Customer Experience: 3 Takeaways from Refresh19

I just attended two days at Refresh19 by Freshworks.

Here are some highlights from the Event:

1. IT FELT AUTHENTIC

Starting with the Company’s Vision that was manifested throughout the event:

Enable every customer to create ‘customers-for-life’

  • It didn’t feel like a big sales pitch. Often so many conferences do. The event was packed with great content but maintained a casual vibe. It was held at the Aria in Las Vegas and integrated elements of Indian and America cultures – Indian food at lunch, yoga to unwind, BollyX to embrace a big night of golfing and dancing, and Bollywood dancers at the Golf range created a memorable experience.
  • Keynote: Shaq was not only hilarious but also inspirational & real. If you are going to go through the effort of hosting a conference, ensure the speakers complement your key themes and know how to engage the audience. I can recall two conferences I attended in the past few years that were great until the keynote got up to speak. One was reading from a script and the other showed up unprepared and disheveled. I walked out of both. Shaq, on the other hand, recounted relevant memories of his childhood which had us in stitches in some instances and deeply move in others. He also shared his own experience with home security services and going back to school – experiences we can all relate to. I cannot stress the power and importance of storytelling at these events!

2. FRESHWORKS SUITE OF PRODUCTS: I didn’t know what to expect from a software perspective as I have yet used any of their offerings. I received a demo of the chat product and the CEO unveiled ‘Fresh Success’ which also looks valuable to customer-facing teams. Over lunch, I talked to a director at Princeton & another at Pepsi who shared their stories about implementing and using the Freshdesk products. All positive feedback. Before attending the conference, I wasn’t aware of products outside of Freshdesk. They now have a full suite for the customer journey. It’s clear the ‘customer’ is a central focus of what the company is producing and explains why they went from $0 -> $100m in 5 years.

3. “THE FUTURE OF CX IS HERE NOW”

  • Contextual Engagement It’s been around for a while – think WalkMe, Pendo, AppCues & others. If your company is not using it, I think it is time to start. Customers want just-in-time, in-product guidance without having to pick up the phone.
  • Predictive Engagement: Think of the items Amazon ‘suggests’ based on your buying habits and how often you end up clicking on their shiny offerings. How is your company leveraging customer usage to provide additional help and products they will actually want to buy and/or need?
  • Anywhere Engagement: If your product isn’t easily accessible on a tablet, smartphone, iWatch (my favorite) or computer then you are already lagging behind. Companies such as Airbnb, Bonboy, eTrade, and many others have all come to the conclusion that customers want ‘access’ at the click of a button.
  • Collaboration Engagement: When I work with clients, I often help them evaluate and implement technology to scale. One of the missed opportunities is alignment across teams. Companies implement the process as they grow but often do not take into account how it will impact all their teams. With the software showcased at this event, it is clear that employee collaboration is a central theme in their product offering and this is good news for the customer. Being able to pull in the right people, break down silos, and have transparency in one central place is essential when customers expect real-time support.

I am back from the conference excited to learn more about Freshworks & how I can incorporate it in my technology stack when I am working with customers.

————————————————————————————————————-

A special thank you to Praveen Ramesh & Natarajan Chandrasekaran, for inviting me to be part of the Refresh19 story. And thank you to Mary Poppen & Lynn Hunsaker, for collaborating on this topic we are all clearly passionate about! “Predicting Customer Experience through Employee Engagement KPIs.” I think we all walked away with new relationships and ideas we can start implementing immediately in our own practices.

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Originally posted on LinkedIn in Sept 2019


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