Conference Program

At Smart Customer Service 2019, you’ll hear the innovative approaches that the world’s leading organizations are deploying to manage customer interactions and maximize customer value. Designed for the executives, managers, and professionals who are managing and deploying customer service systems and strategies at all types of organizations, this year's program includes tracks on Smart Customer Service, Omni-Channel Customer Care, and Customer Service Leadership.

Final Program [PDF]

Monday, Apr 29

Welcome & Opening Keynotes


Opening Keynote: Algorithms in, Humans out?

09:00 AM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

This presentation discusses the most important technological development of the coming years: artificial intelligence. What can companies expect? What should we do as more and more human skills are being taken over by these kind of systems, such as looking, listening, talking, reading and reasoning? And what will the future of artificial intelligence look like? What is definitely possible, and what isn't? How does this change the relationship with your customer?

The future is also brightened by the autonomous "digital butler" who gives you answers before you knew you need answers, and helps you before you knew you needed help. But does it only have advantages? Or not? What are the unintended, unforeseen disadvantages of this technological trend? Just like we should have done with the introduction of social media and the smartphone, shouldn't we be asking ourselves that one important question: what do we want the era of artificial intelligence to look like?


, Speaker, trendwatcher, author, Studio Overmorgen


Keynote - How Companies are Partnering with Conversational Machines

10:00 AM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Many machine-human partnerships are starting to take shape in modern contact centers. Today, machines make it possible to query and classify vast numbers of conversational interactions. Soon, machines will become increasingly proactive, conversational, and helpful. In this session we will explore what real contact center tasks are best suited for machines today, and how agents and machines can work together most effectively.


, Co-Founder, Co-Head of Engineering, Gridspace


Monday, Apr 29

Track A: Smart Customer Service


A101. People-Centric: 5 Case Studies in Digital Transformation

10:30 AM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Learn how aligning Big Data, analytics, processes, collaboration, and culture will drive change—even transformation—in your organization. We go through the five rules for customer engagement and how leaders put them into action. Using insights from five case studies, we take a visionary look into the future of work and develop a practical guide for transformation. Attendees leave inspired, informed, and full of ideas to use to drive change at their organizations.


, Managing Partner, C5 Insight


A102. The Human Brand: A New Way to Measure Customer Experience & Its Financial Impact: A Case Study

11:30 AM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Gathering customer experience (CX) data is relatively easy, but improving performance and impacting financial results is much harder. Unfortunately, traditional methods of CX measurement, such as Net Promoter Score benchmarking, CSAT tracking, or Customer Effort Scoring, don’t always provide a clear road map to improvement or a tangible connection to financial performance. Using a case study example, we demonstrate a completely new way to measure CX and its financial impact. Our example, a multinational supplies distributor, was able to achieve double-digit increases in customer satisfaction, loyalty, and likelihood to recommend, and the increases in these metrics, we show, were directly responsible for double digit increases in revenue. This distributor also gained a deeper understanding of customer needs and the ability to provide much more personalized communication and support. Join us and find out how they achieved all of these results.


, Managing Partner, Fidelum Partners


Keynote Lunch - The Future is Conversational, Omnichannel, and in the Cloud

12:15 PM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Today, IVRs are treated as a containment strategy to avoid calls reaching contact center agents. They focus on operational efficiency instead of customer experience. No wonder most users hate IVRs — 60% of them try to bypass them as soon as possible! The irony is that focusing on a great customer experience is a more effective approach for operational efficiency and cost savings, while also delivering high customer satisfaction scores.

We believe the future of customer engagement is conversational because conversations are at the heart of great customer experiences. Customers will interact with systems by speaking or texting naturally rather than pressing keys on their phones or reciting pre-determined commands. Conversational interfaces will allow businesses to route and handle hundreds of customer issues that wouldn't normally fit in a touch-tone IVR menu or even a mobile app. Customers won’t need to learn how to use conversational interfaces because they can just interact with them naturally.

In this talk we will demonstrate how to build a conversational assistant, train it and deploy it to our IVR and web chatbot. We will address the biggest challenges such as handling speech recognition inaccuracies, error handling, omnichannel deployments, and conversation state tracking. We will cover the conversational UX best practices as well as how to give your intelligent assistant a unique voice and tone. After this talk you will be equipped to launch your IVR, chatbot, and Alexa skill with Twilio Autopilot.


, Director of Product and Engineering, Twilio AI


A103. 15 Practical Ways to Improve Your Customer Listening

01:15 PM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

It’s hard to take a step without being asked to take a customer survey. But just because the world is littered with surveys, does not mean that companies have this method down pat. In fact, in the first study of its kind, we examined the point-of-purchase surveys for over 51 of the largest US retailers. Our study concluded that, based on engagement and accuracy, most surveys get an F Grade. This workshop teaches when to use surveys, when to avoid them, and what other methods are worth considering. Then, drilling into the specifics of Customer Listening, topics include: ways to avoid leading questions, and examples of high-impact questions — both shown in the context of actual surveys. In this session you will learn: Get concrete tips to improve your surveys, Understand the broad landscape of different methods outside of surveys, and, ways to tweak the Net Promoter Score (NPS) question to make it more valuable for you.


, Chief Customer Experience Analyst & Founder, Interaction Metrics


A104. Expert Perspectives: Zendesk and Freshworks Inc.

02:15 PM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Learn more about the latest technological developments in customer service from leading-edge companies in Expert Perspectives sessions. The sessions are open to all full-conference attendees and Networking Pass holders. Check back for session details or follow #SmartCS on Twitter for updates.

2:15 p.m. - 2:35 p.m.

More information coming soon.

2:40 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

More information to come.


, Sr.Solutions Engineer, Freshworks


A105. Improving Customer Service by not Focusing on Customer Service

03:15 PM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Do you want to improve your customer service culture, but you don’t know where to begin? Are you overwhelmed by road blocks such as budget constraints, changing technology, and a challenging workforce? You are not alone. Using real-world examples of organizations that have overcome these challenges, learn how to improve customer service by better supporting employees and creating reasons for them to be customer-focused. See how a full list of complaints turned into a new way to service customers. Attendees leave better equipped to make customer service better without even focusing on “customer service.” Enjoy an interactive session where you can share your frustrations and have active solutions presented to you.


, Senior Sales Manager, Greenleaf Hospitality


A106. Engage! A Tactical Approach to Quality Customer Service

04:15 PM2019-04-292019-04-29

Monday, April 29: 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Just talking about service is not enough. The differences between effective and ineffective service is a matter of sensitivity, sincerity, attitude, and human relations, all of which can be learned and effectively managed. Service is the real competitive edge—competing on the basis of product or price is no longer sufficient, so companies must differentiate themselves with excellent customer service. In this session, we show how to implement effective communication and engagement strategies to improve employee morale and confidence, leading to a positive impact on the customer experience.


, President, Trainer, Quality Auditor, Quality Management Consultant, Gorveatte Consulting Inc.

Tuesday, Apr 30



Breakfast with the Influencers

08:00 AM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Join us for an interactive chat with many of CRM’s leading influencers as we discuss issues ranging from technology trends to what’s really driving customers today. This is an excellent opportunity to hear from the people driving the industry in an uncensored, unfiltered format. All of your questions are fair game and will be answered to the best of our ability. Enjoy a light continental breakfast, good conversation, and networking with top leaders in the field. This is a truly unique opportunity and conference highlight.


, Partner, CRM Essentials


, Managing Principal, The 56 Group, LLC and & Author, CRM at the Speed of Light, AND The Commonwealth of Self-Interest: Business Success Through Customer Engagement

, U.S. Editor, The Drum

, Principal Analyst & VP, Constellation Research, Inc.

, Founder, E Squared

, Chief Research Officer, G2 Crowd


Keynote - Digital Transformation: Driving CX Excellence

09:00 AM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

89% of executive say digitization will disrupt their business this year. Yet fewer than 1/3 believe that their digital strategy is correct, and only 21% believe the right people are setting their strategy. Why the disconnect?

Using real-time case studies from global, best-in-class companies, Barton will illustrate how these companies are using digital transformation to enhance customer experience.

Hear how five components – CRM, Data & Analytics, Social Media Communities, Customer Engagement and Emerging Technologies – form an integrated framework for successful digital transformation. Learn how to assemble these components in bite-size chucks by following a long-term roadmap that focuses on critical people and process issues, as well as technology.


, President, ISM, Inc.


Keynote - Breaking barriers with an integrated software suite

09:45 AM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

This session will discuss the ways that an integrated software system can provide you deeper insights into your business and help you provide a better customer experience.


, Professor in Residence, Zoho Corporation


Tuesday, Apr 30

Track A: Omni-Channel Customer Care


A201. Are You Running Your Contact Center on Fake News?

10:45 AM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

The success of your contact center relies on effective data analysis, but your center is probably getting feeds from 10-plus data sources, often calculating similar metrics very differently. The output can be misleading and confusing. How can you tell fact from fiction? Join us in this session and learn how to separate the news from the noise and how you too can get to the information you need without a major technology investment. We share successes and failures using real-world case studies from companies that have already tackled these challenges, providing you with best practices to adopt in your own contact center.


, Customer Engagement Manager, Contact Centers, CDW


A202. Awesome Customer Service Lessons Using Social Media: A National Bank of Canada Case Study

11:45 AM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Is customer service on social media a short-lived trend or is it here to stay? Join us in this session and learn from the successes and failures experienced by the National Bank of Canada and the tactics it has used in its social customer service efforts. In this overview of customer service on social media, we highlight some of the best examples and identify mistakes to be avoided, and we’ll also create a business case describing five value-added benefits from putting social support in the hands of your contact center team. Learn how to do customer support right using social media.


, VP, Development & Strategies, Services Triad

, Manager, Digital Customer Service, National Bank of Canada


Keynote Lunch - The Intelligent Contact Center

12:30 PM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

AI can now help improve contact centers in ways that up until just a few years ago where not possible. Google Cloud AI enables anyone to tap into AI built on Google tech that up until recently has been exclusive to Google employees. This includes our pre-trained ready-to-use models, including speech recognition that is now twice as accurate for phone calls, WaveNet-based neural network speech synthesis, conversational NLU, and conversational analytics. Together with partners, Google is now bringing this technology to contact centers via Contact Center AI solutions. Companies with contact centers of all sizes can now automate conversational experiences, and improve performance of human agents.


, Product Manager, Google Cloud Al


A203. Transforming Your Call Center From a Customer Service Model Into a Customer Ascension Model (for Profit & Purpose)

01:45 PM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Forward-thinking companies are radically reimagining how they leverage their call and customer service centers. Join us in this interactive session and learn how to transform your call center into a strategic brand asset in the value chain of your organization. Find out how to empower your customer service representatives to become brand ambassadors and trusted advisers who don’t want to leave their jobs. We discuss strategies to gain executive buy-in and build the consensus needed among management to drive this urgent change throughout your call center. Smart companies understand the imperative of turning their customer service operations into a profit center that helps achieve the company’s revenue goals. Join us, and learn how.


, CEO, Voice of Influence


A204. Expert Perspectives: SAP and TeamSupport

02:45 PM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Learn more about the latest technological developments in customer service from leading-edge companies in Expert Perspectives sessions. The sessions are open to all full-conference attendees and Networking Pass holders. Check back for session details or follow #SmartCS on Twitter for updates.

Intelligent Customer Service in the Experience Economy: How AI & ML are transforming Customer Service & Engagement
2:45 p.m. - 3:05 p.m.

Customer service is undergoing its most dramatic transformation since automatic call distribution became mainstream 40+ years ago. We are witnessing a revolution in customer service fueled by AI & ML-based technologies, the proliferation of digital channels, and – last but not least – driven by customers demanding better customer service that is faster, more convenient, and more reliable. Hear about the biggest service trends, game-changing innovations, the role of experience feedback, and what lies ahead. Learn from case studies of visionary companies about their innovative ways to engage their customers and create better experiences in the moments when it matters most.


, Global Vice President, SAP Customer Experience

Three Essential Strategies for Managing Customer Expectations
3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

We all have those customers who have exceedingly high and sometimes unrealistic expectations of our business. We give them an inch and they ask for a mile! Yet, despite these fervent demands, losing them as a customer is simply out of the question. That’s why instead of erasing them from the balance sheet, it’s time to focus more on how to manage their expectations and needs. As a customer service software company that processes millions of tickets a year, we’ve refined managing these expectations into three essential strategies. Learn all about them in this brief but impactful session.


, CMO, TeamSupport


A205. Community Care & Engagement— Connect, Feedback, and Interact: A Case Study

04:15 PM2019-04-302019-04-30

Tuesday, April 30: 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Join us in the case study session where we explore how AARP was able to significantly improve its social media outreach and engagement with members by providing a more empathic, intimate, and personal approach to responding to caregiving comments, rather than simple transactional exchanges. By developing a “refresher” training course for their agents, they were able to walk them through examples that encouraged better responses even though they deviated from standard message templates. Agents were taught to prioritize and acknowledge the member’s story first and then provide resources after that human connection was made. The result was a 177% improvement on AARP’s caregiving brand content metrics.


, Social Response Director, AARP


Wednesday, May 1

Track A: Customer Service Leadership


A301. How to Write Like a Human in an Age of Speed

09:00 AM2019-05-012019-05-01

Wednesday, May 1: 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Contact center agents are being pressured to respond faster than ever to customer email, chat, texts, and social media. Is this possible without sounding like a robot? Join us in this session to learn how to balance the demands of speed, automation, and humanity in your written communication. Explore the latest research on customers’ email response time expectations. We will break down the research by customer demographic and teach you how to use templates without sounding robotic and write better-than-average auto responses.


, Owner, E-WRITE

, President, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.


A302. Purple Goldfish: Little Things Make the Biggest Difference

10:00 AM2019-05-012019-05-01

Wednesday, May 1: 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

What are purple goldfish? Attend this session and find out how to differential your company by giving little unexpected extras where your customers appreciate it the most. We cover the 12 different types of purple goldfish (unexpected extras) that will help you improve customer experiences, increase customer loyalty and generate positive word of mouth and online reviews for your business. This session is for both senior management and frontline staff will leave with actionable ideas to deliver the little extras that customer’s value most.


, Author/Speaker, Purple Goldfish

Wednesday, May 1



Closing Keynote - Analytics: The Executive Briefing

11:45 AM2019-05-012019-05-01

Wednesday, May 1: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Analytics initiatives are now among the highest priorities, according to CEO surveys. Organizations that fall behind are increasingly at risk of being disrupted by those that stay on top of emerging analytics technologies. But it can be difficult to wade through the hype to understand the strategic implications. This session delivers a jargon-free overview of the three categories of analytics. Using several case studies, we explore how global leaders are using analytics and provide simple steps for adopting more analytics-driven processes. Join us in this session and get a preview of customer analytics practices and capabilities that are shaping the workplaces of the future.


, Managing Partner, C5 Insight

Wednesday, May 1

Postconference Workshops


Planning for CRM Success

01:30 PM2019-05-012019-05-01

Wednesday, May 1: 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

CRM is designed to help you manage your business ecosystem more strategically. But many companies struggle with CRM deployments. This is a non-technical session designed for business professionals on how to plan and implement CRM strategies. It is based on the integration of the best practices in business processes, people skills development, and technology. Attendees will learn how to improve the ROI on CRM investments by developing better planning and user adoption strategies.


Creating Customer Personas & Journey Maps

01:30 PM2019-05-012019-05-01

Wednesday, May 1: 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

One of the top reasons that customer care processes fail is a lack of alignment with the customer’s preferred process, and a onesize- fits-all approach. Do you know your customers well enough to know how to design a process that delights them at every step of the process? Join your peers in this workshop as you learn how to understand customer personas and create journey maps to drive more effective customer service, including how to the following: Listen to your customers so they can tell you what their journey looks like; identify what customer personas look like and how they will affect your process and technology decisions; discover the starting point for persona definitions—and how to strategically expand from there; and define a journey map as the foundation of customer experience management processes.


Leveraging Best Practices and Technology Leadership in Digital Transformation to Shape and Enrich Digital Experiences Locally

01:30 PM2019-05-012019-05-01

Wednesday, May 1: 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Digital customers are disrupting established practices and processes internationally. Product and service leaders must understand, analyze, meet and exceed local requirements to enter and grow in their target markets. The digital age has set the stage to amplify local reach, relevant resonance and personal reaction. Whether you are in a globalizing startup or in a multinational organization you have to overcome challenges and seize opportunities to make the most of that borderless stage and deliver effective content and products while demonstrating much agility, velocity and customer centricity. More than ever there is no great local experience without global excellence. Digital customers are in the driver seat and know what they look for as well as where, when and how they want it. Therefore it is crucial to engage them linguistically, culturally and functionally before they switch to your competitors in one click or with one word.

Join this workshop to unleash the power of the fast track to create and increase digital globalization value. We will cover how to:

- Consider a robust framework to execute digital globalization plans end to end, maximize customer experiences and sustain value matching local customer journeys

- Build a roadmap to develop assets, showcase quick wins and deliver on your business objectives in a time and cost effective way across multiple markets

- Drive the transformation of digital content and product supply chains into experience value chains by optimizing creation, development, internationalization, translation, localization, testing, certification and personal customer experiences globally

- Benefit and profit from technology enablers that help you turn automated intelligence into intelligent automation and augment local customer reality, specifically within AI-driven ecosystems

- Capture and measure content effectiveness globally and locally through tangible performance indicators and data-driven operations

- Develop and elevate digital globalization in your organization as a global profit driver by establishing a collaborative business partnership model across teams, disciplines and functions

- Innovate with snackable content to boost micro experiences for international customers

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