The Leader Insights Forum in Dublin Was More Than Just Insights!

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Last week I visited Dublin in Ireland to attend the Leader Insights Forum (LIF). The LIF is a fantastic event that Teleperformance has now hosted in cities including Amsterdam and Dubai and with Dublin being so close to home I thought it was time I attended in person.

The LIF focuses on creating insight from the experience Teleperformance has working with some incredible brands all over the world. Leaders travel to the LIF and share their knowledge with an audience that – in my experience – has an endless stream of questions. It truly is a step above the typical customer experience (CX) conference because all the speakers are real practitioners sharing experience and insight.

The opening day started with Frank Keienburg, Head of Player Experience at Supercell focusing on innovation. Frank was direct. You can’t expect your company to be innovative if you are afraid to try out new ideas.

He said: “The media has said that the Supercell team drinks Champagne when we fail. That’s not quite true – they misquoted us. We try out new ideas, new products, and new games all the time. Most of them do fail. We get together once a month and share our experiences and the entire company learns from every failure – we encourage our team to share why their project failed because we can learn from that. After we share our experiences we then drink a brand of Champagne called LEARNING.” Frank’s team looks after 100m gamers every single day, and in 20 languages too. It was a great way to start the event.

Carolyn Blunt, Managing Director at Ember Real Results then talked about how employees, work, and the customer experience are all changing – and fast! The way we communicate and the way we work is evolving faster than ever before. Carolyn said: “The pace of change is increasing. Think about ecommerce as a good example, except we really don’t call it that any longer do we? It’s just online shopping. Actually, it’s just shopping. What used to be futuristic is now mundane and normal.” Carolyn described how consumer behaviour is often not reflected in the workplace. Why do we use online devices as consumers yet a corporate training program requires classrooms and hours spent listening to lectures?

Dr Nicola Millard, Head of Customer Insight & Futures at BT Global Services Innovation team then talked about the trends and changes in channel use, although her first point was that the phone is still really useful. She said: “Even millennials still use the phone. If you have a problem and you want it resolved immediately then you call. The phone still works really well for customers who want to get a problem fixed quickly and it doesn’t matter how old they are.”

This is my own experience too. In fact, I think that we should all stop talking about the death of the phone in customer service and how millennials all love their social networks. In fact, it is call drivers that often dictate which channel a customer uses. A millennial who needs help immediately will not use Twitter, they will phone and get an agent on the line because asynchronous channels don’t work well if you need help right now.

The event was organised over two days with some Irish dancing after the first day was completed – I was not on stage so there will be no photos of that appearing online! The second day started with a bang. Author and well-known customer experience (CX) expert Steven Van Belleghem talked about the need to make the customer experience fast, easy, and fun. He talked about Domino’s Pizza as a great example of a company that is constantly innovating what seems to be a very simple business model – cooking pizza. Domino’s can take a pizza order on their app with ZERO clicks, they have AI-powered cameras checking the pizza is cooked correctly, they are trialling self-driving delivery cars, and they can put a button in your home – one click and pizza is on the way.

Steven also talked about companies like Walmart that are experiencing a wave of rapid change, but are rising to the challenge. Most retailers are struggling to contain disruption at present, but Walmart is actually growing and thriving because they are able to look at the strengths they have and then build on them. For example, their huge number of employees – 1.4m at last count – has been mobilized to help deliver packages. The employees deliver packages on their own way home from a shift, so the employee earns more, the customer gets a faster delivery than a regular courier could manage, and Walmart builds on their size in an innovative way.

The CEO of Praxidia, Paolo Righetti, spoke about generating value from each interaction between a brand and the customer. He was speaking with Viviana Scampone from BNL-BNP Paribas, giving an analysis of a real-life case study at the bank. It was great to see a bank executive on stage really talking about the need to focus on CX as a key part of their strategy.

With the enforcement of GDPR being implemented earlier this year it was great to see Dale Sunderland, the Irish Deputy Data Protection Commissioner closing the event. Dale explained that when he was in New York the previous week there were American CEOs chasing him around asking for meetings. Five years ago, an Irish data protection commissioner would not have ever received such attention, but now data protection is extremely important in Europe.

Dale explained that there are now several investigations taking place related to GDPR enforcement. He did dampen the enthusiasm of the media though – many journals have been talking of record-breaking fines based on the possible maximum of 4% of revenue as a possible fine. Dale mentioned that cases are ongoing, but there are many mitigating circumstances, such as when companies can prove they took steps to comply with GDPR in the first place.

This was a great event, featuring company executives talking openly about their CX strategies and problems. It’s unusual to get this level of insight and openness at a major conference so the team inside Teleperformance that put this together should be congratulated – I will certainly be watching to see where the next LIF is taking place. You can still find a lot of the online discussion online by searching for the hashtag #LIFEurope – let me know what you think by leaving a comment here.

Photo by Carlos Villamayor licensed under Creative Commons

Carlos Manuel Villamayor Díaz

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