Disaster Aborted at NYC Customer Service Conference


Amazing service recovery provided by many

The customer service industry witnessed an amazing display of service recovery at Incite Group’s Customer Service Conference at New York City’s Marriott Brooklyn Bridge.

When planning this event I’m certain the team at Incite Group could have never planned for what happened during the opening keynote of their 9th Annual Customer Service Summit on Oct 23rd.

At the very start of her opening keynote Margaret Shine SVP, Customer Experience, Mastercard was blown away along with all of the delegates when a fire sprinkler decided to burst and unload a flood of water in the back of the ballroom. Several attendees were doused and scrambled for cover.

Boy, did it stink

This was no ordinary water bath either. I learned that the water in older sprinkler systems tends to stagnate and the water in the pipe will become a thick black, smelly, sludge.

Reacting to something you can never train for, the Incite Group team launched into action evacuating the room safely. The Marriot staff quickly responded, as the FDNY was also dispatched as the fire alarms rang.

All of the 350+ attendees congregated in the lobby areas outside the conference hall as all that was doused were attended by hotel staff and the Incite Group team. Seeing these professionals step up to this (almost) disaster was absolutely amazing.

They Jumped to Action

Once everything stabilized the Incite Group team jumped to action to rapidly reset the conference space and re-launch the event in less than 90-minute. Awesome job!

During this unplanned break, I was able to interview some of the main sponsors for the event in an attempt to do what I could to support the service recovery efforts.

Meet Gavin with First Orion

Thanks to Gavin for sharing with me one of the coolest tools to help with a growing issue for Customer Experience professionals. Customers are not answering their mobile phones at an increasing rate.

This issue makes service recovery difficult and is decimating contact resolution rates for many contact centers. For those needing a resolution to this problem, what Gavin as he explains a solution.

Click to access unedited transcript

Jim Rembach: Hey this is Jim with the Fast Leader Show and CX Global Media and I’m here with Gavin Macomber with First Orion who is a major sponsor of insight groups customer service summit which is actually in New York City and we had a little bit of a blast here.

Gavin Macomber: We did a little bit little bit of a snafu I mean you know we we got the event started you know we had our first keynote up on stage as you saw Margaret shine from my master card she just got started and then all of a sudden we had this sprinklers start going off in the middle of the ballroom and you can imagine folks have you ever been at a conference like this or a van it kind of scary at first but then you know everybody sort of ran for the exit but here’s the thing you know this the customer service summit and I can tell you that Marriott we’re at the Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge here.

Jim Rembach: They have.

Gavin Macomber: You know exceptional customer service I know I’m confident they’re gonna work this out quickly and get us into another ball room so that we can continue to conference because you know Jim we’re excited we don’t super excited to be here at the ninth annual customer service on the.

Jim Rembach: One you’re a major sponsor of this particular summit so what if you miss me a great opportunity to talk about how first Orion actually makes an impact to the customer experience.

Gavin Macomber: Yeah well thank you we are we are excited to be here this is our third event that we sponsored at inside and your first Ryan powers some of the powers call transparency solutions for some of the world’s largest carriers enterprises and we work with millions of tens of millions of consumers as well and what we do we provide call protection solutions but we’re really here today to talk about our call enhancement solutions in our Colin Hansen solutions enable.

Gavin Macomber: Brands to better interact with customers okay so when it when a brand calls you today often that comes from an unknown run recognize number right and I know toll free number what we do is we brand the full screen of the incoming call with Marriott for example right so merry I wanted to read some of these people and tell them Hey you know I heard they we we’ve got dry cleaning going on over here right if in case you got wet you know they could call these folks you know you have a full screen Marriott Bonvoy display and you know that’s a way verses like a text message or an at push notification from the app so that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

Jim Rembach: Well in one of the things that you mentioned talking about the frequency in the number of calls that we all get that are unknowns and things like that is people are just are answering isn’t like they used to but you’re changing the game for brands.

Gavin Macomber: We are we’ve been developing this call enhancement technology for two and a half years now and we launched it about a year ago we’ve been working closely with T. mobile one of our largest a carrier partners T. mobiles been using this technology internally for over a year now with their team of experts and team if you read about team of experts they really revolutionize the way carriers and large telecom providers talk to their customers right so when they make an outbound call to a T. mobile customer they light up the screen in magenta pink it’s really neat and and not only that but they can personalize a message and say jam you know this is your team of expert member calling you about you know your recent inquiry right and that’s a phone call that you’re gonna take versus getting a call from someone no number right that you’re never gonna answer so that’s what we do.

Jim Rembach: Well and so I’m looking forward to getting even more information about first arrived to check them out as well and then you and we’re also gonna go thank the New York City fire department for all the work that they yeah.

Gavin Macomber: Absolutely I mean you can see in the background these guys have been here and there.

Gavin Macomber: There they’re working hard to get the situation resolved hopefully there’s no fire and I was a false alarm but and we’ll be back in and join this conference because I know there’s a lot of people excited to be here.

Jim Rembach: Gavin thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom we wish you the very best.

Gavin Macomber: Thanks Jim.

Meet Dave Evans with Khoros

Dave Evans is one of the pioneers in social customer care for contact centers. As an author of two books on the subject he’s a wealth of insight and learning.

Click to access unedited transcript
Jim Rembach: Hey this is Jim from Call Center Coach and CX Global Media and I’m here with Dave Evans of Khoros. He was actually one of the main sponsors to the Customer Service summit that is in New York City put on by Incite Group and they we had a little bit of a blast here that we can plan for didn’t we. Dave Evans: We did, I guess one of the fire suppressors went off and sprayed everybody with some black stuff, but you know what my hair got died, so I think I’m coming back next week for another treatment. Jim Rembach: And this is why I love talking to Dave. Dave doesn’t really remember me but I’m at about ten years ago and he’s saying that it was saying energy saying I mean I just love him so take tells a lot about what you do at Khoros. Dave Evans: Of course we are customer engagement for it digital marketing for customer care for all of that what I do is one of the co-founders of one of the original company that became for us as I think about just the problem of customer engagement up when people have questions when needed answers for things when they’re when they’re looking for solutions how did they do that how do we make that easier and then from a brand perspective how does the brand actually facilitate that in a way that the customer gives credit back to the branch right there’s lots of self-help forms and things you can do sort of on your own but you feel like you kind of solved the problem like where was the brand in this whole thing what we really do and what I think about is how we enable the brand to do this or or you know to to enable this kind of experience in a way that the customer actually recognizes well the brand put this in place for me and whether I’m contacting an agent or I’m reading something on Facebook or I mean one of the brand itself help communities or something like that all of this is working to help make a great experience for me. Jim Rembach: Dave, for those of you who may not be aware is actually one of the pioneers in social customer care he’s been doing this for so long I think he wrote the book on a matter fact I think he’s written two books on is that right that’s right so tell us what you two books art it so. Dave Evans: So the first book was called social media marketing an hour a day it was it was it was one of the sort of original like how to there were there were lots of books on social media what it means and so on but this is sort of a very stepwise do this do this do this the next week do this do this do this sort of lead you through a plan of how to implement meaningful customer engagement when the company that I co-founded Social Dynamics then merged with Lithium which was one of the original community providers the chief community officer and I put together a second book on how to take those you know for two sets of tools. Dave Evans: And put those together as a brand to create is really rich customer experiences around care. Jim Rembach: Around. Dave Evans: What’s now digital engagement things like that and that which is which is carried out for that’s really what was the genesis of the of the of the two books. Jim Rembach: So, Dave tell us a little bit about one of your main goals that you want to accomplish while being here this week of course not the explosion of. Dave Evans: The president the hair I mean you know look this is like a bonus I didn’t plan for this one so no I mean for for me that the the the real thing is number one I understand from what other people are doing where we can go with with our products with our with our software and things like that but I mean that that’s sort of my narrow perspective the bigger respect that I have is really understanding may I see the Wegman’s you know other great brands are here for all for one related shows but as I’m as I’m looking around and realizing how much digital customer engagement really does only eight everything that we do now with the rise of messaging with mobile phones with all of the sort of thing and so what I’m really looking to do is to understand how people are using these technologies with your brand or customer how you’re actually using these technologies so that we know where to go I mean my my motivation and and this and this whole thing over the past twenty years. Dave Evans: Has really been around this idea of better experiences for customers in learning about the kinds of products and services that are available through the brains of the alright that they’re already doing business with right how to get more how to fix things how to understand how to upgrade how to you know all of all these kinds of things right reading those kinds of experiences that is is sort of paramount and it begins with understanding what people are actually doing how many people are actually doing things I mean I still I talked to a lot of people and I asked him about you know have you tried tweeting the brand have you use what sap to talk to the hotel before you get there they sort of look at me like what what is that and I’m like come on you know you need a calendar with a year on it here it’s like it’s like it if I’m doing this trust me you could be doing this too. Jim Rembach: Yeah and this is definitely mainstreaming I mean it’s a land and it’s also constantly evolving so you must stay on top Dave yeah thanks for actually helping us all move forward faster we wish you the very best absolutely Jim. Dave Evans: Thank you.

Meet Ido Bornstein-HaCohen with Conversocial

Ido shares insights into the rapidly growing use of messaging and how contact centers can improve the customer experience using intelligent automation.

Click to access unedited transcript
Jim Rembach: Hey this is Jim with CX Global Media and Call Center Coach and I’m here with Ido Bornstein-HaCohen with Conversocial and we actually had some excitement here at the customer service summit in New York City body inside group and we’re gonna turn this into something that we’re gonna have a learning opportunity with so you don’t tell us a little bit about why you’re participating in this particular summit and what you guys are doing a calmer social. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: Yes first of a very nice to meet you Jim and we did have a bit of an excitement that said this morning but it’s a you know it’s all good the ad the main reason why we’re participating in insight is because we are a call kind a contact center and platform right and we provide our customers with the ability to actually you know provide great customer service why not the increasing costs using messaging right so you know if you ever use what’s up or if you ever use that you know I message you know these channels are really you know becoming the most dominant channels for brands to provide customer service to the customers over them you know they also provide great customer satisfaction and the nice thing about them is that because these channels are a synchronous then you know the whole customer communication and the cost involved with that is actually much lower he knows sometimes even five times lower than what we’re seeing with the traditional channels so you know our mission in the world is to really make customer experience and you know customer service an easy effortless fun experience for the consumer and cost effective experience for the brand. Jim Rembach: Okay for those that may not be aware when you turn Sir somewhat asynchronous communication. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: What is that so you know the difference between kind of asynchronous than live communication is how bound you have to be you know to the channel right so when you were at when you having a phone conversation You know that’s the only thing you do you can’t do anything else you know with messaging you think about you know the way that you’re communicating over you know I message as an example you can send a message. Jim Rembach: You know go do whatever and. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: You’re doing. Jim Rembach: And then go back. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: To the at two I message. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: The the messages themselves are persistent so you see the whole. Jim Rembach: You know he’s. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: You know history of a conversation and you can just pick it up where you left off from the context into perspective that provides an amazing customer experience but it also requires special tools to be able to handle it and that’s what we do a convert social right we have an agent you know desktop where you know this is what the agents in the contact centers are using right to provide that great customer service it provides being thank you nine electing X. in queues and what we call a play mode which is basically the way that we’re routing the conversation into the act. Jim Rembach: Into the relevant P. put. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: In on top of that we have a and an A. I. platform so you know bringing those human support and you know the automation together is what we specialize in and this is how you know with different than many other companies out there. Jim Rembach: Well I and I think I actually had the opportunity to actually read a report that talked about how. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: We. Jim Rembach: Often think that it’s the younger generation that’s using this type of communication however one of the quickest adopters are actually the people that are over fifty is that correct. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: It is it is so you know from a younger generation perspective the it’s a no brainer right thank they don’t want to call they you know they using messaging apps and this is what they’re used to and this is what they’re going to use to the extent that if you know if somebody forces them to actually pick up the phone and called they’ll probably just go to another brand you know if it’s a retailer they’ll go by from another retailer if it’s an airline they’ll go by you know their plane ticket from another airline it’s very easy for them for them to switch today but it’s really amazing to see that it’s actually you know kind of you know people that are full of the fifty sixty and above are actually using those channels in the same way that you know the younger generation is using it somebody told me you know like two days ago is that you know yes they’re not the millennial but they’re still using messaging apps like anybody else. Jim Rembach: Most definitely so if you start thinking about one of the main objectives that you want to accomplish here well what would that be. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: So you know for us it’s all about pain you know getting the messaging type of a and you know everything around out there right so that people understand what they need to do how do I need to you know what the right way of managing it we actually I’m speaking here aren’t supposed to be speaking here today and then we’ve got another workshop which is you know more of a. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: Technical workshop to some extent you know talking about I mean not technically in the sense of you know cold related but technical in the sense of how to actually deploy it in the right way right so and you know our goal in this in this fat content is really to get you know to take to get people to understand what it is that we’re doing how we’re doing it in a bit differently and how you know and to inspire and to get people to understand really you know what messaging is all about and how to manage it in the right way because. Jim Rembach: You know a lot of people are talking about that. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: But we’re not a companies are talking about it but not a lot of companies have you know the same experience that we have in terms of you know executing on it and taking it to market. Jim Rembach: Well you know thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: Thank you. Jim Rembach: And we wish you the very best. Ido Bornstein-HaCohen: Thank you yeah.

Meet Bob Sullebarger with Interactions

Bob shares how Interactions views improving the Customer Experience by enabling brands to have productive conversations with their busy customers every day, no matter if they’re talking, tapping, typing or swiping.

Click to access unedited transcript
Jim Rembach: Hey this is Jim with CX Global Media and Call Center Coach I’m here with Bob Sullebarger with Interactions. Bob we have some excitement here at the Customer Service Summit with Incite Group we had a little bit of a water blast but Hey this is our opportunity talk about the blast that we’re gonna have when we get back in there right so why did you actually participate in this particular event and re with interactions well. Bob Sullebarger: Our business is all about driving conversational automation into customer care business process so what we do is allow our customers to present a conversational a I interface to their customer base so that they can engage in just the way they would be speaking to a live agent somewhere in automation company and a lot of the professionals who are here driving that kind of transformation in their organizations so we’re here basically I think more than anything to learn from them about how they want to approach digital transformation and how introducing conversational A. I. into their environment can help support that goal. Jim Rembach: Okay so when you start saying conversational a I am putting it into an organization I also start thinking about data sources I start thinking about you know company assets enterprise assets in order to be able to serve and support customers. Bob Sullebarger: Right. Jim Rembach: And so I also start thinking about really the differences between business automation in a I saw dimension sometimes where you have a blend of all these things going on is that correct. Bob Sullebarger: Yeah that’s absolutely right I mean when you’re delivering care to any client no personalization is really what drives relevance and effectiveness and so all of the solutions we deliver actually leverage dated at our clients already have right there CRM systems they’re RP systems their content management their knowledge bases and so on you know we want to deliver a fast effective and efficient low effort experience to everyone who reaches out to our clients so there’s the there’s the relevance piece the leveraging of data. Bob Sullebarger: But the A. I. is really all about how does this thing learn and become more effective over time so as more and more call volume or chat volume flows through the platform it leverages AI to become more and more effective so that it can basically accomplish more. Bob Sullebarger: And Dr deeper automation and. Bob Sullebarger: Anybody up process. Jim Rembach: Well with you saying that I also start thinking about job changes you know doing things differently then I started thinking about quality you know now needing to take on the role of the quality of some type of automated attendant or assistant is that correct. Bob Sullebarger: Well yeah I mean automation is great automation drives efficiency and it drives a fast you know effective outcome for the customer but the other side of the coin is how do we make agents more effective at what they do and you know we play a big role there too as well by relieving agents of really the more mundane tasks the collection of data take for example you know making a reservation the collection of the reservation data and saving the agents the time of basically raw data capture so that they can focus on higher value tasks so we like to think that we elevate the value added the aging population as well allow them to go faster focus more on revenue acquisition necessarily then customer care type. Jim Rembach: So, for me when I when you say that I start thinking about an experience being more holistic it’s the age and experience and the customer experience. Bob Sullebarger: Yeah I think if you don’t job I mean I agent the value that agents bring you know he’s never going away right so we see ourselves is playing in the both sides of that equation you know we want to use allow our customers to leverage agent contribution in a way that makes the most sense but to really take care of the highly repetitious high volume routine and frankly mundane tasks that agents would prefer not to do. Jim Rembach: I think we all prefer not to do a lot of things like get hit with a water bomb here at the Marriott right. Bob Sullebarger: This was the day when I thought to myself, I wish I was a high reliability sprinkler head salesman today because you could have written a big order here today. Jim Rembach: Most definitely Bob thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and we wish you the very best.

Meet Mark Pryor with Datamark

Mark shares his unique insight into how gaining perspective from various organizations helps Datamark to leverage better practices for all types of contact center operations.

Click to access unedited transcript
Jim Rembach: Hey this is Jim with CX Global Media and Call Center Coach and I’m here with Mark Pryor of Datamark at the Incite Group’s Customer Service Summit in New York City. Mark, we had a little disaster this morning it was a really interesting. Mark Pryor: Well it’s interesting. Mark Pryor: A Big Bang always get your attention and it definitely got everybody’s attention this morning. Mark Pryor: And the first thought was how can we ever recover and get back from this and yet the recovery by the way was outstanding but what was even greater was that. Mark Pryor: We were able to actually be out in the an area where everybody had together and we had a a great opportunity to just visit and get to know each other in a casual way while the hotel in the conference and everything was just putting every piece back together to make it successful and the whole rest of the day is been outstanding. Jim Rembach: Most definitely now I think the perspective taking component is so critical for us to really pay attention to now you get the luxury quite frankly of what you do it that a mark to be able to get different perspectives with different organizations because you provide their customer care services so tell us how you actually leverage that it that a mark. Mark Pryor: Okay what we do. Jim Rembach: At data market is. Mark Pryor: Is customer service is is such a key function for every single company the great thing that we have an opportunity with is that we work with soul many large fortune 500 companies within their customer service areas and. Jim Rembach: Every company. Mark Pryor: Has their own idea of what quality is what’s important to them what are the process is what are the systems what is the way you actually deliver a solution when you’re on that phone for the first time so that when that customer. Mark Pryor: Gets off the phone. Mark Pryor: They’re thinking wow. Mark Pryor: That’s. Jim Rembach: So much more than I expected. Mark Pryor: And so we’ve had the opportunity over the years to really take a look at best practices across each one of those projects and be able to deliver better and better and better outcomes better customer experiences to the point that it crosses over technology and it goes beyond that. Jim Rembach: Into training. Mark Pryor: And working with our people and they know and understand what the solutions are. Jim Rembach: So for me all these perspectives have given you the opportunity to deliver value that’s really what I’m hearing is that right. Mark Pryor: That’s exactly right because customer experience goes so far beyond that phone call. Mark Pryor: That answer that you just gave because what you’re really dealing with is brand identity in you’ve just delivered value to that customer in such a way that they have a solution they wanted they have it in a way that was better than they thought it was going to be and so they’re going to come back again and repeat purchase or they’re gonna have a positive outlook and they’re going to share that with their friends just because. Jim Rembach: Mark thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and reminding us that different perspectives to add value. Mark Pryor: Okay thank you.

An Industry of Caring People

From top to bottom one thing that resonates with me about the Customer Service Summit, this industry has an overwhelming number of caring and outstanding people.

From the team at Incite Group to team at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, the FDNY and the expert solution providers. This industry is a wonderful place to have made my career, thanks to all of you, I am forever grateful.

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