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Facilities managers: you never noticed us because we did such a great job

Facilities managers: you never noticed us because we did such a great job

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Getting all hot under the collar about brushed chrome door furniture is an understandable but classic displacement activity when much of your work is messy, unglamorous and even occasionally dangerous. You work alongside designers and architects and look longingly at their apparent casual trendiness and clean lines, marvelling at the quality of the beech from sustainably managed European forestries (kiln dried to 10-12 per cent moisture content) with which they have specified the side tables in reception. Achingly cool and effortless in a way you feel you’ll never be.

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Will coronavirus mean the death of the office?

Will coronavirus mean the death of the office?

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Betteridge’s law of headlines declares that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no”. And so I simultaneously ask and answer the question of whether the coronavirus pandemic will really lead to the death of the office. So it goes. Of course, I’m not the first person to raise the question over the last few weeks as the world adapts to the threat of the pandemic. But it’s worth reminding ourselves that the demise of the office has been predicted for at least a quarter of a century, although never in such circumstances. More →

Move to freelancing improves quality of life

Move to freelancing improves quality of life

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freelancingNine in ten freelancers in the UK feel the move to freelancing has improved their quality of life, a survey has claimed. Almost half of those surveyed by Dinghy stated that the best thing about freelancing is the flexibility – the ability to work when, where and with whoever they want. On the downside, almost all respondents (98 percent) admitted checking emails and projects in their time off. Many felt they have to work above and beyond what is called for to make a good impression, with nearly a third saying they “overserve” all their clients by consistently overworking and undercharging. More →

AI will transform financial services in two years

AI will transform financial services in two years

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AINearly two-thirds of financial services leaders expect to be mass adopters of AI in two years compared to just 16 percent harnessing it today, a survey from the World Economic Forum and the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) claims. This is despite fears around AI, with 58 percent of the 150 senior executives surveyed expecting it to worsen discrimination in the sector and the same number expecting privacy breaches to increase. More →

Changing world of work yet to reshape expectations of young people

Changing world of work yet to reshape expectations of young people

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Huge changes to the world of work over the past two decades have made little impact on teenagers’ career expectations, which have become more concentrated in fewer occupations, according to a new OECD report. Dream jobs: Teenagers’ career aspirations and the future of work says 47 percent of boys and 53  percent of girls surveyed in 41 countries expect to work in one of just 10 popular jobs by age of 30. The figures, based on the latest PISA survey of 15-year-olds released last month, reveal a narrowing of expectations as these shares increased by eight percentage points for boys and four percentage points for girls since the 2000 PISA survey. More →

Workplace bullying is being swept under the carpet

Workplace bullying is being swept under the carpet

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BullyingA quarter of employees think challenging issues like workplace bullying and harassment are swept under the carpet in their organisation, a new report from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, claims. More →

The vaguery of workplace serendipity

The vaguery of workplace serendipity

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It has become vogue to refer to the workplace as being ‘all about people’. It points in all directions at once. Organisations need fit, healthy, happy, skilled, motivated, engaged and purposeful people being (and feeling) productive and doing their best work every day. They want their people working closely together – they’ve spent a lot of time and money drawing in those they feel can contribute to a whole that is other than the sum of the parts. More →

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and we`re not ready for it

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and we`re not ready for it

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fourth industrial revolution Cast your mind back a decade or so and consider how the future looked then. A public horizon of Obama-imbued “yes we can” and a high tide of hope and tolerance expressed in the London Olympics provides one narrative theme; underlying austerity-induced pressure another. Neither speaks directly to our current world of divisive partisan politics, toxic social media use, competing facts and readily believed fictions. More →

The changing expectations of call and contact centres

The changing expectations of call and contact centres

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Ever since call centres were introduced as a business function in the mid-20th century, they have been subject to plenty of change and transformation. Customer expectations have been on a gradual rise, and CX strategists and leaders have had to adapt to meet these increased demands.  Previously, call and contact centres were viewed as a cost centre – whereby the primary goal was to run them as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, whilst still being able to respond to customers competently. Nowadays, customer experience is being ramped up on the priorities list, with call and contact centre success shown to be a key driver for customer retention, enrichment and advocacy. 

Most importantly, customer expectations have evolved which has put a great strain on how call and contact centres adapt. Customers now expect customer service to quick, convenient and available 24/7.

What do customers want from contact centres?

  • Quicker responses

Living in a social media world has not only brought plenty of benefits for businesses, but also presented its fair share of challenges. With consumers now having the ability to communicate and get instant information online, contact centres have had the same expectations placed on them to provide quick response times whilst still maintaining high service levels.

A study conducted by Lithium Technologies found that when asking about a product or service, 66 percent of consumers expect a response to their query on the same day, and over 40 percent expect a reply within the hour. This has put a large strain on contact centres to improve efficiency and be able to respond so quickly to customer queries.

  • Convenience

In addition to wanting a quicker service, customers today also want convenience. ‘Gen Z’, having grown up with social media and digital technologies are used to shopping, browsing and completing tasks online through research and self-informing. What does that mean for contact centres?

Customers don’t want to call contact centres and wait to be put through to the right advisor – It isn’t the most convenient option anymore. What customers want instead is the ability to solve the issue themselves using self-serve/ FAQ sheets, or at least to see if they can solve the problem before having to get in touch with an advisor.

A study carried out by Zendesk found that 67 percent of consumers preferred using a self-serve portal when looking to help themselves online, with 40 percent of customers calling a contact centre only after they have at least attempted to find their solution on the internet first.

  • More availability

On top of wanting a quicker service and convenience, customers are also expecting help to be readily available whenever and wherever they need it.

Today’s customers want to be able to get in touch with a company across multiple channels and be able to hop in between channels to continue their interaction. For example, a customer wants to be able to message a chatbot online, then follow up with a phone call, and expect the company know their name, information and query. These conversations should be able to take place across a whole host of channels including social media, websites, mobile, text, chatbots, telephone, email, self-serve and more.

By having interactions across multiple channels, customers also expect help in one form or another to be available 24/7. Banks, for example, outsource call centre functions to countries abroad to ensure customers calling in the later hours have a representative that they can speak to.

 

This piece has been published in partnership with Call & Contact Centre Expo

Image by Stefan Kuhn 

Other things being equal, this year will see the end of open plan and start of a four day week

Other things being equal, this year will see the end of open plan and start of a four day week

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You’ll only get one prediction from me this year and that’s about how all of the other workplace predictions will be cut and paste jobs from the past three decades and more. If you want to take a cynical approach to the whole thing, you’ll find one from your humble servant here. Apart from that, if you only read one set of actual predictions for 2020 or even the Twenties (that’ll take some getting used to), then make it this from an author also jaded and burdened by too many glib pronouncements about work and workplaces in general and the annual parade of predictable predictions in particular. More →

From the archives: Is this the missing piece of the facilities management puzzle?

From the archives: Is this the missing piece of the facilities management puzzle? 0

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facilities managementThe IFMA Foundation Workplace Summit of summer 2014 felt like an optimistic time for facilities management and the workspace industry. Heavyweights from the sector were asking searching questions about our organisational contribution, with thankfully less of the internally focused, debate-free hubris typical of much of the industry narrative. The newly announced (and now evidently historical) collaboration between BIFM and CIPD was in full swing, endorsed by social media savvy Twitterati under The Workplace Conversation banner. More →

Most people have no idea what impostor syndrome is, but they know they have it

Most people have no idea what impostor syndrome is, but they know they have it

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impostor syndromeA new survey claims that only 15 percent of UK adults know what impostor syndrome is, although more than three-quarters (77 percent) claim to have suffered from it at some point in their lives. The survey of more than 500 UK adults was carried out by media agency UM. It suggests that office workers and those in professional services were the most likely among all those in full-time employment to suffer from impostor syndrome – behind only school and university students. More →

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