Canadian companies losing business as consumers demand a more personalized experience & human interaction



Canadian companies need to invest in analytical tools and expertise to generate the proactive and predictive insights for a more personalized experience for customers, who are quietly slipping away with little ability to win them back, according to a new report from Accenture Strategy.

Nearly half (49 percent) of Canadian consumers have switched providers in the past year due to poor customer service – most commonly from retailers, cable and satellite television service companies, phone companies and banks, according to Accenture’s eleventh annual Global Consumer Pulse Research. The study gauges the experiences and attitudes of 24,489 consumers around the world about marketing, sales and customer services, with 1,334 respondents from Canada.

Eighty percent of Canadian respondents who switched said they could have been retained before switching providers, in line with the survey’s global findings. Now that they’ve switched, there’s very little chance they will return, with 68 percent saying they will not return once they have left, compared to 58 percent globally, the survey shows. Further, only 17 percent of Canadian consumers posted negative comments online after a bad customer service experience, 11 percent less than the global average (28 percent).

“Canadians are known to be ‘silent switchers’, which means they will just leave with no opportunity for the provider to ‘make it right’, or to understand and minimize churn,” said Berkeley Warburton, Managing Director, Advanced Customer Strategy, Accenture Strategy. “Fortunately, providers now have access to tools that proactively create a positive customer experience through seamless interactions across all channels, using predictive, prescriptive and cross-channel analytics that will figure out what Canadian customers want – before it’s too late.”

The importance of a human connection in customer services

Analytics is only part of the solution for providers trying to retain business, because Canadian customers said they still want to maintain a human interaction, with 85 percent preferring to deal with a live person, higher than the average of 73 percent globally. This additional cost can pay off for providers, with more than half (53 percent) of Canadian respondents willing to be sold new or upgraded products when receiving a face-to-face service compared to online, compared to 45 percent globally.

Canadian consumers place a higher-than-average value on physical or in-store experiences, with 71 percent agreeing that in-store service is the best channel for getting a tailored experience, compared to 56 percent globally. Forty percent are willing to pay a higher price for goods and services if it ensures a better level of service, compared to 49 percent of global respondents.

“Canadian companies must not overplay their digital hand — they should look to balance digital with human interaction so they don’t lose their customer base,” said Ms. Warburton. “These personalized interactions are what the customer values and remembers, and they make a difference when it comes to building and maintaining a Canadian customer’s loyalty and trust.”

Improving customer experience

The Accenture Strategy report reveals that there is huge room for improvement in the delivery of today’s customer services.  Most (80 percent) Canadian consumers say that it is frustrating dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them, compared to 73 percent of global respondents. Another 77 percent expect customer service to be easier and more convenient to obtain, versus 69 percent globally, and 65 percent expect it to be faster, versus 72 percent globally. Meanwhile, 60 percent report that if companies could provide customers with better live or in-person customer service, it would have impacted their decision to switch providers, higher that the global average of 52 percent.

How leaders of customer services succeed
Organizations that want to rebalance their digital and traditional customer service channels should look to:

  1. Put the human and physical elements back into customer services: Rethink your investment strategy. The focus should be on delivering satisfying, memorable customer experiences – not methods of interaction. Ensure your channel management approach delivers integrated experiences.
  2. Make it easy for customers to switch channels to get the experiences they want: Build customer service channels that enable consumers to fluidly move from digital to human interaction to get the outcomes they desire.
  3. Root out revenue toxicity: Define and address the most toxic customer experiences across all channels; experiences like data overage charges from telecommunication providers where customers receive no advanced warning. These experiences increase revenue in the short-term but greatly contribute to Canadians “silently switching”, impacting long-term profitability. By focusing on transparent and positive experiences companies can create more sustainable growth through customer loyalty.
  4. Guarantee personal data security: 92 percent of consumers say it is extremely important that companies protect the privacy of their personal information. By not selling or sharing customer data with other companies, and guaranteeing that safeguards are in place to protect it, consumers will be more willing to hand over personal information which can be leveraged to deliver better experiences.


About the research
Accenture Strategy’s Global Consumer Pulse Research is an annual online research project that assess customer attitudes towards marketing, sales and customer service practices and customers’ behaviors in response to companies’ practices. The 2015 survey includes online responses from 24,489 consumers in 33 countries: Denmark, Finland, Sweden, UAE, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore,Norway, Mexico, Malaysia, Ireland, South Africa, Russia, Argentina, Turkey, Poland, Philippines, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic,India, Indonesia, France, Germany, Japan, China, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Australia, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States. Respondents were asked to evaluate their experiences of up to four industries out of 11 industry sectors: retail banking and financial services, wireless services providers, consumer goods retailers, gas and electric utility providers, consumer electronics manufacturers, property and casualty insurance providers, fixed service providers (excluding cable and satellite), healthcare providers, hotels and lodging, life insurance, and cable and satellite service providers. The survey was fielded in August and September 2015.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 373,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us

Accenture Strategy operates at the intersection of business and technology. We bring together our capabilities in business, technology, operations and function strategy to help our clients envision and execute industry-specific strategies that support enterprise wide transformation. Our focus on issues related to digital disruption, competitiveness, global operating models, talent and leadership help drive both efficiencies and growth. For more information, follow @AccentureStrat or visit

SOURCE Accenture

10 Habits of the Most Remarkably Passionate People

10 Habits of the Most Remarkably Passionate People

Source: INC. 

Brief extract.

I’m going to show you 10 habits of the most remarkably passionate people.

1. They approach everything with enthusiasm — no matter what. 

Being enthusiastic about making a television appearance, or public speaking is easy. Remaining enthusiastic in everyday meetings is where magic can happen.

Passionate people know that each step, no matter how monotonous is one step closer to fulfilling a dream. They never seek outside motivation. It naturally flows through them because they can see the bigger picture.

They know each step sets off a ripple of positivity toward their mission.

2. They have grit to persevere, and they never, ever make excuses. 

Being comfortable with delayed gratification can be an asset to anyone. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable can be a super power.

Sitting with yourself in your darkest moments can teach you a great deal. Examining how you treat set backs, and how you grasp for excuses when things go wrong will inform you.

Passionate people have forged calluses to discomfort. They launch headlong into challenges. The more they do this, the easier it becomes. Which fuels their next challenge.

3. They know that they have to work at being happy. 

Happiness is your job. It’s not something served to you at a five star hotel on a silver platter.

Remaining happy and approaching life’s challenges from a positive mindset is like building muscle. Passionate people aren’t irrationally happy running around hugging everyone they see. They have confidence in their own ability to do the impossible.

They worry about what they can control, not about the things outside their realm of influence.

4. They have laser focus, to the point of obsession. 

Many people lose themselves in certain endeavors. Sucking up psychic energy by their manic, misguided endeavors.

Passionate people align themselves and define their mission. Then they set out to complete that mission with ferocity.

This perfect focus can seem like obsession to outsiders. When it’s aligned with the person involved it becomes a magnet for more. More opportunities, more wealth, more growth.

5. They believe in themselves and have deep self confidence

Self confidence can be a fleeting thing. On one hand you’re speaking with your team about your vision for your company, and your confidence is through the roof.  Then you get up in front of your colleagues at a conference and you feel like a second grader applying to Harvard. Odd, how that works isn’t it?

Passionate people don’t dwell on the moments when they have low self confidence. They know that we all lose the magic of self confidence at some point.

So, they define the things and situations in which they feel most confident.  This becomes their playground. They work to grow outside of their confidence bubble, for sure. But they know where they have the greatest self believe and they embrace their swagger.


Chris Dessi is CEO of Silverback Social. He is a personal branding expert, author, and speaker. Full bio

On April 28th – the National Day of Mourning – We Remember

For the second consecutive year, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) commemorated the National Day of Mourning with a public ceremony this morning. Families, workers, employers and WSIB staff, gathered to honour those who have died, been injured or suffered illness in the workplace.

Speakers included the Honourable Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour, Elizabeth Witmer, WSIB Chair and Johanna LeRoux, mother ofMicheal Fisher who was killed at work in 2006 when he was 22 years old.

“Every day, the WSIB is here to support those whose lives have been forever changed by workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses,” said Elizabeth Witmer, WSIB Chair. “But on April 28th, we make a special effort to remember and honour all of those affected. The Day of Mourning also reminds all of us of the continued need to demonstrate our commitment to the promotion of healthy and safe workplaces, where every worker comes home safely at the end of the day.”

Last year in Ontario, 226 people were killed at work or died from an occupational disease. To emphasize the importance of the Day of Mourning with all Ontarians, the WSIB ran a four week public Awareness Campaign this year. The campaign featured a special Day of Mourning video (available at and utilized a range of channels to ensure the message reached as many people as possible.

As visual tributes to the Day of Mourning, the 3D TORONTO sign in Nathan Phillips Square and the CN Tower will be lit in yellow, traditionally a colour of hope, throughout the day and this evening. Numerous events to mark the day are also being held in communities across the province and the country.

April 28 was chosen as the date for the National Day of Mourning in 1984, when the Canadian Labour Congress proclaimed the Day to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the day the first Ontario Workers’ Compensation Act was approved by the government. The Day of Mourning was enshrined in national legislation by an Act of Parliament on February 1, 1991.

SOURCE Workplace Safety & Insurance Board

Want to make a great first impression and keep on making a great impression? Here’s how.

Want to make a great first impression and keep on making a great impression? Here’s how.


By Jeff Haden | INC.

Here’s what polite people never do — and what they do instead:

1. They never stay in place.

You’re at a party. A friend gestures to someone several steps away and says, “Let me introduce you to Bob.”

Bob sees you coming… and he stands there, waiting for you to come to him in some weird power move.

Remarkably polite people, no matter how great their perceived status, step forward, smile, tilt their head slightly downward (a sign of respect in every culture), and act as if they are the one honored by the introduction, not you.

(When I met Mark Cuban, that is exactly what he did. He heard I wanted to meet him and immediately walked across the room — where I was waiting to see if it would be OK — to say hello. The fact I remember how gracious he was tells you everything you need to know about the impression that made.)

In short, polite people never “big-time” you; instead, they always make you feel like you’re big time.

2. They never call you what you don’t ask to be called.

You’re at an event. You introduce yourself to me as Jonathan. We talk. Within minutes, I’m calling you John. Or Johnny. Or Jack. Or the J-man.

Maybe your friends call you J-man, but we’re not friends (yet), and you definitely haven’t given me permission to go full diminutive on you, much less full nickname.

Remarkably polite people wait to be asked to use a different, more familiar name. They call you what you asked — or later ask — to be called because it’s your right to be addressed in the way you wish to be addressed.

Anything less would be uncivilized.

3. They never touch unless they are touched first.

Polite people wait for the other person to establish the nonsexual touch guidelines. (Handshakes excluded, of course.)

While I know that sounds like no one will ever hug or pat a shoulder or forearm because no one can ever go first, don’t worry. Huggers hug. Patters pat. Backslappers slap. That’s what they do.

Polite people go a step further: They never pat or squeeze or slap (in a good way), even if they are patted or squeezed or slapped. Sure, they hug back, but they don’t reciprocate other forms of touch.

Why? Some people don’t even realize they’re touching you, but they definitely notice when you touch them. That makes them feel uncomfortable, and discomfort is the last way polite people want other people to feel.

4. They never try to take before they give.

Take networking. The goal of networking is to connect with people who can help you make a sale, get a referral, establish a contact, etc. When we network, we wantsomething (unless we’re Adam Grant, a guy who should be the poster child of unsolicited giving.)

Still, at first polite people will never ask for what they want. (In fact they might neverask for what they want.) They forget about what they can get and focus on what they can provide, because they know that giving is the only way to establish a real connection and relationship.

Focus solely on what you can get out of the connection and you will never make meaningful, mutually beneficial connections.

When you network it should be all about them, not you.


Chubb Strengthens Transactional Risk Leadership Team

Chubb today announced that it is strengthening its transactional risk leadership team in response to increasing demand for risk protection to help facilitate merger and acquisition (M&A) activity and other transactional deals throughout North America and abroad.

“Strategic buyers are increasingly acquiring businesses from private equity firms; U.S. companies reportedly spent a record $142 billionto buy 252 businesses from private equity investors in 2015 alone,” said Steven Goldman, Executive Vice President, Financial Lines. “The demand for transactional risk products continues to rise as deal participants increasingly recognize that these coverages offer the high degree of sophistication and flexibility that complex transactions require. To meet the increasing demand for this coverage, we are growing our team, and plan to add several additional M&A attorneys with significant experience in this area to our high-caliber staff.”

The following individuals will lead this initiative for Chubb, working with a team of colleagues worldwide who have deep industry knowledge and expertise in the transactional space:

  • Edward Markovich, Senior Vice President, and Randy Hein, Senior Vice President, will be responsible for managing underwriting, growth and profitability in North America. Mr. Markovich and Mr. Hein will report to Mr. Goldman and will be based in New York.
  • Richard Britain, Vice President, will be responsible for managing underwriting, growth and profitability in Asia and Europe. Mr. Britain will report to Tim O’Donnell, Executive Vice President, Financial Lines, and will be based in London.

“Ed, Randy and Richard have extensive experience in both the insurance and financial services sectors, providing a deep understanding of how transactional risk coverage can help deal principals and their advisors resolve difficult negotiations and execute upon the deal,” said Mr. Goldman.

Transactional risk products enable parties to efficiently transfer certain deal-related risks, strategically enhancing a party’s position in competitive auctions and bridging gaps in transactions that might not otherwise close. Chubb’s transactional risk product line is comprised of three key offerings, each with maximum limits of $50 million:

  • Representations & Warranties Insurance protects the insured for financial losses in the event of unknown breaches of a seller’s representations and warranties made in connection with the sale or merger of a business.
  • Tax Indemnity Insurance protects the insured against known contingent tax exposures resulting from the tax treatment of a transaction, investment or other legitimate business activity.
  • Contingent Liability Insurance protects the insured against known exposures that may arise after the close of a transaction, such as successor liability, open-ended indemnities and/or other potential risks.

Transactional risk products are offered within Chubb’s Financial Lines group, through a specialized unit focused on the unique and complex challenges that organizations face in today’s ever-changing economic environment. This includes dealmakers such as strategic buyers and sellers, private equity sponsors and business owners and their respective advisors and managers.

Product highlights are summaries only; please see the actual policy for terms and conditions. Product offerings may vary by location.

About Chubb
Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. With operations in 54 countries, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. The company is distinguished by its extensive product and service offerings, broad distribution capabilities, exceptional financial strength, underwriting excellence, superior claims handling expertise and local operations globally.  Parent company Chubb Limited is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index.  Chubb maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London and other locations, and employs approximately 30,000 people worldwide. Additional information can be found at:

Five Things You’re Doing Wrong Every Morning

Five Things You’re Doing Wrong Every Morning

JAYSON DEMERS | CONTRIBUTOR Founder and CEO, AudienceBloom

For many of us, the morning doesn’t seem like it’s anything important. The time between your initial wakeup and your arrival to the office is usually a blur, and your routine has become so second-nature that you never think to change it.

Unfortunately, our morning tasks are much more significant than we’d like to admit, and our bad habits tend to accumulate over time. The morning sets a tone for how the rest of the day is going to go, and even a handful of small mistakes can take its toll on your productivity in the afternoon and beyond.

Take a look at these five common morning routine mistakes, and think critically about how you can change your mornings for the better:

1. Waking up to unpleasantness

Sometimes, waking up to an unpleasant noise or an unpleasant situation is unavoidable. But choosing the most annoying alarm noise on your phone isn’t the best decision — it’s going to make your first feeling of the day one of irritation or annoyance.

Similarly, don’t let yourself fall into a cycle of hitting snooze for five minutes only to hear the annoying sound again. When you wake up, wake up for good — even if it’s hard — and try to gently bring yourself out of sleep. Using some of your favorite music or going to bed early to nab some extra sleep are good tactics to make the awakening process easier.

2. Rushing through your routine 

You’re more likely to have off days when you’re running late and you need to rush through your entire routine to make it to the office on time, but when that morning rush becomes a habit, it starts to have damaging consequences.

Flying through your routine gives your brain no time to decompress or prepare for the day. Instead, you’re stressing out over all the mini tasks you have to accomplish and how long it’s going to take you to get them done. If this sounds like you, try waking up a half hour earlier so you have more time to finish things in a reasonable timeframe.

3. Skipping breakfast 

This is sometimes the result of rushing through your routine, but many people have given up on breakfast altogether. They view it as an unnecessary meal, or prefer to start the day with something non-nutritious, like a cup of coffee or tea. While coffee can perk you up, it’s not going to provide the nutrition you need for long-term energy.

Eat a hearty breakfast of fruit, complex carbohydrates and protein to keep yourself focused for a longer portion of the day. All it takes is an extra 15 minutes of preparation. If your routine can’t spare those 15 minutes, you probably have bigger problems than breakfast.

4. Throwing yourself into work 

You wake up and one of the first things you do is check your email, make a call to one of your clients or start tackling a big problem from the day before. Does this sound like you?

It may seem like throwing yourself into work immediately is one of the most productive choices you can make — after all, you’re eliminating down time in favor of more direct working time. But doing so can actually harm your long-term productivity because you have no warm-up or cool-down period.

Take some time in the morning to meditate, exercise or do something you enjoy doing. This will “reset” your brain and allow you to better focus on your work when it’s time to actually start.

5. Putting off your difficult tasks 

There’s always a major challenge on the docket, whether it’s a last-minute rush or a huge project that isn’t due for months. Whatever it is, you probably dread doing it, and when you get things started in the morning, the last thing you want to do is something challenging. But tackling your most challenging tasks early on in the day is actually beneficial. It leaves you feeling a sense of motivating accomplishment, and all your other tasks will seem easier by comparison.

Your mornings will never be perfect. You aren’t going to nail down a “perfect” routine that always goes right and always sets your day up for success, but you can mitigate the detrimental habits that tend to creep into your routine after years of repetition.

Don’t be discouraged if you encounter difficulty at first. Routines take consistency, discipline and time to change effectively, and introducing a sudden change to your routine may throw you off for the first few days. Stay committed to your target changes, and eventually, they’re going to pay off with greater productivity and a better mental attitude to start the day.

Source: Entrepreneur

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