I was at one of the few social customer care conferences, or should I say ‘summits’ last week, run by the inimitable Luke Brynley-Jones – Social Customer Service Summit 2016. This summit has been a fixture on the circuit (that makes me sound so jaded) for at least four years now; it seems longer than that somehow. Luke has managed to carve out a niche, amongst the many big conference producers out there now. Well-respected, always a good bunch of people in attendance representing brands and agencies, and a solid line-up of speakers.

I genuinely thought this year’s line-up of speakers had some great stories to tell. I’ve been searching for a few years now for new stories to come through; I’m sounding jaded again! The last batch of great stories to leave their imprint was back in 2009 or so: Best Buy and #Twelpforce, giffgaff and KLM.

Although to their credit, KLM are still making stories. Unfortunately for them, we are all a bit blasé about their stories now, we simply expect it of them. What was it that Clay Shirky wrote in ‘Here Comes Everybody’: “Communication tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring”. Perhaps KLM are just starting to get boring. This is a compliment by the way!

I would also add O2’s #Tweetserve to that list, but that wasn’t until 2013. I’m not sure if they are still doing it; I presume so.

Back to LBJ’s #SCSS16. We had three fantastic case studies from Sabrina Rodriguez @TravelexUK, Steven Gutierrez @TfL (Transport for London) and Josef Bergman @HPSupport. What was great was how open all three of these companies were to sharing some of the challenges they faced, that they didn’t have all the answers, and what lay ahead for them (yes, you’ve heard it before: it’s been emotional … it’s a journey). I would definitely recommend you keep an eye on these three. I’m sure there are more stories to come, and perhaps some of them may even venture into the world of messaging before too long.

For me, it was good to catch up with some ‘old timers’ (not a comment on their age) – Martin Hill-WilsonBian Salins and LBJ, meet some new faces Jonathan Glover at Heerd, Laura Dinneen, who did a great off-the-cuff summary of social customer care (see pic below), Paolo Fabrizio, Italy’s answer to Martin Hill-Wilson, and reminisce about #tweetups with Thomas Power.

As for me, I was chuffed to be asked by LBJ to do one of the keynotes. I’ve not agreed to do many keynotes over the last few years, but decided only recently to come out of self-imposed retirement, as it were (sounding really jaded now). The deck is below, and please do feel free to use whatever slides might be helpful to you, but please just acknowledge the source. Click ‘Re-imagine’ below.


I realise you don’t necessarily have the context of what I was speaking about, so where I talk about speed for example, I’m really asking you the question: Is speed everything? But do feel free to get in touch with me via Twitter @guy1067 if you’ve got any questions.

Overall, I was hugely encouraged by what I heard, and the fact that ‘chatbot’ wasn’t mentioned too many times. I’m looking forward to next year, and who knows what the landscape will look like then. But let’s hope we keep hearing new stories!