Eye EYE (c) 2016 Pixabay / cocoparisienne https://pixabay.com/en/eye-blue-eye-iris-pupil-face-1173863/ Several interesting pieces of research were published this week. They included DocuSign publishing findings from a survey that looked at the preparedness of UK businesses for the future. It found that 74% of UK businesses do not believe they are ready. The report looks at digital transformation challenges that still inhibit organisations. MuleSoft published the 2023 connectivity report. It is a long report, but without huge depth and finds that organisations are broadly looking for decentralisation of hyperautomation throughout the business.

ADP

ADP published its January National Employment report for the US. The report found that private sector jobs increased by 106,000 in January, and annual pay rose 1.7%, up 7.3% year over year.

Nela Richardson, chief economist of ADP, commented, “In January, we saw the impact of weather-related disruptions on employment during our reference week. Hiring was stronger during other weeks of the month, in line with the strength we saw late last year.”

Most hires were in the hospitality sector, which increased roles by 109,000. Trade and Transportation lost 41,000 jobs. Pay increased most for hospitality, with pay rising by 10.1%, perhaps having to pay more to recruit staff.

ADP also warned UK employers, recommending that they revise retention initiatives and recruitment processes to adapt to the new demands of the workforce. Employees want more transparency around wages, more frequent pay processes, and better working conditions.

Sirsha Haldar, Managing Director, ADP UK, Ireland & South Africa, commented, “Historically, the job market has vacillated over who holds the ‘power’ position out of employers and employees. Whilst it has firmly been with employees for a number of years, it is now swinging the other way due to the cost-of-living crisis and continued geopolitical tensions.”

This means that employers will have to work harder to retain staff. ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2022 data showed that 63% of 18–24-year old’s and six in ten (61%) of 25–34-year would consider looking for another job if their employer insisted on a full-time return to the workplace. Other factors include the increasing importance of DEI for both employees and candidates. Finally, well-being initiatives have a higher priority.

Halder added, “In addition, businesses must get better at prioritising the mental, physical, and emotional health of staff. By emphasising a commitment to employee wellbeing and taking action to back up these promises, a business can establish the workplace as a safe space and foster loyalty.”

Ciphr

Ciphr published research that revealed which major UK cities have the best job opportunities for the people living and working within them. The research looked at 50 locations with city status and identified the 15 best. The top five were Milton Keynes, Oxford, York, St Albans, and Norwich.

The report findings were based on criteria such as:

  • For highest wages, St Albans was top £46,551, above London
  • Salary Growth, Colchester (12.9%) and Chichester (12.1%)
  • Open vacancies per 10,000 people Cambridge (396) and Exeter (373)
  • Most employers per capita: Winchester (168.1), Chichester (93.9) – businesses per 10,000
  • Most affordable to rent, with Doncaster and Stoke the highest. Though Hull is the cheapest by percentage of salary at 20%
  • Based on ONS statistics, Winchester and Lancaster are the happiest.

Cyara

The consumer sentiment about chatbots is the subject of a study by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Cyara. Based on a survey of 1554 consumers, it found that chatbots could perform better. Consumers gave chatbots they experienced 6.4/10. 50% of consumers were left frustrated, and in consumers found nearly 40% of interactions were a negative experience.

Key findings included:

  • Despite the above, customers want to use chatbots
  • 75% of customers agree that chatbots cannot handle complex questions
  • Negative chatbot interactions lead to unfavourable business outcomes. 30% will leave after a negative experience
  • Conversely, 61% said they would return to a brand after a negative experience

Dennis Reno, Chief Customer Officer of Cyara. “Delivering positive chatbot experiences has a critical impact on customer satisfaction and sales, and sub-par chatbots will not cut it for consumers today. Organizations that invest in quality assurance testing and training chatbots can provide customers with better and more consistent chatbot experiences.

“Businesses that strive to meet customers’ chatbot expectations can increase customer loyalty, boost brand reputation, and lower contact center support costs since customers are less likely to seek out more expensive avenues of communication. And, of course, satisfied customers lead to increased sales, which has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.”

Intuit

A new survey from Intuit reveals that Gen Z finds politics and sex easier to talk about than finances. It also finds a growing influence of TikTok and other social media on attitudes towards saving. While Gen Z has far more access to financial information, this does not translate to decision-making, regardless of whether that is good or bad. The challenge is too much information leads to indecision.

  • 66% say they’re not sure they’ll ever have enough money to retire
  • 66% say they know how to make a budget and track their income but haven’t done it
  • 64% know it’s important to invest, but they don’t know how.
  • 63% say they have financial knowledge but are unsure how to use it
  • 48% have bought cryptocurrency even though they don’t fully understand blockchain.

Brittney Castro, Intuit consumer financial advocate, commented, “The economic shocks of the last few years have transformed how Gen Z views success, and this survey revealed that prosperity means something different to everyone, particularly Zoomers.

“At Intuit, we believe that everyone should have the ability to prosper—however they define that for themselves. Intuit is delivering innovative and personalized financial solutions through TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks and Mailchimp that our customers need to make more money, save time, and build confidence.”

Redpoint Global

Redpoint Global published new research that reveals how consumers feel about brands using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to influence their experiences. It found:

  • 45% expressed a lack of understanding of how these technologies are being implemented
  • 73% believe there is potential for impact on customer experience (CX), particularly in digital settings.
  • 48% of all consumers say they would interact with AI more frequently if it would make their customer experience with a brand more seamless, consistent and convenient.

However, there are addressable concerns:

  • 77% of consumers believe positive customer experiences still need an element of human touch
  • 58% of consumers say they want companies to be clear about when AI is being used.
  • 76% say that they are less likely to trust and continue engaging with a brand if their experience is disjointed

John Nash, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer for Redpoint Global noted, “As AI technology evolves and moves into more aspects of the customer experience, brands have to focus even more on delivering a frictionless consumer experience.”  

“Positive CX outcomes depend on access to relevant customer information in real-time as consumers navigate between channels, AI and human interaction. Consumers are quick to pick up on inconsistencies as evidence that brands simply do not understand them and will move their business elsewhere. The fragmentation may be driven by different decision criteria, or different data being accessible at different points in a journey, but for consumers, it is one and the same – a negative experience.”

UKG

UKG published its January labour market report and found that overall shift work was unchanged in January 2023. The Workforce recovery index rose slightly to 93.4% (December 92.9%) but remains below the average for 2022 and is down on January 2022 (96.3). Within certain industries, there was some change; retail, food service and hospitality were down 2.9%, whilst services and distribution rose 0.4%.

Dave Gilbertson, VP of UKG commented, “January delivered calm to the labor market after a December dip. Layoffs aren’t widespread, as they have been concentrated in white collar sectors and demand for employees remains relatively strong. In fact, we expect to see a Blue Collar Boomerang as white collar workers take up well-paying, highly skilled frontline jobs in the year to come, further easing the labor shortage.”

UKG hosted a labour market briefing on January 31st and will host its next briefing on March 7th at 10.00 EST for the February report. Registration is required.

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