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Linne Fulcher

Linne Fulcher

Vice President, Returns, Walmart

Marcell Bhangoo

Marcell Bhangoo

Senior Vice President, Client Services, Boston Red Sox

Shiran Cohen Langman

Shiran Cohen Langman

Senior Vice President, Product Management, Bot Container, Citi

Beth Dincin

Beth Dincin

Vice President, User Experience, Marriott International

Eliot Hamlisch

Eliot Hamlisch

Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty & Partnerships, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Josh Ramsey

Josh Ramsey

Senior Director, Customer Care, Hilton

Nicholas Zeisler

Nicholas Zeisler

Principal, Zeisler Consulting;
& Former Director, Customer Experience, HP

Dr Amine Ayad

Dr Amine Ayad

Head of Workforce Optimization , Bed, Bath and Beyond

David Kocher

David Kocher

Vice President of Customer Success, GE Digital

Michelle Huenink

Michelle Huenink

Director, Customer Service and Support, Microsoft

Chester Twigg

Chester Twigg

Former Global Chief Customer Officer,

Michael Childers

Michael Childers

Chief Consultant, Content and Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems

Trista Miller

Trista Miller

Director Customer Care, Frontier Airlines

Melanie Jameson

Melanie Jameson

Vice President, Client Success, Allied Telecome Group

Weslee Berke

Weslee Berke

Vice President, Customer Service, Boxed

Martin Lampman

Martin Lampman

Customer Support Operations Director, BCLC

ALMOST SOLD OUT - REGISTER TODAY!

Limited passes are available. Don't miss out on this recognized strategy meeting.

Jeff Huang

Jeff Huang

Director, Global Customer Success Operations, Zenni Optical

Brian Schwarz

Brian Schwarz

Senior Vice President of Operations & Customer Care, Raymour & Flanigan Inc.

Jason Swift

Jason Swift

COO, BestEgg

Emily Marcogliese

Emily Marcogliese

Head Of Customer Service, thredUP

Deon Nicholas

Deon Nicholas

Founder, Forethought

Jim Rembach

Jim Rembach

President, Call Center Coach

Diane Magers

Diane Magers

Former Chief Executive Officer, Customer Experience Professionals Association

Ido Bornstein-HaCohen

Ido Bornstein-HaCohen

Chief Executive Officer, Conversocial

Gavin Macomber

Gavin Macomber

Senior Vice President, Marketing, First Orion

Nina Brown

Nina Brown

Vice President of Client Solutions, DATAMARK

Beth Coppinger

Beth Coppinger

Supply Chain Research Director, Gartner

Hillary Curran

Hillary Curran

Head of Customer Experience, Guru

Herbert Greenbaum

Herbert Greenbaum

Director, Customer Experience, CRMXchange

Frankie Saucier

Frankie Saucier

Head of Digital Care Strategy, Home Depot

Sid Banerjee

Sid Banerjee

Founder, Clarabridge

Abinash Tripathy

Abinash Tripathy

Founder & Strategy, Helpshift

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Limited passes are available. Don't miss out on this recognized strategy meeting.

Sarah Grace McCandless

Sarah Grace McCandless

VP, Customer Engagement & Brand Advocacy, Clearlink

Warren Levitan

Warren Levitan

CEO & Co-Founder of Smooch, Zendesk

Rob Lawson

Rob Lawson

Customer Experience Partnerships, Google

Margaret Shine

Margaret Shine

SVP, Customer Experience, Mastercard

Drake Toney

Drake Toney

Global Service Strategy & Innovation, Twitter

Kahlil Nicol

Kahlil Nicol

Global Director, Service Desk Operations, Beyondsoft

Amine Ayad

Amine Ayad

Head of Workforce Optimization, Bed, Bath and Beyond

Chintan Shah

Chintan Shah

Director, Customer Obsession, Uber

Matt Swanson

Matt Swanson

CEO, AugmentCXM

Ralph Barletta

Ralph Barletta

EVP & Co-Founder, Knoah Solutions

Young Noble

Young Noble

Director, Customer Experience and Innovation, Samsung Electronics of America

Jamie Young

Jamie Young

VP, Owner Experience, Dyson

Puneet Mehta

Puneet Mehta

Founder / CEO, Netomi

John Young

John Young

Social Business Leader, Southwest Airlines

Dave Evans

Dave Evans

VP Social Strategy, Khoros

Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis

Global Senior Director, Clarabridge Engage

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Limited passes are available. Don't miss out on this recognized strategy meeting.

Suri Ratnatunga

Suri Ratnatunga

Sr. Director of Community, Vimeo

Gina Dragulin

Gina Dragulin

Director Product & Partner Marketing, Unbabel

Brad Maglinger

Brad Maglinger

Vice President, Marriott International

Mark Pryor

Mark Pryor

Business Development Manager, DATAMARK

Jason Maynard

Jason Maynard

GM of Zendesk Guide/Answer Bot, Zendesk

Amit Shah

Amit Shah

CMO, 1-800-Flowers

Rianna Schanno

Rianna Schanno

Senior Vice President, Digital Product - Messaging & Support, Citi

Kelly Morgan

Kelly Morgan

Chief Customer Officer, SYKES

Bala Venkataramanan

Bala Venkataramanan

Director of Customer Care, Intuit

John Pisarek

John Pisarek

Director of Retail, Interactions

Vasu Prathipati

Vasu Prathipati

CEO & Cofounder, MaestroQA

Rami Sarabi

Rami Sarabi

Senior Director, Global Customer Service, Tarte Cosmetics

Martin Aliaga

Martin Aliaga

Director, User Research & Design Experiments, Marriott International

David Lallemand

David Lallemand

Senior Strategic Sales Director, Nexmo, a Vonage Company

Ryan Erickson

Ryan Erickson

Business Development Manager, Stitchview

Eric Burgess

Eric Burgess

CEO, BlueLeap

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Limited passes are available. Don't miss out on this recognized strategy meeting.

Chris Venus

Chris Venus

SVP, Professional Services, Conversocial

Melinda Ritchie

Melinda Ritchie

AI Program Manager, Microsoft

Timothy Carey

Timothy Carey

General Manager, The Americas, Haptik

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Samuel Lee

SVP & Head of Growth,
WeWork

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with WeWork

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Why do you think the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

I'm looking forward to participating in this year's Customer Service Summit. CX is a fast evolving discipline and, when done right, is the lynchpin to unlock account-based success and same store growth in the B2B market. I look forward to comparing strategies, org design, and technology used with CX peers and growth experts.

With the historic reputation and “cost center” mentality, how is your team gaining investment buyin?

At WeWork, we see member (read: customer) experience as critical to member success and therefore to unlocking account-based growth. Being able to demonstrate the tight correlation between success and account growth builds a strong case for investing in this area as a revenue driver rather than a cost center.

How well can you measure ROI on your customer support and care initiatives? 

In a B2B business like WeWork, we're able to track the performance of accounts that are actively managed. These accounts receive personalized attention and, as a result, see outsized growth and performance. This builds the case for making greater investment in proactive, personalized member success and growth consultation support.

How well would you say your customer service team are leveraging data and analytics to understand your customer better? 

We are leveraging data to identify and solve member-specific opportunities and challenges. We are also looking at aggregate data to understand the big initiatives we can rollout to support members in their success and growth in the WeWork platform.

How are you ensuring you deliver a seamless customer experience? Describe your omnichannel strategy and how you are synchronizing channels.

We design omni-channel experiences based on the segment, persona, and use case. We deliver these experiences in person and via Digital, leveraging the Simon Data platform to join our data and drive delivery of key messages.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

I don't view CX as a cost center. Done well, it delights customers and is the a key engine for same account sales and growth, which is the most efficient and effective way to grow a business.

Download the brochure to see how these topics come into the agenda!
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Mai Le

Director, Customer Obsession
Uber

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Uber

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

CSS is a gathering of industry professionals passionate about Customer Care. It’s not just about delivering great customer care, and of more great customer care means predicting the need before the customer realized/needed it.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

The recognition that Product and Support are not 2 separate things but rather one Service that we provide to our customers. (yin/yang).

Customers want and expect both, not one or the other.

Both must be integral parts of each other and not 2 broken experiences.

What are the top three trends and challenges facing customer service leaders today?

Personalization - customers expect us to know them and to help them with their needs. We want to respect their preferences, give them the treatment they prefer. This will drive loyalty and engagement.

Intent Prediction - if we understood what the customers need, we can help them before they have to ask or share details. We can help them faster, by surfacing guides, policies and suggested replies to the agents to answer queries more effectively.

Natural Language Processing - to determine what our customer are telling us, their sentiments, topics they care about.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20?

Omni-Channel

Proactive Support

Intent Prediction

With the historic reputation and “cost center” mentality, how is your team gaining investment buyin?

Proving with metrics that Customer Care at Uber is driving top line growth as well as bottom line savings.

My team is able to double-size 3 years in a row.

Cultural shift takes time.

Download the brochure to see how these topics come into the agenda!
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Donald Hicks

Vice President, Customer Experience
Twitter

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Twitter

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1. Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

This is my 1st time attending the CS Summit, and what attracted me to it was the opportunity to gain insights from some of the best thinkers in CX. An event such as this gives the opportunity to explore different techniques being used in CS/CX, identify trends to get in front of, and possibly build networks that we can use within Twitter.

2. In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

My group serves as the support operations (CS dept), handling all types of issues from your general support through to keeping the platform stable and healthy.

3. Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

The customer service (CX) experience sits at the forefront of my organization. Its embedded into the strategy team and its goal is to uncover global trends and insights on how to improve the customer's journey on our platform.

4. What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

Its cool to see that other functions are beginning to realize how important a customer service group is. It's not the traditional call center, anymore. We can actually drive value, revenue upticks, and customer retention.

5. What are the top three trends and challenges facing customer service leaders today?

In social media its = 1. Scaling human workforce vs. automation 2. Changing the hiring profile (we are not looking for call center reps) 3. Monitoring Mental Health of agents.

Register now to see how these topics come into the agenda!
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Amine Ayad

Head of Workforce Optimization
Bed, Bath and Beyond

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Bed, Bath and Beyond

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

Customer Service Summit is an important meeting because it offers a unique opportunity for industry experts and reputable thought leaders to exchange information and expertise. It is designed to tackle practical business situations while thinking and planning for the future.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

In my WFM organization, customer service is at the center of our philosophy and our activities. Global WFM teams have internal customers and external customers. In fact, I recommend that all teams think of their roles as “serving their organization i.e. Internally” and “serving their customers i.e. externally”. Global WFM teams should work closely with Operations, Marketing & Merchandising, IT, HR, Loss Prevention, Strategy & Innovation, and Legal to ensure proper alignment in strategy formulation as well as in strategy execution.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as experience overtakes price and product as a key brand differentiator and customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

Sam Walton may have given one of the best answers to this question when he said: “The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want. And really, if you think about it from the point of view of the customer, you want everything: a wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly, knowledgeable service; convenient hours; free parking; a pleasant shopping experience.” The only thing I may add to his answer is a seamless digital and physical experience. So, in the service industry different businesses need to figure out what their customers really want and go above and beyond customers’ expectations.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

The first step is to envision the customer of the future. Then, it is vital to keep “one foot” in the present, and “one foot” in the future. I do envision technologies such as AR and AI to play vital roles in the future. Counter intuitively, I do envision a segment of the customers reverting to seeking genuine human-human interaction that is technology enabled. It is not a scientific fiction to envision cyborgs, not robots, serving customers. In a LinkedIn article, I classified cyborgs into different categories. For additional information on the typology of cyborgs, please click here

How well can you measure ROI on your customer support and care initiatives?

Avoid going to an executive meeting for a decision to support a new customer service initiative without doing comprehensive “homework”. Ensure your new customer service initiative is aligned with the direction of the company and / or the trajectory of the industry.

To measure ROI on initiatives, do the following:

  • Define goals and objectives of the initiative and how they align with organizational vision and / or the trajectory of the industry
  • Define the new specific actions that are needed i.e. cost of investment
  • Calculate cost of inaction
  • Do the math

Having said that, credibility of the leader speaks loader than facts sometimes.  We are all humans and being known for your ability to deliver, for your integrity, and for your thoughtfulness add tremendous amounts of intangible.

Register now to see how these topics come into the agenda!
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Aneel Jaeel

Senior Vice President of Customer Success Group
McAfee

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with McAfee

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

The biggest mistake that people make is to mitigate the impact that customer service has for their business.  No matter how great your product, there will always be issues.  Purchasing your product/service is not the last interaction or the win… the response to customer issues and the continuing relationship is.    Customer Service is what really sets the tone for how satisfied your customers will be.  Customers are much more forgiving of issues that they encounter if they can be resolved quickly and correctly.  And beyond this fully tactical fact, customer service gains an immense amount of customer intelligence that can then be fed back into the business to further improve the customer experience.  This is a consistently overlooked value that cannot be fully realized if services are treated as solely a COGS.  Bringing industry leaders together to share successes and show the importance of Customer Service is one way we can further stress its importance as a priority for business.  Service needs a seat at the table, and the visibility that groups and conferences like this bring, help enforce that message.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

I am responsible for the entire post-sales experience at McAfee, which includes Professional Services, Education Services, and Support, both for our Enterprise and Consumer customers.  By aligning these teams into one organization, we are able to provide a holistic experience for our customers and truly engage with them as a single team.  We are also able to align our offerings across these services to help drive success for our customers.  With the depth and breadth of our clients, this allows us to more easily help customers to identify what success is for them, and help them achieve that goal.  We are also responsible for all Customer Experience measures (NPS, CSAT, PSAT) and we use the data gained from that customer feedback to further improve our products and services.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as experience overtakes price and product as a key brand differentiator and customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

I’m seeing an increased desire and investment in services from the top.  At McAfee, we are focusing on Intimate, Trusted, and Strategic relationships, and our Customer Success Team is an integral part of that strategy.  We found that our most successful customers have had a level of engagement from our Customer Success team that is not consistent across our customer base.  We are driving towards having those post-sales relationships as a standard, because we know that is how our customers will have the most success.  We have industry leading products and solutions, and if we take those and add in services and support that help ensure success, we can’t lose.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

To be successful you ALWAYS have to engage with the customer when and where they prefer.  Thirty years ago, it was over the phone.  Now the preference is for self-service or minimal engagement via online channels, whether it is chat or social support.  If you don’t proactively align yourself to the market changes, you will find yourself lagging.  I believe that our industry is  heading towards more automation, utilizing AI and machine learning to assist our customers before they even have to speak to an actual person.

How well would you say your customer service team are leveraging data and analytics to understand your customer better? Describe your voc success and feedback loop.

Over the last 2 years, we have completely transformed our Customer Experience team.  We have new tools and new strategies that are having much more of an impact and are truly seeing an improvement in our ability to measure our customer satisfaction and action towards improvements.  We’ve centered our strategy and organized our teams around three main areas:  Data and Operations, Strategy and Analytics,  and Action and Governance.  We recreated our surveys for brevity and to ensure that we are getting the data we needed to actually drive improvements.  Based on our data we’ve identified specific attributes that contribute to the satisfaction of our customers, whether it’s brand, support or product.  Based on the scores and comments we receive from our customers we identify actions to improve attributes for specific products or groups and work directly with those teams to drive initiatives for their improvement.  Our Consumer Business was the first team to fully adopt this methodology and we are seeing consistent quarter over quarter improvements in NPS, PSAT, and CSAT.

Register now to see how these topics come into the agenda!
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Brian Scharz

Chief Operations Officer
Raymour & Flanigan, Inc.

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Raymour & Flanigan, Inc.

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1. Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

In the continuing evolving retail and services industries, companies are spending a lot of resources on trying to differentiate themselves from their competitors.  Consumers have more choice than at any other time in our history, so they can be very discerning with where they choose to spend their money.  The overwhelming majority of products are becoming commodities, denying the producer and retailer alike the ability to differentiate based on product offerings.  That leaves the customer experience as the primary platform in which to differentiate.  Retail and service industry players need to understand the gap between what they currently offer with regards to the customer experience, what other industry players are offering, and what the consumer is demanding.  In this environment, to tread water is to fall behind.  Innovating just a little will barely keep up with new trends.  To actually get ahead, a company has be to laser-focused on innovation.  The Customer Service Summit is an opportunity to not only see what the consumer wants but also to see what innovations are being developed.

2. In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department? Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

As the SVP of Operations and Customer Care at Raymour & Flanigan, the largest furniture retailer in the northeast U.S., my organization is responsible for the customer experience after the sale; from setting up and completing payment options, to scheduling and performing deliveries, to providing service after the delivery.  Customer Care must coordinate with their partners in Sales and Credit to insure a great shopping experience in the stores or online and with Operations and Distribution to insure a great delivery experience.  While our entire company is focused on enhancing each customer’s experience, the Customer Care team is usually the last customer touch point, and as such, the team that provides the most lasting impression.  Our mission is “To Turn Ordinary Transactions into Extraordinary Experiences” and we take that mission very seriously. 

3. What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as experience overtakes price and product as a key brand differentiator and customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

Today’s customers want information available at their fingertips, in the most convenient platform, and immediately.  They have an expectation of accelerated EVERYTHING, from the shopping experience, to delivery, to providing a resolution to any issues that might arise.  Accelerating these touch points requires a heavy investment in I/T, and we are continuing to make that investment.  Our primary focus is on increasing the ability of customers to get information they want in the manner in which they are most comfortable, whether that is on a mobile device, via the internet, or voice-to-voice.  Providing a clear vision to our associates about the direction in which we are driving the customer experience is the key factor in getting alignment of goals and efforts.

4. What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team

Notwithstanding all of the technology being developed to provide customers with a great experience, we cannot lose sight that it is people who will deliver these solutions.  In 2019 and going forward, we will continue to invest in the training and development of our team.  From the front line associates who are interacting throughout the day with our customers, to our supervisors, managers, and directors, our associates are, and will always be, the most important factor in our customers’ experiences.  Having a robust training and development infrastructure for our associates is of equal importance to having a great suite of tools.  In addition to training and development, however, we must also continue to invest in making sure that our associates have the best tools and resources to provide those great experiences.  So, we will continue to invest in technology that will have the greatest impact on the customer experience.  Technology that allows us to provide the information a customer needs when they want it and also technology that allows us to mine data to predict what information is needed and when is the current focus of our efforts.

5. How are you ensuring you deliver a seamless customer experience? Describe your omnichannel strategy and how you are synchronizing channels.

As stated previously, having a clear vision is absolutely essential in aligning goals and efforts.  At Raymour & Flanigan, every organization, and I mean EVERY organization, from Real Estate, to Marketing, Finance, Merchandising, Credit, I/T, Legal, and the teams in the field, are focused on the customer experience.  Many years ago, I attended a training event at Disneyworld.  During that event, the president of operations for Disneyworld was asked: “Your parks are ridiculously clean.  How many employees do you have in park maintenance?” He thought for a second and then replied, “About 30,000”.  We were all pretty amazed at the commitment they would make to keeping their parks clean.  He was then asked, “Okay, then how many total employees do you have working in the parks?”  With a bit of a wry smile, he replied, “About 30,000.”  The message was clear…..he considered ALL cast members were responsible for keeping the parks pristine.  I would like to think that we have the same commitment to Customer Care at Raymour & Flanigan.  All 6,000+ of our associates, regardless of what team they are on, are committed to an exceptional experience for our customers.  To that end, it is also important to align efforts across all channels.  We are committed to providing the same Raymour & Flanigan experience to every customer, regardless of what channel they are accessing.  One way that we accomplish this is by having Customer Care associates in every channel.  Whether a customer is shopping online, in a showroom, or in an outlet, they will receive the same great Customer Care experience because Customer Care associates are present in each of these channels. 

6. What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

Because we have committed everyone in our company to enhancing our customers’ shopping experiences, it is exciting to see the ideas that have been generated to help us continue to fulfill that vision.  Ideas about improving our customers’ experiences are not just coming from the Customer Care organization, but also from associates in Marketing, Merchandising, Distribution, Sales, Credit…. Frankly, form ALL organizations.  With that many associates focused on enhancing the experience, we have created a tremendous list of endeavors to go tackle.  As technology continues to provide new and exciting solutions for enhancing the customer experience, we need to stay current with the newest trends and tools and utilize those new opportunities to continue to provide a great experience for our customers.

Register now to see how these topics come into the agenda!
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David Kocher

Vice President of Customer Success
GE Digital

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with GE Digital

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

Very often lines are drawn between B2B and B2C experiences.  My interactions with B2B customers shows that line is very blurry and their expectations are now consistent with B2C experiences.  I seek to leverage what’s being done in B2C and translate that to the B2B world.  I believe the Customer Service Summit will give me exposure to the most valuable B2C best practices.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

Our organization is roughly grouped by Operations, Product, and Commercial.  The GE Digital Customer Success function is part of the commercial team in conjunction with marketing and sales.  Our Customer Success function is composed of all post-sales delivery and execution teams: consulting, implementation, technical support, education, and adoption.

With the historic reputation and “cost center” mentality, how is your team gaining investment buy-in?

Our Customer Success business model is built from the basis of being a profit center rather than a cost center.  This approach is consistent with Enterprise B2B software organizations but sets us apart from typical B2C customer service groups.

Which technologies are you exploring, or investing in, to meet evolving customer expectations in 2019/20?

We have invested heavily in the creation of consistent holistic account health scores that leverage real-time inputs about our customers that we compare with set thresholds to identify when an account is at risk.  We leverage this capability to support a transition from reactive to proactive customer engagement.

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Diane Haluszka

Director
PVH Customer Service N.A

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with PVH Customer Service N.A

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

The CS Summit is an important meeting because it not only gives you the opportunity to network with other leaders in the CS industry, but the topics are relevant to what we need to know now. Customer Service is a forever evolving and adapting industry, not only to technology trends but to the consumer needs. If we do not take the opportunity to understand and follow those trends, we will always be behind.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

Customer Service is an internal department that sits right in our NJ HQ. We work closely with all divisions, brands, and departments to ensure the customer is getting the best possible experience they can. We constantly provide insights back to our brand partners about the consumer experience online or in store, product feedback and suggestions, and any other unsolicited feedback they can use. In addition, it is easy to work closely with other departments as we are all part of the same company, so any projects or information that needs to be completed is done fairly quickly. I truly enjoy being an internal customer service team.

Which technologies are you exploring, or investing in, to meet evolving customer expectations in 2019/20?

We are fully invested into our technology projects for the remainder of 2019 through 2020. We are upgrading our contact management system to drive efficiencies, a better experience for our staff, and to integrate numerous systems into one platform. We are upgrading our telephony platform away from a corporate focused system to a call center centric system. Lastly, we are still investing our time and efforts into our new learning management system to deliver better training opportunities to the team. We are truly excited for the technology changes occurring throughout 2020, we will be up to date and handling customers in the best technological way!

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

I love what I do and I will always love what I do because of the industry I am in. I always say that Customer Service is filled with exciting projects, great relationships, and trends. I never feel bored because I am always investing my time understanding the technology trends, consumer trends, and associate trends that are needed in order to be successful. One day I can focus on training, and the next on reporting, all while balancing projects I have going on. I have the ability to constantly learn something new and be so creative as I bring change into this department. That does and always will excite me about Customer Service, experience, and support!

Register now to see how these topics come into the agenda!
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Eliot Hamlisch

Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty & Partnerships
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?
The Customer Service Summit brings together leaders from some of the world’s most influential brands across multiple industries to create meaningful dialogue around how to innovate and elevate not just customer service but the full end-to-end customer experience. It’s a tremendous opportunity to learn from others outside your space and bring best practices back to your own organization.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?
While customer service is everyone’s job at Wyndham, it carries added weight for my team and me. As Wyndham Rewards “Chief Member Officer,” I’m constantly thinking about how to deliver exceptional customer experiences in parallel with outstanding returns for our franchisees. Among my overarching responsibilities, I set the strategic direction for our Member Services team—the front line for members dialing into our contact centers—as well as loyalty-specific training that front desk agents receive at our more than 9,000 hotels globally. It’s immensely rewarding work that requires a heavy amount of global, cross-functional collaboration.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?
Omni-channel is a phrase we hear a lot these days and for good reason: it’s the new standard. Gone are the days of customers simply calling a number to get great service. Today, they want to be able to call, tweet, email, text, etc. and when they do, they expect you to know who they are, what their preferences are, and what their historical experiences have been with your brand. Every interaction counts and everything has to be in sync. Successful companies of the future already know this and are investing their dollars accordingly.

With the historic reputation and “cost center” mentality, how is your team gaining investment buy-in?
We’re fortunate that our leadership doesn’t view what we do solely through a cost-based lens. Instead, customer service is viewed as a part of a broader “experience delivery” team, one that has the ability to not only help guests have great experiences but also create positive revenue opportunities via upselling and marketing partner services, among others. The secret is to balance these efforts and their delivery to ensure that the revenue driving activities never come at the expense of the primary goal: delivering a great customer experience.

Register now to see how these topics come into the agenda!
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Emily Marcogliese

Head Of Customer Service
thredUP

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with thredUP

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

The CS Summit is an exciting opportunity to partner with fellow leaders in the CS/CX space to share and compare strategies as well as build community.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

I lead the CS team of 2 Team Managers and about 25 agents. It’s a relatively small team for a company with over 700k active customers a month!

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

Customer Service falls on the People Team as we understand that having the right people is the most important piece of providing an exceptional customer experience. We work closely with Product Management, Marketing and Engineering to provide the qualitative insights to compliment the data-driven insights we have about our customer base.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20?

And why are they important to your team. Proactive support is a big focus for me this year and next as we seek to leverage the data-driven insights we have to suggest the right products at the right time. I am also focused on empowering agents to own their own customer relationships and building community with our customer base.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

Omnichannel support is no longer a “nice to have”. Businesses need to be able to meet their customers where they are and be prepared to communicate across many platforms at any given time.

How well would you say your customer service team are leveraging data and analytics to understand your customer better? Describe your voc success and feedback loop.

In a company that is always moving fast, it can be hard to balance product requests that will increase conversion and reduce churn with improving the current product experience. We have built a cross-functional team comprised of stakeholders in all departments to make changes to the current customer experience based on both quantitative data about how often our customers contact us about a given concern with the qualitative “voice of the customer” data to share insights across the company.

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Frankie Saucier

Head of Digital Care Strategy
Home Depot

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

I prioritize attending the Customer Service Summit because I find the topics quite relevant to my areas of interest. The information I take from the conference is actionable, and that helps because I can leave the conference and immediately put to use the knowledge I gained while attending. Also, I find that the connections I make at the conference are quite valuable. The strong relationships I’ve built from attending this conference have continued to help me throughout the years.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

Here at The Home Depot I report into the customer care department. However, a very important part of my role is to collaborate with our corporate communications and marketing community management partners to ensure that we have a strong cross-departmental strategy around serving our customers on social media.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

More and more, customers are able to reach out to progressive companies and receive customer service that feels effortless. There is a growing and quite visible divide between companies who have invested in frictionless customer service and those who have not. When given a choice, I know I as a consumer will choose the company that is easiest to work with whenever possible. So, I think companies are going to have to rethink cumbersome processes and policies and tear down silos that cause customers to work harder to receive service.

To what extent are you leveraging social media support? And how are you benefiting?

We have developed a comprehensive strategy to provide excellent service to customers in their channels of choice. Right now we are increasing our efforts on Facebook and Twitter and have plans to expand into responding on customer review sites. We want our customers to know we are there for them when they need us.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

We are all consumers, and we have all had both positive and negative experiences with the companies we engage with. I love how it feels when a company gets it right. And what I think is so exciting about the current direction of customer service, experience and support is that it feels like now more than ever companies are working tirelessly to not only do the bare minimum, but really spend quite a bit of energy trying to provide that seamless customer experience. We’re taking into account modern use cases where customers are on the go and retooling the old stationary model to fit current mobile lifestyles. It’s quite fascinating to be a part of.

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Jeff Huang

Director, Global Customer Success Operations
Zenni Optical

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

Our customers are coming to us to make a transition from a traditionally full-service retail experience to shopping online for their prescription eyewear. As a customer service team, how do we bridge that gap and make it easy for our customers so they come back? Participating in the Customer Service Summit and sharing strategies, learnings, and drawing new ideas is critical to our brand being successful in helping our customers make a positive leap forward to affordable prescription eyewear.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

Customer Service sits under the umbrella of Manufacturing, Customer Service, & Shipping Operations. We are a global customer service team with presence in China, US, and the Philippines. We operate lean and flat, which means I can walk over to visit the IT VP or Marketing Director just down the hall.

Our job as leaders in the customer service team is to communicate, partner, and share lots of appreciation! With millions of contacts, it’s easy to only remember the escalated complaints or interactions that fell through the cracks. As a customer service leader, you can help connect the dots to the many successes your team is already tackling with other departments every day. When I started at Zenni as the Global Customer Success Director, I spent the first 6 months sending out a weekly newsletter to a smaller group and then to a larger audience. This simple, regular communication was a way to slowly turn the tide on how other departments understand what customer service does. In addition, you can never say thank you enough when merchandising, or marketing to inform on a new product (new lens technology), campaign (back to school kids frames!), or partnership (official jersey patch partner for the Chicago Bulls). By valuing and driving operational readiness, our team is able to best serve the Zenni customer by refining our talking points and effectively highlighting our offerings and extending our brand in a way that fosters connection.

To what extent are you leveraging social media support? And how are you benefiting?

1. For Zenni, operating in e-commerce requires us to have a strong social media presence across standard social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Whether a brand wants to or not, customer care issues will naturally surface in spaces where customers are.

Our social customer care program closely partners with our social media team to provide a customer care experience that is an extension of our brand. While we handle this channel a bit differently, but we value it equally, if not more than the standard voice, chat, or email support channels. We focus on responsiveness and on trying to turn angry customers to an advocate and demonstrate that Zenni is here to help in a consistent, caring and public way.

How are you ensuring you deliver a seamless customer experience? Describe your omnichannel strategy and how you are synchronizing channels.

After several years optimizing for a multi-channel environment where our different sites owned their respective channels and processes, Zenni made the leap to partnering with omni-channel vendor Zendesk. With a ticket based system where chat, voice, and email are integrated into one platform, we have an integrated customer history that allows us to better understand and improve on the customer experience. Zendesk also simplified reporting for us instead of needing to work with 3 different teams to gather and consolidate all the data. The other benefit has been our approach to adding to the skills of our agent to work in different channels. This means as a program we are able to move people to where the support demand is. This allows us to improve occupancy of our agents and also support the customer experience.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

There are now many more tools to amplify the voice of the customer to guide our strategies. Customer service continues to find itself at the front of many overall customer experience conversations and critical input to how we engage on social, guide our product development, and partner with our marketing teams. For Zenni, there are so many opportunities to bridge the gap between a full-service retail experience and shopping online and we will continue improve the experience for customers.

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Linne Fulcher

Vice President, Returns
Walmart

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

Experience means more and more to customers every day. We see The Customer Service Summit as a place to share ideas, learn best practices and perhaps challenge ourselves on new ways to see this problem and the potential solutions waiting to be found.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

My area of responsibility is on Returns and sits within a newly created organization in Walmart – the Customer Organization. This Org was developed to focus specifically on the customers’ experience with Walmart end-to-end – and to drive the change needed to enhance the customer experiences expected by our shoppers. Specifically in Returns, we are working all the way from manufacturing thru our operations and merchandising orgs to enhance the experience for our customers. We think about product quality, product information to help the shopper make better choices, and/or when the return is needed we think about how we make the process as frictionless as possible- and perhaps even delight the customer along the way.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as experience overtakes price and product as a key brand differentiator and customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

Price and Product are who we are at Walmart and who we have been since we were founded. I’m not sure Price and Product are being overtaken, but would more suggest that experience has become a higher expectation by our customers. We know that time has become an even bigger focus for our customers and they expect us to save them time in addition to saving them money. We’re uniquely positioned to do that with our massive physical footprint and our growing online business; and when we utilize those assets the right way, we can provide an unbelievable customer experience. Take for example our Online Grocery business – customer can order their groceries online and pick them up from our stores or have them delivered. Customers sentiment is extremely high here.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

Customers have options. Good is no longer good enough. You have to be great. And in order to do that, you have to look at every piece of the customer journey and address the pain points. The customer expects you to work thru the complexity and deliver them a simple model. Today, our customers have to navigate the complexities in the marketplace and the patience for that is simply running low. For example, the returns business is layered with complexities- receipt vs. no receipt, policy specifications, online or instore purchase, gift or not, etc. We have to limit the amount our shoppers deal with here while continuing to protect the business from the fraud and misuse that occurs. We are finding those unlocks – for both our customers and our business- and are excited about where this is taking us.

How are you ensuring you deliver a seamless customer experience? Describe your omnichannel strategy and how you are synchronizing channels.

We have one customer. She shops across our channels, but knows us as one Walmart and has one set of expectations in how she is served. We are thinking the same way – and are working to leverage all of our assets to serve our customers at levels no one else can. We are uniquely positioned to offer our customers ways to save money and time. No matter how a customer wants to shop with us, we’re using our stores, app, website, and more to deliver a seamless Walmart experience.

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Marcell Bhangoo

Senior Vice President, Client Services
Boston Red Sox

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

I feel as though the customer service summit is an important meeting for many reasons but most importantly being able to gather leaders in the services industry from various different outlets is instrumental in allowing other companies and organization to learn and grow. You can always improve and be better when it comes to servicing so what better way to learn new ideas and techniques to improve upon what your currently utilizing than through a summit such as this. Lastly, it’s important to network amongst your peers to grow and learn and this allows that opportunity.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

I’m fortunate enough to be in an industry where there is a need for a services team on both our sponsorship side as well as our premium season ticket services side. We recognized early on that success truly grows from relationships and the experience we can create here at our ballpark. My day to day interaction is to consistently provide the tools needed to create the best client services department in baseball.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

We believe that everyone should be in the “yes” business here at Fenway so everyone should be customer service friendly. Because of the nature of the product we sell there’s not a specific department it’s all encompassing. My department of client sand services uniquely combines our sponsorship, premium season ticket holder base, and our ownership. We are constantly working with other departments to execute assets successfully as well as provide the best possible individual experiences for each client or company. We try to be a one stop shop to each client but that takes some behind scenes maneuvering with various departments to make that happen. In doing so there is constant communication across all departments and relationship building internally is instrumental to all successes.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

We are finding more and more successful communication is through technology, and while I still believe face to face conversation is still important and necessary to provide the best possible service we still have to recognize that technology provides each individual a fast and convenient way to engage - whether it be through social media, email, linkedin, or any other various platforms. For us we have to be smart about saturation when it comes to communicating too much via email, we have to continue to recognize the appropriate amount of communication and realize when to update a social media platform. We also need to continue to specifically recognize who is using these outlets and further more educate ourselves on what’s working and what’s not working which can be challenging.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

I’m amazed at how much customer service has grown over time and how it continues to grow. The fact that there is a summit with so many panels goes to show the real need for companies to invest in services. I often say people love to feel heard and it’s simple as having someone dedicated on a services team for a company to take 10 minutes to listen, but taking it a step further we often find that just by listening we end up changing things ourselves within our approach to customer service standards. It’s not rocket science but it’s definitely exciting to know that the future of services is only getting better and the recognition that the customer’s experience is the priority really shows the growth that’s been happening and continues to happen.

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Martin Lampman

Customer Support Operations Director
BCLC

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

The Summit brings together a great collective of leaders in the Customer Service industry. The opportunity to meet, collaborate, share and learn helps those leaders who are looking for inspiration and those who are looking for the next frontier. Changes move quickly and agile customer service companies rise above in how and where they support their customers. These meetings provide a means to share those changes and look the future.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as experience overtakes price and product as a key brand differentiator and customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

Customer Service and Player Experience are part of the organizational strategy and are imbedded into the organizational culture. With the organization shifting to focus heavily on the player experience and less on just products, it has provided the customer support team an opportunity to help influence and contribute to the goals of all parties. The years of data collection and customer pain points has aided the customer support team in contributing to new solutions, drive first call resolution, and explore innovative solutions to support our customers.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team.

  • Customer Advocate – With multiple metrics one that continues to be a glaring indicator to success is Time to Resolve (TtR).  As our support team has a broad support scope (B2C, B2B, B2E and the public) we have seen a great importance and a cross support model need to drive TtR.  It touches all lines of business and it is the main pain point of all customers.  The focus is how does a team be the advocate of all customers, measure and benchmark the multiple teams we work with, and drive lean management into each process to reduce the steps needed.
  • Employee Experience – We want to stay keenly focused on our employee experience and life cycle.  Even with top box scoring in experience we still look for improvements to make how we work and where we work key areas of focus.  The onboarding, training and operational lifecycle go under the microscope this year in looking for improvements. 
  • Technology – We need to continually advance our tools, systems and the way we interact with our customers.  We are looking to key integration opportunities with our CRM systems, telephony, social media and chat services.  This would make the customer experience clean and also simplify the agent interaction.  Also how do we imbed the use of AI into the way we work to reduce “people power” and unleash the use of automation.
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Melanie Jameson

Vice President, Client Success
Allied Telecome Group

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

Allied Telecom’s executive leadership has determined that attendance at the Customer Service Summit is important for many reasons. We believe that the networking opportunities are outstanding and will provide a limitless ROI. Each contact made at the Summit is an opportunity to learn best practices, software and vendor recommendations, and to develop relationships with industry leaders that are facing the same challenges that we do. Additionally, the learning tracks provide a best in class client experience, that when implemented will improve our external and internal clients’ experiences.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

As the VP of Client Success, I manage a small proactive call center and have the responsibility of working with each department to ensure that every employee is delivering an exceptional experience, from initial sale through the entire life cycle of the client. My role reports directly to our Chief Operating Officer and has direct unlimited access to our Chief Executive Officer.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

Currently, the Client Success team is working with each department to document each client touch point and using this information to create quality metrics and training around the behaviors that we want exhibited. Allied has always viewed itself as a customer centric company. We understand that it doesn’t matter what type of product we deliver, we must support the products in the way the client wants them supported.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as experience overtakes price and product as a key brand differentiator and customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

Allied is in the process of developing a Client Advisory Board that will include clients from all industries and at all levels within their organizations. We want to hear from the people using our service and products, not just the decision makers. The client experience is top of everyone’s mind and is constantly discussed as our great differentiator. Our re-focus on client experience is a very exciting time for a true client advocate. I find it highly satisfying to be able to listen to concerns and actually act to fix those concerns. When everyone in the company has the same mentality, the client wins.

With the historic reputation and “cost center” mentality, how is your team gaining investment buy-in?

Allied has consciously made the decision not to view Client Success as a cost center, but rather a necessity of doing business. From the very beginning, our CEO and Founder, Ken Williams, has believed that in order for Allied to achieve success, we must provide “white glove” service to our customers. With the industry shifting to this mentality, it further validates that customers are making buying decisions based on their experience, not simply cost. Allied does not mandate average handle time, but instead we teach our reps that they should spend the necessary time to resolve a customer issue, while taking questions from the customer regarding their frustration level and willingness to work until the issue is resolved.

How well would you say your customer service team are leveraging data and analytics to understand your customer better? Describe your voc success and feedback loop.

After a thorough research process, Allied recently chose to implement survey tool AskNicely to measure customer satisfaction. We previously used another tool that expected customers to answer a long list of questions, which was overly burdensome and resulted in low response rates. With the implementation of AskNicely, we only ask two simple questions that closely correspond to our CSAT score and have seen our response rate increase from 3% to 14.4%. All survey responses are reviewed by multiple levels within the company and negative responses are addressed immediately via reaching out to the respondent to hear their concern so that it can be corrected. Additionally, Allied is in the process of developing a Client Advisory Board to elicit direct feedback on Allied’s product offerings, service, and support.

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Michael Childers

Chief Consultant, Content and Media Strategy
Lufthansa Systems

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

In a world of automation, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, human interaction is on the decrease. Siri and Alexa are becoming increasingly involved in our lives and in customer service. Not only are the machines learning, so are we. We must teach them, and reach the point of “singularity”—where artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence. Summits like these help us to learn how to do this better.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team.

Let me respond to this not by addressing my company’s service to our customers—the airlines—but in the products that we provide the airlines to support their customer service objectives. For years we have treated inflight entertainment as an alternative to sleeping or reading inflight.

But the interactive capabilities of these customer-facing portals have the ability to be more than a passive option to reading and sleeping—they can be used proactively and interactively to engage passengers inflight with location and immediacy, and to use personal electronic devices to continue that engagement beyond the fuselage of the aircraft. Transforming inflight entertainment into inflight engagement is my top priority because, in my opinion, this is the future of inflight entertainment.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

In most businesses, and in the commercial travel industry in which I work, we are relying more and more on automation, robotics, biometrics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies rely on data that enables the machines to learn and for AI response.

This means not only capturing more and more data, but also sharing that data across several industries and touchpoints within the door-to-door travel experience. This kind of data-reliance requires the ability to use this data across all APIs in the journey, and the ability to be GDPR-compliant in the capture and use of such data.

Which technologies are you exploring, or investing in, to meet evolving customer expectations in 2019/20?

Most of the products that I am involved in are passenger experience products/systems that provide inflight entertainment and connectivity onboard aircraft. The travel experience is becoming more and more automated with the use, for example, of biometrics for customer identification during boarding. Automation and biometrics are reducing the amount of human engagement which must be offset to personalize the travel experience.

Data analytics is one of the technologies that we will use to assist in personalizing this experience. On a real-time basis, systems will capture data relative to individual content usage on inflight entertainment systems and combine this with GDPR-friendly personal data authorized by the customer, as well as environmental about the flight. These analytics will then be used in content recommendation and discovery engines that assist customers in selecting content more relevant to them.

How well would you say your customer service team are leveraging data and analytics to understand your customer better?

Here again, let me answer from the perspective of how my company is helping airlines to use data analytics to drive content recommendation and discovery engines inflight.

Data analytics is still in its infancy as to this specific application, but we do know that there are three kinds of data that are applicable: First, there is the personal data about the passenger which we are using with permission; the second is the environmental data such as the city pairs of the flight, the season, etc.; and third, there is the passenger’s actual viewing habits on this flight. Over time, our ability to make decisions on this kind of data will improve.

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Michelle Buckley

Director of Operations, Customer Relations/Rapid Rewards
Southwest Airlines

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Why is the Customer Service Summit an important event?

The Customer Service Summit brings high-level leaders together from a variety of industries to learn from each other and network. We all have at least one thing in common – we’re passionate about Customer care. The Summit provides a space for us to learn best practices from each other and about new technologies from sponsoring vendors.

What are the top three trends and challenges facing customer service leaders today?

The general speed of information today has increased Customer expectations for quick responses. To keep up with these expectations companies must decide to either grow their workforce or invest in Artificial Intelligence or bots. Further, the question becomes whether or not AI can provide responses that are as personalized and fresh as those provided by employees.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

The shift I’ve seen is towards anticipating Customer needs as a brand differentiator. In the airline industry, we compete on product, but also price. What makes Southwest different, I think, is the warmth and welcome feeling you experience from our Employees. We’re learning more about our Customers and their past experiences so we can anticipate their future needs, and this is integral to retaining existing Customers and attracting new Customers.

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Michelle Huenink

Director, Customer Service and Support
Microsoft

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

The Customer Service Summit is a great opportunity to come together with likeminded CX leaders across several influential companies around the globe. It’s the chance to learn from the industry best, network, gain best practices and be a part of the transformation happening within the customer service industry. I’m looking forward to hearing industry trends, learning about work happening around automation, proactive support, and organizational transformation.

How does your role fit into the Customer Service Organization?

I partner with leaders across the organization in order to improve the customer and employee experience through insights, tools, and programs.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as experience overtakes price and product as a key brand differentiator and customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

As a passionate customer advocate, it’s incredible to see the shifted focus on CX, but we still have a long way to go. I’ve seen a big transformation in our culture, particularly in Customer Service and Support at Microsoft, where we anchor everything we do around our Customer Experience Framework (CXF). We have a big opportunity for customer support to the be the differentiator, the opportunity to drive loyalty and create fans.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team.

Proactive support
Insights that drive transformative change across the customer experience
Automation

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

Customer service is top of mind for most people. In our Cloud world, support is our key differentiator and more important than ever before. I’m excited to be a part of the transformation taking place, especially as we look for ways to revolutionize the way we support our customers.

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Rob Lawson

Customer Experience Partnerships
Google

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

Connecting to discuss and share strategies for customer experience is crucial to the success of companies. The Summit brings together leaders from brands and tech experts to converge and build on the customer service ecosystem. Customers are clearly the most important pieces in the sales of products, and it’s critical that companies anticipate their future needs and focus on how to keep them engaged.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

I work directly with brand partners to integrate new technology to better serve their customers. We are working on moving customer service from automated calls, which today’s customers dread, to seamless and interactive messaging. We’re effectively changing the delivery of customer service to a more efficient, cost-effective, and satisfying process for the customer and the business.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

Only 3% of consumers enjoy IVR (Interactive Voice Response), yet this is still a primary method that the majority of companies use to engage their customers. If businesses don’t expand and improve the ways that customers can interact with them, they risk the loss of engagement and loyalty. We’ve found that consumers would rather interact with businesses via messaging than voice, so this is one example of a change that needs to be made to serve the desires of today’s and the future’s customers.

Which technologies are you exploring, or investing in, to meet evolving customer expectations in 2019/20?

Business to consumer messaging and person to application messaging. Both are allowing a direct line of communication between business and customer via the default messaging app. The mechanism for how service is delivered customers is the most important part of CX because, without that connection, there is no communication between the two parties.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience, and support?

All three are moving more toward a tech-savvy, user-centric model that is in line with the future of commerce. Getting this right has real benefits to both consumers and businesses. That win-win makes this a fun, and fast changing space to work in.

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Trista Miller

Director Customer Care
Frontier Airlines

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

The Customer Service Summit brings customer experience leaders together from many different industries. It is a unique opportunity to meet with thought leaders and share the latest insights, best practices, and technology in the ever-changing field of CX. During this conference, I hope to walk away with ideas on how we evolve customer care in the future as it can be a strategic differentiator for customer experience.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

At Frontier Airlines, I have direct responsibility for the experience of our customers across phone, email and social channels, the operational performance and strategic planning for these groups, and CX analytics. I work tirelessly to support and improve the customer experience while practicing smart spending as we work to build the brand.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

I am fortunate to report to our Senior Vice President of Customers, alongside our airport and inflight teams. We know that delivering a good customer experience at an incredible value requires a cross-functional approach. Communication across departments is a critical component of delivering a quality, dependable customer experience. Sharing the gold mine of data we collect in customer care with the relevant business groups is helping us move the customer experience forward.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as experience overtakes price and product as a key brand differentiator and customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

Our customers, today, and in the future, will rely heavily on self-service and digital technology to meet their travel needs; therefore, we need to make sure we have strong self-service options along with omni-channel support. Hyper personalization with an engaging, yet easy to use, booking flow will create value for customer and company. Providing customers with choice and executing quickly when things go wrong is key to retaining customers while maintaining brand position.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

What excites me the most is the data that we can collect and analyze. With advancement in tools and technologies, companies are more easily able to share data across teams, identify pain points and resolve customer issues. By analyzing more of what our customers are saying and doing, we can change our approach to better meet or exceed their expectations while keeping costs under control.

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Previous Incite Customer Service Summit Q&As


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TJ Acuto

Business Director, Customer Experience
Capital One

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Capital One

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

I see the Summit as a great opportunity to network and discuss best practices with peers that share a similar passion around delivering a world class CX.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

Most of my time at Capital One has been spent managing analyst teams that are embedded within Operations and help drive the CX agenda. Responsibilities have included setting goals, identifying opportunities, building business cases, leading implementation activities, monitoring performance, etc.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

Assessing the CX impact is a foundational component of all business decisions and something that is top of mind for all associates regardless of department, level, or job family.

How are you gaining investment buy-in?

We seek to quantify the impact of a positive or negative experience in terms that will resonate with the decision maker while also leveraging the voice of the customer to humanize the experience.

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Robert Noon

Head of Treasury Management Client Services,
Wells Fargo

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Wells Fargo

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In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

As the head of Treasury Management Client Services, I am lead a team of approximately 620 Team Members responsible for the day to day servicing needs of our Wholesale Treasury Management Clients.  My team members also perform back office research and provide advice to clients on how best to maximize the products they’ve purchased.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20?

My top 3 priorities revolve around making it easier for our clients to do business with Wells Fargo.  Our focus is on digital self-service, team member development, and the offering of additional channels for our clients to use to interact with our team.

What are the top three trends and challenges facing customer service leaders today?

Our biggest challenge in customer service is the evolving technologies in the payment space.  (1) staying current with the different payment options are clients need (2) developing the next generation of Team Members (3) bringing the consumer experience to the B2B space.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

Our clients in the future will rely heavily on self-service and digital technology to meet their business challenges, therefore we need to make sure we have strong self-service options along with omni-channel support.  Legacy phone systems along with increased digital self-service will present the challenge of finding the right mix of people and technology in the future.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

As we offer more digital solutions for simple customer service needs, we are shifting to providing more advice to help our clients succeed financially.  In addition, by making it easier to do business with us our clients will look to us when new business needs arise.

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Michael Roy

Head of Social Customer Care,
Alaska Airlines

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Alaska Airlines

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Why is the Customer Service Summit an important event?

The Customer Service Summit is such an important event because it will allow you to visit your colleagues and peers in this space.  You will hear new ideas from some of the leaders in the customer care field.  These events allow you to build relationships that go beyond the Incite Conference.  It will also allow to develop a network that will help you and your business succeed.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?  Social Care is embedded in our Customer Service department.  We are able to engage with our guests while providing immediate feedback for the organization.  The reason we put it in Customer Service is for a few reasons 1) Care agents know our business and our guests.  2) Care agents allow us the ability to scale.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?  We are seeing a shift with guests moving from brand shaming public conversations to private messaging that can provide a quicker, more consistent response.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20?

1) GX – Moving away from typical reactive guest care solution to providing more proactive solutions

2) Be where the guest is, not where you want the guest to be.

3) Modernization – Moving away from expensive to service channels into channels that provide a lower cost solution while at the same time, increasing the guest experience.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?  Guest Care is moving away from traditional models that provides customer care departments very little feedback.  With the direction of new tools and methods, we are moving into a new model that will provide company and guest with immediate results.  Companies can immediately identify pain-points and solve those issues “in the moment”.

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Jim Reynolds

Vice President, Customer Experience,
US Bank

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with US Bank

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

This event brings customer experience leaders together to share challenges, ideas and best practices for improving the customer experience. This event provides a look outside our organization and will help us stay a step ahead!

Tell us a little bit about your session and who it would be most valuable to?

In this session, we will discuss what employee engagement really is, why it is important and ways to engage contact center employees. If retaining great talent is important to your organization, you must attend.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

I am passionate about turning customer insights into action. In my role, I consult contact center leaders on ways to improve the customer and employee experience.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

We are listening to our customers, prioritizing and becoming more and more agile in meeting their needs. We are customer centric with a close eye on innovation.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

To meet the needs of customers, businesses must transform their operations to be more agile, and adaptive to evolving needs. One size does not fit all. People, processes and technology must continue to evolve to meet and exceed the customer’s needs. While businesses stand up digital self-service channels, they must also invest in contact center agents. Automation and artificial intelligence will not replace the human touch.

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Bruce Nelson

Director, Support Services
Ricoh

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Ricoh

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

The CSS event is important to leaders who are seeking to find innovative and proven ways to improve customer service and satisfaction. The mix of presenters and speakers is across many industries and types of support. The networking, ability to ask questions in an open forum, and opportunity to share experience is invaluable.

Tell us a little bit about your session and who it would be most valuable to?

The session I will be presenting on shares new ideas to answer age old problems in the contact center arena. Routing calls and incidents to agents who can answer them professionally and timely has always been an issue. By creating a new culture, process, and empowerment, we have found a way to increase satisfaction, resolution rates, and employee satisfaction, while saving money at the same time. It has truly been a game changer for Ricoh.

What are the top three trends and challenges facing customer service leaders today? Why is that?

a.  Automation: Automation allows for quick, succinct, detailed, and consistent support.   Less errors occur with automation.    We never want to take away from great personal customer service, but there is an opportunity to some of the “low hanging fruit” use “auto-bots”, allowing for the more complex support to give more time.

b. Self Service: As more and more customers are in the “self service” generation, the demands for the type of assistance that allows them to review, troubleshoot, fix, or repair on their own goes up.    Customers seek more videos, “how-tos”, electronic operator guides and strong FAQ type knowledgebases.

c. Incident Routing: This has been a pain point for inbound for many companies.  It is critical to get the incidents for support to the right people for the highest likelihood of resolution.   It is the reason we invented our patented process.   Even with our new process, there is still a need for inbound, hence the need for the best routing possible.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20? How are you going about implementing them?

a. Increase resolution rates: Better routing, data analytics, peer reviews, and increased use of our patented process.

b. Allow customers many types of support through different platforms (text, social media, phone, chat, and augmented reality.   Continue exploring partnerships in multi channel arenas. We will be seeking a great text partner in this calendar year.   We have solid processes for all others, but are working on expansion and promotion of these abilities.

c. Improve customer self service options We are working internally for stronger linkage of our website and knowledgebase, as well as exploring auto bot capabilities.   Our new units have self service options built into the control panels, so we will expand the usage and back end support for them.

What excites you about the current direction of customer?

The wide variety of customer types, and expectations. The range of support options continues to grow, which allows for greater customer satisfaction. It also presents challenges in opening up new ways to meet these expectations. The excitement comes when you meet these new challenges with options customers ask for, and do not even know whey want yet.

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David Bohl

Director, Global Service Delivery, Social Media Support
Dell

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Dell

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

Events like the Customer Service Summit are great opportunities to learn from each other in ways the improve the overall ecosystem of customer service.  I believe this benefits our customers, our companies, and ourselves as we are also customers.

Tell us a little bit about your session and who it would be most valuable to?

My session will be Using Predictive AI to Drive Customer Service Excellence in Social; I will cover the objectives underlying our use of predictive AI, an overview of how we setup and established our predictive model, how we maintain the model over time, how we act upon the predictions, and the results we see from having implemented the process.  The conversation should be valuable to any organization with a moderate to high volume of contacts of sufficient complexity that monitoring conversations and outcomes manually for consistent, high quality results is not practical.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

My organization is separate from traditional order support.  We fall into the Technical Service & Support group, however, as we are the only support for social media platforms we also do order support.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

Traditional order support sits with sales operations.  We engage them as an escalation route when required.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20?

a. Expand to cover additional channels – e.g. WhatsApp, Line

b. Leverage Peer to Peer support

c. Promote channel shift away from phone

With the historic reputation and “cost center” mentality, how is your team gaining investment buyin?

We pay for investments by delivering cost reductions paired with improved customer experience vs. traditional channels; benefits that technology paired with full visibility to the support experience due to the nature of social permit.

To what extent are you leveraging social media support? And how are you benefiting?

Social support volume has grown 4.5X over the last 3 years; we expect it will become a majority of future volume; see answer above for benefits

What KPIs do you use to measure the success of your social media support?

Customer experience (from customer survey data), first contact resolution, speed of answer; a host of traditional (voice) shadow metrics.

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Joe Whitchurch

Head of CreditWise
Capital One

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Capital One

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Why is the customer summit important?

The customer summit is a crucial opportunity to meet with fellow CX leaders and share the latest insights, learnings and technology in the rapidly advancing field of CX.

Which technology are you exploring for CX?

We are exploring all new technologies as a means of enhancing CX, whether its predictive experiences using AI or augmented reality experiences for front-line associates to share with customers, technology is critical to a great CX.

How are you gaining investment buy-in?

We are leveraging two paths. First is quantifying the value impact of a good (and bad) customer experience. The other is finding ways to make "the things we have to do" (e.g. answer the phone) into rave-worthy experiences.

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Andrea Silas

Vice President, Technical Support
Dreamhost

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Dreamhost

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

As a customer service professional with over 15 years under my belt, the most important thing from me about this conference is the opportunity to improve the way we serve our customers. I'm looking forward to being exposed to how others are trying to solve the same problems and to learn from others' successes and mistakes, discover new approaches and tools, and build relationships to assist each other in our quest to reach customer satisfaction.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

As the VP of technical support at DreamHost, a web hosting company, my main focus is reducing customer churn by assisting customers 24/7, through various channels and multiple languages, including live chat, email, and social media. I am also responsible for incoming sales and assist with customer onboarding.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

We are part of the Operations group, reporting directly to the CEO. I’ve created an ecosystem of product support coordination, and my team members sit in on and actively contribute to the product rollout process. This includes decision-making to help build the best customer experience at any product change or rollout, creating training to keep the tech support team updated on our services, and maintaining the customer-facing knowledge base.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20?

Improved service times, Latin-American expansion, and moving away from being a cost center to instead be a source of revenue generation.

Which technologies are you exploring, or investing in, to meet evolving customer expectations in 2019?

AI! We are using Solvvy's technology on top of our vast customer-facing knowledge base to provide instant resolutions to a multitude of customer issues. We have gradually grown from a solid 13% IR rate to almost 17% at this point, having made great and effective use of on machine learning and customer feedback.

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Chip Liebenow

Customer Care Director
Home Depot

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Home Depot

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Tell us a little bit about your session and who it would be most valuable to?

As our industry continues to evolve, it has never been more critical to share best practices, understand the industry landscape and establish points of contact with subject matter experts. The Incite Group does a terrific job of bringing thought leaders together to share, learn and collaborate. Thank you, Incite Group!

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

I am fortunate to work for a company that understands all strategy begins and ends with the customer. At The Home Depot, we focus on delivering the most convenient experience and best value for our customers – something we call our Orange Promise. We know that in today’s retail environment, delivering convenience and value requires creating a seamless interconnected experience across all touchpoints, and creating this kind of customer experience requires a cross-functional approach.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

In today’s fast-paced environment, it’s become apparent that the customer must be at the center of all operational and strategic decisions. I believe the most successful strategies are built on empowering frontline associates to operate dynamically in order to meet evolving customer demands. It’s crucial that these strategies are built upon resourcing, training and supporting frontline associates with positive reinforcement and a robust development program.

With the historic reputation and “cost center” mentality, how is your team gaining investment buyin?

In my opinion, pitting operational efficiencies and outstanding customer service as opposing goals is an outdated approach. Organizations that effectively focus on the customer will leverage their culture to achieve the company’s vision. It’s important to provide the optimal organizational structure and technological resources to support the vision, but efficiencies will come naturally when culture and operational objectives are aligned.

How well would you say your customer service team are leveraging data and analytics to understand your customer better?

Leveraging data to improve the customer experience is central to The Home Depot’s success. Not only do we in Customer Care use data to better understand our customers and their needs, we share information to identify opportunities to improve across the enterprise. By partnering cross-functionally, we are able to eliminate points of friction from the customer journey, which ultimately improves the customer experience and strengths our customer-centric culture.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

We live in an exciting time where customer touchpoints and channels are coming together to provide customers with a unique, valuable and convenient experience when interacting with an organization’s brand. Companies are placing the customer at the center of their core operations and strategies, and technologies that enable personalized interactions continue to evolve. We’ll see these trends strengthen, and true omnichannel experiences will emerge. This is good for our bottom lines, our industry, and most importantly, our customers.

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David Johnston

Social Media Strategy Leader
TSA

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with TSA

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

CSS puts you ‘in the room’ where some of the top minds in customer care are having discussions and creating ideas for what’s next. You have the chance to network with peers from a wide-range of industries, learning best practices from a diverse group of thought-leaders. Plus, you have the opportunity to ask direct questions to those who are expanding the world of customer care.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

AskTSA sits in our Office of Public Affairs office. We see it as a communications channel first, one capable of delivering a wide range of information that is helpful to the traveling public. And part of delivering that information is making sure we are working with all the internal groups to ensure we have the ‘latest and greatest’ information. Thankfully, we have established a network of contacts allows us to respond quickly when a new, unexpected situation arises.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20?

When I look at 2019/2020, I see the priorities being: Availably (in multiple channels and time of day); speed of service (not just first engagement time); and expansion (to new languages and new markets).

To what extent are you leveraging social media support? And how are you benefiting?

Through our AskTSA Customer Care Team, we are providing direct responses to traveler questions and providing real-time assistance when problems arise. This is providing us with voice-of-the-customer insights on what travelers are experiencing when the travel and interact with our officers.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

What excites me the most is the amount of data that we’re able to generate. By analyzing what our customers are saying, we can learn more about their expectations and how we change our approach to best serve those who rely on us to keep travel safe.

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Andy Lisk

Sr Director, Global Customer Experience
Ebay

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Ebay

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Tell us a little bit about your session and who it would be most valuable to?

I’ll be talking about a Premium Service we launched in our Global Customer Experience team over 2 ½ years ago at eBay. We dramatically improved the customer experience for these eBay buyers and sellers in our 4 biggest markets around the world.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

I lead our NA Customer Experience team for eBay and have direct responsibility for the experience of our customers, our employees, operational performance, and strategic planning. I am consumed with making sure our customers and employees have great experiences with eBay and being a good steward of the company’s investment.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

I report directly into our SVP of Global Customer Experience, who reports directly to our CEO, Devin Wenig. Being a marketplace, we rely on our buyers and sellers to be successful and take our responsibility of creating great experiences for our buyers and sellers very seriously. I work very closely with many other departments within eBay to continue to improve the customer experience, including Product, Business Unit, Training, Recruiting, Work Force Operations, Analytics, People Management. Marketing (to name a few).

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

We have made an organizational shift to be more customer centric with all planning. We are having more meaningful dialogue around how to improve the customer experience, both for new users as well as existing users. And, the customer experience is more than when they need help, it is their entire experience with eBay that may start with shopping or thinking about selling an item all the way through completing a purchase or sell that includes post transaction.

What are the top three trends and challenges facing customer service leaders today?

The first challenge is creating an engaged team in an ever- changing workforce – you can’t create great customer experiences without having engaged and great employees. The second is prioritization – the world is moving at a rapid pace with very high demands. It is very important for leaders to stay focused and prioritize the things that matter most. The third is creating great experiences for customers, which includes listening to and understanding your customers, leveraging data and conversations with your customers to know what matters most to them and then working within your company to fight for the changes needed to drive the right improvements.

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Heidi Rote

Sales Center Director for North America
Jenny Craig

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Jenny Craig

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

The only way for service culture to evolve and improve is to come together and talk about what is and is not working. Though we all offer different products and service, we have so much to learn from each other. How great would it be if consumers felt good about dealing with service departments? This can be accomplished by attending events like this!

Tell us a little bit about your session and who it would be most valuable to?

Our session is valuable to anyone aiming to add or enhance live chat on their website, communicating the right things relative to your specific customer and how to keep your employees engaged in a chat role.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

My team helps caller from all over North America learn about the Jenny Craig program and aims to get them started towards their goals of a healthier lifestyle. The sales team is the frontline, the very first encounter with Jenny Craig. We get one chance to set the bar high for service expectations for everyone starting our program. If our department did not function from a place of good intent and truly caring about helping people live their best lives, our service department would be flooded with complaints.  

Which technologies are you exploring, or investing in, to meet evolving customer expectations in 2019?

IN 2019 we are looking to continuously improve the chat experience. More and more people are reaching out to us online before they call. We want that experience to be flawless, we are looking to add new features from RapportBoost.ai. We will use RapportCoach which offers enhanced agent scorecards, ChatScript which identifies and optimizes poor and high performing scripts by providing context-aware recommendations. In addition, we are thinking of adding in technology that gives real-time suggestions to live agents of what to say for best possible outcomes.

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Lindsey Duncan

Social Media Leader
Southwest Airlines

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Southwest Airlines

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is important?

The basic principles of Customer Service don’t change, but the way we execute them is an ever-changing landscape. It’s important for business to get together once in a while and share best practices. We all benefit from benchmarking.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

At Southwest Airlines, we refer to everyone as either an Internal or External Customer, and by that standard, we are all part of the Customer Service Department, whether we sit directly in the Customer Service Department or not. Our perspective is that every Employee is responsible for serving his or her Internal/External Customers with warmth, hospitality, and a sense of personal pride.

What are the top three trends and challenges facing customer service leaders today?

The demand and expectation for instant rectification, photo/video culture, and the anonymity of the internet. More and more, Customers expect an instant solution to a problem. We should always strive for timely solutions, but sometimes research and fact-gathering is necessary, and that can present a challenge. The added components of the ability to take photos and video of nearly any situation and publish in public forums also adds a dynamic that business need to be mindful of and prepared for as they seek to address Customer Service issues.

What KPIs do you use to measure the success of your social media support?

Certainly we’re looking at how long it takes us to respond to a Customer. On Channels like the Southwest Community, which is a peer-to-peer discussion forum, we’re also looking for how long it takes a post to receive its first reply, and how many subsequent comments are made on the thread. We’re interested in knowing how many times people are posting, how long they’re spending on a certain page, and how many of them go on to make a purchase after finding the answer to a question. 

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Michael Lawder

Senior Vice President of Customer Care
Samsung Electronics America

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Samsung Electronics America

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Why is the Customer Service Summit an important event?

The Customer Service Summit will bring together multiple Service leaders from many different industries. It will be a unique opportunity to learn from initiatives that have driven success in some of the top brands today. During this conference, my hope is that engagement from my fellow leaders in other companies will spark innovation on how we evolve customer service for the future, making it a source of delight for consumers and a primary strategic differentiator for customer experience.

In your company, how does your role fit into the customer service department?

I am Senior Vice President of Customer Care at Samsung Electronics America, responsible for the company’s post-sales support and service in the US. Since joining Samsung in 2015, my focus has been on building stronger, more meaningful relationships with customers, and ensuring that they always have an awesome brand experience. It is my goal to make relationship building part of the value proposition Samsung offers its consumers. 

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

Historically, customer care at Samsung meant “fixing broken products” and while that’s an essential element, it’s only the beginning of the job.  Stellar customer care goes beyond fixing problems, it’s about helping consumers get the most out of their Samsung products.  My focus is on transforming Samsung from a company that produces hardware, to a company that also places emphasis on the softer side of the business—the people who buy Samsung products, and the Samsung employees who ensure consumers have a great experience with those products.  People buy once because of a great product, but they become repeat customers because of great service. Samsung has recently started to view customer care not as a cost center, but as a strategic differentiator.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

The Customer Service org at Samsung Electronics America reports directly to the President & CEO of Samsung Electronics North America. Because Samsung is a global company, we work very closely with our colleagues in South Korea, as well as other Samsung subsidiaries around the world, frequently sharing best practices, innovative projects and thought leadership. We also partner frequently with other departments like Sales, Marketing and Technology. We are driving initiatives throughout the customer journey, not just post sales.

An example of our collaboration across other departments is Premium Care, which can be purchased at the point of sale on our website and shop app. It is a white-glove program that empowers customers to get the most out of their device, providing them with protection, support and assistance whenever, and wherever they need – be it in their home, office, or local coffee shop, thanks to a nationwide network of Samsung-trained experts who can provide around the clock, on-site help.  This radical and personalized new approach to customer care is a game-changer for the industry, truly delivering on the promise of an unparalleled customer service experience.

What are your top three customer service priorities in 2019/20?

My top 3 priorities this year are:

  1. Control Service Delivery – Improve Samsung repair operations, from both a speed and quality perspective, while at the same time making sure our technicians are trained and branded consistently.
  2. Transform the Contact Experience – Drive a shift to a Customer First and Digital First experience for our customers that is highly personalized.
  3. Hyper Differentiation – Enhance our Premium Care offering, connect our service with Samsung’s Product IOT capabilities, and develop the next generation of our Customer Experience Management and Design.
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Rhonda Basler

Director, Customer Engagement
Hallmark Business Connections

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Hallmark

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important event?

Hallmark Business Connections is delighted to be exhibiting at the Customer Service Summit to present how Hallmark is helping companies show their employees and customers how they #CareEnough. Stop by our booth (and pop-up card shopping experience!) to learn what Hallmark touchpoints have a measureable and signification impact to customer satisfaction scores, employee engagement and marketing ROI.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

As the division of Hallmark that supplies Hallmark products and services to some of the largest brands in the world, we’ve shifted even more focus to innovation in the customer experience arena. Creating a great experience is wired into Hallmark’s culture. We’ve channeled that to create products and solutions that help brands differentiate from their competition by creating extremely meaningful and moving moments for customers.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

AI (artificial intelligence), data insights and analytics, and advanced technology all support a transformation to be more intimate and personal with customers. Transforming customer operations to include systematic, efficient ways to connect in a meaningful way with customers will pay dividends now and in the future.

Which technologies are you exploring, or investing in, to meet evolving customer expectations in 2019?

Innovating in “speed” and “ease” is essential to deliver exceptional personal experiences via employees. For our Customer Care solution, we invented a user interface that allows customer service associates to send a real Hallmark card to a customer in a matter of seconds. We continue to evolve the experience from both the employee and customer perspective, finding unique ways to help companies creating raving fans.

With the historic reputation and “cost center” mentality, how is your team gaining investment buy-in?

Any time an organization devotes budget to a customer experience initiative, it is imperative to be able to measure the performance compared to other initiatives. In Hallmark’s solution that is built specifically for contact centers and front-line associates, we’ve built in measurement and analytics to measure the financial, customer satisfaction, employee engagement impact. One of our clients, KCP&L – a utility company – determined that they would pay three times more for the solution just for the impact on employee engagement, not to mention the impact to brand reputation and customer satisfaction with the service experience.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

At the heart of business are customers who are so happy with your company that they tell others. Creating customer testimonials in social media, product reviews, recommendations and word-of-mouth marketing is vital to success in today’s environment. It’s not a new concept, but one that is experiencing resurgence. That’s exciting not only for customers, but employees and shareholders as well. Any time we can add meaning to our brands and workplace, it has great impact to customers, employees and the growth rate of our companies.

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Nicholas Zeisler

Former Director, Customer Experience
HP

Take a look at our recent bitesize Q&A with Nicholas

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Why do you feel the Customer Service Summit is an important meeting?

It’s always a good idea to get out there with other CX practitioners and hear what they’re up to. I endeavor to not just listen to what folks in my usual industries (tech, telecom) are doing. You’d be amazed to find what you can learn from folks in completely different industries and how they’re taking their CX to the next level. I’ve gotten lots of great ideas for myself and my clients from unexpected places.

Where does customer service sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver the best possible customer experience?

I’ve seen this in many places…sometimes there’s corporate-wide CX with the ear of the CEO right at the table, but I’ve also seen success when it’s working within the COO or CMO organizations. The key isn’t so much where it’s located, but rather the interest the entire leadership team takes in its application.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as experience overtakes price and product as a key brand differentiator and customer service becomes integral to attracting and retaining customers?

It’s cliché to say, “you’re not just competing against peers within your own industry, we’re all also competing with organizations like Zappos, Ritz-Carlton, Southwest Airlines, USAA, etc. Customers are expecting an awesome experience wherever they go; whatever they’re looking for.” This is one of those clichés that are cliché because they’re accurate. But what we also have to remember is that we’re competing with the post office, the DMV, and the cable companies. These providers with (earned or not) historically bad CX reputations afford us an opportunity to easily ‘knock it out of the park’ by simply considering the Customers’ experience when we interact with them. Sure, it’s hard to rise to the level of those stand-out organizations with stellar reputations. But imagine if there were a utility company that really stood out…how little they have to do to look like super-stars compared to contemporaries in their industries. As if to prove my point, some phone companies are doing wonderful CX things…compared to their competitors. It’s amazing in those spaces how easy it is to stand out.

How are businesses going to have to transform their customer operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

They’re going to have to act, not just listen. Collecting VoC is one thing, but if that’s all you’re doing, it’s like the weather: Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it. We need to not only collect and analyze, we also have to change what we do as a result of what we hear.

With the historic reputation and “cost center” mentality, how is your team gaining investment buy-in?

If your front-line folks aren’t empowered to up-sell, you’re missing the boat. Why put someone in front of your Customer who can’t turn an interaction into a selling opportunity? If you’re not doing so, don’t be surprised if others within your organization see you as a sink rather than a tap.

How well can you measure ROI on your customer support and care initiatives?

CRM tools these days should (if you’re using them correctly) be able to track every interaction your Customers have with you. A smart analytical team should be able to find straight-line correlations with those Customers’ experiences and whether or not they re-purchase. NPS is great, but there are much more simple real-world ways to ensure that those who ‘promote’ you are coming back to buy again.

What excites you about the current direction of customer service, experience and support?

CX is finally getting some credit for the role it plays in retaining Customers. But like anything, we need to continue to ‘tell our story’ as to how the effort (and investment) in CX returns value to our organizations. Also, the merging of process improvement (Lean Six Sigma) with insights from our VoC will become a hugely powerful tool when leveraged correctly. Suddenly organizations are finding other uses for PI/LSS besides simple resource and cost avoidance. We can improve our processes to improve our CX which in turn grows our top-line.

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