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Infographic: just a little of that human touch

The average number of avenues we can use to contact our banks, building societies and insurers is a whopping 6.2, including social media, SMS and even video chat. It’s no wonder that it all seems a bit disconnected; research conducted by BT and Avaya revealed that people still crave the simplicity of popping into their local branch for some good old fashioned human interaction. In fact, almost half of people interviewed say that having a named individual to email or phone would help them warm to their financial service providers.

Take a look at our infographic that shows some of the ways that banks, building societies and insurers are giving their communication strategies a human touch: [Read more...]


Combating congestion with comprehensive communications

The Big Smoke. Town. LDN. Whatever you call it, London is one of the busiest cities in Europe. There are around 7,500 buses, over 22,000 taxis and more than 2.5 million cars all jostling in the city’s roads every single day. So, if you’re an emergency service covering 620 square miles and operating 24/7, how can you make sure that the service you offer is constantly available?

Well, that’s exactly the challenge faced by the London Ambulance Service (LAS). Offering a dependable service in the hustle and bustle of daily life is hard enough, let alone in the face of major events; Royal Weddings, sporting events, even riots and terrorism threats. They needed their voice and data networks to be able to handle the increasing demand on their services, without incurring large costs and maintaining business continuity throughout the rollout of any new service. [Read more...]

Chris Skinner

2014′s priorities for retail banks

By Chris Skinner

As the new financial year gets underway in the UK it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at some predictions for the world of retail banking. We asked Chris Skinner, what he thought would be the main priorities in 2014.

Customer focus is the top priority

Customer focus is always a priority in retail banking but, this year, it will become the focus. The reason being, that banks are highly aware of customer dissatisfaction, disillusion and dissidence. Sure, lack of trust in banks reached an all-time low in the last few years, but most banks sat and thought: so what? We make our money from corporate customers and investment banking, retail customers don’t matter. Even if they did, they never move to another bank unless we push them. That attitude will change in 2014 as account switching, competition, regulations and technology all come to a head. Banks will find that customer engagement and the user experience will be their key priorities, as they recognise that the customer is now a remote technology interaction, rather than a branch footfall. This will lead to a major investment in new business models and structures. [Read more...]

Nicola Millard

The reinvention of the office: does distance still matter?

By Nicola Millard, Customer Experience Futurologist BT

Technology seems to be heralding the death of distance as we become untethered from our desks by a combination of mobile technologies, connectivity and cloud. Packed commuter trains and rush hour traffic jams show us a different picture. Maybe work hasn’t changed as much as the digital revolution initially promised and distance does still seem to matter.

The truth is that co-location may look like an easy solution for fostering collaboration but it doesn’t guarantee it. It is just as easy to feel isolated in an office as it is working from a remote location and the people just five bays down might just as well be on the moon to people in many offices. [Read more...]

Keeping on keeping on: BT smartnumbers and Cisco

We’ve all felt the frustration that follows something not going to plan.  Why is it that the train always seems to be running late when you have an important meeting? Or discovering your phone battery is dead when you’ve just broken down on the motorway.  From disrupted travel to sabotaged family events, we all share those memories of disaster, panic and frustration.

On a personal level, these events can easily be turned into nothing more than amusing anecdotes to be shared the following year, but for a business, unexpected and unplanned events can have catastrophic consequences. Perhaps the freak weather of late has led you to be thinking about the ways that you can ensure continuity in the face of these unwelcome surprises. [Read more...]