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In business today, the most important voice is that of the customer. And while customer satisfaction has supplanted cost efficiency as the driving force for contact centers, Richard McCann wonders if complacency is resulting in missed opportunities.

Businesses in the financial services sector now believe that their ‘future growth depends on making customer experience special[1]’. Researcher and writer Brian Cantor agrees that the future lies in essential transformation of channels, processes and data.  In his recent report, ‘Performance, Operations & Technology – Call Center Performance in an Age of Customer Satisfaction’, Mr Cantor says that performance evaluation has shifted from C-level executives and investors, and the customer is now the voice of judgment.

The 94% of all US and UK customers[2] who said they would take ‘some action’ the first time service levels failed to meet their expectations undoubtedly agree with Mr Cantor. Indeed, 42%[3] say they would take their business to a competitor ‘immediately’ if they were dissatisfied with service.


Multi-channel is on the rise and most call centers have become ‘contact centers’.  The top four rising channels – web self-service, live chat, mobile live and mobile self-service – are all digital. Thus the ‘traditional’ channels are falling by proportion.  That trend will accelerate, driven by the pace of innovation of web and mobile apps.

“Contact Centers need to adapt quickly to keep pace with these changes, or else customer experience could suffer if multiple channels lead to disjointed service and fractured customer data,” says Nigel Warren, Head of Marketing at iBPM software specialist MatsSoft.

But how is this being integrated?  Many centers have allocated dedicated reps for each channel, but Mr Warren points to the danger of what he calls a ‘silo mentality’: “One of the advantages of aggregating the different channels into a single system is you obtain one place to set-up service levels, rules and escalations.  You could set-up different service levels for different channels or you could treat them all the same.  Take complaint management as an example.  Arguably it makes no difference if a complaint is registered by phone, by Email or by Tweet.  The meter starts running the moment the complaint is received.  You wouldn’t want it handled differently just because the communication channel was different.  By bringing these different channels into a combined view, contact centers will have the most flexibility in terms of resource allocation.  Our financial services customers are combining Web, Email, SMS, Twitter and phone into a consistent web front end that aggregates customer communication into a consistent case management environment.  Such consistency reduces agent-training requirements and ensures that however the customer prefers to communicate with the company, they experience consistent service. “

In the UK financial services sector, for example, ‘a reportable complaint’ is “any expression of dissatisfaction by a customer which has not been resolved by close of business on the business day following its receipt” and failure to meet that deadline means that the complaint has to be reported to the Financial Conduct Authority.  That incurs compliance effort and cost, as well as effecting reputation via published complaint league tables.  Minimizing such cost and reputational damage is much harder to achieve if calls, letters, Emails and Tweets are not aggregated into a single system.  And yes, a tweet sent to a bank can be an official complaint!

New Metrics

Customer-oriented metrics now possess the influence once held by operational ones such as ‘average handle time’ and ‘average speed of answer’, and customer-centricity has become the driving force behind today’s centers. Customer satisfaction—not cost efficiency or revenue generation—is their paramount objective according to the report[4].

Yet despite existing in a world of multiple contact channels and virtual infrastructures, many of today’s centers still have a reluctance to go multi-channel according to Cantor, who says that despite ‘technically serving customers in multiple channels’, his data casts significant doubt on the maturity of the alleged omni-channel revolution.

CONTACT CENTERS - EVOLUTION OR REVOLUTION? 8Engagement via social channels is conspicuously absent from the shortlists of many contact center services. Occasionally treated as synonymous with the word multi-channel, social remains slow to garner support from today’s enterprises, says Brian Cantor.

Making changes to your customer service processes can have a dramatic effect not just on customer experience, but on your efficiency and cost-effectiveness as well. Nigel Warren says contact centers are missing out by failing to address root cause deficient processes that lead to unnecessary queries and phone calls: “Improving customer communications and web self-service capabilities can dramatically cut the number of chaser (follow-up) calls. For example, one client halved the number of chaser calls within a few weeks of implementing automated status-update-messaging for their home loan applicants.”

Measuring Performance in a World of Changing Objectives

While some businesses still focus primarily on the cost of operating their contact centers, others look at the value being generated. But all require insight into how their centers are performing. Efficiency metrics are apparently no longer top of mind; 60% look at the agent’s impact on customer satisfaction metrics, while 42% rely on resolution metrics[5].

Increasingly, businesses see their centers as gateways to improved customer relationships and greater revenue. 44% of businesses define driving customer satisfaction as their center’s primary focus; only 27% most notably focus on reducing the cost of customer engagements[6].

CONTACT CENTERS - EVOLUTION OR REVOLUTION? 9Quality, Technology and Cloud Investment

Technology is an irrefutable gateway to a stronger contact center operation, capable of facilitating entry into new channels, improving quality and reliability of interactions, reducing the cost of satisfying customers and capturing valuable insights from inside and outside the center. Brian Cantor’s report reveals that a total of 66% of contact center operations will feature a hosted or cloud element by the end of the next eighteen month period and 31% of organizations will exclusively rely on hosted or cloud solutions.

CONTACT CENTERS - EVOLUTION OR REVOLUTION? 10 “The agenda has switched to winning, delighting and retaining more customers to drive profitability,” argues Warren. “If customer experience improvement is the new battleground for competitive advantage, being told by IT that you’re going to have to wait six months for an enhancement to some aspect of your customer service architecture is just totally unacceptable.  So operations and customer service departments are seeking more agility and more control of their technology, which in some cases they can get by moving to the Cloud and working with specialist service providers, instead of in-house IT.  Sixty percent of organizations have substantially outsourced IT, and you have to wonder if that has impacted agility and encouraged more contact center leaders to consider the Cloud?”

Complacency or Innovation?

The shift to a more customer-centric approach requires more than a mindset change, it also needs action.  That some businesses now recognize the center as a source of value offers empowerment for contact center managers, but it also risks creating an aura of complacency, says Brian Cantor.

For instance, virtually no respondents in Mr Cantor’s survey identified gaining customer insights as a center’s top objective. Yet when one considers how valuable that information can be to the business—and how effectively the contact center can capture that information—are businesses squandering a great opportunity?


[1] 91% agree: ‘Opinion Matters’ research 2014

[2] ‘Opinion Matters’ research 2014

[3] ‘Opinion Matters’ research 2014

[4] Performance, Operations & Technology – Call Center Performance in an Age of Customer Satisfaction’

[5] Performance, Operations & Technology – Call Center Performance in an Age of Customer Satisfaction’

[6] ‘Performance, Operations & Technology – Call Center Performance in an Age of Customer Satisfaction’


Staff training crucial for SME recovery post-COVID



Staff training crucial for SME recovery post-COVID 11
  • 47% of UK’s top performing SMEs provide regular, formalised training for all staff
  • Despite this, 15% of small businesses report to never training staff
  • New findings come as part of an independent, holistic study into small business success, commissioned by Allica Bank to support British businesses

A new study, commissioned by business bank, Allica Bank, shows that the practice of regular training correlates strongly with high performance in SMEs and will be vital to businesses’ prospects of a swift recovery post-COVID. The study analysed data from over 1,000 companies and ranked their success on a scale that evaluated factors including productivity, growth, consistency and outlook.

Post-pandemic, many businesses will be focussing on day-to-day survival; it might be easy to forget long-term planning, of which staff training is a key component. Allica Bank’s findings indicate that small businesses should incorporate training programmes into their recovery strategy to ensure long-term viability. Training will improve morale, retention and boost the company’s credibility.

The study showed that routine staff training is a common characteristic among the most successful SMEs. 47% of the 100 highest scorers on the SME Performance Index provided training for employees at least on a quarterly basis. However, nearly half of all small businesses (46%) only provide training once a year or less, inadvertently hindering their growth and success prospects.

Frequency of training also differed across sectors. 34% of legal businesses provide training for staff once a month compared to just 6% in the hospitality and leisure sector. Whilst there will always be sector-specific disparities, firms in all industries can benefit from boosting and improving their training programmes.

Chris Weller, Chief Commercial Officer, Allica Bank, said:

With so many concerns and barriers for small businesses to navigate in the immediate term, it can be difficult for managers to focus on the training and development of their teams. However, if COVID has taught us anything, it is that adaptability and resilience are invaluable.

“The provision of regular training not only builds these characteristics into teams but serves to maintain a sense of value and togetherness that will boost morale, aide retention and improve performance – all of which contribute to the ongoing success of a business.”

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to training, but it’s vital for business longevity that staff are supported with a formalised programme of some description. Customers will respond well to a company whose employees demonstrate enthusiasm and competence. Employees also need to feel that their skills are constantly being improved and expanding. These skills will contribute to the success of a company and this will feed through to the bottom line.”

Allica Bank’s SME Guide to Success identified six ‘rules to success’ that were more likely to be displayed by top-performing SMEs compared to their counterparts. The full report contains a wealth of additional data and insight into each of these topics.

As part of its mission to empower small businesses, Allica Bank is making the findings freely available and running a series of free online workshops with relevant partner organisations for businesses to attend.

Aliya Vigor-Robertson, CEO, JourneyHR, the expert partner for Allica Bank’s training workshop, adds:

Staff need direction and the knowledge that they are advancing in their career to stay motivated and engaged at work. An unmotivated, disengaged team is no recipe for long-term success and will ultimately hamper a business. Team members that lack tangible support from above are less likely to identify with their role and its duties, which is a completely natural reaction.

“Regular staff training is a key component of tangible support and will make the team feel secure in their career development. A happy team with purpose and direction will contribute to a thriving business”

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What Is Globalization



What Is Globalization 12

What is globalization? Globalization, or inter-connectedness, is the ever-growing process of integration and interaction among countries, individuals, businesses, and even governments all over the world. Globalization has rapidly accelerated in recent years because of advances in communication and transportation technology. This allows us to be able to get from one country to another quickly and easily. This also allows us to communicate freely use the Internet to connect with our friends and families around the world.

So what is globalization and why is it important? Globalization will benefit many people around the world who are looking to travel more freely, save money on their monthly expenditure, be able to meet new friends and relatives from different parts of the world, learn more about a new culture, and take part in trade and commerce.

Globalization will benefit all of us because there will be more opportunities for everyone to participate in global markets. People in different countries have access to resources, information, and products they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford. There are also many opportunities for people to work at home.

Globalization is not just an economic boon, but it can also benefit all of us in other ways. As globalization continues, the boundaries between individuals, states, and countries will become less porous. There will be fewer political conflicts in the world, less violence, and a greater sense of cooperation, tolerance, and peace. These are all positive impacts of globalization.

However, globalization has also created some negative effects as well. It has caused people from one country to move to another to take advantage of globalization. This is also leading to some negative consequences such as a reduction of jobs in some countries. The effects of globalization also include increased competition and unemployment in many countries. Due to this decrease in jobs, wages are dropping.

The only way we can stop globalization is to make sure that we know what it is and what its benefits are. We must understand globalization and its impact on our lives and make sure we are ready to accept the changes that it may bring. if it is inevitable in the future.

The key is to be educated about globalization. There are plenty of books, websites, and television shows that explain how globalization is impacting us and the rest of the world. Globalization is not always bad, but we must be careful not to lose sight of its positives.

In the end, globalization is here to stay, so we must learn to live with it and embrace its benefits. We cannot fight it and try to fight it off, but we must learn to deal with it. And we can do that by educating ourselves. Globalization is here to stay for the long term but we must learn to adapt to it and learn how to live with it.

Globalization can be beneficial for all of us, but it has also caused many problems in the past. There were many cases of unfair trade practices and there was the rise of unfair labor practices. Some people argue that globalization has also reduced the pay of most Americans. So while globalization is definitely not all bad, we should understand that the benefits of globalization are not unlimited. and that we must be willing to give it some limitations and accept some sacrifices.

The biggest benefit of globalization is the ability for all of us to communicate with each other easily. The ability to connect with other people across borders makes it possible to share ideas, information, and knowledge. Since we can communicate with each other, the chances of getting a good price for our goods or services goes up dramatically. and it also allows us to save money by buying in bulk. This also translates to more savings on our end.

As mentioned earlier, globalization has brought about a change in the way people work and live because people are no longer tied down by jobs. They now have the freedom to travel and do what they enjoy.

As globalization continues, there will always be some people who are unhappy with globalization and are afraid to open their eyes to new opportunities that are available to them. But that is okay; this is part of the process of globalization.

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What Is Microsoft Teams



What Is Microsoft Teams 13

Microsoft Teams is an application and web-based collaboration tool that combines chat, videos, online collaboration, document storage, and collaboration with other applications. The service integrates well with the Microsoft Office 365 business solution and features numerous extensions that can integrate well with other non-Microsoft products, like SharePoint. There are many different versions of Microsoft Teams but here are some of the basic functions that all versions offer.

Teams also offers a variety of options for people to create and customize their own groups. This feature provides a way for people to organize their teams within Microsoft Teams. For example, there may be teams for business projects and then another group for personal tasks or social tasks. There are also different types of teams which include teams for social, personal and business.

Microsoft Teams allows users to make lists of files and documents and view them from different perspectives such as in the document viewer or from another Microsoft Teams project. This feature is called “project pane”, and it shows a summary of each of the files in the project. There are also sections for all files in the project that you can see in the “Files” pane.

Microsoft Teams gives users the ability to share information and collaborate on these shared items. A user can create a document that has other people add comments or attach files and then save the document to a list so that other people can view the document in a Microsoft Teams document viewer.

Another feature of Teams is the ability for you to invite other team members to work with you. A user can join a team and then invite other team members to collaborate with the team members who join the team. You can also invite team members to join a new team. When a team member joins a new team, they will be automatically added to your existing teams and the teams will merge together.

Microsoft Teams provides a number of different ways for you to collaborate with others and see the files and documents of others. These include groups and threads in the main document viewer. You can search your files using the search box in the document viewer and you can share your documents with others by email.

Microsoft Teams provides users with a variety of different tools to help you organize and manage your teams. You can assign members to specific teams, assign permissions to members, create custom groups, organize tasks and events, and organize files and documents into groups.

Microsoft Teams can help you build a team and create a collaboration culture that you want to create at your organization. You can use this tool to build effective teams and increase productivity and improve your relationships within the organization. Microsoft Teams offers a variety of options to help you get started and become more productive quickly and easily.

Teams are created easily. If you have several departments within your organization and need to create a team for each department you can do this easily. Teams are made easy and you can get your teams up and running quickly.

One of the best features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to invite people from around the world and let them work with the same documents and projects. You can have the documents and projects organized and shared in the same way throughout the entire organization, regardless of what country they were created in. You can create a similar project in the same language that they were created in and share it with other employees in the organization.

One of the most amazing features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to have multiple team members edit and view the documents and files in the same way. With Microsoft Teams you can have a document and have people edit the same document at the same time without any problems. The changes that you make can also be seen by other team members and can be modified by them without ever needing to send the document again.

Microsoft Teams is the perfect tool for building a powerful and effective collaboration culture. You can share documents and files in the same way that the rest of the organization can view the information.

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