Reflections from Nuance Customer Experience Summit 2014, Interaction 14

The Nuance Customer Experience Summit took place earlier this week in Palm Springs, CA. Customer service leaders across multiple industries gathered to discuss challenges, strategies, and best practices for successfully engaging and servicing customers. Greg Pal provides an overview of the conference and highlights thought-provoking trends he saw emerge throughout the three-day event.
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Earlier this week, over 100 customer service professionals across leading brands gathered in sunny Palm Springs, CA for our 2014 Customer Experience Summit. Primarily, the conference served as a forum for our clients to meet and discuss the challenges they face communicating with their customers in a world defined by budget cuts and rising consumer expectations. Through case studies, panel discussions, and breakout sessions we explored proven strategies and new innovations for streamlining customer engagement, reducing call center costs and improving customer satisfaction.

Throughout the three-day conference, attendees heard from a multitude of presenters on topics varying from “The Future of Intelligent Self-Service” to “Adding Context to the Customer Conversation” to “Innovators in Outbound.” A particularly interesting keynote which got the crowd buzzing was delivered by Micah Solomon on the topic of “Thinking-And Rethinking-Customer Service.” Micah is a #1 bestselling business author, and Forbes contributor, who wowed the crowd with a timely, informative, and funny address. Micah focused on ways that brands can adapt timeless principles of service to develop a truly competitive advantage, especially amongst Millennials with shifting expectations.  (Consider Kevin Bacon’s recent thoughts on this topic).

The convergence of outbound customer engagement and inbound self-service was an additional topic that resonated with the crowd. The ability to recognize a customer calling in response to a proactive outbound campaign – via voice, email, text or smartphone push notification – without requiring them to explain themselves, has proven to not only enhance satisfaction but also significantly reduce operational expense. This is clearly the next wave of intelligent solutions that will define a quality customer experience.

Interest in voice biometrics surfaced throughout a number of breakout sessions and left a lasting impression on attendees from organizations in the healthcare, financial services, transportation and retail industries. Many expressed awareness that there is an obvious benefit in replacing traditional PIN and password methods of authentication with voice biometrics to reduce agent call time and enhance the customer experience.

Of the many major themes evident throughout the conference, the final one I’ll highlight is around the challenge of complying with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), written in analog days of 1991, and successfully communicating with customers in today’s digital world. Christine Reilly, a partner in Loeb & Loeb’s Consumer Protection Defense Department, provided the line of business owners in the audience with relevant information that will improve their ability to collaborate with their legal teams and craft successful outreach strategies. (More on how to address compliance challenges at ContactCompliance.com)

From insightful presentations to meaningful conversations, the Customer Experience Summit was a true success! We want to send a big thank you to the customers who shared their stories and to everyone who joined us. Until next time….

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Greg Pal

About Greg Pal

Gregory Pal is Vice President of Marketing, Strategy & Business Development of the Nuance Enterprise Division, responsible for customer self-service solutions that are used by leading organizations around the world to automate and optimize customer care experiences – from the contact center to the Web and mobile devices. Prior to joining Nuance, Greg held various marketing, strategy, and business development roles in a variety of industries, including network-based IVR services at Tellme Networks, renewable fuels and chemicals at LS9, and customer engagement solutions at Opower. Greg earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. Greg enjoys doing obstacle course races and will run a marathon one of these days (although likely not very fast).