Customer Strategy and Planning – ‘Bridging the Gap’

Douglas Jackson Brighton Pier at Customer Strategy Professional Planning Conference

April 2014 and TeamDJ head to Brighton for this year’s Customer Strategy and Planning Conference.  The headline; ‘Bridging the Gap’, almost had a dual meaning, along with the twitter hashtag #roadtobrighton, as, just before the start of the Professional Planning event, part of the A259 Kingsway was closed, as a large hole appeared in the road!  Thankfully we did not need to build a physical bridge and this did not cause any problems for the 600 + conference delegates that attended over the two days.

The event kicked off with Chris Rainsforth from the Professional Planning Forum , who, following on from the infamous Oscar twitter trend, set the scene for a #selfie filled conference:

PPFConf Chris Rainsforth the Brighton Resource Planning #selfie

This was followed by a huge number of conference delegate selfies’ being posted, with a challenge to see who could get the most selfies with the team from the planning forum. Just head to twitter and search #ppfconf and you will see the full choice there but here are a few we have selected from the day:

Professional Planning forum Selfie #ppfconf

The conference theme was ‘People Build Success’, so there was a great deal of discussion around engagement; both customer engagement and employee engagement. Many of the speakers and sessions provided numerous evidence and statistics showing a clear collaboration between your employee engagement scores and customer satisfaction/NPS; The higher your employee engagement the higher your CSAT, the higher your customer service, the more profitable your business!

As with previous years, the conference was well organised and had many sessions throughout the two days to learn and share from the finalists, as well as vendors and industry experts.  We were lucky enough to see a number of the Case Study and other sessions which had some really interesting and engaging ideas.

Everyone we spoke with felt there was a real buzz and positive vibe around the conference this year and there were a lot of new faces, as well as many trusted and respected individuals from across the Customer Contact industry. The Professional Planning Forum had also partnered with a number of other key customer organisations to share and be involved this year; The Call Centre Management Association, The Customer Service Training Network, Engage Customer, The Top 50 Companies for Customer Service and The Institute of Customer Service to name some.  It was great to see a number of the industry bodies there in collaboration for one event and one Customer Contact industry.

Some of our highlights included:

Motivational coach and guest speaker, Darren Lawrenson; Darren addressed each of us to help us focus on what each of us needed to do to realise the success we want and to ‘bridge the gap’ within out operations. Darren’s Pyramid (below) focused on 5 key elements:

  • Trust
  • Challenge
  • Buy-In
  • Accountability
  • Success

Customer Strategy Darren Lawrenson Trust the 5 stages of the Pyramid

Darren also asked us to consider; ‘Knowledge is Power’ but ‘the use of knowledge is powerful’!

James Keegan from QVC; talking about growing the professionalism in the industry and how this is helping our agents to have a career destination.

Richard Sedley from Seren; talking about Customer Engagement; Repeated interactions, that strengthen the emotional, psychological and physical investment a customer has in a brand.’ and ‘The Six Dimensions of Multi-Channel Awesomeness.’  We all need to create our own characters and to develop our own stories.

The Case Studies; Each of the finalists came from a range of sectors, with various sizes of customer operations, environments and business complexities, but the one thing they all had in common was that they each demonstrated real improvements for the organisation, their people and their customers.

There were plenty of others but we think this tweet from David Bothamley, truly summed up the two days and was mirrored by many of the delegates we spoke with.

David Bothamley Tweet PPF Conf Customer Strategy 2014


So on to the main awards and the Innovation Winners:

  • Arise were the overall Innovation award winners with ‘High performance homeworking at scale’:

Customer Contact Innovation Awards Winner - Arise 2014


Other winners included;

  • Santander – Award for Digital Customer Solutions,
  • WebhelpUK  – Award for Interactive Intelligence
  • UPC – Award for Enterprise Planning
  • Capital One, Award for Innovation for Engagement
  • LV -Award for Strategic Collaboration
  • Neopost – Award for Insight
  • Arise – Award for Agility & Empowerment and Overall Winners.

This year’s PPF Heroes were:

  • Catherine Kellett, Operations and Planning Manager, The White Company
  • Garth Harriman, Speech Analyst, Neopost
  • Rachel Jones, Resource Planning Manager, Worldpay
  • Abida Ghauri, Service Manager, Harrow Council
  • Steve Pink, Head of Operational Performance, LV=

For a full list of all the winners and case studies visit the Planning Forum page here:

Congratulations to everyone and a big thank you to the PPF for a great conference. 

For those of you who entered our Prize Draw, we will be calling the lucky winners later today and arranging delivery of your prize!!

Looking forward to next year, see you in Newcastle…..



About Douglas Jackson Executive Search and Recruitment Consultants

Douglas Jackson are an Executive Search and Independent Recruitment Consultancy offering professional executive recruitment and managerial appointments on a permanent and fixed term contract basis. We work with customer and experience focussed organisations, who want to develop, or, improve their operation, sales, strategy, service, experience, or success. We recruit for Chief Customer Officer, Director, Head of Department, Manager and skilled strategists for; Customer Service, Customer Experience, Customer Contact, Resource Planning, Operations, Strategy, Insight, Analytics, Sales, Success, CRM, Data, Programmes, Transformation, Continuous Improvement, and Contact Centre. We work in partnership with our customers across the UK and internationally, many of whom are FTSE 100, blue-chip brands but also challenger, fintech and start-up organisations, to design, develop, deliver and manage your Customer strategy. Revolutionise your Recruitment and Retention of New Hires. Douglas Jackson Search takes the guesswork out of your hiring. Sourcing Exceptional Talent….Define your Customer Strategy. Lead your Operations. Design your Customer Experience. Direct your Digital and Customer Contact. Transform your functions. Develop your Customer Insight. Manage your Data/CRM, Deliver your Sales and Customer Success. Differentiate your business and brand.
This entry was posted in Awards, Best Practice, Business Planning, Contact Centre Industry, Customer Service Industry, Customer Strategy, Douglas Jackson, Employee Engagement, Homeworking, Performance, Resource Planning Industry, Talent Management and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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