Q&A with the Customer Service Summit’s Jasmine Kees

SPONSORED BY INCITE GROUP

Challenges and Priorities Survey

The 9th Annual Customer Service Summit will take place on October 23rd & 24th at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott in New York City. We sat down with Jasmine Kees, the lead organizer of the event, to discuss the Summit and the contact center industry in 2019.

Q. This is your 9th year of the Customer Service Summit. What was your inspiration behind starting the event?

Jasmine Kees

Yes, we’ve been around for quite some time, but are now, more than ever, growing rapidly. The meeting was originally called the Social Media for Customer Service Summit, which obviously focused on the new digital aspect of customer service. At this stage, social media was booming, comparable to artificial intelligence (AI) today, and being heavily invested in by customer service departments globally. Where other events were focused on traditional support and then brought in digital service, the Customer Service Summit has always been heavily focused on the power of digital customer service.

Q. What changes have you seen in the industry/Summit over the past nine years?

As social customer care became a key aspect of every big brand, the Incite Group expanded the event to encompass the entire support strategy—looking at everything from contact center operations to omnichannel strategy. Over the past 2-3 years, we’ve watched companies like Amazon and Zappos change the transactional world. With the rapid evolution of customer expectations, customer experience has overtaken price and product as a key brand differentiator, and in turn, customer service is being recognized as the face of, and driver for, organizationwide strategy. Our responsibilities and internal footprint are changing and, simultaneously with customer expectations, we must evolve.

As the industry has evolved, so too has the Customer Service Summit. At the 9th Annual Customer Service Summit (Oct. 23rd-24th, NYC), our mission is to equip support leaders with the tools and strategies they need to overcome these challenges and deliver the ultimate customer experience. That’s why we’ve gathered together those leading customer support, experience and contact center operations from the world’s most influential brands to set the bar for omnichannel support and ensure we are meeting the needs of customers of the future.

Q. What makes the Summit unique in the industry?

We are the only event focused on bringing customer service to the center of the business as the face of, and driver for, organizationwide strategy. But what does that really mean? We’re not just creating a platform to discuss the direction of customer service and experience—we are driving forward a movement to recognize the value that customer service teams bring to a business as more than “just a cost-center.”

Gaining invaluable customer insights and collaborating internally to close the feedback loop, support teams are integral to driving the business forward. It’s time to reinvent customer support to match ever-changing customer expectations and that’s what makes this meeting unique.

Q. What is the top pain point that the Summit solves for attendees?

The Summit aims to solve two key challenges:

  1. How can we evolve internal structures, optimize our workforce, and close the feedback loop to meet new customer demands?
  2. How can we thrive in the age of exceptional experiences and develop an innovative 2020 strategy to surpass our competition?

Overcoming these pain points will be key to customer service being recognized for the value they bring to the organization.

As a result, we have tracked the Summit to focus on these two topics in depth:

  • Track 1: Internal Customer-Centric Team Strategy, and
  • Track 2: External Customer-Facing Strategy.
Jasmine Kees is lead organizer for Incite’s Customer Service Series, including the 9th Annual Customer Service Summit (Oct. 23rd-24th, NYC) and its younger sister the Customer Service Summit West (June 8th-9th, San Diego). She’s passionate about bringing customer service to the center of the business as more than “just a cost-center.”