It’s 4:35pm at work on a sunny Friday afternoon. You’ve been on hold with customer service on the phone for the past 15 minutes trying to get an issue resolved. You tried to get the problem resolved on social media earlier in the day, but no one from the company replied to your Facebook post or tweet. Your family is home, packed and ready to leave for the cottage as soon as you get home from work. Now all you can do is wait for their customer representative to get back to you. In fact, can you remember the last time you contacted customer service about an issue and received a solution quickly without any hassle? Why does getting customer support have to be so hard?In a recent study by Ovum and LogMeIn, customers and call center managers were asked about customer service experiences and support channels. The infographic from LogMeIn highlights the results from the study. One takeaway didn’t surprise me: customers want quick answers and access to customer support agents. What did surprise me was the number of customers who stopped doing business with a company following a bad experience: 76 percent. That’s three out of four customers. That’s scary.While there’s a lot of frustrations voiced from customers in the study, contact center managers are listening. They’re working to improve access and offer additional customer support options: over 20 percent will invest in live chat in 2015.I’m a big fan of live chat, using it weekly to for customer support. It’s handy, fast, and I like getting a quick answer. Even better, I don’t have to invest a lot of time waiting for an answer. Check out more of the highlights from the infographic.Source: LogMeIn: Where Contact Centers are Missing the Mark with Customer Care. Where Contact Centers are Missing the Mark with Customer Care: Customer Loyalty is at RiskSeventy-six percent have stopped doing business with a company following a bad customer experience.Customers are frustrated by long wait times and lack of access to live agents.48 percent believe that the ability to reach the right representative has worsened over the last two years43 percent stated that automated telephony systems are annoyingBusinesses want to improve wait times and allow customers to connect quickly.76 percent of call centers are tracking customer satisfaction28 percent of contact center managers will prioritize response time improvements and invest in web and mobile toolsLive chat is becoming an important support channel for customers.The number of customers using live chat has doubled in two years, from 14 percent to 28 percentOver 20 percent of contact center managers will invest in live chat in 2015Many customers research information online before speaking to a contact center agent.If customers knew they could get a resolution to their issues on the first attempt, over 70 percent would choose a channel other than phone61 percent use the web to find information before calling a contact centerBut only 11 percent successfully resolve their issues using websites or FAQ pagesThis drops to just 5 percent that have resolved issues on social mediaUltimately customers want fast resolutions and access to agents.On average, customers expect a response within four minutes for chat and phone interactions64 percent want easier access to representativesAs long as customers get personalized assistance to pressing issues and resolutions, they will be satisfiedLive agent access could include interactions in any channel from chat to social media to phoneShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedState of Multichannel Customer Service in 2015 [Infographic]What caught my attention when I discovered this customer service infographic was the heading in the top right section: Customer Service is not a Department. It’s Everyone’s Job. That’s what I’ve said for years. It’s not one person’s job; it’s the goal for everyone in the company to make sure…In “Business”How Customer Service Can Impact Your Business [Infographic]Providing good customer service to all of your customers is key to building your business. Customers who receive excellent service will improve the bottom line of your business by returning to you with repeat business. Four out of five people are more likely to work with a business after receiving…In “Business”Improve Customer Service With a Social Customer Care Policy [Infographic]Over the past several years, more companies have turned to social media to provide support for their customers. And it’s no surprise. Social media has become one of the first touchpoints for customers who no longer pick up a phone to contact customer support. I’ve done my share of asking…In “Social media”
27 September 2012The percentage of South Africans with a bank account increased from 47% in 2005 to 63% in 2011 after the launch of the country’s first Financial Sector Charter in 2004, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.Addressing more than 350 delegates from over 70 countries at the opening of the 4th Global Policy Forum in Cape Town, Gordhan said South Africa’s experience of the Financial Sector Charter provided a lesson on how to confront the challenges of financial inclusion.The first charter was negotiated in 2004 and resulted in the Mzansi bank account, which has been taken up by three-million users, while banks also began rolling out more branches, he said.The second Financial Sector Charter was gazetted for comment by the Department of Trade and Industry in March.Gordhan said the long-term sustainability of financial systems hinged on the ability of these systems to serve all citizens.“The inequality, the social and political distrust of elites, and the neglect of the poor and the impoverishment of millions as a result of the financial crisis, that we still haven’t recovered from, poses serious challenges to the economic, political and social stability and progress of ourselves,” he said.He said the National Treasury was developing a “twin peaks” regulatory framework for financial services which would come into effect in the next 18 months.The new model would see the development of different regulatory focuses between prudential regulation and consumer protection, while the National Treasury would remain responsible for policy implementation, including one of encouraging greater financial access.He said an IMF report on financial stability released in April was concerning, as it indicated that innovative products were already being developed to sidestep the new financial regulations.The financial sector is faced with various challenges, include a disconnect from the real economy, said Gordhan, who pointed out that banks needed to serve more people and entrepreneurs to generate growth and create jobs.Another challenge was how multi-national banks were serving emerging markets, he said.It was also important to develop regulations to ensure that the poor were protected should new crises emerge.Central banks also needed to ensure that their respective banking sectors weren’t overly dominated by a few big banks, as this could stifle competition and the development of new and affordable financial products.Also addressing the conference on Wednesday, the deputy governor of the central bank of the Philippines, Nestor Espenilla, said the central bank’s policy of focusing of micro finance had led to 200 community banks providing financial services to almost a million micro entrepreneursEspenilla said that along with increasing micro finance, the Philippines government had also encouraged more financial education and consumer protection.Source: SANews.gov.za
Africans and their colonisers became equals once they stepped onto the football pitch, and it even gave the former the chance to show their superiority over their oppressors. Here, Ghana’s football team of the 1960s pose with the international trophies they had won. The Black Stars, as they are still known, were handpicked by Ghana’s leader Kwame Nkrumah. (Image: Yenkassa, Flickr) • Africa Cup of Nations: some facts and figures• Bafana at Afcon 2015: the full squad• African footballers call on their juju men• Who will become a star at Afcon 2015?• Beefy Cameroon gives South Africa a taste of Afcon Shamin ChibbaZambia’s late and great football commentator Dennis Liwewe once said that when David Livingstone arrived in the country, he brought three things with him in his bag: his medical kit, his Bible and a football.Whether this was true or not did not matter, said football historian David Goldblatt, but it was the one good thing the colonialists had brought to the continent. Goldblatt calls the arrival of football in Africa an “epoch-making event” on par with the arrival of the cocoa bush on the Gold Coast, saying that it is “without competitor Africa’s game”.The game had come a long way from the days when British sailors would disembark with a ball in tow and enjoy a kickabout on the quayside, wrote Goldblatt in his substantial history of the game, The Ball is Round. However, it was soldiers and colonial administrators who brought the sporting code with them.The first recorded game in South Africa was played in 1866 in Pietermaritzburg, Goldblatt wrote, but he did not reveal the teams or score. “In South Africa the British Army played African scratch teams at the siege of Mafeking, while in Cape Town military regiments were setting up their own football association and playing a regular football competition as early as 1891.”Jack Lord, a writer for the blog Pitch Invasion, said in his history of African football that European teams and coaches started appearing in various parts of the continent in the early to mid-1900s, which helped to transform the game. Scottish club Motherwell toured South Africa in the 1930s and brought with them the tight passing and collective ethos that “inspired a tactical revolution among local teams”.Lord added that in 1950s Brazzaville, Congo, a French coach rebelled against the prevailing British style by introducing short passes and man-marking. His tactics helped his team dominate the league in which they participated. “An upstart team in Ghana during WWII promised more vaguely that its ‘tactics’ would defeat the ‘dribbling’ of their rivals,” said Lord.Football adopted quickly and intenselyDespite being a colonialist’s game, Africans adopted the sport quickly and intensely. But just why they did so remains a mystery. Goldblatt gave two suggestions. The first is the marriage of both Western and African cultures. By adding a ball to Africa’s rich dance traditions, a “universe of playful possibilities” opened up. While this may be an irresistible notion, Goldblatt said it was unprovable.His second suggestion is more political. Quoting Ferhat Abbas, the Algerian political leader in the early 20th century, Goldblatt suggested that for Africans the game could have been used as an equaliser – or even a show of superiority – between the colonialists and the colonised. Abbas once said: “They rule us with guns and machines. On a man-to-man basis, on the field of football, we can show them who is really superior.”Lord said the game was a “useful supplementary income for players”, which was yet another reason Africans took to it. “Teams negotiated hard over appearance fees, transport allowances and prize money. In friendly matches it was common for the winning side to take 60% of the prize fund, and the losers 40%.”However, playing for money had its downside; Lord gave an example from Northern Rhodesia in the late 1930s. A missionary complained that all the star teams played for money. “The same missionary also witnessed a match in which the visitors bet on themselves to win and confidently spent their stake in the local beer hall: ‘Unfortunately they lost and the match ended in a free fight in which spectators joined,’” wrote Lord.He added that in urban areas, football played a social role, especially for migrant workers who used the game to replace the social support they had in their rural homes.WATCH: George Weah highlights during his time at A.C. MilanDiscriminationDespite being a force for good, football was used as a tool by political authorities to divide society along racial and cultural lines. In South Africa, for example, teams and associations were separated according to the four major racial groups.Lord said that because the game was popular among children, it exposed Africans to inequality from an early age. One such person was the first president of independent Algeria, Ahmed Ben Bella, whose school had two football teams: one French and the other Arab.Racial division was not the only form of discrimination in football. Lord said teams often reflected identities based on religion and class. “In Obuasi, Ghana, Muslims played in a separate Mahommedans team. In Congo-Brazzaville, there were separate football teams for the clerks and manual workers of colonial enterprises. And football also reflected growing ethnic rivalries within multi-ethnic states.”Yet at the same time, the game brought together people from different backgrounds and individuals often found ways of bridging the divide. Football coach Craig Hepburn played as a goalkeeper for an almost all-black Orlando Pirates team in the late 1980s. Being a white man in South Africa, he was conscripted into the South African Defence Force. Often after a game for Pirates, he would have to change into his army uniform and rush back to military duty, guarding against the same men he called his teammates.At other times, he did not even get to play. “The army stopped me from playing. At one Kaizer Chiefs-Orlando Pirates derby I went to the stadium and the sergeant major told me I couldn’t play but could stand guard. So I did.”WATCH: CNN interview with Ghanaian football legend Abedi PeleModern timesMany African players came from underprivileged or war-ravaged countries, yet they still had the mettle to reach the heights of world football. In the 1990s, George Weah from Liberia and Ghanaian Abedi Pele rocked world football, with the former voted Fifa’s Player of the Year in 1995. They were part of a small African contingent plying their trade in Europe.The current generation of African players, however, are a much larger group and several of them are on par with or even better than their European and South American counterparts.Ivorians Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba, and Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o are some of the finest Africa has produced. They are also the three richest African footballers, with Toure worth $65-million (R753-million), Drogba $70-million (R811-million) and Eto’o around $90-million (R1-billion).Toure plays for English Premier League champions Manchester City and was voted the league’s best player last season. He received his fourth consecutive CAF African Player of the Year award on 8 January. Toure has enjoyed spells at Greek club Olympiakos and at FC Barcelona. At all three European clubs he has represented, Toure has helped them to win five league trophies, three cups, one Uefa Champions League and one Fifa Club World Cup.WATCH: Yaya Toure highlights at Manchester CityDuring his first spell at Chelsea, which lasted eight years, Drogba was instrumental in helping the club win Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a Uefa Champions League. Eto’o was even more impressive during his years at FC Barcelona and Inter Milan. He helped both teams to win four league titles, three cups, three Uefa Champions League trophies and one Fifa World Club Cup.WATCH: Didier Drogba’s top 10 goalsAlgeria have also produced some of the world’ best players in recent years. At the moment they are considered the continent’s best football nation and are 18th on the Fifa World Rankings.On that list of great talents are BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2014, Yacine Brahimi, Sofiane Feghouli, and Nabil Bentaleb, all of whom play for major clubs in Europe. Football legend Zinedine Zidane, Samir Nasri and Karim Benzema may all have been born in France and played for that national team, but they are all of Algerian descent.African teamsAlthough the continent produces some outstanding individuals, its national teams continue to struggle on the world stage. Toure, Drogba and Eto’o have been highly successful at club level, but less so in national colours, and the furthest any African team has gone in a World Cup is the quarter-finals. Cameroon, Ghana and Algeria share this record.Some football pundits believe African teams lack the collective ethos, team tactics and support structures needed to become world beaters.Despite these setbacks, this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Equatorial Guinea, which kicks off on Saturday, 17 January, still promises to be spectacular, with at least four teams capable of winning it.Ivory Coast may not have been a powerhouse since last winning the tournament in 1992, but their current side can certainly challenge even some of the best European sides. They have featured in the previous two World Cups and Afcon tournaments. And with Toure captaining the team, they have a stellar leader.Ghana have also become a force within the continent, with Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan and Michael Essien being the outstanding performers in the side. Algeria and current Afcon holders Zambia make up the rest of the contenders.The more traditional powerhouses of African football – Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria, which respectively have seven, four and three Afcon titles – have been on the wane in recent times. Cameroon had a terrible campaign at the 2014 World Cup, what with infighting and unimaginative play. They were knocked out of the first round. Nigeria and Egypt have not even qualified for this year’s Afcon.Football crazyMore than a century of African football culminated in the continent’s first ever Fifa World Cup in 2010. With South Africa as hosts, the world got to see just how football crazy Africans are. The event forced the world to see Africa as a serious football continent and not just a place where boys ran around barefoot kicking a rag ball on a dusty field, as was the common image, according to Lord.Football in Africa is not and was never just a game. It is a way out of poverty, a tool for reconciliation or division, a brief escape from the harshness of life, and a part of one’s identity.As Goldblatt said: unlike the Western medicine and the religion that Livingstone brought to the continent, the football became an “emblem of pride and independence and thus inevitable and instrument of political and social struggle”. It is truly Africa’s game.
Related Posts Tags:#Analysis#search#Statistics#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Our network blog AltSearchEngines reports that Google has around 90% search engine market share in France (well, 89.98% to be exact!). The next biggest is Yahoo ! (3.17%), followed by MSN (2.33%). Over the past year, between August 2006 and August 2007, Google has gone up by 3.76%. Whereas its 4 main competitors have all lost ground in the same time span, as indicated by this graph:SourceIf you think about how Microsoft peaked at nearly 90% market share with IE6 in the early 2000s – and it still has over 75% even now – one wonders if Google Search will ever gain that kind of dominance worldwide? Already Google has shown it has a lot of sway over social networks, having enticed all the main players but Facebook to sign up to its set of API standards called OpenSocial. So Google is setting standards now in search and social networking, the two most popular activities on the Web.Recent comScore research put Google at just over 60% market share for search engines worldwide, and Yahoo second with around 14%. Third? Not Microsoft, but Chinese search engine Baidu with about 5%. Microsoft has around 3.5% share worldwide in search engines, according to comScore.Source: comScoreGoogle’s worldwide share looks even better at Net Applications, where Google sites account for 71% + of worldwide search market share. Yahoo has roughly 10% in those stats. However Baidu only gets 0.10% in Net Applications, so I suspect comScore’s figures are closer to the truth.Source: Net ApplicationsGoing back to the France results, Google has 90% market share there – can they do it in other major countries, like the US and China? You’d have to say no on China, based on Baidu’s lead there. But in the US and other major countries, Google is becoming more and more powerful. However, no need to raise alarm bells yet in the US. The latest Hitwise stats for the US show Google with 63.55% market share, up 2.62% from the year before. Yahoo is holding steady at 22%, according to Hitwise.Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on the global stats. If Google can hit 90% in a large market like France, well it could happen elsewhere too. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… richard macmanus 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Nitin GadkariThe Rajya Sabha witnessed a ruckus on Friday as opposition parties led by Congress demanded resignation of Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari for alleged irregularities in a company owned by him.A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has named Gadkari as one of the “promoters and/or directors” of Purti Sakhar Karkhana Ltd. that was sanctioned a loan of Rs 84.12 crore by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) in violation of guidelines.The issue was raised during zero hour by Congress MP Shantaram Naik, who said the minister must resign.”Opposition parties demanded resignation of our ministers time to time… now Nitin Gadkari has to resign,” said Naik.Congress MP Anand Sharma said the government was accountable on the issue.”This is a serious matter…the present ruling party when they were in opposition would stall the house until the action was taken… I am saying on behalf of opposition this issue cannot be confined to zero hour, there should be accountability,” said Sharma.Congress members then started raising slogans demanding the minister’s resignation.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the allegations were “baseless”.”Congress party has become a confused party… these allegations are baseless,” he said.In the din, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien adjourned the house for 10 minutes.When the house reassembled, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad again raised the issue.”This is not a question of allegation against a member; it is a CAG report… On CAG reports on earlier occasions number of heads have rolled. The BJP government inside and outside house is talking about transparency and corruption. Also in the same breath it is talking about stains (of corruption) during UPA government. Here there is a proven case against a minister who had to resign because of the same reason as president of BJP… the party may maintain he did not resign… He has been indicted he cannot continue as minister even for a day,” said Azad.advertisementThe ruckus continued despite several pleas from the chair and the house saw another brief adjournment before question hour.The scene was no different in the question hour and Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house for 10 minutes, then for 15 minutes, and finally till 2.30 p.m.
Vlatko Andonovski poised to become new coach of US women’s teamby Ian Ferris11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveVlatko Andonovski is set to become the new head coach of the United States women’s football team.The 43-year-old is currently in charge of National Women’s Soccer League side Reign FC in Seattle.Previous head coach Jill Ellis took charge of her final game on 6 October, having won two World Cups with the US. TagsMLS NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say