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What did you miss at the annual conference?

What did you miss at the annual conference?

Inspiring speakers, classy venue, record registrations, running in its 7th year, the ‘Improving Performance in the Contact Centre’ 2008 Conference proved as popular as ever. Over 250 delegates attended the event held at London’s premier wine tasting venue, Vinopolis. If you didn’t manage to attend – here’s the highlights:

Paul Cooper, Communications Director at the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) emphasised how customer service professionals are the ‘brand guardians’ of today, representing the front line of what truly differentiates your organisation. Interestingly he also noted that 70% of CRM programmes today aren’t working towards customer satisfaction – and to help improve customer service Paul identified 4 characteristics of service excellence whilst recommending a 10 point plan to make it achievable. In summary, customer service rules, but getting it right is as tricky as always!

We all know the severity of today’s economic climate but not all of us are sure how it affects customer service in the contact centre. Anne Marie Forsyth, Chief Executive of Customer Contact Association (CCA) gave us the latest feedback from the association’s findings, stating that ‘we need good customer service in boom times but we need great customer service in challenging climates!’ Anne Marie also covered issues of ‘trust’ and the role of the contact centre in establishing that trust, whilst stressing the need to change the way we listen in order to implement change.

Dave Thomson, Manager, Customer Business Transformation, Cisco Systems presented some interesting statistics stating that 50% of customers and 50% of employees are lost every five years. Dave went on to say that unfortunately, due to stats like these, many contact centres are viewed as ‘cost centres not profit centres’. Where as with the right processes and the correct application of technology the situation can be reversed and 7 such areas were discussed

All in all the event was a resounding success – not only did delegates brush up on their industry knowledge; the free wine tasting went down a treat!

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