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Turning Black Friday flings into long, fruitful customer relationships

It’s that time of the year when arguably the world’s biggest retail shopping spree of the year takes off: Black Friday. Over the years, the one-day-only event has morphed into a weekend special and soon-to-be bumper month-long shopping bonanza.   

From a retail and e-commerce standpoint, cashing in on consumer appetite to splash out on big deals just before the festive season makes total business sense. In 2019, seemingly cash-strapped South Africans spent R6 billion on Black Friday – a whopping 33% year-on-year growth from 2018 – while Cyber Monday garnered a 42% growth in online transactions in the same year, ending on a total of 249 908 (up from 176 595 in 2018).

These are the type of figures that business bigwigs get excited about – all that’s needed is to jump on the Black Friday bandwagon, brandish a selection of specials in front of shopaholics and credit-fuelled customers and you could be laughing all the way to the bank. Overheads, staff overtime and website downtime may go through the roof, but making a quick buck is all worth it, right?

Wrong. Here’s why Black Friday is not all that it’s hyped up to be:

When Black Friday comes around, a business’s worst customers become their most prized customers virtually overnight. Businesses tend to invest heavily in low-value customers, with the hopes that doing so will rake in sales volumes equal to or exceeding those of high-value customers. The reality is that instead of enjoying ongoing relationships with loyal customers who make multiple purchases throughout the year, year-on-year, businesses ride their luck on low-margin purchases made by shoppers who are likely to go for specials and only shop again this time next year.

Consumer behaviour today is very different from when Black Friday first became a thing. People are more conscious about consumption – they’re basing their buying decisions on whether a brand and its offering align with their lifestyles, and are equally focused on the value they get out of a product and service. If a consumer feels that their needs are being satisfied and their well-being is being looked after 24/7/365, they won’t feel the urge to spend unnecessarily on things they don’t actually need, on a once-off shopping event.

So, how does a business go from ‘weekend special’ to ‘lifetime provider’ in the eyes of the consumer? When you anticipate customers’ needs by offering unique benefits and unrivalled customer service, not only are you adding value to their lives beyond transactions, but you are also building solid customer relationships and brand affinity that go beyond once-off purchases.  

See more in our ‘All-year-round vs Black Friday’ infographic below

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Does digital assistance make insurance relevant beyond loss coverage?

In an era of digitisation and disruption, one aspect where most insurers come up short is providing real value beyond the insurance policy.

Traditionally, insurers and brokers have (and continue to) only really engage with policyholders when it comes to policy renewals, claims and premium increases. Of course, leaders in insurance have raised the game by offering incentivised programmes that reward policyholders for driving well and not claiming. Others have supplemented customer service by developing platforms that enable policyholders to manage profiles, submit claims, get quotes online, and assess and update their policies. Some have gone as far as rewarding policyholders with cash back, and of course there is the basic hygiene factors to all policies that cover road and home assistance.

This is all great, but in a world where individual customisation and consumers want to be treated as individuals, with highly personal and customised content, insurers need to take value-added services to the next level if they want to future-proof their businesses. With lockdown restrictions seemingly here to stay, consumers are weighing up their options and fixed insurance policies are high on the ‘things-I-can-do-without-right-now lists, especially if they are spending more time at home and travelling less. If an insurance policy no longer aligns to one’s lifestyle, what is the point of paying a monthly premium for it?

Innovations and disruptions like flexible, on-demand insurance that can be switched on and off with the swipe of a smartphone, are changing the way we think about and use insurance. But as efficient as these customisable insurance solutions may be, they leave much to be desired in terms of tethering the disconnect between insurer and policyholder. The question begs, what if an insurance provider could fully immerse itself in a policyholder’s everyday life by providing them with more than just an insurance product?

What if a policyholder who is in the market for a new vehicle, could reach out to an on-demand broker or insurer in an app to assist them in finding the right car at the right price? Or if a policyholder is prompted in-app by a broker in their pocket to get their gutters cleaned before the rainy season approaches, with the option of getting a service provider to get it done for them?

A digital assistant platform that uses AI and real humans can be used as a tool to connect a policyholder’s world. Insurers can connect insurable assets to policyholders and their insurance policies and engage them on policy-related services when and where they need it. For the policyholder, being able to rely on their insurer for around-the-clock advice and assistance, would mean less hassle to get prerequisites sorted and their stuff covered. With Hey Jude, policyholders can be assisted with claims by helping them source replacements at the best price, saving them valuable time and money. Policyholders can be connected to brokers 24/7 and can enjoy the benefits of thousands of suppliers and service providers, even when not claiming. Most importantly, Hey Jude helps policyholders delegate the less valuable tasks in their lives so that they have more time to focus on the important things. For the insurer, adding value to the lives of policyholders beyond the policy not only makes the process of adding insurable assets to policies more efficient, but it also makes the business relevant beyond product or service.

Signing up for a product poorly understood and perceived as a grudge purchase by the layman during a complicated and challenging time, might seem inconceivable for most consumers. If innovations like on-demand insurance can give consumers the power to choose cover when and as they need it, then aligning lifestyles to cover and augmenting that with on-demand assistance could be the answer to insurance becoming essential, if not indispensable to consumers.

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Hey Jude Covid Care Package

PWA Solution

Hey Jude has identified a rapid, cost-effective way to roll out the Hey Jude platform worldwide. The Hey Jude COVID Care Package comprises a powerful employee value proposition that adds value to the lives of employees and their families, by providing them with vital assistance tools through an easily accessible and user-friendly Progressive Web App (PWA).

Why the COVID Care Package?

The COVID Care Package caters for the needs of both organisations and employees facing unprecedented challenges arising from the COVID-19 crisis.

The programme is designed to boost the HR mandate of increasing morale and productivity of employees, bolster talent attraction and retention, and promote company cultures that care for the well-being of employees, beyond the pay cheque.

Adopting this short-term solution enables businesses to address the immediate needs of employees and keep them engaged, while also ensuring the business remains relevant and reduces expenditure.

How it works

  • The Hey Jude COVID Care Package is a six month programme
  • Hey Jude harnesses the power of people and technology to provide businesses with Intelligence Augmentation – a better, smarter and more cost-effective way to engage with employees

What you get

Services/products:

  1. Bespoke Hey Jude digital personal assistant (Progressive Web App)
  2. Grocery coupons:
    1. Dis-Chem and Shoprite Checkers coupons valued up to R5 000 per employee, per month
    1. Airtime discounts
  3. Discounted rates on fibre connectivity products
  4. Financial assistance for employees under financial strain
  5. Access to Hello Teacher – a tutor service for learners in Grade 1 to 12 for all major subjects in the South African syllabus, in all 11 official languages

Add-ons:

  • Monthly PowerBI reporting
  • Standard marketing pack
  • Informational web page on the campaign

Reporting

Hey Jude provides analytic solutions for clients to gain deeper insights into understanding employee behavior. We use Power BI – a programme that transforms company data into rich visuals in a single dashboard – so that you can get a comprehensive perspective on what matters most to your business and its employees.

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What is a PWA and how will it transform the digital world?

What if we said that there’s a hybridised version of an app and a website rolled into one easily accessible and user-friendly digital platform? Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) offer the best of both worlds and Hey Jude is launching its very own PWA in the form of a COVID Care Package.

What is a PWA?

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a website that is developed with techniques that enhance the mobile experience, compared to a typical mobile-optimised site.

PWAs harness the features and capabilities of a mobile application and a website to create quick, reliable and engaging interactions with users. In its intended form, a PWA should be indistinguishable from a typical mobile app, but with the benefit of being multi-platform and deployable without it living on an app store.

How are PWAs relevant in South Africa?

Many South Africans do not have access to Wi-Fi or fibre and cannot afford mobile data, so downloading an app is simply not an option. Users also want instant gratification, so if browsing speeds are slow, they will simply lose patience and navigate to another website.

Since the majority of internet consumption happens on mobile phones, the optimisation of the mobile user experience is essential. PWAs tick this box – and trumping their technological counterparts in some aspects – as they are more accessible to the average user, and offer faster and more reliable browsing experiences.

Not only are PWAs more feasible in providing the best possible user experience from a time and cost point of view (compared to digital native apps), they are also an optimal way of connecting and engaging with customers or employees.

What is the Hey Jude PWA?

Hey Jude has rolled out a PWA version of its award-winning digital platform, catering for the needs of both employee and organisation in the current COVID-19 world.

The COVID Care Package is a six-month programme that comprises a powerful employee value proposition that adds value to the lives of employees and their families, by providing them with vital assistance tools through an easily accessible and user-friendly PWA.

Adopting this cost-effective, short-term solution enables businesses to address the immediate needs of employees and keep them engaged, while also ensuring the business remains relevant and reduces expenditure. The PWA can be fully customised to a business’s unique requirements or integrated into existing systems, platforms or apps through various methods, including API and mobile SDKs.

For more information about integrating The COVID Care Package into your business, visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.

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Harnessing the power of data to improve customer experiences

The more connected a person feels with a brand, the more likely they are to do business with it. Such connections are driven by the ability of a business to understand exactly what its customers want or the type of experiences they’re after. 

Customers are smarter than ever. They are hyperconnected across an array of channels –both digital and non-digital – and their expectations have changed to such an extent, that personalised experiences are valued higher than a need or want of a particular product or service. In the post-pandemic, ‘new normal’ world, the pressure is on for businesses to deliver on and exceed such expectations.  

To keep up with constantly changing technology and customer expectations, businesses must harness the power of data to connect their entire supply chain and place customers at the centre of it. Having data on-tap gives business deeper insights into customers, and are equipped to provide seamless interactions across multiple channels and platforms. 

But data is useless unless you know how to use it to best serve your customers.  

At Hey Jude, we know our users are worried about wasted time, concerned about quality versus cost of work, and are anxious to offload tasks to others. Data integrated in a connected ecosystem results in the reduction of inefficiencies and complications associated with having too many moving parts. 

The subscription economy is characterised by consumers that expect customisation, with meaningful value and exactly when they need it. Hey Jude can analyse personal preferences such as tastes and style, as well as personal requirements like diet, location, price, to deliver a personal, meaningful experience. But this data only completes a portion of the value – knowing when to access it, and how to use it, is key to the user journey. 

The breadth and depth of our data – in a single and unified repository – makes Hey Jude relevant, resulting in value created for our users and corporate clients. The client is catapulted into a trust relationship with their customers by providing real, personal and relevant engagement in all areas of their lives. We are able to use this data for larger data-science and machine learning projects. We aggregate and interrogate data and use play books and protocols to guide members on the best solutions, and we do this only when it is absolutely relevant to them. 

Integrating data into your business process through solutions like Hey Jude, enables you to make smarter decisions and become more proactive about your employees’ and customers’ needs. This, in turn, creates long-lasting, positive experiences and results in satisfied customers and increased productivity among employees. 

For more information visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.

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Six ways Hey Jude can bolster your business

Harnessing the strengths and capabilities of strategic partners is a catalyst for enhanced customer experiences. In a highly competitive business environment, value-aligned partnerships that focus on collective objectives are fundamental to ensuring business success.

Integrating Hey Jude’s human-powered digital assistant platform into your business enables the following benefits:

Increased relevance and market share

Hey Jude is a platform for businesses to offer solutions that make the lives of employees and customers, as well as other partners, in your ecosystem simple. This means that, because your business is valued for initiatives beyond your traditional offering, customers become more receptive to your marketing, and you earn greater relevance and share of market.

Connecting your value chain

The Hey Jude platform enables you to streamline communication between your employees, customers and suppliers. Integrating a single human and AI managed platform that “connects the dots”, allows for organisational silos to be broken down and for better and faster fulfilment of business tasks. 

Improved productivity

Judes get things done quicker than what employees can do themselves. They’re basically an extra pair of hands and brains that enable an employee to focus on work without having to worry about personal tasks. No longer does a team member need to step out just to get their driver’s licence renewed, if their trusty Jude is online and at their service to handle it on their behalf.

Streamlining communication

More people are relying on digital assistance services to cut out time-consuming admin like sourcing suppliers, sourcing information, and booking appointments. But, because Hey Jude is manned by smart people who speak to members on a personal level, they solve what’s important to members in a specific moment. If an executive is running behind schedule for an important business meeting, for instance, one voice note to their Jude is all it takes to inform attendees about the delay or getting the whole thing rearranged.   

Gain deeper insights into your customers

With rich customer data, you gain deeper insights into the life of each customer, enabling you to ultimately provide a better service. Through artificial intelligence, Hey Jude can analyse member requests and data for interests, sentiment, emotion and opinion, and then build individual customer profiles that enables everyone from your salesforce to accounts to offer an even better personalised service. 

Enhanced service offering 

By providing your customers solutions that anticipate their needs – such as in-app payments – as opposed to merely offering voice search capabilities, your business becomes valued, trusted and indispensable. By integrating Hey Jude into your business, not only will your customers save time, money and effort, but an enhanced experience will deepen emotional connections and entrench your brand in their lives.

For more information visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.

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Mental health: How HR executives can be proactive in the workplace

Before the coronavirus was even a blip on the world’s radar, working from home was considered a perk, one that was used sparingly in South Africa. Today, it’s the norm, with dining room tables converted to work desks and kids and pets regularly interrupting business meetings with colleagues.  

Remote working is necessary to enable many businesses to carry on operating, while simultaneously protecting the health of their employees. But there’s a significant difference between choosing to work remotely on the odd occasion and it being a directive from the government, with no tangible end in sight. 

Physical distancing is obligatory during this pandemic, however, it raises very real and unavoidable challenges for those working from home. Aside from the obvious like connectivity issues, technology hiccups and distractions (The garden service mowing the lawn, washing that needs to be hung up, home schooling kids – take your pick!), there are also emotional and mental considerations. 

“There’s never been a more important time for businesses to keep staff motivated and mentally connected,” says Adrian Zanetti, general manager at Hey Jude, the world’s first human-powered digital assistant. “And during this period of physical distancing, it’s access to technology that’s really enabling organisations to look after the wellbeing and morale of their employees.” 

At its core, Hey Jude is a service that gets things done. By relieving some of the mental strain these daily tasks can have, Hey Jude helps members live life a little better each time they use the service. However, Hey Jude’s pièce de résistance, is its team of human “Judes”, who man the service, providing just that human interaction that employees need. Not only are they helping employees get tasks done, but they also provide a welcome link to an outside world.  

“Our Judes handle a vast array of lifestyle tasks every day, and these can range from finding a supplier of contact lenses to getting medication delivered. But the longer the lockdown lasts, the more we’re seeing requests for things like finding motivational speakers, arranging parenting skills webinars and suggesting the best sleep apps. Whatever the task our Judes perform, our corporate clients see the value as it enables them to positively impact the lives of their employees. And, because it easily integrates into existing employee wellness programmes, HR executives can use the service to ensure that their employees are connected and supported while working from home,” says Zanetti.

For more information visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.

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Hey Jude: Real people, solving real problems

People around the world are in various stages of lockdown living and physical distancing. Even while some restrictions are slowly being lifted, our reliance on all things digital isn’t going to ease in the immediate future. 

Microsoft Teams will still facilitate those meetings with colleagues, Houseparty conversations will be a tolerable replacement for braais with friends, school learning will continue at dining room tables on Google Classroom, and virtual game drives will be a welcome excursion into the great outdoors, from the comfort of the great indoors. 

While there’s no denying the power of technology to impact how we live, work and play, it’s humans who are the creative problem solvers behind the machines, finding neat solutions to any challenge. Where machines have the benefit of speed, processing vast reams of data at a rate humans could never achieve, people think independently and strategically, they question, they have empathy and they can solve your problems.

Am I speaking to a real person? 

We’ve been asked this about our Judes – the people behind the world’s first human-powered digital assistant. Of course they are! And this is the primary reason the service is invaluable to its members. Being human, our Judes understand the value of time and appreciate that busy members would rather be spending that time doing any number of things: being with family, socialising with friends, exercising, making money. But, life doesn’t stand still, and things need to get done. This is where our Judes step up and help members preserve time – and effort. 

Gathering information, scheduling an appointment, doing research, organising an event, searching for a product, comparing prices – while all of these tasks can be frustrating they’re definitely tedious. And when these logistical headaches are delegated to someone you trust will get the job done, it instantly frees up your time and ultimately makes you more efficient – at work and life. 

The Judes behind Hey Jude are the personality behind the service. Not only do they use the latest technology, customer-rated suppliers and a global database to get things done faster and smarter than you can do them yourself, but they also learn from experiences, question to better understand and use creativity to find solutions. Why are our Judes so indispensable to our members? They’re very real people, solving very real problems. 

Interested to see how Hey Jude can help you find, organise, book and negotiate anything to make you more efficient? For more information visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.

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Hey Jude – An essential service for life under lockdown

The coronavirus has changed life as we know it and our world has become confined to the walls of our homes and property perimeters.

Despite its upheaval, it has ushered in a shift of the paradigm. People have been forced to adapt and find ways that keep them connected with the world beyond self-isolation. For the business world, it’s no different – ‘business as usual’ has shifted to ‘business unusual’ and businesses and entrepreneurs are now turning to technology for solutions to the unprecedented challenges they face, including keeping employees engaged and staying relevant in their customers’ lives. 

Hey Jude is a service that is perfectly positioned to simplify the lives of both customers and employees, especially during disruptive times like these. As the world’s first human-powered digital assistant for busy people, Hey Jude gets things done quicker and smarter than they can do so themselves. It offers members who live their lives on the move, the convenience of getting what they need from one service. Now that the movements of most people are restricted to their homes, Hey Jude is proving to be essential for life under lockdown. Here’s why:

Hey Jude is a simple, easy-to-use service that is manned by a team of human Judes, who use clever tech, customer-rated suppliers and a global database to get things done for members. Our Judes are problem-solvers, they’re compassionate and experienced, can think on their feet, try to put smiles on members’ faces and they care – traits that are particularly relevant for times like these.

Hey Jude members are relying on their Judes who are available 24/7 to handle any tasks and to source essential products and services during lockdown. Hand sanitisers, anti-bacterial soap, and disinfectants, along with groceries and other household products, are in high demand and can be sourced and get delivered to their doors. 

But that’s not the only way our Judes are helping members on a daily basis. Judes are regularly updating members about the latest COVID-19 developments and providing assistance with testing and care. They’re also helping members to work more efficiently by handling all the challenges that come with working remotely – troubleshooting PC and network problems, providing links to free video calling services, sourcing suppliers to replenish ink cartridges, help with online shopping, and support with school-related issues via the Dial-a-Teacher service. 

Members are reaching out to Hey Jude to liven up lockdown when they’re not working. They’re asking about online and entertainment activities such as yoga and workout classes, cooking courses, DIY tutorials, movie streaming services, and apps to play games with friends and family. 

In these most challenging times, businesses not only need to stay relevant, but also need to show that they care for their employees and customers. Hey Jude is the perfect tool for staying connected during lockdown and getting things done. It is an essential service that makes the lives of members easier by solving what’s important to them in that life moment, while also looking after their well-being. 

So, what are you waiting for? Ensure you remain relevant and top of mind and chat to us to see what Hey Jude can do for your customers, your employees and business. 

For more information visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.

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Employee engagement in the time of Corona

How to build stronger relationships with your employees during the COVID-19 lockdown

The world as we know it has changed. The near global lockdown has forced businesses, almost overnight, to shift their operations from the office to the home. It’s business most unusual for many organisations, as they try to figure out the new rules as they go. 

But, there are always opportunities in a crisis. Businesses that adapt to the office exodus and implement technology to keep employees productive and engaged, will reap the rewards when the lockdown is lifted. 

“For many businesses, this sudden change to workplace routine can be an immense challenge,” says Adrian Zanetti, director at Hey Jude, an innovative human-powered digital assistant. “Not only do you still need remote staff to meet deliverables while facing far more challenges than normal, but it’s also your responsibility to put tools in place that motivate and support staff in these unprecedented conditions.”

As people adjust to this new way of living and working, where they may have to balance being an employee, parent and teacher all in one day, tools that help maintain some normality are crucial. Hey Jude is that service for many businesses and it’s helping them, by helping their staff. 

Hey Jude provides one essential factor that digital assistant services simply don’t have – humans. The service is manned by “Judes”, a team of people who use the very latest technology and a worldwide database to get anything done for members. The Judes are compassionate, knowledgeable and savvy, using the technology available to solve everyday problems for members. But more than that, the Judes are also in lockdown, which means they have an acute understanding of the situation and can relate precisely to how a member is feeling. 

“Virtual yoga classes, online tutor services, activity ideas for kids, links to motivational talks, mindfulness apps, free online cooking classes, digital collaboration tools – whatever our members have requested to help them be more productive at home during lockdown, we have provided. Not only does Hey Jude make life easier for members in these untested times but, by helping businesses look after their most important asset – their people – they stay top of mind and relevant,” explains Zanetti.

Working from home used to be a privilege, it’s now become a necessity. Businesses that use technology to look after employee wellbeing and mental health will strengthen these relationships and benefit from a happier, healthier and more productive workforce. 

“The world, after this virus, will never be the same again,” says Zanetti. “And it’s those businesses with a more loyal and resilient workforce that will best be positioned to thrive when the lockdown is lifted and it’s business unusual.”

For more information visit www.heyjudeapp.com, send an email to jude@heyjudeapp.com or phone +27 11 449 7114.