Execs In The Know- A Global Network of Customer Experience Professionals

CR Summit Chicago

The FedEx Purple Promise

Coming home from any Customer Response Summit (CRS) event, there are always many amazing moments to reflect on. This past CRS was no different and I came home filled with inspiring stories, great ideas and new connections. However, this event left us with a moment that we did not expect.

At Execs In The Know much of the show, the content, and direction, is planned by me and my team. We know what is going to happen and I am always excited to see the reactions of our community members.  However, at this particular event in Chicago, Chad and I were the ones left surprised, humbled and grateful.

For the second year in a row we have had the privilege of being part of an employee recognition program – the FedEx Purple Promise Award. Ginna Sauerwein, who sits on our Execs In The Know Corporate Advisory Board, wanted to add the opportunity for the winners to be able to attend CRS as an additional benefit to winning the award, to gain exposure to thought leadership learnings, network and have some fun along the way. We loved the idea of having her team with us and to help celebrate the drive and passion for customer service that these leaders were being recognized for. It embodies everything that our conference is about.

This year, as we were getting ready to recognize her team, Ginna called Chad and I on stage and awarded us The Purple Promise. To those of you who know Chad and I, we are not usually short on words and she left us absolutely speechless (literally) – there were no words, just impending tears. You see, I knew exactly what this meant. Not only what kind of leader you needed to be to receive it in FedEx, and the impact that you needed to have made, but also that this was not an award typically handed out to a non-FedEx employee.

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Creating Delighted and Loyal Customers Through our Digital Transformation

The following is a guest blog from Aileen Allkins, Corporate Vice President – Customer Service & Support at Microsoft. To view the original post, click here

Last week I had the privilege of giving the opening keynote at the Customer Response Summit in Chicago. It was a great opportunity to connect, engage, and learn from other customer service leaders across many industries to hear what they’re doing to create delighted and loyal customers. In addition, I was able to share some insights into our digital transformation in Customer Service and Support at Microsoft and I’ve shared some highlights of my presentation below.

Our customers range from individual consumers to the biggest enterprises in the world. We support developers, gamers, government agencies, CTOs, small business owners, parents, grandparents, and everyone in between. Essentially, we support the world. Each year we have nearly 70 million assisted support interactions and over a billion unassisted support interactions across multiple channels including phone, chat, email, communities, and social. We have thousands of engineers and advocates across Microsoft employees and delivery partners, who provide deep technical support as well as non-technical support and customer service across more support and service scenarios than we can quantify.

When I started at Microsoft and took on the challenge to digitally transform the Customer Service & Support organisation, I quickly realised that with such a broad scope of customers and technologies, there was no single program, tool or technology that we could implement across the organisation that would magically make us “digital” and that the transformation needed to be broken down into smaller chunks.

At Microsoft, we took a step back to have a worldview on the impact of digital disruption. We are looking at how the intelligent cloud and mobile are changing how customers want to interact with companies. We are looking at ways to support customers who are using multiple, interconnected devices and how to help them with problems that potentially span multiple brands. We are also considering how customers are much more dependent upon us in a server-less world to ensure their business continuity as well as how we can help them achieve more with our technologies. Continue reading

Customer Experience Leaders Share Innovative Ideas for the Next Era of CX: Customer Response Summit Chicago, September 19-21

The following is a guest blog post from Ted Hunting, VP North America Marketing at Genesys

Next month, Execs In The Know will bring together service leaders from many of the largest global brands to advance the conversation on creating great customer experiences.  From past experience, it’s a very tight-knit group of CX leaders sharing best practices and ideas around omni-channel customer engagement, across all channels, and empowering employees to deliver great customer experiences.  This community is one of my favorites as the people are super-smart and passionate leaders who openly share their challenges, advice, and ideas –  it’s all about candid discussions and one-on-one engagement and networking.

As a member of the Execs In The Know CX Partner Advisory Board, on behalf of Genesys, I am excited to again join this group and will be leading an educational session with group brainstorming on “Journey Analytics and Effortless/Personal Keys for the Next Era of CX” on September 20th. The session will discuss how you can use journey analytics and new digital approaches to orchestrate an “outside in” customer journey that is more personal and predictive, while reducing effort. We will also share best practice use cases where AI, bots, digital self-service, and humans can work hand-in-hand. Join us to discuss and learn about this new era of effortless, personal omni-channel CX where old and new emerging channels come together and robots and humans work as one.

I highly recommend brands who truly understand the importance of customer experience to their business success and survival to join this group.  Execs In The Know is a well-respected organization that people turn to for advice and it’s unlike other similar events in the CX industry, due to the level of attendees and openness in communication. In attendance will be leading financial services firms, retailers, healthcare companies, hi-tech firms, hospitality companies, and utilities from across North America – both traditional leaders, but also some of the new disruptors changing business today. To learn more about joining visit https://www.execsintheknow.com/events/crs-chicago/ and follow @execsintheknow. And to learn more about Genesys, the industry’s #1 customer experience platform and recognized leader per Gartner and others, please visit http://www.genesys.com/about.  Or checkout some really awesome customer stories from CX leaders like Sabre.

Execs In The Know would like to thank Genesys who have been a long time supporter of the Customer Response Summit event, continue to be involved and valuable to our community of CX professionals, and truly care about seeing progression and enhancement in our industry. 

Debunking Chatbot Myths

The following is a guest post from [24]7. For more information about [24]7, visit their website


America became independent on July 4, 1776. Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb.  Magellan was the first to circumnavigate the globe.

All myths.*

Chatbots are the greatest thing since sliced bread.**  All chatbots utilize artificial intelligence. Chatbots will replace humans.

All myths.

Chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) are all the rage in the area of customer service. Everyone wants one. A lot of people are claiming that chatbots will take over our industry. Will they make an impact?  Absolutely. Should you be evaluating how they could benefit your company and your customers? Definitely. Will chatbots and AI eliminate humans?  Nope, at least not anytime soon.

Debunking chatbot myths is not easy when there’s so much hype and hyperbole in the market today. Most every vendor now offers a chatbot of some sort and many companies are trying to build their own. But, it’s important to first determine what’s fact and what’s fiction, else you might end up investing time and resources on a dead-end project that only addresses part of its intended goal.

At Execs in the Know’s Customer Response Summit, we’ll establish a dialog that addresses these four popular chatbot myths and separates fact from fiction: Continue reading

Integrating Bots and Brains for Optimized CX

The following is a guest post from HGS. For more information about HGS, visit their website

For those who worry that technology is doing irreparable harm to our day-to-day communication, here’s some good news. The art of conversation is not lost, it’s just evolving. In the customer experience call center world, we’re on the front lines of business to consumer communication disrupters, starting with digital channels like a company website and chat, to SMS-text, social media, advancing natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive learning, automation, and analytics. These tools bring tremendous opportunity to win and retain customers with better CX.

combining bots and brains

According to Gartner, 89% of companies are competing on CX, yet less than 10% of consumers think service from the call center is good. Today’s businesses need to improve service, be easier to do business with and open 24X7, and be consistent across multiple channels and digital devices with personalized interactions, empathy, and insight. Without this optimized service, brands risk becoming irrelevant to today’s customers, who show no loyalty. A Unified Customer Experience Strategy® brings a balance that leverages the latest digital innovation, while also cost-effectively improving service through conversations that make emotional connections with customers. This means understanding these three drivers: 

1) Customers’ expectations of service competence are higher every day, with world-class companies like Amazon and Apple setting an excellence standard that is leading with self-service and integrating human expertise when it adds value. Households have adopted digital and AI innovation as a way of life. Think “Hello Siri.” Starting your conversation with a bot is rapidly becoming the new norm. According to a recent Google study conducted by Northstar Research, more than half of U.S. teens and 41% of U.S. adults use voice search on a daily basis. A consistent customer experience that bridges channels is extremely important for Generation C—a demographic of connected customers  that represents today’s  buyer attitude and mindset. Bots, increasingly, provide a strong sense of reliability, consistency, and ease of use, which are critical to meet the demand for a unified customer experience strategy.

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Customer Service: Dealing With Increased Expectations

The following post is a guest blog from Inbenta

Two seconds is a long time in the online world. In that time, Google will process around 100,000 search queries, global users will send more than 4.5 million emails, and nearly 60 million Whatsapp users will receive a message.

However, it is not a long time if you are an online retailer. According to a recent study, two seconds is all a customer needs before they give up on your website. The picky customer just got pickier.

The customer is still king

It won’t surprise you that the online market is leaving its high street competitors in the dust when it comes to being the preferred shopping method for customers. What is interesting is that the ‘tech savvy’ Millennials are not the only ones choosing to shop with their feet up.

In fact, according to research from KPMG, Generation X consumers (those born between 1966 and 1981) made more online purchases than any other age group while Baby Boomers (1946-1964) spent more on average per transaction. Putting all your eggs in the Millennial basket might not be such a good idea after all.

This is especially the case when you consider what the different generations of customers value within a company. While 59% of consumers would try a new brand for a better service experience, younger consumers are keen to be treated as unique individuals and so prefer companies which offer personalized promotions and an ability to anticipate what they want. When you have two mouths with different tastes to feed, how do you keep them both satisfied with the same meal?

The obvious solution is to ramp up your customer service team to kill two birds with one stone. The problem is that to maintain your profit margins and pay the extra salaries on your books, you will have to push prices up. Obviously, that is not a wise move in an increasingly crowded market.

Of course, you could decide to accept that you will lose some customers and choose instead to target new ones who are willing to pay a premium for a better experience. But according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it is 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. Continue reading

Leaders to Connect at Customer Response Summit Chicago, to Create Next Level Customer Experiences For Their Brands

Industry Thought Leaders From Microsoft, Square, Amazon, and Lyft to Keynote Execs In The Know – Customer Response Summit Chicago

PHOENIX, AZ. – (August 2, 2017) – Advocates for Customer Experience Professionals, Execs In The Know, have released the agenda for their next executive gathering – Customer Response Summit (CRS) Chicago. CRS Chicago will be held September 19th-21st, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, in Chicago, IL. Knowledge on leading industry trends and subjects such as AI and machine learning, employee engagement, text for service, digital fraud, outsourcing, the VoC on channel choice, big data, and more will be shared. The customer experience conference will include keynotes from Microsoft, Square, Amazon, and Lyft.

Customer Response Summit is a gathering of customer experience leaders, across many verticals, focused on working together to improve the customer care industry, and create innovative experiences for their brands. Highlights of the CX leadership event include an exclusive tour of the legendary Wrigley Field and the inner workings of the fan experience at the Chicago Cubs. The newest version of the CXMB Series – 2017 Consumer Edition – will also be released (a joint effort between Execs In The Know and COPC Inc.).

“Our community lives and breathes the Customer First mindset,” said Chad McDaniel, President and CEO of Execs In The Know. “If you are passionate about your customers and want to create the most meaningful experiences for them with your brand, than you’ll feel right at home with us in Chicago. We emphasize a ‘Leaders Learning From Leaders’ approach, allowing our attendees to work together to share best practices, solve challenges, and create lasting connections.”

Other leading corporate brands that will be speaking include The Home Depot, The Mine (a Lowes Company), Sears Holdings, GoDaddy, Samsung, 1-800-Flowers.com, IHG and more. To see the full list of speakers, download the official agenda www.execsintheknow.com/crs-chicago-agenda/.

To learn more or to register, visit the event website www.execsintheknow.com/events/crs-chicago/.

About Execs In The Know

For over 15 years, Execs In The Know has built a reputation of excellence in the Customer Management Industry and a worldwide community of over 50,000 Customer Experience Professionals, dedicated to enhancing the customer service industry. Execs In The Know connects people to engaging industry content, thought leadership, current trends, peer-to-peer collaboration, networking, and industry employment opportunities. Their largest event, Customer Response Summit, takes place twice a year, uniting executives from many of today’s leading brands, to create impactful connections and share actionable insights.

Learn more at www.execsintheknow.com.

Media Contact:

Alyssa Pitura