Customer Engagement Summit – the view from the chair
This was an exceptional event in the calendar, with first class speakers sharing good, practical and thought-provoking content. It has been an interesting year for customer and employee engagement developments, with digital and social developments often taking the limelight, but there have been some stark lessons in the financial, commercial and brand risks of not paying due consideration to how you manage your customers and staff as well.
The insight gleaned from failure and set-back are often as revealing and valuable as the case studies in success, and we had both in good measure at this year’s summit, with powerful perspective from practitioners as well as analysts. Hearing about the importance of a values-driven culture from M&S, or how to build the business case for change and improvement at Charles Tyrwhitt were classic examples of stimulating, good practice generously shared with the audience.
People engagement was clear as a theme, and the likes of Ageas, DFS and Domino’s Pizza laid evidence to the importance and tangible value of this. In addition, being able to lift the thinking to the implications of wider economic developments in the UK and beyond was valuable and clearly provided by Louise Cooper, financial commentator and economics journalist for the Times and Sky.
It was a jam-packed day, often hairy and intense to chair, but I was delighted to be part of it and see the positive reaction from the close on 600 attendees at the Victoria Park Plaza. I look forward to next year – one of the few days I have already happily committed in my calendar.