We’ve covered the Keynote highlights (including Crowded House!) and now it’s time to dive into for the best of the rest of the day – some absolutely sterling sessions from the likes of Malcolm Gladwell, Sydney Swans COO Drew Arthurson, Telstra’s service agent console owner, leaders partnering across the ditch to end inequality, and more. 

 

1. Service Cloud Voice launched

 

Big news – Service Cloud Voice is live!

“As we look at digital channels and what we’ve learnt, we want to apply those lessons to voice,” said Patrick Beyries, VP Product Management, Service Cloud at Salesforce, arguing that that the $70b lost revenue each year due to poor service not only should be relegated to the past, it now could be.

With voice now part of the CRM, all of the things we can do across a service CRM, like connecting dots between this conversation and previous conversations, are now possible. 

“The agent can spend time focusing and empathising with the customer instead of searching for information or taking notes,” Beyries explained. “The agent can focus on the customer, and the tech can look for the answers and provide them to the agent in real time. The result: an interaction-focused desktop that’s connected to your service CRM.”

 

And Catch.com.au shared how they’re using voice to empower agents

 

Catch.com.au’s Head of Customer Experience Ivan Trajkovski sees an impact in three key areas across his organisation’s service and personalisation:

  1. Caller ID and conversation predictions: Agents can see who is calling and quickly establish if there is an open case or previous interactions. Imagine being able to answer a call and say: ‘Hi Mark, it’s good to hear from you. Would you like a delivery update on your Sahara rug?’ 

  2. Coaching with voice to text capability. “Team leaders look to coach every day,” Trajkovski said. Now they can quickly scan the text of a conversation rather than having to listen in. “Agent empowerment is one thing I’ve worked on to make agents the best they can be, and now we have the technology to support that.”

  3. Customer sentiment: Catch.com.au is really big on NPS, Trajkovski explained, and can now see if a customer is a potential detractor, neutral or promoter. 

“We’re seeing our principles and the technology working together so quickly.” 

Watch the full session launching Service Cloud Voice, with Patrick Beyries and Catch.com.au Head of Customer Experience Ivan Trajkovski.

 

2. We learnt the importance of Whakapapa and trust in tackling systemic disadvantage

 

Career Trackers Director of Learning Adam Davids gave us a crash course in the educational inequality that shapes Australian corporate leadership and boardrooms.  

“Less than one per cent of university students are Indigenous. And only 47% of those students make it to graduation,” he said, pointing out the 34 per cent pay gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. 

But we aim to see our people as industry leaders, Davids told us. How does Career Trackers do this? By supporting students into and through university, and matching them with corporate partners for paid internships that provide opportunities to build experience, networks and skills.

“Eighty-nine per cent of Career Trackers make it to graduation,” Davids said. “And our alumni earn twice the national median income.”
 



“We know our genealogy is INROADS and Career Trackers,” said TupuToa CEO Anne Fitisemanu, referencing the influence Career Trackers had on the formation of TupuToa, and the INROADS model that was imported from Chicago as the basis for Career Trackers. “TupuToa can Whakapapa back to Career Trackers and INROADS.” 

That Whakapapa – genealogy – breeds trust. 

“You need time to build trust, and you need relationships in order to execute on that trust,” Fitisemanu said, explaining that with trusted relationships, the Māori and Pacific interns TupuToa works with are more likely to lean in and be comfortable outside their comfort zones, while employment partners are more likely to stretch their cultural capabilities.

“It’s more important now more than ever that we all step up and we show up,” said Davinder Mann, Senior Director APAC, Global Philanthropy and Engagement at Salesforce. To that end, find out more about how organisations can partner with TupuToa to build a better Aotearoa and work with Career Trackers in Australia.

Watch the full session on demand: How Industry Can Tackle Disadvantage: A Global Approach

 

3. The Swans created a game-day experience for 1.2 million fans – at a distance

 

Deloitte Digital’s Salesforce National Lead Partner Claire Gillies spoke with Deloitte Virtual Office Managing Partner Robbie Robertson and Sydney Swans COO Drew Arthurson about the challenges of living and working during a pandemic, and strategies and tactics for thriving in the ‘new normal’.

The fundamental question for the Swans, Arthurson told us, is serving its 1.2 million fans.

“All of a sudden we’re in a landscape where we can have one in four, or one in five, come to a game,” he said. “So how do we enrich the at-home experience?”

Arthurson spoke of creating a great second-screen experience, so fans can watch the game on their phones and be connected with the community of players, coaches and other fans on their devices. 

When it comes to the fans, the Swans team has faced and continues to face similar employee engagement challenges as many other businesses that have moved to remote working and started reopening their workplaces – safety, motivation and alignment.
 



“We had, entering the season, the third-youngest team,” Arthurson said, explaining that the mix of experienced newer players was really exciting. “All of a sudden we sent all of them home, and there was incredible competition on who could smash their KPIs” – the players were training on farms and beaches, and in parks near their apartments. 

“Coming back one of the biggest challenges is a really compressed timeframe to get match-fit,” Arthurson said. We get it – those office stairs will be a bit of a challenge! 

The upsides? The team has really bonded – they’re in isolation together, trusting and supporting each other through the experience. And innovation – while fans can’t be at games in person, a 360-degree live stream of them surrounds the grounds to cheer the players on.

A quick Q&A rounded out the session – luckily when Gillies asked whether Arthurson would choose the easy path or the hard road, he picked the hard road. It’s 2020 after all.

Watch the full session: Living, Working and Playing AFL During COVID

 

4.  Malcolm Gladwell told us how to emerge stronger – address uncertainty

 

If you’re a fan of Revisionist History, the podcast by bestselling author and thought leader Malcolm Gladwell, this session is an absolute treat. Firstly, because when Gladwell says “for totally random reasons I was reading a book about bombers in World War 2” you can smugly shout ‘I know why!’ – your cat is sure to be impressed. Secondly, because this session, beginning to end, is a Revisionist History episode on camera and with a solid lesson for marketing, service, sales and people leaders. 

“All of you are in the business of reaching out and connecting with people. And that means you have to have some understanding of how people are feeling and thinking, and most important what they want in this particular moment,” Gladwell said. “So that’s the question I want to try to address: what is it that we want post-pandemic? What will we be looking for? What’s the kind of  psychology that emerges out of this kind of difficulty?”

Malcolm Gladwell being Malcolm Gladwell, he looked to history for the answers. So, back to those bombers. 

“When the US air force was bombing Germany in 1943 and early 1944 – it’s really the darkest period of the war,” he said, talking of the miserable lives of the bomber pilots. “Statistically they know the chances they will survive this particular campaign are zero.”

These children of 1920s America had grown up during the Depression’s poverty and hardship, only to be shipped off to a war they were highly unlikely to survive. Then, Gladwell tells us, they somehow underwent a transformation – “they launch one of the greatest surges in economic growth in the history of the world”.

How? 

“Some of the answer is human resilience. We are, as human beings, just simply a lot better at  recovering from hardship than we realise. That’s why the human species has survived for as long as we have, but I think there’s another really important part of this,” Gladwell says.

“People in positions of leadership in the 1930s and the 1940s made a series of really brilliant and insightful decisions about how to frame the challenges facing Americans. And that’s the piece of this that I think we can learn from.”

It’s that framing that has an impact, Gladwell said, explaining that Americans emerged strong from two great traumas because leaders gave the people something that addressed their fear – even though it didn’t remove the root cause of that fear. 

“People change their minds particularly in times of crisis not because they come to a new understanding of the facts, but because they have a new way of making sense of the facts they already know and understand,” Gladwell said, explaining that any kind of transformation in attitudes, behaviours or lines of thinking is impossible without a reframing of their reality. 

What does that mean for those who have to go out and communicate now? 

“You cannot go back to business as usual. The same frames that were working in January do not work now,” he said. “I think at this moment, the frame that matters the most is addressing fundamental uncertainty. We need to find a way to structure our conversations with the people that we’re interacting with around themes of partnership, of loyalty, of support, of clarity – all those themes resonate with the dominant anxiety of the moment.” 

Do yourself and your team a favour – watch Malcolm Gladwell’s full session.

 

5. We saw how Telstra empowers service agents 

 

When Telstra’s consumer and small business team moved from disparate systems to manage customer experience into Salesforce, it went back to basics, rethinking how it could empower agents to proactively make experiences personalised and effortless.

Along the way, it was guided by five principles: 

1. Simplicity 

“The first one sounds really straightforward,” said Garry Barnes, Agent Console Owner at Telstra. “But in practice it’s really quite hard to do at times.”

Barnes’s advice: Exercise restraint, because less is more – give the agents less clicks, less words, less steps. Automate anything that can be automated, and be consistent. 

2. Balance 

“We don’t just want to bring the old world into the new,” Barnes said. “We’ve got this opportunity and we've got to take advantage of it.”

This is a matter of streamlining information and workflows, weighing up out-of-the-box functionality with customisation that would have a great impact on agents. 

Session host Matthew Watson, ANZ Solution Engineering at Salesforce pointed out how tempting it would be to  just jump into designing new processes in isolation. Instead, the Telstra team mapped out all the processes and stepped through the journey for the agent, whether in the service centre or the retail store, to avoid recreating the same old problems in the new system. 

3. Privacy and compliance

“It sounds self explanatory, but we can’t just meet the minimum standards any more – we have to exceed them. We have to make sure that our customers and our staff are protected,” said Barnes. 

This involves concealing identity to protect safety, creating a single, secure view of the person, and working closely with legal and risk. 

4. Usability

“We have to make sure we understand our users,” Barnes said. His top tips? Avoid jargon, ensure accessibility, continually test and validate with end users, and embrace their feedback.

5. Responsible business practices

This is critically important, Barnes said, explaining how his team ensures agents are able to uphold the code of conduct and guidelines for working with vulnerable customers – processes and controls. 

“By building appropriate controls where we can, we make this as simple as possible.”

Watch the full session with Telstra: Best Practices for Empowering Your Agents to Service Your Customers

We are grateful to every Trailblazer who shared their insights, expertise and experience on the day, and delighted to help amplify their voices. All sessions are available now, on demand – watch now.