Salesforce was in bonny Scotland for the annual Customer Contact Association (CCA) Convention taking place in Glasgow on the 14th & 15th of November. We were thrilled to be partnering with CCA as Platinum sponsors for the third consecutive year, meeting with many of the UK’s customer contact centre and customer service trailblazers to explore how they are re-imagining customer experience.

There were a plethora of lively and thought-provoking discussions over the two-day agenda! In this article, we share our top takeaways from the convention.


How AI is transforming your business, customer service, and the agent experience

Mark Abramowitz, VP Product Marketing, Service Cloud took to the stage, sharing how AI is a key component to a successful service transformation. Not only will leveraging AI be a game-changer for your agents, it will also allow you to deliver world-class customer service.

And customers are bought into AI - 80% believe AI will transform their experiences, but only 20% of businesses have an AI strategy. With technology changing at an unprecedented rate, it's imperative that companies embrace new technologies or face the consequences of being left behind.

The need to reinvent customer experience is accelerating at a ground-breaking rate. In a customer’s everyday life they use apps and platforms that provide great experiences. From Siri in smartphones, smart home devices, recommendation engines on Amazon, or facial recognition on ‘everyday’ apps like Facebook; they’re all creating a new level of customer expectations. Your business must meet and exceed, or risk losing to competitors who are innovating customer service to match the consumer experience.“ -Mark Abramowitz

As you begin your journey to implementing AI, there are three components to your strategy to consider:

  1. Automate: Deflect routine cases by automating requests
  2. Assist: Help agents by reducing average handle time with a full customer view and suggested responses
  3. Optimise: Provide management with insights into contact centre operations 

In order to achieve this, Mark emphasised the pertinence of investing in technology that has an integrated AI solution. AI is only as smart as the data it interacts with, so ensure that it's closely integrated with your customer data in a single, consolidated solution.


By following this three part guideline, you will be able to impact the bottom line and improve the metrics that matter to your business. Key metrics such as reducing call volume, improving agent productivity, moral, and retention, all while focusing on NPS, will be pivotal to transforming your contact centre.


Tech Talk Panels Debate

During the lively Tech Talks panel debate, expert panellists discussed what will shape the technology we use and the customer experience delivered. “Service can and does permeate all interactions with the customer - there's a real opportunity to delight your customers across their journey by connecting marketing, sales and service too," said Mark Abramowitz.


Technology and people - working in tandem

In addition to the key theme of improving the customer experience, another topic that was elevated throughout the conference was employee engagement and happiness. Too often agents are given the short end of the stick when it comes to career progression, technology to help them do their jobs better, and overall job satisfaction. A contact centre can only be as successful as the people powering it day-to-day.

There were a plethora of engaging conversations around how you elevate the culture in your centre with technology. By empowering agents to use technology, whether in the field or on the phone at a desk, it will greatly improve their jobs. No longer will they be running their days from sticky notes and disparate systems, trying to manually categorise cases.

With the right technology, the agent benefits are endless. More low calorie cases can be deflected allowing agents to spend time on the more thoughtful and challenging issues, or even learn a new area of expertise. Agents can be routed cases that play to their strengths, and with a single view of the customer, they're enabled to deliver better service.

By setting agents up for success with the right tools, it will greatly impact employee engagement and elevate the overall service you deliver.


Want to create transformational service experiences?

During two lively roundtable sessions delegates had the opportunity to exchange insights with peers to explore topics ranging from driving a strong team culture, connecting sales and service teams to create a cohesive customer experience, and leading a digital transformation strategy across all channels. (Catch the highlights from these disucssions in the video below).


Across all conversations, the crucial takeaway was how to leverage technology to make all of this possible. Empower your customer-facing teams with the tools they need to get the full picture wherever they are, from phone to field. Access the latest resources here.


Congratulations to CCA Excellence 2018 Awards Winners!

Salesforce is delighted to congratulate the award-winning individuals and companies announced during the prestigious CCA Excellence Awards gala dinner. The CCA Awards sets the benchmark for talented trailblazers in the customer service and contact centre profession. Congratulations to all the award winners listed here.


To learn more about the trends driving customer service and helping them deliver smarter, faster connected experiences, check out the State of Service report. Or find out more in our Elevate Customer Service hub.