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Going global – 360 feedback for multinational organisations

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Whether you call it ‘360 degree feedback’, ‘all round feedback’, ‘360 appraisal’ or ‘360 review’, the 360 feedback process is an established part of life in most large banking and finance organisations. At its best, it provides a unique opportunity to develop self-awareness, with resulting improvements in competence and performance. It’s also a good way to evaluate the impact of learning and development or culture change programmes.

The 360 questions usually reflect the key competencies for the individual’s role. However, it’s also possible to run 360 feedback against other criteria such as the ability to manage change or lead the implementation of a new way of working. In every case, it’s about helping the individual to ‘see themselves as others see them’ so that they can plan ways to improve.

The aim of the 360 process is to identify strengths and development needs and agree a personal development plan that will deliver real improvements in the individual’s skills, behaviours and performance at work.

In multinational organisations 360 feedback can provide further benefits:

  • It offers a way to connect international groups of employees such as high potential individuals or senior leaders as part of cross-border development programmes or project teams. One of our clients, an international provider of software services, uses a 360 tool to connect multinational groups working through their global Talent Programmes. There is a single 360 platform and process that individuals in different countries use to gather feedback on their strengths and development areas. The fact that there is a single reporting format makes it easy for individuals to work with facilitators at the company’s international Talent Events to interpret their results.
  • It provides a way to drive alignment across national and cultural boundaries against the values and behaviours that are required to deliver medium term strategy. Another cda client is using our 360 feedback tool (®cdafeedback) to assess senior leaders around the world against the competencies required to deliver the company’s medium term business vision. The same 360 questions are available in several languages so that leaders can gather feedback from their teams in local language, but an overview of competency gaps and uplifts can be tracked by the global team leading the programme.

So the opportunity to use a single platform can help banking and finance multinationals to get the most from their 360 programme by simplifying the process, streamlining administration and allowing the consolidation of data for the group as a whole.

There are many suppliers of online 360 tools, but relatively few that can accommodate parallel surveys in multiple languages. Cda feedback is a flexible tool which offers this functionality together with some other distinctive features.

  • It is completely flexible, offering the opportunity to use a standard 360 template questionnaire, or a questionnaire designed to reflect the organisation’s own competencies and values
  • It can accommodate a wide mix of different question types, including rating scales, ‘yes/no’ answers and free-form narrative comments and also allows the organisation to specify the categories of respondents who will be providing the feedback, for example ‘linemanager’, ‘direct report’
  • The process is fully automated and confidential, and managed via the cdafeedback website
  • A single 360 questionnaire can be run in parallel in several languages, with the introductory website pages, the 360 questionnaire and the Personal Feedback Report all being in language
  • The system can be configured to run an automatic Follow Up 360 survey, which tracks changes against the development areas identified in the Personal Feedback Report – providing a way to measure the effectiveness of a development programme
  • The 360 questionnaire can also be configured to include the individual’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These can be included in the Follow Up 360 survey, providing a way to measure the impact of the development programme on business performance
  • The system and the Personal Feedback Report can be branded to include the organisation’s own logo and reflect their Corporate Identity

This functionality provides a great tool for companies wishing to use 360 feedback with multinational groups to understand levels of competence or performance and track the changes resulting from a development intervention, such as a leadership programme or talent programme.

Once the 360 survey process has been thought through there are other factors to consider.

  • It’s important to ensure that the respondents providing feedback do so in a way which is constructive, supportive and aimed at helping the individual to develop. A key part of the set-up of the 360 process must be to ensure that respondents understand the requirement to remain objective, fair and constructive.
  • There can sometimes also be a challenge around the selection of the respondents who will provide feedback. The aim is to achieve a representative mix of positive and negative feedback – not just to gather positive feedback from friends! Sometimes it’s helpful to provide clear directions on the number of respondents that the individual should nominate in each category and to ensure that the respondents’ names are agreed at the start of the process.
  • It’s also important to make sure that the 360 feedback is fully understood by the individual and used to make positive changes. It’s natural to focus on the negatives, and our advice is that a 360 feedback process should always include some 1:1 time with an expert, independent facilitator to review the Personal Feedback Report, recognise both the positives and the negatives and plan the development required to improve.
  • Finally, it’s important to plan what will happen after the 360 feedback process has been completed. What will the individual do with his or her development plan? What support will they receive? How will their progress be monitored? The individual’s line manager must play a key role at this stage to ensure that the learning objectives are recognised and supported as part of day to day performance management activity.

It may also be necessary to adapt the process to reflect the legal requirement in a specific country. For example, in some markets local legislation may prevent the full 360 process being implemented. In that situation, it may be sensible to rely on self-assessment or 180 feedback (that is, taking feedback only from the individual and their manager).  In other parts of the world, for example the Far East, 360 feedback may be culturally difficult and require an amended feedback process and additional support.

Any global programme of 360 feedback is made more complex by the requirement to work on a large scale, remotely, across business territories, cultures and timezones. Strong, committed leadership is required to ensure that all the resources are in place to make the 360 feedback programme a success.

 So overall…

360 feedback has many benefits when used as part of global development or change programmes. However the challenges can be significant and it’s important to select a tool that can run the 360 survey in multiple languages and provide reporting on the global picture. Managing 360 across national boundaries can be very complex and a clear commitment from the organisation’s senior leaders is required to make the programme a success.

Caroline Dunk is a Director at cda

 “To find out more about 360 visit the cda website. “

Business

Retailers need to deliver better rewards to ensure customer loyalty

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Retailers need to deliver better rewards to ensure customer loyalty 1
  • 62% feel retailers need to improve the ways they reward consumers for shopping with them
  • 55% believe that loyalty programmes rarely offer them the things they actually want or would use
  • 48% want retailers to focus on making the shopping experience better for them, rather than a loyalty programme

Rewards programmes are not delivering on their promise to drive customer loyalty for retailers, according to the latest research from Adyen, the payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies. The majority of customers (55%) say that rewards programmes do not offer things they actually want and that customer experience holds almost equal influence when it comes to loyalty (48%). 

 

The findings come from a report conducted by Adyen exploring how agility will be key for the retail sector as it emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic. The research polled more than 2,000 consumers in the UK in 2020.

 

The results showed that, while rewards and loyalty schemes are still welcomed by many customers, the majority (62%) feel that retailers need to improve how they reward their shoppers.

 

“Every customer counts – especially in the context of the pandemic. Anything retailers can do to keep customers coming back for more is worth exploring. But it goes beyond a loyalty or rewards scheme. The customer experience, both online and in store really matters. Making it as easy as possible to shop is equally as important as other incentives. And, if you do go down the rewards route, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely delivers. You must make the effort to understand your customers and offer something they really want,” said Myles Dawson, UK Managing Director, Adyen.

 

Nearly half of the respondents (48%) want retailers to focus on making the shopping experience better for them, rather than delivering a loyalty programme.  When it comes to an experience that will drive loyalty, customers want a seamless link between online and physical stores. 60% of consumers said they would be more loyal to retailers that let them buy out of stock items in store and have them shipped directly to their home. And 53% said they would be more loyal to retailers that let people buy online and return in store.

 

“The high street is under increasing competition from online retailers who put convenience and usability at the centre of their customer experience. To succeed now, businesses must harness the best of their physical and digital worlds to create amazing experiences. This will increase conversions and also raise the prospects of customer loyalty.

 

“For those consumers that want loyalty schemes, it must be as seamless and easy as possible. 61% of respondents were more likely to shop with a retailer that linked their loyalty scheme to the payment card. By doing this, businesses can track customer buying behaviour and shopper data which lets them offer a more personalised shopping experience,” Dawson concluded.

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The pandemic has changed consumer behaviour and retailers need to adapt

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The pandemic has changed consumer behaviour and retailers need to adapt 2

By Mary Keane-Dawson, Group CEO of TAKUMI

It’s no secret that the retail industry has been badly hit by the pandemic, with the recent collapse of Arcadia and Debenhams providing a harsh reality check as to what the future could hold for brick-and-mortar stores. With all non-essential shops being ordered to close last month, with no re-opening date confirmed, it is inevitable that a natural shift to online platforms would occur.

Online giants, ASOS and Boohoo, have established themselves as the new industry leaders. Both e-commerce giants bought failing Arcadia brands and Debenhams and ruthlessly closed all the retailers’ physical premises. The shift to online in the retail sector has never been more apparent.

Retail brands need to establish their digital presence to serve their consumers’ changing behaviour and to remain competitive in the retail industry.

Capitalising on changing consumer behaviour

The pandemic has meant consumer needs have adapted, which in turn has led to a shift in consumer behaviour. Retailers need to capitalise on changing consumer behaviour to remain relevant, but more importantly profitable.

The ‘stay at home’ message from the government, which has been almost constant throughout the past 12 months, has meant many consumers have started to become more reliant on online channels and platforms.

Supermarkets, such as Aldi and Co-Op, responded to this change in consumer behaviour by deciding to serve their customers on delivery apps, such as Deliveroo. As fewer people were ‘popping to the shops’ due to lockdown restrictions, supermarkets reacted by offering an instant delivery service, essentially where the ‘shop pops to you’.

The shift to online platforms and influencer marketing

Retail brands need to follow suit and adapt their ways of working to reflect this shift to e-commerce. Ted Baker, the premium fashion retailer, has admitted its disappointing online sales figures last quarter could be due to its slow response to the shift to ecommerce. The retailer is aiming to “significantly improve” its online shopping platform because of this.

As the shift to online platforms accelerates, retailers need to start investing in digital marketing, for example influencer marketing, to ensure their brand stays at the forefront of their consumers’ minds. Evan Horowitz, CEO of Movers+Shakers, a creative agency, explained in our whitepaper in August how the pandemic has led his company to increase its influencer marketing as “influencers are more influential than ever”.

As such, many traditional retailers have started exploring the benefits of influencer marketing. Wickes, in partnership with TAKUMI, launched the UK’s first ever home improvement industry TikTok campaign to reach a new audience with authentic and creative content and to drive awareness of its range of products. Our whitepaper, Into the Mainstream: Influencer Marketing in Society, which surveyed over 3,500 consumers, marketers, and influencers across the US, UK, and Germany, found that almost three-quarters of marketers (73%) upped spend on influencer marketing in the past 12 months, with spending significantly increasing in the retail (79%) sector.

It seems inevitable that more brands will continue to invest in influencer marketing with social media’s popularity increasing as we start to enter a post-pandemic world.

Using social media as a tool to respond to changing consumer behaviour

With marketers upping their influencer marketing spend, many social media platforms have also responded to the growing popularity of ecommerce.

Instagram redesigned its layout to ensure its Shopping and Reels tabs were given more prominence. The Instagram shopping feature allows brands to attach a virtual shopping tag to their ads on the platform. People can click on a tagged item and then be re-directed to the brands’ product webpage.

Similarly, TikTok’s rising popularity has led it to launch its own ecommerce offering. Last October, TikTok announced a partnership with Shopify. This partnership will enable Shopify merchants to create, run and optimise TikTok marketing campaigns that will attract consumers from TikTok’s growing user base.

Instagram and TikTok are slowly evolving from content platforms to ecommerce hubs. This transformation coincides with the rise in consumers shopping online following the pandemic.

What’s to come for retailers, post-pandemic?

Consumer behaviour is changing and the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards social media and ecommerce. Retail brands need to recognise that the shift to online is here to stay.

To remain relevant, brands need to allocate appropriate budgets to digital marketing channels. Interestingly, our whitepaper found it was marketers from traditional media channels that were increasing their influencer marketing spend the most, demonstrating that the shift to digital marketing has already begun. Retail brands need to start to prepare themselves for the post-pandemic retail environment to avoid ending up like Arcadia and Debenhams.

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5 Trends Driving the Future of Customer Service in 2021 and Beyond

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5 Trends Driving the Future of Customer Service in 2021 and Beyond 3

By Matt McConnell, CEO of Intradiem

2020 ignited radical shifts for contact centre operations with the move to a remote work environment. Our customers say this trend is more of a permanent transformation – one that uncovers trends that include more flexible operations and greater efficiencies in leveraging contact centre data.

Trend 1: The Remote Agent Model is Here to Stay, Permanently

Historically, many IT teams discouraged remote working for customer service teams, but it was quickly proven virtual contact centres could work and offered a significant upside. The average annual cost to physically house a call centre agent is approximately $8,300 per agent in the United States. If a 200-person contact centre decided to move only half of its agents to home offices, that translates to $830,000 in annual real estate cost savings.

Working remotely also opened the doors to reach talent and hiring beyond a specific geography. For example, call centres based in rural locations who may have exhausted their local talent pool can bring in quality agents from anywhere in the world.

Trend 2: The Role of AI will be to Support Human Agents, Not Replace

Despite many years of buzz, it’s worth acknowledging that AI cannot entirely replace one-on-one human interaction in customer service (yet, or maybe ever). Many interactions with chatbots or other entirely automated CX tools only drive the escalation of customer issues rather than resolving them at the first touchpoint.

Instead, AI is best used to assist and manage agents to help them work more efficiently. For example, AI-powered technology can reduce handle time by auto-populating call notes or automatically log agents into or out of applications to further save time.

AI will provide an added layer of support as a management tool to keep agents on track in remote environments. AI also enables better connectivity for customer service teams and enables agents to receive consistent communications and Information they need to excel in their role in serving customers.

Trend 3: A Swift Migration to the Cloud

Call centres have been notoriously slow to move to the cloud. In the past, this has not been an issue when centres use on-premise technologies. With fully remote call centres, companies must reconsider their approach to the cloud.

Call centres can no longer rely on on-premise data with a decentralised workforce. Often their information is locked up in data centres, while operations remain outside of the office. Moving to the cloud offers more flexible operations, easier access to data and substantial cost saving, but only if call centres tap the right partners to make the most of the shift.

Trend 4: The Emergence of Predictive Analytics

Call centres generate an enormous amount of time-sensitive data that must be gathered and analysed in real-time to effectively manage their operations. Without real-time capabilities, Insights gathered on a Monday may only be contextualised later that day or week. This is not impactful as the time to act has passed and call centre conditions have already changed.

Looking beyond 2021, we will see call centres take their analytics a step further to go beyond real-time analytics, and into predictive analytics.  This will leverage real-time data at scale to offer preventive support to both agents and customers, moving call centres from reactive to proactive. Instead of waiting for a customer to call with an issue, centres can leverage historical data to reach out pre-emptively.

The same approach can be used to identify agents who struggle or may be experiencing burnout earlier in order to reduce attrition rates. A smarter mindset on data will revolutionise how call centres operate and in turn, companies will see higher customer and agent retention.

Trend 5: Real-Time Technologies Will Be Applied to the Back-Office

We will also see companies increasingly apply call centre technologies to their back-office operations. They will start to leverage back-office data in real-time to cut down on wasted hours and better track employee activities.

This part of the business has not been managed with the same technology investment as the call centre, leading to inefficiencies where back-office employees may struggle with certain tasks or spend time in non-work applications. Now, companies will be able to use AI-powered technologies to drive productivity gains in the back-office — leading to significant savings to the bottom line.

2020 served as the inflection point for call centre transformation. The shift to remote work unlocked new uses of technology and opportunities thought impossible before. We are now at the tip of the iceberg, as successful call centres will continue to innovate and think differently on how they can improve their operations in the new year and beyond.

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