So, What Happened at ACE 2018?

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Spring just wouldn’t be the same in North America without flowers blooming, windows opening, and an Aspect Customer Experience event recap on the blog. Much like breaking out my flippys and Corona tank top, it’s not Spring until we sum up the year’s annual event for both those customers who could attend as well as for those who couldn’t.

Spring, like this year’s theme, is all about momentum: planting seeds, accelerating growth, cultivating sprouts – cultivating customers as it were.

Aspect President Chris Koziol kicked off the event by explaining the idea behind the Momentum theme. Momentum in customer experience is keeping your customer relationship trajectory moving in the right direction.  It’s about looking at the moments in a customer’s journey, which are the critical touchpoints along their experience with your brand, that when cultivated, can create and sustain customer momentum. Chris talked about how more consumers are ending the relationships they have with companies they do business with because they have a lower tolerance for bad customer service. And surprisingly, simply offering engagement – engagement that is effective – on the channels they want, is half the battle in churn reduction. People are also willing to pay more if they get the service they expect, offering a distinct a competitive advantage.

But the takeaway that really seemed to resonate with people was the idea that the contact center is getting its mojo back. Chris mentioned that a number of analyst firms such as Gartner, Forrester, and Deloitte are predicting, based on their research, new and substantive investment in customer experience over the next several years. Many companies have made a point to call out in their annual reports the strategic importance of customer service to their business.

In the product update, newly-appointed SVP of Product Management, Mike Bourke, outlined a lot of new initiatives for 2018, including a goal of continuous delivery of features. His message of ‘Tame Today, Frame Tomorrow’ was aimed at those in the crowd looking to future-ready their customer service technology.

We heard from Gartner’s Jenny Sussin who presented on how companies can capitalize on the next generation of customers’ moments of truth.

Joe Gagnon, CEO or Performance Tea, gave an inspirational talk on how we can do more in our lives than we think we can.

We heard some great customer stories from Kelly Burke, and heard about the great digital transformation of UnionBank in the Philippines from Magz Magbanua.

We heard from Zia Chishti, CEO of our newest partner Afiniti, about the potential impact of behavioral pairing with customers and customer service agents.

We had a great Women in Technology lunch hosted by Sheila McGee-Smith, got an update on our professional services organization from Brad Scott and Colleen Sheley.

And I didn’t even cover the breakouts and most of the other sessions. If you still need more of an ACE recap, check out the #AspectACE18 hashtag on Twitter!

Two and a half days of any conference can be draining for sure, but ACE attendees left Las Vegas armed with actionable insight and a renewed sense of opportunity and possibility in the contact center. You might even say some of them got their mojo back.