Annual Conference

Meet with customer service professionals and leaders to share best practice at the largest customer service conference forum in the UK. 

About the conference

What is The Institute of Customer Service Annual Conference?
The Institute of Customer Service Annual Conference is the biggest forum for customer service thought leadership and best practice in the UK. The event draws hundreds of service professionals and business leaders together to learn from examples of global service excellence and share best practice. The Conference takes place alongside the UK Customer Satisfaction Awards ceremony.

When and where did the 2018 Annual Conference take place?
The event took place on the 6th March 2018 at Hilton On Park Lane, 22 Park Lane, London, W1K 1BE

What was the theme of the 2018 Annual Conference?
The theme for the 2018 Annual Conference was 'Customer Service 2018: Game changing strategies in an unpredictable environment' 
Developing an understanding of the important part that a coherent customer strategy will play in enabling organisations to remain ahead of the curve in the uncertain times that lie immediately ahead. 

2018 sessions

Keeping ahead of the curve
Jo Causon, CEO, The Institute of Customer Service
Jo outlines the primary disruptors affecting the worldwide economy and discusses the organisational impact they are having. Customer service is the common thread which will produce consistency, resilience and provide the best opportunity for success. This session navigates the political uncertainty and the new landscape it creates, identifies the criticality of measuring customer service ROI, highlights the unrelenting technological developments, shows the areas of highest risk and then maps the galvanising aspects providing game changing strategies for the future. 

Embracing customer power to achieve positive change
Matt Rogan, Chairman, Two Circles
The sport industry is changing faster than many other sectors, and as competition for the leisure pound increases, there has been a need to professionalise and digitise in the area of service quality, and to do so at pace. This has created an imperative for internal and external change over the last 5 years in particular, where many (but by no means all) have risen to the need for change. Matt discusses how these, and many other changes are helping to re-position sport as a customer-centric operation. Proving that organisations can grow in a seemingly shrinking market by delivering high quality service to customers, even in a turbulent economic environment. 

What does it mean to live in a chaotic world
Steve Holliday, DEFRA Lead Non-Exec Director, former CEO National Grid
Steve reflects on his extensive experience of running an international organisation and looks at the ‘new order’ necessary to compete in today’s economic chaos. From leadership to the economy, from the environment to security, Steve’s insights will help make sense of what’s happening now and what’s likely to happen next. 

Changing perceptions and reaching new markets
Jenny Campbell, Founder and CEO of YourCash Europe & Dragon's Den Investor

Sustainable success for tomorrow’s world
Alison Jones, Director of Volkswagen UK
The automotive industry is undergoing technological change requiring a complete transformation from a customer, technology and service perspective. As connected vehicles, autonomous remote diagnosis, and e-mobility become more mainstream, Alison explains how Volkswagen are making a decisive contribution to shaping the industry for today’s changing market and customers as well as tomorrow’s customers’ expectations and business model. 

Adapting to unpredictability
Giles Hawke, CEO, Cosmos
Uncertainty has again become a consideration in business continuity planning and in the customer’s psyche, affecting buying patterns and decision making. This may be due to uncertain political expectations both in the UK and overseas, terrorism, massive currency devaluation or changing legal challenges such as GDPR or PCI compliance. All of these factors present holiday firm, Cosmos, with the perfect storm. Giles explains the effects of such uncertainty on a macro level from the business perspective, and on a micro level when tragedy strikes - explaining what game changing strategies can be implemented practically to offer calm reassurance and a consistent level of service under extreme pressure. 

Improvisation – and its new place in the service mix
Neil Mullarkey, communication expert, author of Seven Steps to Improve Your People Skills and founder-member of the world-famous improv troupe the Comedy Store Players
Improvisation – and its
This innovative interactive session outlines the importance of people skills in creating positive business outcomes. At a time when AI is becoming more prevalent, Neil’s presentation serves to energise organisations to maximise their human resource and achieve richer interactions and added value through the adaptive power of improvisation. 

Implementing change while retaining service levels
Mark Thomson, Director General, Her Majesty’s Passport Office
When Mark and the HMPO embarked on an ambitious transformation programme lasting until 2020, the business environment and the economic backdrop looked very different. Here Mark discusses the challenges and the benefits of embracing digital technologies while retaining service levels. Managing customer demand, introducing intelligent data solutions and delivering efficiency through digital services whilst maintaining service levels with a reducing headcount is a challenging task. In this session Mark explains how HMPO made it work in its favour. 

Negotiating a positive outcome for all
Sir Brendan Barber, Chairman, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)
The employment landscape is changing fast with new business models, zero hours contracts and all the uncertainties of Brexit and the fourth industrial revolution coming down the track. Brendan will
discuss not only the debate on possible changes in public policy but how employers themselves might respond in this changing world.

Creating reputation through customer service
Joe Gordon, Head of first direct
In a world where the biggest taxi firm doesn't own any cars, where the biggest accommodation provider doesn't have any real estate, and where the biggest news website doesn't own any content – first direct is playing its part in shaping what banking will look like in the new world. Joe’s ethos of making a difference through service provides an insight into how customer service strategy is driving the agenda, whilst embracing change in all its formats.  

Striving for peak performance
Dr Steve Bull, Coaching Psychologist, GamePlanCoach
Steve discusses his performance psychology at work, in work, and for work. He outlines the way in which leaders can create a high-performance environment in the workplace now and in the future. Having coached CEOs, Olympic gold medalists, and the England cricket team, in this motivational session he will impart methods to instill game-changing thinking in your teams and help your organisation win in an unpredictable environment.

2018 confirmed speakers

2018 Exhibitors

InMoment Logo


InMoment is a cloud-based customer experience (CX) optimisation platform that gives companies the ability to listen to and engage with their customers to improve business results through better experiences. The company operates as a full-service partner to nearly 400 brands across 95 countries.
Twitter: @WeAreInMoment

Rant & Rave Logo

Rant & Rave

Rant & Rave provides customer engagement solutions with a difference.  Created with the belief that fundamentally brands and consumers want the same thing - to deliver and receive great service - half of the FTSE rely on the Rant & Rave platform to proactively communicate with and gather fast feedback from their customers.  By reducing customer effort and taking real-time inspired actions, brands are able to transform Ranters into Ravers and happy customers into engaged Ravers - lifelong advocates.
Twitter: @RantandRaveUK

Esker Logo


Esker helps organisations eliminate paper and improve business processes by through the use of document automation solutions. Esker automates every phase of order processing and customer issue management. Regardless of how documents are received (e.g., email, fax, paper, EDI or web), companies can process and track any order or claim with complete accuracy, visibility and efficiency — all from the same easy-to-use interface and with limited manual requirements.
Higher efficiency can also be gained in invoicing, accounts payable and purchasing to shorten order-to-cash and procure-to-pay cycles. Built on patented technology, Esker solutions address the challenges of manual document processing that limit an organisation’s ability to increase speed and accuracy, raise productivity, reduce complexity, control costs and improve customer satisfaction. Over the past two decades Esker has become a worldwide leader in document process automation with offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, with partners in more than 80 countries and customers such as BASF, Whirlpool, Bel, GE Healthcare, Honeywell

Echo Managed Services Logo

Echo Managed Services

Outsourced, end-to-end customer journey experts, specialising in multi-channel customer-centric contact centre and debt collection solutions. Our mission is to improve outcomes for clients and their customers, by building bespoke models that provide the perfect solution to both client and customer needs, evolving expectations, and an ever-changing business landscape. Our people are our greatest asset; highly skilled, trained to be true brand ambassadors, and empowered to make a real difference in the pursuit of customer excellence.
Twitter: @Echo_MS

CP2 Experience

CP2 Experience

CP2 Experience is a specialist customer experience consulting and training company
We work with clients who are committed to delivering a customer experience that differentiates their brand, creates loyal customers and drives profitable growth. Our clients recognise their people are their biggest asset in the drive for customer led growth 
By working closely with cross business senior teams, CP2 helps clients improve business performance through an innovative blend of strategic consultancy that provides real insight, by redesigning the customer experience and the sales experience and by developing bespoke training that embeds new leader, manager and employee behaviour 
Twitter: @cp2experience

Bosch Service Solutions

Bosch Service Solutions

Bosch Service Solutions is a leading global provider of Business Process Outsourcing for complex business processes. As service designers we place your customers at the core, developing innovative business models and solutions, using the latest technology. Our 8,000 associates across 27 locations deliver high quality customer services and with each interaction they create a positive brand experience for your customers.
Bosch Service Solutions - Intelligent, engaging, transformative. 
Twitter: @BoschUK

Business Systems

Business Systems (UK) Ltd

At Business Systems we have been specialising in workforce optimisation and customer insight technologies for thirty years. We apply this in-depth knowledge to provide best-fit solutions and processes to unlock effective answers to customer problems. Our solutions range from recording and analytics of customer interactions and feedback, through to quality monitoring, workforce management, and process automation. We represent some of the most recognised global innovators in the industry and we add value to every project by ensuring streamlined integration and deployment so that our customers can enjoy fast return on their technology investment.
Twitter: @BSLHQ

Paragon Customer Communications

Paragon Customer Communications

Creating a seamless communication journey is much easier when one company can take care of every stage. And connect the stages in an intelligent, efficient way. From data to digital, from secure documents to direct mail, we send over 4 million messages for our clients. Every single day. We call it joined up communication.’
Twitter: @ParagonCC_UK

What are the exhibitor opportunities? 
The Institute of Customer Service offers a number of exhibitor opportunities. All of our packages are tailored to meet the requirements of your organisation, and we work with our clients on a bespoke basis to ensure you receive the best possible return on your investment.
Hundreds of guests attend our event every year. We reach thousands more through our dedicated marketing campaigns. What better way to showcase your brand, build awareness and make important contacts in customer service?

  • Engage Key Decision-Makers and Policy-Makers
  • Develop your Reputation as a Thought Leader
  • Attend our Events
  • Online and Direct Marketing
  • Exhibition-Friendly Venues
  • Flexible Packages
If you wish to hear more about our exhibition packages for 2018 please email Sara Yarrow at [email protected] or call 02030027764. 

What did other exhibitors think about the conference?