Category Archives: Customer Service

5 Ways GenAI Powers The Travel Experiences Of The Future

Written by Matthew Biboud-Lubeck, Vice President EMEA, Amperity

The digital world has permanently changed the relationship between travel brands and their customers. Travellers are providing brands with more and more data in exchange for unique, personalised experiences. Yet despite this, the traditional loyalty program model appears to be failing to meet the demands of the next generation of travellers.

As McKinsey points out, reaching the top tier of a loyalty program, traditionally, was a facet of many travellers’ personal identities. Now, many loyalty program members now seem more inclined to play the field. According to its 2023 survey on travel loyalty, younger generations are more likely to consider and transact with multiple travel players. Gen Zers and millennials consider about 1.7 times as many brands as do baby boomers and the Silent Generation and transact with about 1.3 times as many brands.

Faced with fierce competition and a rapidly changing landscape, travel brands must innovate and win back their customers’ allegiances – or risk getting left behind at the terminal.


The game is changing for travel loyalty

For many travellers today, loyalty means much more than having a membership number or collecting points. To reap the most benefits from a loyalty program, members often feel obligated to commit to one brand. The reality of their lives and personal preferences are often very different.

Going all in with a brand makes sense for a traditional road warrior or a family whose primary vacation preference is going to Disneyland Paris four times a year. But those types of behaviours are increasingly becoming outliers. A majority of travellers want something different – different experiences for different travel occasions with different travel companions in different types of destinations.

Consumers’ expectations for loyalty are changing in a number of ways. They now expect brands to streamline reward interactions, allowing them to earn and redeem rewards quickly and easily, while also offering a variety of reward options to choose from – not to mention exclusive, differentiated benefits in exchange for their spending.


Loyalty that takes flight

For a peek into the balance travel brands are trying to strike, look no further than the recent updates to airline loyalty programs. These changes intend to recalibrate rewards so that elite members will feel truly special. But the flipside of that choice may be that lower-tier members feel devalued, and therefore, may not be as loyal to the brand.

Some experts predict that the future of loyalty might not look like an allegiance to a single brand at all. Instead, it will look more closely like a ‘choose your benefit’ or an à la carte service, offering flexibility as a perk. Loyalty members who traditionally remained loyal to one carrier in efforts to gain status and earn upgrades along with other perks may no longer see a reason to spend thousands of dollars to reach the “exclusive” next tier.

This seems to be the case with many younger travellers. A recent Morning Consult study found that just under half (46%) of Gen Z travellers said that it was “absolutely certain” or “very likely” they would patronise hotel brands in whose loyalty programs they were already enrolled. Moreover, 33 per cent said that they don’t trust these brands, despite being members of the programs.

These trends underscore the opportunity for travel brands to benefit by taking an open-minded approach to customer acquisition and retention. This would see them focus less on increasing loyalty membership for its own sake and more on earning travellers’ trust and winning their loyalty on a more personal level.

Loyalty programs are paying more attention to the less frequent leisure traveller, which requires staying top of mind through lifestyle marketing. Members still expect miles and points, but they also want recognition and experiences. This requires an intimate understanding of who they are.


Out with old and in with the AI-powered new

The old way of attempting personalisation was just “guessing” at it. Brands would make broad assumptions. For example, if guests were in one demographic, then they might like what a brand has to offer other people in that cohort. In practice today, personalisation means building a customer data strategy based on a unified, cohesive view of every traveller who comes through their purchasing funnel.

By leveraging new AI-powered technologies, travel brands will be able to create clear, holistic customer data strategies that enable them to build more direct, personal relationships with all of their customers, including those who are already in their loyalty programs and otherwise. Successful efforts to do so will lead to more bookings, additional cross-selling opportunities and higher lifetime value.

Of course, leveraging AI is relatively simple in concept but much more complex in execution. AI is only as good as the data it’s learning from. And it’s only as useful as the decision-making power that it’s given. The vast majority of consumers have accepted the fact that by virtue of being online, they are giving up personal data. The flip side is that now they expect companies to use that data to help improve their experience. The rise of AI in the public consciousness has only accelerated these preferences.


Travellers to brands: “Do whatever it takes to make my trip better”

Travellers no longer fear AI. They want companies to work faster and smarter to use it to the customer’s advantage. According to a 2022 survey of travellers worldwide, nearly 75 per cent said they were either “very” or “somewhat” interested in AI that would analyse their data as a means to provide more personalised offers and customer service.

Among those, approximately 30 per cent said they’re happy with whatever it takes to make their trip better. Perhaps more tellingly, about 45 per cent said they were interested, but with the caveat that they are given the opportunity to consent for its use with the explicit purpose of using that data to present better offers and advertisements or provide more personalised service.

Personalisation must be a holistic experience throughout the entire customer journey from online booking to customer service. However, the siloed nature of data and the lack of trust in its accuracy make it challenging to provide seamless personalisation at each touchpoint. Bridging these gaps requires a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey and the ability to infuse data into the personalisation process.


AI to replace the white-glove treatment

The introduction of AI, in general, and now generative AI, more specifically, has levelled the playing field for travel and hospitality companies. In the pre-internet days, the highest levels of service came from ultra-luxury, up-market brands that could afford to dedicate personal assistance for every individual need – the white-glove treatment, if you will.

Now, at every level of hospitality, from budget to 7-star, brands can communicate on an individual level in ways that their customers feel most comfortable. That’s not only creating better traveller satisfaction, it’s driving innovation faster across the entire industry. As our Head of Generative AI at Amperity Joyce Gordon says, “Brands with a good data foundation will be able to use generative AI and create personalised experiences that will quickly become ubiquitous, and they’ll shape customer expectations.”

She believes we’re going to see a lot of rapid innovation in the GenAI space over the next two years that is likely even faster than previous paradigm shifts we saw with internet, e-commerce and mobile adoption.

In practice, individual travellers don’t understand or experience the health of a company’s data program. They care about:

  • finding the right information at the right time as they plan their travels
  • enjoying a seamless travel experience in the moment

And they want to be appreciated by companies they’ve patronised after a stay and in between trips. By using all the data they have at their disposal, especially first-party data, brands have the opportunity to build direct relationships with a much wider base of customers.


“Brands can offer experiences that feel authentic if they use your first-party data,” says Gordon. “For instance, if a brand has purchased all of this third-party data and I’ve never been to their site and now suddenly they know all of these things about me, that feels creepy.

“It’s like the person you go on a date with who has stalked all of your social media. But if I’ve shared this information with you in the past – for bookings and for experiences where I know that information has been used – and if you use it well, it’s almost a relief.”


GenAI: Better data means better results

The conversational capabilities that GenAI enables will be an important game-changer. It’s more natural to provide preferences in a back-and-forth dialogue than checking a bunch of boxes or filling out one-way, predetermined form fields. That said, Gordon warns that the No. 1 issue holding brands back in deploying generative AI-powered agents is in fact that data foundation. A virtual agent powered by ChatGPT might seem cool, but if it doesn’t have any knowledge of the customer at the outset of a conversation, it’s going to feel robotic.

“Better data means better results in the world of generative AI,” Gordon says. “If you’re in a conversation with a chatbot, it’s actually more frustrating if it feels like you’re talking to a human, but it doesn’t have any of the personalisation that a real travel agent would be able to provide.”

In addition to customer service chatbots, which are the most common uses of generative AI today, below are several ways that generative AI will support the travel experience of the future.


5 Ways GenAI Will Support Future Travel Experiences

  1. Personalised booking: Given a generative AI-powered chatbot assistant vs. an open-ended search bar or filtering tool, travellers can react conversationally to suggestions, feeding more data back to the booking engine to create better and more specific recommendations.
  2. Ancillary offerings: Suggest the right add-ons based on real-time interactions and past preferences. Travelling by yourself? Here’s a deal including a massage. Going with your three kids? Pre-purchase those flight snacks.
  3. Automated creative generation: Of all the possible images and descriptive information a brand has on file, generative AI can respond to interactions with the user and serve up the options which will resonate best.
  4. Customer insights and recommendations: Understand patterns of actions customers typically take and give real-time recommendations for when customers want to redeem loyalty points, upgrade, etc.
  5. Simplified technology: The modes of how brands ask questions of their data itself will radically change, becoming more natural language-driven vs. code-based.


The future of travel is here and it’s personalised

Whether or not they admit it – or fully understand what’s happening – travellers are craving personalised, curated information at every turn. In the world of predictive search, social media feed algorithms, e-commerce recommendation engines and now GenAI, the bar has been set extremely high for travel companies to step up and provide similar levels of service to meet the demands of their customers.

The good news for travel brands is that their customers are already willingly sharing detailed information about themselves. No matter how much a person regularly shops at a pet food store, they’re not offering up intimate information about their day-to-day lives from work to family to individual wants and needs in the same way they will to enjoy a travel experience.

With the tools available to aggregate and activate traveller information into a CDP (customer data platform), travel brands can create truly personalised relationships with their customers today. Getting started is easier than it seems. Because there’s so much data out there, there’s a temptation to think big and try to boil the ocean. By starting with what they have, travel companies will realise they have a lot to work with.


They can use customer data to make better business decisions, such as:

  • Optimising their pricing strategies
  • Developing new products and services
  • Targeting their marketing campaigns more effectively


This can lead to increased revenue and profitability.

The most exciting part of building a strong customer data strategy today is its potential for tomorrow. The physical and digital worlds are continuing to blur, and the ability to connect data intake and analysis to reflect this reality will give travel brands a significant advantage in their ability to serve their customers of the future.


Optimise your customer data initiatives to achieve the goals below:

  • Build out first-party data collection. Expanding privacy restrictions are making it harder to use data provided by third parties, which comprise a majority of the customer data travel brands have today. Brands that evolve their data strategies and focus on first-party data will have a huge opportunity to provide better service using information they’ve received directly from the customer.
  • Reach beyond loyalty members. Combining data from loyalty programs with other sources helps to better understand each customer, effectively repositioning “loyalty” around the person instead of the program. By targeting customers with the greatest potential value – in the moment and over a lifetime, regardless of status – brands can start to formulate a more accurate foundation for their customer data and personalisation strategies.
  • Build a unified view of the traveller. Brands now have the ability to utilise platform technology that breaks down silos and collates data together into a unified view of each customer, which will enable them to develop detailed customer profiles and support personalisation efforts.
  • Drive personalisation to every customer touchpoint. There is a huge opportunity to use customer data to customise experiences for travellers throughout their journeys – and today’s consumers are clamouring for this. The next frontier will be using AI to learn what customers want and need without asking.

About the author

Matthew Biboud-Lubeck, Vice President EMEA, Amperity

Matthew is the vice president of EMEA where he is responsible for the commercial expansion of Amperity, a leading customer data platform trusted by brands like Reckitt, Under Armour and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Lubeck joined Amperity in 2017 to help launch the company and has served in a number of key roles building sales, customer success, and marketing functions. Matthew established Amperity’s LGBTQ employee resource group (ERG) and is a trusted advisor and customer-centricity change agent to the C-suite across leading consumer brands.

Prior to Amperity, Lubeck spent 10 years with global beauty conglomerates Estee Lauder Group and L’Oréal as Group Head of Customer Data Strategy and Analytics, leading 30 brands across luxury, mass and salon professional divisions to better use data & unlock incredible beauty experiences, establishing L’Oreal as an industry leader. He resides in London with his husband and young daughter.


About Amperity

Amperity delivers the data confidence brands need to unlock growth by truly knowing their customers. With Amperity, brands can build a first-party data foundation to fuel customer acquisition and retention, personalise experiences that build loyalty, and manage privacy compliance. Using patented AI and ML methods, Amperity stitches together all customer interactions to build a unified view that seamlessly connects to marketing and technology tools. More than 400 brands worldwide rely on Amperity to turn data into business value, including Alaska Airlines, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Endeavour Drinks, Planet Fitness, Seattle Sounders FC, Under Armour and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. For more information, visit or follow us on Linkedin, X, Facebook and Instagram.


Want to use Gen AI for great customer experience? Expert reveals all

Written by Joyce Gordon, Head of Generative AI, Amperity

In the customer experience landscape, the fervour surrounding generative AI has reached a crescendo. However, for many consumer brands, the divide between expectations and reality looms large. Brands envisioning a seamless, magical customer experience must recognise that AI’s effectiveness depends on high-quality underlying data. Without that, the AI falls flat, leaving brands grappling with a less-than-magical reality.

AI-powered customer experience with poor quality data

Let’s take a closer look at what AI-powered customer experience with poor data quality could look like. Say I’m a customer of a general sports apparel and outdoor store, and I’m planning for my upcoming annual winter ski trip. I’m excited to use the personal shopper AI to give me an experience that’s easy and customised to me.

I need to fill in some gaps in my ski wardrobe, so I ask the personal shopper AI to suggest some items to purchase. But the AI is creating its responses based on data about me that’s been scattered across the brand’s multiple systems. Without a clear picture of who I am, it asks me for some basic information that it should already know. Slightly annoying… I’m used to entering my info when I shop online, but I was hoping the AI upgrade to the experience would make things easier for me.

Because my data is so disconnected, the AI concierge only has an order associated with my name from two years ago, which was actually a gift. Without a full picture of me, this personal shopper AI is unable to generate accurate insights and ends up sharing recommendations that aren’t helpful.

Ultimately this subpar experience makes me less excited about purchasing from this brand, and I decide to go elsewhere.

The culprit behind a disconnected and impersonal generative AI experience is data quality — poor data quality = poor customer experience.

AI-powered customer experience with high quality data

Now, let’s revisit this outdoor sports retailer scenario, but imagine that the personal shopper AI is powered by accurate, unified data that has a complete history of my interactions with the brand from first purchase to last return.

I enter my first question, and I get a super-personalised and friendly response, already starting to create the experience of a one-on-one connection with a helpful sales associate. It automatically references my shopping history and connects my past purchases to my current shopping needs.

Based on my prompts and responses, the concierge provides a tailored set of recommendations to fill in my ski wardrobe along with direct links to purchase. The AI is then able to generate sophisticated insights about me as a customer and even make predictions about the types of products I might want to buy based on my past purchases, driving up the likelihood of me purchasing and potentially even expanding my basket to buy additional items.

Within the experience, I am able to actually use the concierge to order without having to navigate elsewhere. I also know my returns or any future purchases will be incorporated into my profile.

Because it knew my history and preferences, Generative AI was able to create a buying experience for me that was super personalised and convenient. This is a brand I will keep returning to for future purchases.

In other words, when it comes to AI for marketing, better data = better results.

So how do you actually address the data quality challenge? And what could that look like in this new world of AI?

Solving the data quality problem

The critical first element to powering an effective AI strategy is a unified customer data foundation. The tricky part is that accurately unifying customer data is hard due to its scale and complexity — most consumers have at least two email addresses, have moved over eleven times in their lifetimes and use an average of five channels (or if they are millennials or Gen Z, it’s actually twelve channels).

Many familiar approaches to unifying customer data are rules-based and use deterministic/fuzzy matching, but these methods are rigid and break down when data doesn’t match perfectly. This, in turn, creates an inaccurate customer profile that can actually miss a huge portion of a customer’s lifetime history with the brand and not account for recent purchases or changes of contact information.

A better way to build a unified data foundation actually involves using AI models (a different flavour of AI than generative AI for marketing) to find the connections between data points to tell if they belong to the same person with the same nuance and flexibility of a human but at massive scale.

When your customer data tools can use AI to unify every touchpoint in the customer journey from first interaction to last purchase and beyond (loyalty, email, website data, etc…), the result is a comprehensive customer profile that tells you who your customers are and how they interact with your brand.


About the author

Joyce Gordon, Head of Generative AI, Amperity

Joyce is the Head of Generative AI at Amperity, leading product development and strategy. Previously, Joyce led product development for many of Amperity’s ML and ML Ops investments, including launching Amperity’s predictive models and infrastructure.  Joyce joined the company in 2019 following Amperity’s acquisition of Custora where she was a founding member of the product team. She earned a B.A. in Biological Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania and is an inventor on several pending ML patents.


About Amperity

Amperity delivers the data confidence brands need to unlock growth by truly knowing their customers. With Amperity, brands can build a unified customer profile foundation powered by first-party data to fuel customer acquisition and retention, personalize experiences that build loyalty, and manage privacy compliance. Using patented AI and machine learning methods, Amperity stitches together all customer interactions to build a unified view that seamlessly connects to marketing and technology tools. More than 400 brands worldwide rely on Amperity to turn data into business value, including Alaska Airlines, Brooks Running, Endeavour Drinks, Planet Fitness, Seattle Sounders FC, Under Armour and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. For more information, please visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.



Good for the industry, great for travellers: a transformed airline customer experience is on its way

Written by Jitendra Sindhwani, President & Head, Aviation Business at IBS Software

Most people are likely aware that the airline industry has weathered tough times, with fierce price competition, major changes in passenger numbers and behaviours all impacting cashflow, margins and competitiveness.

This has presented airlines, and the way they price, package and market, with a major challenge, and the often-ageing technologies they use to sell, operate and engage with under real strain.

For the industry’s long-term future there should and must be wave of change centred around transforming the airline ‘customer experience’. What do we mean by that – and why is it such a hot topic? Behind the scenes, one of the biggest transformations the airline industry has ever undergone is quietly underway.


From selling seats to delivering great experiences

In simple terms, airlines have come to see themselves as ‘sellers of as many seats as possible’, through as many online distribution channels – like Online Travel Agents – as they can. This has led to a very ‘seat-centric’ commercial mindset and model, with competitiveness based heavily around pricing. The knock-on effect has been to commoditise offerings and make brands less distinguishable from their competitors. New sources of growth are also limited in this environment, and this is a big issue given the recent pressures on revenues, cashflow, debt, and margins.

In parallel, airline customers themselves now expect seamless, personal user experiences that match their wider digital lives. Consumers constantly compare their retail and service experiences to the best they’ve had with other online service providers of all. In fact, Customer Experience – ‘CX’ – has in recent years become the mantra and primary point of focus for modern digital business of all kinds. For the airline sector, this represents a major commercial and wider transformation opportunity. Management consultancy McKinsey believes that by 2030, the airline industry could create around $40 billion in additional annual value – through new forms of retail customer engagement.

All this means that as an industry the focus needs to shift towards catering to and personalizing the traveller’s needs, not simply pushing ticket sales.


How do airlines achieve modern, customer-centric retailing?

Whilst this is a logical path for the industry to transition around, it isn’t easy to achieve. In large part that’s because the technologies and core processes airline businesses rely on are increasingly very constraining.

Airlines struggle to become truly modern retailers due to the limitations of the web of fragmented legacy technologies they rely on, that is in many cases no longer fit for purpose. Nowadays, that means being able to do things like package relevant offers across channels, in real-time, identifying end users and their needs, launching new products quickly, pricing dynamically in real-time, tracking the consumption of products, or managing a wider set of partners and the ancillary products they offer. To better serve customer needs as true, modern retailers, all these challenges need to be addressed.

The industry is aware of, and highly focused on this challenge. Airline travel association IATA has set a goal of airlines working around a new, unified model for selling and servicing 100% of the time, by 2030. This initiative is about transforming the aviation retail experience, to what’s known as an ‘Offers and Orders’ framework – the industry’s New Distribution Capability (NDC). NDC aims to see the airline industry as a whole operating around a new model for selling to and servicing customers, based around modern, API-based tech standards. This means moving from individual Passenger Name Records (PNRs), electronic tickets and electronic miscellaneous documents (EMDs) to single customer records holding all relevant data, opening up the potential for a more personalized, dynamic, and efficient travel experience.


What could this look like for travellers?

There are a lot of upsides in all of this for airline passengers. Tailored offers and personalised deals will be easier to deliver, and can be priced much more fluidly, in real time, based on demand and personal preferences – more flexibly, even closer to the point of departure. Bundled offers that bring together flight tickets, accommodation, and destination experiences and activities could be ‘curated’ and offered by airlines, depending on traveller budget or interests.

And the digital CX around air travel itself should dramatically improve – whether that’s being able to make changes or upgrades much more easily, or through airlines being able to offer a far better suite of real-time information around even the little things, like baggage tracking or gate changes.


What does this hinge on?

Three key pillars underly making this happen. Firstly, airlines need to change the processes they know and rely on to put the customer truly at their heart, and then build everything around them. Process transformation here means not just ‘doing and thinking the same way, but with new technology’ – it means the whole ecosystem changes.

Secondly, airlines have to really look at their mindset, talent and skillsets – and how they transition to this new modern retailing world. A modern approach to airline retailing will have an impact on nearly every function within an airline. This is about effective change management, driven by the mindset of the people and carrying the whole organization along.


And, of course, technology is also critical in enabling change and reducing the risk that comes with it. A new standard for airline CX means a shift from today´s legacy and process-centric infrastructure to a modern, omnichannel, customer-centric one.

This will take time, energy, understanding, and needs to be supported by specific and focused business cases that support investments.

The Key To CSAT Is To Practise What You Preach

CSAT is short for ‘customer satisfaction’ and is a key performance indicator that tracks how satisfied customers are with your organisation’s products and/or services.

Often retailers or professional service businesses send through an online form or survey post a customer interaction to gather feedback of the efficiency of service a customer has received, so they can both measure and pinpoint any potential gaps in efficiency of service.

But what should be the internal focus for the best use of CSAT scores? At Lokulus, Technical Support Manager, Anthony Greenhough and his team manage this process for the business. As a tech business who encourage some of the world’s largest retailers professional service companies, they believe to truly understand the process they need to practise what they preach. For this reason they put high standards on themselves when dealing with clients and boast a 98% satisfaction rate on their own CSAT scores.

So what are their tips?

1 – Set your own standards i.e. response rate and stick by them – Any business needs to make sure their customer teams are fully aware of what is expected of them. If you want any email enquiry responded to in 24 hours, make sure there are processes in place that allow this and make sure you’re measuring this and making sure it’s done. There needs to be an internal rule book that guides all team members in black and white of what is expected of them and why it matters commercially. That way, when you communicate this in automated responses, you know that you live by this and you aren’t going to further escalate a complaint by letting down a customer twice.


2 – Generate reports and use the detail – Don’t just presume that these standards are being adhered to. Make sure you are going through your performance reports weekly and monthly and noticing any gaps immediately. The minute you take you foot off the gas, is when mistakes are made and timescales slip and in doing so, so do your CSAT scores. Make sure your measurement software allows you to really drill down and see the detail. It may be that your automation responses need a slight change or a certain element needs fine tuning to ensure customer satisfaction, but the closer you are to the detail, the better your CSAT scores will be.


3 – Act on the negative and learn from it – Mistakes happen but make sure you’re constantly learning from them and acting upon it. Be transparent with the team and use their on-the-ground knowledge to remedy a situation or process for the better. We have a triage service that supports this and ensures everyone in the team is notified and educated on any potential problems and resolutions so they are less likely to happen again.


4 – Link into performance goals – To highlight the importance of CSAT scores and emphasise their importance to the business, think about including CSAT targets to employee performance goals, however they are measured. This will drive a team to really make sure that the systems and processes of customer experience are front of centre of their work load and set the tone for their priorities.


5 – Be human and reward – when it comes to dealing with customers and employees, businesses need to remember they are working with humans. No automation or rule is going to cover this 100% effectively so as much as you can, the systems and process will help and support, but be human and reward teams for their efforts. At Lokulus there is a quarterly award scheme that highlights particular team members that have gone above and beyond and this is hugely appreciated. Company wide recognition goes a long way and accelerates motivation and loyalty to both the business and your customers.


For more information on how to expedite your customer satisfaction scores, visit


What are the Benefits of Implementing HubSpot Phone Integration in Your Business?

Hubspot is a modern customer relationship management (CRM) platform that provides businesses with innovative solutions for managing marketing and sales, content management, and customer service needs.

One of its innovative solutions is the HubSpot phone integration software. The software lets you initiate customer calls from their contacts stored in your HubSpot CRM. This strategy provides information about their past interactions with your company and needs.

The system improves business productivity, efficiency and communication. This article explains why you should consider integrating the HubSpot phone into your business.

Improved Customer Service

The Hubspot’s phone system integration offers you a complete view of all past customer interactions. That includes all the notes, recordings and call logs. The availability of this information helps you enhance customer service by resolving customer issues quickly and personalising the customer experience.

For example, if a customer enquires about your service or product, you will quickly go through their past interactions with your firm and see what they recently purchased from your company. With this information, you will generate a personalised and more informed response to the customer.

  • Increased Sales

You will increase your sales by effectively managing and tracking the sales pipeline through a reliable phone system integration such as Aircall. Use HubSpot to log calls with clients, track every business deal and transaction and even schedule follow-up calls if the client is reluctant to purchase.

You can use HubSpot phone integration to create a list of all clients that called or emailed the business in the past one or two weeks. You can then prioritise this list as potential customers and make follow-up calls to seal the deal.

  • Enhanced Productivity in Business

The Hubspot phone integration system supports efficient data entry, unlike manual methods. That can help boost your firm’s productivity regarding customer service and sales. Customer calls are logged into HubSpot any time they contact the company, and this saves a lot of time in handling other essential matters in the organisation, such as closing deals and looking for a bigger market.

If a customer calls and orders, the HubSpot system can create the order directly from the customer’s contact record. That means you will not have to enter the order manually into the ERP system. That will reduce the risks of error and save time.

  • Better Insights into Your Organisation

As a business owner, you will have better insights into your business thanks to the HubSpot phone integration system. Such crucial information may be the average call duration from customers, the number of calls you receive daily and even the popular call times. This information is essential and can help enhance your marketing and sales strategies.

For example, if most callers are calling at certain hours, you could adjust your marketing campaigns to fall within those hours when the prospects are more active.

  • Enhanced Collaboration in Teams

Collaboration between teams in any organisation is the key to success and smooth working environments. The HubSpot phone integration system eases the collaboration between the customer service and sales teams. When a customer calls the organisation, the call information is logged onto the HubSpot system, meaning every team member can access this information. That means customers receive consistent experience, and everyone on the team is on the same page.

If a client calls asking about a given product, the sales rep answering the phone will shoot the question in HubSpot, where a customer service team member will access the information and follow up with the customer. Thus, the customer will receive comprehensive, accurate and timely responses to their questions.

Wrapping Up

Overall, the HubSpot phone integration is a crucial system for all businesses. It can help enhance productivity, improve customer service, and even scale your business. The system is also easy to implement and affordable, making it an ideal solution if you are looking to save time and automate your services.


“Right Against Might Looks to Empower People, Helping Them to Fight Back”

A NEWLY formed creative dispute resolution service has vowed to hold the biggest businesses and organisations to account on behalf of “underdog consumers”.

Right Against Might is about social justice for everyone and taking on “David vs Goliath” battles and will challenge large institutions and individuals who don’t live up to their promises.

Using a unique approach, the company aims to secure “swift justice” for thousands of people across the UK with nowhere else to turn.

Right Against Might (RAM) is the brainchild of advertising executive Chris Joseph.

Chris, from Stockton-on-Tees, who is also a bestselling author and mental health campaigner, has successfully challenged several multinational companies in the High Court in London. He has also taken on and beaten the banking industry.

His trailblazing work established the legal precedent by which all creative agencies now retain copyright in their pitch work.

Chris, who has forged a successful career despite losing his right arm at the age of 20, in an horrific industrial “accident”.

It was caused by an absence of health and safety precautions and a lack of care by rich employers with insurance policies covering them against workers’ deaths. In 1978, the firm at fault was fined £250 over the incident.

“You don’t need to be a legal expert to know the difference between right and wrong”

“I’ve spent a large part of my life fighting and being the underdog. Now I want to use those creative skills to help others through Right Against Might. All too often people are wrongly told that to get justice they need a highly-paid lawyer, solicitor or barrister.

“But you don’t need to be a legal expert to know the difference between right and wrong, and when someone is telling the truth. You need Right Against Might.”

Unlike other dispute resolution services, RAM comprises a team of experts in iconoclasm and advertising, as well as law, who will use an infinite pool of creativity to resolve complaints.

“We usually resolve and settle complaints swiftly because our team has a dogged determination to seek justice and to see that right is done as quickly as possible,” Chris said.

“This isn’t just important for our clients, it’s important for their opponents too. We will go to the court of public opinion if necessary, it’s much quicker than a court of law. But we know how to use both.

“The legal process can be as traumatic as it was for me going into the machine .”

Ordinary People are waiting longer and longer for justice

The creation of RAM couldn’t come at a more important time.

Latest data shows that people who try and make a legal claim against an organisation are waiting longer and longer for justice. Many also find access to justice impossible due to changes to legal aid provision.

According to the most recent Ministry of Justice figures, the mean time taken for small claims and multi/fast track claims to go to trial was a year and half in 2022. Compared to 2019, these measures are 14.2 weeks longer for small claims and 17.8 weeks longer for multi/fast track claims.

Yet despite the slow pace of “justice” complaints in many areas for consumers are sharply rising.

In the energy sector alone they’ve skyrocketed in the past year.

Figures showing calls made to the Energy Ombudsman by frustrated customers show 105,340 complaints were received in 2022, a jump of nearly 20,000 complaints since 2021.

These levels of complaints are also seen in other sectors too.

RAM: unashamedly irreverent towards ‘Goliaths’

Chris added: “More and more organisations are getting away with ripping off customers and clients.

“There’s no one like us out there because we are unashamedly irreverent towards ‘Goliaths’. They can be individuals, organisations, and companies who seek to crush seemingly powerless ‘Davids’.

“RAM looks to empower those victims, helping and showing them how to fight back and think ‘outside the box’. Although we are aware of the legal tramlines we must not cross, we know where to go, who to talk to, and most importantly, what to do and how to win.

“Each dispute is different and interesting and at the beginning we work on behalf of our clients on a pro bono basis.

“With years of experience in the advertising industry, we produce communications or campaigns that are always legal, honest, decent and truthful. Our imagery, messages and media clout are powerful and we work creatively and strategically with our clients.

“The truth is simple. We say in a few words what lawyers say in millions of words.”

A String of Successes

RAM has already secured a string of successes on behalf of clients.

Dr Bill Scott OBE, contacted RAM after reading Chris’ autobiography Zest!Seller. The engineering company boss was caught up in a consumer dispute with a major worldwide corporation that was simply stonewalling and ignoring him and other customers, much to the anguish of him and his family.

RAM helped him and quickly secured a resolution and settlement of the matter.

Instead of the matter dragging out for years in expensive and torturous lengthy litigation, funded by company insurance policies, it was very quickly resolved and settled to Dr Scott’s satisfaction.

He said: “Right Against Might helped me get justice when I had nowhere else to turn.”

The creation of RAM marks the latest chapter in Chris’ remarkable life.

He was working at an iron foundry while taking a year out from university studies when tragedy struck on May 24, 1978. Then aged 20, his right arm was pulled into the cogs of the main hoist of a gantry crane at the foundry and crushed.

Chris was on his own at the top the crane when it happened and should have been killed.

He was working in an iron foundry and took a year out to consider becoming a priest and he worked as a bouncer and became a monk during the time.

He was rescued by colleagues but they mistakenly turned the machine on again which resulted in Chris losing his arm up to his shoulder and nearly being decapitated.

After recovering, he returned to the University of Liverpool where he completed his degrees in French and Communications. In that time he had to learn to do everything left-handed from writing and tying his laces to driving, and the accident changed his outlook on life at such a young age.

“I now live life to the fullest!”

Chris added: “When you face death like I did, you feel fearless, it changes everything, but it also makes you not unafraid of anything. You realise you can’t predict the future. If I could, I wouldn’t have been up there at the top of the crane.

“I live life to the fullest and seize every day as it comes along because I’m happy that I’m here to experience it.”

Precisely ten years after the accident Chris developed Manic Depressive Psychosis, now called Bipolar Affective Disorder after Chris and his colleagues campaigned to change the name of the disorder as the word manic is nearest in the English dictionary to the word maniac.

He was Chairman of the Manic Depression Fellowship and worked alongside patron and comedy legend Spike Milligan where he helped to break down the stigma of mental illness.

After university, Chris started up his own business – Hook Advertising – named after the solid silver hook he wore on his arm and worked in the advertising industry in London for decades, including as a creative new business consultant to the legendary Saatchi and Saatchi.

In 2002, Chris taught himself to control the benign Incredible Hulk inside him that rages against injustice.

He has three children and also founded the independent Middlesbrough Supporters’ Forum to represent the disparate fans and fan groups of Middlesbrough Football Club.

Earlier this year Chris, who is originally from Stockton-on-Tees, celebrated his 65th birthday with sporting legend Frank Bruno alongside him – a fellow champion of mental health issues.

After 45 years without his arm and 21 years without bipolar illness, Chris refuses to be defined by disability or mental health: “My life is rich and full and much more than flaws in my health.”

As Chris says in Zest!Seller, “I’m now certifiably sane, how about you?”

Moneypenny’s New Bespoke Service Gives UK Businesses Tailored Support To Get Ahead

Leading outsourced communications provider Moneypenny has launched a new bespoke service for businesses, which sees its award-winning employees working as a full outsourced customer service team operating within their clients’ systems, as if sitting within their office. With *research showing customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers, this new service from Moneypenny will help businesses excel at customer experience and shape their client journey.

Developed to help businesses achieve new operational efficiencies and address recruitment challenges, Moneypenny’s teams can support in-house resources, or be fully outsourced.  The service is completely bespoke depending on the clients’ requirements, and services include everything from responding to inbound queries, proactively engaging with enquiries and customers, booking appointments, managing social media accounts, overseeing reviews platforms, as well as payment handling, ID verification and order processing.  The Moneypenny team can also record activity directly into client’s lead management and CRM systems to save time and ensure a seamless approach to data management.

Businesses across all sectors including engineering, luxury retail, healthcare, commercial real estate and B2C services will benefit from Moneypenny’s highly trained customer service professionals and industry-leading technology so there’s no need for a business to purchase additional technology, introduce additional training, take on extra office space, or recruit temporary staff.

Mark Finlay, Chief Commercial Officer from Moneypenny explains: “Businesses are under pressure like never before and with research showing that brands with superior customer experience bring in five to seven times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience,* it is more important than ever to deliver a consistently high customer experience to valued customers.

“We’ve always been a ‘right-hand man’ to businesses with our call and live chat handling, but this new service sees us going even further. We’re offering flexible and comprehensive support that’s tailored to clients’ specific needs and will ensure they’re delivering a consistently high customer experience to valued customers.”

Research From Deloitte report


About Moneypenny

Moneypenny is a global leader providing phone answering, receptionist teams, live chat and customer contact solutions and is a trusted partner to large and small businesses. Moneypenny has an award-winning culture and over 1,200 employees across the US and UK. It handles over 20 million calls and chats for thousands of businesses blending awesome people superpowered by leading-edge tech solutions to deliver seamless customer engagement outcomes.

Moneypenny is proud to have been part of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ seven times and be recognised as a Great Place To Work (GPTW)

For more information, visit

What Is Customer Care?

Customer care is the process of ensuring that customers are happy. It can involve a number of aspects, from helping consumers choose the right product to providing post-purchase support.

It also involves showing appreciation for loyal customers. Shoe company Zappos, for example, offers a discount to returning customers. Another example is how online skincare boutique Glossier responded to a frustrated customer.

Customer service

Customer service is a vital part of any business. It includes all the interactions a company has with its customers, including in-person, phone, email, and social media. Customer service teams are also responsible for creating documentation to help customers find answers to their questions.

Providing excellent customer service requires training your team to understand the needs and expectations of your target audience. Make sure they can answer all of the questions your customers may have and can do so quickly. This can be accomplished by establishing a first response time or by ensuring that tickets are assigned to the correct team as soon as they arrive.

Customers also want to feel that they’re being respected and treated fairly. They want to know that the company cares about them and wants to provide solutions. When you care for your customers, it can build loyalty and brand trust.

The line between customer service and customer care can be blurry, but both are important to your business’s success. Customer care involves identifying and understanding your customers’ emotional needs and providing them with the right solutions. Whether it’s offering a refund on a broken planter or sending a complimentary gift when a product doesn’t meet expectations, a customer that feels cared for is more likely to be loyal to your brand.

Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a crucial part of your business’s success. It illustrates how well your products and services resonate with buyers and helps you identify any areas that need improvement. It also contributes to a positive reputation and increased customer loyalty. Customer satisfaction can be measured by surveys or through qualitative data, such as client advisory groups.

A business can improve customer satisfaction by focusing on empathy and ensuring that their products and services meet the customers’ needs. For example, a company can demonstrate customer care by limiting hold times for travelers or by addressing concerns quickly and thoroughly. Another way to increase customer satisfaction is to create a support system for your customers. This could include an FAQ page, email or phone support, or even a social media account where customers can ask questions.

The best way to measure customer satisfaction is by using a survey tool that collects consistent and reliable data, such as Net Promoter Score or Customer Effort Score (CES). These tools can be used to help companies develop their business strategies. Ensure that your surveys are designed carefully and that you have enough time to gather unbiased and accurate data. Incentives and easy-to-complete surveys can also increase response rates, which can lead to more accurate results. Loyal customers are a big asset to any business, and they can drive referrals and boost revenue. But, a single negative experience can leave them feeling dissatisfied and frustrated. To prevent this from happening, businesses should focus on delivering high-quality customer experiences at all touchpoints.

Customer loyalty

A company that has loyal customers can count on repeat business, referrals, and word-of-mouth advertising. Loyal customers also cost less to acquire than new ones, and they spend more money per transaction. That’s why companies need to focus on encouraging customer loyalty, which can be achieved through marketing and communication strategies. For example, an email or marketing automation platform like SendPulse can help marketers send personalized messages to groups of customers at the right time. This will help the audience feel that their needs are being met by a brand they can trust.

A great way to encourage customer loyalty is by responding to customer feedback, even negative comments. Many relationships have been saved by simply acknowledging a problem. For example, Elon Musk was quick to respond to Tesla customers when their cars’ auto software caused problems. This shows that he takes customer feedback seriously and values his customers.

In addition, businesses should track their customer loyalty metrics and use them as a benchmark for success. Keeping these metrics in mind will help companies avoid the trap of competing on price and keep their loyal customer numbers up. Companies can measure customer loyalty by tracking churn rate, which is the number of customers who cancel their service. While this metric may seem depressing, it is important to note that disloyal customers often provide valuable feedback about the company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Customer retention

Customer retention is a measure of the number of customers that stay loyal to your business over time. It is a key metric for businesses because it’s more cost effective to retain existing customers than acquire new ones. It also helps you build brand loyalty and gain market share. The best way to increase your customer retention is by ensuring that your product or service is meeting your customers’ needs.

In order to improve your customer retention, you need to understand what makes your company special and how you can use that information to create a winning strategy. To do this, you need to have clear metrics that define success. Customer retention is a percentage-based metric that reflects the number of customers retained by a business over a given period of time. It’s calculated as (E – N)/S, where E represents the number of customers who leave the company and N represents the number of new customers acquired during that same time period.

Companies that provide exceptional customer care are not afraid to go above and beyond for their consumers. Shoe retailer Zappos, for example, offers free shipping and a return policy that goes above and beyond other competitors. Other companies show appreciation for their consumers by offering a special discount or personalized letter. One way to make sure your team is following customer care principles is by using a CRM solution that stores notes from meetings and phone calls, ongoing issues and personal preferences of customers, and more. This will prevent changes in personnel from disrupting the relationship with your customers.

ChatGPT and the rise of the virtual employee assistant

Written by Richard Walsh, Software Architect at Lokulus. 

Automation has long been part of the business environment and has focused on reducing the amount of work placed in front of an employee or Agent.

For example, the Lokulus platform automates customer interaction activities to free up Agents to focus on more complex work or work that requires a personal touch.

With the public becoming more accustomed to virtual assistants at home, now is the time to introduce assistants for employees in the workplace.

Virtual employee assistants (VEAs) can be used in a variety of ways, from guiding agents through customer interactions to generating knowledge articles based on customer enquiries.

This article will explore the various types of VEAs and how they can enhance employee and customer satisfaction.

Guided Action Bot:

Guided action bots are VEAs that walk agents through step-by-step business processes to help them solve problems or gather information. These bots can be used in various of contexts, such as troubleshooting technical issues or processing orders. By using guided action bots, agents can follow approved and consistent processes, saving time and improving customer satisfaction.

Best Next Action:

Best next action (BNA) bots infer from the context of the customer’s case history to predict the best next action for an agent to take during a customer contact. BNA Bots will account for the purpose of the customers contact, customer sentiment, customer history, regularity of contact, customer value and other metrics to ensure the agent is able to support the best next step in the customer’s journey.

For example, providing a voucher if a high value customer has experienced poor service.

Context Bot:

Context bots work with BNA bots to ensure the Agent understands the customer’s journey. They provide several mechanisms to achieve this:

  • Summarisation of historic customer contacts giving the agent a view of the customer journey.
  • Give a bird’s eye view of the customer’s use of self-service capabilities. For example, the context bot can let the agent know which articles the customer has read in the self-service portal, which can help the agent provide more targeted assistance and avoids frustrating the customer with repetition.

Knowledge Bots

Knowledge bots are VEAs which provide agents with access to internal knowledge based upon a customer’s enquiry. The information is surfaced via a search UI which provides answers to a question posed by the agent. For example, “What is our SLA for refunds?”.

These bots also can be used to generate knowledge articles, such as:

  • Automatically documenting how an agent has handled a case.
  • Generating an article based upon a customer enquiry regarding business hours – the bot integrates with business systems to access such data.

Agents can use these articles to help them handle a case or they can be shared with customers to help them resolve issues on their own. By using knowledge bots, agents can provide customers with accurate and relevant information, which can improve customer satisfaction.

Whisper Bot:

Whisper bots are Virtual Employee Assistants (VEAs) that monitor real-time conversations (such as chat, telephone, and messaging) and provide suggestions to agents either verbally or through a chat interface.

Whisper bots provide a real-time automated QA process without the need for senior agents to listen in to calls.

They can suggest ways for agents to de-escalate difficult situations and can also suggest additional products that customers may be interested in.

Response Bot:

Response bots are virtual assistants that provide draft responses to customer enquiries using non-real time channels (email etc).

They can automate simple enquiries such as opening hours, and for more complex enquiries, they extract relevant details from the customer record and historic journeys to provide appropriate responses that adhere to business best practices.

Agents review and approve these drafts, allowing senior agents and team leaders to reduce the number of outbound emails they need to quality assure and focus on higher-value interactions.


Much of the technology described above is underpinned by the recent explosion in AI and LLM (Large Language Models). This includes Open AI’s GPT and Google’s Bard which businesses such as Lokulus, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Facebook are leveraging to solve domain specific problems.

Lokulus has been at the forefront of integrating artificial intelligence into its offerings for over two decades. Its Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) serves as a Virtual Employee Assistance (VEA), providing teams with instant message summaries that significantly reduce response times. Additionally, it enhances service quality and productivity by employing automated guided responses, while also improving customer satisfaction through actionable sentiment analysis and intelligent insights.

AI technologies including GPT underpin Lokulus’ forthcoming VEA offering and to demonstrate the technology, it has summarised the article you’re reading below!

“The article discusses the evolution of virtual assistants, from their development in the 1960s for simple tasks to the present day where they use natural language processing, machine learning, and other technologies to provide a wide range of services, from scheduling appointments to controlling smart home devices. The article then focuses on virtual employee assistants (VEAs) and their potential use in improving customer satisfaction. Different types of VEAs, including Guided Action, Next Best Action, Context, Knowledge, Whisper, Response, and Analytics bots, are described, along with their benefits in providing more targeted and efficient support to agents and customers.”

Speak to Lokulus to find out more about how we’re using GPT and other AI models to build the future of VEAs.

For more information, visit

Harrods adopts new holistic 360-degree view of the customer to increase engagement, retention, and spend.

The world’s leading luxury department store, Harrods, has completed of an ambitious 18-month project, led by KPS, to elevate customer experiences by streamlining their journeys both online and offline.  Among the benefits are improved customer loyalty via a unified approach to communications and promotional activities, and the ability to enhance sales via increased customer engagement and retention.

We take a detailed and exclusive look at how, why, and the benefits for customers and retailer alike.


Single view of the customer 

Synonymous with customer experience, Harrods has become a hallmark of luxury retail. But Harrods is no ordinary retailer. Its flagship 93,000 square metre, seven-floor department store in London’s Knightsbridge, signature green bags, beautiful interiors and world-renowned food halls attracts a varied audience of shoppers, including high net worth customers, celebrities and visitors from all over the globe. In addition to the store, Harrods offers luxury fashion, accessories, food, homeware and gifts online. With over 330 departments and dozens of concierge-style services, it serves a challenging demographic looking for everything from haircuts to handbags.


The challenge

For a unique multi-faceted retailer like Harrods, loyalty is an integral part of its wider CRM strategy. Introduced in 2008 to replace a store card product, Harrods ‘Rewards’ loyalty programme allows members to earn points and awards exclusive access to an array of benefits, across four membership levels (Green 1, Green 2, Gold and Black’ that are determined by annual spend).

Although well positioned with an existing CRM solution, more and more systems were being added across its varied services, resulting in siloed customer data sets that didn’t connect, e.g. different records were stored in different systems, but not linked to each other. Each department already offered its customers a high-level of service and personalisation; however, it was only available in-store or for high-value customers.

The specific challenges this landscape posed included:

  • A lack of depth in the data captured, with no customer interactions stored other than sales orders and transactions.


  • A hinderance to scalable activities or the ability to adapt quickly due to limitations of the previous platforms.


  • No consolidation of customer data, leading to a challenge when trying to understand what benefits and services may appeal to the customer, making targeted customer communication with accurate, relevant content impossible.


  • No unified approach to communications or promotional activities to enhance sales, increase engagement and retention.



Over the past 18 months, with the help of UK and European specialist teams from KPS, the replacement of the legacy IT landscape has been rolled out – transitioning to a customer-centric and unified strategy.

Following a rigorous assessment and evaluation process, Harrods chose to implement an SAP CX solution, partnering with award-winning SAP experts, KPS, to manage the implementation.

In 2021, the partners set to work overhauling the Harrods platforms, with the overall aim to renew its customer loyalty platform, marketing platform, service and customer data management, reforming it in a scalable software-as-a-service (SaaS) architecture that would help Harrods to:

  • Achieve agility through SaaS platforms, adoption of best practice processes and standard functionalities.


  • Open new possibilities for identifying and targeting the right customers through holistic and centralised customer data.


  • Automate and personalise the customer approach to develop each prospect into a high-value customer.


  • Provide leading customer analytics to create a new, intelligent foundation for data-driven decisions.


  • Provide timely, relevant and measurable customer communications, segmentation and marketing to drive sales and support and enhance human interactions.


  • Offer a seamless experience across all touchpoints in the customer journey.



Over a period of 18-months, the partners navigated a complex transformation journey which included:

  • Collecting customer data from all the different systems: breaking down data silos, merging and harmonising data.


  • Replacing 17 legacy systems with a new platform with over 200 integrations to internal and external systems.


  • Migrating and unifying master data, enriching it with data about which services the customers used and which products they bought.


  • Building in a GDPR-compliance (similar to DSGVO), so a customer can have all their data deleted in one step and ensure that the data is not shared.


  • Segmenting data sets with the help of scoring mechanisms, e.g. RFM segmentation, engagement score or churn prediction, ensuring the customer

About 200 internal and external integrations were added to the platform, including the CRM system (SAP Cloud for Customer), the marketing automation tool (SAP Marketing Cloud), the customer data management (SAP Customer Data Cloud), the loyalty software (Annex Cloud Loyalty) and the data analysis/data visualisation (SAP Analytics Cloud with SAP Business Warehouse).

Special applications were also needed for more specific use cases, such as telephone integration, chat integration (Sinch Contact Center Pro), link shortening (Sinch Campaigns) or a knowledge base (MindTouch Knowledge Management). Every application has been integrated into Harrods’ IT environment and systems (SAP ECC, SAP CAR, SAP BW, Farfetch).  Every available customer touchpoint has been connected and interacts with the platform, from the Harrods app to the currency exchange machine.

Processes and teams are also now standardised and use one single system regardless of the department they are visiting. This reduces complexity, saves IT costs and standardises the user interface.


The outcome

Harrods can now view The Golden Record – a holistic 360° customer profile through shared customer data and collection of customer interactions data from all contact points, both online and offline.

This single view of the customer helps Harrods at different levels: in making management decisions, in the business improvement team to analyse and evaluate customer behaviour, in marketing to create targeted and personalised communications and supporting customers in the best possible way.


High-value customers were personally greeted in the shop simply because employees know them. Now, such a premium service also benefits many more customers, as the view of customers can be viewed completely and quickly digitally. This makes it possible to focus on developing more customer groups into high-value customers.

The loyalty programme now underpins a scalable marketing communication for dynamic customer segments across different communication channels, with more sophisticated predictive models being developed to anticipate future customer behaviour and market to them accordingly.

To find out more about KPS and delivering digital solutions for the connected customer experience, visit