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Are Our Devices Listening To Everything We Say_

Are Our Devices Listening To Everything We Say?

Are Our Devices Listening To Everything We Say?

Have you ever been talking about something with a friend, maybe about a new phone or car, and then all of a sudden... it's being advertised to you online?'How weird is that?' you think as you scroll past the adverts.You wouldn't be alone, though. Everyone seems to have some kind of story relating to this; maybe we're being over-paranoid, afraid that there's no such thing as privacy anymore.But is it really a coincidence, or are our devices listening to every word we say? Do we need to start wearing tinfoil hats?Let's take a deeper look, and discuss some theories.

The Undeniable Proof

In technical terms, it is possible for your phone to record everything you're saying. How many apps request permission to access our photos and microphone, and how many do we actually say no to?When doing some research for this blog, I noticed some very concerning headlines: "Apple and Google Stop Workers From Listening To Intimate Recordings of Customers"Well, that's promising.In August 2019, Google and Apple suspended their employee's access to recordings made by their virtual assistants, Google Assistant and Siri respectively.Why? Because workers were listening to people's private conversations, which included drug deals, and people getting frisky in the bedroom. All those intimate, private moments - not so private.The workers in question were sent home, but it remains unclear what happened next.Maybe next time you and your lover lock eyes, keep the phones out of the bedroom - unless you're into that sort of thing.The more concerning part is that the devices are only meant to record audio when prompted. So, why have they been able to record people having sex?Surely people aren't shouting "Hey Siri!", "Ok Google!", or "Alexa!" - Well maybe the last one. Be careful who you go out with...Whilst these two major tech players were caught, Amazon openly admitted earlier on in the year that they listen to a sample of Amazon Echo recordings, with the purpose of doing so to improve their voice-assistant.The things we will give up for a better customer service! We're a big fan of improving your customer service - but there are better ways to do it.Well, I guess that settles that. Our devices are listening to us - well, the likes of Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri are at least.
ok google

They're Watching Us!

Your device could not only be listening, but actually record your screen activity.At Northeastern University, they'd just about had enough of these rumours and conspiracies flying around, so they carried out a full-blown investigation.They downloaded 17,000 of the most popular apps onto several phones. None of the apps activated the microphone, but rather, took screenshots of themselves, which were then sent to third parties.Out of the 17,000 applications downloaded and tested, over 9,000 did this, and the majority didn't make it clear in the terms and conditions that it would happen.It may be the case that some companies use this data to help improve the customer experience, but there's nothing to say a third party couldn't be sold the information.Is this worse than recording your voice? I guess it depends what is on your screen, and what it's used for.Another concerning factor is what happens when the apps are running in the background - can they still take screenshots of your device?

To See or Not To See: We Put The Theory To The Test

One of our male colleagues, who does not shop for female clothing (so he tells us), said the words "women's lingerie" into his phone when it was locked.Here's where it gets interesting - when he was scrolling through a webpage on his computer later the same day, an advert for Victoria's Secret came up.The computer doesn't have a microphone connected, so how could this happen?Here are our theories:

> Another phone which is connected to the same Wi-Fi picked it up. > He actually buys women's lingerie (for himself, or others). > It's just a total coincidence.

Whilst the second and third theory aren't too far-fetched, the first one can't be right.If the phone on the Wi-Fi picked it up, why haven't the rest of us seen it? Can this sort of information be passed across, and transferred to different users on the same internet connection?Maybe he just wanted an excuse to look at women's underwear at work...Something else similar happened to me recently.Further down in this blog you will see me mention researching a trip to Amsterdam from home (spoiler alert!).Afterwards, at work I mentioned the trip to a colleague. Low and behold, no more than an hour later, I received an advert on my works PC for... yes, you guessed it, flights and hotels for Amsterdam.I definitely had not typed the word on my works PC or searched, anything to do with the Dutch city - (I've only searched it at home).Something is definitely taking notes!Funnily enough, half of my adverts now seem to be regarding holidays.

Why Our Devices Aren't Listening To Us

Digital Footprint

When you consider the amount of content we consume every day, whether it be through Facebook, YoutTube, Google, our emails etc, it's a lot.The amount you actually view is probably a lot more than you realise. With every link, post, webpage, email, and video that you view, a cookie will be placed on you.Why would companies spend thousands on the technology to listen on you, when you have a whole jar of cookies that are giving your interests away?You want a holiday. You've had a little browse here and there before, but you've saved enough money and it's time to book! All of a sudden, those holiday adverts at the side of your page will begin to attract your attention.When TUI (other choices are available) email you about a bargain holiday, of course you're going to click on it! Now they know you've been tempted, so will begin to retarget you with adverts in the hope of luring you in.The same happened to me recently when planning a trip to Amsterdam. I'd booked the hotel and flights, and wanted to look forward to some excursions whilst there. So, I went on TripAdvisor, booked one, and the next thing I knew I was getting adverts left, right and center for canal rides, museum tours etc.No-one was spying on me. TripAdvisor placed a cookie on me, knew that I was going to Amsterdam, so they retargeted me with similar excursions that I might enjoy.If you want to stop these companies retargetting you, just delete your cookies!
clear your cookies

Constantly Transcribing Isn't Feasible

As mentioned, all the cookies tracking us means there is no need for our devices to listen to us.Just imagine all the transcribing that would be required, and the space needed to store it in. We haven't even touched upon how unreliable audio to text normally is, and with all the different accents, combined with speed of speech, it becomes an almost impossible task.If your device was constantly listening to you, and translating, it would take up a lot of processing power - and it would show.Many tests have been done by examining the battery usage from apps that have permission to access the microphone. The results? All the same.When not being used, or running in the background, processing power was always kept to a minimum, meaning it would be very unlikely for your microphone to be in use.

Based Off Similar Interests

If you buy football boots, then it's likely you'd be interested in football shirts too.If you watched Shaun of the Dead, then it's likely you'll enjoy other Simon Pegg and Nick Frost films, such as Hot Fuzz.What am I getting at here? It's pretty easy to guess what else you're interested in, based on what you have already consumed.As we already discussed, you have multiple cookies on you, which allow marketeers to know what you're interested in. Because our data is being shared around like a pass-the-parcel at a children's birthday party, your interests are no secret.If you really want to see how data is harvested, tracked, and targeted, I would recommend watching "The Great Hack" on Netflix. However, if you don't want to become more paranoid, maybe give it a miss!

Red Car Syndrome

Have you ever bought something, and then started to see the same product everywhere?A few months ago, I bought some AirPods. Before I bought them, I could have sworn the majority of people were still living in the 1990s with their wired headphones.Apparently not.After buying them, I noticed everyone seemed to have them at the gym. Was I a trendsetter, or had I just been living in the past?This is what's called the Red Car Syndrome, or if you're a little fancier, the "Baader-Meinhof Effect". You don't see the thing in question, and then as soon as you do (or buy it in this case) you see it everywhere. Frequency illusion.Well, it could be happening with the adverts you see. It could just be a coincidence that after talking about wanting a holiday that you begin to see them advertised everywhere.Chances are they've been there all along, but since you had no interest in them they just got zoned out.
Red Car with the Baader-Meinhof Effect

The Final Verdict

Want to find out if your device is really listening to you? Tell a funny joke - if it laughs, it's listening. If not, you might not be as funny as you think you are.All evidence is pointing towards your device not listening to you, when you don't want it to, but I can't 100% guarantee it!.Of course, the likes of Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri are listening, but hopefully only when you prompt them.It appears that at one point, some nosey people were spying in on conversations picked up on these devices, but we can only take their word that it has stopped.Before you set up your next Smart Device, check the terms and conditions as well as the privacy notices in the small print. You never know what you might find.The unfortunate reality is that we've probably already signed away our rights when agree to terms and conditions. How many of us can honestly say they've read all the conditions before agreeing? Very few, I'm sure.In reality, anything could have been in the terms of those face-swapping apps we've downloaded... even if you've deleted the app, it's probably too late!
How to Deal with Sales Rejection

How to Deal with Sales Rejection

How to Deal With Sales Rejection

Having someone reject you is never nice. Putting yourself out there only to get your efforts thrown back in your face. And no, I'm still not bitter that my childhood love said no to a date when I was 15. I'm talking about sales rejection; always being told no, can damage anyone's confidence. To me there are few this worse than the gut-wrenching feeling when you do get close to a deal, only for it to be cut off at the last minute.

Even the most experienced sales rep never gets used to hearing the words, 'NO, THANKS.' (If you're even lucky enough to get the thanks!)

Sales rejection is part of the job; not everyone is going to say yes. So, you need to get used to dealing with it to move forward.

Here are 10 of the best ways to help deal with sales rejection, all taken from personal experience.

Are you Hearing a Non-Existent No? 

Are you sure it was a definite no?

Before you take a look at the other ways of dealing with sales rejection, was it one?

Typical responses like, 'we don't have the funds' is not a no. Consider when the customer/company will have the funds, jot it down and call again in the future.

Another standard reply will be "we already have something like that." Ask what they already have, use this as a way into the conversation. Here you can explain why your service is better, and if it's not, you can win them over with your charm!

Don't give up so easily, but don't be forceful. By just asking questions, you can get the information you need.

Keep Emotions In Check 

Keep Emotions in Check

Handling rejection in sales is never easy when you are low on confidence and not reaching your targets. But you can't afford to take it personally. Maybe the product is too expensive for them, or they already have one similar, and they don't need it. Whatever the reason, it's rarely got anything to do with you.

Letting emotion get the better of you will always carry on to the next call. Then you are in a spiral of constant rejection as each sales call becomes a desperate cry for help.

Also, don't carry the stress home. When you leave work, that should be it done for the day. Otherwise, you'll just be miserable at home being worried or upset, and nothing good will come out of that!

Get Others to Analyse Your Performance

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you are struggling. I do it every day.

You will find you will go up in your manager's estimations by being open about your troubles. If you ask for help, you are more likely to receive kinder treatment than hiding the problem until you have to discuss it at an appraisal. By the time this comes round, it won't be a pretty sight, and your manager is unlikely to have sympathy if you haven't brought up a difficulty previously.

From failure, you learn to succeed, cheesy but true. Having one of your colleagues/managers monitor your calls gives you another perspective. Others may notice the smallest things, like how you breathe heavily down the phone, or don't confirm certain pieces of information.

When you talk to your colleagues, you begin to realize that everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is dealing with sales rejection. Discussing the obstacles to a sale with each other is an excellent way to dissipate your anger, have a laugh and joke, whilst discovering ways to improve from each other.

Cxceed can be a great way to learn where you're going wrong, with opinions from your customers, colleagues as well as yourself.

Remember to Ask Why

There is nothing wrong with asking! Finding out if it was something you said that put them off can be the perfect way to improve in the future. Not knowing what you are doing wrong will slowly destroy your enthusiasm one call at a time. Ask why, so you can do better the next time, it's better than making the same mistake time and time again and not understanding where you are going wrong.

If you find its something small, you may even be able to fix it there and then, and turn the result around!

Asking why every time, turns every phone call into a personal training opportunity!

Be Positive, Not Negative

be positive

Negative thinking causes a spiral which affects your body language, tone, and most importantly, attitude. You can't afford to beat yourself up. After hearing plenty of noes, tell yourself that the next one will be a yes.

The best salespeople are mission-minded. They focus on the primary objective of pitching a product/service, not worrying about the response from the customer. They understand that rejection is part of the process and don't get thrown off track from a bad call.

A rejection is in the past, and you can't change the past (unless you have access to a TARDIS).

Stick to a Routine

Having a pattern to the way you deliver sales can be a great way to carry on from rejection. I used to set myself goals of making a certain number of calls in the morning, then again in the afternoon. It's also essential to have regular breaks in between to follow up on potential customers.

Personally, routines keep you on track and prevents a defeatist attitude.

Always Remain Professional

From time to time, you're going to get aggressive responses from your sales pitch. For the companies' reputation, if not your own, it's so important to remain professional and polite. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. A certain stigma can arise from rude salespeople, so take rejection well, or just don't let the person on the other end of the phone hear your frustration.

You don't know when you might need their services again. As I've stated before, a 'no' is not always a definite no in the world of sales.

Always Follow Up

Just because they say no today it doesn't mean that they will say no tomorrow. Schedule a follow-up call in a few months. In the meantime, regularly send them product information via email or even a letter to build their interest.

Send them letters and emails, stay on their radar by connecting with them via LinkedIn and Twitter. Here you can post relevant content that promotes your product, making it a lot easier to sell.

Play the odds, you know that a certain number of contacts will eventually become customers. That's why it's vital always to follow up.

When you are making sales, always translate "No" to "No, not today." I've lost count of the amount of business that I have got from people that initially said no. We are all short of time, and sometimes the easiest thing to say to a salesperson is "No."

Always follow-up and then follow-up again and again!

Improve your Environment

improve your environment

Put your rubbish in the bin and take your jam jars to the bottle bank! Yes, you should be doing that, but I'm talking about improving your physical and psychological working environment.

Improving the physical environment is essential as it helps create a great place to work, which helps reduce stress and produces positive results.

A clean office can make the world of difference. A clean desk is a clean mind.

Enjoy Your Downtime

Sales can be hard, but it is even harder if you have a miserable home life. Get out, let your hair down and party! Tomorrow is another day.

Note 1: Don't get so drunk tonight, that you make tomorrow a lousy day!

Note 2: I need to take my own advice!

The End of the Line

The 10 ways of how to deal with sales rejection above will hopefully help; however, it's down to you to change your fortune.

Sales is a very strategic game, you will lose form from time to time, but you can control the number of times you do. So keep your emotions in check, and at the end of the day Sell, Sell, Sell!

And if you don't make a sale, chin up there's plenty more potential customers in the sea!

If you have any ideas on how to deal with sales rejection, drop us a comment below.

Improve Your Business Today

Discover how Cxceed can help improve your customer experience, and boost your profit. 

7 Ways Bad Customer Service Drives People Insane (Rant) (1)

7 Ways Bad Customer Service Drives People Insane (Rant)

7 Ways Bad Customer Service Drives People Insane (Rant)

Call centres are one of, if not the most important places for business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions to happen. Relationships are made over the phone, so companies know they need to deliver a fantastic customer service.

As Customers, we have all been there, unable to get an answer to a simple question. As managers and business owners however we know it is a struggle to find staff who can do that.

Find me someone who has NEVER had a bad experience with a call centre and I'll find you a pint of Fosters that actually tastes nice - It's not going to happen.

Whether it be long waiting times, misinformation or having the delight of hearing everything that's happening behind an agent through their microphone, bad customer service from call centres is a sure-fire way to lose customers.

'I Hate Call Centres'

Apparently, we all share one thing in common in my office: the hatred of poor customer service. All I had to say was "What do you hate about call centers?" and it set everyone off.

Forget talking about the weather, maybe us Brits should just talk about our experiences with crap customer service!

I feel sorry for call center representatives, knowing everyone shares a common hatred towards them. It doesn't stop us hating them, though... and yes, this blog is just an excuse to have a good moan - sorry call agents!

1 - Waiting to be Connected

Listening to that bloody dreary music, getting your hopes up every time it stops, just to hear another monotonous flute solo.

Sometimes the music isn't actually that bad, but the quality most certainly is! Have they gone on a mission to find the worst quality music available? I'm no sound buff, but I know tinny, echoey, static-infused music when I hear it!
Oh, and the irony when you hear "Your call is very important to us" as you pass the ten-minute mark.

After 30 seconds pass, I'm already starting to get impatient so ten minutes is mind-numbing. After this point, they have pretty much lost me.
Even if the agent comes back to deliver a fantastic experience, they need to do well to drag us up from the deep dark depths we have sunken into while waiting.

Making customers wait around is a guaranteed way to get a bad review or land a lovely message with @yourcompany on Twitter for the world to see.

Take a look at - These are the customers who are just using the phrase "on hold." Imagine how many others are complaining on-top of that!


2 - Background Noise

You've finally been connected to someone, only to be greeted not just one agent, but the whole center (lucky you!)

As far as the customer is concerned, the agent might as well be speaking in another language, as they try to decipher which question is being aimed at them out of the 20 they can hear.

But why are they so loud? Well, I'm not here to answer that, not in this blog, but if you want to know why, and how to combat it, check out Why Are Call Agents So Loud.

As a customer, one of two things happen:

  • You feel like the agent is shouting at you. Not good. It's the customers that are meant to do the shouting, not the agents!
  • You have to ask them to repeat the question, and the next, and the one after that. Not only does it frustrate the customer, but also the agent.

Do you turn up the volume so you can hear the agent better? Well, you could, but then you also get to listen to the static and buzz of the center a lot louder too. It's a lose-lose.

3 - 'Sorry, There's Nothing I Can Do Here' 

Uh oh. You've spent ages calling, explaining your problem, waiting on hold, just to be told "There's nothing they can do" or "Try ringing another number or emailing someone else".

You're furious. Enough time has been wasted for what seems to be a simple request.

So, what's stopped the agent from helping you?

It might be a genuine reason; it happens. Other times it may be because their managers haven't empowered their agents to make decisions.

(RANT START) Managers, if you want your agents to help your customers, you have to give them the ability to do so! Otherwise, what's the point of them? (RANT END)

We don't know if the agent has the authority to sort it out, but assume they do! So, the agent gets the blame, after all, they are there to help resolve our issue.

4 - Overseas Call Centres

Just to make this clear, we don't have anything against the people in these centres. It's not their fault they've been put through to us angry sods.

Language barriers and accents can be a huge problem, though. When you have to keep repeating yourself, or asking them to, it's only making matters worse.

Not only this, but sometimes the call sounds like it's coming from the other side of the world! (I know it literally is, but I don't want it to sound that way on a call).

The connection breaks up; their voice seems to get fuzzy, louder, then quieter. As if it wasn't hard enough trying to get your issues sorted before!

If you're going to outsource, do it right for goodness’ sake! (Hint: STAFF TRAINING HELPS)

BT was one of the worst for this. I say "was" because they've finally seen the light and decided to bring all call centres back to the UK by 2020

5 - Giving Incorrect Information

Support team shouldn't tell you a lie. Sometimes it might well be an accident, due to a lack of knowledge or training, but it is still unacceptable.

A few times I've been promised refunds or extras added onto my order by the agent, only for them never to come to fruition. Then when you go back to complain, there's no trace of it! Or the new agent tells you that the company doesn't offer what you were promised.

Making false promises will always come back to haunt you. I feel many may do so just to shut the customer up, which points to a bigger internal problem.

We've been around long enough now to recognise the signs. Such as when an agent starts their sentence with "I think" or "I believe so" it's usually an indication that we're about to be told something that might not be correct.

I'd much rather that they didn't follow their instinct to give me an answer ASAP, but take a minute to find out the real answer. We'd all be happier to wait for a minute and be given the truth, than quickly receive some something made up to keep us quiet.

Basically, don't offer me a big juicy discount if you know I won't get it. That's just cruel.

I hate customer service operatives that do this (Yes, it's gotten too personal!).

6 - Robots

So you would like to speak to someone, is that right?

At the front of the battlefield, many centres get robots to initially take the call.

I get why it's a good idea. Rather than use operators time finding out routine information, they can waste your time instead.

"Please state your date of birth."

"15th of November, 1986."

"Did you say, 50th of December 1986?"

Give me strength. If you are going to use robots, put some effort into them and think carefully what is an appropriate response. Answering a couple of questions is fair enough, but after that, it just gets tiresome!


7 - Press 1 to be Put Through to...

So, you quickly want to get an issue resolved, but something is stopping you.

The dreaded task of navigating through a series of menus on your keypad.

First of all, you can guarantee the option you want will be read out last. Then, there'll be another set of options which will take just as long to listen to. If you're unlucky, there'll be even more sets for after that.

But there's another issue. What if you don't know which section your problem falls into?

Do you hazard a guess and risk having to start all over again? Or do you have to listen through them all again to try and figure out which one you should give a go? Sometimes we need to call upon Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery!

At least if you try again, you know which numbers you need and don't need so you can speed through the options... That is unless they don't activate the key tones until they have finished listing all the options

How to Improve Call Center Customer Service

Managing and working in a call center is no easy task and I don't think anyone their right mind would say it is.

However, if businesses want to deliver the best customer experience possible, they have to learn what's causing the unsatisfactory ones. It's likely these poor calls and interactions will be occurring regularly but could by flying under the radar.

Gaining feedback from customers after they communicate with agents and evaluating the poorer ones. No-one knows the service you're providing better than those who receive it.

Cxceed makes it easy to do just that, and we've written a full post about how it does just that which you can read here.

The Wrap-Up

What's the worse thing that has happened to you when talking to a call center? And managers, how do you deal with these problems?


Let us know below!

Improve Your Business Today

Discover how Cxceed can help improve your customer experience, and boost your profit. 

How To Avoid Social Media Fails

How To Avoid Social Media Fails

How To Avoid Social Media Fails

It's 2020, and more than 3.5 billion people worldwide have a social media account.

That's a lot of people 3.5 billion people who can view any social media fail your company could accidentally make - that's a scary thought.

That number is only going to increase, and so are the dangers of social media for the naive.

Whilst it is essential for a business to be active online, understanding how the digital world works, and how to deal with social media fails is crucial.

Social Media is a Slippery Slope

Social media is undoubtedly one of the best ways to market your business, and it can often be done for free!

However, a complaint on Facebook or Twitter is very different from a customer calling up to complain. It's there for everyone to see in the public domain. Out in the open for people to share, comment on, and ultimately, add fuel to the fire.

The worst part about social media from a business' perspective is that customers don't hold back. A small mistake or error can and often is blown out of proportion and their reputation up in smoke.

Why Do Social Media Campaigns Fail?

Campaigns failing can be through a lack of training or poor execution.

An idea may seem good on paper in a warm cushy planning office, but it doesn't mean the transition to the cold, harsh reality of the internet. Thorough research is required to make sure you get everything right, from the target audience, to graphics, to the message you want to get across. One simple oversight can turn into a disaster.

Here are some reasons why social media campaigns fail and to avoid the embarrassment of posting one. I know you'll want to see some of the worst offenders, so I've included some examples of how wrong it can go.

Automated Replies Doing More Harm Than Good

Keyword bots that automatically reply to certain keywords in a post or question. Sounds like a good idea to get a message to people without having to do the legwork, but it does have its downfalls.

While some people are happy to have an instant solution, it can show your customers that you don't care, especially when the automated response doesn't make sense.

Depending on the keywords companies set their auto-replies to, they can also be made to look very, very silly. Just ask Snapchat...

Snapchat Reply Fail

I hope Stephen got the answer he was looking for in that link!

For larger companies who don't have the time to reply to each post individually, it can be a good idea. For smaller businesses, having a human with a brain (hopefully) and eyes, personally reply to messages is a good idea.

Robots haven't sufficiently developed real understanding yet and the personal touch you and your staff provide will go a long way to improve customer experience.

Remember, Not Everyone Will Find it Funny

There's nothing like a bit of banter on social media.

It allows businesses to show they are human, and that joke might just go viral - free advertising! But it's not good to go viral for the wrong reasons.

Business social media fails often come from the posters' sense of humour that isn't shared or appreciated with their audience.

What I find funny or offensive is more than likely going to be different from yours.

If your team is thinking of being funny, sometimes it's best to have a quick sweep around the office to make sure it won't be misconstrued when posted. Better safe than sorry.

They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but if you offend a lot of people, that's bad publicity.

Cinnabon thought they were clever with their Carrie Fisher tweet shortly after she passed away:


For those of you not into Star Wars, Carrie Fisher had a strong dislike for her iconic 'bun' hairstyle.

Having "the best buns" also has more than one meaning, but I'll let you work that one out.

Star Wars fans are very passionate, and I can only imagine a lot of them refused to buy from Cinnabon after this!

Don't Let Bias Impact the Message

Behind every account, there's a human (most of the time). We all feel passionate about certain topics, people, but personal opinion can't be brought into business.

Anyone with access to official account must know that, or they might bear the brunt of angry customers whose opinions and values don't quite line up.

Let's have an example.

Whether you're a football fan or not, I'm sure you know all about the whole 'who is better, Messi or Ronaldo?' debate.

Well, someone at Pepsi really loves Messi, or really hates Ronaldo - I can't quite work out which it is.

I'm not sure what this has to do with a sugary, fizzy drink, but it didn't work:

Pepsi Ronaldo Upset

The voodoo doll ad was posted on the day of a World Cup Qualifier, but apparently voodoo doesn't exist as the doll had no effect and Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick.

Pepsi realised their error, pulled the Facebook ad and apologised, but not before 130,000 people had already liked a Facebook group called "I will never drink Pepsi again."

Moral of the story? Don't bring your personal opinion into business and whatever you do, don't upset Messi and Ronaldo fans!

Be Aware of the World

There are certain things which are simply unacceptable to say or do.

Whether it be an old-fashioned stereotype, political message or a choice of words that can be related to a horrible incident, just avoid them at all cost.

People get offended at many things and then others brand them 'snowflakes'. Sometimes things are actually offensive and are more avoidable than others - businesses need to make sure they know what's going on around them and their audience.

Is this something which is going to offend a large group of people? It is? Then don't post it, its not rocket science.

I get it, safe is boring; just know the unwritten rules and boundaries, and save a lot of hassle.

For example, appliance manufacturer, Miele, decided they wanted to celebrate International Women's Day.

Great! What could possibly go wron- oh god, that's gone horrifically wrong!


Four women, standing around a washing machine, like a stereotypical 1940s poster.

"May all women always remember to embrace what makes them unique" it says as they all gather around the machine.

Not the smartest idea to annoy nearly half of the world population.

Their intentions were probably in the right place (I hope), the social media post was just a bit... off.

Look Out for Customer's In-Directs

Not everyone knows how to spell a companies name!

Research by Conversocial suggests that only around 3% of customer service related questions on Twitter contain the correct brand name spelling. The rest either misspell or just mention the company without @'ing them.

Businesses should do a quick search of their name with misspellings and see what comes up to connect to all of their customers.

They might be able to prevent a customer from getting upset because the account they tried to speak to hasn't been active for 5 years!

Speed Matters!

Since customers are always on social media, they expect businesses to be too.

In a way, it bears resemblance to emailing: you send a message to the company and wait for a reply. However, the nature of social media has changed expectations.

They want replies now, but now is too late - they wanted them 30 seconds ago. Being built around live feeds has created the illusion that businesses should reply to the message as soon as it's sent.

Of course, we know this isn't the case, especially for smaller businesses. Not everyone has time to be monitoring accounts 24/7, but a conscious effort to regularly check all communications channels would be lovely.

The quicker a reply, the better!

Create a Social Media Policy and Plan

So, now you've seen the things to avoid, what can you do going forward to improve your business?

The best way to make sure your businesses social media strategies don't fail is to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Draw up a policy or plan which all your staff can follow. Outline what is not acceptable such as politic related posts or foul language, and then there are clear guidelines to follow.

At the start of your social media campaigns, managers should work closely with the team to ensure their visions are aligned. When trust and understanding is built up, give your marketeers the creative freedom they desire.

Managers and PR should also work closely to have a Plan B in case things go pear shaped - if you plan for the worse, you will be prepared for it

Having said that, even the best make mistakes.

What steps do you take to avoid any social media mistakes? Let us know in the comments.

Improve Your Business Today

Discover how Cxceed can help improve your customer experience, and boost your profit. 

Software Quality Assurance for Contact Centers

Software Quality Assurance. Why Invest?

Software Quality Assurance for Contact Centers

What is Software Quality Assurance?

QA (Quality Assurance) Software measures and facilitates the improvement of business processes, products, services, or actions.

The overall aim is to make sure that a product or service is produced to a specific standard, guaranteeing a level of quality.

There are two types of QA software: manufacturing or product-based, and services-based businesses.

The need to have a section of a machine that interacts with other parts in a specific way is obvious - how would it work properly if not?

A piston that isn't manufactured to the correct size might still fit into an engine block, but it won't make a combustion engine run smoothly.

In service-based businesses, it is a common misconception that QA is just for Call Centers. In reality, every company has more than one process that can benefit from it.

What are the Benefits of Quality Assurance?

Integrated correctly, software quality assurance can drastically help service-based companies progress, increasing their profitability, staff motivation, communication skills, and training effectiveness. Not only this, but it can help reduce employee defensiveness to feedback as well as the staff turnover your organization experiences.

This article will focus on QA software for service-based companies, specifically the four areas that QA software can help you get the results you want in: Customer Feedback, Training, Staff Turnover, and Calibration.

I'll be listing the various software available including our competitors, but I will also be referring to Cxceed a lot in this article, so sorry about that, but we've worked hard to make it what it is today. We want to show it off!

Software Quality Assurance for Service Businesses

Benchmarking Customer Experience (CX)

Chances are, if you're a business, you sell (if you don't, you won't be a business for long)

So, who do you sell or provide a service to? Customers, clients, end-users whatever you want to call them, the fact remains - without them, you struggle.Your customers want to feel special so you need to make sure they do by improving their customer experience (CX).

The first step to improving the customer service you provide is discovering how well you are currently doing. It doesn't matter how good you think you are; it's your Clients opinion about their Customer Experiences when dealing with your company that matters.

To find this out Cxceed sends out Surveys to your Clients, the replies are then scored and this score is then used as a benchmark that you can measure future scores against. Benchmark are usually repeated every 3-6 months.

If your current survey score is higher than your last one you're on the right path! If it's lower, you need to have a rethink. Want to focus on specific areas of your business? No problem! You can customize your surveys to match your needs.

Getting Immediate Customer Feedback

Sending the occasional survey out is not enough. From my experience, requesting feedback after interacting with customers is highly effective. By doing so, you find out what they did and didn't like about that specific interaction through the answers they provide.

By asking for feedback, you're showing the customer that you care about the quality of service you deliver and that their opinion matters to you. You're also signaling to them that you want to improve the service you provide to them.

I know some companies may be afraid of bothering the customer by asking for feedback, but they shouldn't. If someone doesn't want to fill out a feedback form, they won't, and if they do they will, no-one is forcing them to (hopefully)!

In practice, most customers will only fill in the feedback requests when they are either very happy or very unhappy with the service you provide. Coincidently this is just the type of information from your customers that you need to improve your business.

5 stars

Improving the Effectiveness of Training

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” - John Wanamaker, Department Store pioneer (United States).

Apologies to John Wanamaker, but I've co-opted his famous quote and changed it a little.

“Over half the money you spend on training is wasted; the trouble is you don't know which half.” - Duncan Horsfall, MD Cxceed (United Kingdom).

I nearly quoted the 80/20 rule, but I'm not confident that all companies are wasting as much as 80% of their training budgets, but I know a lot are.

Employees often find training courses boring and quickly switch off. Why? Because they are not focussed on what they as an individual need to improve or learn. How can you improve your employees if you don't know what they're doing well and what they're doing badly?

I've tried it before and you can't do it effectively. You waste a lot of time and money retraining them on things they already know.

A good QA software program should identify what needs improving, not just in the organization as a whole but on an individual level. This enables a company to personalize and customize their training to each individual, no matter how many people an organization has.

The ability to mark interactions and save them for later is also a useful feature. These communications can then be given to old and new employees to analyze and evaluate. This can help prepare staff for the kind of issues they may have to deal with, while also showing them the dos and don'ts.

The best examples to learn off are real ones - Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby!

Evaluating, Analysing and Improving

If you're able to spot the best and worst interactions, then you can understand what needs to be improved.

OK, let's be honest here. I don't like evaluating /analyzing Phone calls, product demos, or re-reading employee emails. Reviewing lots of calls to find great or problem ones can be like listening for your Gran's voice in a packed football stadium. Difficult.

But I realize that it has to be done. Why? Because done right, it produces results. Not just minor improvements but groundbreaking seismic change.

So if I have to do it, I want it to be as pain-free as possible.


Here's How We Do it at Cxceed

1: Filter the calls by customer feedback score, so you spend your time listening to calls that have either impressed or left your customers unimpressed.

2: Make the process easy; when you select a call to evaluate, your phone rings, and when you answer, the recording plays into your phone, and an evaluation form appears on your screen.

3: Leverage our employees; Instead of our managers pointing out where employees are going wrong, we encourage everybody to self-evaluate their own interactions.

Why does self-evaluation work?

We've all been there when a manager criticizes you. It can be horrible, and your self-defense barriers rise. You don't want to listen because you think you're right.

But, if an employee can find their own mistakes, they can do so without feeling judged. I know if I find my errors, I'm a lot more likely to make sure it doesn't happen again!

The employees can also peer evaluate their colleague's interactions. By encouraging employees to learn from each other, advice can be given in a friendly manner.

What are you Looking for When Evaluating?

The short answer is doesn't matter if it is a service call, a sales call, an email, or a letter, I'm looking for EFFORT. I want our staff to delight our customers.

I need to know that they have taken the time to understand what the customer wants and tried to provide it for them.

This is a big question and I will provide the long answer on a separate blog.

In our business, we try to evaluate everything because we know that everything we evaluate, we find a way to improve.

This continual improvement delights our customers, which in turn drives the company forward.


When you first begin to use software quality assurance, there will be a lot of variation in the scores your agents give for the same communication. But that's okay; it shows you made a good investment!

It is important though to get everyone pulling in the same direction, so the aim of Calibration is to ensure that interactions are being evaluated in the same way across an organization.

Leading a company is difficult; setting objectives, designing strategies that generate goodwill, build sales, and maximize revenue and profitability are all difficult tasks.

For me, though, the hardest task has always been to get our staff to not just buy into the company vision but to implement it on a day to day basis. To get them to do what you want them to do and to say what you want them to say in the way you want them to say it.

The larger a business is, and the more employees it has, the harder it is for the senior management to influence the way their employees do their jobs.

Calibration is an essential tool in the battle to make sure the whole company is following the vision and company values set by senior management.

Calibration sessions can be held to help guide employees on how to evaluate a call and to compare evaluations between staff. These sessions promote transparency, making it easier for staff to accept feedback and improve. The aim is to ensure everyone understands what makes a good and bad phone call, email, etc. Once everybody understands what is expected, you can achieve consistency throughout your organization!

You need to expect more from your software.

Meeting For Callibration

The Answer is to Leverage your Time Using Pyramid Auditing!

Depending on their experience level, each one of the 50 call agents evaluates between 2 to 10 random calls.

5 Supervisors then audit ten evaluations from these, 1 for each of their 10 Call agents and also evaluates one of their own calls.

3 Managers audit five evaluations, one from each of their 5 Supervisors.

The Operations Director audits three evaluations, one from each of their three managers.

The Managing Director audits one evaluation that the Operations Director has done.

The MD then calls a calibration meeting with the Operations Director and compares their audited evaluations and also each Manager and Supervisor's evaluations. If they weren't on the same page, they will be after the meeting.

Then the Operation Director calls a calibration meeting with their Managers and compares their audited evaluations and each supervisor's evaluation.

Within a couple of weeks, the standard of the whole call center will have improved.

Here's that information made into a handly graphic for you to take away!

Pyramid Auditing - Software Quality Assurance

Reducing Your Staff Turnover

Attracting the right people, training them, teaching them to convert opportunities, how to close a sale and delight your customers is expensive. So it makes financial sense to try and minimize staff turnover to just the people you want to leave.

Software quality assurance implemented into your day-to-day operations helps to improve staff training, we've already established that.

When employees are trained well, they perform their job better and make your customers happier; it's a simple equation. Staff performing at the top of their game are undoubtedly happier in their working environment.

Happy employees don't want to leave. They usually want to work harder for their company and help strive for success.

If you can reduce your staff turnover, your business will start to gel together. Not only do you reduce your hiring and training costs, but employees will have a better understanding of the company and provide a better customer experience to your customers.

Customers who frequently contact an organization often prefer to build up a relationship with one employee. Strong relationship building will only increase the loyalty and lifetime value of your customers.

QA not only helps you retain your experienced staff but also train new starters quicker.

Try it For Yourself!

I've only touched upon the benefits of software quality assurance in this blog. I could keep you here all day to talk about it, but I think being able to try it out for yourself would be more effective!
So why don't you try it out yourself, for free?Cxceed offers a free version of its software because there's no better way to tell than actually trying it!
Or, if you want to treat your business, why not go with the full version?Going for the full version will allow for API integration, making it even easier to start improving your business.
The best thing is, there's still no risk; all our paid plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!

Improve Your Business Today

Discover how Cxceed can help improve your customer experience, and boost your profit. 

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Contact Centers_ What's The Difference_

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Contact Centres: What's The Difference?

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Contact Centres: What's The Difference?

If ever there were two buzz words that are always mixed up with each other, it'd be Omnichannel and Multichannel.

Some people think that Omnichannel is just a fancy way of saying Multichannel and that they mean the same thing.

That's wrong, and to make myself look cultured, I'm going to tell you what Omni means! It's Latin for "All" (No, I didn't just Google that before writing this blog... and no, you definitely don't need to check my Internet history).

Omni and Multi both use multiple channels of communication, but what's the difference between the two, and why does it matter? Is one better than the other? You're going to find out in this blog!

What is a Multichannel Contact Centre?


A multichannel contact centre allows agents and customers to interact with each other through various communication channels.

Here's a spoiler: unlike omnichannel, each channel of communication operates in isolation from one another.

These forms of communication can vary from phone calls, email, letters, SMS's, live chats, video chats... You name it, and it's probably there!

Multichannel was the predecessor to omnichannel communications but is still used by many centres.

If you want to find out more about multichannel customer service, why not have a read of our dedicated blog before you go further?

What is an Omnichannel Contact Centre?


As with the previous channel, omnichannel uses multiple methods of communication - The difference being a seamless experience is delivered across all means of communication. Every piece of information given by the customer is stored in one database and can be accessed by any agent on any platform.

Connecting all the dots makes it easier for everyone. Agents can easily access customer information and look at past interactions. This gives them a better view of the situation, increasing the chance of having a First Contact Resolution (FCR).

As with multichannel, these communication platforms can vary from phone calls to social media. In omnichannel communications, all the information is shared across the platforms, whereas it's not with multichannel.

How is it Done?

Every time an employee interacts with a client, they gather valuable data that needs to be stored, examined, and shared.

Businesses need a system that allows fast and errorless access to this data for employees, as well as a system to store and measure the data to help with further improvement strategies.

To successfully implement their omnichannel strategy, businesses need to ensure two things:

1. Data is easily visible to those who need to see it.

2. Staff have quick and easy access to the data.

Why Isn't Every Contact Centre Omnichannel?

Since omnichannel is arguably a better version of multichannel, you'd think everyone would be doing it? That's not the case.

Well, it's a bit more complicated than it appears at first glance.

Overhauling The Current System

Depending on systems and software used, an overhaul in the technology may be required to be able to interlink everything.

You need to make sure you make the right investments, and that it's actually worth the money.

Then you've got to install the whole thing! And we all know that it's never as simple as it looks!

Many organizations are put off with the following problems that come from switching to an omnichannel approach.

Financial Cost

You don't get anything for free in this world (except the free version of Cxceed), and being able to connect these dots can be expensive. If a business is unable to demonstrate a return on their investment, then it is simply not a viable option for them.

Of course, by not investing, you would only limit the customer experience you're providing, but that's the price you pay for not spending the cash.


Training agents, ensuring they know and understand new procedures and making everyone is on the same page, takes time.

For some busy centres, this is definitely not a viable option.

When profit margins can be so narrow, many don't want to risk taking a short-term hit, even if it's good for the long term.

Time is money, and money is, well, money!

Switching to omnichannel takes a lot of planning from a company, as well as full commitment to the cause.

Which is Better: Omnichannel or Multichannel?

There are two sides to this question: the customer experience side and the company's side.

The Customer

For the customer, an omnichannel method of communication would be the best.

It allows for seamless integration of the information and data. So, every time a customer interacts with the company, no matter the platform, every agent will be able to access past problems, details, and requests.

In theory, this should allow more issues to be resolved quickly and on the first contact - more efficient service will always keep the customer happy.

I don't know about you, but there is nothing more annoying than having to repeat and confirm many details every time you talk to another agent!

The Company

This isn't as straight forward.

On the one hand, investing in an omnichannel system will improve efficiency for agents, as discussed above. We know that better customer experience is always beneficial for an organisation and its reputation.

An Aberdeen Group study found that the strongest omnichannel companies retained an average of 89% of their customers. This is compared to a mere 33% for businesses with a weak omnichannel strategy.

It's not just about investing in omnichannel though; it's about planning for it too.

But will an omnichannel service define the customer experience provided? Well, I believe it depends on the size of the business. The bigger the company, the greater the need for omnichannel services. Not only because of the need for organised data increases, but also due to the associated costs.

For smaller companies, these costs (both financial and time) can be the difference between success and being another failure.

Smaller companies may be able to get away with it due to the tight-knit nature of operations.

The reality is that you have to plan for the future. If these small companies wish to provide excellent customer experiences, they should prepare for an omnichannel strategy. But the longer you leave it, the harder it can be to change and adapt.


The Wrap-Up

Adopting and Omnichannel strategy is undoubtedly the way forward for any business wishing for longevity and success in the future. A seamless experience is a better experience.

By improving your internal operations, you increase the efficiency and service your contact center agents can provide.

If your agents can provide a better service, then your customers will be happy, and the effort put into changing the system will be worth it.

Multichannel operations should be the minimum in today's business world, but omnichannel strategies should be what everyone is striving for.

Cxceed allows you to gain feedback on all communication methods and is suitable for use in omnichannel and Multichannel call centres.

Has your business implemented omnichannel communications? If so, have you noticed an improvement in your day to day running? Let us know down below!

Improve Your Business Today

Discover how Cxceed can help improve your customer experience, and boost your profit. 

10 Do's and Don'ts When Dealing with Difficult Customers

10 Do's and Don'ts When Dealing with Difficult Customers

10 Do's and Don'ts When Dealing with Difficult Customers

Difficult customers come in all shapes and sizes.

You have:

> The angry ones, the linguistically colourful on a mission, to make you break a sweat.
> The talkative ones, more pleasant but hog your time. They can't wait to tell you about how their dogs birthday was.
> The demanding ones. Eager for a freebie. They ain't stopping until they get what they've come for.
> And most commonly, the impatient ones. Needing a quick fix. Time is money at the end of the day.

These demanding customers will all pop up at both contact and call centers across all industries - they are unavoidable. If we're honest, most of us have been one or all of the above at one point or another.

Dealing with difficult customers is never easy so to help, here are the Do's and Don'ts for when you come across them.

5 Don'ts

5 donts

Don't Take it Personally

Angry customers are always going to exist. If you let them get under your skin, it's not going to end well.

Just remember, they're not angry at you personally. Staying calm and collected is a must, so having a handy stress ball by your side is always recommended.

Don't Try to Argue

You won't win, well you might until they stick a terrible review online. Never, Never get angry and argue back.

Take an approach of controlling hostility and managing it, rather than questioning the customer's stance. Giving as good as you get will only make matters worse and could potentially damage the company's reputation.

What's that saying? Oh yeah, the customer is always right, (even when they're wrong). You can explain why something has happened the way it has, but be careful not to overstep the line and give the customer another reason to be angry.

Don't Ask Questions the Customer has Already Answered

Don't ask questions that the customer has already answered themselves. Angry customers should not be poked with a hypothetical stick. You're asking for an outcry of fury.

Asking relevant questions will calm a difficult customer down. Things will become conversational, turning a problematic customer into a relatively happy one.

Don't Be The Bearer of Bad News all at Once

If bad news is thrown at customers all at once, it only creates a furious response, so baby steps should be encouraged.

Break bad news in stages, allowing the customer to digest it slowly and respond to every concern sensitively.

You also don't want them to miss a vital piece of information because they were focusing on something else you've told them.

Don't Overuse the Word 'WHY?'

Sounding like a petulant child is never a good look for customer service, so repeatedly asking why is only going to further wind the customer up.

Asking why something went wrong is basically shooting yourself in the foot. Imagine, "Why didn't you receive the invoice on time?". "Well, you didn't send it to me on time." It isn't constructive and digs you into a further hole.

After all, the agent is there to answer the why's, not ask them! Thankfully in the world of customer service, we have the four Ws: who, what, where, and when.

These can be used instead to help get to the bottom of problems, instead of sounding like a Tom Jones record.

5 Do's

5 dos

Do Be Respectful

Remember, they are still the customer. Sounds simple, but with the constant ray of verbal violence being hurdled towards you, it is quickly forgotten.

Remaining as polite with a problematic customer as you would a regular customer is vital.

As long as you treat them with respect, they won't have another reason to get angry!

Do Ask Questions

Asking questions shows that you're invested in the conversation and paying attention. Customers will appreciate the amount of effort you are taking to solve their problem.

More importantly, asking questions can also be used as a stalling technique to give you more time to deal with the problem - just remember not to repeat yourself!

Do Go the Extra Mile

Solving a problem is not the end of dealing with an upset customer. There will still be a sour taste in the customer's mouth, especially if it's been an on going nightmare of an experience.

Offering an unexpected gift or discount to make up for an error will ensure that any slip-ups do not cause lasting damage to your companies reputation.

Your agents are there to deal with unhappy customers, so give them the authority they need to help make them happy!

Do Be Efficient

The more aggressive customers should be viewed as a ticking time bomb and don't want them to go off. Reacting quickly to solving problems will calm them down and prevent a mass explosion.

With more talkative customers, there is a fine line between being efficient and rude. Saying "I hope we have helped you with your call today, do you require any further assistance?", is a perfect way to end a call. Keep it work-related and avoid going off on a tangent.

Most Importantly, Be Polite and Show Empathy

Sometimes Customers are rude and disrespectful and it is tempting to respond in the same way, but you don't know what other things have happened to cause the customer to behave in that way.

I'm offering no excuses for rude customers but before being unhelpful and then slagging them off to your colleague Steve, remember it could easily be you on the other end of the phone.

Be professional, Polite, empathetic and show them the care and attention that every customer deserves because it could easily be you at the other end of the line.

The Wrap-Up

Difficult customers are just part of the territory, and they'll always be present. Even when a problem is solved, as a company, it's important to check if the customer received excellent service.

Getting feedback from customers after the service, you can see if standards have been met by all customers (especially the difficult ones).

Cxceed allows you to monitor customer feedback through surveys to lock down the direct problems which come from dealing with customers. Problems which can be worked on through training to make sure excellent customer service is delivered.

What's the most demanding customer you have had to deal with, and how did you manage the situation? Let us know with a comment below!

Improve Your Business Today

Discover how Cxceed can help improve your customer experience, and boost your profit. 

The Importance of Having a Customer Focus

The Importance of Having a Customer Focus

The Importance of Having a Customer Focus

A company's success relies on many things, with one of the main factors being customers. Now more than ever, in the era of swiping left or right - customers have ultimate control. To succeed the company must place the customer at the front of the queue, which means that differentiated customer service is needed. The best approach for producing excellent customer satisfaction is by developing a customer focus.  

What is Customer Focus? 

The concept is a simple one. It involves putting yourself in your customer's shoes and focusing on the needs, wants and expectations of your customers. Understanding things from your customers perspective allows you to deliver an exceptional customer experience. A customer focus should be your main priority when it comes to any business decision. What do we stand for? How will we promote? Where do we locate it? These questions should be focused on your customer, not you. The 'superhero' companies that collect the accolades and rewards - Amazon, Netflix, Disney, and Apple, to name a few, are obsessed about their customers. Apple products are all modelled to customer experience, whereas Amazon devotes themselves to providing customers with quick deliveries. But for the smaller companies, how do you build customer focus? Here are a few guidelines on how you create customer focus within your business.

customer focus

Define the Customer Service Vision 

Are you going to send your troops to battle without a clear strategy? No. You need a vision to see what needs to be done. How will you incorporate the customer into your business? For example, Harley Davidson has a clear customer focus. The customer becomes part of the family when they purchase a motorcycle. They want customers to be part of the brand; it's an approach that has resulted in thousands of loyal customers being devoted to the Harley Davidson life. A Harley Davidson bike isn't just a motorbike; it's part of the customer's identity. Whatever your vision is, it has to relate to those buying your goods and service. Wear your customer's shoes for a minute. 

Hire Well

Be careful; take your time. Find people who can represent the culture you want to have. Don't just hire someone who is almost a perfect fit. You wouldn't buy an expensive suit that was just too big or too small. If you're going to make a significant investment in them, they have to be the right choice. In one of my other businesses, I liked to give candidates some play-doh and ask them to create something useful to me and pitch why. A bit like Dragons Den, except I don't have as much money as those judges. From toilet seats to basketball hoops, I've had it all. But the test isn't to see who can make the best model. I use it to identify creative, free talking staff who can think on their feet. That's the sort of person my business needed. Make sure any staff you hire understand the vision and can get on board with it. 

Reinforce the Vision When Training 

Employees come with a vast range of skills and talents. It's up to the leaders to match these with the core values of the business. Sometimes employees may lose sight of the businesses identity or get stuck in unwanted habits. The longer you leave it, the more the business suffers along with your customers. Embedding a customer focussed vision into every aspect of a company takes time and persistence. You will need to continually remind your employees of its importance. This can be done through team meetings or training sessions, but it takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is your company. 

Training Employees

Listen to Employees 

The insight and importance of employees should never be underestimated, from the office cleaner to the CEO. Each worker has different experiences with the company; their feedback can give you the answers that you didn't know you needed. How do they feel about the product or service you provide? If there's something they don't like about it, then your customers are more than likely to feel the same. If my businesses didn't use Cxceed to help improve their communications, then how could I ever expect to sell it to you?! 

Collect Regular Feedback from Customers 

How do you know that your customer service is successful? By your Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). If you don't know what yours is, then I would highly recommend you have a way of knowing. If you're not sure how CSAT works, we've already discussed it, along with other essential must-know metrics. Have a read here.  Companies need a service that helps collect customer satisfaction scores. Lucky for you, this is why we have developed Cxcced! The software that offers integrated feedback requests to find out how successful each specific communication was with your customer. If you want to become a customer-focused culture, you need to get to know them better. 

Target the Right Customers 

Go to the Harley Davidson website; immediately, you see a video of a fast-driving motorcycle. It looks impressive. If I didn't want the security of four wheels, I'd be all over it! Look at the memorizing scenery they use. You want to be there, and you want to experience it. Harley Davidson is selling a lifestyle, a way of life. Customers need to be convinced. Interact through all the muti channels out there. If you are targeting youth, get on Snapchat. Targeting offices, use Email. If you know your target audience, it shouldn't be hard to get in touch. Be adaptable, but always remember the companies core beliefs. 

Customer Targeting

Look to the Future 

Be proactive to match your customer's needs, not reactive. Steering a company through dramatic changes in modern technology is no easy feat. Day to day activities should help achieve long term goals. Never forget that having a flexible business and influential culture will maintain a strong commitment to customer service. If you have any examples of customer-focused cultures or have any advice on how to build a customer-oriented culture, comment below! 

Improve Your Business Today

Discover how Cxceed can help improve your customer experience, and boost your profit. 
What Is The Future Of Email

What is the Future of Email?

What Is The Future Of Email?

The software which can't be moved, or, so we thought. Now I hear people claim that email is dead.

From my first encounter in the '80s, I've watched it develop from being a quirky way to send messages around the office to the giant it has become, ending the dominance of the Fax Machine (I still have one, but we won't talk about that).

The thrill of sending messages to each other without actually talking to over the phone has long gone though.

Is Email Becoming Obsolete?

I'm no dinosaur, don't let my age deceive you. Email for many has overstayed it's welcome.

The old fashioned, outdated service that causes headaches and outcry. We have all complained about it. With the new digital platforms on offer, that give you more efficient, more straightforward ways to communicate. Who uses email marketing nowadays?

But it's hard to imagine an office without it. I've heard a lot of people telling me the mighty email is dead. Should we let it die, or is it a faithful companion that we shouldn't put down?

Shall we stick or twist with Email?


Quick Communication

When you have to send an essential message to a business client thousands of miles away from you, there aren't many communication services quicker than Email. After one click of send and a couple of seconds of stalling, it can hit anywhere.

It is quicker than a letter and you can use attachments to send documents. Calling people is inefficient, especially if you need to get through to a specific person. You end up spending half your time taking to Sue in accounts.


Yep, not a penny. Many smaller alternatives to email require a paid subscription. Years of experience using email, why would companies reach into their purse to only get the same service.

What is free may never die.

Everyone Uses It

It doesn't require training. From Generation Z to Baby Boomers and Silver Surfers, email is universal and doesn't require you to sit down and explain what a GIF is.

More importantly, your customers use email. You NEED then to have the same way of communication. Or you will just be talking to yourself. Never useful.

Everybody Uses It

Email is More Visible

Not all Twitter posts get read. Facebook is even worse, with the constant array of cat videos to scroll through. Email also suffers from this problem, but at least the email won't disappear from their feed. They'll stay bold to catch the users attention until they open it. In fact, your message is 5x more likely to be seen through email than Facebook.

A much larger percentage of people have email addresses than social media. There are 3x more email accounts than there are Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. It's not bad for an old-timer!

It Keeps Record

Receiving hundreds of emails a day, what if you need to check them later? Having the opportunity to archive individual emails is a godsend. It's organized chaos!

Putting them all into carefully labelled folders to keep everything in check is strangely satisfying (You that too, right?).

Time To Twist?

They are Far Too Long

No one appears to be capable of sending a short email. The whole format invites you to write a long email. The younger generation of tomorrow doesn't want to read long, boring emails. They want snappy information in 240 characters. Well, that's what my sons tell me.

With the speed and reach of the internet ever-increasing, people are less likely to wait for a colleague's long response to their message. The world is running at million mph. People want quick short answers.

Spam Filters Causing Havoc

Spam filters are fantastic - saving time and keeping our inboxes clean - but the increased need to keep inboxes clear also raises the chances of real messages not finding their home.

Although they are a much-needed tool to get rid of all those messages from the young single women in my area who are so desperate to speak to a 50-year-old bloke, that they send pictures of themselves without clothes on! That's not all they block; unfortunately, although my filters successfully move hundreds of spam emails a day out of my inbox, sometimes they don't get it right and remove important emails.


Group Chats on Email?

Targeting larger groups is a mess. Deciding who should be included or not, is a stressful process, especially if you have a large pool. Then you have the problem of formal conversations taking far too long to solve a particular issue.

Every time you reply, you add to the chain of emails. If you leave your inbox for 15 minutes, you can come back to a long string of emails to open, one by one.

To tackle this, many companies have chosen the modern channel of employee apps like Slack, and Bitrix24.

Open To (Mis)Interpretation

There is a fine line of being conversational but formal on email. We've all used slang terms when trying to relate to a client, but it may be taken the wrong way.

Clients can't see your emotion or tell when you're trying to be jokey. If you have ticked off a client, sending an apologetic email never cuts the mustard.

Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter encourage emotion, which is very hard to portray it in an email.

Is Email Marketing Effective?

Email marketing should never be underestimated. It may have its flaws, but it's so popular for a good reason. To ignore the email channel when communicating with your customers would be insane.

As long as you're able to please and meet your customer's needs, then do it. I would also encourage you to use other tools of communication as well, such as webchats, video, and social media, having a repertoire of tools at your disposal is useful.

It's 2020, Do You Still Use Emails?

Yes. Yes, I do.

Many see email as an old fashioned way of communicating (Yes I can't believe I just said that either), but it is going to be around for a long time. So you shouldn't be planning to give up on email just yet.

How do you make sure you're staff are using email to provide a great customer service? Through Cxceed! By using this software, you can get feedback from your customers on what they did and didn't like about their email conversation with you, making it easy to evaluate and improve the quality of the individual emails your staff are sending to your customers.

If you believe email is dead, I want to know why! Drop a comment below!

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