CX Summit SF 2016 Wrap-Up

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Michael Buenaventura

November 14, 2016

TaskUs hosted the 3rd semi-annual CX Summit at The Fact0ry in beautiful San Francisco from October 27-28th, 2016. It brought together a riveting group of top executives from high-growth companies to discuss technology, customer experience, innovation and the future of service.

Roughly 110 attendees representing 75 of the most transformational and disruptive companies on Earth RSVP’d. Businesses represented included a broad range of impactful and revolutionary brands such as HotelTonight, Tinder, Eventbrite, HootSuite, BetterDoctor, Tile and SpareFoot. If a brand has shaken up their industries online or via an app and helped transform the customer experience for consumers, it is a safe bet that TaskUs hosted that logo at CX Summit.

Over the two-day event, attendees had the opportunity to mingle with, learn from and share wisdom with one another. CX Summit distinguishes itself from its conference competition in that it provides a safe place for leaders to leave their organizational silos to share their challenges openly, without judgment, with peers from other businesses to learn best practices, pick up tips and foster a community dedicated to customer experiences and service through technology. There’s really nothing else like it in our tech-fueled service community.

In the opening session, TaskUs CEO Bryce Maddock asked a deceptively simple question, “What is the state of CX?”

Indeed – what is the state of CX?

Over the course of 18 presentations, roundtable discussions and panel discussions, speakers and attendees from a wide net of the represented logos sought to answer that question. Guest speakers included executives from businesses such as Google, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Shopify, Dropbox, Hootsuite, HotelTonight and Zendesk, among many others. For most sessions, attendees chose from multiple panels, presentations and round tables enabling each to select topics that were most impactful to her or his professional life and interests.

The “Trust and Safety” panel discussion focused on how sharing economy and social networking businesses approached the topic as an integral aspect of their organizations.  Panelists – and audience members – shared tactics and strategies that their respective organizations utilized to keep their services safe for their users. Each panelist affirmed that providing safe CX spaces was not just a strategic tactic, but one that fosters user trust as well as being the right thing to do.

Interestingly, each panelist raised the point that taking a blanket approach to user trust and safety is difficult owing to cultural sensitivities and differences when an organization operates globally. However, brushing the issue aside wasn’t the correct course of action either.  Panelists explained that a commitment to diversity across their global teams helped to solve the challenge and to shape policy development.

Five informal spotlights provided guests with an opportunity to learn about disruptive technology that has revolutionized CX experiences for users. Spotlights included demonstrations from tech powerhouses Zendesk, Convoso, Service, Interviewed.com and Wise.io.

People are at the core all CX endeavors. This was stated implied implicitly and stated explicitly throughout CX Summit. In fact, getting CX right begins at “home” with a company’s employees and understanding what makes them tick.

In his well-received, “Managing a Millennial Workforce” presentation, Weir explained that three major generational cohorts – Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials – are responsible for driving the American workforce today. These three generations – who are radically different in perspective, how they were raised and what they expect out both life and career – have the potential to cause major headaches for leaders who do not understand how to bring the three together as one team.

The CX implications are staggering. Weir explained that it is imperative that leaders adapt to changes in the workforce as Baby Boomers retire in greater numbers each day and Millennials replace them. Throughout the presentation, Weir gave insights into the Millennial cohort, how to engage them and how to harness the power of what makes them tick so that businesses, productivity and ESAT scores soar.

In the  “Using Customer Service to Drive Revenue” presentation attendees learned that users often have a very emotional response to a CX experience. With users in an emotionally heightened state, it is imperative that agents be empathetic. Doing so helps to reduce a user’s stress and drives loyalty.

The “Artificial Intelligence and CX” panel discussion, reminded audience members that AI (AKA machine learning) mimics the best of customer support agents so that human workers can focus on higher value work while letting machines handle the work that has been accomplished a million times before. Attendees learned that with the assistance of AI, customer support channels are rapidly moving away from existing as a cost center into channels that drives revenue. Despite popular assumption that AI is stealing jobs from humans, panelists impressed that AI would likely never eliminate the need for human workers because escalated tickets require human empathy – something that an ordinary machine is incapable of providing.

The above were just three of the exciting presentations offered. The full list included:

  1. Machine Learning, Automation and the Experience
  2. Trust and Safety
  3. Moving KPI’s by Being Wrong: The Art of Falsifiable Assumptions
  4. Providing Consistent Customer Support Across Different B2B Customer Segments
  5. Peeling Back the Support Layers to Discover Hidden Opportunities
  6. 5 Trends We See from Companies Adopting Zendesk
  7. Building a Value Generating Team
  8. Support at Scale
  9. Lessons from 100 to 1,000,000 Candidates: How to Hire Awesome Customer Success Reps
  10. Managing a Millennial Workforce
  11. Using Customer Service to Drive Revenue
  12. Building a Better Product Together
  13. The Journey to World-Class Self-Support
  14. Artificial Intelligence and CX
  15. The Digital Transformation of Customer Service
  16. Multi-Channel Commerce: Growth, the Supply Chain and the Customer Experience
  17. You Want MORE Tickets, Not Less: How to Start Investments in Proactive Outreach
  18. Scaling Customer Support and Operations

Bottom line: CX Summit SF 2016 was the place to be for thought leaders looking to improve CX in their organizations and drive customer satisfaction into customer delight through technology.

If you did not have a chance to attend, don’t worry. New York City will be home to the 4th semi-annual CX Summit due to take place on April 20, 2017. For more information, go to summit.cx.