This post was originally published on the Engage Customer website here.
On Thursday 6th July I had the pleasure of chairing proceedings in Hall 2 of the Customer Engagement Transformation Conference that took place at the Victoria Park Plaza hotel in London.
The theme of the day was to ‘help delegates in their quest to transform the way they interact with customers in order to reap the rewards of successful engagement’.
All good and very interesting stuff and I was looking forward to the day as Steve, Katie and the rest of the team at Engage Business Media had assembled two halls packed with great speakers.
Prior to the conference, Steve and Katie from the organisers, Engage Business Media, had asked me to write up some notes and thoughts on the overall day that could posted in the form of a blog post on their website.
Given I saw so many talks over the course of the day in Hall 2, what I decided to do is run through the presentations in the order that they presented on the day, who spoke, on what and what stood out for me from each of their presentations.
Ok, let’s get started.
First up on the stage was Pauline Wilson, Operations Director of Virgin Holidays. Pauline got the day off to a great start sharing the story of how Virgin Holidays had used customer journey mapping to build their customer insight and brand. Here’s some things that stood out for me from her talk:
“An exceptional company is the one that gets all the little details right. And the people out on the front line, they know when things are not going right, and they know when things need to be improved. And if you listen to them, you can soon improve all those niggly things, which turns an average company into an exceptional company”
Next up was Alison Goodwin, customer support centre manager at Wolseley UK, the UK’s leading distributor of plumbing and building materials and products, who along with Sharon King-Livesey from Transversal, told the story of how Wolseley is putting AI at the heart of their organisational cognitive knowledge and how it is allowing them to reduce customer effort and empower customer support staff. Here’s some things that stood out for me from their talk:
Next up was Jon Nasta, Director ecommerce and marketing for Xercise4Less, who told us the story of how they have used member feedback and voice of the customer analysis to focus on their strengths and accelerate their growth. Here’s some things that stood out for me from his talk:
Next up was Amanda Reynolds, Customer Service Director at Affinity Water, who told the story of Affinity Water’s transformation and how they achieved it by focusing on culture with the “you rock” initiative. Here’s some things that stood out for me from her talk:
Next up was Phil Durand, Director, Customer Experience Management at Confirmit, who talked about the use and effectiveness of ‘nudges’ to help achieve transformational change. Here’s some things that stood out for me from his talk:
Next up was Rachel Haworth, Customer Experience Director at Coventry Building Society, who started with the controversial title: Why your customer facing staff aren’t the key to better customer engagement. However, rather than ignoring staff she told the story of how Coventry Building Society has delivered enviable business performance and customer loyalty by putting customers first. Here’s some things that stood out for me from her talk:
“Employees need to TRUST the organisation and everyone in it, from the Board to their colleagues, to not just think customer first but to actively put customers first.”
Next up was Chris Humphrey & Andy Wilkins of BE Advisory who told a story of how Disney succeeds because it ensures that its entire workforce has a common understanding of what customers consider value. Here’s some things that stood out for me from their talk:
Next up was Darryl Beckford, Head Of Digital Acceleration at Kcom, who talked about how feedback is not the same as insight and what you can do about it so that you drive improvements in your customer experience. Here’s some things that stood out for me from his talk:
Next up was Rod Butcher, Client Experience Development Lead at Fidelity International, who told us about the role and activities of the small CX design thinking team at Fidelity International and what they have learned and done to achieve success. Here’s some things that stood out for me from his talk:
“In the beginner’s mind there are many opportunities. In the expert’s mind there are few”.
“Customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied…..even when they don’t know it, they want something better”
After lunch, Peter Massey, Founder of Budd, gave a talk that looked into the future and considered what skills you will personally need to compete with the takeover by AI and Robotics. On the way he debunked some myths and looked at the likely impacts and the implications for skill sets at a business and personal level. Here’s some things that stood out for me from his talk:
Following Peter was Bob Stella, Head Of Business Implementation at Legal & General, who shared the story of the last 3 years in L&G’S Insurance Customer Service and how they have introduced 15 robots into the workforce, who are doing the equivalent of 55 people’s work with 100% accuracy and always within service level. But, they only work if their human colleagues choose to support them. Here’s some things that stood out for me from his talk:
After Bob and Peter’s presentations they stayed on for a lively panel Q&A session. I was facilitating so I didn’t take notes 🙁
We then broke for caffeine.
After grabbing some coffee we got started again and this time it was my turn as I had been asked to stand in late the week before for a presenter who had dropped out.
In my talk, I posed the question: What are you willing to change to achieve transformation? and shared a number of case studies of companies that are taking innovative approaches to their own transformation and the variables/levers that they are using to achieve their own transformation. The levers included the innovative use of new tech to enable front line staff, different ways of working, the role of purpose and community, income and time.
The penultimate presentation of the day came from Mike Gibney, Director Of Workforce at NHS Walton Centre who shared the story of how despite the much-publicised challenges facing the NHS, innovation is thriving across the NHS system. However, because the work moves at such a pace, much that is innovative and transformational remains hidden from external view and is rarely celebrated. Here’s some things that stood out for me from his talk:
Our last presentation came from Abu Siddeeq, Customer Experience Manager at Great Western Railway & Neil Martin, Director of The First Word who shared how through modernising how they communicate, particular when it comes to the written word, and how that has helped Great Western Railway transform engagement with customers. Here’s some things that stood out for me from their talk:
That seems a fitting few words to end this round up on.
A good day, a really interesting day full of stories and people doing great things.
Wish you were there.
See you next time?
This post was originally published on the Engage Customer website here.