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As Technology & Services World San Diego draws to a close, I wanted to write a quick blog with information on the top attended sessions from Day 2, which had a full day of conference breakouts. With a total of around 90 sessions, here is the list of breakout sessions with the most attendees, which is great indicator of the topics and business challenges that are top of mind with attendees.

Building a Comprehensive Customer Success Package to Drive a Proactive Approach to Servicing Customers

McAfee’s Bill Watson, VP, Operations and Product Management, Customer Success Group, and Ed Gilbert, Director, Customer Success Product Management, shared best practices and critical learnings in the development, launch and adoption of new success offerings. With many companies still trying to figure out what customer success means and how to generate revenue from customer success, it’s no surprise to find this session on the top attended list.

Do You Really Know Your Customer’s Health?

This session also focused on a critical element of customer success many firms are trying to get their arms around: customer health scores. Sanders Slavens, VP, Customer Success, Professional Services and Product Support, IBM, described IBM’s Customer Health Framework, Elements and Weighting, as well as how IBM has leveraged the framework for customers. The framework is also proving valuable to other organizations outside of Customer Success to incorporate health scores into their day to day business.

Actionable Customer Intelligence: Turning Data into Outcomes

This session was presented by Bryan Hope, Director, Customer Intelligence; and John Premus, Sr. Director, Customer Intelligence, from VMWare. I have heard from many TSIA members that they are overwhelmed by the ocean of customer data, stored in various systems and formats. This session discussed techniques and strategies for turning your masses of data into specific actionable customer intelligence that can be used to drive business outcomes.

4x4=100: Developing Employee Behaviors to Facilitate and Support Career Direction and Growth

Co-presented by Edly Villanueva, Principal Member Success Manager, TSIA; and Brian Fortney, Global Product Leader, Rockwell Automation, this session identified four key traits successful Services leaders need to develop within their teams to maximize success. With the focus we had on employee engagement and future service leaders at this event, I was happy to see a session on employee success and career pathing make it into the top attended list! And stay tuned, Edly will be publishing a paper on her “REAL” framework this summer.

Driving Business Outcomes by Transforming Enterprise Support

This session, led by Greg Swain, Associate VP, CSS Corp; and Steve Blaz, VP, Global Customer Support, Palo Alto Networks, discussed how enterprises need to have a unified view across the product life cycle and must infuse insights into daily business operations. This puts the Enterprise Support function in the spotlight as a steward of customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty by driving superior customer experience, value, and success.

Successful Leadership: 6 Tips to Build Your Leadership Toolkit

As a woman leader in the technical support industry for the last 14 years, and a stint with entrepreneurship, Sonya Srivastava, Manager, Technical Support for Tableau, has learned some important lessons. In this session, which include live demonstrations from real-life professional scenarios making the session meaningful as well as fun, Sonya covered challenges including how to inspire and mobilize the team, conflict management, and leading the team effectively.

Building a Rockstar CS Organization

This final “top attended” session was presented by Ashvin Vaidyanathan, CCO, Gainsight; and Sanders Slavens, VP, Customer Success, Professional Services and Product Support, IBM. Great to see Sanders have two sessions in the top attended list! This session provided a roadmap to build a rockstar Customer Success team, including insight on what it means to have a mature Customer Success organization, a Customer Success Capability Maturity Model, and using an Outcome-Based Framework and Outcome Based Journey Map.

Thank You, TSW Attendees!

I congratulate all of these speakers for taking the time to create such amazing content, as well as all of the TSW speakers for the hard work in making the conference successful. Also, a big thanks to everyone who took the time to book 1:1 meetings with me, and the many conversations after sessions and in the TSW | EXPO.

As I type this I am at the airport waiting for my flight back to San Jose, and I’m already processing the many conversations I have heard this week. I’ll be back soon with a blog recapping the top themes and trends I heard, as well as a look forward to what I will be focusing on for TSW Las Vegas in October.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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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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