Empirix recently joined other industry thought leaders at the Frost and Sullivan Mind Exchange summit in Orlando, FL. Over the course of the 4-day event, many of the core tenets of customer care were discussed and reinforced. The event provided a great opportunity for all attendees to share some of the challenges encountered when trying to create, deliver and optimize an impactful customer experience. Below are some of my key takeaways from the keynote sessions.
Two of the keynote speakers, Jeff VanDeVelde (SunTrust Bank) and Ajit Sivadasan (Lenovo), shared some of their insights with the audience on how to improve customer care. Below are a couple of the foundational elements everyone could take advantage of, including:
- Teach your agents to show empathy to customers in order to defuse what could otherwise be a contentious situation
- Changing to a customer centric organization requires the sponsorship of the CEO
- Engaging with, and understanding the needs of internal and external customers before implementing changes is critical to success
- Prior to taking new applications and services into production, testing is key
- Start new projects with manageable scopes that can result in quick wins; this will make the next project easier to sell internally
- While customer service representatives are the front door of your organization, touching many customers each day, they are paid at the lower end of salary scale; evaluate your ROI on paying them a little more
Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from futurist Brian David Johnson (Arizona State University) on the next wave of innovation. Brian discussed how technology, chemistry and biology are all coming together to make things that were previously only dreamt of become commonplace in a few years. To get all of us to expand our thinking about the future and what is possible, he used an example of letting a 13-year-old provide ideas about how they would build the future as a child’s imagination is not yet constricted by the world as compared to adults.
And the big takeaway from the summit for all customer experience executives was “I am not alone.” Most companies are still formulating an end-to-end mobile strategy and are struggling with how to attract and retain the Gen X and Gen Y consumer. However, one thing everyone agreed upon after listening to Brian David Johnson is that we are living in an age where the only constraints we have are the limits of our imaginations. So now organizations will need to get creative to ensure positive customer experiences for their Gen X and Y consumers while also remembering the fundamental elements outlined above.