Rory Devitt, CS Group Manager, Blizzard Entertainment provides highlights from the recent BT Evolution Series business lunch in association with CCMA.
Greetings! My name is Rory Devitt and I am a CS Group Manager for Blizzard Entertainment, the computer games developer behind titles such as World of Warcraft and Overwatch. With a support centre of 500 people in Blackpool, Cork, supporting the EMEA region, we’re always interested in the new and emerging trends in the customer support industry. This is why I was keen to attend the recent BT Evolution Series business lunch in association with CCMA event titled “Navigation to Digital Customer Care” at the RDS in Dublin.
The three speakers for the event really piqued my interest and the first speaker, Gillian Chamberlain, the Commercial and Marketing General Manager for BT, spoke about how customer service is changing in the modern world, and it proved to be a very interesting topic. She argues that the digital age is being considered as the fourth industrial revolution and today’s customers build on expectations from the past and they expect a seamless, personalised experience with any service company they interact with. Her argument continued that traditional contact centre models are a frustration for customers today and we all need to be thinking about how to adapt our channel strategy, our guided entry and how we can personalise the experience.
Gillian’s main point is that it is no longer about the product or the service, it is about the experience as a total package, which is an interesting concept.
After Gillian, Ken Hughes, a Leading Consumer, Shopper Behaviouralist, Playologist and Keynote Speaker, gave a fascinating talk about the “Blue Dot Consumer“, a new type of consumer who has grown up within the digital age and does not know any other way to interact with the world. In great detail, he laid out how they want everything hyper personalised, fast and they want it now.
He said that they expect us to know their needs before they do and to tailor our interactions directly to them as an individual.
It really built upon the foundation Gillian laid regarding experience as the key element to successful customer service. One of the most interesting concepts Ken spoke about was the idea that consumers today compare experiences from all interactions – not just those within a similar space. As a result, he said, we are no longer competing with our natural competitors, we are competing with every experience an individual has accumulated. Ken spoke for roughly 50 minutes but it honestly felt like 5 and was highly engaging and inspiring.
Finally, Dr. Nicola Millard, the Head of Customer Insight and Futures at BT’s Global Service Innovation Team, was speaking about automation and AI. I was really excited to hear Dr. Millard talk as a few of my colleagues had previously attended a CCMA event where she spoke and they gave high praise after her presentation. She spoke about the future of Customer Service in relation to automation and the advances in AI. The challenge was presented beautifully and really helped illustrate the need for AI and Customer Service to work in tandem and not against each other. Building upon the theme of the day which was Customer Experience, Dr. Millard highlighted how an AI could assist Customer Service organisations to hyper-personalise contacts and identify customer problems ahead of time.
Overall it was a fantastic event. I thoroughly enjoyed how thought provoking the various speakers were and they provided me fuel to brainstorm new approaches to Customer Service for the future. The venue was perfect for the event with the Young Scientists Exhibition taking place next door, the consumers of tomorrow were right there with us. It was also a great opportunity to meet other industry professional from a wide variety of companies and I would highly recommend the event for the future.