Call Center Week 2015 Q&A with SmartAction SVP Steve Prodger
On June 17-18, SmartAction participated in the 16th Annual Call Center Week, hosted by IQPC in Las Vegas, NV. Though we had attended before, this year’s event was a big stepping stone for us – new colors, rebranded materials, and the largest booth space available. I sat down with Steve Prodger, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience & Innovation, to talk about some of his top takeaways from this year’s Call Center Week.
Charlie: What makes Call Center Week so important for our industry?
Steve: Call Center Week is the preeminent show of the year for the contact center industry. There are over 2,500 attendees that show up and participate in the week-long event and for good reason. There is a tremendous amount of thought leadership, sharing of best practices, networking, and awareness-building that can really benefit call center and customer service managers. As a vendor, we utilize Call Center Week as a fantastic opportunity to get broad coverage and gain market awareness.
C: Did you notice anything this year that was uniquely different from last year?
S: Trend-wise, it seems like there is a lot of buzz in the industry around cloud-based solutions with a unique focus on leveraging social media. We’ve seen cloud expand over the past year, and that was something we expected. As far as social media, it’s just an area that continues to grow as we learn more about it and how to integrate it into the customer experience. Another difference we noticed was that this year’s attendees seemed very interested in having deep, meaningful conversations. So many people were really looking for unique solutions to help meet their needs. As a team, we spoke with a number of decision-makers who came to us, not the other way around. It was very engaging!
C: What was the best part of this year’s Call Center Week?
S: We hosted our first Annual Mixer inside our booth on the first night of the show – it was a lot of fun. (See pics from the Mixer here) With the larger booth size, we were able to invite current clients as well as conference attendees we had met earlier in the day. We were most excited to get our current clients talking to our prospects. Our clients are our best advocates and are eager to spread the word. But we had generated so much interest with the booth and the bar setup that the Mixer ended up being more exclusive than we expected – we actually had to turn people away! We sort of felt like a Vegas nightclub, which added to the fun. But it was a big hit for everyone that attended. Having an open bar helped, but really what made it unique was the opportunity to mix call center leaders in with many of the decision makers, along with some fun, and to provide a place for people to connect over some food and drink. That was the best part of Call Center Week.
C: What are you most excited about now that Call Center Week is over?
S: The fact that we were able to stand out so much at the conference was great. (You can see pics of our booth on the SmartAction Facebook) I am most excited that we received such great attention, and many of the people we interacted with want to continue discussions, whether it’s around new applications, partnerships, or simply the technology in general. We made a splash and I’m excited to keep that momentum going. It will definitely be a busy year for us thanks to Call Center Week!
C: Would you recommend this event to people in the industry?
S: This event continues to grow and attract more peers within the contact center industry. It is the largest contact center show in the US, so it attracts the leaders in the business. There’s a broad range of sessions that we as a vendor found useful and relevant in enhancing the services we provide. I would definitely recommend Call Center Week to anyone who wants to learn more about the industry – from basic starter pack info all the way up to complex customer experience technologies and processes. This is the place to be if you want to learn about contact centers.
About the author(s):
Charlie Schrier, Associate Marketing Manager
Charlie is a double grad from Loyola Marymount University (BA, MBA) with degrees in Communications and Entrepreneurship. When he’s not putting out engaging content for SmartAction, he watches, coaches, and plays a lot of basketball.
Steve Prodger, SVP of Customer Experience & Innovation
Steve has over 14 years of sales management experience in enterprise SaaS technology. He has a strong track record of developing and managing world-class, enterprise sales and business development organizations in high growth environments.