This week, G-Force Melbourne wrapped up the 2014 season with cutting-edge stories and words of wisdom from customer experience thought leaders. Key themes running throughout the APAC event were a focus on customer journeys, the power of employee engagement, and how businesses and customers can better connect in our increasingly digitally driven society – to name a few.
Michael Barnes, VP, Research Director at Forrester shared the results from its global survey, including that 50% of respondents said that their company’s top strategic priority in 2014 is improving the customer experience. Beyond the stats, his presentation focused on the need for interdepartmental collaboration, particularly including CIOs. Michael stressed how customer experience is not just a marketing or CMO-led initiative, but that forward-thinking CIOs need to be directly involved.
Schneh Ying Wan, Chief Operating Officer and Director of the Board for Home Credit China gave unique insight into China’s booming lending market. Home Credit currently services 40 million customers globally and handles 1.2 million calls daily across three contact centers. A key part of its company culture is attracting, developing, and retaining talent. According to Schneh, having happy employees leads to happy customers, which has helped Home Credit China achieve a customer satisfaction rate of 85%, customer loyalty of 87%, and a referral rate of 90%.
John Courtney, VP of Operations in APAC for eBay told inspiring stories of businesses that yesterday would not exist, who today are thriving in today’s digitally driven society. Each month, 7.3 million Australian shoppers visit the eBay site – that is almost 60% of all Australian online shoppers. John stressed how we need to approach the market from a “consumer-in” perspective, catering to customer choice, excelling in consumer service, and personalizing each interaction.
Brady Jacobsen, General Manager, Customer Sales and Service, Australia Post told of its four-year journey, transforming the way customers interact with them in this booming digital, social, and mobile age. In addition to advances in their in their platform and a new mobile app to help drive their strategy, Australia Post also focused on improving the in-person customer experience after learning that a major driver in customer loyalty is the experience customers have with their postal carrier, or Postie, as well as staff in their retail stores.
Tyler Pichach, Senior Director of Telephony Strategy and Deployment at CIBC told of the new multi-year contact center endeavor they have recently launched with Genesys. CIBC’s Enterprise Contact Centre Optimization Program (ECCO) includes new IVR, Outbound, Agent Desktop, Workforce Management, Quality Management, and more. Tyler said they selected Genesys for this journey because it sees the contact center as key to customer experience strategy and success… and it had the best demos!
Joining Merijn te Booij on main stage Thursday was Steve Cowley, General Manager of Engagements for IBM Watson Group. The IBM Watson and Genesys partnership will bridge the gap between self-service and agent-assisted service. Merijn and Steve gave G-Force attendees a view into the future of customer experience with artificial intelligence and cognitive learning
Telstra’s Michael Ossipoff, Director Capability and Innovation, asked the audience, “if you were to start to design your contact center today – would you build it the same way?” He went on to charm and educate the audience on best practices for multi-channel customer service – including what not to do – in this digitally dominated age.
Finally, the keynote presenter at this year’s G-Force Melbourne was Rachel Bostman, a global thought leader whose philosophy of Collaborative Consumption was recently cited by TIME Magazine as one of the 10 Ideas That Will Change The World. Rachel discussed how there is a massive paradigm shift in how we live, work, play, travel, create, learn, and consume. She gave examples of how companies like Uber, TaskRabbit, Zipcar, as well as Genesys customers AirBnb and Walgreens are changing the customer experience landscape – and having incredible success in the collaborative economy. Check back for an upcoming blog resulting from our on-site Q&A interview with Rachel.
To see highlights from the event and maybe even a view into your G-Force Melbourne experience, check out our photo albums on our Genesys Facebook page.
Thank you to everyone who attended, spoke, sponsored, and organized the 2014 G-Force events. See you all in 2015!