Being Your Personal Best: Customer Strategy and Planning 2018

This week #TeamDJ were back in Harrogate, (who now have their very own Ivy restaurant for those foodies planning a trip), for the Customer Strategy and Planning Conference from The Forum.

The Forum are now in their 19th year, in a keynote from Clive Wilson of Primeast,  those in attendance gave a standing ovation to the team for all their work and inspiration over the years.

This years theme; Be your Personal Best.


Nicola Callan, Director of the Forum, talked about ‘being, not doing’; being your personal best, is not a moment in time but every moment in time’.  Bob Stella, Head of Best Practice and Insight asked ‘what if each of us were 1% better each day, and imagine, if as a community each of us shared that 1%, think about how much better and inspiring we would all be’.

Jennifer Holloway, author of Personal Brand for Brits was kept busy with her very popular sessions throughout Monday, an opening keynote, the leadership forum and two, full to the brim, workshops.


People buy people and according to research from Princeton University it takes only 1/10th of a second to make a first impression.

Jennifer gave some great tips on how to promote yourself, how to think about and improve your personal brand, including how to give the perfect handshake. (Don’t give the dead fish!)

We have five senses:


  • Sight
  • Hearing
  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Taste

Our conscious and subconscious starts processing information gathered from each of these senses, on the 1st and every subsequent time we meet someone, accessing our library of references, which impacts how we feel about someone.

Have you thought about what your mobile ring tone, screensaver, or case says about you?

Jennifer talked about two types of people the ‘Pot Fillers’; Can do people, who are positive, a joy to be around and the ‘Pot Drillers’, also known as mood hoovers, dementors, more negative, ‘how are you?’ – not bad’.  ‘Thank **** it’s Friday’.  ‘I can’t do that today’….. people don’t buy pot drillers.

Do you use ‘please do not hesitate to give me a ring?

I’m sorry to bother you?

Avoid the negative!

Paddy Coleman of Q Story, Gold Sponsors of the event is always an interesting and humorous speaker and this year was no different. img_8176

Paddy talked about his hatred of cliches and warned of falling into lazy thinking.  Challenge cliches and no more ‘yes but’. 

Clive Wilson from Primeast, and author of ‘designing a purposeful organisation’, offered a 1 hour master class for a member of the Forum who were able to donate to the National Autistic Society.   The Autistic Society were in attendance at the event to raise awareness of the employability and accessibility to roles faced by autisitc people and how with a little bit of thought we can attract these talented people into some of our roles.

Clive talked about the leadership of yesterday, ‘it just doesn’t cut the mustard any more.  It is no longer about just developing skills, we need to train skills but also create awareness of how our behaviour impacts those around us’.  ‘We need to develop a culture which will achieve our purpose.’  ‘Leaders of today need to have more humility and understand the why.’


There were of course, inspirational and innovative presentations of all the award finalist case studies throughout the conference and many other sessions to push our thinking and to get us to be more creative; Speech Analytics, AI and Robotics, featuring in many topics, but with 70% of employees who do not trust their managers, we cannot forget the power of having fully engaged teams.

The Overall winner was Homeserve, who has almost transformed its business under the direction of Greg Reed has switched it’s focus from sales, to customer experience, employees and the community.  One of their Advisers said ‘Before it was sell, sell, sell; now it is listen, listen, listen!”

By doing the right thing for their customers and employees, their engagement and customer satisfaction scores are now at 85% and 79.9% respectively.   A huge well done to all of the team!

Homeserve Innovation Award Winners Customer Strategy and Planning Q Story.jpg

Photo Courtesy of QStory Twitter Feed.

A full list of winners and heroes can be found here

Forum Hero awards went too: 

Jasmeet Narang, Director, Santander Operations

Phil Coole, Senior Operational Planning Manager, LV= Insurance

Richard Brimble, Managing Director, Understanding & Learning

Well done to everyone and many thanks to the Forum and everyone who came to visit us over the last few days.  We look forward to seeing you again next year!

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 AI, Analytics Recruitment, Automated Customer Service, Awards, Behavioural Assessment Tools, Best Practice, Business Planning, Candidate Experience, Contact Centre Industry, Customer Experience, Customer Experience ROI, customer insight, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Motivation, Resource Planning Industry, Robotics, Speech Analytics, Talent Management, Transformation/Change and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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