Subex in Croatia October 2017

Customer experience, data, risk analysis, fraud prevention and employee empowerment – all in two days

Two great days exploring customer experience, fraud, risk and employee engagement – held together by data and Subex expertise. This must be the first time I’ve combined these elements in one sentence, but a couple of days in Zagreb at the Subex User Conference have convinced me that the combination is possible.

Too many companies consider CX as predominantly a service issue in any serious analysis, effort or practical application. But we have known for a long time that it’s better to get things right first time, rather than focus on costly service recovery.

As we listened to presentations and participated in workshops it became increasingly apparent that we now have the technology and the people to turn the right first time ambition into reality. As risk analysis develops in accuracy and reach, customer trust is being nudged into a true brand differentiator. And as we move further into the new world powered by the IoT this will become the true currency of success. Fraud prevention is moving in the same direction. Increasingly customers and the company being protected with more than the blanket rule approach. Long gone are the days when a credit card is blocked the first time we go abroad or shop on the internet. Sophisticated fraud prevention utilising honeypots, big data and AI are at last competing with, or in advance of the fraudsters.

The last piece of the jigsaw is the move to empowering employees to make quick and accurate decisions. This requires the data and its corresponding analysis to be presented in a logical and intuitive environment. We then have the best of all worlds with technology, data, AI and people working in harmony to deliver consistent customer experiences and business outcomes.

Thank you to everyone involved, particularly Subex for bringing us together. Everyone’s enthusiasm and ambition was truly inspiring.

Extract from Carl Lyon’s presentation at the Subex Conference in Croatia, October 2017 – shared with the prior permission of Subex

AI, Robotics and Automation Best Practice

AI predictions for the next 2 – 5 years range from, it doesn’t exist today and won’t, to 2018 game changer. Most think we will be deploying machine learning rather than AI. RPA is like pouring concrete on your processes, or the ultimate tool for enabling an agile business. Chatbots are with us now and performing well in certain circumstances but the ROI is difficult to prove. Messaging is the dark horse and we’re only just starting to realise the benefits, especially when done in tandem with communities.

As predicted, all are highlighting the need for a new approach to working practises and knowledge management. Finally, and painfully, the last question is often, do I really have to do this and who am I doing it for?

What are your views? And what will you learn from listening to the views of others? If you are interested in taking part in our best practice programme do get in touch.

More info here or email us to find out more

Recognise your employees as individuals


Recognition is a powerful motivator. Employees want to be treated as true individuals and they want to be valued, not just by their immediate team, but by leaders and others from across the organisation.

But many businesses are not aware of just how much the desire to be recognised and valued as an individual has grown as a result of the disruption discussed in Part 1 of the book. They see their employees just as people employed to do a job, and at best people to be nurtured by the culture and objectives of the business. They certainly don’t see them as individuals.

This waste of talent and energy is something that many companies acknowledge needs to be addressed, but the question is how to go about it. You only need to look at all the initiatives taken by all sizes of organisations to address this waste – employee engagement programmes, team development initiatives, and so on. All recognise the fundamental problem of the waste of talent and productivity.

Addressing people concerns has always been difficult for companies. There’s a tendency to bundle the issue into a seemingly manageable single topic, and the most common is ‘culture’. While attempts to improve culture aim to drive behavioural change, they often miss the basics. What people actually do is more often driven by the difficulty, or the experience, of completing a given task. Once again the company is confronted by the real-world, rather than the world it think exists.

This real-world experience and effort required to complete the task will determine the quality and efficiency, rather than the values of the individual. In fact, the more the company pursues value-based initiatives, the more it risks turning off its employees as it can be seen to question the participants’ values. Company initiatives would be better to demonstrate authenticity to enhance engagement. This is not to diminish the role of values, in fact I see it as completely the opposite: to suggest that values can be so easily manipulated is to understate their importance to people.

In a nutshell, if a business has the value, ‘put the customer first’ or ‘do the right thing for our customers’, then it must also, ‘put the employee first’ and ‘do the right thing for our employees’.

Reward and recognition: time for personalisation?

Tuesday 8th August, Quo Vadis, London
Tuesday 12th September, Quo Vadis, London

Are you recognised for all the good work that you do? How should you reward your employees? And do these strategies have the intended effect?

If customer experience (CX) has taught us anything, it is that customers value personalisation. Personalised experiences are perceived as more authentic, and therefore have greater influence over behaviour and buying decisions.

Yet we are only just beginning to understand how employee experience influences CX. Our recent topics on the role of HR and employee experience in CX have revealed that reward and recognition strategies are a powerful lever in influencing employee behaviour. But approaches to rewarding and recognising employees have so far failed to reflect the increased personalisation experienced by customers, leading to a potential risk of disengagement and underperformance.

As customer, employee, and digital experience mature, reward and recognition strategies must also evolve to match the sophistication and personalisation that CX is achieving. While tried and tested initiatives such as ‘employee of the month’ have had some positive impact, these formats increasingly lack the personal touch expected by younger employees who want to feel genuinely valued for their work.

During this topic, we’ll be asking:

  • What is the difference between reward and recognition?
  • What do both terms mean for millenials, and how do they influence behaviour?
  • Should we be rewarding the person or the employee?
  • What role does ‘thank you’ have to play? Is this reward, recognition, or something else entirely?
  • Who should be thanking who? And should this be done publicly or in private?

Book your place at the table to remain at the forefront of customer experience.



Independent Employee Experience?


Should we be considering employee experience and customer experience separately?

Wednesday 7th June 10am – 4.30pm, The Aviator, Farnborough
Thursday 6th July 12pm – 4pm, Quo Vadis, London

Our previous topic explored the potential benefits for customer experience of a better understanding of the HR function. During the sessions, it became evident that there is a growing need to consider how the experiences of employees shape and influence customer experience. Specifically we need to ask the question: should customer and employee experience be considered together or viewed independently of each other?

There are two trains of thought. The first is that happy employees make happy customers from the point of view of their interaction. But there is a growing perception that developing a more comprehensive understanding of employee experience can drive a more consistent approach to people, and therefore to customers.

The second perception is that employee experience has the potential to change HR in the same way customer experience has changed customer service. Using the same tools and methodologies, HR has the ability to generate the insight and understanding that could truly elevate employee experience as a company priority.

Several forward-thinking companies, most notably First Direct, have succeeded in elevating employee and customer experience to ‘people experience’. Businesses that acknowledge the impact of employees’ experience on customers can achieve greater clarity of purpose and understanding. Moving to people experience opens the door to the development of perpetual experience, an approach that helps you ask the right questions for your specific context. Exploring employee experience is therefore a valuable way to help businesses respond to a rapidly changing environment.

Some of the key questions we will be considering are:

  • What is employee experience, and what is its role in customer experience?
  • What are the factors that influence employee experience?
  • How can placing greater focus on employee experience help businesses achieve their objectives?
  • And lastly, should employee experience be viewed independently of customer experience?

Book your place at the table to stay at the forefront of customer experience.