Vue Entertainment: Improving customer journeys through technological developments
Bought By Many: Bringing an ecosystem of benefits to customers
Vogue International: Aligning content purposes to global audience needs
Julie Roberts explains how the company’s customer journeys were digitally transformed.
Sophia Pilkington-Miksa shares how the company is revolutionising the pet insurance industry.
Sarah Marshall gives insight into Vogue’s successes across the digital space.
TRANSFORMATION CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TRANSFORMATION INDUSTRY REPORT AUTUMN 2019
VIEW FROM THE CONFERENCE CHAIR 05 Martin Hill-Wilson Shares his highlights from the event.
Henshaws: How digital resources can empower people living with sight loss
BBC Studios: Why customer satisfaction starts with an engaged workforce
Louise Ferguson discusses the charity’s online knowledge village.
Andrew Moultrie explains the importance of emotionally intelligent leadership internally in driving positive customer relationships externally.
BRILLIANT CUSTOMER CARE E FLEXIBLE & SECURE HOMEWO ORKING We help leading UK brands — including DPD, Bupa and Allianz — improve e service, reduce costs and enhance the eir corporate social responsibility. tĞ͛ƌĞĚŝīĞƌĞŶƚďĞĐĂƵƐĞĂůůŽĨŽƵƌĐƵƐƚŽŵĞƌƐĞƌǀŝĐĞĂĚǀŝƐŽƌƐǁŽƌŬĨƌŽŵŚŽŵĞ͕ŵĂŬŝŶŐĂĐĐĞƐƐŝďůĞĐĂƌĞĞƌƐĂǀĂŝůĂďůĞ ƚŽĞǀĞƌǇŽŶĞ͘ KƵƌĂǁĂƌĚǁŝŶŶŝŶŐƐĞƌǀŝĐĞƚĞĂŵŝƐ&ĂƵƚŚŽƌŝƐĞĚ͕ĂƐǁĞůůĂƐ/^KĂĐĐƌĞĚŝƚĞĚ͕ĂŶĚŽǀĞƌϳϬϬƐƚƌŽŶŐ͘tŚĞƚŚĞƌŝƚ͛ƐĂĐĂůů͕ ĞŵĂŝů͕ǁĞďĐŚĂƚ͕ƚĞǆƚŽƌĞǀĞŶĂƐŽĐŝĂůŵĞĚŝĂƉŽƐƚ͕ƚŚĞǇ͛ƌĞĂůǁĂǇƐƌĞĂĚǇƚŽŚĞůƉͶϮϰǆϳǆϯϲϱ͘ /ĨǇŽƵ͛ĚůŝŬĞƚŽŬŶŽǁŵŽƌĞ͕ĐŽŶƚĂĐƚƵƐŽŶϬϮϬϴϵϵϲϱϴϰϮ͕ƐĂůĞƐΛƐĞŶƐĞĞ͘ĐŽ͘ƵŬŽƌǀŝƐŝƚƵƐĂƚǁǁǁ͘ƐĞŶƐĞĞ͘ĐŽ͘ƵŬ͘ ^ĞŶƐĠĞͶďƌŝůůŝĂŶƚƐĞƌǀŝĐĞ͕ŇĞǆŝďůĞŚŽŵĞǁŽƌŬŝŶŐ
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TRANSFORMATION EDITORIAL Elizabeth Akass Editor email@example.com 01932 302 113
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A very warm welcome to this year’s Customer Engagement Transformation Conference Industry Report. We hope you enjoy what’s inside!
his edition has been a delight to put together as we have had the fantastic opportunity to speak to experts in the customer engagement space from a wide range of industryleading brands, sharing their insights and success stories. From Vogue International, Sarah Marshall explains how Vogue’s digital content has been revolutionised, and how the brand has successfully engaged with its global audience and catered to their differing content needs. Louise Ferguson from Henshaws delves into how digital progression of their online resources empowers the people with sight loss and other disabilities that use their service, and further aids them in gaining confidence and independence. Andrew Moultrie from BBC Studios shares his insights into successfully leading an engaged, dedicated workforce that drives productivity and retainment of staff, which ultimately leads to stronger company output, and improves customer satisfaction. Sophia Pilkington-Miksa from Bought By Many discusses how her company is working to revolutionise the pet insurance industry with a customer-centric model that prioritises ease and transparency, and provides an ecosystem of benefits to its customers. Julie Roberts invites us into the digitalised world of Vue Entertainment’s customer service, including how and why the company transformed its approach to customer journeys, and the way in which the company involved its workforce in the process.
Giving an inside look at dating apps, Michael Krayenhoff from the Inner Circle talks us through his team’s personable approach to building trusting relationships with users, and the ambassador programme used to further engage and benefit dedicated users. Furthermore, our fantastic Hall Chair Martin Hill-Wilson shares his insights and highlights from the day, and you can find the event feedback from our delegates inside as well. In addition, we have included some key recent news stories from the world of customer engagement that may spark your interest. In the increasingly digital and ever-developing world of customer engagement, it is essential that brands remain open to change and progression in their approaches. For some brands, a more personal style is most effective, and for others, AI and digitising the customer experience is vital for efficiency and ease. With this is mind, shared ideas and knowledge from brands excelling in building positive and lasting relationships with customers can be invaluable. We hope that you find this Industry Report informative, helpful, and interesting. Happy reading! Elizabeth Akass, Editor
MANAGING DIRECTOR Nick Rust email@example.com 01932 506 301
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Thomas Cook auditor to be investigated The UK accountancy watchdog has launched an investigation into the collapse of travel firm Thomas Cook. The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) probe will look at the audit of the company by accountancy giant EY for the year ending 30 September 2018. The FRC’s enforcement division will carry out the investigation and has the power to impose unlimited fines and suspend individual accountants. Thomas Cook collapsed last week after being unable to raise emergency funds. The collapse of the 178-year-old firm last week put 9,000 staff in the UK out of work – and left 150,000 British holidaymakers stuck overseas. Thomas Cook has had three chief financial officers over the past two years, and has also faced questions about its accounting methods. Rachel Reeves, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said last week that there were questions to be asked about the firm’s “accounting practices”, with suggestions that they improved the chances of executives being paid large bonuses.
‘Close review’ EY is one of the so-called Big Four accounting firms in the UK. It took over as Thomas Cook’s auditor from PWC in 2017. Announcing its inquiry the FRC said it would “keep under close review both the scope of this investigation and the question of whether to open any other investigation in relation to Thomas Cook, liaising with other relevant regulators to the fullest extent permissible”. The FRC said the investigation would first look at whether EY had a case to answer, and if it did so then the two sides would convene at a tribunal where the accountancy firm – or individual accountants – would have a chance to defend any allegations against them. The FRC also said that if an accountancy firm admitted wrongdoing in the early stage of any inquiry, then it would reduce the size of any potential fine levied against it. Earlier this year the UK’s competition regulator recommended a major shake-up of the UK’s accountancy market, but stopped short of calling for the Big Four accountancy firms to be broken up. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said auditing and consultancy services should be entirely separate. Its recommendations follow the collapse of highprofile companies such as construction firm Carillion, which was audited by KPMG.
Cloud contact centres report customer satisfaction NICE inContact has announced per the latest findings of its second annual global research study, the 2019 NICE inContact Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark, that companies with all of their contact centre technology in the cloud report 18% higher customer satisfaction (CSAT) based on service experience compared to companies with onpremises contact centre technology. Further, at 40%, a significant portion of companies are very likely to invest in four or more channels to improve the customer service experience. The 2019 NICE inContact Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark gauges the attitudes of businesses and consumers in key areas of customer experience. This latest report on the business wave of the study provides insights on contact centre technology investment plans amidst changing customer needs, and points to the need for businesses to move beyond multichannel offerings and create true seamless omnichannel customer experiences powered by a complete cloud customer experience platform. The comprehensive study polled contact centre leaders in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Key findings: • Organisations with all of their contact centre technology in the cloud report superior customer experience outcomes. Companies using cloud contact centre technology report 18% higher CSAT as well as 36% higher likelihood to recommend their company from customers based on service experience, compared to companies with onpremises contact centre technology. • Channels investment plans are significant. 40% of companies are very likely to invest in four or more channels to improve the customer service experience in the coming year. Further, those who are very likely to invest in four or more channels who also have all their contact centre technology in the cloud or are planning to move to the cloud are more likely than those with on-premises contact centre technology to now offer eight of the 11 channels covered in the study, including communicating with customers on social media, online chat, SMS/text, video chat, IVR, mobile apps, chatbots, and service via a home electronic virtual assistant device. • Despite customer demand, investment plans for omnichannel functionality are lacking. Overwhelmingly, customers expect seamless omnichannel functionality when interacting with businesses, by a rate of 91%. Meanwhile, only 25% of businesses are likely to invest in new services that allow channels of communication to work together seamlessly. Consumer use of and preference for digital channels is on the rise. In the
US from 2017 to 2018, chat use tripled, and text grew tenfold; preference for these channels grew 36% and 71% respectively. • Almost half of global organisations see a need for more agent-assisted resources. While customer reliance on self-service channels has spiked, increasing from 17% to 31% in the United States (based on the 2018 CX benchmark) 49% of businesses globally expect they will need more agent-assisted resources in the coming year. Among these businesses, 61% say the need is due to an increase in the number of customers interacting with agents. “From social media messaging, to text, to chatbots, the customer relationship takes place across a wide and diverse range of channels in addition to voice. As more customers embrace multiple digital channels to communicate and engage, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to be able to quickly adopt and integrate digital channels into a seamless omnichannel customer experience,” said Paul Jarman, NICE in Contact CEO. Jarman continued, “The NICE inContact CX Transformation Benchmark not only shows that contact centres are moving to the cloud, but that those who are in the cloud, and those that plan to invest in customer experience, provide superior customer experiences. Leading organisations of all sizes can stay agile and ahead of customer expectations by leveraging a complete, unified and intelligent cloud contact centre platform, to deliver quick, effortless interactions – anywhere.” Key findings demonstrate the need for companies to provide true omnichannel experiences that seamlessly blend voice and digital as well as agentassisted and self-service channels. In today’s digitalfirst era, customer use of multiple digital channels in addition to voice is growing. Not only are more customers using self-service channels, more customers are interacting with agents.
Buying via smartphone increases 141% in one year Use of smartphones for online shopping in the UK has skyrocketed by 141% in 12 months, research by global reviews and customer insights technology company Feefo has found. By contrast, use of laptops and desktops for online shopping has dropped by 47% over the same period. Exploring the habits of 2,000 UK adults, the research reveals 53% of UK shoppers are now most likely to use their mobile for online shopping, compared with only 22% in Feefo’s research last year. And whereas 59% of respondents mostly used laptops and desktops for online shopping 12 months ago, this year the figure has crashed to 31%. In another indicator of the future, the research revealed a big increase in the percentage of consumers buying through social media. More than four in ten (42%) have bought through an advert on a social platform, compared with only 30% in 2018.
“Huge tectonic shifts are rapidly changing how UK consumers shop,” said Matt West CEO at Feefo. “Retailers need to react swiftly or risk being undermined faster than a home built over a sinkhole. Unless you understand exactly how your customers’ habits are changing, you’ll lose out to a competitor who does. You may simply disappear.” The research reveals significant differences between sexes and age-groups in shopping. Shopping online with a smartphone is more popular among women (the favourite method of 64%) than men (41%). The research also found that more than four in ten consumers (42%) prefer to shop by researching and buying products or services online when they are at home, up from 38% last year. And with this, retailer websites and marketplaces such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace are identified as the most frequent shopping sites. AUTUMN 2019
‘Flight shame’ could halve growth in air traffic Travellers are beginning to turn their backs on air travel over concern for the environment, according to a survey by Swiss bank UBS. The Swedish concept of flygskam” or “flight shame” appears to be spreading. One in five of the people surveyed had cut the number of flights they took over the last year because of the impact on the climate. UBS said the expected growth in passenger numbers could be halved if these trends were borne out. Global air travel has grown by between 4% and 5% a year, UBS said, meaning the overall numbers are doubling every 15 years. Industry forecasts from plane makers Airbus and Boeing predict growth will continue at that rate until 2035. But the UBS survey suggests that highprofile campaigns – like the example set by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, which has helped push the climate crisis up the political agenda – could trigger a change in flying habits in wealthier parts of the world, particularly in the US and Europe. After surveying more than 6,000 people in the US, Germany, France and the UK, UBS found that 21% had reduced the number of flights they took over the last year. Only 16% of British respondents said they were cutting back on flying, but 24% of US travellers were worried enough to change their flying habits. The survey was first conducted in May this year and UBS said there had been a marked change since then. The bank now expects the number of flights in the EU will increase by just 1.5% per year, which is half the rate expected by plane maker Airbus. The bank forecasted that growth in US flights would fall from the 2.1% expected to just 1.3%. And that could have a big impact on aircraft manufacturers. UBS estimates it could reduce the number of smaller planes ordered from Airbus and rival Boeing by 110 each year. The bank said that would reduce revenues at Airbus, which controls around 57% of the market, by around €2.8bn (£2.5bn) a year.
Request an ATM service to be launched Communities will be able to request a free-touse ATM for their area if they are finding it hard to access cash. Link, which oversees the UK’s network of cash machines, has set up a £1m fund to pay for ATMs in so-called cash deserts, although this will only fund 40 to 50 machines. It said more money could be added to the fund if the service proved popular. Criteria for successful bids include a lack of nearby ATMs, a safe location being found, and no Post Office access. A report published this week by banking trade body UK Finance said that there were 52,358 free-to-use machines operating in the UK at the end of 2018. Another 11,002 pay-to-use machines were also in place. A total of 2.4 billion withdrawals were made from these machines last year, with £193bn of cash being taken out. The number of withdrawals from ATMs dwarf the alternative ways that consumers can access cash, such as debit card cashback (150 million withdrawals in 2018) and over the counter withdrawals (55 million in 2018). Consumer groups and campaigners have raised concerns about the falling number of cash machines in the UK. Consumer association Which? recently revealed that free-to-use cash machines were disappearing quicker in deprived areas than in affluent ones. The organisation and Natalie Ceeney, who compiled an independent report on Access to Cash, are calling on Chancellor Sajid Javid to guarantee people can get hold of cash if they need it. It called for an independent body, funded by the banks, to be set up that would step in if local communities were running short of access to cash in shops and ATMs. The new scheme, set up by Link, does not go that far, but does allow communities – individually, or through their MP or council – to request help directly from Link to fund new cash machines. The Link fund is financed by its bank and building society members. Applications are being taken now, although 11 sites have already been identified for directly
installed ATMs. They are: Deal, Ebbw Vale, Margate, Middleton, Wilmslow and York, as well as pilot sites in Battle, Bungay, Nuneaton, Tywyn, and Durness. Battle, in East Sussex, was successful as tourists travelling to the area on a Sunday to visit the Battle of Hastings sites were unable to access cash, as the local Post Office is closed on that day each week. Each application for a similar ATM would need to satisfy criteria such as whether a retailer or council can find a safe location to host the machine. If there is another free-to-use ATM within 1km in the community and no particular geographical challenges to reaching it, applications may be unlikely to be successful. John Howells, chief executive of Link, said: “[We are] looking forward to getting the first requests for ATMs so we can help solve access to cash issues across the whole UK.”
‘Just a tiny bandage’ Peter McNamara, chief executive of independent ATM operator NoteMachine, said the Link fund was “a tiny bandage on a massive wound”, saying that the new ATMs would not make much difference when thousands had been shut. He said that Link had forced two cuts in the fees that banks pay the operators each time their customers use a non-bank machine. As a result, he argued, many cash machines had become uneconomic and were being taken out or switched from free-to-use to charging consumers. Branch closures had also led to ATMs being lost, he said. But the Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) described the new fund as a “promising step in the right direction”. “When an ATM is removed from a local area, we know it is especially difficult to get one reinstalled later on, and we hope this move can help,” said FSB national chairman Mike Cherry. Link said it was also supporting a scheme, run by UK Finance and run across the UK banking and finance industry, aimed at finding ways that communities can access cash or be guided in the use other methods of paying for goods and services.
Forever 21 files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Fashion retailer Forever 21 has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. The company said it plans to “exit most international locations in Asia and Europe” but would continue to operate in Mexico and Latin America. It expects to close up to 350 stores worldwide, a spokesperson said, including as many as 178 US stores. Forever 21 sells inexpensive, trendy clothes and accessories, and competes against brands such as Zara and H&M. But some analysts say the retailer, founded in 1984, has lost its way over the past five years, and fallen out of favour with young US shoppers looking for relatively cheap clothing. The company has also, like many traditional retailers, struggled against rising competition from online rivals. Chapter 11 protection postpones a US company’s obligations to its creditors, giving it time to reorganise its debts or sell parts of the business.
A Forever 21 spokesperson said the retailer expected to have between 450 and 500 stores globally after this process, down from its current total of about 800. Forever 21 had announced last week that it would pull out of Japan by October due to “continued sluggish sales”. The California-based firm has now said it is seeking to close up to 178 stores across the US, but has provided few details on other markets. “Decisions as to which international locations will be closing are ongoing. We do not expect to exit any major markets in the US,” the spokesperson said. The retailer sought to reassure its customers in a public letter on Sunday, saying “stores are open” and “it will continue to feel like a normal day”. “This does not mean that we are going out of business - on the contrary, filing for bankruptcy protection is a deliberate and decisive step to put us on a successful track for the future.”
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TRANSFORMATION VIEW FROM THE CHAIR
Martin Hill-Wilson: Chair’s Report: Customer Engagement Transformation Conference 2019 As usual, the topic of engagement drew a broad audience. It also produced some fascinating presentations and ongoing debate amongst those of us who attended.
he day began with Colin Shaw who was in full flight regarding the way memory influences our relationships with brands. In this sense we do not choose between experiences but memories of those experiences. The most emotional are the most memorable. Since loyalty is an emotional attachment, memory plays a vital role. Can brands influence those memories? Certainly. But to drive value (£) memories must be recalled at the right time and place. Andrew Hall from Odigo then took to the stage with an amusing and thought-provoking session on how to bridge the expectations of five generations of customers. It’s an important issue. Choice matters especially around how brand engagement happens. There are real differences in preferences and style. To illustrate, the audience was tested, and mainly failed on new Gen Z language. ‘Salty’ means ‘a bit moody’. The one that struck home was POS, ‘parents over shoulder’ – as we older humans have a habit of intruding into their private digital space.
Andrew Moultrie dropped a few bombs worth repeating. The best one was that organisations invest 1,000 more in CX than EX! Maybe that’s the problem?
Martin Hill-Wilson, Founder, Brainfood Consulting
Even so, stereotyping generations misses the point. Andrew’s core point is that we need to deliver individualised engagement. Something that ought to be possible with today’s generation of technologies. values central to the culture. Nick knows how. Simple really!
or will they atrophy into unquestioned beliefs. Time will tell. Andrew Moultrie from the BBC presented himself as an MD with a bang up to date EX agenda. He is clearly passionate about the CX to EX link and the latest evidence and underlying psychology in how to optimise people potential.
But as Walt Disney said, “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make that dream a reality.”
Emma Posthill from O2 then showed us that large organisations can become customerled as readily as any other. They have been on an epic journey of nailing what matters to customer and then ensuring that these insights command attention at all levels across the organisation. They have been distilled into a set of key principles that drives everything – from engagement to new product design. The effort and dedication to align such a large team of people really shone though.
In other words, it’s the human touch that brings engagement alive. EX is all about knowing what really motivates people and then making those
I guess the only issue is whether those principles will be regularly revised as customer behaviour and expectation evolve
Nick Brice is well known to Engage audiences. This time he told the story of the work he has been doing with Spurs football club. Of course, all this happens in the amazing new environment that has been created. It’s a multi-purpose events space on five floors with two retractable pitches to host NFL and other events. Of particular note is the Home end which is a 17,500 seat space on 82 floors and generates a fiercesome “wall of sound” for the benefit of the home team.
He dropped a few bombs worth repeating. The best one was that organisations invest 1,000 more in CX than EX! Maybe that’s the problem? He also suggested a few behaviours that leaders need to show to support an EX culture. Show vulnerability, be genuine, demonstrate care, and be a family. Interestingly the last one proved a talking point for the audience who settled on
TRANSFORMATION VIEW FROM THE CHAIR
Netflix is a data literate brand. It learns and innovates by understanding our behaviours as customers and viewers
the notion of sports team rather than family as a more accurate description of what’s needed.
secret of how to become a disruptive brand, there’s no excuse!
All in all, a refreshingly on-point set of messages from a senior leader.
The final presentation I wanted to mention came from Sam Jordon who works for strategic consultancy Manifesto. He had some interesting things to say about membership schemes since we are apparently in a membership economy – at least 70% of businesses are keen to relate to their customers in this way even though just 7% are finding them profitable. Membership schemes might be easy to understand but have proved much harder to operationalise.
The afternoon kicked off with a session I was especially excited to learn from. Netflix are often watched but seldom seen on the conference circuit. At least at the ones I attend. So, I was intrigued to discover what their head of service Dekyi Boorsma was going to say. She did not disappoint. Netflix is a data literate brand. It learns and innovates by understanding our behaviours as customers and viewers. Apparently at any given time, the brand is running around 150 different research sprints on you in order to improve your viewing experience! Their underlying insight is that you should never assume you know your customer’s wants and needs based on initial impressions or clues. So, what they do is test, test, test. The goal is to gain real users’ feedback by measuring their behavioral response. Even the customer doesn’t always know what they want or how to articulate this so measure behavior instead. Test, improve, repeat. The next point Dekyi made was to make sure you measure what matters to your business. Check your KPIs against customer behavioral response as well. Focus on what truly matters to the customer and to the business: For Neflix that’s retention, back to streaming, first time resolution.
I suspect the core challenge lies in the way Sam describes the essence of a successful membership strategy – an ongoing relationship, based on an experience, driven by engagement, that delivers value over time. In particular, it is important to put greater focus on engagement as a driver of the experience and the business’s ability to monetise the relationship. How many brands are capable of such sustained concentration? Not many I suspect.
Finally, give your advisors discretion and space to connect with customers. Specifically, empower, and inform by giving agents the tools to fix the experience within the experience.
So, in summary, the challenge of engagement remains. It is one of the keys to optimising the potential value that both employees and customers offer. Of course, in a time-poor world, we expect relevant engagement at the very least. This required data literacy coupled with real time insight and decision making to catch the tide of ever-changing behaviour. Most of us are still on that journey of competence.
So, the game plan is Test – Track – Empower – Connect. Now you know the
Till the next time.
Another interesting point was that there is no need to have a ‘plethora of channels’. Focus on access instead – no IVR, no menus. Just direct access to humans. Since that is what really matters to customers. An interesting insight for the omni-channel debate.
The Engage Awards ceremony takes place on 11th November 2019 at the Westminster Park Plaza. Book your table now to the biggest party of the year! Tickets are sold on a first come first serve basis, and the awards bring together the very best customer and employee
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engagement professionals, recognising both organisations and individuals for trail blazing excellence and defining the future of the industry.
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Aligning content purposes to global audience needs Vogue International explains how, 127 years after Vogue was first founded, it is revolutionising the brand’s digital content and making strides in engaging its global audience in innovative ways.
ogue is undeniably one of the most iconic brands in the world. The fashion and lifestyle magazine was originally founded in the US in 1892, and began publishing in Britain in 1916. Today, Vogue is published across 26 different markets, and boasts a global monthly print readership of 13.4 million.
In recent years, Vogue has also progressed alongside the emergence of the new digital age to provide hugely popular online and social media content for its readers. Each month, Vogue’s online content receives 56 million monthly unique digital users worldwide, and has 141 million followers across its social platforms. The Vogue sites had been quite separate until Vogue International was formed in 2017. It was created to provide digital stories – including text, photography, video and social stories – to the Vogues and also support with strategy. Sarah Marshall, Head of Audience Growth at Vogue International, introduces the company: “It makes sense to have this central team for both sending out content that all the different Vogues can publish, whether online or on social, or to support them in strategy.” She continues: “When we’re covering a fashion show, or when we’re speaking to a big A-list celebrity such as Rihanna, we will talk to them on behalf of all the Vogues in the world for digital.” This means that if Vogue get an exclusive, all Vogues have access to the content for publication. “It just makes sense to negotiate centrally.” Another purpose of Vogue International is to align the way Vogue is presented on its many social platforms. Marshall gives the example of Instagram: “We wanted to make sure that Vogue looked like a family of accounts across Instagram, so we hired someone from Instagram to achieve that. We wanted to be a central function for strategy as well as content.” “As a new team, we had this brilliant way that we could grow. We went out and started shooting footage for Instagram, writing features, taking street-style photography, and sending those out to different Vogues around the world.” Today, Vogue International is comprised of around 40 editors, but as a young organisation that started small, the team were able to build its culture as they went, taking a more progressive, forwardthinking approach. Marshall says: “I was the fourth member of the team at Vogue International, so we could write our own rules, which was brilliant to be part of.” “We all came from different organisations and we recognised that we could set some cultures and create a very positive place to work,
and that would therefore ensure that what we produced was very positive as well.” She describes the result of this approach: “We publish in many, many different languages so we ensure that the majority of people that work here are fluent in at least two languages. We decided to set a culture where we close laptops in meetings and turn our phones down – it doesn’t always work, we also have children and demands outside, but that’s how we aspire to work.” “We have meeting-free Wednesdays. Again, it doesn’t always transpire, but when it does it can allow you to get so much done. We have a buddy scheme to welcome new joiners, and we have ‘lunch and learn’ where every couple of weeks we get together and invite a speaker in and we get inspired by what somebody is doing from the outside.” “When you launch or start something, whether it’s within a startup culture or within a bigger organisation, it’s really good to set a culture. You can create your own culture and it’s really important to do that in a conscious way.” Furthermore, Marshall explains why audience development is such a vital part of Vogue International’s growth strategy. “Editors are brilliant at thinking of ideas and writing, and journalists are great at following their gut instinct, but you need audience development editors to understand how you get that journalism, that story, in front of the right people.” “You might want to talk to Gen Zers, or you might want to talk to people in a particular geographical area, and audience development editors can help you achieve that. It might be how you position a story; it might be helping you think through headlines or the different social platforms we tell that on depending on who you want to engage.” She highlights that both Vogue and GQ under parent company Condé Nast are focused on doubling the size of their audiences so that they can do more with the people they engage. One of the ways Vogue International works to grow its audience is through SEO and ensuring that they are present in ‘search’ results where relevant. In addition, Vogue International recently conducted a study that has the potential to grow its audience in a new way for the brand. “We looked at the needs the Vogue audience had by doing a piece of research across 11 different markets. We surveyed about 5,000 people, 3,000 of whom are loyal Vogue readers, and 2,000 who aren’t reading Vogue, but love fashion so should be reading Vogue,
Sarah Marshall, Head of Audience Growth, Vogue International
and we found that there are six different needs that the Vogue reader has.” These are: ‘inspire me’, ‘educate me’, ‘divert me’, ‘update me’, ‘connect me’, and ‘make me responsible’. “My thinking then was, if we can better write for these needs, we can grow our audience.” Marshall talks through ‘make me responsible’ as an example: “We know that 53% of people say they have a need to be made more responsible, whether that’s learning about sustainable fashion, or making people a better version of themselves. However, what we found when we studied our content was only 2% of our stories responded to this need. That difference is the white space.” “If we write more stories that can help people in their lives be more responsible, the concept is that we will grow because we’re creating stories that are more useful to people. It’s early days, but I’m excited to
really see if we can move the needle on audience growth by giving people what they want.” She also discusses the ‘divert me’ need further: “What we found in many of the markets was that people wanted diverting. Vogue has always been entertaining and fun, but we need to remember to stay entertaining and fun because that’s what people want when we think about the diverted need. Or something beautiful, or content that they wouldn’t normally read or view.” The insight provided by this research has the potential to enable Vogue International to align content with audience needs on a geographical basis as well. In most countries, ‘divert me’ came out as the most significant audience need, but some countries had different priorities. Marshall highlights Russia, where the top result was ‘inspire me’, and the UK, where the most
significant need was responsible’, as examples.
“In Russia, people really wanted inspiration over diverting, and practical content such as shopping edits. In the UK, we want to be made better versions of ourselves; we want to learn how to be better people and think about sustainability, particularly our younger audiences as we conducted the survey by age as well. We realised the Greta Thunbergs and the whole environmental movement has really entered The Vogue readers’ consciousness.” She describes how this could benefit Vogue International’s audience strategy moving forward. “Vogue has always helped people make shopping decisions and inspired people. Now that we’ve worked with the audience research team, I think that by combining audience research with our editorial knowledge we can really think about how we help people shop in a different or better way. That’s something that really interests me, and our audience research team can do amazing things.” Marshall finishes by explaining another key research source that Vogue International uses; this is its ‘reader community’, which consists of 3,000 people in each of Vogue’s different markets. She says: “Our community aren’t paid; they are just people who love telling us what Vogue readers like.” She states that a beauty study has recently been conducted using the reader community’s feedback to discover what beauty products or routines were important to people in different countries. “It was fascinating, and people recorded themselves on their own phones and sent us little videos, and they were all people who had previously told us they love beauty.” “Things like that, where we’re really talking to people and finding out what Vogue readers want, what they care about, what they wake up thinking about, what they go to bed thinking about – when we listen to our customers a little more it’s just going to make for better journalism overall.”
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How digital resources can empower people living with sight loss Henshaws, a northern-based charity that works with 75,000 people living with sight loss across the Greater Manchester area, explains how its digital progression is further helping its users to gain confidence and independence.
enshaws was originally founded by Thomas Henshaw in 1837 to create a blind asylum for young people in the Greater Manchester area. Today, it is one of the oldest charities in the north, and still primarily works with people living with blindness, but also offers support to many others with disabilities as well. The organisation provides a specialist college, housing services for people living on its premises that have care provided to them, an arts and crafts centre, community services where it engages with 75,000 blind people across Greater Manchester and throughout the UK, and additionally has a growing digital presence. With a turnover of over £10 million, it is classified as a large charity. Louise Ferguson, Executive Assistant to Henshaws’ CEO, explains why the charity has seen a 33% increase in staff over the past three years. “We’ve got an ageing population and reducing state support, so organisations like Henshaws are absolutely crucial to provide support for people who may not know where to go. We want to be the go-to place for people with visual impairment and other disabilities.” She says that the number of people living with visual impairment in particular is a growing problem, and about 50% of people living with sight loss or visual impairment also have other disabilities that require support. All of the work the charity does aligns with its guiding values. “Our aim is to help people go beyond expectations, and that’s what we live and breathe.” Ferguson says this includes both staff exceeding expectations in how they help the people they work with, and for the people who use the charity to exceed what they expect to achieve.
Louise Ferguson, Executive Assistant to CEO, Henshaws
Henshaws’ other values include: • Being informed and always aiming to increase knowledge and expertise; • Sharing this knowledge and exchanging experience and ideas with others; • Being pro-active in helping and supporting individuals; • Being inspiring through the lifechanging impact it has; • Being compassionate and always displaying empathy and understanding; • Most importantly: empowering people and supporting individuals to reach their full potential. Henshaws also boasts an awardwinning pathway to independence for the people it works with. Ferguson says: “It’s acknowledged within the industry as being a best model of support for people with visual impairment. It translates to lots of other disabilities as well, and we have licensed it to other charities. We’re really proud of it.” She talks through what the pathway entails. “The first part is ‘How can we help you?’ which is our customer engagement centre. They tap people into much needed support, whether that’s with Henshaws or with external
Long-term it will have all of our information and guidance on there. It’s a great resource that we’ve got and we’re hoping that it will just grow and expand.
agencies. If we don’t offer people what they need we put them in touch with our partner organisations.” “The second part is ‘Let’s make a plan’ and this is where our specialist team work with people to assess their individual needs, and provide a tailored plan to meet their personal specifications and requirements, and help them achieve their aspirations for the future.” “Then we have an ‘Independence matters’ programme, and that’s the training programme we provide. We help our users develop the core skills they need to live independently. We help to build their confidence, increase employability, and improve their overall wellbeing.” “The last part is the ‘Friendship matters’ programme. That’s our social group networks and where people come together. Real friendships are established and peer to peer support is offered.” She states: “Everything that we have is designed to build independence for people.” Increasingly, this now includes digital resources in Henshaws’ ‘Knowledge Village’, which is still in progress. “We’re in a transitional stage at the moment. Everything that we know, all of our
knowledge and skills that we’ve learned over the many years of working with people with visual impairment and disabilities – we’re trying to share that with people in a digital space.” She describes how this is being achieved: “We’re translating all of our resources and adopting a triangle of care strategy, which means it’s for professionals, carers, families, and for people with visual impairment themselves. It will be the go-to place for knowledge and information.” At present, visitors to the site can explore Henshaws’ videos, blogs, eBooks, and other resources available for download, which explain a variety of technology and AI designed to help people with visual impairment, and detail dozens of apps that could be useful to people with sight loss and other disabilities, among other advice and information. “Long-term it will have all of our information and guidance on there. It’s a great resource that we’ve got and we’re hoping that it will just grow and expand.” Overall, Ferguson says that knowledge is the most crucial thing Henshaws aims to provide. This is to help its users understand more about their eye condition and other disabilities, and all
of the support available to them. “Knowledge grows confidence, and self-esteem is so important for people with disabilities to help them believe they are capable and empowering them to overcome their barriers.” “The other key things we aim to impart are skills and independence so that they can tackle difficulties. Even going outside can be terrifying for someone with visual impairment, so we teach them orientation through the many resources out there, including iPhone and Android technology,” she continues. “We try to build their skills up, and then the long-term aim is to enable people to live as independently as possible and go beyond expectations.” To finish, Ferguson discusses another significant upcoming development Henshaws is looking forward to. “We have a proposal into the Manchester Devolution, the clinical commissioners. Visionary, who is our industry membership buddy, affected Henshaws to be the strategic partner for services for Greater Manchester, and bring everything together under one umbrella. The aim of the proposal is to be the single point of access for people with visual impairment and to tap people into the statutory services they need.”
TRANSFORMATION SURVEY RESULTS
Survey highlights We are thrilled with the delegate feedback from this yearâ€™s Customer Engagement Transformation Conference. It is wonderful for us to see how well the event has been received, and the positive impact our fantastic speakers have had with their audiences. We are so pleased that 100% of delegates told us the information presented at the event was useful, with 100% also rating the organisation of the day as excellent to average, of which two-thirds rated excellent. With 97% of delegates saying they will attend again next year, we look forward to welcoming back many familiar faces from our ever-growing community of industry-leaders.
How would you rate the organisation of the day?
Which speakers were your favourite?
66% Sarah Marshall
9% Average Moira Clark
How useful to your company was the information presented at the event?
Would you attend the Conference again next year?
How did the event compare to what you expected?
Please describe your event experience in one sentence:
"A well organised, professional and interesting event." "The event was really informative - it is great to have the options of what to attend and a great format of short presentations with networking opportunities as well." "I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Hearing from many large companies was very interesting and informative." "An enlightening day of strategic customer engagement case studies." "An excellent event to share knowledge, gain industry insight and make new connections." "Inspiring and motivating and I'm definitely pinching some of the great staff engagement examples I heard in the presentations!" "I gained some really interesting insights and thought provoking ideas which I've been able to bring back to my business."
Better than I expected
About what I expected
Why did you decide to attend the Conference?
"I attended the conference because it provided the perfect opportunity to benchmark how we are doing in CX against other companies and learn from the best." "Stakeholder engagement and transformation is a key focus of mine and the Conference presented an ideal opportunity to hear and learn from peers on how to approach this fundamental undertaking. Case studies and networking always inspire me with new ideas and energy to keep promoting the CX mandate."
TRANSFORMATION CASE STUDY
Why customer satisfaction starts with an engaged workforce BBC Studios explains why improving customer satisfaction begins with leaders actively working to drive employee productivity and motivation through engaging them on a personal level and progressing company culture.
BC Studios is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group with over 50 years of experience in making beloved and quintessentially British content. It creates around 2,500 hours of content each year through seven production bases in the UK, and has a further 22 international offices and production bases in nine countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. With 79 awards and over 300 nominations to its name, BBC Studios is the most awarded production company in the UK today. Andrew Moultrie, Managing Director of Consumer Products and Publishing at BBC Studios, and Board Member and a NonExecutive Director, introduces the company further: “BBC Studios is a global content company with British creativity at its heart, and we work with the best writers, directors, and programme-makers that champion British creativity.” He continues: “The BBC are our sole shareholder, so all our profits go back into the BBC to drive value for the license-fee holder. We’re also a committed partner to the UK’s thriving independent production community, as well as other broadcasters on digital platforms that showcase the best of British talent with the hallmark of quality. Our operations span content, finance, development, production, sales, brand, services, and consumer products.” Moultrie highlights that effective employee engagement is a real passion point for him, both from a practical perspective in motivating staff and driving productivity, and from an ethical perspective in humanising the corporate world. “An engaged workforce can really lift an organisation’s revenue and profitability.” He notes that in 2016, research proved that “engaged employees outperformed less engaged employees by 18% in productivity and 22% in profitability”, and that it has also been proven that the “most engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave the company”. This, combined with the fact that “the cost of replacing an employee is upwards of 200% of their salary”, shows how vital it is for companies to improve employee satisfaction and reduce turnover. “The hard facts remain that if your employees don’t feel valued, if they feel like they’re being treated like robots, or if they feel that their boss doesn’t really care about them or see them or hear them, then they’re not going to drive customer engagement. It’s never been more important to be focused on internal feeling and culture in order to remain competitive and relevant in the marketplace.”
He discusses how this work is being implemented at BBC Studios. “The most important thing for our organisation is our people and our culture. We’re in the dawn of an era where I think the single most important trait will be emotional intelligence: the mastery of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. We really need to start having proper conversations with our people in order to build our culture, drive our engagement, and stay competitive.” In Moultrie’s divisions, Consumer Products and Publishing within BBC Studios, he says “a journey of staff engagement” is taking place. “It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and energy, and the journey starts with listening. It’s not just about having meetings or catch ups, but being completely present and having a conscious listening mentality.” “In order to do this, you need to give yourself permission to slow down, you need to remove distractions, and you need to respect those to whom you are listening to. We need to stop taking phones into meetings, we need to stop trying to multitask, or clear our inboxes when we’re having conversations. We need to become deliberate listeners versus coincidental ones, because conscious listening creates understanding; understanding generates trust, and trust underpins strong relationships.” Moultrie emphasises the importance of leaders getting to know their employees on an individual basis. “You build culture and create meaningful engagement by talking to people one by one and understanding what they care about. You will learn that some people want money, some people want titles, some people want time with their family, flexibility, or creativity. It’s our job to know every one of these things and engage with our people every single day.” He also explains that people’s wants and needs can change throughout their lives and careers, and as a
The most important thing for our organisation is our people and our culture.
result it is important for these dialogues to be ongoing. “It’s time that our corporate ecosystem paid attention to the human elements that will drive businesses to the next level. These are conversations that need to be had, and conversations that will determine our future.”
on and dive deeper into your conversations and results will follow. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver, don’t make long lists of ‘to dos’ that never get completed; this only disengages your people. Focus on one action, deliver it, and then move to the next one.”
Furthermore, Moultrie describes the five ‘leadership hacks’ he has learnt throughout his career to help leaders sincerely engage and connect with their staff to build trust and drive productivity and motivation: 1. Being vulnerable: “The robotic, infallible approach to leadership that I grew up with in my generation no longer engenders trust or engagement; people see right through it. You need to show them you’re human; you need to show them you make mistakes and don’t have all the answers.” 2. Being genuine: “Leaders, in my opinion, never run away from a matter when others are unwilling and afraid to face it. Everyone will trust you if you do what you say and say what you do.” He also highlights that leaders should be able to align their values and morals with their company’s culture authentically, and if they can’t then it is not a genuine fit for them. 3. Feeling: “We all like to feel valued for who we are. Research shows that 83% of engaged staff say their supervisor cares about them as a person. It’s clear that getting to know people is worth it. If you want staff to care about their work, you need to show that you care about them as people.” 4. Being a family: “Feeling part of a family – something with purpose and strong values, more than just a team – can drive productivity and employee wellbeing.” 5. Action: “Companies that choose a single area of focus are most successful at driving change. Choose one area to focus
Another vital part of company culture that BBC Studios has worked to improve is diversity, inclusion, and being aware of unconscious biases. Moultrie says: “We have 10 active diverse working groups with a voice within BBC Studios, and a senior executive sponsor. These include: our ‘Next Generation’ Board focused on youth, working parents, disability, BAME, LGBT, ages 50+, men, gender equality, mental health, and socioeconomic mobility.”
“Ultimately for me, beyond delivering diversity and inclusion targets or driving our internal engagement scores, I think we’ll be doing the right thing when we see external research metrics openly communicating that BBC Studios is not only the best British content company in the world, but that it’s one of the best places to work in the world as well.”
He continues: “In order to engage with your diverse workforce, we need to let them have their voice and create a platform to engage with them on, and start paying attention to their views. If you engage with people the way they want to be engaged, they will drive your innovation, they will drive your productivity, and they will fuel your growth.” Moultrie says that, moving forward, more diverse representation will be seen across its leadership groups around the whole of the BBC, including BBC Studios. “At a BBC Group level, we’re committed 100% to hitting our inclusion, diversity, and gender equality levels right across the organisation, and we’re going to be held accountable to deliver it.”
Andrew Moultrie, Managing Director of Consumer Products and Publishing, BBC Studios
All of these elements of improving employee engagement and company culture contribute to a strong, reliable, dedicated workforce, which ultimately results in better company output, and success in building positive relationships with customers.
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Bringing an ecosystem of benefits to customers Bought By Many is working to revolutionise pet insurance through a customercentric model that explores innovative ways to prioritise ease, accessibility, value, experience, and quality of product for their users.
ver 45% of the UK population currently own at least one pet, and this statistic is rising. In a nation devoted to welcoming animals into their homes, pet insurance has never been more important to help owners protect and prolong their pets’ lives and wellbeing.
Bought By Many has been serving customers in the insurance market since 2012, and has quickly become a consumer favourite since launching its own pet insurance in 2017. It was recently awarded MoneyWise’s most trusted pet insurance provider of 2019, as voted for by customers, and boasts a net promoter score of 78, and 85 for claims. This means 90% of claiming customers rate them as a nine or 10 out of 10 on the likelihood of recommendation to friends. Sophia Pilkington-Miksa, Head of Customer Experience at Bought By Many, says: “It’s an exciting company and an exciting time for us.” She explains that Bought By Many was designed to address the user needs that other pet insurance companies were failing to meet. “Insurance is really about helping people protect the things they care most about in the whole world. It feels a little like the industry has lost sight of that along the way and has become very transactional, seeing things from the inside out rather than the customer’s view.” She continues: “Bought By Many was set up to provide better insurance for everyone. This means better product, better value, and better experience. We have an inherently customer-led model, using anonymised search data which helps us identify pockets of people with shared needs and frustrations that the industry hasn’t served or met, and then we co-create with those people to make fundamentally more valuable products and experiences for them.” Pilkington-Miksa describes the traditional touch points Bought By Many worked to address and improve. “Purchase is traditionally a very complicated, difficult step for customers.” She says that Bought By Many made purchase easily understandable and accessible to get an immediate quote. “All of our policy wording has the reading age of an 11 year old, so it’s really easy to digest.” Customers can also make a claim on their phone “in seconds”, and the company is strict in making its renewal prices as fair as possible.
“At renewal, we change various practices that we see happening in the industry that we don’t think are fair or right. Often existing customers will get charged more than new customers; companies will hike up renewal prices assuming their customers won’t move because it’s a hassle to switch, giving cheaper prices to new customers. We just don’t think that’s fair for existing customers, so we never do that. Nor do we charge customers who have claimed more, because we don’t think you should penalise people for using your product.”
Bought By Many was set up to provide better insurance for everyone. This means better product, better value, and better experience.
In addition to the traditional foundation of services a pet insurance company would offer, Bought By Many work to go a step further and provide a wider array of benefits to their users. “We aim to offer an ecosystem of broader benefits. This is the exciting moment for us because now we’ve got the traditional touch points established we can start working on that added value.” Pilkington-Miksa says that Bought By Many’s customers already receive several added benefits, such as “useful content they can’t get elsewhere”, “VIP access to pet-related events”, and a personal card if a pet passes away. The company has also trialled benefits such as enabling customers to be rewarded for their pets’ activity levels, and sending birthday presents to pets, including ‘Woofins’, muffins for dogs, and ‘Pawsecco’, prosecco for cats. “This broader ecosystem is the real focus point for us,” she says. “We want our customers to feel part of something.” Innovation has been a key element in creating these broader benefits; in August, Bought By Many launched a 24/7 365 digital vet consultation service with First Vet for its existing customers. “The customer experience isn’t just the moment of claiming; the worry starts earlier and may continue afterwards. Now our customers can have
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Sophia Pilkington-Miksa, Head of Customer Experience, Bought By Many a video conversation with a vet and be reassured whether something is wrong and they want to get an early view, or following a claim if they want some advice on their pet’s recovery, or even a second opinion.” Another technologically innovative benefit offered to customers is ‘Snap Claims’. “As the name suggests, this is all about ease – it’s a snap to claim with us!” Pilkington-Miksa explains this further: “We thought about all the traditional pain points of claiming. It tends to be quite time consuming, and despite the fact that customers have paid premium, all of the effort with claiming sits with the customer; they have to fill in really antiquated claim forms which they have to print and take to their vet. There’s a feeling that you have to prove yourself to your insurance company, like there’s an assumption of dishonesty, and once you’ve submitted your claim there’s this feeling of uncertainty over what’s going to happen.” “We’ve been focused on trying to fix these. With ‘Snap Claims’, you can phone if you prefer, but you can also submit online in seconds on your mobile phone, and the UX is designed to feel more like you’re speaking to a human. It’s really simple, and you don’t need to submit any proof as we can converse directly with your vet and make that effort for you – that’s part of the service.”
She continues: “We’re also working on claims statuses, so customers will be able to see exactly what’s happening with their claim and feel in complete control. There’s so much more we’re planning to do after that to make it even easier for customers, and crucially also vets, too!” These benefits are carefully designed and brought to fruition as a result of thorough research and consistent communication with customers. “In terms of the amount of data available and the research solutions that have been produced, there’s arguably never been a better time for customer-led innovation in terms of the insights and feedback tools available, and we really do seize this opportunity.” “We engage with customers on social media to help define what our products and experiences should be, but there’s also a host of tools we use to see the drop offs in our user experience. We can set up online surveys in minutes and get results within the hour; there are online focus group tools that we use, and we even have tools that helps us pull out themes from all the back commentary. These tools are incredibly helpful for us.”
team that’s focused on themes and root causes, and that feeds into our weekly prioritisation. It’s an ongoing conversation between the business and the customers, and that’s key.” However, Pilkington-Miksa highlights that, although this technology is hugely useful, it is no substitution for having real customers in the office and meeting the people you are innovating for. “They tell you things that you didn’t know to ask in the first place.” She finishes by emphasising that their goal is not to digitise the customer experience, but to create a better one. “For insurance, especially claims, a large part of this is always going to need a human element for reassurance and empathy. We don’t have any scripts in our customer service, nor do we have any call wrap times. If the customer wants to speak to our team, that’s what they’re going to get. They have the digital option as well, but when reassurance matters, we want to be there for them. It’s so important to invest in the human elements of innovation.”
“Using feedback for positive effect is very much part of our culture. This isn’t a one-off for us; everyone in the company gets an alert when we get a three-star, or less, review. We have a dedicated
We do people change, Yoou do br b illiant business. Using U i our d deep understand ding of how people worrk, we help businessess to tell clear stories, ma ake stronger connection ns and have braver outcomes - leading to a range off exceptional i l outcomes.
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Improving customer journeys through technological developments Vue Entertainment explains how it transformed its customer journeys and customer satisfaction through digital developments and further engaging its employees.
ue Entertainment is a British multinational cinema company with 91 venues across the UK and Ireland, and 280 sites total across Europe and Taiwan. Julie Roberts, Customer Service Manager UK&I at Vue Entertainment, says: “We just want to deliver the best bigscreen experience for cinema goers.” Roberts introduces the aims Vue Entertainment had when approaching a transformation in its customer service strategy: “We really wanted to promote first-contact resolution and to do some great guest recovery, increase our customer satisfaction, and reduce cost.” She highlights guest recovery as particularly important for retaining customers. Previously at Vue Entertainment, there was restrictive criteria around compensation in the contact centre, and agents were only able to offer it in certain scenarios. Roberts and her team worked to empower the agents by removing the rules, and the silos that kept them to certain channels. “This improved their confidence in handling the complaints and queries that would have previously escalated, and recover the people making complaints as customers and make things right.” “We had a lot of success, but we did find that not all of the staff in the contact centre had the ability to embrace the empowerment of having the rules taken away. As a result, we needed to change the recruitment strategy to ensure people who could embrace empowerment were being hired.” Vue Entertainment wanted its staff on board with these changes, so ran workshops in small groups where
employees could create their own vision of how they wanted things to run in the contact centre. The ideas raised by the groups were all merged together to create one strong vision, and Roberts’ team ensured there was a recognisable part included from each of the workshops.
She continues: “We wanted technology to give us information in real time. We now have a lot of dashboards and data and analytics and we’ve taken this data to do our root cause analysis and solve problems which are causing our customers pain so they don’t need to contact us to start with.”
“This was a kind of reset moment, taking the team away from the old way of thinking and getting them into the new way of thinking. Focusing on first contact and really wanting to help customers rather than rushing through as quickly as possible.”
“Our strategy was two-pronged. It was about giving the agents the knowledge to be able to do that first contact and reduce the number of times customers come to us with problems, and to identify why the customers are calling and find those root cause issues. We also regularly go to our contact centre and work with the team and answer their questions to help their knowledge and confidence. It’s very much a partnership with our contact centre.”
Roberts says that further work was done to ensure the highest possible standard of customer service was provided by agents. “We took all of our agents out of the contact centre for the day and did one massive workshop on how we can help customers, and how body language can make a difference even when we’re on the end of the phone. There was key training that was done with learning and development, and this really played dividend to what the team were able to deliver.” She talks through other strategies her team undertook to drive cost efficiencies and improve customer service. “This was to upskill our agents and improve their knowledge. One of the first things we did was create an internal knowledge base, which was in the control of our new head office customer service team. My team now update that on a regular basis, and we’re able to pin new things as they happen in the business so agents will get updates in their knowledge base as they are entered. It’s made it much easier to communicate and get the right messaging to our customers.”
One of the most significant changes Vue Entertainment carried out was in the development of their Tech Road Map. “We implemented an omnichannel CRM which gave us the single guest view in customer service for the first time. It was designed to be future-proof, and to integrate with content that was on our bigger road map of how we wanted our technology to look.” Additionally, she says that live chats were put on the web pages. “We’d had them previously, but they had just been popped on the pages without much thought. We went back and had a look at where people were struggling on our website, and where they were asking questions. We then put a live chat specifically on those pages, and then added them with timings.” She notes that the chat would only show up for a customer if there was an agent available to help, so there were no queues. “We started asking customers, ‘tell us
Julie Roberts, Customer Service Manager UK&I, Vue Entertainment
why you’re calling today’, and collected the data through our old IVR, interactive voice response, over a couple of months. We then whittled this data down to 50 key customer journeys, which we then used to look at what the best way is to help the customer.” “This led us into the development of our new IVR which uses natural language and is a visual IVR, which is the best IVR for us. When customers want to book tickets to a specific show at a specific cinema, it will disambiguate what they ask and send them a link for the booking page direct to their mobile phone to continue in a digital journey.” She highlights that 70% of customers accept a live chat when offered, which improves customer satisfaction as it increases efficiency and ease for the customer. Other customer journeys are based around acquiring
information. Roberts says that information has been provided upfront to customers to help with basic enquiries, so they don’t need to speak to agents, and some further modes have been added to the IVR for when the contact centre is busy. “We send more queries that don’t require an agent to receive our information, and we will focus on the higher-level queries who need assistance there and then. We created another mode for when we have issues with our website, which then turns the contact centre into a booking office. This also helps us from a business continuity perspective.” “Now when we find ourselves busier than anticipated, we’re able to recover much quicker with customers all being put on the right touchpoints, and we have all the information that we need to assist them once we have more staff and resources available.”
She says that payments and refunds have been included in the live chats, which has added capability in assisting customers further, and that the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle will be a chatbot which is still in development. The shift results from these changes are significant. “Originally our channel mix was about 70% phones, 14% email, about 8% social, and about 7% was live chat. We were very much biased towards phones. Through the changes we’ve made, we’ve shifted this to about 54% phones, e-mails have risen a little, our social stayed the same, and our live chat has risen to 15%.” This move away from phones has lowered costs, improved efficiency, and increased customer satisfaction, with 32% of customers no longer going through to an agent because they’ve been self-served. “We hope that we’re going to see even more shift happening once we’ve got our chatbot going, and once we’ve ironed out some of the creases that we’re still working on. The great news is we’ve shifted a lot of people into our digital journey to book on the website, which is better for our customers because we know that they have an overall better experience.” Moving forward, Roberts says her team will continue to review and improve the Tech Road Map, as well as placing more of a focus on customer service within the venues. “We’ve already started looking at some initiatives for this, so we’ve got some interesting times to come with some cross-functional collaborations. It should be great!”
The Engage Awards ceremony takes place on 11th November 2019 at the Westminster Park Plaza. Book your table now to the biggest party of the year! Tickets are sold on a first come first serve basis, and the awards bring together the very best customer and employee engagement professionals, recognising both organisations and individuals for trail blazing excellence and defining the future of the industry.
Introducing your Awards Host Hugh Dennis
Following on from the success of the 2018 Engage Awards programme, which broke records across the board, we are delighted to announce the renaming of our programme for 2019 to the International Engage Awards. The new moniker is an acknowledgement of the increasingly global spread of organisations wanting to enter what is now firmly recognised as the only customer and employee engagement Awards programme. The 2019 International Engage Awards are delighted to welcome Hugh Dennis as the host, the ceremony will include a record number of categories covering every conceivable aspect of customer and employee engagement, and including for the first time a coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. If youâ€™ve achieved great things with your engagement initiatives, the Engage Awards are perfect for you.
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nline www.Engage Awards.co.uk
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TRANSFORMATION FOCUS ON
Creating brand ambassadors through providing trustworthy and enjoyable customer experiences The Inner Circle explains how it works to provide safe, trustworthy, fun, and unique dating experiences for its users, to the extent that they become ambassadors for the brand.
n the digital age, over 20% of relationships and 17% of marriages now begin online. With an increasing number of dating apps available, The Inner Circle sets itself apart through its assurance of a safe and trustworthy community of like-minded singles, its exclusive events, and its dedicated and personable team who meet users face-toface around the world. The app launched in 2012 and is now live in 49 cities across 26
countries, with over one million users total. In 2018, the company won the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for being the fastest growing technology company in the Netherlands. As part of its commitment to providing quality dating, The Inner Circle has firm user guidelines in place. These include: ‘Be Real’ in not misleading users, ‘Be True’ in using realistic and
recent photos, ‘Be Interactive’ in being genuine and communicative, ‘Be Decent’ in keeping conversations clean, ‘Be Respectful’ in being considerate of others’ feelings, ‘Be Reliable’ in treating dates with importance, ‘Be Inclusive’ in embracing diversity, ‘Be Kind’ in never ghosting (disappearing without explanation), and ‘Be Vigilant’ in reporting unacceptable behaviour.
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Michael Krayenhoff, COO and Co-Founder of The Inner Circle, summarises the purpose of the brand: “At the core we are an app that helps people make real and meaningful connections. The Inner Circle is part of so many people’s journeys to help them meet ‘the one’.” He describes the company’s approach to its relationships with its users: “Apps in themselves can be pretty disposable, so it’s very important as a brand to build a strong connection with your users. To do this, we screen all members to ensure a safe and trustworthy community of singles. We also host events around the world for users to connect in real life; we create special tailored experiences like cocktail masterclasses, or hosting a day party in a park.” Krayenhoff says that the live events have proven successful in helping The Inner Circle’s users build more impactful connections with each other. “In the end if you want to meet ‘the one’, you have to meet in real life, and these events can be a helpful bridge for people.” By extension, positive experiences at these events, and in their dating experiences through the app more generally, help to develop stronger brand loyalty from its users than an online-only experience. The popularity of The Inner Circle’s approach to the service and wider benefits it provides for its users has been utilised in the creation of the brand’s ambassador programme. “We identify our users that love using the app, and we turn them into fans by treating them like VIPs. We encourage them to spread the word and we give them lots of extras by inviting them to our events, letting them bring their friends for free, giving them full memberships, and more. We also offer the members who get really involved the opportunity to host their own events for
their friends and for fellow users, and in that way they truly become ambassadors for the brand by bringing people together in real life.” Krayenhoff explains that this dedication to providing excellent customer experience extends to encompass a wide variety of elements. “Our support team go above and beyond to give our users a positive experience, no matter what. This could mean helping with profile advice, giving a refund, inviting users back to one of our future events, or whatever needs to be done.” For the team at The Inner Circle, the biggest successes of all are hearing from members that met through the app. Krayenhoff says: “When users get in touch and send us baby cards or wedding cards, we send them a congratulatory card signed by the team in return. All of the baby cards and wedding cards that we’ve been sent hang in our office as a reminder for the team of the positive impact we’re making.” He emphasises the personability of his team, and how much they care about providing a worthwhile experience to users. “Our support team is run by people who thrive on genuinely helping our members, which is of course key to creating a trusting relationship with them. Everyone on our team is on the app. Even those who are not single; they state in their profile that they are there for work and they are in a relationship, but it just helps to show our members that we are real people and a real team. Anyone on our team can expect questions from members, including the CEO.” “All of our team members attend the events to connect with each other and our users. Events are a great opportunity for us as a team to meet our members, and
Michael Krayenhoff, COO and Co-Founder, The Inner Circle
for our members to meet our team and see that we’re real people really genuinely trying to help them meet ‘the one’.” Furthermore, Krayenhoff explains the way in which The Inner Circle manages the feedback it receives from its users. “Our members are very pro-active about sharing their ideas in what they’d like to see, which is fantastic.” However, he explains that through trialling some ideas raised by users, it became clear that it was far more effective and efficient for the team to focus on resolving the root causes and underlying issues behind the suggestions raised by users, rather than taking every idea proposed by users into consideration. “We work on the underlying drivers and barriers that make members contact us in the first place.” Moving forward, Krayenhoff says The Inner Circle is looking to increase the scale of their events significantly to create more “exciting, tailored experiences” for its users. This will be achieved by creating “partnerships with brands and companies” and having events “hosted by investors around the world” to help bring users together. “We’ve got a very exciting 12 months ahead of us!”
2 Tickets ÂŁ995 13 FEBRUARY 2020
Thursday 13 February 2020 Victoria Park Plaza, London Contact centres are ideally placed to become the beating heart of an organisationâ€™s customer engagement strategy. Rapid advances in customer and employee facing technology have created a digital world in which contact centres have to adapt and change if they are to successfully deliver a consistent and joined-up customer experience across the customer journey.
Engage Focus Groups 2019 Report On Thursday 26th September, the 2019 Engage Focus Groups took place at the Hilton Hotel in London. These thinktanks create spaces for thought leadership discussions, and provide valuable ‘take home’ implementable knowledge for senior individuals working in customer and employee engagement.
he event had five main themes running throughout: CX Strategies for the Customer Journey, Evolution of CX Service Design, Trust and the Contact Centre, Future of the Contact Centre, and Flexible Homeworking. A panel discussion also took place for the topic moderators to engage with each other and discuss questions raised by both delegates and the panel moderator.
CX Strategies for the Customer Journey This stream was moderated by Martin Hill-Wilson, Founder of Brainfood Consulting, and discussed: ‘How to Design and Test New Contact Strategies: Maintain Flawless CX While Adding Channels’. Martin began by raising the point that the contact centre is the crossroad of all organisational activity, and explained the different customer contact routes companies can take. This includes: voice (assisted service), which Martin notes was going out of fashion but is now returning in an automated form, text (self-service), and video (proactive service). Martin highlighted that emotion is the most significant driver of brand loyalty for customers, and raised the issue of ‘liquid expectations’: the very high expectations customers now have for ease and efficiency in purchasing and delivery time across the board, due to their experiences with large brands who can afford to follow through on their ever-increasing promises. To navigate this, he emphasised the importance for brands to make a great effort to ensure the customer experience is as simple and easy as possible. This is particularly
significant due to the negative consequences of causing cognitive overload in customers through a complicated, difficult buying experience, which damages trust and deters customers from returning. This links to another key point made, in that every customer interaction either increases or decreases their brand loyalty. However, Martin also said that it is imperative for brands to strike the right balance when striving for simplicity in still providing customers enough choice. In addition, he said that AI should only be introduced to customer service when the service journeys have been perfected and simplified, with well-engineered solutions and solid back-end management behind them.
raising customer expectations was another hot topic in this stream. It was agreed that this can be both beneficial when the customers’ experiences are positive, but can be detrimental to brand trust and loyalty when reality falls short of what’s been promised. Furthermore, Nick said that customers expect authenticity and honesty from brands, and companies need to understand who their customers are in order to appropriately market to them. This linked to another point raised around personalisation, in that in its increasingly popular usage by brands, it is crucial to not cross the line in becoming invasive in the way customer are advertised to, and to never use their data carelessly, as this also has the potential to damage trust.
Trust and the Contact Centre Evolution of CX Service Design Moderated by Nick Sellers, Senior Director of Strategy and Marketing at Sykes Enterprises Inc, this stream discussed: ‘Future CX Service Journeys will be Personalised, Planned, and Productive’. Nick stated that customers are always looking for an outcome, and that they embark on journeys with an end in mind. Similarly to the first stream, the need for simplicity and customers’ high expectations for ease and efficiency were discussed. Although in this session, Nick expanded the point to explain that a common issue in customers’ negative experiences is that most companies create their digital experiences with the business’ objectives in mind, but not necessarily how the customers will experience it. The role of marketing in creating and
Continuing with the theme of trust, Tony Smith, Sales Director EMEA of Strategic Accounts at PCI Pal, moderated the third stream, discussing: ‘UK Consumers Won’t Spend with Brands they Don’t Trust’. Tony opened the discussion with some interesting statistics, including the fact that 38% of the UK population, and 44% of the US population have been affected by security breach in their lifetime, and that 56% of the UK and 42% of the US dislike sharing credit card details verbally over the phone due to security worries. Additionally, 41% of Britons stop spending with a brand forever after a security breach, almost double of their US counterparts who sit at 21% making this same permanent decision. Tony stated that trust is now at the forefront of customer decisions. This is even to the extent that customers feel more comfortable sharing their data with small local stores than large multinational companies. This was reiterated by the room due to the
26 SEPTEMBER HILTON LONDON HEATHROW
accountability of face-to-face experiences, and the belief that small stores are less likely to be targeted by hackers. Hacking continued to be a focal point of this stream, with Tony mentioning that 41% of consumers want businesses to admit responsibility in the event of a hack, and to be honest and transparent in their communication around security breaches, addressing the customers’ fears to try and redeem their trust.
Future of the Contact Centre This stream was moderated by Andrew Hall, UK evangelist, Odigo UK, discussing: ‘Achieving and Exceeding the Customer Experience Expectations of the Uber, Monzo, Deliveroo Generation’. A key point raised in this talk was that the customer journeys should be the first priority, and the metrics will follow. He emphasised that a customer-centric approach is best, and discouraged brands from wholly focusing on financial gain. Andrew led the conversation around the importance of brands empowering and engaging their employees in contact centres by giving more freedom in the way they communicate with customers. The discussion then moved to gamification and rewards schemes for certain accomplishments and meeting targets, and how it generally can be positive to implement for teams to work collectively towards a goal if the rewards are motivating enough, but on an individual basis it can risk demoralising employees over time or making them
feel like their efforts are reduced to numbers. It was noted that if a reward or bonus is in place for certain achievements it must be consistent, as taking a pre-existing reward away can be incredibly demotivating. Moreover, Andrew said that looking forward, all companies have different goals regarding contact centres. Some aim to remove their contact centres over time, and some want more customer journeys to be digitised, increasingly through AI, and to only keep contact centres for more complex queries, particularly when human contact and empathy are needed.
Flexible Homeworking Moderated by Mark Walton, CEO of Sensée, this stream discussed: ‘Benefits for Businesses, Customers and Society of Flexible Working’. Mark introduced how his company has successfully utilised flexible working from home to benefit the business in maximising productivity and efficiency, and empowering employees with autonomy over their schedules. He also said that flexible homeworking allows for a more diverse workforce, with a significant proportion of Sensée’s employees being disabled or new parents returning to work on a part-time basis, with training delivered virtually. Mark explained that companies need to evolve and trust employees more with autonomy over their working hours and in working from home, and pushed the importance of not getting stuck in
also Mark ways. traditional recommended brands monitor the customer feedback they receive, as a significant number tend to respond positively to their contact working from home due to reduced background noise and increased focus on the conversation. Another interesting point raised was that investing in customer satisfaction can mean revenue decreases slightly, but it is worth it for loyal, positive customer relationships. He does note that this is not a one size fits all structure for companies to follow, but hiring a workforce specifically looking for flexible homeworking can be a contributing factor to succeeding in this effort.
Panel Discussion The panel discussion, moderated by Gerry Brown, Chief Customer Rescue Officer at The Customer Lifeguard, created a space for all the topic moderators to openly discuss and share ideas on the main points raised from the day, and answer questions from the audience. It was concluded across the board that the most crucial takeaways from the day were the importance of simplifying customer journeys, breaking down silos where possible to engage and motivate employees, building trust being imperative in improving customer relationships, and the importance of finding an appropriate balance between AI and human interaction in the contact centre moving forward.
EBM Live Events CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT SUMMIT 2019
ENGAGE AWARDS 2019
11 & 12 NOV 2019 I WESTMINSTER PARK PLAZA, LONDON
11 NOV 2019 I WESTMINSTER PARK PLAZA, LONDON
Our flagship Customer Engagement Summit is back, and is now firmly established as a two-day event. Delegates will hear from 120+ speakers during the course of the two days, and we’ll be covering the latest, hottest topics in the industry.
Following on from the success of Engage Business Media’s 2018 Engage Awards programme, which broke records across the board, we are delighted to announce the renaming of our programme for 2019 to the International Engage Awards.
FUTURE OF THE CONTACT CENTRE CONFERENCE
DIGITAL WORKPLACE CONFERENCE
13 FEBRUARY 2020 I VICTORIA PARK PLAZA, LONDON
12 MARCH 2020 I VICTORIA PARK PLAZA, LONDON
Contact centres remain well-placed to become the beating heart of an organisation’s customer engagement strategy. It is the contact centre that can deliver the customer insight that is needed in a business environment where our customers are in control of how they choose to interact with organisations and where the so called ‘customer journey’ is ever more complex.
Engaged employees are more important to organisations than ever before. Providing our people with a truly digital workplace environment enables new and more effective and efficient ways of working while improving engagement levels and at the same time relationships with our customers.
EMPLOYEE WELLBEING CONFERENCE
ENGAGE FOCUS GROUPS
12 MARCH 2020 I VICTORIA PARK PLAZA, LONDON
3 APRIL 2020 I HILTON LONDON, HEATHROW
The challenges and opportunities relating to the mental, financial and physical health related wellbeing of our people are now firmly at the top of the business agenda, alongside increasing awareness and understanding of the myriad of issues involved.
Our exclusive Engage Focus groups allow senior individuals working in customer and employee engagement to come together and voice their thoughts and share experiences across a wide range of topics in a structured professional environment.
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT SUMMIT 2020
CX MARKETING SUMMIT 2020
15 MAY 2020 I RIVERBANK PARK PLAZA, LONDON
19 JUNE 2020 I VICTORIA PARK PLAZA, LONDON
Progressing into its seventh year, the Employee Engagement Summit is firmly established as Europe’s premier event, examining all aspects of work under the overarching theme of how technology is changing the face of employee engagement.
Every interaction that a customer has with a company, be it online or offline, changes their impression of the brand. For this reason, there has never been a more important time for the marketing function to ensure a great CX through each touchpoint of creating awareness, driving conversions, and keeping existing customers happy.
CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TRANSFORMATION CONFERENCE
INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE
9 JULY 2020 I VICTORIA PARK PLAZA, LONDON
18 SEPTEMBER 2020 I VICTORIA PARK PLAZA, LONDON
Our customers, their expectations, their journey, and the ways in which they interact with organisations have changed almost beyond recognition over the past few years, and that pace of change is accelerating. Organisations must also transform if they are to thrive in this brave new customer world.
This Conference will take an in-depth look at the fast changing world of internal communications and how it is increasingly taking on the critical employee engagement role that has too often been neglected by those in HR.
For more information please contact us at: email@example.com or 01932 EngageCustomer.com