With over 40 speakers addressing CCA Convention over the last two days, there was certainly no shortage of analysis, wisdom and experience to keep delegates entertained.

Davis cup coach Leon Smith reminded us that teams are made up of divas and introverts alike; it’s a leader’s role to identify the best and bring it to the fore for collective success.

‘People want to be allowed to feel good’ was the message from Ben Page (Ipsos Mori) when drawing together the key factors that are informing the mood in Britain in 2017 in his Industry Keynote at the event. Whilst this may seem self-evident, it is also far from assured in today’s uncertain world and Ben identified some key areas where citizens and consumers are facing particular challenges.

As we are so familiar with in the world of customer experience, uncertainty has become the new normal. With political and economic issues, Ben noted that individuals believe that they are living in a much more dangerous world whereas the chance of being a victim of serious crime or being involved in a terror attack has actually fallen considerably.

There has also been a decline in economic optimism, with 73% of people worried about the cost of living, although this is more borne out in reality for some groups with under 30s getting worse off, whilst older people are getting better off. For the first time, people who are in work are in some cases worse off than those who are retired. There are other key generational differences according to Ben and his ‘Millennial Myths’, but these are not necessarily what we would expect. For example, in relation to digital change, millennials are actually the most likely to believe that technology is ruining their lives. The younger generation have become markedly more negative, less trusting of brands and are much more likely to complain. 

Nevertheless, despite some of these more unsettling trends, Ben identified clear opportunities for customer experience that feed into some of the key areas that CCA and the wider CCA family have been working on. There are growing chances to better understand customer expectations and a wide range of tools available to track people, but often what customers really want, according to Ipsos research, is for things to be made easy for them. 64% of people actually want life to be more simple and therefore offering people too much choice can be counter-productive.

One of the key findings from the Ipsos Mori research, was the importance of tradition, sureties and trust for today’s consumers. It can be easy to think that new, fleet of foot technology-driven firms are the ones we should be emulating, but in an age of uncertainty, the trust associated with established brands is critical. Moreover, returning to the idea that people want to feel good, we know that this kind of engagement can only be delivered with a personal, human and empathetic experience and therefore nurturing, developing and investing in our people is central to delivering this.

The event concluded with almost 650 delegates celebrating in style into the wee small hours at the Gala Dinner and Excellence Awards Ceremony. Dancing to S Club, the lyrics, ‘Don't stop, never give up, hold your head high and reach the top, let the world see what you have got, bring it all back to you’ summed up a fun and fabulous night.

A huge well done to all our 2017 winners and sincere thanks to all speakers and of course to everyone who contributed making this year’s CCA Convention our best ever!

If you'd like to see Ben's video please get in touch.