Whitepaper launch: Emotion, choice and being human in customer service

Author: Helen Murray,

 Chief Customer Solutions Officer - Webhelp UK, India and South Africa

Webhelp’s latest Disruptor Series Whitepaper, highlights just how important it is for brands to create emotional connections with customers. For the launch of our latest Whitepaper, ‘Emotion’, Helen Murray, Chief Customer Solutions Officer - Webhelp UK, India and South Africa, shares interesting consumer CX preferences, revealed by our newly commissioned YouGov survey of over 2,000 UK adults.


The best brands make us feel something, be it happiness, reassurance, confidence, comfort or nostalgia, they stir the emotions and make connections with us. In fact, emotional connection with customers is something as old as the hills, and is an extremely effective tool!

Emotional connection really matters - as our research shows it can have huge impact on customer loyalty, share of wallet and the amount and quality of recommendations made. It’s imbedded in all aspects of a brand – and yes, human to human interaction is hugely important, but with the right strategies in place, this powerful connection can happen across the full spectrum of brand activity.

The potential for emotional connections are there in what the brand stands for, its status, values and ethos, how it protects and respects personal data, the amount of trust and credibility a brand inspires, and of course at every step of the customer journey.

And Webhelp research confirms this - our YouGov backed survey of over 2000K UK adults, found that the top source of emotional connection was the overall customer experience, with a 53% share of the vote.

As consumers now have almost unlimited access to brands via multiple channels, establishing the right customer experience, with key emotional impact, has never been more critical.

According to the Office for National Statistics, virtually all adults aged 16 to 44 years in the UK were recent internet users (99%) in 2019. This figure rose for the older generation too, from 52% in 2011 to 83% for the 65 to 74 age group in 2019 – swiftly closing the gap on the younger cohort.

The knock-on effect of this is that the consumer audience has become increasingly informed and selective, with very high expectations of customer service, which are prone to clash with business agendas. David Turner, CEO Webhelp UK, India and South Africa, points out that:

“Often there are conflicting operational drivers. There can be a desire to cut costs, keep call times short, and replace voice with lower-cost channels. However, the whole experience needs to be designed to reflect what the customer is trying to achieve. Given customers’ increased ability to self-inform and self-serve, the motivation to speak to a real person can be because the need is complex or urgent.”

As you can see from the graph below, our recent research with YouGov – a full summary of which you can find in the Emotions Whitepaper (link) - shows that high levels of importance are given to most aspects of customer service. And, while speed (87%) was the top priority, choice (76%), human attributes (67%) and personalisation of service (60%) were both rated very highly.

These results are particularly heartening for us as, in October 2019, Webhelp launched its new brand vision of ‘Making business more human’. An essential goal for our sector, as many brands are undergoing a digital transformation, which - coupled with the number of communication channels to be juggled - presents a real danger of distancing customers. Brands must remember that the most engaging communication is essentially ‘human to human.’

Consumer desire for human contact and connection opens up vast potential for brands, as Polly Ashdown, Marketing and Communications Director, Webhelp UK, India and South Africa points out:

“Brands that really ‘get’ the importance of a human angle are focused on building trust, anticipating customer needs, and giving customers the edge. They know that consistency is key to trust and credibility, and focus on the entire experience, rather than one element of the customer journey.”

Our survey uncovered that being human was one of the top five sources of emotional connection with brands – the other four being; the overall customer experience, if a brand is easy to deal with, having similar values, and the quality of interaction.

John Leighton, Head of Customer Service for easyJet, recognises the importance of the whole package approach to emotional connection by saying:

“In terms of the human skills required to build emotional connection, we know that authenticity is key, and we are working internally and with Webhelp on how to make our customer experiences authentic.”

He continues: “We also know that advisor longevity is a key contributor to emotionally connected customers, and Webhelp is a strong force to be reckoned with in this area. For instance, advisor tenure in Cape Town has led to the highest levels of customer satisfaction across the entire company (easyJet estate).”

You can read more from John on how emotional connection is vital to easyJet’s brand positioning in the Whitepaper.

The survey also revealed that some very positive consumer behaviours result from being emotionally connected to a brand. These include; paying slightly more, loyalty, increased recommendation, and sharing of brand experiences. In contrast, only 4% of customers reported that having an emotional connection to a brand would not make them behave in a particular way.

Interestingly, the more affluent the demographic, the stronger the likelihood of affirmative action. Positive behaviours towards brands are, without exception, more prevalent in the ABC1 (the three higher social and economic groups) social grade. With 71% expressing loyalty and 57% willing to pay slightly more if emotionally connected to a brand, there are obvious benefits in creating emotional connections.

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the future of CX is about managing and measuring what matters: emotional connections between brands and consumers – across all stages in the customer journey.

Brands must learn how to strengthen customer’s emotional connection, by providing intelligent ‘human’ conversations that can really ease complex or stressful interactions, something that we support our clients to do every day!

With that pressing need in mind, our ‘Emotion’ Whitepaper offers essential insight into the behaviours and actions that result from having a truly human connection with customers, and guidance on how to ensure that customers emotionally connect to your brand. Read on to find out more.

In case you haven’t registered yet, sign up to receive fresh insights and invitations to exec events with our Webhelp Disruptor Series campaign https://www.go.webhelp.com/disruptorseries.


Digital assistants: more than just a home bot

Artificial intelligence and machine learning opened the doors to a new innovation that promises to make everyday life, whether at home or at work more convenient: digital assistants. Voice activated devices quickly became the new must-have piece of intelligent furnishing in many households. Digital assistants can be used across many other devices, they can assist you even while being on the road and have become essential for businesses as well.

Checking commute times, doing research and setting reminders: the hands-free use allows you to multitask, reduces the screen time and frees your fridge from sticky notes. Besides making everyday life more convenient and efficient, talking to a digital assistant can make time on a commute more valuable. Technologies surrounding digital assistants, such as natural language processing (NLP), are improving constantly and are aiming to make the user’s experience as natural and helpful as possible.

Digital assistants change the way we interact with computers and the potential ranges further than just turning on a music playlist with a voice command. Businesses have begun embracing human-computer interaction (HCI) within an office setting, in order to boost productivity and work more smoothly and efficiently. “Productivity tech” can take over repetitive tasks, letting the employee focus on more complex tasks, by scheduling meetings, setting reminders and improving communication. For example, spoken phrases can be translated into a written text, which is a great tool to take notes in a meeting. Automating a meeting, by letting an artificial intelligence powered device listen and showcase data and insights relevant to the topic, will enhance everyone’s experience.

What can we expect from a future shaped by digital assistants? Major tech companies are racing to have the upper hand in providing the most fancy and helpful assistant technologies. New innovations are continuously being released and though they differ in many ways, they all share the way they operate: their core is an AI technology that relies on search engine and machine learning. Marketers face the challenge to adapt to the new way’s customers interact with brands.

In order to improve human interaction with computers, the digital assistant needs to function not just according to a specific program but behave proactively and responsively to the unique user. Thanks to machine learning, the AI base can “understand” and learn the individual user’s preference, memorize this information and implement it into their future search and suggestions. To enjoy a seamless experience the user has to be willing to share personal information.

As data security plays a major role in today’s world, it is a number one priority for providers of digital assistants to create a user experience that makes them feel safe. Devices come with an abundance of privacy features and software is being updated constantly. With the devices only being responsive when providing a “wake-up” word and by muting the microphone, companies assure privacy. To hide personal information from unauthorized parties, voice recognition and pins can be implemented. The user can block certain uses completely, such as making purchases and also review and erase information from the history. In the end it comes down to the user’s preference to choose which accounts they want to connect to the device and which information they want to share.

According to Tractica, by 2025 digital assistants will be used by over 1 billion people. Performing online purchases, operating home devices in an intelligent household and image recognition are the three rising trends we can look forward to, but we are far from realizing the true potential of digital assistants.

Are you using digital assistants? What is your experience? We would love to learn more, so leave us a comment below!


Why SEO is fundamental to every business

Few things are more important than SEO when it comes to driving traffic and sales to a website. Search engine optimization not only makes it easy for search engines such as Google to know what your website is about and rank you accordingly, but it forces you to think about the experience that the users will have when they visit it.

SEO goes far beyond using certain keywords in your content. Ten years ago, you could write a 500-word blog post with some relevant keywords in the title and subheadings and receive a substantial amount of traffic, but with each passing update to the Google PageRank algorithm, new levels of quality standards are imposed upon webmasters who wish to put their content in front of an audience. Today only the best of the best can make their way to the top.

To think SEO is to think quality

Think about what your clients expect to see when they’re considering making a purchase or hiring a service from you through your website: a clean design, good quality content with correct formatting, a clear structure, relevant images, graphics, etc. These elements inspire confidence and trustworthiness in your brand and there’s nothing more important than that.

If your text provides hyperlinks to other places on your site, visitors will find it easier to obtain additional information that will improve their experience and help them to make an informed decision. If your pages are organized in a silo structure for example, with more prominent pages being at the top and providing links to smaller, more specific pages, users will be able to navigate your website easily without having to use the search function so much.

Behind every SEO strategy there’s a logic that promotes the user experience. SEO does not exist to make your life harder, but to make sure that the websites that rank on searches are good quality, well-designed, informative and reflect the users search needs.

Organic search traffic is the most cost-effective type of traffic

There are some businesses that get by without relying on organic search traffic. They often have a very strong social media presence or YouTube channel that they use to attract subscribers and customers. Another strategy is paid advertisements to boost traffic such as Google AdSense or Facebook ads.

These are all important and valuable strategies, but they can be hard to master and too costly for smaller companies. SEO is relatively simple to understand and, although it takes time to get your website to rank well on search results, once it does the amount of traffic you can attract in the long term is invaluable for the specific audience you want to target.

SEO allows you to understand your audience

Thanks to Google Analytics and other free and paid webmaster tools, you can obtain very deep insights about your clientele. Which keywords do they search for? How do they behave on your website? Which time of the day are they more active? What demographic do they belong to? These are only a few of the many insights you can get from your website traffic. Based on this information you can build an effective marketing strategies and target your specific audience much better. This information can also be the knowledge base you need when you decide to implement some paid traffic methods.

SEO can provide a solid foundation on which you can build your brand, therefore the importance of organic search engine results and optimization should not be disregarded. Other forms of traffic generation can be built upon your SEO efforts but none of them will bring you the long term organic results, relevance and brand value that a thorough SEO strategy can provide.

How important is organic traffic for your business or blog? How have your SEO efforts changed over the past years? Tell us about it in the comments section, we love to hear from you!


Target audience definition – who, what, why?

Thanks to the modern digitalisation, the amount of data produced every day is simply incredible. A recent study revealed that, approximately 70.5 million new posts are produced each month equating to about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day! (Source: hostingtribunal.com)Many companies believe in sharing their brand message to a wider scope of people on the grounds that, the broader their reach, the more they will win new clients, but is that the right strategy? …probably not.

With the amount of information out there, if your company is not speaking to a specific audience, there is a high chance your message will end up drowning in that ocean of bountiful data. On the contrary, targeted marketing enables you to address your message to the right people most likely to do business with you. Defining your target audience correctly helps you to not only save on costs, but also earn more by only developing viable leads in your network.

 So how do you strategize to win in a B2B market?

Preparing to win starts long before you create that catchy hashtag for a social media campaign you would like to run. And while you maneuver through the definition process, the following questions should be your starters:

  1. What will your company bring on the table?
  2. Have you created your target customer personas?
  3. Have you done enough market research?

Core offering

Before diving into who your ideal customer is, you need to solidly understand what it is that you do best, what differentiates you from your competitors, why a potential customer would want to partner with you? What’s the number one reason your clients do business with you? What do they love most? What are their pain points? Answering these questions will help you to zoom in on your most suitable client.

Defining your core business will also lead you to tackle the question of who will benefit most from your offer, as well as what is your unique value proposition (UVP) that will set you apart from the rest. Having no UVP to distinguish you from your competition will lead you to compete only in terms of price. Identify what it is you do best in comparison to other players in the market.

Marketing personas

Creating in-depth marketing personas supports you to deliver content that is appropriate for your target audience. And because the purchasing decision in the B2B market segment is more complex, the analysis focuses on what the business needs most. Unlike in the B2C setting, one is tasked with the responsibility of identifying the unique needs of numerous decision makers in B2B.

Personalisation is your best friend when building B2B marketing personas. If you don’t dig deeper to discern your ideal customer profile, sooner rather than later, you will realise that trying to sell to everyone may lead you to actually selling to no one at all.  Answering questions such as, who is your best match? What is their buying process? How can you connect with them? will channel you to the right marketing persona.

Profound research

Before it’s all said and done, doing a thorough research about your prospective client will filter the funnel and leave you with only the right fit. From the tiny bits of information stored in your online platforms to the real conversations with your prospective clients. Tracking your site analytics and involving your colleagues who have customer data should be on board to share their perspective about the distinctive features of your customers. You can also use social media listening to find the right customers. Investing an ample time in digging up relevant information about your potential new client and the decision makers bring you one step closer to signing that big contract you have been working on!

What else should you look out for when defining your target market? Tell us below, we like to hear from you…


12 trends of CX for 2020

As the countdown to Christmas continues, David Turner CEO for Webhelp UK, India and South Africa, looks at 12 themes that will be trending in CX for the coming year and looks back on a very successful year.

My personal highlight for 2019 was the sheer number of new brands that we were able to bring into the business. It’s always a pleasure to reflect that so many market leaders have entrusted us to deliver crucial customer journeys for them.

I think that, one of the main reasons they have chosen to work with Webhelp is simply the way that we do business. I have been very encouraged by the new brand we launched this year, and our aim to ‘Think Human’ has really resonated with our people, our operation and our client base. Our clients see us as being modern, game-changing and really value the human connection that we provide to their customers – which will only become more important in 2020.

I am also delighted that we have been recognised by 12 industry awards, which you can read about more here. As ever, I am reminded that at Webhelp, our people make us what we are – and I look forward to seeing what their knowledge, creativity and ideas will bring us in the coming year.

12 CX Trends for 2020

  1. Humanising CX

It’s clear as we move into 2020, that CX must continue to evolve swiftly to prevent dislocation between increasingly automated services and the people using them.

As such, brands must start putting human experience at the heart of everything - taking an end-to-end view of the customer journey and leveraging digital technologies to improve human interactions.

  1. Emotions

We know that deeper relationships can be built by creating positive emotions during the customer journey, and that this will only rise in importance as services become more automated. Recognising and being able to improve how customers are feeling, will help companies to inspire loyalty, and create a sense of satisfaction and belonging in their audiences. Webhelp Emotions infographic

To drive this change, the industry as a whole, must develop more insight and strategies around emotional Intelligence. And, in turn, use this data to create emotional connections with customers.”

  1. Regulation

Building on the introduction of GDPR in 2018 and the focus on data security last year, the regulatory horizon will continue to grow in complexity.

The widening differences in legislation between the UK, Europe, China and the US will have a significant effect on customer experience and brands must remain vigilant and aware.

  1. Data Protection

Interest in Data protection will remain high, with Webhelp commissioned research confirming that, over half of consumers believe that this should be the top priority for companies.

(53% of Consumers believe that protecting consumer data should be THE top priority for companies – webhelp/yougov 2019.)

Following on from the coverage of high profile data mining scandals in 2019, we will see even more media emphasis being placed on cyber-crime, and as a result brands will have to work much harder to establish digital trust.

  1. Economic uncertainty

There is no doubt that the UK and Europe are experiencing a period of economic uncertainty around Brexit, which will be likely to continue into 2020. This has created a more cautious market for customer experience, but the pace of global demand will continue to drive our industry forwards at a rapid pace.

Companies cannot afford to slow down as investment in in-source, outsource & co-source services, alongside Multi-lingual capabilities in the right geographic hubs will become key requirements in 2020.

  1. Personalisation

Personalisation, whilst not a new concept, will continue to have a huge impact in 2020. Webhelp Personalisation infographic

It is especially important for youth markets, as according to our recent YouGov backed survey, the under 24s prioritise personalisation of services over availability.

In addition, there is a widening gap between the amount of consumers expecting a tailored customer experience and the number of companies actually offering this.

(69% of consumers wanting an individualised experience, and two-thirds expecting it, and yet only 40% of brands actually offer it, oneCloud IQ research.)

However, personalisation must be done well to avoid market overload. It has the potential to alienate customers – who, for example, will not hesitate to unsubscribe from repeated and stale email offers, or block sales numbers.

  1. AI and Automation

In 2020, firms who wish to capitalise on the huge cost and scale benefits provided by AI and Automation, must be ready to combat negative consumer views. Recent Webhelp research indicated that the vast majority of consumers would choose to speak to a human, especially when dealing with bills, faults or complaints.

However, as exposure to AI and Automation increases in daily life, people are likely to become more receptive, especially when AI fulfils a specific consumer need, like personalisation or security.

To succeed, brands must strike the right balance between human talent and advanced technology services.

  1. Blended Human and AI Services

In the evolving digital marketplace, it is critical that businesses consider new strategies for the future of commerce without human-to human contact.

However, automated voice systems like IVR and VAs can quickly leave the consumer feeling frustrated and disengaged. Providers must carefully weigh the potential benefits of automation against the impersonal impact AI will have.

The key to success will be collaboration – with automation working ‘in front’, ‘alongside’ and ‘behind’ the advisor. Crucially - for the best possible outcome in CX - the human touch should never be far away.

  1. The rise of multi-language messaging services

Instant messaging and webchat services are growing in popularity, and this will continue into 2020.

This trend is grounded the ability for customers to choose a fast contact method based on the need to resolve a specific issue, and again the right mix of advisor, automation and AI is paramount.

As outsourcing continues to grow, AI and automation will be used in language services alongside messaging, to help enable highly skilled advisors across the globe to solve customer issues swiftly and easily.

  1. Platform flexibility

The devices available to consumers are rising, with most of us using at least 4-5 a day, including laptops, smart phones, tablets and intelligent home devices.

So, 2020 will see an increasing blending of platforms and services – for example, conversations could start in an app and move on to voice or email afterwards.

  1. Always on engagement

This will create a far more personal level of communication with customers – engagement will become a continuous dialogue, much like the way we keep in touch with friends and family. Webhelp Always on engagement infographic

To keep up, brands need to be more flexible than ever before and excellent communication and tracking between channels will expected by customers.

  1. Real-time analytics

Today’s customers already have high expectations of brands to anticipate and respond to their needs wherever and whenever that may be.

To meet these demands companies need access to real-time analytics to understand and connect with consumers throughout the customer journey. Customers who receive timely, targeted and personalised experiences will reward brands with an increase in customer loyalty and increased sales.


How emotion can take customer satisfaction to the next level

Author: Helen Murray,

Webhelp Chief Customer Solutions Officer

Reflecting on the importance of humanising business and creating positive emotional connections, Helen Murray, Webhelp Chief Customer Solutions Officer, looks at the current research and why keeping your customers ‘Very Satisfied’ is still not good enough!

Preface: 27/04/20

Since publishing this blog, the world has changed dramatically, with entire countries entering strict lockdown periods and many regions operating under shelter in place instructions. The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have an unprecedented impact on business and society across the globe and as a result the emotional component of CX is more vital now than ever before. Click here to find out more on our people first response to this crisis. 

In this digitised consumer world, customers are bombarded with almost constant targeted advertising, special offers and promises of better than ever services. In fact, customer retention is now considered the hardest nut to crack across most sectors. Additionally, there is a tendency for business to rely on Customer Satisfaction measures to predict behaviour and loyalty – but this really isn’t enough.

Customer satisfaction, the ‘go to’ metric for those trying to measure the impact of communication or experience on their customers and their behaviour, while useful, provides only part of the picture.

Far from being a safe bet that was once assumed, customers that are NOT absolutely and completely satisfied, are open to competitors.

A case study from Gallup looking at the impact of satisfaction on the behaviour of customers of a supermarket found that even being “extremely satisfied” was insufficient.  Conversely, customers who had reported extreme satisfaction actually visited the store less often and spent less than those who had ranked their satisfaction lower.

What really made the difference was the level of emotional connection that a customer felt with the store. Those that were fully engaged visited the store 32% more often and spent 46% more than those without the same emotional bonds.

The term emotional connection describes the ability to develop a brand relationship using key emotional triggers to inspire brand loyalty, satisfaction and belonging.

At Webhelp, we believe that brands must step up their game in developing this type of relationship with their customers; the Gallup paper authors William McEwen and John Fleming highlight this by saying:

“Companies are now setting higher goals, aiming at “complete” customer satisfaction, and using extreme agreement ratings to gauge not just basic satisfaction but genuine customer “delight.” 

They conclude that “If you don't make an emotional connection with customers, then satisfaction is worthless!”

To understand the importance of ‘connection’ between brands and consumers in more detail, Webhelp surveyed 1,154 senior decision makers and asked them what they thought about the importance of developing an emotional connection with their customers.

The findings were surprising.

Although more than 80% of executives stated that this was important, shockingly just less than 50% admitted that their business was planning to do anything about it. This highlights a worrying trend that brands are behind the curve with the advanced data technology needed to track and create emotional connections.

We know that understanding the motivators behind emotional connection requires analysis of large datasets derived from customer facing systems. But, surprisingly, only 21% of our respondents thought that their systems were sufficiently integrated to support this.

In theory, using customer emotion to reach that top target of 100% satisfaction may seem straightforward, in practice it requires capability, methodologies and experience.

It is incredibly important to apply the right analytics to identify the significant emotional motivators.

It takes expertise and the correct framework to drive complete customer satisfaction and customer behaviours, for improved commercial outcomes.

However, establishing key motivators isn’t the end of the story – further statistical modelling is required to find the positive links between motivators and behaviours and their value in creating behavioural change. This final step isn’t easy - it requires operational excellence and experience to produce strategies that really work.

The rules have switched and now total customer satisfaction should be minimum requirement, not the end goal! We need to take customers on an emotional journey from (1) being unconnected to (2) being highly satisfied to (3) perceiving brand differentiation to (4) being fully connected (Source Harvard Business Review).  Fully connected customers are on average 52% more valuable than those who are ‘highly satisfied’.

It is heartening that the vast majority of businesses know that this is something to strive for - even if the value that it can unlock isn’t quite so well known. But the future is almost upon us, and many brands are not approaching customer emotion as part of an informed strategy. Stand out players are moving very far ahead and the gap is only going to get greater.

To put it very bluntly - If you don’t care deeply about and respond swiftly to how your customers feel, don’t expect them to care about your services or products. The sooner you become passionate about this – the better your company will perform.

Webhelp has handled billions of customer interactions for global brands and our people have granular knowledge of what your customers expect and how they behave. Our experts are changing the game in CX and Webhelp can confidently engineer an operating model that will create and deepen those all-important emotional connections with your customers.

Find out more in our Whitepaper on Emotional connections here.

Our Disruptor Series takes a deeper dive into the issues facing the CX industry, including the impact of generational shifts and AI and Automation. Contact Ewan McKay – ukmarketing@webhelp.com for more details on our corporate events and check out Webhelp jobs for information on our current opportunities.

 


How Baby Boomers are impacting the workforce

In recent months, industry pundits and analysts have speculated on the impact of the younger generation as consumers and on the workforce, while in the background, a new force has been slowly building, one that combines experience with flexibility and knowledge. Here Orla Strefford, Talent Attraction Manager, Webhelp UK, SA and India, explores the rise of the Baby Boomers.

Preface: 30/04/20

Since publishing this blog, the world has changed dramatically, with entire countries entering strict lockdown periods and many regions operating under shelter in place instructions. The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have an unprecedented impact on business and society across the globe, and as a result it is even more important that we continue to embrace workforce diversity and provide recruitment opportunities where possible during these challenging times. Click here to find out more on our people first response to this crisis.

I’m lucky enough to work alongside a dynamic and diverse group of people at Webhelp, on any given day, I can be found happily collaborating with, mentoring or learning from colleagues of all ages. From the freshest faces in our call halls to the voices of experience who have determinedly climbed the career ladder, we all share the same passion and enthusiasm for delivering customer service… well, possibly apart from on early on a Monday morning – we are human after all!

And, as humans, we want to be recognised for our strengths, be encouraged in our careers at all stages of our lives and not be left behind or underutilised.

Interestingly, this drive (coupled with an older global population) is changing the face of the jobs market. In the US, for example, instead of retiring, Baby Boomers (the name for the generation aged 55-73) are actively driving job growth.

In fact, The Liscio Report, an influential investor research publication, recently analysed Labour Department data to reveal that, astonishingly, American Boomers made up around half of all employment gains in 2018.

That is a considerable increase, as in 2017 they made up only a quarter of the labour force!

As the global population shifts, employers must prepare to understand and embrace workforce diversity. Here Gillian Campbell, Chief People Officer for the UK Region and Director Global Engagement at Webhelp, hits the nail on the head when discussing the importance of generational inclusivity.

“A core pillar of our company mission is to create an outstanding working environment - for employees of ALL generations.” She adds, “It’s vital to acknowledge employees’ commitment, to reward and to recognise hard work and dedication, and to look at both personal and professional development.”

And, companies might well find a development gap with Boomers, especially when it comes to utilising new technology – as our new Whitepaper on Generations reports. Our research, commissioned with partners YouGov, found that Baby Boomers are the least informed (17%) or confident (18%) about using new technology at work - a drop of 10% from Gen Z.

Baby Boomer influence is widening as consumers too, as according to global measurement and data analytics company Nielsen, they are the second heaviest users of the Internet (as 40% of customers paying for wireless access) and makeup over half the population of Facebook.

Their spending power is considerable; they represent 41% of the computer market, spend almost $7 billion shopping online annually and splash-out 30% more than any other age groups on their cars.

Taking all this together, as both employees and customers, the 55+ generation have a surprising amount of power, so, as Patrick Swayze famously said,

“Don’t put Baby in the corner.”

Our Disruptor Series takes a deeper dive into the issues facing the CX industry, including the impact of generational shiftsAI and Automation and Emotional Connections. Contact Ewan McKay - ukmarketing@webhelp.com for more details on our corporate events and check out Webhelp jobs for information on our current opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Service transformation through a human lens at The Future of Service conference

Author: Helen Murray,

Webhelp Chief Customer Solutions Officer

How do we find the right balance between people and technology? Here Webhelp Chief Customer Solutions Officer, Helen Murray, considers the impact of perception and reality in customer experience, as she prepares to be a panellist for the Gobeyond Partners, at The Future of Service 2019 conference in November.

I am always delighted to be asked to join discussion panels with my peers in the business, the more we embrace collaboration, discuss new ideas and share thought leadership as an industry, the better the future landscape will be - for ALL players, across the sector – particularly consumers!

However, my invitation to join the Future of Service Conference was particularly exciting, as the focus is firmly on how delivering a more ‘human’ experience can transform services, something that we are particularly passionate about at Webhelp.

The day, hosted by Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp Group, in London on the 21st of November, will explore how humans interact with organisations, products and services, teams and technology. And, more importantly - how, by understanding customer needs and activity, this can be used to reinvent service delivery.

However, changes to service delivery have to be driven by accurate and concise evidence, but as Robin Harrison, Marketing Director at Gobeyond highlights – the importance of acting on data analysis may not be trickling down to grassroots level:

“From a recent study with senior leaders across 400 larger businesses, it was found that customer data isn’t available, or utilised, at all levels of the organisation. While 81% of leadership reported using customer data to guide strategic decisions, at more operational levels use of such data dropped to 26%.” Source: Treasure Data

The conference will be running a breakout session to try to demystify and improve the use of customer data analytics, something that should prove very useful.

Evidence, no matter how well researched, cannot create engaged and loyal customers on its own - instead, it must inspire digital transformation and top-down strategies. Which in turn must then be embraced at every part of the customer journey. I know from experience, this is not something which can happen overnight, it takes investment, passion and the right insight. Robin, is again right on the money when he says:

“Successful transformation takes time. While customers and market disruption are key drivers, IT, finance, marketing, operations and customer service ultimately need to deliver the vision. The change required to move from well-defined, long-established ways of working to more adaptive, agile approaches can be seismic.”

Attention must be given to who will be fundamentally driving this change, and the right buy-in can be game-changing when implementing a successful transformation strategy. It is vitally important that companies communicate the benefits, disruptions and process of digital transformation to their people at every level.

Robin recognises the value in this by saying:

“There is nothing more transformational than employees inspired by change that has been well planned, thought through and deliver clear benefit personally and professionally.”

Comprehensive communication is so important, not just to prevent misunderstanding at an employee level, but to prevent pitfalls for delivery. It is interesting to note that despite customer experience being so profoundly embedded in strategy in our industry, there appears to be a clear gap between business view of their own customer experience and actual customer perception.

I am looking forward to getting to grips with the reasons behind this dislocation as a topic with the Future of Service discussion panel.

On the subject of customer perception, we are busy adding the final touches to our own new Whitepaper looking into the importance of emotional intelligence for brands. The paper will explore how to create deep and lasting audience connections and establishing a more human process for customer experience. Watch this space!

For a unique opportunity to learn from with senior leadership, and discover service transformation through a human lens, why not join me at the Gobeyond Partners, Future of Service 2019 event? Read the booking details and conference outline here.


Infographic: Customer journey in a nutshell!

The customer journey is usually described as the complete sum of experiences that customers travel through when interacting with a company and brand.

In plain terms, a customer journey is just the road map a customer takes to an action point (usually a purchase). It can also identify the point at which people lose interest or what brings them back to the brand – which is sometimes more important in business.

Our services document the full brand pathway of a customer, the direction of travel, their stops along the way and the way it makes them feel.

To find out more see our infographic below or contact Ewan McKay - ukmarketing@uk.webhelp.com.

Plus, Webhelp’s Disruptor Series takes a deeper dive into the issues facing the CX industry, including the impact of generational shifts and AI and Automation.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE


Customer Experience (CX) made simple

Author: Ewan McKay,

Marketing and Communications Manager, Webhelp

CX, HX, customer journeys and touchpoints…. The contact centre industry is awash with abbreviations and buzzwords, but for the outsider, it can be a real struggle to understand just what it all means. Here Webhelp Marketing and Communications Manager, Ewan McKay, shares some insight into the jargon.

What is CX?

Simply put, CX is short for customer experience. This means it covers every single interaction that a person experiences whilst in contact with a company. This is so incredibly important to business, because it is central to developing a favourable opinion of a company and or product, in turn increasing sales and recommendations.

CX is a neutral term, it can be brilliant, or it can be terrible! The phrase alone is no implication of quality!

It describes the process companies use to connect with people… It can happen in-store, online, be personalised or over the telephone. Customer experience can be person-to-person, automated or in-depth. What’s more, new methods like Amazon’s fully automated Go stores and next level chatbots are being developed every year.

Customer journeys – the road to success

The customer journey is usually described as the complete sum of experiences that customers travel through when interacting with a company and brand.

In plain terms, a customer journey is just the road map a customer takes to an action point (usually a purchase). It can also identify the point at which people lose interest or what brings them back to the brand – which is sometimes more important in business.

If a customer journey is a winding road, then Customer Experience is the interactions along the way, which connect with people and keep them on the right route.

It can be can be both a physical or digital journey, as simple as walking to a shop and browsing a website or as complicated as spending hours online looking for that perfect guitar!

Touchpoints?

Touchpoints are the term used for the most influential points along the customer journey.

To demonstrate, imagine you are flicking though a magazine and a striking car advertisement catches your eye. Later that night you pick up your phone and start creating your dream car in the company app, changing colours, trims and interiors to suit your taste. Unsurprisingly the next day your own car seems pretty dowdy in comparison, so you decide to pop by the showroom to take a look in person.

You find out the price and take a test drive, then after dinner, with a cuppa in hand you check out the reviews and make sure you are paying market rate for your vehicle, and then you chat to the contact centre to book an appointment for the next day. Then - and only then - do you decide to make a purchase, which you do, face-to-face at the dealership.

In this case, the touchpoints would be the magazine advert, the company app, the car showroom, review and cost comparison websites, contact centre and dealership.

Touchpoints can vary in both platforms and messaging. These can range from carefully crafted brand websites to blogs, digital adverts, e-commerce portals, customer service contacts and social media interactions. In fact, in this rapidly expanding arena, the only thing that they actually have in common is the ability to influence customers.

Okay, I understand CX now – but what the heck is HX?

A new term is now emerging in the contact centre industry – Human Experience (HX), which describes a people-first approach, which can be built in at every stage of the customer journey.

As Mark Guest, Managing Director Customer Solutions at Gobeyond Partners (a Webhelp company) explains:

“HX is about putting human experience at the heart of everything: taking an end-to-end view of the customer journey, leveraging digital technologies to augment human interactions. From customers and prospects to colleagues and clients, HX considers everyone who interacts with an organisation.

Because thinking more holistically holds the key to reinventing how a business operates for the better. It’s a better way of considering the overall customer journey. It’s a single-minded focus on how humans interact with an organisation.”

The road ahead…We don’t like buzzwords, neither do our clients - excellent customer experience is what we do at Webhelp, and we always aim to do this in a clear and transparent way.

Our services document the full brand pathway of a customer, the direction of travel, their stops along the way and the way it makes them feel. This, in turn, helps us to recognise that people are much more than statistics, profit margins and commodities, and in a very real way - we make sense of the data, and turn it into something human!

Our Disruptor Series takes a deeper dive into the issues facing the CX industry, including the impact of generational shiftsAI and Automation and Emotion

Contact Ewan McKay - ukmarketing@uk.webhelp.com for more details on our corporate events and check out Webhelp jobs for information on our current opportunities.