Employee Experience & Abundant Options: Conversations from CCW 2019
Another Customer Contact Week is over and as is customary, I like to take time to review what I experienced and the trends that emerged in direct discussions and from the event sessions.
Generally, the conversations seemed to echo those of other events I’ve attended recently, but that’s because frankly the industry’s focus hasn’t shifted. 2019 is the year of customer experience and Artificial Intelligence. Almost every conversation included one or the other – and in most cases both.
One thing I found intriguing is that more people are starting to throw EX into the conversation. EX – Employee experience to many, myself included, is a metric just as important as CX. Anyone who has spent any time speaking with me about how I believe a company should be run knows that I believe in an employee focused organization.
We’ve all heard the saying, “take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers.” In the world of customer experience where we all live and breathe, I believe this to be even more exaggerated. If an employee is in direct contact with a customer but lacks the tools necessary to drive an effortless experience, then the company will feel the direct result of the lack of EX. When I say the tools necessary, I am not just speaking about technology tools, but also the training and the empowerment to do the right thing.
The software manufacturers are bringing in some exciting technology helping drive agent performance in many ways. Gamification, for example, has been proven time and time again to return a positive impact on the EX, which in turn drives company performance when implemented properly. AI tools are now giving agents access to helpful information throughout the customer interaction based on the customer’s history, their browsing activity or even their live communications. Contact centers are also leveraging new payment methods for agents that are showing some interesting solutions to improve the agent experience.
Speaking with attendees and partners during the show, I found that there was a general sense of confusion in terms of which companies they should be talking to for their business needs. I heard repeatedly that there was a sense of being overwhelmed by the sheer number of vendors. This was an interesting theme in the discussions, as it seemed many people sent to the shows were not really prepared for what they were about to encounter. I imagine that the expanding vendor landscape, coupled with a large number of first time attendees, contributed to this mindset.
CCW is really a week of immersive CX discussions and you will be hard pressed to find a more attended event solely focused on this aspect of business. For any attendee planning for 2020, I would highly recommend investing some time prior to the show to get a better understanding of your goals from the event. Take some prep time to look at the agenda and the sponsors and try to get a plan together for how you will approach the learning part and the expo hall. It will save you a tremendous amount of time and effort if you have at least some idea of what you want to accomplish to consider it a successful event for you and your organization.
In conclusion, I was pleased with the CCW 2019 event and had a tremendous amount of great conversations with industry experts and newcomers to the space. We are excited to see CCW 2020 in a new venue at Caesar’s Palace next year and will look forward to our continued success in our industry.
The customer engagement and contact center industry are finally getting the focus it has long deserved. Certainly, the technological advances fueled by growing need and increased competition continue to produce exciting developments on the call center software front. That does, however, make the quest for the right provider a bit more nebulous than it was years ago.
Of course, you can counteract the “noise” by enlisting experts who have made it their job to know the vendor landscape – the players, the tools and the technology. Expert consultants like Cloud Call Center Search can serve as a guiding resource, blocking out the distractions and keeping your search focused on the task at hand.