On April 28 we hosted our second CX Summit in New York. 120 curated CX executives gathered to talk about what's happening inside some of the fastest growing companies in the world. We host this event to create a forum for open dialogue that is far more current and tailored to the needs of a dynamic company, and the day was ridiculously good. Here are some of my key takeaways:
Customer Service is SEXY!
With all the media attention around chatbots, AI and messaging, it seems like CX is having its 15 minutes of fame. But will it stick? That's a longer conversation, but the general consensus is that while these technologies will be impactful long term, they are not top of mind for CX practitioners today.
Everybody HATES Salesforce.
There was a fantastic moment, where our opening speaker, David Tisch, surveyed the audience. He asked:
"Who uses Salesforce?” Almost every hand went up.
"Who uses Slack?” Again, almost every hand in the air.
"Who LIKES using Slack?” Almost every hand up.
"Who LIKES using Salesforce?” All hands down.
It seems that Salesforce is like our top two Presidential candidates - people will use it, but begrudgingly. For example, Kustomer, a company founded in 2015, is building a CRM platform (that is currently in Beta) with an innovative and customer focused interface built on new technology, which will give it a distinct advantage over 15 year old code from Salesforce.
Trust and safety are increasingly important in the new economy, and we are seeing its operation within a company often fall into the Customer Support umbrella. For companies like Turo (formerly Relay Ride), or Handy, the business is built on trust. Issues that arise from bad apples in a marketplace end up in support. Thus with the rise of the on-demand economy, CX leaders are forced to think about trust and safety at the forefront, strategically thinking about whether or not to split these issues within their own dedicated teams and whether channels and SLAs should be the same or different than traditional customer care issues.
Don't be a skunk!
A skunk represents a person who is negative and we all know what skunks do...once they spray, it affects everyone. This insight came from Susan Salgado from Hospitality Quotient, which is a part of the Union Square Hospitality Group. She had a lot to say on the importance of corporate culture and its effect on the customer experience. It all starts with who you hire. Whether it's in a contact center or an executive role, a Skunk can bring down an entire company.
Is GE a startup!?
We heard from Sam Olstein, Global Director of Innovation at GE, who told us that GE is investing the time and resources into B2C marketing directed towards millennials. What? Why? They are aiming to improve brand recognition, position the company as an innovative brand and help with recruitment because as millennials grow up, they grow up into the GE target market. The ROI cycle might be long, but GE is willing to wait. Last year, they hosted "Drone Week” on Periscope, a week filled with drones flying over GE installments. It was such a great success that they are redoing it this year in Brazil. Just because a company has been around for a long time and a lot of new, sexy companies are coming out, it doesn't mean they are unable to innovate and stay relevant.