I attended The Future of the Contact Centre conference in London last week, and I must say, I came away from the event absolutely buzzing.
A big theme for me, taken from the conference, other events, and from talking to great senior Leaders, is the big emphasis now on inclusion across all demographics and personality types, and individuality. The rise of the robots is also seeing the rise in humans as individuals. What do you think about this? I’m all up for it to be honest. I believe that we should embrace our individuality.
Anyway, back to the conference specifically…
Nicola Millard from the Global Innovation Team at BT was very engaging as usual with some interesting points to note: Voice contact is going up! Social media is going down in preference as a channel. Millennials are digital first but are also impatient – they use voice to escalate queries. Social media is good for brand and sales, and not so much for service. Video chat is being used successfully in healthcare, making doctors’ appointments easier, and is also having success in some parts of financial services.
Chris Thewlis, COO at Npower talked us through “doing the right thing, and costs look after themselves”.
Ben Lappin, Director, Retention & Customer Experience at The Guardian, gave some valuable tips on getting buy in from senior management.
Ed Creasey from Calabrio spoke about simplifying employee engagement. A 5% increase in engagement drives 3% increase in revenue.
The Share Centre’s Mary Cope, Human Resource Director, and Gavin Morden, Head of Customer Service, shared stories of their “people first” culture, where people are encouraged to be themselves at work reaping real benefits for the company. Happy employees = happy customers.
Jason Hendrey from Vodafone Business explained how Customer Success is becoming popular as a function with the purpose of enriching Customer Experience and increasing profit.
Microsoft’s Andrew Mcguigan, WW Leader Deployment Services, explained how customer needs are the same as they have always been. ‘Something’ begins complex and then over time it gets simpler as things become the norm. Then something new (and complex) is released again. And so, the cycle carries on.
Paula Kennedy Garcia, Vice President, Concentrix and Edmund Ovington from Unbabel explained the Unbabel in partnership with Concentrix’s proposition. Multi-lingual businesses often hire on language skills alone, and not on empathy – a crucial component to possess in order to provide excellent customer care. They have taken the top performing multi-lingual agents and centralised them into a ‘hub’, and using a unique blend of machine learning, AI and human translators they provide a multi-lingual service proposition of excellence.
Ian Naylor a Customer Experience Transformation Leader, from Booking.com showed us how they strengthened their supplier relationships and created a more competitive environment to support better Customer Experience scores.
Then it was Census Group with their ‘Give Something Back’ campaign. Richard Rowley, Managing Director, and Nicola Whitbread gave a compelling presentation that really touched the heart. Giving convicts who are hoping for a chance to turn their lives around. Proving stable employment whilst they are inside prison, and for when they are released. I don’t know about anybody else who saw this, but I had to hold back on my emotions all the way back to Euston station! It really is super work by the Census Group.
The last of the presentations that I saw, and certainly not least, was delivered by Alex King, Head of Customer Support, from the Fintech business Bought By Many. Alex wears the same outfit every day – a clean version I’m sure! This business has so far enjoyed no attrition whatsoever in their contact centre!! They are obsessed with customer feedback and have customer centric insurance policies making them more appealing to the public consumer.
A special mention to Martin Hill-Wilson, Customer Experience Strategist & Influencer, and popular industry speaker, from Brainfood Consulting, for opening the event and chairing one of the two halls.
So much to see, and so many people to see – I didn’t get to see some of the presentations that I had wanted to, and so apologies if I missed you out.
What was your experience of the event? I would be happy to hear from you, either in the comments, direct message, e-mail or phone on the number below:
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Hannah-Louise Cox is a Senior Recruitment Consultant at Douglas Jackson specialising in recruiting executive level, senior Director and management appointments across operations, strategy, transformation, Customer Contact, Digital and Customer Experience.