5 Things We Learned from the SDI Conference

At the end of October we went down to Birmingham to the Service Desk Institute's annual conference - Spark 23.

It's a conference aimed at service desk managers from across a wide range of industries, and we ended up speaking to lots of different people. Some were serving internal customers, but there were also lots of outsourced providers at the event as well.

What's interesting is the extent to which they're all facing similar challenges, and looking to evolve in similar directions. Here are five of the trends we noticed.

1. There's huge energy and enthusiasm about customer measurement

From our own work with clients in the sector, we know that there’s a real culture of measuring customer satisfaction. It’s good to see that this focus on customer outcomes isn’t going anywhere.

2. People are moving from a transactional focus to a relationship one

That said, from the conversations we had on the day it’s obvious that more and more people are realising that a purely transactional view of the customer doesn’t give you everything you need. To understand customer decision making, you need to understand how they view their relationship with you as well. This was the theme of the talk Stephen gave as one of the breakout sessions, and it seemed to gel with what a lot of people in the sector were feeling about their existing approach to surveys.

3. Now is the time for customer experience to come to the forefront

Parallel to the idea of relationship satisfaction is the growth of customer experience as a concept. In a nutshell this means understanding that what matters is not just whether you did what you said you were going to do, but how the customer felt along the way. Hundreds of small details need to add up to create a truly great experience.

4. Great customer experiences start with happy, engaged, people

One of the key parts of a great customer experience is, of course, that it is delivered by happy, engaged, staff. There was a real focus at the conference on the importance of measuring how your people are feeling, and acting on the results.

5. Whatever the future holds, customers’ needs will come first

Will AI disrupt the industry? Will we all be out of a job in 5 years? Perhaps, but one thing we know for sure is that focusing on customers’ needs will always be the thing that sets successful organisations apart from their competitors.

We really enjoyed the conference. Perhaps we'll see you there next year?

Some photos from the day...

SDI Conference - Spark 23

We also have a podcst episode about the SDI conference. The annual conference and awards dinner for the Service Desk Institute,

Stephen and Greg both attended the conference. On this episode, they discuss what it tells us about where the IT Services sector is going when it comes to Customer Experience. As you can hear in the discussion, they really enjoyed their first visit.