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Highlights from the 2018 ClickConnect Conference

by Gregory Gibbs, Vice President of Global Customer Transformation, Service Council

Click's 2018 "ClickConnect" conference was held this week in beautiful Miami Beach, with over 300 attendees from around the world, representing utilities, telecom, high-tech and healthcare, to name a few. The theme of the conference: "Lead with Service." Topics on the main stage and breakout sessions included:

  • Employee engagement
  • Customer engagement
  • Innovation in service
  • Best in class field service
  • Keeping up with the cloud
  • The ROI of technology application
  • Field service of the future

Of all the many great takeaways from this conference, which we will highlight in later communications, one of them came from Mark Crook, VP Energy Services, HomeServe USA, a home warranty service organization. When asked what his organization measures as KPIs, his answer was, "We don't measure ourselves against our direct competitors--we have to measure ourselves against our customers' best service providers."

Mark used the example of Domino's Pizza, whose stock has skyrocketed in the last 10 years. Why? Not because of incredible improvements in their pizza, but rather through offering order capability from any device a customer might want to use. By the way, they don't want to use the phone much any more, but they do want to order via text, Facebook messenger, a smartphone app, or tweet, to name a few options. It's all about convenience, or as Shep Hyken, author of the best-seller, "The Convenience Revolution," terms it: a "frictionless experience."

Having been in a variety of strategic and leadership roles over the years, benchmarking other successful companies and organizations was a given, including outside of our specific industry. We would use that information to help us think outside the box and adapt techniques from the outside that our direct competitors had not yet seen.

But the game has changed—our customers are comparing us to the best service organizations they encounter and want us to be as responsive, convenient and frictionless as those service providers. Customers love convenience. Have any of you been asked lately, "Why you can't be more like Amazon?!" And even if you have a good answer, that may not be enough in the mind of the customer.

Not only that, but with social media, and the instant "rate and review" tools out there, unacceptable customer experiences don't go unnoticed. We have to keep our commitments, according to Mark, around the key service elements of speed and quality. These key service elements must also be done consistently over time—it is through consistency that customers become loyal. As Shep Hyken states, "Loyalty is about the next time every time."

Technology tools, such as those that Click offers, to enhance mobility, customer and technical knowledge capture and access, and scheduling and logisitics optimization, are a way for companies like HomeServe to innovate and excel in service. These tools are becoming more and more essential in the fast-paced world of today.

But beyond technology, your entire company must reflect a customer service mindset throughout. "Customer service is not a department—it's everyone's responsibility," according to Shep Hyken in his keynote address. This call to action includes the people the customer sees or talks to, but also the employees that schedule, or process invoices, or even repair the vehicles in the maintenance fleet.

So, how do you make it convenient for the customer? Hyken offers 7 clear steps:

  1. Reduce friction
  2. Leverage the latest technology
  3. Offer self-service as much as possible
  4. Look to where you can provide subscription service—customers are becoming more open and accepting of this
  5. Delivery—take it to the customer, don’t ask the customer to come to you
  6. Have convenient hours – meaning convenient to the customer, not your staff
  7. UPOD—"under-promise and over-deliver." Set expectations but exceed them

Question: Have you optimized the convenience factor for your customers? Are there things you could learn and adapt from companies like Dominos or Amazon? Regardless of your answer, it would seem that the expectation has already been set by the customer.

For more information or details on the topics in this blog, please contact Greg Gibbs at

Filed under:  Business insightCustomer experienceCustomer feedback managementCustomer loyaltyCustomer managementCustomer serviceData analysisDigital transformationEmployee engagementField service deliveryField service metricsField service mobilityField service technologyITService cultureService growthService leadershipService strategyService transformationVoice of the customer 

Gregory Gibbs
Vice President of Global Customer Transformation,  Service Council

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