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Yesterday was Day 2 of Technology Services World in San Diego. If I am counting correctly, this is my 21st TSIA conference, and it is really incredible to see how the events have grown over the years. Yesterday, I hosted the Social Track, and participated in six sessions. It was a crazy day, but a lot of great discussions. Here are some common threads from the social sessions, as well as a list of the top attended sessions of Day 2.

Not "What", But "How"

Clearly, B2B companies are behind consumer firms in their use of social media, but I'm happy to say the tide is turning. We spent much less time explaining what social support was and the value of social listening, and more time discussing the people, process and technology of successful social problems.

Linking Social to Outcomes

In my opening presentation yesterday, “Social's Role in Enabling Support for XaaS,” I demonstrated an outcome chain I created, “Improve Customer Insights with Social.” Not only does the outcome chain provide easy access to TSIA content related to the topic, but users can also see how social media support and social listening contribute to higher level goals such as increasing customer renewal rates and expand selling revenues. This is a great approach to not only provide the details of what companies need to do, but the correlation to corporate goals.

tsia outcome chains  

(Click image to enlarge.)
A screencap of my outcome chain from my session, "Improve Customer Insights with Social".

Social Impacts to the Customer Journey

There were some good presentations and discussions around how social can be leveraged to inform customer journey mapping. Monitoring what customers are posting on social media streams is good way to weigh not only how satisfied they are and if they are receiving value, but also to understand where additional products and services may help them better reach the desired outcomes.

The Right People Matter

There were several conversations about who should be interacting with customers via social, with some companies using the “blended” approach that everyone handles every channel. Companies with more mature social programs are also recognizing that some employees are better suited for handling the micro-transactions and fast pace of social. Bottom line, your star phone agents are very likely not going to be your star Twitter agents.

In addition to the social sessions, I participated in a panel on customer engagement strategies, in which I talked about the increasingly mobile customer, and the importance of creating a specific strategy for mobile engagement. I was also in a session on machine learning in professional services, which can be used to better identify the ingredients of successful projects and help replicate success and minimize chronic project challenges.

Top Attended Sessions of Day 2 at TSW San Diego 2016

Here is a list of the top 10 highest attended sessions from yesterday:

  • EXPO Breakout: "Customer Experience Innovation to Increase Service Revenue: Profiles in Success," by VPs Kevin Kenney and Heriberto Gonzalez – Sutherland Global Services.
  • Support Services: "Aligning Support Personnel and Process to Deliver Outcome Based Support," A Short Burst Breakout session by Stephen Vaillancourt, Customer Strategy Data Scientist – PTC, and Ersel Kullolli, Technical Program Manager – Transcend Insights.
  • Customer Success: "Building Customer Success Organizations Alongside Professional Services and Support Teams: How Is It Done? Who Does What?" an industry panel discussion facilitated by TSIA's VP of Customer Success & Support Services Research, featuring Dan Malavich, Global Director, Customer Relations – Alfresco Software, Matthew Seaman, VP, Service Management & Operations – PTC, and Dave Baca, VP, Customer Success – ANCILE Solutions.
  • "Analytics to Increase Adoption and Renewal at Scale," hosted by TSIA's Director of Research, Data Analytics, Jeremy DalleTezze.
  • "Discovering and Uncovering Operational Excellence," an industry panel facilitated by Tom Pridham, SVP & GM – TSIA, featuring Daniel Skempton, VP, Customer Success – Transcend Insights, Rick Hamilton, Corporate VP, Professional Services – Juniper Networks, Brian Daniell, SVP, Customer Success – Daltek, and Athena Burnison, Learning Path Manager, Voice Services – Intermedia.
  • "How Cisco is Evolving to Outcome-Based, Level 4 Partnerships," a services technology advantage case study co-presented by Denise Lockard, Sr. Director of Operations – Manhattan Associates and Lori Ellsworth, GM, PSA Applications – FinancialForce.
  • Support Services: "Customer Engagement Best Practices," which I had the pleasure of co-hosting along with my TSIA colleagues, Michelle Latorre-Illman, Director of Research, Support Services and Judith Platz, Vice President of Customer Success & Support Services Research, and Ashok Gunsekaran, Vice President of Customer Support – Informatica.

I'd also like to thank the members and partners who participated in my social track yesterday: Tim Lopez from Symantec, Françoise Tourniaire from FT Works, Dennis Gershowitz from DG Associates, and Phil Verghis from Klever.

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John Ragsdale

About Author John Ragsdale

John Ragsdale is a distinguished researcher and the vice president of technology ecosystems for TSIA. His area of expertise is in creating strategies for improving the service operations and overall customer experience by leveraging innovative technology. John works closely with TSIA’s partner ecosystem, identifying leading and emerging technology vendors whose products help solve the key business challenges faced by TSIA members. He is also author of the book, Lessons Unlearned, which chronicles his 25-year career inside the customer service industry.

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