In S2. EP4, Kate Thornton joins Matt and Simon in the pod booth to share her experiences as a CX leader walking in the shoes of the employees.
Guest Speaker - Kate Thornton
Kate is a senior CX leader with a background that spans aviation and health insurance. She led British Airways’ global product and service team, spearheading the airline’s customer service transformation programme, and went on to become
She started her career in Scandinavia and is strongly aligned to the positive values of Nordic leadership.
Today she’s passionate about working with businesses to create better outcomes for colleagues, customers and the wider community that lead to sustainable commercial success.
Listen first and speak last. This is hard to do, isn’t it? Because we all go into conversations, maybe sitting on our own assumptions, and getting ready to say our piece. But if you can make the most of any opportunities that you do have to spend with your teams, to genuinely and deeply listen and understand rather than using them as the opportunity to spout or whatever you went in believing, then that’s incredibly powerful.
- As a customer experience leader of British Airways you had a unique opportunity to join the cabin crew to walk in their shoes? Can you share your experience and what you learnt?
- From this experience what were the things that surprised you and or stood out?
- Did the time you spent on the frontline help you make improvements to the customer service?
- We know frontline colleagues know more about the service experience than anyone in a head office position but why are these team members so rarely asked for improvement ideas?
- Do too many companies simply rely on employee surveys to capture experience insight?
- Surveys tend to be owned and managed by human resources. Should each function of the business own their own VOE programs?
- What recommendations would you make to help leaders get closer to their staff and understand the challenge of working on the frontline? What were the pitfalls and how would you suggest optimising this process?
Simon – Welcome to CX Chat with Matt and Simon, our podcast series on all things customer experience. And each week we talk about some of the hottest topics and biggest issues facing CX professionals right now. And we always invite special guests to join our discussions. For those of you who don’t know, me, my name is Simon Thorpe, this is Season Two of the podcast. And as ever, I’m joined by my colleague, Matthew Dyer. Matthew, how are you?
Matt – I’m good, thank you. I don’t know if you’ve seen this, the Open AI new language model. Well, I’ve basically gone down the rabbit hole. So for those who don’t know, it’s a mega machine learning model that can turn anybody into a programmer, a poet, award winning author. And I think from my perspective, I quite like this from a CX perspective in that it might actually be the trigger to Intelligent Automation. So I think as definitely a topic we should get into on one of the podcasts in The future.
Simon – Wow, absolutely. And share, you’re going to share a link at the end of this podcast as well. I haven’t seen that much. So let’s get that sounds great. And actually, on that very theme of getting new topics onto the podcast, we’ve got a bit of a thank you, actually, for those of you who listened before, you will know we always encourage feedback and suggestions. And last week, a chap called Jim got in touch to ask if we were planning on running any episodes on emotional CX following the stuff that we did in season one with Amy Scott and Martin Hill Wilson. Well, I’m really chuffed to tell you, Jim and everyone else that’s listening that we have a very special guest coming up very soon, from one of the biggest operations in the country, actually who is building a emotional CX programme into their business. So we’re going to get some practical implementation, experiences and tips. It’s going to be a cracker. So wait for that you’ll be we’ll make that known through the social media when that’s coming out. So now it’s looking Really good isn’t it Matty?
Matt – That’s really positive, I think on the same theme, heard from another listener, Jeremy Watkin. So he’s over in the States. And he’s just taken a role as director of customer service at number bar, where he said that he’s going to take some of the learnings from Mark Adams service design mindset and incorporate that into strategy moving forward. So think from you and I perspective, that’s really kind of, I guess, gives us a pat on the back in terms of offering value back into the community. So definitely take a listen to that that podcast that was one of my favourites.
Simon – That’s awesome. We must let Mark know you’ll be chuffed I’m sure. Great stuff. Well, like always, we’ve got another crackerjack episode this week. And it’s actually a theme that I’m very passionate about personally. And so what we’re gonna talk about today is this idea that I think we all know instinctively that happy staff equals happy customers. And it’s a kind of term that’s bandied around in the market. In fact, this some company that have done some some kind of detailed analysis around it. But our question today that we’re posing is how often the customer experience leaders actually walk in their employees shoes. And to help us tackle that topic. I’m thrilled to welcome a lady who has done that very thing. This is quite unique, so we’re really lucky to have her. She’s got 20 years of experience, and 20 years of experience at the iconic British Airways where she held senior leadership roles in everything from Product Marketing and service recovery. And more recently was the chief customer officer for simply health. So really lucky to have her join the pod booth today. A big welcome Kate Thornton welcome.
Kate – Thank you very much, Simon.
Simon – How are you today? Are you are you enjoying the sunshine? It’s one of the hottest day of the year when we’re recording this.
Kate – Yeah, it’s a little bit too hot. I will say I’ve been for two hour walk through the beautiful Hampshire countryside where I live this morning, and I was pretty glad to get home to a glass of water. Maybe I’m just ungrateful it’s a fantastic day.
Matt – It’s even like that in Bonny Scotland. So what about the last few months Kate? What have you been up to?
Kate – Well, I’ve had a busy few months surprisingly busy considering like everybody else, I couldn’t really go out. It was funny listening to you talking about the emotional CX stuff that you’ve been talking to Martin and Amy about because I’ve actually been on Martin’s course, which has been fascinating as ever. Otherwise, I don’t know about you. But I found it’s been an amazing period to make new connections. So ironically, even though we can’t physically meet. My experience has been that people have been very, very open to virtual conversations, and I’ve had some fantastic chats with people who we probably wouldn’t have made time to talk to, if we’d all been head down doing what we were doing pre pre COVID. And then finally, I’ve been gearing up for a big house renovation project. So I’ve got a large hole outside my window at the moment and a pile of dirt and project managing that is keeping me pretty busy.
Simon – You are actually an inspiration for me, Kate because you you very kindly suggested having a coffee with me a few months ago, and told me about your kind of venture to try and meet new people and give time to people that you wouldn’t have had. And actually, that’s encouraged me to do the same. And it was, you know, that was the first time we met. But we, you know, I think we clicked and obviously shared similar contacts and experiences and that’s why we wanted to get you on the podcast. And actually, we’ve got another guest coming on in a few weeks time, who for the same thing, you know, we’ve met through a coffee that you when you inspired and then and then off we go. So hopefully more people have kind of embraced that, that time to, to connect and use social media for good and strong networking.
Kate – That’s really great to hear, Simon. I mean, I felt very strongly at the beginning of lockdown that if we couldn’t meet it was more More important than ever to connect in different ways. And you know, I did that by talking to family and ringing up old friends who I hadn’t spoken to for a long time. But it also occurred to me that this is very odd thing going on in LinkedIn in particular that people send you connection invitations, without ever having met you and then appear not to follow up at all. And I don’t really understand how that constitutes a connection. So I am Yeah, I started a habit which was suggesting to new connections that we have a conversation and genuinely Connect. And that’s led to some really, really interesting things. So I’d encourage everyone to give it a go. Although I know that I’ve also had some quite surprised reactions from people who weren’t actually expecting there to be a human being apparently on their LinkedIn request at all and seemed quite ignorant to the prospect that I want to talk to them.
Simon – Isn’t it funny. I think it’s a really inspiring thing to do, and it certainly encouraged me. So anyway, let’s I’m really keen to get stuck into this topic because I think it’s a it’s a fascinating one. So let’s just start, Kate, if you don’t mind, kind of hearing a little bit about your experience. So you were you were a leader at British Airways, you had this unique opportunity to join. I think you said that the cabin crew to walk in their shoes. Can you can you just share your experiences in that particular environment? I’m particularly interested to know how that came about. Was that cultivated by you, and the sorts of things that you learned from that experience?
(Sharing experience working as a leader at British Airways)
Kate – Sure. So if we just take a step back, like many of the people listening to your podcast, I’m sure I actually started out in a frontline customer service role. So my first ever job with British Airways was on the phones in the executive club, service centre. Excuse me, when that started out, So I’d come up through some customer service roles and kind of as I progressed into management and more senior management roles, I’m sure I thought that I was connected with colleagues right away across the organisation, and that I genuinely kind of respected them and cared about what they had to say. The reality is, though, of course, that also like many people who are listening to this, I’m sure, I was spending increasing amounts of my time sitting in meetings, and was getting further and further away from the reality of what was going on on the front line. And in an airline context, if we can even remember what an airline context is. There is one incredibly key group of employees which are the cabin crew, who are just about as removed from the management population as it’s possible to be in that they literally spend most of their working life 35,000 feet above where everybody else is working. And they spend very little time in contact with kind of head office managerial functions in between. So if at all that I was maybe prided myself on kind of having come up through that customer service route, there was a huge gap between me and a critical part and a significant part of the VA workforce. So, you know, there were 14 and a half thousand cabin crew at the time. And ironically, considering you’re leading to this podcast around the link between happy people and happy customers, my opportunity to train and the workers cabin crew came as a direct consequence of having very unhappy people in that it was facilitated by the cabin crew industrial dispute of 2010. So I can’t pretend to be a hero who fought to get the opportunity to train as cabin crew. It was actually offered to anyone across the business who was prepared to go through the 21 days of training required and to be licenced as cabin crew. And my motivation was to keep serving customers and to help keep the operation running. It was only later that I realised how powerful it was from an employee relations and insight perspective. And that’s what kept me doing it for the remaining six years that I was working at British Airways. So the context was industrial dispute. So I literally shut out my laptop on Friday afternoon and head office and at eight o’clock on the Saturday, I reported to the British Airways crew training centre to start my 21 days of safety and emergency procedures training. And I went in thinking that I knew what I signed up for and that I knew a bit about the job that crew do. And what dawned on me incredibly quickly and my first big learning was just how much I underestimated the role of that group of people do. I realised that I was not signing up really to look after customers and to offer them drinks and delicious airline catering, or they clearly that was part of it. But the foundational reason for having those crew on board is essentially to save people’s lives. And so crew are incredibly talented they are all of your emergency services rolled into one. In 21 days I learned how to fight fires. I learned how to treat heart attacks on board. I learned what to do if there was a bomb on board. I learned what to do if there was a hijacking. And how to evacuate the plane in the event of an emergency. And on top of that crew, our customer service professionals. So the first thing I learned was an enormous respect for my cabin crew colleagues, which was a great insight for me. And I think it’s easy to think that you really respect and understand the role that your colleagues are playing in a business without actually getting under the skin of it. So that would be my first my first big learning. And it also gave me a really unique perspective on the quality of the relationship between cabin crew and the rest of the organisation. And like in any relationship, it is so easy to get stuck in your perspective on on that relationship. What’s working what isn’t, and to not really hear what your partner is saying. And training and subsequently doing the job as crew gave me a whole different lens through which to view that relationship and think about how we could make it better and start to restore trust at a time when trust was fundamentally broken. And those are really important to me because the role that I subsequently did was leading all of the product and service agenda for British Airways. And every change that I will my team wanted to introduce on the plane was dependent upon our ability to get the crew on board with executing the change on the day. So that was a massive really valuable learning for me as well
Matt – No. So just keep on that point what I’m trying to understand this. So the relationship you had with the crew wasn’t wasn’t so much about the end customer. It was more about how you manage the customer experience for the crew back into BA. Is that right?
Kate – So the role that I was doing?
Matt – Well. So you obviously got the understanding and the learnings of what they were going through and what they kind of went through but a lot of their frustration is obviously around their specific function and how they were seen within the organisation. So how did you translate their issues back into the business?
Kate – I think the two things are fundamentally interlinked. So you know, the trust point around the relationship is absolutely core to what absolutely caught my ability as a manager to to get the on board with delivering no pun intended to delivering the changes that I wanted to make. So, you know, if you understand that, fundamentally many of the crew view messages coming from management with a high degree of scepticism and a starting point that the people delivering them don’t really understand the environment in which the crew are working, and therefore not making practical suggestion. And a bit fundamentally helps you rethink A. how you are making those decisions, but also how to communicate the changes better. So I’ll give you a tiny example. We, in the time I was running the product and service team we introduced a new breakfast service in club world from New York to London because anyone who’s done that fight will know that is real Paying for when you’re woken up an hour and a quarter before landing to have breakfast, and all you want to do is sleep, but you might well want something to eat. And so we introduced a service where people could indicate up front whether they wanted to be woken for breakfast or whether they wanted to be left alone. And they could also choose a breakfast bag almost that they can take off to go. Now, I know that that came from, you know, customer insight and was something that customers would welcome. But the delivery of that for crew is potentially quite complex. And so getting them on board with delivering is key to the success of it. And so we really ramped up all of the engagement with crew around trialling it which we would have done anyway, to be fair, but we talked about it a lot more and we actually got through who participated in the trials to run workshops communicating in the crew reporting centre, and to be the voice of the changes on videos. So the crew were hearing it from from members of their own community, not from members of the management community. And that came about because I realised, you know, I’ve learned the degree of which there was distrust between that group of people and the messages that they were getting from management. Does that help make it clearer?
Matt – Yeah, totally. I think that’s what we see in a lot of cases. If you want to get the people in, they’re going to execute things. They need to be part of the change movements, as you see doing the videos demonstrating it shooting what what it means to those people. So yeah, that’s a really good example.
Simon – Kate, did it did it encourage future participation? I mean, on this point, I mean, we’ve taught as you know, on the podcast, a lot about contact centre operations, and we’ve talked endlessly that nine times out of 10 the people that are answering the phones and dealing with the interactions day in day out know more about what upsets customers than anyone is likely to know in a head office. And I just wonder whether, once you started going through these changes, and hopefully the trust started to build did it encourage the cabin crew or the front line to start making more suggestions coming up with more ideas of service improvements or process improvements that you could then adopt? Did it create a kind of, you know, a cyclical, you know, process of sharing ideas?
(Did the cabin crew start coming up with suggestions about service or process improvements?)
Kate – Yeah, I think the the thing that really started to change that dynamic was a sense of true feeling more listened to and starting see action taken as a result of what they did. There’s never any shortage of ideas in an organisation. I think the question is, what are people doing with those ideas? And do they actually feel that it is worth surfacing them to the parts of the businesses that are making decisions based on their experience or whether anybody is listening whether Anyone is talking back to them and whether anyone is acting on it. So certainly, you know, my experience of working as crew helped me build more of those conversations. And I was starting to see things and be told things on individual flights. But at any given time, I’m working with 14 crew, and there were 14,000. So I’m never going to touch everyone that way. But it did start to give me the platform to communicate in a different way with the wider community. As we said, it opened my eyes to the amount of work that needs to be done to shift the relationship. And I was able to take that through into other channels. So around the same time, British Airways also introduced Yammer as a platform. And the crew were very, very active participants on that and I ended up spending a lot of time on Yammer looking for examples of themes that the crew were feeding back and participating in the conversations that are They were having about what was going on. And that certainly also improved a very, very rich thread of insight. You know, the biggest crew lead change I ever drove at British Airways came from that which was the seat width, literally the width of the seat on a 787 dash nine aircraft, which was a new aircraft type that BA was taking delivery of, you know, seat specifications on board and air craft are a massive deal and usually take months if not years to define. And in this case, we we’d taken a different variety of 787, just a few weeks earlier, and we were able through Yammer to pick up reports of issues around seat width literally within days of the first seven, eight sevens flying long before we would have gotten the voice of customer data. And because the crew were Talking about it so much. And I was picking up on that we were able to commission some supplementary customer research or people travelling on the 787, which told us that we did need to do something about seat width. And so literally within eight weeks as an airline, we made a decision on making seats on the next aircraft deliveries wider and narrowing the aisle in a timescale that would have been impossible if we had to be tuned into what the crew was saying.
Matt – That is agile.
Simon – Yeah, that’s really gonna resonate with the with the listeners. I mean we’d love to hear kind of examples of this sort of thing happening came and then sadly, they seem to be so few and far between. I mean, I think you hit the nail on the head this you know, there’s lots and lots of effort and money spent on on listening, whether it’s through surveys or you know, different sources, but there sadly, it doesn’t appear to be anywhere near enough action and then real use cases like that. I mean, that’s a monumental use case when limitedly changing the specification of an aeroplane. A brilliant story. Do you think just on that point, Kate do you think companies as a whole are too reliant on on things like employee surveys? Or do you think they need to be getting deeper? I mean, you obviously had a unique experience where you could be part of that. But is that so unique that it’s, it’s, you know, it’s not necessarily something that others could do. And there are surveys enough? I don’t know, I kind of feel like maybe we should be going deeper in these sorts of things.
(Do too many companies simply rely on employee surveys to capture experience insight?)
Kate – Yeah. I mean, to your point about whether, you know, it’s so unique that others can’t do it. I would argue anyone could do it. You know, if you see enough value in it, what anybody can do certainly is spend time talking to their colleagues and listening to them, or maybe just involving them in management processes that are ongoing. Anyway. I think we touched earlier on the power of involving the people who are going to deliver the change in creating And I’m a massive fan of co-creation. So I’ve run sort of cocreation programmes around service hallmarks, customer principles, brand purpose brand, portfolio, it’s always, you know, been really beneficial both because it’s helped get people on board with the change, but also because I think we’ve made better decisions as a result of it, because having that diversity of you in the room is always powerful. I mean, to your point about surveys, I think, you know, as in the the customer world data has as much as a role to play as more qualitative stories. But ultimately, all of the insight in the world isn’t going to do you any good if you’re not prepared to act on it. And I think you were talking in a podcast episode you did with Nathan Dring about, you know, the most powerful employee survey you’d ever seen where they’d literally brought the results to life I think on boards around the contact centre and brainstorming, and it’s the action that makes a difference. Say, Hi, my instinct is that you are better doing a little bit of it really well and following through on it, and trying to adopt a whole range of measures that doing it inconsistently.
Matt – And I think that listening to that story that you put forward, if you’re a kind of an errand on on the airline, and you knew this change was made, that’s a really powerful statement to see. They didn’t used to listen, but they’re sure listening now. So he was an employee, I guess you start to feel empowered about actually helping drive change. And I guess from a customer perspective of the end customer, they obviously saw the impact it was having to the BA customers and the NPS or CSAT that could have impacted by it. They think that they’ve kind of done their bit to kind of improve BA as a business. So that’s really that’s really strong.
Kate – Yeah, although I do think start is the operative word in that because you know, with all Of these things with all elements of culture, it takes time and you have to keep going at it. So one heroic moment is a really, really great start. But it is only the start. And I’ve, you know, reflected a lot on the point you made Simon almost is, is it? Is it too hard for most people to do? My experience when I was at BA was that my senior management colleagues would say to me, okay, it’s amazing that you, you still fly as crew. So I used to put on a uniform and cries crew every 90 days, which you know, would mean being out of the office for at least three days because I was flying long haul. It’s amazing. You do that. It’s amazing that you find the time to go on to Yammer and actively participate most days. I don’t know how you found the time and my reflection was I don’t know why more leaders don’t find the time because what is leadership about if it isn’t about understanding what’s going on with your people and your customers and understanding through that how you can create an environment in which they will perform better in nobody would ever question how I could find the time to spend half an hour sitting in another dumb meeting with almost no input in head office, that’s more valuable use of my time and actually talking to the people who are looking after our customers.
Matt – Yeah, by getting on the front foot, you’re probably saving a lot more time time downstream, rather than having to get on all these escalation calls, why the customers are so frustrated and then do retrospective fits around things. So yeah, yeah, totally agree with what you see. I think leaders need to lead from the front understand what the people are going through what customers are going through, and then you can make sensible decisions sitting back and just looking at data. You’re not going to be able to do that. I don’t think.
Simon – Did it encourage others, okay. I mean, your your other Leader, community peers, when they’re saying to you, I can’t believe you’ve got this, you know how you found the time? It’s amazing. Did Did you find in time that they saw the benefits and started to adopt some of your behaviours?
Kate – Well, honestly, in terms of working is true. No. And I will admit it’s quite extreme during 21 days of training.
Simon – Yeah, I meant more. I don’t know, spending time in the contact centre or I don’t know, just, you know, a little bit more face to face time.
Kate – I think it varies certainly in terms of Yammer. You know, I was one he was very active on it, but there were others. But it was quite polarising, I’d say And, look, it can be quite difficult can’t it, particularly if you’re engaging with people when the relationship isn’t in a great place. I think some people found having those conversations quite challenging. Kind of were more comfortable doing what they’d always done, but there were lots of great people. managers at British Airways who were doing similar things in their own way. Absolutely.
Simon – Do you find from your experiences in the in the customer experience community Kate that and we’ve again, you’ve heard us talk about this too Nathan, this idea that voice of the employee programmes tend to be predominantly managed and run by HR teams, which not necessarily criticising. But I’ve always felt like there should be more ownership at a more departmental level so that you can dig into it in more detail. What’s your experience of a voice of employee programmes? And do you think it should be broken out into different functions of a business?
(Surveys tend to be owned and managed by human resources should each function of the business own their own VOE programs?)
Kate – I suppose two things occurred to me of which is I mean, just as if you were designing Voice of the Customer programme, one of your key considerations has got to be what is going to make it easy and rewarding for your employees to complete and that suggests to me that at least a degree of coordination is quite useful. The other thing we’ve talked about is that the value of the types of programmes really lies in the way that they are used within the business to influence decision making and change. So I certainly think that wider parts of the business need to understand the questions that are being asked their potential to influence that and be thoughtful about how they can use the data.
Simon – Yeah, I think that’s good advice. That’s good advice. Hey, we could talk about this. I feel like I’d like to talk about the the change to the seating specifications all afternoon. But sadly, we’re going to have to start getting into wrap up mode in a minute. And to finish with Kate you’ll know from being a listener that we try and leave some some thoughts, ideas and some concepts for people to go away and have a think about from your own view of it. You know, if you Were imparting your experiences and, and your suggestions to others what would be the things that you would suggest to kind of make the most out of, of this kind of an opportunity and and kind of striking the balance between day job and and and gleaning lots of valuable information from getting into someone else’s world?
(Takeaway – Listen first and speak last)
Kate – Well, the first thing I would say is maybe don’t view it as something different to your day job. If you’re going to do it, you have to be committed to doing it and do it consistently. Because that’s what builds the trust. And so my advice would be to go into it clear about why it matters to you and what you do and how you’re going to use what you’ve learned. Because if you’re not going to use what you’ve learned, or you’re going to show up once and make a promise and then never be seen again, then you might as well not bother. I was listening to something recently where someone was talking about what I is a Peter Drucker role as well, which is quite interesting, which is listen first and speak last, which is so hard to do, isn’t it? Because we all go into conversations, maybe sitting on our own assumptions, and getting ready to say our piece. But if you can make the most of any opportunities that you do have to spend with your teams, to genuinely and deeply listen and understand rather than using them as the opportunity to spout or whatever you went in believing, then then that’s incredibly powerful. And if you doubt the power of this, then, you know there are any number of inspirational stories you can listen to about people, very, very senior people leading enormous businesses with great success, who see this as a key part of their recipe for that success. So I was listening to an interview a couple of weeks ago with a guy called Ari Weinzweig I think Zingerman’s in the US. Have you ever come across him?
Simon – No, no.
Kate – That was that was sort of blew my mind. He talks about anarchy in a business sense, which blew my mind to start with. But his definition of anarchy is very much around getting the people on the shop floor involved in building systems and processes. And every day he goes out and works front of house in his own restaurants to get a feel for what’s going on. And he’s got an amazing kind of business going on over state. So you know, examples like that, for me are are inspirational.
Simon – Wow, that is definitely something to go and check out. I know, I haven’t come across at all. That does sound well worth a well worth a look. And, Kate, I can’t thank you enough for coming on the podcast and sharing your experiences. I think it’s genuinely very inspirational. And sadly, we’re not seeing anywhere near enough. And I just wonder whether, as I was talking about before, I think people will, will find it hard. And I think they’ll, they’ll claim to be time poor, and struggle to find the time to be able to make something like this work and hopefully, from hearing from you, that will inspire them to go Do you know what maybe I could cut back on some of the things that I spend time on that isn’t delivering value and reprioritize and I really hope it will because it’s a it’s a really inspiring story and when we can talk about some of those fantastic use case examples that you were involved in. Hopefully that will resonate with everyone. So thank you, Kate, for for joining us on the podcast. Have you Have you enjoyed it?
Kate – No, I have and all the subjects of enjoyment. If I might just say you know, the thing about doing this stuff is it’s really good fun. So you know, we talked about some very serious stuff, but I had a hoot doing this job and met some amazing people so, you know Do it because it’s beneficial but also do it because it’s fun, far more fun than most of the meetings in your diary I guarantee you.
Simon – Talking of meetings, Kate, we will obviously put your your LinkedIn profile as part of the social media outreach for this particular episode. But would you have any objections to people reaching out to pick your brains and and maybe organise one or two of those virtual coffees we talked about at the top of this podcast.
Kate – I can hardly object having having my case for for why people should talk to each other. So now I’d be genuinely delighted to.
Simon – Oh, that’s good. That’s good. Matty. Brilliant episode today.
Matt – Yeah, exceptional episode is probably the one of the best stories I’ve heard around actually listening and then acting on something a lot of people talk about it, but the ROI and kind of the turnaround around that must have been absolutely massive. So yeah, brilliant episode. And Kate, thanks very much for sharing your story.
Kate – Yeah, my pleasure.
Simon – Really Excellent. Well, Thank you both, once again and to everyone that’s listening. We really appreciate the support we we do love to get your feedback. So please do have those come in. And yes as ever, stay safe. Thanks for listening and until next time, goodbye.
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One of the online panels at this year’s ‘Future of Utilities Summit’ focused on the shape of things to come for customer experiences, and I was pleased to be invited to discuss this with Eileen Brown (Customer Experience Director at Northern Gas Networks), Mark Royle (Chief Executive Officer at Zebra Power) and our moderator Sarah Lockett.
Blog: How retailers can use digital tools to reduce post-Christmas returns and provide a better CX
Tis the season of gift-giving – and returning. January sees retailers flooded by returns as consumers send back unwanted gifts and regret those sales bargains. The cost to shops of this activity is huge. But there are some simple things retailers can do to support customers and reduce returns.
Blog: To save the high street, retailers need to rethink their approach to customer experience
The British high street is not dead. There, I’ve said it. Yes, Debenhams and the Arcadia Group stores are closing. Yes, the pandemic has put high street stores under immense pressure. But I don’t think this is the end of our town and city centres. I think this is an opportunity to transform the retail industry and start afresh. We need to start by rethinking our approach to customer experience (CX).
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