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customer services

Getting to know you: Paula Constant, Woven CEO

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

With a creative workforce, tech know-how and a bespoke approach, Woven is transforming customer-services. We caught up with CEO Paula Constant to find out more about the secrets of the company’s success…

Woven is on a mission to deliver excellent customer service. They provide a range of premium companies with bespoke people- and technology led customer experiences, from chatbots and social media monitoring to video shopping and crisis-response techniques.

Under CEO Paula Constant, who joined in 2020, Woven’s profits have increased by 70 per cent in 18 months, with robotic automation rates for more than 90% of customer transactions.

Paula has achieved this through innovative technology and an inspiring, collaborative ‘people programme’. “I have built a leadership team who quite simply want to make a huge difference to the experience of working in a customer contact centre,” says Paula. “We want to think radically differently about every aspect of their role as a ‘professional communicator’. The job is intense, with our staff handling 90 customer contacts in one day.”

Prior to Woven, Paula had worked in banking and telecommunications, and in 2016 won a Leader Award from FDM Everywoman in Technology. She has earned renown for galvanizing large workforces to get behind huge shifts in customer experience and automation. She attributes her success to a gritty working-class upbringing. “I am the daughter of a single-parent nurse who gave up her dream of becoming a doctor to raise two girls. She encouraged such incredible self-belief. She devoted herself to a life of service, selflessly.” Having two young sons, Paula believes that role modelling leadership in work and in the community is a critical part of being a parent.

As Woven grows, Paula is bringing her holistic approach to new territories. The company is acquiring overseas to expand into the Asian and US markets, while improving the lives of hundreds of locals. “We are still a good size to be able to wrap ourselves around our customers and provide personalised service,” she says. “We want to ensure that, as we expand, we maintain that level of personal attention and customer innovation, both to our clients and our workforce.”

Amazon still top of UK customer satisfaction index

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Amazon is still number one in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published by The Institute of Customer Service.

With a customer satisfaction score of 86.7 points (out of 100) this is the sixth consecutive time consumers have rated Amazon number one.

Eight non-food retailers make up this year’s top 20, and the retail sector performed better than any other boasting an average score of 82.2, against a backdrop of challenges that continue apace for High Street brands.

The food retail sector performed best after non-food retail with an average score of 81.2. Iceland took the top spot for the first time, whilst also claiming the title of most improved supermarket, having climbed 26 places in the rankings in just six months.

Four financial institutions made the top 10 organisations, with Yorkshire Bank scoring highest, followed by First Direct and Nationwide. The banking sector overall performed better than ever before, reaching a score of 80.4 and exceeding the UK all sector average score of 77.9.

The Institute warns that “survival of the fittest will be driven by how well customers are served”. After a steady increase in the first five years of the last decade, the latest UKCSI shows levels of UK customer satisfaction across all brands peaked in 2012/13 and have largely plateaued since.

The UKCSI is the national measure of UK customer satisfaction. It rates customer satisfaction at a national, sector and organisational level across 13 sectors – incorporating the views of 10,000 consumers. More than 30 different customer measures are surveyed – such as staff professionalism, the quality and efficiency of the service, trust and transparency scores, the actual customer experience and complaint handling – are factored into the results. It is published twice a year, in January and July.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute for Customer Service said: “The stagnation in customer service levels should be of concern for the UK economy. This comes at a time when, just nine months from Brexit, we need more than ever before to show that Britain is a great place to do business with and in.

“Alongside tangible financial measures, trust, reputation and recommendation are crucial benefits of a deliberate and consistent focus on achieving high levels of customer satisfaction. The UKCSI shows that customers who give the highest ratings for customer satisfaction – express strong levels of loyalty, which brands will need in difficult and unpredictable market conditions.”

This UKCSI’s top organisations are rated favourably for measures of customer effort, trust, ease of contact, employee helpfulness and competence, speed of response, getting things right first time and complaint handling.

The top 50 rated organisations in July 2018’s UKCSI are:


2. John Lewis Retail

3. = Next Retail, Yorkshire Bank

5. = first direct, Nationwide Building Society

7. Tesco Mobile

8. = M&S Bank, Wilko Retail

10. Iceland

11. Netflix

12. Specsavers

13. Pets at Home

14. = Greggs, Superdrug

16. = Argos, Trivago, Waitrose Retail

19. Nationwide Insurance

20. = Green Flag Services,

22. Aviva

23. = Aldi, M&S (food)

25. = Jet2. LV=

27. Halfords autocentre

28. = eBay, Premier Inn

30. SAGA Insurance

31. Santander

32. M&S

33. = Holland & Barrett, Honda, Kia

36. Caffe Nero

37. = Brittany Ferries, Jaguar

39. = Apple,, Co-op Insurance, Mini, TSB

44. = giffgaff, More Than, Primark

47. Halifax

48. = Lidl, Subway, Toby Carvery