Shep Hyken, More Key Influencers Talk AI, Personalization, More At TalkDesk Road Show

Lisa Schulman

 The Talkdesk Road Show: Designing Your Intelligent Contact Center was held in NYC September 2017.  Talkdesk is a valued supporter of CCW: Customer Contact Week, which is the world’s largest customer contact event series.  Talkdesk has a major presence at both live CCW events and CCW Online events.

Talkdesk and ParkWhiz will reveal 5 crazy ideas for transforming your contact center at CCW Fall Online.  It's free!

Speakers at the Road Show included customer experience experts from companies like Acxiom, Zendesk, TalkIQ, New Leaders and CoverWallet.  Industry leaders sharing insight on current and future trends, included Shep Hyken, Industry Thought Leader, Art Schoeller, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, and Tiago Paiva and Gadi Shamia, CEO and COO at Talkdesk.

The event’s focus on trends and AI was in sync with Customer Management Practice’s recent report on AI.  According to our very own research,

  • 74% of organizations believe artificial intelligence is “important”
  • 56%  of organizations have plans to introduce or continue using AI in their customer experience functions
  • 38% of companies plan to use AI for self service and to handle transactional customer issues
  • 25%  plan to use AI for analytics and to predict customer inquiries/behavior




The following is a snapshot of the key quotes and viewpoints from just some of the Talkdesk event speakers.


“Satisfaction isn’t more than a rating.  There’s no emotion tied to it…The moment of magic is any moments of truth that are better than average. You don’t want satisfied customers; it’s mundane. ‘Fine’ is worse than a moment of misery.”

- Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer, Shepard Presentations


Shep Hyken’s dynamic keynote was focused on top trends:


1. Personalization due to data: One of the things driving chat and AI is data.  There’s so much data helping to give better support.


2. Social care is not going away:  As the younger generation craves instant response, social media is super hot.  Companies need to step up to the plate as the whole world is watching their social media communication


3. AI/Chatbots: Bots are almost becoming the norm as customers expect them.  But, there must be human back-up.  Bots are starting to get predictive based on thousands of interactions.  AI’s biggest function is helping agents deliver better experiences in real time.


His final point revolved around what everyone is wondering: “Will AI replace humans?”  The answer was a resounding no.  Agents can focus on bigger issues as AI handles low value transactions.  Everyone worried that the ATM would replace the teller.  People feared video would “kill” the rock star.  Tellers and rock stars are still alive and well!


“Customers live in a world of rich data.”

Gadi Shamia, COO, Talkdesk


Talkdesk shared its vision for helping customers design intelligent contact centers.   Optimizing agent effectiveness translates into deliver more efficient, personalized service to customers.


Gadi provided a checklist to “keep the momentum going:”


  • Start measuring CSAT
  • Review your content strategy
  • Learn from your peers


The event moved on to a dynamic panel of buy-side executives:


  • Aman Khaira. Vice President, Product, CoverWallet
  • Brandon Turner, Sr. Manager, Help Desk, Acxiom
  • Katie Almirall, Director, Business and Technology Solutions, New Leaders


“We are chipping the friction to make it as easy as possible.”

Aman Khaira. Vice President, Product, CoverWallet

Q: How are you delivering a frictionless experience?

A: We make it easy for customers to go the through the insurance process. Our goal is to reduce friction through an application process.  We provide insurance quotes within a matter of minutes.  We are chipping the friction to make it as easy as possible.

Q: How do your measure success?

A: We make sure we improve our metrics at every part of the funnel.   We use technology to automate and we give quotes in real time.

Q: How do you collect feedback and what is a practice you’re proud of?

A: We meet customers where they are.  A lot of feedback comes through chat.  We also analyze e-mails.

“The call is an investment call.”

Brandon Turner, Sr. Manager, Help Desk, Acxiom

Q: How do you collect feedback and what is a best practice you’re proud of?

A:  We are high touch with feedback.  We don’t send out surveys automatically; it’s based on interaction.  We are calling and investing in our client’s success to make sure their issue is resolved. The call is an investment call and we deliver the survey through Slack.

Q: How has Talkdesk helped you improve agent productivity?

A: We’re creating awareness in our contact center.  We’re reducing the amount of clicks to follow through at the end of the call.  We’re also integrating Talkdesk with ServiceNow.

“We collect feedback from staff and participants”

Katie Almirall, Director, Business and Technology Solutions, New Leaders

Q: Tell us about your workforce

A: We have 160 employees and 400 participants.  We provide remote learning experience for customers and offer behaviorial feedback.

Q: How do you collect feedback?

A:  We collect feedback from 2 groups: staff and participants




We’re hearing a lot of hype about new technologies as we design the intelligent contact center.  The key action points at the event included:


  • Leverage data for personalizing and driving your AI and chat


  • Focus on social care in a world where customers want instant gratification


  • Respond to customers with speed and efficiency


  • Bridge the divide between self service and agent assistance


  • Use technology to automate wherever and whenever you can


  • Connect your customer journeys


  • Bust internal silos and work across functional boundaries


  • Reduce friction in your customer experience