They will be attending the French Forum, at La Baule in October, why ?
For the seventh consecutive year, the famous resort on the Atlantic coast and the Hermitage Barrière teams will, in October, host the first event in France dedicated to customer experience: Experience Client, the French Forum.
Maude Cavat: What are you looking for from brands, UX designers, station or hospital and experts in the customer journey who go there regularly?
Valentine Quersonnier: We allow people or companies who want to meet their peers and learn about the issues related to customer experience, shopping & patient journeys to come and see what is best in France. Researchers, specialists and true innovators are present during 20 master-classes of 12 or 18 minutes, showing their work and the results obtained. No blah-blah, no name-dropping: facts, figures, exchanges and meetings. And emotion!
Of course, obviously. What are you talking about when you talk about Seamless Experience: the resolution of irritants and what makes emotion, enchantment. Last year, Les Parisiennes Quator hosted an evening with a medley of the biggest hard-rock songs, played by concert musicians. Thierry Graffagnino, 3 times world pizza champion, talked about his work and his sauces and robots (Ekim). Two years ago, Gilles Ballerat, at the time Director of Operations at Gares et Connexions, presented the results of what pleases or irritates the 10 million passengers who each day pass through SNCF stations. That year, Devialet’s customer experience manager, Olivier Pacteau, brought one of the brand’s speakers to provide sound for the meals. It has been emulated.
12 minutes, that’s short!
Yes, but it forces you to get to the point. The forum lasts 2 days, includes 4 meals with free seating at the tables. The participants can therefore extend the exchanges during the meals or during the moments of relaxation that are planned since everyone makes the effort to stay from Wednesday to Friday. The bike ride to the creperie Pouliguen is a great success. This year, we will discover the first connected and cashless beach in France, which Veolia has found and taken over, guess where? At La Baule. Finally, when you arrive 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 through 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. That at the end of the two days, you could advance in the project with collaboration. An application to decrease the queues, is very useful for example or a signature service and training specialist who creates a warm store experience or gets your contact centre agents up to speed faster is also useful.
What will be the highlights of this, the 7th edition?
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 Depleschin, the founder of the Paris office will present, along with their client Eurotunnel.
Whoog, a Sophia Antipolis company that allows hospitals to replace their absent staff on a voluntary basis. It has the main university hospitals in France convinced thanks to its functionality and efficiency: a hospital executive spends 50% of his time looking for replacement staff. It is time consuming and very expensive, and it inevitably degrades the patient experience. And MonWagon, the French Waze of public transport: At Vivatech this year, the Minister of Transport, Elisabeth Borne wanted to stop at the stand of this young startup (hosted at the SNCF Lab). The application allows users to find the right information on real time delays, the safety of the RER or metro lines; to commute with others by subway if you are scared on a low-traffic line or to know if a controller is in the train, for example. It does this by accumulating available data using open data sourcing and sharing it with the community. Smile you’re moving, their promise is explicit.
The French Forum, is it serious?
With a wink: there is a real French school of customer experience with global champions in the sector and some of whom are sponsors. Amazon has imposed its standard on these issues but Air France, the Bon Marché, Club Med, Devialet, the Eiffel Tower (which recently launched a major call for tenders to rethink the visitor experience) testify to a very rich ecosystem and a shared belief: the obsession of the customer is the key. When Ben Smith, the new boss of the national company, ensured that there are several French cheeses on the Première, he understood everything. Just as when he decided to talk with all categories of their personnel to “embark” on the company’s transformation project; to appoint Anne Rigail at the highest level. Define your promise, ensure its execution and do not believe that robots and AI is the best start. The promise we have at La Baule for the last seven years is simple: meet the French champions of the customer experience and become one!
Interviewed by Maude Cavat
Valentine Quersonnier is responsible for organizing and hosting the event since its creation. It is co-organized by Malpaso and Radio Caroline Media.