Intro: I have attended The Service Council Symposiums in the past as have several of my colleagues from Xerox and other companies.
What I Liked.
- Rusty Walther took the prize from all the sessions I attended. His no-nonsense perspective and his memorable thought-provoking analogies hit it home for me. I personally encouraged him to finish his book. I will be one of the first to buy a copy. Although I did not attend Ron Kaufman’s session, my colleague told me his was terrific as well.
- TSC Symposiums are an excellent venue for networking with service executives and managers. Most attendees are high level executives with significant experiences to share.
- I liked the large font first names on the nametags! Since we generally only see one another once a year, it is helpful in remembering names of people you have met in the past. Add the last names next time, maybe in a smaller font.
- The pre-conference survey and interests/expertise on the nametags was a nice idea to foster conversation-starters.
- I liked the “forced” introductions to a random person that Ron Kaufmann did at the start. A few more of those would have been nice.
- March in San Diego was a welcome respite from our long cold northeastern winter!
- The limits imposed on vendor presentations are just about right: it is good to know what technologies are available but not good when conferences become overwhelmingly selling venues.
- Many of the sessions are directly applicable to our industry. Examples include:
- Customer mapping
- Omni-channel customer service
- Predictive Analytics and Big Data from the Internet of Things
- Inspiring presentations on customer service excellence by Erica Javellana of Zappos and Rick Mears of the San Francisco Giants.
- Reining in cost of service
- Working with IT
- Resistance to Remote Monitoring
- Service empowerment in stopping premature product launches
- Third party and contingent labor
I Would Have Like to Have Seen
- More of: Step by step approaches from practitioners who have implemented successful programs rather than broad overviews of capabilities provided.
- Less of: Break out sessions with group exercises. These are great for personal development, but take away limited time for learning new approaches to service.
Key Takeaway: In customer service, relationships mean more than processes and policies. Build rewarding relationships with employees and with customers to drive loyalty.
Andy Huber is Manager of Systems Strategy for Xerox Corporation. In his role, Andy provides strategic direction for new systems and technology enablement for Xerox Technical Services.