Engage Customer editorial director Steve Hurst puts the spotlight on David Nichols customer operations director at Endsleigh and Zurich about its journey to customer centricity and the key role played by employee and customer engagement


VOLKSWAGEN’S ROAD TO CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE In an Engage Customer exclusive interview Petra Krivinskas - head of Customer Services Centre Operations, Volkswagen Group UK reveals the automobile giant’s journey towards customer service excellence


REVEALED THE MOST INTELLIGENT WAY TO INTERACT WITH CUSTOMERS From the growth of social media to the latest smartphones, a multitude of technological advancements has raised both consumers’ expectations and the demands on businesses to produce the highest levels of customer service excellence says Dave Paulding


THREE ENGAGING STEPS TO GAMIFICATION HEAVEN There are three simple but effective steps to introducing engagement through gamification successfully into your organisation says Neil Penny




THE BIG FOUR CUSTOMER CENTRICITY SECRETS FOR TRANSFORMING CUSTOMERS INTO ADVOCATES What’s the secret of bringing a level of service to your customers that makes them want to tell the world about how great your organisation is? Stephen Hewett and David Pickering have the answers


Talking Heads BREAKING DOWN THE BARRIERS BETWEEN EMPLOYEE AND CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT In this Engage Customer exclusive editorial director Steve Hurst talks with QuestBack MD Paul Barnes about the three key trends that are transforming the customer insight space as organisations wrestle with customer centricity and the need to engage in greater dialogue with employees


FIRST DIRECT VS WELLS FARGO WHICH BRAND HAS THE MOST UNIQUE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGY? This exclusive article is from customer experience management consultancy Nunwood, as part of its Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) programme. The CEE programme focuses on understanding the external and internal characteristics of the organisations that excel in this area, enabling them to learn, without bias, from the world’s best brands


Expert Opinion HOW TO TURN YOUR CFO INTO A CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE CHAMPION When it comes to rallying your organisation around customer experience programmes, CFOs might seem like some of the toughest people to get on board.




Final Word WHY YOUR BUSINESS BENEFITS WHEN EMPLOYEES ARE ENGAGED Colin Shaw reckons paying your people more is far from being philanthropic – but it does make sound business sense


Editorial Advisory Board To join Engage Customer (free membership) and receive weekly Alerts, Digital Magazines and Invitations to the Directors Forums and other Engage events go to: www.engagecustomer.com @engagecustomer Mainline:

T: 01932 506 300

Steve Hurst


T: 01932 506 304

Nick Rust


T: 01932 506 301

Chris Wood


T: 01932 506 303

Rachel Blake: rachel@engagecustomer.com


T: 01932 506 302

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 Published by: Engage Customer Ltd, Nicholson House, 41 Thames Street, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 8JG ©engage customer ISSUE SIXTEEN • SEPTEMBER 2014

HOW ENGAGING CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES PAYS DIVIDENDS In this exclusive interview Engage Customer editorial director Steve Hurst puts the spotlight on David Nichols customer operations director at Endsleigh and Zurich about its journey to customer centricity and the key role played by employee and customer engagement

I started my career in Financial Services working at Aviva, specifically in the General Insurance market. I worked in a number of customer facing roles before becoming more involved in the leadership of contact centres. I moved to Zurich Insurance in 2004 and developed further capabilities in customer demand planning, outsourcing and continuous improvement. I joined Endsleigh as the Chief Operating Officer in 2012 and, more recently, was appointed as the Customer Operations Director following the closer alignment of Endsleigh and Zurich Personal Lines. My latest role takes responsibility for our combined customer facing activity and customer journey delivery. Talk us through the Endsleigh journey to customer centricity over the past two years - I understand there have been a number of key phases to this since the initiative began in summer 2012? Over the last two years there have been some significant developments in this area, which have focused strongly on


improving Endsleigh’s delivery to the customer. This has involved three distinct phases of change. The first phase looked at the levels of customer demand experienced by our contact centres. We invested resource in improving planning and scheduling capabilities, and enhanced capacity through introducing a new telephony platform. To support an improved alignment of our people to customer demands, we also reshaped our operations to focus our skills very firmly on customer service, sales and claims. Our next phase introduced continuous improvement through implementing a lean methodology to support the identification of challenges that our customers face and also support for our team in fixing the root cause of these challenges. During this phase we also enhanced our measurement of customer satisfaction, with a focus on the “ease of doing business” with us, by introducing measures such as net promoter score. The third phase of change focused on enhancing our service delivery. Our partner, Brand Biology, specialise in customer engagement training and they really helped us improve how we engage with our customers through the contact centres. This was a hugely engaging phase of our change and provided all of our team with skills enabling them to respond to our customers in a way that really enhanced the customers’ experience with us.


First off David could you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to the role of Customer Operations Director at Endsleigh (and Zurich Personal Lines)?


cover story

“Our change programme has had a very strong impact in increasing the engagement of our people. This is because we have found it helpful for people to be able to highlight challenges that customers may face, work through these and, as a result, feel adequately equipped to provide solutions” David Nichols, customer operations director at Endsleigh and Zurich Personal Lines www.endsleigh.co.uk

What have been the main benefits of working with Brand Biology in your journey and how has your relationship with them evolved? – I believe you have won some awards in recognition of the work you have done together? The engagement with Brand Biology has been hugely successful for us at Endsleigh. The initial focus of Brand Biology was getting to know our business, our customers and the behaviours of our contact centres. They spent time with our operations team understanding our typical language and the services we provide for our customers. Based on this, they produced a highly innovative training programme for our people at Endsleigh. This included role play of real life scenarios using actors to demonstrate how language and behaviour might be perceived by different customers, which helped to give the team a better understanding of some of their own behaviours norms. This exercise was hugely engaging and improved the ability of our team to listen and respond appropriately to different customer demands.

services are supported. It’s fair to say we are on a journey and that journey is about providing “omni channel” servicing capabilities that vary depending on the need of the customer at any point in time. For example, a customer may start their decision to purchase insurance through a range of web-based services, such as using online assistance on their computer, or on their phone to respond to questions that they may have. However these needs can easily change if they find themselves needing to report an accident or the loss of a personal possession. Our ability to support our customers by their favoured contact method has become critical in the delivery of our insurance services. What is your view on the link between employee and customer engagement, and how does that manifest itself in your contact centre operations and overarching customer centric ambitions?

I think it’s important to understand your customers. Our customer insight work has allowed us to develop a strong understanding of the preferences customers have around how we engage with them. This has helped to develop our thinking around the online services we provide as well as how those

Our teams meet daily to focus on the customer experience that they are delivering and to agree how they might improve our capabilities. The daily meetings focus on where we add value to customers and how this can be further improved. In addition to this, our incentive schemes are all very much focused



Endsleigh was formed originally by the National Union of Students and is still the UK’s largest student insurer – how are you tailoring your contact centre operations to cater for this digitally savvy always connected customer base?

I strongly believe that if, as a team, we are engaged in process of improving service delivery and are passionate about the services that we are offering, it will be recognised by our customers. Our change programme has had a very strong impact in increasing the engagement of our people. This is because we have found it helpful for people to be able to highlight challenges that customers may face, work through these and, as a result, feel adequately equipped to provide solutions.

We recently achieved the bronze award at the National Customer Services Training Awards in recognition of this project and our work with Brand Biology.


cover story

“Our teams meet daily to focus on the customer experience that they are delivering and to agree how they might improve our capabilities”

around feedback from our customers rather than the more traditional sales-based incentives that so often feature in contact centres. Tell us about some of the metrics you use (NPS, Top Box etc) in assessing customer satisfaction and overall performance and how these have since you introduced the ‘customer centric’ strategy. On a daily basis we use NPS as well as measures that we refer to as “top box”. Our top box measures ask our customers to score us based on the knowledge of our people, such as how helpful we were, whether we provide clear information and the overall friendliness of the contact. We effectively measure how many customers score us as 10 out of 10 in these areas hence the reference to top box. All of our measures are tracked at an individual level allowing us to provide targeted coaching around the scores that each employee receives. Our team leaders can access all of this information on a real time basis allowing us to monitor how we are doing at all times. In addition to measurement, we also pay very strong attention to any verbatim comments that our customers leave us. These comments are full of rich insight about the services we provide and really help us to pin point great experiences or opportunities for change. We also ensure that customers who take the time


to provide us with feedback get a response from us. I understand the next phase in the programme for customer centricity is introduction into the all-important claims department – what do you hope to achieve there going forward? Our claims teams have very much been a part of all the change that we have introduced to date and we monitor customer feedback in this department in the same way as in sales and service delivery. We have already implemented the first two phases of the change project into our claims teams and are just starting phase three with the introduction of the Brand Biology training. Based on the success we have already achieved in sales and service, we have high hopes for this being replicated in claims. One of our key goals is to ensure that our teams are able to respond to our customers in the best possible way during their time of need. Being able to tailor the contact we provide customers during the claim process should remove some of the concern that may exist during a difficult time – and we will be monitoring the results of this delivery very carefully. The language we use, the contact we provide and identifying support that the customer needs are all fundamental elements of this delivery for our claims teams.


the big interview

VOLKSWAGEN’S ROAD TO CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE In an Engage Customer exclusive interview Petra Krivinskas - Head of Customer Services Centre Operations, Volkswagen Group UK reveals the automobile giant’s journey towards customer service excellence Volkswagen Group UK is one of the largest automobile companies in the world, and we’re proud to have been recently recognised for our customer service, receiving the Best Customer Focus – Large Enterprise award from the Institute Of Customer Service. With one in five vehicles driven in the UK manufactured by Volkswagen Group, we believe that our customer service should live up to our world class brands, which include Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

The Volkswagen Group Customer Services Centre (CSC) – externally endorsed by SCHEMA® as a leading customer service operation – is at the heart of the strategy. It employs 330 staff, who on average receive 55,000 contacts and handle 10,500 cases per month. With dedicated customer service staff to advise on each Volkswagen brand, this is the frontline of the operation, playing a vital role in customer experience. The strategy revolves around one goal – to deliver a highquality service consistently and efficiently.

Our Customer Quality division ensures that the entire Volkswagen Group is Customer Quality focused, and representation on the Board of Management ensures that communication filters through every level, including all franchises and networks. Customer service is at the core of everything we do, and the Volkswagen experience spans before, during and post purchase, therefore involving each and every department.

Keen insight helps us be right first time

The CSC Insight Team helps in the challenge to stay one step ahead of customers’ needs and demands, identifying potential issues and challenges before they develop. By identifying what’s being reported, at what scale, and what’s being done, they are able to identify quality issues and support the business to develop a solution. In a recent example, a high level of RAC call-outs was identified as being caused by roadside punctures and vehicles


While many organisations view customer service as a short term solution – fixing the problems of today – Volkswagen believes that delivering a consistent and quality customer experience is critical to long term success. It’s because of this that over the last 18 months, we have developed and begun to implement a three-year strategy and vision for Volkswagen Group customer services, focusing on delivering excellence for customers, as well as alignment, clarity and direction for Volkswagen suppliers.

The effective use of customer feedback and the way this translates to changes in policy is something Volkswagen is wholly committed to, and plays a fundamental role in ensuring customer focus. At every stage, the customer is at the forefront of the decision making process, and we’ve employed a strategy that places the customer at the forefront of operations, activities and achievements.

Petra Krivinskas, Head of Customer Services Centre Operations, Volkswagen Group UK www.volkswagengroup.co.uk



the big interview

“We strive on a daily basis to engage and empower our employees to make a difference, and advocate internal knowledge sharing and two-way communication, through Listening Boards, quarterly General Manager sessions, our New Starters Forum, Pit Stops and feedback forms”

not carrying a spare tyre. This was a factory decision made to reduce fuel consumption, but the negative impact this had on customer experience has led to all our vehicles now having the option to carry a spare wheel. At this point we use Knowledge Base, an innovative system and operating process, created and commissioned by Volkswagen Group UK. This tool streamlines the communication process and is designed to provide quick, accurate answers to customer enquiries, ensuring that advisors receive all the relevant brand information, including technical issues, new products and product information. This optimises the Volkswagen Customer Service experience in keeping with the organisation’s ‘right first time’ ethos. Finding permanent business solutions to these issues reduces contact to the CSC. This is one of the main aims of the CSC’s strategy. Counterintuitive as it may sound, it’s a great thing for us to identify root causes and act to remove the need for customer contact.

Collaboration brings ‘one business’ to life Volkswagen Group has a complex, multi-layered operating model with brands, a 750-strong franchised retail network and support services like the CSC, but to customers it’s all one business and it’s our job to live up to this by delivering consistently across all key touchpoints. Every part of the business has to meet the same high standards and work together to produce a smooth, seamless customer experience.

Volkswagen, including a Customer Service Mood Barometer, created especially for the Customer Services Centre as a unique measure to understand the impact the centre’s involvement has on customers. The Customer Services Centre consistently converts 29% of ‘negative’ customers to brand advocates and our customer satisfaction rates increased from 75% mid 2012 to 81.2% Q4 2013.

Customer service is a career At Volkswagen we believe that customer service is a career, not just a job, and have implemented a career framework that identifies and supports emerging talent through a robust learning and development programme. Volkswagen Group Customer Services Centre employees receive eight weeks of training before going live, compared to the average 10 days at other service centres, and this training is an ongoing and progressive learning process. We engage and motivate staff by recognising employees and celebrating successes, investing in team members through pay, environment and skills development. We’re proud of our staff tenure and 50% of Volkswagen Customer Services Centre employees have been with the company for four or more years. Equally important to training and development, the recruitment process is also a vital step in delivering excellent customer service. Customer service is both rewarding and demanding, and it takes a certain calibre of candidate to succeed. We look for dynamic team members who possess the core key strengths required for the role. These include customer focus, commercial acumen, relationship and communication skills, and of course, passion and enthusiasm.

Retailer visits have been a critical part in getting this right. Inviting retailers into the CSC helps each side understand the pressures in other areas of the business and find new ways to work together. This ‘one business’ approach extends to the relationship between the CSC and the wider Customer Quality team. This crucial partnership is the key that can turn customer feedback into a change in factory process.

We strive on a daily basis to engage and empower our employees to make a difference, and advocate internal knowledge sharing and two-way communication, through Listening Boards, quarterly General Manager sessions, our New Starters Forum, Pit Stops and feedback forms.

The keen insight we gather is worth nothing without the collaboration necessary to implement a solution. This is the point which converts knowledge into action.

Involving employees in the decision making process is also key. We hold weekly sessions to analyse customer surveys, and customer satisfaction survey results are shared at monthly performance reviews to address areas that require improvement, and to see how the Volkswagen customer experience can be improved.

Measuring engagement Our overall customer focus strategy measures customer engagement through customer satisfaction, customer feedback and proactive customer contact. Progress towards our customer satisfaction goals are measured through a range of criteria, including ease of contact, ownership, resolution, attitudes and business understanding, while customer service targets are measured by an external research company and complemented by industry-wide surveys such as NCBS, JD Power and IACS. Using customer satisfaction surveys we are also able to create a definable measure of brand loyalty in customers. We’ve also developed a range of customer service tools unique to


A vision for the future Last year, the UK automotive industry, which comprises over 30 manufacturers/importers, sold more than 2.2 million cars. The motor industry continues to face a range of challenges from the current economic situation, concerns for the environment and new competitors. With a 20% share of the UK market and a 750-strong retailer network, we’re dedicated to delivering great customer service and it’s what sets us apart from other manufacturers. Volkswagen Group’s vision is to be renowned for its service, so that people talk about the service in the same positive way that they talk about our cars, and our Customer Services Centre is a key element to achieving world class service to match our brands.




From the growth of social media to the latest smartphones, a multitude of technological advancements has raised both consumers’ expectations and the demands on businesses to produce the highest levels of customer service excellence says Dave Paulding 11


Dave Paulding is Regional Sales Director, UK & Middle East, Interactive Intelligence www.inin.com

The relationship between companies and consumers has been radically transformed in recent years in line with the escalating number of communications channels. Year on year, the world of customer service is changing. A new breed of customer has emerged – one that has a loud voice and a number of public platforms on which to make it heard. Customers are becoming more empowered by technology and driven by the immediacy it provides, and anticipate that same sense of urgency from their interactions with businesses. Whether it is to resolve a complaint, answer a query or request information, they want the quickest and most efficient resolution. In fact, in a recent global survey, commissioned by Interactive Intelligence and administered by independent research firm, Actionable Research, a timely response was ranked as the most important part of a customer service interaction.

What customers really want The study, which was a follow-on to a similar survey conducted in 2013, addressed two key areas, ‘what do customers want in a great service experience?’, and ‘what do customers and companies want from the technology behind that great customer experience?’. A group of global consumers were questioned, alongside a group of professionals, which included IT professionals and customer care leaders, about their customer service and technology expectations and preferences. Evidently, for consumers around the world, the customer experience continues to gain


importance and, for companies, it provides the gateway to new business and higher levels of customer loyalty. Customer service excellence directly improves sales and this sentiment was echoed in the 2014 study – with nearly half of consumers’ surveyed (45 per cent) saying they “always” or “usually” make their products or services purchasing decisions based solely on the organisation’s customer service reputation.

Speed is the key Another key finding, perhaps unsurprising given the pace of today’s fast moving technology, is that speed is the top priority when it comes to customer service interactions. Opinions have changed in the last year regarding what each group values most in a customer service interaction, as the results from the 2013 study differed, indicating that consumers rated a ‘knowledgeable agent’ as the vital element of an interaction. However, in terms of specific methods of communication, a phone call with an agent is still by far the most preferred channel, despite the prolific growth in availability of other methods. The results did show that although alternate channels are definitely making inroads, 61% of consumers and 56% of professionals still prefer the telephone.

Web chat taking over The 2014 study showed that there is also an increased preference for live agent web chat and this is slowly taking over customers using email, which dropped by 4 per cent for consumers and 7 per cent for professionals compared to the previous year’s figures.


“In simple terms, social routing effectively channels the customer to the most appropriate service representative in the contact centre”



“Today’s consumers take a multi-pronged approach when communicating with companies and the use of social media channels have had a dramatic impact on both the speed of the response and the way contact centres deal with customer enquiries”

The immediacy and very public nature of social media make it an ideal target as an alternative communications method for consumers. During the past few years, businesses have been made well aware of its ramifications, and many customer service strategies have had to evolve and incorporate an element of social media. Given the global popularity of social media, the study uncovered a somewhat surprising result, as only one per cent of consumers prefer to use these social sites to interact with a company. Although, in perhaps a nod towards more people starting to adopt this as their chosen method, the findings from the group of professionals showed they were more common users of social media, using social channels at a four per cent rate to interact with businesses. In addition, more than half of the consumers surveyed (53 per cent) said they have used, or would use, Facebook to interact with a company for customer service. Clearly, many businesses are meeting the high requirements of their customer base, as 64 per cent of consumers reported having an exceptional, positive customer experience. The study demonstrated that word of mouth remains as strong as ever as the majority also stated that they would tell others about their positive experience, in fact, 70 per cent of them said they referred the company they had their positive experience with to their family and friends. Apart from Sweden, this percentage increased in every country in which the survey took place from 2013 to 2014.

Customer frustrations are myriad When it comes to frustrations during a customer service interaction, the main annoyance reported by customers involved the agent they were speaking too. The most noted examples were not being able to understand the agent when speaking on the phone, and dealing with an agent who is condescending or demeaning, or both. Similar kinds of unprofessional behaviour had been reported during last year’s survey, and this was reflected in the 2014 study, as having a competent agent still remains the highest priority. The majority of consumers actually said they would likely seek an alternate vendor if an agent was condescending or demeaning. Customers place a high value on their interaction with agents, particularly those who contact businesses or service providers regularly. Specific aspects of customer service rated the most


important included agents who have access to the individual’s previous transaction details. This leads to speed of service, more efficient transactions and removes the need to repeat information during an interaction. The overall results from the study suggest that the most successful contact centre operations are those that reflect the continually evolving needs of their customers. Today’s consumers take a multipronged approach when communicating with companies and the use of social media channels have had a dramatic impact on both the speed of the response and the way contact centres deal with customer enquiries.

Social routing emerging trend One of the latest emerging trends capable of addressing many of the issues brought up in the study, with the ability to take customer service to its highest level is social routing. The new method of social routing provides the next step that contact centres need to more accurately meet their customers’ requirements with a specific and tailored approach. As the number of alternative channels widens, social media, web chat and video chat will start to catch up with the popularity of traditional communication methods. The survey showed the increase in customer expectations, who are looking for the same level of functionality, service and interactivity for their product and service related query that they receive when buying online. One of the biggest problems is the gap between the buying experience and the support experience, and social routing could be the answer to meet this demand. In simple terms, social routing effectively channels the customer to the most appropriate service representative in the contact centre. The consumer will be presented with agent options and will, in effect, select the best, most suitable customer service advisor themselves to address their query, complaint or information request. The power is once again handed back to the consumer. Whatever customer service path businesses take, the focus for the future has to mirror the behavior and opinion of its target consumers. The overall findings from the 2014 survey provide a framework of what consumers believe a superior customer experience should entail, they provide answers to many vital questions which could be used to ensure that every potential company interaction is carried out in the most intelligent way.


THREE ENGAGING STEPS TO GAMIFICATION HEAVEN There are three simple but effective steps to introducing engagement through gamification successfully into your organisation says Neil Penny Here I outline practical advice and my top tips for a successful approach to boosting your rewards and recognition programmes using gamification.

However, with analysts predicting that 80% * of gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives this year, the thought of understanding the concept of gamification, let alone implementing it, might sound like an uphill battle.

The consumerisation of IT has taken hold and is a fact of life for most organisations. People expect to use technology similar to the devices they use at home and in their personal lives. They expect to use social media and increasingly they are completely turned off by the traditional interfaces of many older business applications.



Gamification is looking like it could be a great way for organisations to engage with workers, particularly the ‘Facebook generation’, to boost productivity and customer service.



“By introducing gamification successfully, companies can look forward to increased employee motivation that boosts productivity and impacts positively on customer service, and ultimately the organisation’s bottom line” Neil Penny is Product Director at Sunrise Software www.sunrisesoftware.com

Organisations looking to recruit and retain tomorrow’s top talent can do a lot to ensure that they manage their workforce, including introducing gamification techniques that actively improve employee engagement and help boost productivity. • Gamification uses game theory to introduce a competitive element to work operations that use social capital, self-esteem and fun to appeal to the workforce. It forms an important aspect of employee reward and recognition schemes, and can be used to encourage staff to work towards corporate goals.

Top tips for introducing gamification into the workplace Understanding how gamification works is one thing, making it a viable option that works in a real-life business environment is something quite different. Here is a practical guide, a simple threestep methodology that will put you on the road to successful gamification.

Gain buy-in • Don’t assume everyone understands the concept of gamification and make sure to position it as a motivational reward and recognition system rather than just another fad • What’s in it for the players? Linking rewards to something tangible like cake and coffee, or even monetary gain, will grab their attention • Recognise that not all players are the same – challenges and rewards need to reflect differences in roles and function • Don’t commit to promises of rewards you can’t keep – a surefire way to demotivate your team

Start simple • Wait until everyone is familiar with gamification before introducing more complex, longer-term goals and rewards • Go slowly to build up confidence and keep players keen – start with simple challenges and rewards that encourage healthy

• • •

• •

competition between players such as ‘highest weekly customer satisfaction rating’, ‘lowest service level agreement stats’, ‘lowest number of re-opened incidents’ or ‘highest number of approved knowledge base articles submitted in a month’ Decision criteria for determining winners should be based on measurable statistics such as being ‘rated 5 out of 5 by a customer’ rather than just ‘closing 10 incidents a day’ Make first-time rewards attainable to keep new players motivated Create tiered rewards that motivate players to continually do better Mix it up – apply different rewards for different Service Desk groups at different times but make sure players are competing against colleagues performing similar tasks Don’t be ‘out-gamed’ – minimise the opportunities to cheat by keeping rewards criteria clear and strict Align gaming scenarios with business objectives to keep them real and meaningful – after all, gamification is all about supporting the business!

Monitor and Iterate • Continually review the effectiveness of your gamification techniques – is everyone participating? Are there enough rewards and challenges to keep players interested in the long term? • Listen to staff feedback – more often than not, they will know what works, what does not and come up with fresh ideas • It’s an evolving process – constantly tweak and roll-out new challenges and rewards to keep up momentum In today’s collaborative world, using clever technology that integrates the concepts of game theory is essential to gaining the support of younger staff members. At the end of the day, they are tomorrow’s business leaders. Engaging them in a way that entertains and educates is vital to creating a dynamic and thriving work environment. By introducing gamification successfully, companies can look forward to increased employee motivation that boosts productivity and impacts positively on customer service, and ultimately the organisation’s bottom line.

* “Gamification Trends and Strategies to Help Prepare for the Future” Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner.





28 NOVEMBER, VICTORIA PLAZA, LONDON THE JOINED UP CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE EVENT The Summit is the only joined-up customer experience event to drive successful customer and employee engagement strategies for organisations looking to improve customer retention, loyalty, and business performance and profitability.




W E A R E P L E A S E D T O A N N O U N C E O U R S P E A K E R L I N E - U P W H I C H I N C L U D E : Louise Cooper Chartered Financial Analyst, writer, Times financial columnist, broadcaster and reporter on economics and market activity

Mike Havard Summit Chairman, Director, Ember Services

David Wild CEO, Domino's Pizza

Peter Burrows Chief Executive, Engage Mutual

Ivanka Janssen Director, Global Route to Consumer, Diageo

Sean Risebrow Director of Customer Service, Fidelity

Peter Sinden Director, LV=

Heather McGill Head of Customer Experience, London Olympics

Mathis Wagner Customer Service Director, Charles Tyrwhitt

Lucy Crowther Head of HR, Argos

John Cleland CEO, Maplin

Paul Hughes Head of Social Engagement, Telefonica O2 UK



Social Customer Forum - Presentations Social Customer Engagement Directors Forum 3 JULY, 2014 Opening Keynote: Forging Innovative Customer Relationships Justin Hunt, Founder, The Social Media Leadership Forum New technologies present fresh opportunities to connect in real time with your customers. Many organisations are focusing solely on traditional customer relationship management objectives and are largely motivated by reputational management issues. In this talk, Justin Hunt, founder of The Social Media Leadership Forum will share cutting edge examples of how companies can and are reinventing online customer service and collaborating with customers in innovative ways to produce new goods and services. BT Case Study: 'Serving the Social Customer' Dr. Nicola Millard, Futurologist, BT Customers like to talk to each other on social media but how does social media fit alongside other channels when it comes to talking to organisations? How does the social, "Omnichannel" customer use different channels? How do traditional service organisations need to evolve to cope? Intelligent engagement boosts social customer experience and sales Sadiq Mohammed, Director, Serco When it comes to developing online sales and reducing purchase abandonment, few initiatives can match the effectiveness of web chat. But, that's not all. The latest generation of web chat takes customer engagement and social business onto a new level. As well as providing an agile, highly responsive and dynamic platform that meets customer expectations for convenience and speed, it's also delivering significant benefits in terms of online customer experience and interaction. This presentation will highlight how the use of predictive intelligent targeting in web chat solutions helps to maximise service personalisation through appropriate, friendly and conversational customer engagement.

Social Customer care - is it time to forget the phone ? Conrad Simpson, VP Telco EMEA, Dimelo As new digital channels become an increasingly critical element of great customer care, many organisations are debating business cases, art of the possible and how to take the first steps. Using case studies from Dimelo's wide customer base Conrad will cover these issues using practical experience based data. He'll focus on when is right time to make the move? How to make sure you get it right? And of course, is it possible to forget the phone?

'Pivoting the Social Customer’ Leon Stafford, Regional Territory Manager, Interactive Intelligence Social Contact is established as a legitimate service contact point. Using supplementary channels effectively can turn the challenge of managing a new channel into an opportunity to delight. Leon will present the Interactive Intelligence view of this relationship with examples of InIn Customers of putting this into practice.


This high level Directors Forum demonstrated how understanding that building relationships with customers through social/mobile networks rather than trying to take control is the key to your future successful Social Business strategies, delivering long term business benefits and sustained competitive advantage

DOWNLOAD PRESENTATIONS Telefonica/O2 Case Study: O2’s truly embedded Social in Service approach Paul Hughes, Head of Social Engagement, Telefonica Many brands are not sure where to begin with their Social Engagement journey. Should they jump in at the deep end and build a contact centre-based approach immediately or should they get the basics right first? I discuss Telefonica UK’s views, their engagement journey and some of the important things to consider while building your Social Engagement strategy. “Mobile devices & apps – the power behind social customer service change” Alex Noble, Collaboration Social Media Expert, Cisco Social Media existed before mobile devices and apps, but was seen as niche and had minimal impact on customer engagement. In this session we look at how mobility transformed Social Media’s impact on social customer service and where social customers may go next. Panel Debate includes: Jon Morter, Ben Stockman and Justin Hunt Jon Morter, Award-winning social media community specialist and speaker

Naked Wines Case Study: A Social Business, not a Social Strategy Jo Gunn, Director, Naked Wines Naked Wines launched mid recession 5.5 years ago in a stagnating industry. To succeed, they had to do things differently and do things better. This presentation explores the power of creating a truly social business, a business who puts the customer at the very centre of it’s business model and decision making. Barclaycard Case Study: The story of a big business embracing content Lucy Wren, Head of Social Media, Barclaycard Europe The story of a big business embracing content. This presentation will look at the implications of moving from a comms to a content focus for Barclaycard. We will look at why are we doing it, what the impact has been on our operating model and how we are measuring success. The journey is nowhere near over for Barclaycard but the presentation will cover the good, the bad and the ugly to date. It's good to talk (normally) Ben Stockman, Social Media & Business Development Specialist, Jon Morter, Award-winning social media community specialist and speaker Social media activists Jon Morter (#RATM4XMAS, Condescending Corporate Brand) and Ben Stockman (Rage Against the Election, SXSELondon) explain how, with companies clamouring for attention amidst the online chatter, too many businesses forget to communicate normally - how does this reflect on their brand, what are they doing wrong and what should they do to fix it? What does social media ‘done right’ look like?



THE BIG FOUR CUSTOMER CENTRICITY SECRETS FOR TRANSFORMING CUSTOMERS INTO ADVOCATES What’s the secret of bringing a level of service to your customers that makes them want to tell the world about how great your organisation is? Stephen Hewett and David Pickering have the answers Every customer has a need they want meeting or a problem they need solving. Yet what’s often forgotten in the cut and thrust of modern life is that customers genuinely want to enjoy interacting with suppliers. Customers love having their needs met or their problems solved. Of course, different types of customer interaction offer different levels of potential enjoyment. We don’t suppose many of us get quite as much fun from, say, phoning our local authority with a query about council tax as we get from going to our local wine warehouse to select half a dozen bottles, or when we buy a new car. But the common thread is that in any customer interaction, successful resolutions and positive outcomes deliver gratification to customers and at least some level of enjoyment.

Nothing abstract about service

No matter how many people work for an organisation, the simple and vital fact is that at the moment when the customer is interacting



So, great customer service certainly isn’t some abstract management theory, but instead something intense and genuine. It’s also something of the moment that’s created between a customer service person and a customer.


Stephen Hewett is founder and chief executive of C3 Partners, which brings new customer-focused strategies to both public sector and private sector organisations. He has published two books about Customer Centricity: ‘The Customer-Centric You: Making Customers the Focus of Everything You Do’ and ‘Customers Are The Agenda: A Practical Guide to Customer-Centric Management’. These books are published by Management Books 2000, and are available on amazon and from all good bookshops. www.c3-partners.com Stephen Hewett’s personal website is www.stephenhewett.co.uk

with the customer service person, that customer service person represents, in effect, as far as the customer is concerned, the totality of the customer service being delivered by the entire organisation. If, for example, I want to buy a new mobile phone and I go into a High Street mobile phone shop, the fact that the shop may be part of a chain of hundreds of such shops, employing thousands of people altogether, is actually fairly irrelevant to me at that moment. What I want is to find someone in the shop who is knowledgeable about mobile phones and can help to answer all my queries, and – and this is what matters most of all – really cares about helping me. Even if that week, 999,999 customers of that organisation have enjoyed brilliant customer service from that organisation, if I don’t get brilliant customer service myself, I won’t be impressed by knowing (and in fact even less by being told) that those 999,999 did. There’s no enjoyment there!

David Pickering is chief executive of C3 Partners, a former chief executive of Charteris plc and a former director of Logica plc. David is an experienced leader of consulting and services businesses - both public and private. Strongly customer and sales focused, David has extensive experience of building start-up enterprises into successful consulting brands - Charteris plc grew to become one of the top 40 management consulting businesses in the UK. David also has extensive corporate experience. As a director with global IT services firm Logica he led the growth of some of its largest operating units. David is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the British Computer Society

As well as this, there’s a vital fourth ingredient, trust. At C3 Partners we think trust is, in fact, the most important element of excellent customer service. Building on the point that the core of the customer service relationship is the interaction between customer and customer service person, it’s only logical that we want to feel we can trust the customer service person to give us the advice we need. After all, trust is hard to win and easy to lose. Naturally, brand reputation - along with context and experience - play important parts in establishing trust. It also certainly helps if the customer service person is working for an organisation we like and have faith in: based on a good and ideally excellent track record of that organisation meeting our needs and solving our problems.

How to win trust Great and enjoyable customer service relies on a small number of fundamentals. Firstly, the customer service person must have sound knowledge of the thing the customer is asking about; secondly, the customer service person must have genuine enthusiasm for being helpful; and thirdly, the customer service person must have a charming and helpful manner. ISSUE SIXTEEN • SEPTEMBER 2014

Also, appearances matter. People are generally more inclined to trust a customer service person, maybe wearing a uniform, working in a High Street outlet of a major organisation than someone in casual clothes running a stall down a side-alley. Yet in fact, it may be that the person running the stall knows their stuff more than a customer service person in a large organisation’s retail outlet. For example, many mobile phone service shops - as


The four fundamentals



“Trust can also be advanced by creating quantifiable metrics to do with establishing a track record of reliability. Many internet retailers - Amazon and eBay spring to mind - are adept at finding ways of winning customer trust by enabling customers to comment and rate the service levels of suppliers”

opposed to outlets run by the major mobile phone companies - are a bit scruffy and charmless inside, but the people who work in them are often ultraknowledgeable and eager to help and truly trustworthy. Whatever the nature of the organisation that is delivering customer service to us, the same fundamentals apply. As customers we want whoever is giving us service to know their stuff (knowledge), to want to help us (enthusiasm), to communicate well (that is, to have charm), and to inspire us to put our faith in them (trust). Trust is generally easier to achieve face-to-face than via a virtual communication method such as the internet or email. The fundamental physical interaction between customer and customer service person always has a great deal to teach us in this world of multi-channel customer communications. Face-to-face communications allow all sorts of vital elements that promote trust to be brought into play: eye contact, smiles, body language and so on. In a phone conversation there’s only the customer service person’s voice and manner to go on as tools for instilling trust, and if the customer is texting or emailing the organisation, or interacting with a website, then all the customer has to go on is words.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg had it right The film The Social Network (2010) features a scene where the Mark Zuckerberg character has an epiphany one cold evening and tells his friend Eduardo Saverin that it would be great to build a website that involves ‘taking the entire social experience of college and putting it online.’ This, of course, is the basis for what became Facebook. In a world where the level of service many organisations offer via virtual means is, unfortunately, still comparatively poor, what organisations that want to deliver at least some of their customer service digitally need to do is, surely, is to find ways more effectively to ‘digitise’ the best experience of offering face-to-face service to customers.


The pace of development of digital resources is breathtaking. There are tremendous, and indeed thrilling, opportunities to deploy digital tools and technologies to create a much more intimate and personalised interaction with customers that’s based around the delivery of knowledge, enthusiasm, charm and - above all - trust.

Delivering digital trust How can organisations ‘deliver’ trust via digital methods? Well, one way is to let the customer actually see the person at the organisation. In this context, Skype’s capabilities for enabling an organisation to interact with a customer surely aren’t being exploited yet to anything like the extent that they could be. Trust can also be advanced by creating quantifiable metrics to do with establishing a track record of reliability. Many internet retailers - Amazon and eBay spring to mind - are adept at finding ways of winning customer trust by enabling customers to comment and rate the service levels of suppliers. I imagine many customers would be unwilling to deal with a supplier who had much less than a 95 per cent satisfaction record. We are probably willing to accept a failure rate of five per cent, but not much more. But there’s one last vital point to make about the power of trust. The evidence shows that we are actually prepared to pay more for something if we feel we can really trust the person we’re buying it from. This fact itself surely gives businesses a strong motivation to do all they can to build trust into their customer service, across physical customer service channels and also virtual ones. Knowledge, enthusiasm, charm and trust: these are the ‘Big Four’ fundamentals of customer service excellence and enjoyment. Make no mistake, any organisation that can deliver the ‘Big Four’ to its customers, physically and virtually, will routinely convert customers into advocates. How enjoyable is that!



BREAKING DOWN THE BARRIERS BETWEEN EMPLOYEE AND CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT In this Engage Customer exclusive editorial director Steve Hurst talks with QuestBack MD Paul Barnes about the three key trends that are transforming the customer insight space as organisations wrestle with customer centricity and the need to engage in greater dialogue with employees

We understand that Questback has gone through some major changes over the past two years could you tell us about those changes and how they are impacting on the business? QuestBack is 14 years old but has undergone a radical transformation in the past two years. The company recognised the changes that we're going to happen as Companies struggle to become more customer centric and to engage more in a dialogue with employees. The opportunity to create a platform for managing this use of insight was identified and a series of acquisitions undertaken to build this capability. When you merge four software


companies into one in a short time it takes a lot of focus and dedication to deliver the goal of an integrated product whilst continuing to provide value to existing customers. I'm fortunate to have joined when this work had been mostly completed and the results are genuinely impressive. You are presenting at our Employee and Customer Engagement Forum – what nuggets would you like delegates to take away with them from your slot? I want to open up debate as much as anything on the topic of why Customer Experience and Employee Engagement still operate in silos. The fact that these two are intrinsically linked is common sense and has been well documented over the years, most famously in the Harvard Service: Profit chain. Yet most companies today still look at insight from employees and customers in isolation. We commissioned a study on this recently and found that only 5% integrate data fully from these sources. However this is clearly a topic of relevance at present, as 57% of companies have either started to do the integration or plan to in the next 18 months. The barriers to doing so seem surprisingly high though; companies are struggling to make a clear business case and are also constrained by technology limitations and inflexible organisation structures. I hope that we can identify some ways to break down these barriers and accelerate a more joined up approach. The home page of your website stresses that you are ‘mobile first’ could you explain the rationale behind this and how it works for your customers?


Paul Barnes, MD, QuestBack www.questback.com

First off Paul tell us about your background and how you came to the role of MD at QuestBack I actually started out my career as a chartered accountant, which is a useful foundation for any business career, but I quickly moved out of KPMG to work for a start- up software company and I have stayed in the software space ever since, always with innovative fast growth companies. QuestBack is the fourth company I’ve worked with and the third in the customer experience space so I think I'm getting to know the territory pretty well now! The progression has been a natural one, staring with Speech Recognition in 2000 moving on to multi-channel interaction management in 2007 and now to enterprise feedback management in 2014. What particularly drew me to QuestBack is the sense of ambition and clarity of purpose that runs through the whole company - we are definitely on mission!


talking heads

“There is a shift in how employee engagement is done. The days of the ‘annual survey’ are over; companies need to have an ongoing dialogue with employees if they want to be successful”

When you are collecting data from people, asking them to respond to surveys, contribute in a community etc, it has to be easy, especially in this current environment of “survey-saturation”. Being able to interact with them on the device they are using at the time is therefore essential. The realisation in QuestBack a few years ago was that the approach of making interfaces “mobile compatible” just didn’t cut it anymore and that the thinking had to flip around. Being “mobile first” means that we think about the mobile device first and build interfaces for this and subsequently make them “desktop compatible”. This removes the frustration of having different versions or having some functionality that isn’t available or is compromised when using smart phones, tablets etc. It just works, as it should do, with no discussion. This means that all the project team can focus on what’s the best way to deliver value to customers and the business, without wasting time on compatibility issues. Tell us how you use the concept of ‘community’ to gain deeper insights into the thoughts, feelings and motivations of employees and customers. Community is a big topic in the insight space at the moment. It’s important to draw a distinction between a customer service community, which is aimed at driving self-service and reducing cost, and what is termed a Market Research Online Community (MROC) which is about having a dialogue with people to gain insight. As organisations grow in maturity in their use of insight they move from the simple “are we doing a good job” questions and the linked measures such as NPS and CSat, into a more sophisticated approach linked to real business outcomes such as revenue growth and product innovation. To do this requires a real dialogue which was historically been done face to face, but which can now be done digitally using MROCs. A couple of great examples of this that we support are BMW, who are using this approach to understand how drivers feel about electric cars and Fidelity, who are gaining insight into how individual investors make decisions on financial products in the light of the various crises that have affected that sector in recent years. This level of understanding can’t be gained through simple surveys but is vital if companies are going to make the right decisions. What are the four stages you have identified that organisations go through in their customer insight journey? From working with our customers across many sectors we have seen a consistent trend in how organisations progress through a Maturity Matrix when it comes to using insight. To simplify this we can pick out four key stages: Tactical – where the need to gain insight is recognised, but no strategy exists so a series of isolated survey projects are run, usually with no knowledge of each other.


Response – this is where a consistency of approach is brought in and the use of simple tracking measures are implemented; NPS, CSat, Effort score etc. Insight – this occurs where the data is linked directly to real business outcomes; sales & profit, and where the engagement moves from survey questions to a full dialogue. Foresight – is the end goal where the models are developed enough to be predictive; for example when a product is launched the business knows the revenue that will be generated due to the insight gained from customers and prospects. Could you give us some examples of organisations who are getting things right? There are many examples that I’ve seen in different sectors. At present we are working closely with RSA who are developing a proactive approach to engaging with employees and to linking this to customer experience. A very different example would be Rovio, the ‘Angry Birds’ company who are genuinely at the ‘Foresight’ level of maturity. They were able to outsell Coca-Cola in the soft drinks market in Finland by gaining insight from their fans (they think about fans, not customers). Finally Paul how do you see the future panning out for the sector and where will QuestBack fit in to that future? There are some seismic shifts going on in the business world at present and I think it’s a great opportunity for those of us working in the Insight space. Firstly companies are becoming more data driven in how they make decisions, whether this is big data or smart data, and the reliance on a CEO’s intuition is much reduced. Secondly the shift to being customer-centric is mainstream now; whilst sectors such as retail have been there for some time, the rest of the market now has to follow. Finally there is a shift in how employee engagement is done. The days of the ‘annual survey’ are over; companies need to have an ongoing dialogue with employees if they want to be successful, especially as we come out of recession and employees have more choices. This has accelerated as the ‘millennials’ start to dominate the workforce – the idea of only being listened to once a year is anathema for them! The opportunity comes from recognising that these three trends are all about how feedback is sought and managed in order to derive insight. Taking an integrated view of this makes the daunting become achievable and can unleash immense benefit in terms of competitive advantage. At QuestBack we believe we have a part to play in this as the “platform for insight”. This can only be an enabler for others to bring their expertise to bear, but it’s proving to be an effective approach for our customers.




- WHICH BRAND HAS THE MOST UNIQUE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGY? This exclusive article is from customer experience management consultancy Nunwood, as part of its Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) programme. The CEE programme focuses on understanding the external and internal characteristics of the organisations that excel in this area, enabling them to learn, without bias, from the world’s best brands



First direct has propelled itself into third place in the Customer Experience Excellence rankings, with an impressive CEE score of 8.19. Wells Fargo, however, sits in a considerably lower

183rd place in the US rankings, with a similarly modest CEE score of 6.12. What can Wells Fargo learn from its fledgling UK rival?

Integrity is integral Intriguingly, out of the five 'visions' Wells Fargo sets out on its own website, only two of these are customer-focused, ('Ethics' and 'What's right for our customers.') This may explain why the brand is currently struggling in the integrity pillar, with a low score of 5.20. Many


First direct and Wells Fargo are both banking groups, with first direct operating in the UK, and its rival operating in the US. One of them has adopted a rather unique customer experience strategy - and it appears to be working.


battle of the brands

customers seem to have a distrust for the bank, with several reporting unexpected charges or mortgage payment increases, which the brand not only seems reluctant to resolve, but is also, apparently, unwilling to take responsibility for. First direct, however, is somewhat more successful in this area, with a more impressive score of 8.08. There appears to be a greater level of trust amongst its customers, primarily because of the ease with which the bank can be contacted over the phone, with serious problems such as fraud or compromised bank accounts being resolved swiftly. Events such as these reassure the customer that the brand puts the wellbeing of its clients ahead of its own business goals.

Let the customer know they are cared for Another weak pillar for Wells Fargo is that of empathy, where it scores a disappointing 5.29. Several customers have expressed a feeling of not being understood or cared for, particularly when they are charged for banking mistakes, which they don't believe to be their fault. Moreover, some customers have reportedly been told by the brand that it has no desire for their business. Conversely, the pillar of empathy is a strong one for first direct, with a solid score of 7.73. One customer said that "the man [they] spoke to was very polite and helpful - he gave [them] some great advice and was really friendly," whilst another added that they "felt very valued and... that [they] can contact them at any point and [their] problem will be dealt with."

It's all in the customer experience strategy It is clear from the Six Pillar SystemTM that first direct's customer experience strategy is successful. This is an outstanding achievement in a culture that is largely distrusting of the banking industry. The ironic memes and humorous quips on the brand's website, whilst relatable, aren't at the heart of the bank's success though. Rather, it is first direct's performance across all six pillars of Customer Experience Excellence which has made it one of the top three UK brands of 2013.




When it comes to rallying your organisation around customer experience programmes, CFOs might seem like some of the toughest people to get on board.

• What additional costs will customer experience improvements create? • Will customer experience changes complicate existing business processes and impact our efficiency? • What will the ROI of these improvements be? These questions don’t have to be deal-breakers. In fact, you should use them to your advantage. By focusing on the financial impact of your company’s customer experience investments, you can give your CFO plenty of reasons to get behind your mission. Here are five key financial benefits of a great customer experience that you can use to help make your case.

Reduced cost to serve Unhappy customers tend to require more service, whether from frontline employees,


support channels like call centers, or B2B account teams. Regardless of the specific situation, this extra support means your employees either work more hours or don’t have the bandwidth to get everything done — because they are spending time soothing unhappy customers. If you’re able to identify and fix the pain points that repeatedly add friction to your customer experience, you’ll reduce your support costs and free your employees to serve other customers or to work on the important projects they’ve been neglecting.

Costly, broken processes brought to light and fixed Fixing pain points is helpful from an operational perspective as well. When you have visibility into parts of your customer experience that aren’t working well, you’ll often find aspects that can be made more efficient and easier for the customer — or that can be eliminated altogether. This fine-tuning process lowers costs and improves customer satisfaction at the same time.


Given their focus on reducing costs and increasing operational efficiency, they might wonder if a customer experience programmes is worth investing in. Before they give you their blessing, they’ll likely ask questions — important ones — about your plans:


expert opinion


Michelle de Haaff Vice President of Marketing Medallia’s new ebook author Michelle de Haaff leads marketing at Medallia and has 20 years of experience working in customer experience related software and services companies. Before Medallia, she was CMO and VP of Products at Attensity, a voice of the customer analytics company. Previously, she worked at AdSpace Networks as the VP of Marketing, at Blue Martini Software leading Product Management, at Levi Strauss & Company as the Director of eCommerce and as a Manager in Ernst & Young’s CRM Practice.

Higher retention - defraying the cost of acquiring new customers Even the best companies make mistakes in how they deliver their customer experience. If these mistakes go unnoticed for too long, even the smallest are enough to make customers leave for good. And those customers might share their bad experiences with others. But if you’re able to identify problems and respond quickly to resolve them, you’ll be able to improve customer retention — meaning marketing and sales don’t have to eat up your entire budget in an effort to bring on new customers to support net growth. Your customer acquisition plan can be more strategic, focusing efficiently on the untapped segments that are most important to you instead of keeping a “leaky bucket” full.

Higher profitable revenue growth Across industries, happy customers tend to spend more. This trend seems obvious for subscription-based companies, where happy customers are likely to stay around for longer. But transaction-based companies enjoy the same benefits, with the happiest customers spending as much as 140% more than the least satisfied ones, according to a recent Medallia study.


Happy customers are often driven towards higher-margin products as well. For example, a gym member who’s happy with the service she’s getting would be much more likely than a dissatisfied member to sign up for extra classes and personal training — which are more profitable for the gym than basic membership.

Lower costs to hire and train new employees Employees on your frontline enjoy their jobs more when they deal with happy customers. Happy employees stay with your company longer, meaning you spend less time and money hiring and training replacements. But if employees feel weighed down by inconsistent or ill-considered customer experience rules, their dissatisfaction will make them move on sooner — and in greater numbers. These customer experience benefits will resonate long after you’ve finished pitching your CFO. If your data and proof points are truly relevant to your organisation, your CFO might not just sign off on them. She might become your biggest customer experience champion of all. To learn more about the financial benefits of customer experience—and how some of the world’s leading brands are realising them right now—download Medallia’s ebook:




Clicktools is the leading provider of premium, Cloudbased survey software for businesses. The company lives by its brand promise to help customers better understand and serve their customers. Since 2001, the Clicktools solution has enabled organizations to improve customer experience by collecting, centralizing, and acting on customer feedback, leveraging the power of CRM. Notably, Clicktools was the first survey provider to

integrate with Salesforce™ and was an original member of the AppExchange®. The company is privately held with headquarters on the South Coast of England and a USbased office in Phoenix, Arizona. More info at www.clicktools.com.

Contact details: sales@clicktools.com communications@clickt ools.com www.clicktools.com

Clicktools Ltd. 7 Branksome Park House Bourne Valley Road Poole BH12 1ED. UK.

Clicktools Inc. 1661 East Camelback Road Suite 235, Phoenix Arizona 85016, USA.

Main: 01202 761822 Sales: 0800 0432587 Fax: 0800 471 5273

Main: 1-800-774-4065 Sales: 1-800-774-4065 Fax: 1-800-767-2070


Confirmit enables organisations to develop and implement Voice of the Customer, Employee Engagement and Market Research programmes that deliver insight and drive business change. Confirmit’s clients create multi-channel, multi-lingual feedback and research programmes that engage customers, empower employees, deliver a compelling respondent experience, and provide high Return on Investment. Confirmit’s customer

engagement model provides the power to listen to the Voice of the Customer, integrate it with financial and operational data to generate powerful insight, and take action that will deliver effective business change and create competitive advantage. Confirmit has 350 employees and is headquartered in Oslo, with offices around the world. Contact details: Joe Lenny Joe.lenny@confirmit.com +44 (0)20 3053 9376 www.confirmit.com


Ember is a customer management consultancy focused on helping clients maximise the commercial value of their customer engagement activities by identifying and exploiting opportunities for cost reduction, revenue enhancement and improved customer worth. Our approach is unashamedly financial. In every consulting project, we will identify not

only how to make your business better, but how much you stand to gain by doing so. Our services span customer management strategy, operations consulting, outsourcing procurement, contracting and mediation, innovative deployment of analytics services and increasingly the strategy and deployment of digital channels into the mix. We would be pleased to understand your challenges and explain how we can help. Contact details: Alastair Murphy info@emberservices.com 0207 871 9797 www.emberservices.com


Interactive Intelligence is a global provider of contact centre, unified communications, and business process automation software and services designed to improve the customer experience. The company’s solutions, which can be deployed via the cloud or on-premises, are ideal for industries such as financial services, insurance, outsourcers, collections and utilities. The company’s standardsbased all-in-one communications software suite was designed to eliminate the cost and complexity of multi-point

systems. Founded in 1994 and backed by more than 5,000 customers worldwide, Interactive Intelligence is an experienced leader in delivering customer value through its on-premise or cloud-based Communications as a Service (CaaS) solutions, both of which include software, hardware, consulting, support, education and implementation. At Interactive Intelligence, it’s what we do. Contact details: Jamie Salmon Jamie.salmon@inin.com 01753 418852 www.inin.com


QuestBack online surveys and managed feedback solutions empower companies to make smarter decisions, transform customer and employee experience and get ahead of

the market. Contact details: Tel.: 0207 403 3900 post.uk@questback.com www.questback.com/uk

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LiveOps is the global leader in cloud contact centre and customer service solutions. More than 350 companies around the world, including Salesforce.com, Symantec, Royal Mail Group and Neopost, trust LiveOps’ technology to enable effective multichannel, social and mobile interactions with their customers. LiveOps' awardwinning platform has processed more than 1 Billion minutes of customer interactions and managed operations for the largest USbased cloud contact centre of

20,000 home-based, independent agents. Headquartered in Redwood City, California with European regional headquarters in London, LiveOps has more than 10 years of cloud experience LiveOps is the partner of choice for companies wanting to migrate to the cloud. Contact details: Ann Ruckstuhl, Chief Marketing Officer info@liveops.com +44 (0)20 3006 8280 www.liveops.com


Mindpearl is a BPO specialist focusing on international, high quality contact centre operations. Mindpearl was recognised as the ‘Outsourcing Contact Centre Provider of the Year 2013’ at the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) Awards in the UK. With an emphasis on inbound, multichannel customer support, Mindpearl supports global brands in the aviation, leisure, telecommunications, retail and weight management industries in English and 20+ languages. With our highly skilled, motivated multilingual workforce and our strategically located ‘Follow

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the Sun’ locations, in Brisbane, Barcelona, Cape Town and Suva, Fiji, we have the know-how, experience and resources to maximise business performance and profitability. Contact details: South Africa Candace Laubscher Candace.laubscher@mindpe arl.com T: +27 (0) 21 440 6707 T: +27 (0)79 514 7006 UK Alan Graham alan.graham@mindpearl.com T: +44(0)7780 115 042 www. mindpearl.com

Medallia is a leading customer experience management (CEM) SaaS company. Founded in 2001, the company is trusted by some of the world’s top brands — including Verizon, Macy’s, Sephora, Honeywell, Wells Fargo, Sony, Four Seasons, Sodexo, and Best Western — to create experiences that customers love. Medallia enables companies to capture customer feedback across a

multitude of channels and touchpoints (such as online, social media, mobile, and contact centers), understand it in real-time, and drive action everywhere — from the C-suite to the frontline. Contact details: Medallia UK 1 Pemberton Row, London EC4A 3BG, UK 44 203 1310 200 Sales: 1 844 238 37 67 www.medallia.com


Nunwood helps businesses create consistently brilliant customer experiences. Our approach is uniquely ‘fullservice’. This means we join up customer strategy, experience measurement, feedback technology and frontline training. By connecting the dots, our clients delight their customers more frequently and achieve their commercial goals more easily. To create brilliant results, we work hard to understand what ‘brilliant’

means. Our Customer Experience Excellence Centre is the world’s largest customer experience research centre. Its work ensures every Nunwood client is connected to the cutting-edge of international experience design and best practice. Contact details: Tim Knight timknight@nunwood.com 0845 3720101 www.nunwood.com


Pitney Bowes, a global technology company, powers billions of physical and digital transactions in the connected and borderless world of commerce. We enable data-driven marketing, parcel shipping & logistics, and statements, invoices & payments through our data management & engagement software, location intelligence offerings, and shipping & mailing solutions .

Helping clients achieve their greatest commerce potential are more than 16,000 passionate employees around the world, our relentless pursuit of innovation with over 2,300 active patents, and our focus on clients, who are at the centre of all that we do – from small businesses to 90% of the Fortune 500. Contact details: Mr. Raj Madabushi E: Raj.Madabushi@pb.com T: +44(0) 1491 416835 www.pitneybowes.com/us


the final word

WHY YOUR BUSINESS BENEFITS WHEN EMPLOYEES ARE ENGAGED Colin Shaw reckons paying your people more is far from being philanthropic – but it does make sound business sense When I worked at Mars in the 80's, they had a policy of paying people over the market average. Was it because they were philanthropic and thought that the working class deserved more than they were getting? No. So why did they do it?

Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world's first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books and an engaging keynote speaker & also recognized as one of the original top 150 Business Influencers by LinkedIn. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialized research & training from their headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA. Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX

Any capitalist can tell you the answer. Mars did it because better people meant better profits. Mars realized that a committed and talented person would produce more than the average person. By paying the talented person better that produced more, they attracted other talented people. Having a higher paid employee base raised the talent level, and with it profit margins. It meant in the long run Mars saved costs by paying employees more.

Employee Engagement saves costs in many ways Higher production and talent-level per employee isn’t the only way the higher pay paid off for Mars, however. By treating their people better than other employers, Mars had employees that wanted to be there. They were inspired to be part of a good team. They believed in the message and brand promise of the company. When employees are engaged, you are far more likely to deliver on the brand promise that your organization makes with employees. Happy employees make happy customers. Engaged employees are far more likely find ways to make a customer’s day because they like their job and the company for which they work. By creating an environment that fosters this type of experience between employee and customer, your organization benefits in increased customer loyalty and retention. Any successful business leader can tell you it cost far less to keep a customer than it takes to get a new one to take their place. When it comes to cost savings, customer retention and loyalty is a huge priority.


Not only do you reduce the costs of customer churn, but you also reduce the cost of employee churn in your workforce, another costly line item in any organization’s budget. When you retain your talent and develop a long-term relationship with employees, you save countless costs in recruiting, training and ramp up period. In addition, you continue to reap the benefits of an engaged employee whose relationships with their customers only continues to thrive.

Brand reputation is heightened Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, said, “Your Brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.” Bearing that in mind, consider that your employees are likely to say a lot about your company when you aren’t in the room. What would your employees say? If your employees are engaged, you would likely be pleased with the word of mouth branding they provide your organization. They likely say great things about the vision of the company and the way they are treated there. Furthermore, these employees give customers great experiences, too. So when they leave your “room” they are also likely to give your company positive word of mouth endorsements. Now that the social media has created a world with far more transparency, branding is far more complicated task. Marketing with word of mouth is the Holy Grail for today’s marketers. Best of all, it costs less than traditional advertising so it saves you additional costs there as well. Paying your employees more, appreciating them and creating an environment where they feel valued and trusted may cost you more in the short term. But with all the long-term savings such an investment creates you have to ask yourself, “Can I afford not to create engaged employees?”


Upcoming Engage events


Customer Engagement in Telcos/Utilities Directors Forum - 23rd October 2014, London Blue Fin Conference Venue, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU

- 28th November 2014 Victoria Park Plaza Hotel, London


Events for 2015 29th January Voice of the Customer Forum

Social Customer Engagement forum 25th June

Customer Engagement in Retail Forum 19th February

Employee and Customer Engagement Forum 16th July

Outsourcing Customer Services Summit March

Mobile Customer Engagement Forum 24th September

Employee Engagement Summit 16th April Customer Engagement in Financial Services Forum 21st May

Customer Engagement in Telco’s/Utilities Forum 22nd October Customer Engagement Summit 26th November

For more information please contact: Nick Rust nick@engagecustomer.com T: 01932 506301 M: 07968 416007

Engage now at: www.engagecustomer.com @engagecustomer

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