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Since Fiona Whelan’s appointment as Managing Director in 2016 of CPM’s International Contact Centre in Barcelona, the company has gone from strength to strength. During this time, CPM Barcelona has experienced 300% growth and secured a multi-million investment to fuel business expansion into an additional site, creating over 1,000 new jobs for the region.

Here, Fiona talks to leading Spanish newspaper, La Vanguardia, about the critical importance of Customer Experience (CX) for businesses of the future and CPM’s continued success as it celebrates 15 years in Barcelona.

What is the main support brands need in order to remain close to their customers?

We are living in extraordinary times in terms of the pace and scale of technological and societal transformation. This is driving real behavioural change in consumers who paradoxically want increased efficiency and automation but conversely, more authentic engagement with brands than ever before.

This presents new challenges for businesses operating in an increasingly hyper-connected, transparent and ‘always-on’ Experience Economy.

As products become more replicable and indistinguishable, what matters most are the brand promises businesses make to their customers and how the experiences customers receive when they engage with brands deliver against these promises.

It sounds simple but can be extremely challenging to achieve.

How does CPM provide this support to brands?

CPM’s raison d’être is to support our clients in delivering exceptional customer experiences (CX). We provide technical helpdesk, CX support, consumer carelines, customer satisfaction and high-performance sales programs for global brands including Airbnb, Harley-Davidson and New Balance, to name a few.

Although we of course speak to customers over the phone, over 60% of our contact centre activities now take place via digital channels including chatbots, social media, web chat and ticketing as well as a variety of messaging services such as WhatsApp and Messenger.

As a result of our investment in AI, data insights and predictive analytics, CPM are also able to harness leading edge technological innovations to automate simpler tasks; whilst simultaneously accessing a more digitally empowered and highly skilled workforce for complex cases.

CPM employ over 2,000 agents who engage with over 30,000 customers on a daily basis, spanning 65+ markets and 26 languages via our two contact centre hubs in Barcelona.

On an annualised basis, we deliver €100 million in revenue for our clients and our CX teams are achieving record breaking Net Promoter Scores (NPS) of 70 + (a key measure of customer loyalty).

Whilst CPM operates across a diverse range of sectors, our success has been fuelled by the growth of clients operating within the high tech, new tech and consumer electronics space, where we have developed a real specialism.

Looking ahead, what are CPM’s plans for the future?

CPM is committed to Barcelona and the continued growth of our contact centre operations in the city.

Adding to this, CPM have recently launched CPM Ignite, our Work from Home solution which enables clients and agents alike to avail of a boundaryless, virtual contact centre workforce operating across Spain and beyond.

We are also in talks to enhance our Northern European coverage, alongside established partnerships in the US and Asia. CPM’s vision is to be the premier boutique provider of contact centre solutions with a best in class service for clients across the globe.

Please click here to view the original newspaper article in La Vanguardia.

The post CPM contact centre: A special feature on business excellence & CX appeared first on CPM Australia.

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We’re incredibly proud of the women at CPM & Retail Safari who show our business and our clients everyday just how resilient, creative and smart they are. As we celebrate IWD 2019, meet some of the women from our very talented team and how they manage #BalanceforBetter.

Cecellia Telkes

“It’s tough trying to balance work, family and life – that is a fact. I’m lucky that my family are supportive and help at home. It also helps that management at CPM are flexible and I know I can work from home or on flexi hours when I need to. It creates a win-win for everyone!”

Jessica Ferlazzo

“Balance can only be achieved when you are surrounded by supportive people who believe in you. Whether it’s understanding & compassionate colleagues or reliable and trusting family & friends, it takes a village. It’s critical we support one another, both at work & home, always being true to ourselves and doing the things that make us happy, so we create environments that cultivate passion & success.”

Eleni Prokopis

“Whether it’s at work managing people or on the soccer pitch cheering on my boys, my work and home life is all about quality time for me and my family. Hard work? Absolutely! It’s about knowing the value I bring as a mum, wife and a leader that makes all the juggling worth it.”

Olivia J-Hawkins

“When people say the word balance to me it means being able to create the time and space to pursue the things I’m interested in. I work part-time so I can dedicate time to my artistic projects as well as servicing my brilliant clients at Retail Safari”.

Suzannah Cant

“CPM allows me the flexibility to juggle priorities outside of a 9-5 construct and manage a true balance between personal and professional life. As a working Mum, having a company that recognises that my personal goals and the company goals are strongly aligned, and is more important than a traditional timetable. ”

Cara Berthot-Craig

“Working with a great mix of fun and culturally diverse people at Retail Safari naturally brings balance along with a great sense of comradery. Lunchtime runs with colleagues, walk and talk meetings, pub lunches and birthday celebrations along with lots of hard work creates a great sense of accomplishment and balance.”

The post #BalanceforBetter this International Women’s Day appeared first on CPM Australia.

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It’s our business to know how to get our clients’ products into the hands of their customers. With traditional physical retailing being challenged by technology and the ever-changing behaviour of the hyper-connected consumer, brands and retailers are being forced to rethink their businesses and approaches.

With the shifting shopping model, it’s critical to find the most effective and efficient way to reach the socially and digitally savvy Australian customer.

“Through our association with global retail partners and local retail insights affiliates,” said Andrew Potter, Managing Director, CPM Australia, “we’ve combed through range of retail whitepapers and articles to identify emerging key trends that will shape the retail and sales industry over the next 12 months across Australia.”

Our aim is to arm our clients with the top trends that will have the biggest impact on shopper behaviour and retailer performance Australia-wide in the year ahead.

Four trends that will gain traction in 2019

The following four key trends will cover current disruptions and key challenges that retailers and brands are facing in today’s sales environment.

1. AI & Machine Learning: Building Blocks for Retail Growth

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have officially stopped being a marketing buzzword. As data is becoming one of the main building blocks for retail growth, analytics are now an integral part of the marketing mix. Some of the up-and-coming technologies that will gain traction with consumers in 2019 include voice activated assistants and chatbots.

With a report on voice usage in Australia¹, (CMO) it demonstrates that 1.35 million Australians now have a smart speaker and use voice activated assistants to help navigate their daily lives.

According to the report, Australia’s adoption of devices is rapidly outpacing the US and UK. These early adopters include Gen Z, millennials, younger families, and city dwellers.

With over four million Australian consumers (16%) predicted to use their smart speakers for shopping in 2019¹, this latest appetite presents a major opportunity for brands and retailers to make meaningful connections with their target audience.

2. Socially Conscious Consumers: Seeking transparency & responsibility

Shoppers are demanding more transparency and more responsibility from brands and retailers. They’re paying more attention to the ethical practices of the brands they buy from and have considered the reality that their purchasing habits have an impact on the world around them. From eco-friendly packaging to reducing food wastage and sustainable delivery methods, these initiatives are gaining ground and are being spruiked to attract the environmentally conscious customer.

Late last year, Deloitte and Chartered Accountants Australia reported that 64% of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region are willing to spend more on socially conscious brands². With this in mind, companies will have to consider the image they want their brand to publicly convey to the world, and to ensure their values are aligned.

3. The Cashless World: Delivering frictionless shopping experiences

The payment mix has changed. Consumers are no longer carrying cash and they’re positively attracted to paying electronically. As cash becomes less prominent and as contactless payments are becoming the norm, brands and retailers are figuring out ways to deliver a more frictionless shopping, cashless environment.

According to Roy Morgan’s ‘Digital Payment Solutions Currency Report’³, the majority of consumers prefer cards over cash. They reported that Australia is leading the world in contactless payments.

The Australian Payments Network Milestones Report⁴ reconfirms this inclination and quantified that Australians make, on average, nearly 500 electronic payments a year (up from an average of 100 payments twenty years ago ⁴).

This latest digital application is assisting retailers and brands in helping them better understand their customers patterns plus allows them to trial new technologies. Consumers also gain from paying electronically. It provides them with a frictionless shopping experience.

4. Experience Retailing: Digital shopper crave physical experiences

As each year passes, brands and retailers around Australia are continuously shifting their goalposts as they continue to battle it out in-store to keep up with the rapid development of technology and demanding customer expectations. Consumers are more connected than ever and they’re demanding more meaningful and memorable retail experiences both online and offline.

As consumers have adapted to the convenience of online shopping, the challenge for brands and retailers continues to focus on how they deliver in-store experiences that are consistent with their shoppers’ digital expectations.

As customers become smarter shoppers, retail spaces need to offer more than just a product showcase, but a memorable and immersive brand experiences. These brand experiences can either be through human touch or technology such as augmented reality & virtual reality. The store environment, design and customer touchpoints are of equal importance in the digital age. Both channels contribute to an enhanced customer journey where customers are immersed in the brand’s values and products.

Conclusion
Therefore, now more than ever brands and retailers that are looking to differentiate themselves in this hyper-connected world need to reimagine and redefine their stores by investing in customer experience and high-quality of service.

References

¹ Report: Voice commerce represents vast untapped market for Australian brands, CMO Magazine
² The Future of Trade: Are we ready to embrace the opportunities?, Deloitte and Chartered Accountants Australia
³ Roy Morgan ‘Digital Payment Solutions Currency Report’
⁴ Australian Payments Network Milestones Report: The Digital Economy, Ninth Report

The post Key trends that are shaping retail in 2019 appeared first on CPM Australia.

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We all know that retail spending increases dramatically over the holiday season. With gift giving on the forefront of everyone’s minds, brands and retailers are doing all they can to make the most of this busy retail period.

To better understand where and when shoppers will be spending their hard-earned time and money this year, we surveyed 500 Australians in partnership with the CXI Research Group – Swinburne Business School.

“To help our clients capitalise on the gift-buying madness,” said Andrew Potter, Managing Director, CPM Australia and Retail Safari, “our annual Christmas Shopping Intentions report offers vital insights into this major trading milestone. To make sure our clients are making the most of their retail investments prior to the holiday folly, our aim is to arm them with a deep view of expected purchasing behaviour this Christmas. This year’s edition includes findings such as spending plans, where and when consumers intend to shop, what they plan to buy, and the reasons why shoppers prefer to shop in-store.”

Here are five key insights from our 2018 Christmas Shopping Intentions study that we’ve shared with our clients that will be driving successful retailing this holiday season:

1. PROVIDE HIGH-TOUCH SHOPPING INTERACTIONS

For the third year running, the “ability to see & touch” the product remains the top reason (75%) by a large margin for shopping in physical stores instead of shopping online. Compared with 2017, more surveyed consumers – across all age groups – are planning to purchase from a physical store only. While the shopping experience has transformed in recent years, the most successful retailers and brands will understand the power of high-touch interactions and will maximise accordingly. Although shoppers’ lives are powered by technology, the human touch is still a key attribute when it comes to customer experience. In fact, these high-tough interactions are brick & mortars most valuable artilleries.

2. MAKE STAFF AVAILABLE SINCE SHOPPERS STILL WANT TO TALK

Although some purchases will be made online, the physical store still has a role to play in holiday shopping. Physical store shopping will be particularly popular across all age groups. In addition, the study reveals that 22% of consumers are more likely to buy when helped by a knowledgeable associate (up from 15%). Knowing that shoppers still want to talk, it’s up to the brands and retailers to make sure staff are available.

3. ATTENTION ALL DEPARTMENT STORES – SHOPPERS ARE COMING

As the convergence between online and offline retail becomes more prevalent, the appeal amid Australians to complete their Christmas shopping in actual stores is still strong again this year. Department stores are back, and they’re expected to be the most popular retail format for buying presents. The study reveals that the department store retail format will see an increase of 11% this year. A healthy percentage of 56% of those surveyed plans on spending their share of wallet at department stores. In contrast – based on last year’s findings – Australians’ intentions to shop at discount department stores for gifts is down by -20%.

4. STOCK UP ON GIFT CARDS

Gifting gift cards are on the rise again this Christmas. With one in two shoppers intending to purchase from this category (52%), gift cards or gift certificates remain the most popular gift this year. Rising 7% since 2016, these gift vouchers continue to gain momentum. In addition, retailers benefit from this gift card gifting phenomenon through their acquisition and redemption qualities. Since they take up very little real estate and draw people into the stores, they are the gift that keeps on giving. Meanwhile, toys, dolls, games, and DVD/Blu-ray movies (or CDs for music) have reported the greatest year-on-year decrease of -7%.

5. CRAFT SEAMLESS EXPERIENCES

Regardless of the channel used this Christmas, this season’s shopper wants uniformity. Whether the shopping interaction takes place via face to face, email, phone, or social media, customers are looking for consistent seamless experiences. Therefore, to get the most out of this vital trading period, craft your experiences with memorable and seamless encounters that your customers can’t receive from any other channel.

Click here to download Australian Christmas Shopping Intentions Infographic

The post Five insights to capitalise on this year’s gift-buying madness appeared first on CPM Australia.

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Big news! We’re delighted to announce yet another milestone in the Retail Safari journey: our brand refresh and new website.

You’ll be able to see our new look anywhere from our website to our social networking pages (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter).

Our overall new look is light and modern, packed full of energy and flexible to use. The new identity reflects us better as a company and our understanding of the changing retail environment we work in every day.

“Client expectations have changed and were an important contributor to our decision to refresh Retail Safari’s brand. Our clients demand new ideas, insights and innovation to achieve genuine competitive advantage”, said Nabih Awad, Retail Safari Managing Director.

“Retail Safari also needed a powerful retail offering that will stand out in an over saturated landscape and future-proof us into the coming years. We have therefore introduced new services to our suite of offerings such as Insights & Analytics, Mystery Shopping and Training Solutions” said Awad.

We are very excited to see what the next phase of Retail Safari will bring. Please visit www.retailsafari.com.au (the URL still the same) to explore the new website and learn more about us and the retail marketing services we offer.

The post Retail Safari has a brand new look appeared first on CPM Australia.

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In conjunction with Swinburne University’s CXI Research Group, we recently held a breakfast seminar in Sydney & Melbourne on how brands can amplify their CX deliver.

At the seminar, Bernie Brookes – retail veteran and Swinburne Adjunct Industry Fellow – uncovered the necessary tools of survival for the next generation of Australian marketers.

He reflected on the state of the retail industry in Australia & discussed what it means to compete on experience. He revealed that Australian retailers are behind when it comes theatre & fun. Bernie feels strongly that they need to do more to define themselves by offering more meaningful and memorable retail experiences while ensuring quality service to fulfil their customers’ expectations. He also emphasised several key areas where he thinks retailers can strengthen such as customer segmentation, visual merchandising, plus speed to implement innovation & omnichannel.

During his presentation, Bernie highlighted several key areas where he thinks retailers in Australia could do better, including customer segmentation, visual merchandising, speed to implement innovation and the overall omnichannel experience.

Two journalists attended the event and weighed in on his advice:

Heather McIIVaine, Inside Retail

Matthew Elmas, smartcompany

The post Bernie Brookes’ guide to thrive in Australia’s increasingly competitive retail sector appeared first on CPM Australia.

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At our recent CXI Inspiration Breakfast Series with Swinburne University, one of our keynote speakers – Associated Professor Sean Sands, CXI Co-Director – shared his latest thinking surrounding Australia’s CX state of play and explored “What does best practice look like?”.

Over the breakfast Sean disclosed for Australian retailers to succeed the digital disruption, they should be investing in three main areas: AI (artificial intelligence), voice and visual assets. As digital landscape transforms, brands and retailers are confronted with the challenge of an uncertain times ahead. He thinks that brand owners will benefit from utilising these undervalued trends and assets are foolproof tactics and can ultimately engage customers.

Retail Biz’s journalist – Georgia Clark – attended the seminar and wrote a follow-up article called “Nevermind the buzzwords: Retail’s three most under-rated digital trends.” Georgia eloquently summarises Sean’s advice for Australian retailers on how they can stay on top amid the latest from digital disruption. When it comes to the myriad of technology changes, he suggests embracing three under-rated developments: AI (artificial intelligence), voice and visual assets.

Artificial intelligence: With AI having the capacity to improve customer service, it is one of the first and biggest areas of opportunity for the retail sector, according to Professor Sands.

Voice: With over 1 billion voice searches a month and rising, retailers should also tap into the growing market of voice-based AI.

Visual: Utilising visual digital channels such as Snapchat and Instagram-swipe are also areas of immense opportunity for retailers.

Click here to read Georgia Clark’s complete article

The post Three under-rated trends to survive the digital disruption appeared first on CPM Australia.

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Customer experience is the new battleground for consumer-facing brands across Australia. Last week, in conjunction with Swinburne University’s CXI Research Group, we held a breakfast seminar in Sydney & Melbourne on how brands can amplify their CX delivery.

Our retail experts – Associated Professor Sean Sands, Tara Ness and Bernie Brooks  – weighed in on Australia’s CX state of play and shared their insights.

Associate Professor Sean Sands, CXI Co-Director, explored “What does best practice look like?” and shared highlights from this year’s Shop.org conference in Las Vegas. Sean feels that in order for Australian retailers to succeed digital disruption, they should be perfecting three core areas: AI (artificial intelligence), voice and visual assets. As technology changes, retailers are faced with the challenge of an uncertain future. He feels strongly that tapping into these under-rated trends and assets are foolproof tactics and can ultimately engage customers.

Tara Ness, Director, Decision Design, discussed future proofing customer-oriented brands and delved into how we all can drive measurable improvements in CX, decision making and commercial outcomes. As a champion of the voice of the customer, Tara revealed that in order to drive change in the Australian retail universe, customer-orientated brands need to future proof their CX to drive change by improving their overall brand and service experience.

Bernie Brookes, Swinburne Adjunct Industry Fellow, reflected on the state of the retail industry in Australia & discussed what it means to compete on experience. He revealed that Australian retailers are behind when it comes theatre & fun. Bernie feels strongly that they need to do more to define themselves by offering more meaningful and memorable retail experiences while ensuring quality service to fulfil their customers’ expectations. He also emphasised several key areas where he thinks retailers can strengthen such as customer segmentation, visual merchandising, plus speed to implement innovation & omnichannel.

Adding to the theatre & art of the seminar – Jessamy Gee, a graphic recorder from Think in Colour, joined in by capturing the presentations through the use of visual drawings. To see the key speakers’ visual drawings, click here.

The post Amplifying Your CX Delivery: Wrap-up appeared first on CPM Australia.

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Customer experience is the new battleground for consumer-facing brands across Australia. Last week, in conjunction with Swinburne University’s CXI Research Group, we held a breakfast seminar in Sydney & Melbourne on how brands can amplify their CX delivery.

Our retail experts – Associated Professor Sean Sands, Tara Ness and Bernie Brooks  – weighed in on Australia’s CX state of play and shared their insights.

Associate Professor Sean Sands, CXI Co-Director, explored “What does best practice look like?” and shared highlights from this year’s Shop.org conference in Las Vegas. Sean feels that in order for Australian retailers to succeed digital disruption, they should be perfecting three core areas: AI (artificial intelligence), voice and visual assets. As technology changes, retailers are faced with the challenge of an uncertain future. He feels strongly that tapping into these under-rated trends and assets are foolproof tactics and can ultimately engage customers.

Tara Ness, Director, Decision Design, discussed future proofing customer-oriented brands and delved into how we all can drive measurable improvements in CX, decision making and commercial outcomes. As a champion of the voice of the customer, Tara revealed that in order to drive change in the Australian retail universe, customer-orientated brands need to future proof their CX to drive change by improving their overall brand and service experience.

Bernie Brookes, Swinburne Adjunct Industry Fellow, reflected on the state of the retail industry in Australia & discussed what it means to compete on experience. He revealed that Australian retailers are behind when it comes theatre & fun. Bernie feels strongly that they need to do more to define themselves by offering more meaningful and memorable retail experiences while ensuring quality service to fulfil their customers’ expectations. He also emphasised several key areas where he thinks retailers can strengthen such as customer segmentation, visual merchandising, plus speed to implement innovation & omnichannel.

Adding to the theatre & art of the seminar – Jessamy Gee, a graphic recorder from Think in Colour, joined in by capturing the presentations through the use of visual drawings. To see the key speakers’ visual drawings, click here.

The post Amplifying Your CX Delivery: Wrap-up appeared first on CPM Australia.

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September 14th 2018 – At last night’s 2018 Shop! Marketing at Retail Awards, Optus and Retail Safari were awarded the Gold prize “2018 Field Marketing Excellence Award”.

The industry event is dedicated to celebrating and recognising the innovations of retail and shopper marketing across Australia. “We are incredibly proud to receive this industry award,” Nabih Awad, Managing Director, Retail Safari. “It’s recognition of the robust work we’re doing in-field and recognition of our talented in-field Optus staff who are 100 per cent committed to delivering authentic retail conversations across the Australia’s retail universe. It’s also an honour to be in a strategic partnership with the Optus Pre-Paid team.”

Awards were presented in several retail marketing categories. Optus was honoured among leading national field marketers for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of a retail campaign that successfully influences and enhances the shoppers’ journey.

Click here to see 2018 Shop! winners.

The post Retail Safari & Optus Take Home Gold appeared first on CPM Australia.

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