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Numbers or people? Why customers and data go hand-in-hand

A successful company has customers at its core. Long gone are the days of one-size-fits-all advertising and competition based solely on price. If you want to get – and keep – customers, you need to be interacting with them and building relationships on a one-to-one level. But that isn’t enough. As a successful modern enterprise you’ll be using data-driven insights to understand your customers’ needs in a rapidly evolving world, enabling you to proactively evolve your products alongside those needs. Many of the successful new ‘disruptive’ businesses – including Uber and Airbnb – are using data and its analysis as the cornerstone of their entire business model. Against this background you don’t want to risk being left behind, possibly disrupted [...]

By |March 6, 2018|Categories: Customer Service|0 Comments

Can you feel it? Improving customer experience through emotions

When you last bought something, do you know why you bought it? Why did you choose one brand in preference to another? Why did you plump for an iPhone instead of a Samsung? Why do you get your coffee from Starbucks rather than somewhere else? We all like to think our decisions are based on rational thinking. But there’s much more to it. Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman tells us that at least 95% of all cognition occurs subconsciously. The subconscious mind is where our emotions brood, and where much of our day-to-day behaviour is shaped. As a business owner you won’t be surprised that emotions are involved in purchasing decisions. So are you really engaging with your customers on that [...]

By |January 28, 2018|Categories: Customer Service|0 Comments

‘All the feels’ – connecting with your customer’s emotions to build a powerful brand

How important is customer experience? Very important, according to a 2016 report from US research and advisory group Forrester Inc. Nearly three quarters of businesses point to improving customer experience as their top priority. It’s great that so many firms have switched on to this topic, but not everyone is up-to-speed on what it means or why it’s important. For one thing, it’s easily confused with ‘customer service’, which is a much bigger issue. Author Colin Shaw describes customer experience as ‘a blend of an organisation’s physical performance, the senses stimulated and emotions evoked… intuitively measured against customer expectations across all moments of contact’. In other words, customers are always watching, judging, and remembering. In doing so they’re forming emotional [...]

By |December 13, 2017|Categories: Customer Service, Leadership|0 Comments

From courage to commitment – the five Cs that make a great leader

Leadership is a fascinating, complex and multi-dimensional subject. What makes a great leader? How do great leaders inspire people? And how does this all come together to enable people to build great organisations? These questions have fuelled debate for centuries, between philosophers, academics and business practitioners. But whether you consider leadership a skill, a character trait, a behaviour, or a process, there’s no denying its ability to make or break a company. Your employees’ thinking patterns, emotional responses and business conduct will often depend on the actions of an influential few – and that power can be harnessed for better or for worse. The pillars of leadership So let’s take a look at the five fundamental pillars of leadership, and [...]

By |November 15, 2017|Categories: Customer Service, Leadership|0 Comments

ROI on your mind? It’s time to rethink employee performance management

Employees have the power to make or break a business: successful ventures are underpinned by the blood, sweat, and tears of talent. What’s more, when a work environment doesn’t inspire people to act and it doesn’t promote the personal and professional development of individuals and teams, it can seriously undermine your growth and profitability. A performance management system that fails to tap into the potential each individual brings to the table can be a costly setback for your entire business. Sparking engagement, creativity, and productivity in your staff can be tricky though – it takes real strategic direction and great managers. This is challenging since employee performance management (EPM) is often viewed as an administrative chore by most managers: it’s [...]

By |October 12, 2017|Categories: Customer Service, Staffing, Training|0 Comments

Transform good into great – creating value through your people can drive profits by 30%

According to business analytics firm Gallup, just 13% of employees are engaged in their workplace. That’s based on a worldwide survey, which covers 1.2 million employees. It’s a worryingly low number, but what is management’s role here? Well, we all know that management has an impact on employee engagement, but Gallup’s research shows that it accounts for 70% of the variance between engaged and non-engaged staff. So the question is, how can you combine management techniques and learning and development opportunities for your people to bridge this gap and ensure that you are creating a happy, motivated and, above all, productive workforce? The answer lies in the way you develop your employees. A new approach to developing your people Many [...]

By |September 12, 2017|Categories: Staffing, Training|0 Comments

The real cost of hiring the wrong people

What’s the real cost of hiring the wrong employee? Eye-watering, according to the latest research. Last year online job board Career Builder interviewed over 2,300 US hiring managers and HR professionals and found that three-quarters of them admitted having hired the wrong person for a position, at a cost of up to USD 24,000 each for larger firms. It’s a similar story in the UK, where replacing an employee costs more than GBP 30,000 – or GBP 4bn per year across the country – not to mention taking an average of eight months to get a replacement up to speed. But what exactly do we mean by ‘hiring the wrong person’? As employers, we have every opportunity to assess the [...]

By |August 15, 2017|Categories: Customer Service, Hiring, Staffing|0 Comments

The power of young entrepreneurs and how to nurture them

When you stand up in front of a classroom and impart knowledge, you have genuine power. So educators can make a real difference to the future lives and successes of their students. It’s not as simple as merely equipping them with the necessary tools. Instead, it’s about identifying their innate talents at a crucial age and supporting them so that they might grow into the entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow. So, how can you do this? Well, there are some remarkable tools, resources, and methods you can apply. The data shows young people really are our future What makes a successful entrepreneur? It may never have been a question you’ve pondered before now, but take the time to do so. [...]

By |July 18, 2017|Categories: Education, Entrepreneurship|0 Comments

Drive innovation by identifying entrepreneurial spirit among your employees

When you hear the word entrepreneur, what springs to mind? The likes of Richard Branson, the late Steve Jobs or even Mark Zuckerberg may pop into your head. We tend to think of entrepreneurs as global business founders and leaders: those with the big ideas, innovations and companies. Yet the entrepreneurial spirit need not be confined to the CEO’s office. In reality, some of your employees may already be displaying the entrepreneurial behaviour necessary for running a company and being a leader. While some bosses might see this as a threat, it’s something you have a duty to encourage. What’s more, if you’re able to tap into these traits and help cultivate them, it could bring exciting advances for your [...]

By |June 22, 2017|Categories: Customer Service|0 Comments

The real ROI of being customer-centric

No business will survive long without satisfying its customers. That much should be evident to any company whether it is established or just starting out. But there is a big difference between being customer-focused, in the traditional sense of supply meeting demand, and placing customers at the very heart of everything you do. While one is surface deep, a promise made in glib marketing statements such as ‘our customers always come first’, the other is a strategy that permeates to the roots of a business and engages every employee. And that’s what we’re looking at today. Because it’s easy to fall into a trap of falsely thinking you have made the switch to putting customers at the heart of your [...]

By |May 21, 2017|Categories: Customer Service, Financial|0 Comments

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