CCO Forum: What Customer Experience Leaders were talking about

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What an amazing event these last two days at the Chief Customer Officer Sydney. I feel very privileged to have spent so much time speaking with some of the best minds in Customer Experience.

I noticed during my conversations that there are some common themes for what is expected for the future, what is working in the present and what is holding back progress.

1. Lead the pack

Mark Reinke of Suncorp set up his presentation by talking about the extinction of the Mammoth and how as a child you get taught about this and assume it was quite a sudden extinction. In reality, it happened very slowly as the Mammoth did not adapt to the changing environment.

There seemed to be some shared sentiment that it was not only important to adapt to avoid extinction, but that the first mover advantage was significant when it comes to customer experience opportunities.
There seemed to be some shared sentiment that it was not only important to adapt to avoid extinction, but that the first mover advantage was significant when it comes to customer experience opportunities.

2. Alignment with IT is a priority

The jealousy was almost unanimous upon finding out that Richard Burns of Aussie leads both the CX and IT teams, helping to increase the velocity of CX change projects, which brought into view the issue, that many at the forum were struggling with IT alignment.

I heard from many conversations that delays caused when the Enterprise Infrastructure cannot support the next phase of CX transformation, were top of the agenda to avoid.

To many, the solution is ensuring that IT teams are included in forward planning and that contingencies are in place to resource projects that take advantage of a "moment in time opportunity" as one attendee put it, without having to compromise on projects essential to the "Roadmap".

Whilst there are certainly some strategies to solve this problem, internal agility and alignment continue to be a challenge for most companies.

3. Agility and expertise of partners/vendors

When it comes to transformation and digitisation, many companies do not have the skills in-house to be able to ensure the success of an implementation. There is an expectation that the Vendor they end up choosing will bring this to the table along with the product. The feeling was that the initial success and speed of delivery came down to choosing a partner that was able to provide this at a high level.

Whilst there were certainly examples where this was not the case, I heard some amazing feedback on this front about some of the Vendors in the room.

As well as the expertise, the ability to change course and assist quickly, wth one of those "moment in time" opportunities was what created the stickiness with some of their closest relationships.

4. Using Data to inform transformation and product development opportunities

This was perhaps the most interesting to me as a self-professed data enthusiast, in that whilst many companies are still struggling to harness their own internal data to understand customer behaviour, there are many companies looking to use both internal and external data sources to better understand what their customers will need predictively rather than historically.

The ability to use these insights to create better products and provide better service seems to be the goal for many.

In many cases, however, attendees were suggesting that (back to point 2) their IT Infrastructure was not ready to support and would be a few years away unless they could find a cost effective solution to skip a couple of steps.

These certainly were not all of the themes, but a good representation of the conversations I had across the two days.

Thank you to everyone who shared so willingly, it was an amazing learning experience and I can't wait to do it all again in Melbourne

Thank you especially to our wonderful Sponsors and Presenters who supported the event and the attendees with their insights, knowledge and solutions. The feedback on how you assisted and educated across the event was spectacular.

By Ben Shipley: 

Ben Shipley is the Partnerships Director at Corinium Global Intelligence. You may reach him at   


Looks like a great conference to be in. Thanks for sharing key takeaways!

First mover advantage is indeed important although quite risky. Interesting article. Looking forward for more.

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