The vocal shopping, the patients and collaborators experience, the personalization will be the big ‘guests’ of the Expérience Client/The French Forum, soon to be the 7th edition.
The Woodstock of the customer experience, as it is often described. Hosted in La Baule, on October 2nd to 4th, featuring a great French researcher specialized in voices (Nathalie Henrich-Bernardoni, Gipsa-Lab / CNRS), the French specialist in feedback management (Mediatech CX) as well as the world leader in outsourced customer experience, a French company: Teleperformance.
“Neither Qualtrics nor Airbnb or Booking will be present at the French Forum”, says the founder of the event, Manuel Jacquinet. “In France is where they have created and operate Air France and the Bon Marché, the Eiffel Tower & Club Med. And it is here that lavender grows, on the plateau of Valensole. Where does it come from, this idea that the customer experience is an American fabrication? What many of these great merchants know how to do is to sell on their platforms – located in Ireland or Luxembourg J – the experience in France of the Gorges du Verdon or a visit to the Louvre. Embarking customer data simultaneously, which will then allow them to work on customization. Under the payment of deliverymen or interpreter guides for the visit to the Museum. But there is no inevitability: At the French Forum meet those who make the revolution in this area and believe me, it is alive”.
For the 7th consecutive year, the famous resort on the Atlantic coast and the Hermitage Barrière teams will host, in October, the first event in France dedicated solely to the customer experience: Expérience Client / The French Forum. Interview with the team who organised it:
Maude Cavat: What are the brands, the UX designers, the station or hospital bosses, the experts in the customer journey who are often faithful participants?
Valentine Quersonnier: We allow people or companies who wish to meet their peers and train themselves on questions related to the customer experience, shopping, even patient journeys, to come and see a selection of the best in France according to us. Researchers, specialists and true innovators are present, in 28 master-classes and conferences of 12 or 18 minutes each, the state of their work and the results obtained. No blah-blah, no name-dropping: facts, figures, exchanges and meetings. And emotion!
Manuel Jacquinet: Of course, of course. What are we talking about when we talk about the Seamless Experience? From the resolution of obstacles and from that which produces emotion, enchantment. Last year, the quartet Les Parisiennes hosted an evening with a medley of the biggest hard-rock songs, played by them who are concert players. Thierry Graffagnino, 3 times world pizza champion, talked about his work, his sauces and robots (Ekim). Two years ago, Gilles Ballerat, at the time director of operations at Gares & Connexions, presented the results of what pleases or anguishes the 10 million passengers who pass every day through SNCF stations. That year, Devialet’s customer experience manager, Olivier Pacteau, brought one of the brand’s speakers to sound the meals. He has emulated it!
Twelve minutes is short!
Yes, but it forces you to get to the point. The forum lasts 2 days, includes 4 meals with free placements at the table. The participants can therefore extend the exchanges during these meals since everyone makes the effort to stay from Wednesday to Friday. Or during the planned moments of relaxation. The bike ride to the creperie Pouliguen is a great success. This year, we will discover (if time permits) the first connected and cashless beach in France, which Veolia has found and taken over, guess where? At La Baule! Finally, upon your arrival at the forum, a list of participants is given to you so that you can ask to meet, one to one, one or more of the participants. Start-ups have signed contracts here, researchers have found something to finance a POC (proof of concept), French world leaders often send their GMs or shareholders. People who, despite all your efforts, you never manage to reach on LinkedIn. The spirit of the event is precisely that you can have lunch and start a conversation with someone you do not know and it can change the lives of your customers or facilitate them and that after two days you could have the affinity to advance with collaborative projects. An application to decrease the queues, it is useful for example. A signature training specialist to create a warm store experience or get your contact centre agents up to speed faster is also useful.
What will be the highlights of the 7th edition?
Manuel Jacquinet: The master classes, I believe, who will all be lead by real doers. The presentation of 3 companies that appeared to us as true change-makers in their universe: Hiveworks, a design agency that helps the largest companies rethink and designate their customer journey and design objects or products. Tristan Desplechin, the founder of the Paris office will testify, with their client Eurotunnel.
Whoog, a Sophia Antipolis company, allows hospitals to replace their absent staff on a voluntary basis. It has convinced the main university hospitals in France thanks to its functionality and efficiency: a hospital executive spends 50% of his time looking for replacement staff. It is time consuming, very expensive, and it inevitably downgrades the patient experience. Voxpay’s secure PCI / DSS voice and payment terminal will also be of interest to many companies, I think: it helps to complete the customer journey by simplifying and securing the payment stage, a key moment.
And finally the intervention of a great researcher and specialist of the voice, Nathalie Henrich-Bernardoni (Gipsa-Lab / CNRS). The use of voices are more and more interesting because the interactions are more and more mobile and with a voice you can portray emotion, stress, or often essential messages. Voice shopping is a real revolution and voice assistants are just one element.
The French Forum, is it serious?
It is with a wink: there are, in the face of Anglo-Saxons often presented as innovators in these fields, a real French school of customer experience with world champions in the sector and some of which are sponsors (eg Teleperformance or KPAM). Amazon has imposed a form of standard on these issues but Air France, Le Bon Marché, Club Med, Devialet, the Eiffel Tower (which has recently launched a major call for tenders to rethink the visitor experience) testify to a very rich ecosystem and a shared conviction: the obsession of the customer is the key. When Ben Smith, the new boss of the national company, imposes that there are several French cheeses on the Première; whether he is trying to board all categories of personnel to continue the transformation of Air France or when he appoints an Anne Rigail (the director general) at the highest level, he understood everything. Define your promise, ensure its execution and do not believe that robots and AI is the best start. The promise we have had in La Baule for seven years is simple: meet the French champions of the customer experience and become one!
Valentine Quersonnier has been responsible for organizing the event since its creation.
Manuel Jacquinet is the founder of the event (He is also editor-in-chief of a magazine dedicated to customer service and experience: En-Contact) This one is co-organized by Malpaso and Radio Caroline Media.