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Richmond Events Business Panel Report - Customer Service


Headline findings include:

  • 29% of organizations have a dedicated customer services manager / director ultimately responsible for their customer service.  15% of organizations leave customer service in the hands of the sales director whilst 13% do likewise in the hands of the operations director
  • 39% of the panel have seen an increase in their customer services budget over the last 12 months, with only 9% seeing a decrease.  19% of organizations don’t have a specific customer services budget.
  • 89% of organizations measure customer satisfaction levels, 59% on an on-going basis and 30% occasionally.
  • 20% of organizations say they achieve continuously excellent customer satisfaction levels whilst further 53% say they are, on the whole, good.  Only 4% admit there’s room for improvement.
  • Only 1 in three organizations say their customer satisfaction research is central to their on-going strategy, though a further 40% say some changes are implemented depending on the results.  Almost 1 in five organizations admit to there being a gap between the research and acting upon it.
  • ¼ of the panel say their organization gives customer service training the highest importance, whilst a further 46% say they give it ‘reasonable’ importance.
  • Almost ½ the panel admit that whilst social media currently plays a limited part in the whole customer service mix, it is becoming more important.  13% say it’s currently central to it, though this figure is likely to increase.
  • Given a list of options, the panel rate their organizations’ performance highest in terms of dealing with product / service information queries and reputation management. 
  • The most important area to an organization in terms of their customer service offering is handling complaints quickly and efficiently.
  • Over ½ the panel claim they give their customer service staff as much decision making responsibility as possible, whilst 34% say their organizations offer a genuine career structure with recognised promotion opportunities.
  • The 3 areas that are seen as the most important qualities looked for in a customer services employee are a strong work ethic, a team player and product & service knowledge. 
For full report http://revents.info/l/6qD

Richmond Events' Bussiness Panel - Competition


Headline findings include:

  • On average our panel’s organizations have 14.7 competitors in the US, a further 14.5 in the Western Hemisphere and 17 throughout the wider world. 
  • Their most significant competition comes from close to home, with 89% of the panel saying it’s from within the US.  This is followed by the European Union and China / East Asia. 
  • The top 3 areas of competition that organizations face are on price, technology and quality.
  • 94% of the panel agree that competition results in better products and services which in turn results in more choice for the consumer.
  • 70% of the panel say in some instances their R&D program is based on observing what their competitors are doing.
  • Only 6% of the panel feel their organizations have been the victims of unfair competition.  However they feel 10% of their competitors have been likewise - sometimes from themselves!
  • 52% of organizations face competition from internet only businesses.
  • Over half of the panel’s organizations have successfully bought a competitor, with a further 5% trying but failing.  Only 10% have been bought themselves.
  • The top 2 reasons for an organization increasing its market share over the past 5 years are taking sales from competitors and a major product innovation / development.
For full report http://revents.info/l/6qt

Richmond Events' Business Panel Report - Talent Management


Headline findings include:

  • Almost 2/3 of responding organizations have a talent management program in place within their organization, whilst a further 23% admit to having a ‘sort of / informal’ one. 
  • For the majority of organizations the talent management program is designed by the HR department.
  • For over ¾ of the panel their talent management program is run in-house, whilst for a further 18% it’s run with a combination of in-house personnel and outside agencies / trainers.
  • The # 1 motivation for a talent management program is succession planning.  This is followed by staff retention, which may suggest that in order to keep your best employees you need to offer them ‘benefits’ such as a talent management program.
  • Only 2% of organizations run a program because their competitors do (thankfully), whilst only 5% say it effectively cuts waste, where ‘waste’ means individuals are trained, only for other companies to reap the benefits.
  • Internal training is the most popular area covered within talent management programs, which makes sense on the presumption that future leaders must know the workings of their organization from top to bottom.
  • Organizations have had their talent management program in place for an average of 5.4 years.
  • Operations and IT are the most represented job titles in an organization’s talent management program.
  • Just over 10% of the panel think the existence of a talent management program will have a significant bearing on its share price, whilst a small minority feel it may significantly improve the attractiveness of an organization to potential investors. 
  • A much higher percentage the panel feel a talent management program may significantly improve the attractiveness of an organization to potential new employees.
  • The average annual cost of a talent management program is $259,032.
For full report http://revents.info/l/6r0

Richmond Events' Business Panel Report - Information & Learning


Headline findings include:

  • In terms of gaining learning beneficial to their everyday work role, the main source is via conferences and networking events with over 80% of the panel indicating this as a preferred choice.
  • As for sources of learning in terms of the panel’s personal career development, again the number one source is through conferences and networking events.  This is followed by ‘my personal network’ and membership of an industry association.
  • The highest proportion of the panel, over half, have previously studied for qualifications whilst in the workplace, and a further 13% are currently studying.
  • 85% of the panel are members of their industry association / professional body.  The two most popular benefits of membership are expanding ‘my’ network and sharing best practice.
  • Asked which areas the panel would benefit from further training, the top responses were for leadership training, change management and presentation skills.
  • Asked which other departments the panel feels they would benefit from training about, the number one choice was into the workings of the finance department, with over half the panel indicating an interest in this area.  The next most popular area was into the workings of the CEO with a third of the panel indicating such interest.
  • 30% of the panel read sites / blogs virtually every day, 43% quite regularly. This is much higher than the corresponding figures for readership of the financial press which is 20% every day and 33% quite regularly.
  • Social media – 91% of the panel use LinkedIn for business purposes.  The next highest social media channel is YouTube with just over 1 in 4 of the panel doing likewise.  Only 11% of the panel use Facebook or Twitter within a business context.
For full report http://revents.info/l/6qH

Richmond Events' Business Panel - Economic Outlook


Headline findings include:

  • Only 3% of the panel expect the economy to grow significantly over the next 12 months. However, just over half expect it to have shown some signs of growth (marginally).   
  • The figures for 3 years’ time are much more optimistic.  18% of the panel expect the economy to have grown significantly whilst a further 64% expect it to have grown marginally. Only 2% expect it to shrink a little.  
  • The highest proportion of the panel have either remained at the same level or will increase headcount this year.  A further ¼ have reduced headcount and may do so again whilst 11% have reduced headcount and don’t expect to do so again. 
  • 51% of the panel feel their revenues will increase over the next 12 months, whereas 45% feel their profits will do likewise.  For this to be correct then it would suggest that organizations are going to have to find those profits from elsewhere; reduced headcount, tighter cash flow and general cost cutting are all likely to figure prominently. 
  • 20% expect to see their budget increase compared to 30% who expect it to see it go the other way.  The rest, 50%, don’t see it changing.
  • 10% of organizations expect to move some part of their business outside the US over the next 2 years.  The most popular destinations are Canada and South / Central America.
  • There is no overwhelming satisfaction with the Administration’s handling of the economy.  However the number thinking it’s been very good has improved from last year, from 3% to 11%.  Those thinking it’s been acceptable has fallen slightly to 29%.
View full report http://revents.info/l/6qF

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