RECAPPING THE HIGHLIGHTS OF CSPN’S 19TH ANNUAL CUSTOMER SERVICE CONFERENCE 2016
Last month, on May 12th and 13th, Customer Service professionals from across the country and spanning a myriad of industries and sectors gathered at the Mississauga Convention Centre to attend CSPN’s 19th Annual Customer Service Conference.
The conference featured over 20 presentations delivered by an impressive roster of industry experts, where the attendees learned, laughed and participated for two full days builiding relationships, sharing ideas, best practices, and stories.
This years’ theme was ‘Better Together’ and there was no doubt that when like-minded thinkers, with a similar passion and objective come together, collectively everyone gets better at what they do through the sharing of ideas, philosophies, inspirations and best practices. Here are some of the highlights that helped make CSPN’s 19th Annual Customer Service Conference 2016 such a huge success;
Accolades For the Praiseworthy
In many organizations there is a directive to delivering good service and when a company goes above and beyond the usual, demonstrating a superior commitment to providing consistent, world-class customer service, their efforts become worthy of praise and commendable recognition. Dolly Konzelmann, President of CSPN, was honnoured to present, Tony Walsh, VP of Customer Service and Insurance Operations at PetHealth Inc. with the Certificate of Customer Service Excellence Award. PetHealth Inc. earned this award by ensuring that their staff had the opportunity to participate in and complete their CCSS© (Certified Client Service Specialist) Designation, an intensive program designed to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to adopt a customer-centric mindset and to consistently deliver expert service. Dolly also had the privilege to present the Certificate of Contact Centre Assessment and Excellence Award to Patrick Desjardins, Writer and Analyst at CRTC for their commitment to making Customer Service a top priority by undergoing a full assessment and analysis of their call centre operations to discover how and what they can do to deliver even better customer experiences.
With two tracks of speakers, occurring simultaneously, attendees were able to pick and choose the sessions, speakers and topics that interested them the most. Many remarked at how much they appreciated the two options and how having choices added so much value to attending the conference. Although the main vein of each session was indeed, customer service, all of the speakers and presenters brought something very different to the stage.
Michael Decaire, MA, C.Psych., RPsych.,RP, Founder of Flex Psychology spoke about the importance of “Mindfulness at Work”. Moving away from ‘business speak’, Mr. Decaire talked to the audience about taking care of ourselves and managing our minds to be more effective, productive, positive and to maintain overall good health. Giving the attendees some good strategies on how to manage stress throughout their day, he then led them all through a guided relaxation meditation. The response to this program was so overwhelmingly positive that it has lead to CSPN and Flex Psychology partnering together to develop and deliver the “Mindfulness at Work Corporate Program” to organizations throughout the GTA.
Lyell Farquharson, Vice President of Sales for WestJet, WestJet Encore and WestJet Vacations delivered his presentation on “Sales and Service – Delivering Great Customer Service”. Lyell ended his presentation with a big surprise by having everyone participate in a giant game of ‘Heads or Tails’. As he flipped a coin he said to the audience, “Put you hands on your head or put your hands on your tails”. It was ‘heads’ and those who had their hands on their ‘tails’ were eliminated and sat down. This continued on until there were only 2 participants left. Mr. Farquharson flipped the coin one more time leading to a single winner. And what did they win? 2 Free tickets anywhere WestJet flies! The audience went wild drawing huge applause and many have asked CSPN to make sure that Mr. Farquharson presents again next year!
Raphael Ly, Director Digital Services and Daniel Resnick, Director of Advisory both at KMPG took a very interactive, innovative and witty approach on the topic of “The Strategy of Customer Excellence” causing the audience to be fully engaged and wanting more. Everyone also enjoyed a warm, casual and open discussion at the Fire Side Chat, featuring four customer service industry experts from Microsoft Canada, The Shopping Channel, Purolator and Oracle.
Dave Pitch, Director of the Guest Education Centre talked about how lululemon athletica delivers the brand experience through their employees. Dave remarked at how refreshing it was to speak with an audience who ‘gets it’, appreciating how everyone present were already passionate about customer service and that he could focus his presentation on the ‘how’ and not have to drive home the ‘why’.
Sticky stuff and Spectacular Socks
Throughout the conference, attendees took to the sticky board to add their thoughts on ‘What Stuck With You Today’. Some thoughts we’re valuable take-aways that the attendees learned, such as “Empower your employees to make decisions”. Some were lauding the conference saying things such as “Awesome event” and “Great speakers + great audience = great event!” and some were just down right funny, such as “Spectacular Socks!” It seems that the men’s fashion trend of funky socks was in full force at the conference and all the men who sported them were more than happy to show them off when asked, “What kind of socks are you wearing?”
Patrick Louis, Director of Customer Experience at Canada Goose took the stage to share some news about CSPN’s upcoming Awards Gala Event on October 27th, 2016. With his passion and enthusiam for customer servcie, Patrick is also a strong advocate for employee engagement and recognition. As a member of CSPN’s Advisory Council, Patrick is part of the Gala planning sub-committee and spoke with the attendees about this exciting event, sharing details about the grand evening and the many ways they can celebrate and show recogintion to those who have demonstrated impeccable service in the past year. With nominations now open, forms were handed out and completed by conference attendees as they chose the deserving individuals and teams to recognize as ‘the best of the best’ for their accomplishments in the past year.
Vendors & Sponsors
Between sessions, attendees enjoyed the opportunity to visit the vendors at the conference trade show, to learn more about the products and services they offer that align with their needs and to drop their business cards for a chance to win one of the many fantastic door prizes up for grabs. They also had a chance to meet with the confernce sponsors who played an integral part in the event’s success. Microsoft Canada helped to make sure everything ran smoothly as the event’s Technology Sponsor. The lovely wine and cheese reception was generously sponsored by Interactive Intelligence as the conference’s Platinum and Cocktail Sponsor and everyone was well fed and sated thanks to Oracle and their role as the conference’s Gold and Meal Sponsor.
Wine, Cheese, Doorprizes and Donations
Networking and socializing was enjoyed by all at the Wine and Cheese Reception as everyone enjoyed a cocktail or two and mingled with colleagues and new found friends. Throughtout the reception, door prizes were awarded until Dolly Konzelmann rang a bell indicating that it was time to draw a name to win the Grand Prize, an Arctic Expedition, generously donated by Britt Buchalle, Sales Manager at Quark Expeditions! With everyone’s fingers crossed, the draw elicited a lot of anticipation and even more excitement for the one lucky winner. The 50/50 draw also caused quite a stir, with attendees purchasing raffle tickets by the arm’s length throughout the two days, producing a nice little jackpot where 50% would go to the winner and 50% to the charity of the winner’s choice. The final winner of the day was thrilled with her modest windfall and chose to donate her other half to the Red Cross Ft. McMurray fund.
Wish you were there to experience it all? Want to look back on fond memories? Follow the links below to the Conference Photo Album and the Conference Video.
Planning for the 20th Annual Customer Service Conference promptly got underway and CSPN has already received requests from organizations that caught wind of the conference asking if they could secure a spot to speak and present next year. Follow the link below to hear what Dina Sergi, MBA, CHRL, Human Resources Manager at The Shopping Channel had to say about presenting and being part of this wonderful event.
Photo Album: 19th Annual Customer Service Conference 2016
Video: 19th Annual Customer Servcie Conference 2016
Testimonial – Dina Sergi