ICYMI: ExCom 2016 — The Future of Customer Experience and Commerce

ExCom 2016, co-organized by John Lawson and Brent Leary on March 17, 2016 at Georgia State University, featured actionable insights and tools to enhance customer engagement. The conference, held at Georgia State University, was dedicated to exploring how technology and expectations are changing vendor-customer relationship. In one power-packed day, business owners, directors, managers, customer relations agents and anyone that had a customer facing business or is responsible for building audience engagement was immersed in the latest methods for building and creating lasting customer relationships utilizing unique customer experiences as the basis. Attendees learned the skill sets, tools and methods organizations are implementing for customer relationship management and commercial engagement.

Photo credit: Kat Goduco 

©Kat Goduco Photography

The Subscription Business – Small Business Journeys to $1M in Annual Recurring Revenue

Rohan Gilkes of WetShaveClub.com turned his $4,000 investment into $350,000 in revenues and grew his customer base from 12 to 1,500 monthly subscribers in less than a year. Sangram Vajre of SaaS platform Terminus hit $1 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) in nine months. Small Business Trends Publisher Anita Campbell moderated the conversation as these executives discussed the strategies and tactics deployed to create thriving subscription based businesses in less than a year.

What Role Should Automation Play in Building Customer-Centric Businesses

Moderated by CRM Magazine Editorial Director David Myron, Zoho Chief Evangelist Raju Vegesna, SugarCRM Product Evangelist Martin Schneider and RevenueSphere CEO Judy Mod explored which processes in the customer engagement lifecycle benefit most from automation, what level of automation is needed for those processes, and how to automate processes to scale engagement efforts without removing the human element from relationship building activities.

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Amazon.com: How Customer First Is Building the World’s LARGEST Shopping Site

Amazon.com continues to write the book on customer experience, user experience and customer expectations. Two percent of all of Amazon’s third party merchants use Athens-based Seller Labs’ software to make the most out of their digital storefront with a series of unique tech tools. Jeff Cohen of Seller Labs, discussed the core principles that have led Amazon to be the industry leader for online shopping, and strategies that continue changing the way consumer think about online shopping whether the purchase is in-store or online.

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Making the Transition to a Service-First, Mobile-First Organization

In a fireside chat hosted by Brent Leary, Freshdesk President Dilawar Syed shared how in just six years the company has grown to serve over 50,000 customers and raise $94 million, why it’s critical to business success today to have a service-first culture before implementing a mobile-first strategy, and how having a mobile-first approach changes the relationship between sales and marketing.

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How the Internet of Things Supercharges Customer Expectations and Disrupts Companies Who Can’t Keep Up

Ray Wang, founder of Constellation Research and author of “Disrupting Digital Business“, shared why it’s important for companies to transform their culture and prepare for the full effect of digital disruption. And why even companies like Amazon.com need to move faster to fully embrace what’s ahead in order to keep up with customer demands for great experiences.

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Customer Engagement is not CRM, but…

Paul Greenberg, author of the seminal book series, CRM at the Speed of Light, cleared up the confusion around the relationship CRM has with customer engagement and customer experience, and the changing role CRM has in a multichannel, big data world of continuous interaction.

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Customer Service in 2025

Building a great customer service solution can take years implementing technology while optimizing operations across all channels and actions. Add to that the need to adopt a cloud-based solution for your customer service in the next few years and you see how Customer Service professionals are not sure where to turn. Esteban Kolsky, Founder and Managing Partner of advisory firm ThinkJar, shared insights he collected via research and extensive interviews with practitioners building the customer service systems for tomorrow, providing a high-level idea of what to do to prepare your Customer Service solution for the next decade.

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Using Community, Content and Context to Create Better Experiences for 13 Million Customers

In a one-on-one conversation with Direct Marketing News Editor-in-Chief Ginger Conlon, GoDaddy Editor-in-Chief Shawn Pfunder shared how the organization is using a variety of tactics and strategies around leveraging insights from customers to create simplified service offerings that increase mindshare and wallet share, and improve company efforts to connect with their fastest growing customer segment, woman-owned businesses.

©Kat Goduco Photography

Improving the Fan Experience Before, During and After the Game

Peter Sorckoff, SVP of Marketing and Chief Creative Officer for the Atlanta Hawks, joined Adam Zimmerman, VP of Marketing for the Atlanta Braves, and discussed challenges and opportunities of utilizing cutting edge technologies to stay connected with their fan base. In a panel moderated by social media strategist Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe, they tackled a variety of issues from using CRM for data collection, omnichannel engagement, mobile GEO targeting, disruptive in-venue technology and more.

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Evolution of Experience – What it Takes to Stay Aligned with Changing Customers

Sprinklr VP of Marketing Jeremy Epstein led a discussion on how companies are integrating the latest in communication channels, data analysis and social strategies to meet the ever-increasing expectations and demands of customers today. Also explored: How the proliferation of channels impacts engagement throughout the customer lifecycle, as well as a look at how different channels are used depending on what stage customers are in.

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Using Amazon’s Playbook and Car Vending Machines to Disrupt the Used Car Industry

Among the top five car-buyer frustrations include the amount of time to complete a purchase, negotiating a price, getting a good trade-in offer, dealing with salespeople and understanding financing options. Carvana.com allows customers go through the entire process – from picking a car online to selecting a delivery date and signing a contract – in 20 minutes or less. CEO and Founder Ernie Garcia shared how Carvana’s business model is disrupting the used car buying experience, allowing the company to grow from $4 million in revenues in its first year of operation in 2013, to over $150 million in 2015.

©Kat Goduco Photography

Spheres of Influence – How Reviews, Recommendations and Influencers are Changing B2B Buying Processes

Mike Fauscette, Chief Research Officer of G2 Crowd, a leading business software review platform with over 60,000 user reviews, explored how B2B buying processes are being transformed by the growing voice of users sharing their experiences and opinions on business related products and services.

©Kat Goduco Photography

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