Knowledge - Insights: Chair Reports

Summit Hall Chair Report

As always, such a pleasure to be chairing a great set of speakers at the 2018 Customer Engagement Summit. Inspired by the plenary speakers, especially Gavin Ingham giving us real insight into what gives us the edge at work, we started straight in on our Customer and Employee Engagement stream in style!
Our first speaker was David Wales, of Kent Fire and Rescue. Bringing our conference theme in straight away (The Human Face of Engagement), David gave us a really thought provoking case study of the moment his organisation had an epiphany about their customers. They hadn’t really thought of the public as customers, and perhaps worse, they had assumed that public behaviour during incidents was at best foolish and at worst, irrational. The turning on its head of that assumption, as they started to really talk to, connect with and understand their involuntary customers, has transformed the way they work. Their focus has moved to how to minimise subsequent damage and stress, for example by ensuring that they deal with burns victims immediately (as they have the water and the expertise to hand) rather than handing them off to a hospital service which often doesn’t have the equipment or special knowledge to prevent further injury.
We then hear from Ben Orme of Hawk Incentives, and they’ve made the connection between customer and employee – realising their employees are their best customers. The key moment came for them when they actually asked what was going on – and started to say thank you.
It was then a pleasure to me to introduce my boss Deb Oxley to the stage! We are hearing much more about alternative business models these days, and the Employee Ownership Association is leading the way on this. The recent announcement that Aardman Animations has transitioned to being owned by its employees is just one of many examples of forward thinking organisations investing in shared endeavour, and then reaping the benefit in increased purpose, productivity, profit and performance.

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Chair Report – Customer Engagement Summit 2018 – Cathy Brown

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