ACX-PO Roundup: Highlights From The World’s First ACX Conference

If your brand has yet to incorporate automation into the CX strategy, it’s no doubt something you’ve considered. 

Over the past year, brands have struggled to meet the growing demand for digital customer support. The savvy ones invested where it counts — in the automated customer experience (ACX). 

On June 17, 1,000+ participants attended the inaugural ACX-PO to find out more. Hosted by Ada, the one-day virtual conference brought together industry experts to learn about the revolution in automation and discuss the future of CX.

Stacked with industry leaders in FinTech, Ecomm, Telco, SaaS, and more, the day offered all the components you would expect from an in-person conference: 

  • Inspirational sessions that included expert panels, fireside chats, and guest speakers
  • Booths for participants to learn more about choice industries
  • Interactive ways to engage, including Q&A and polls during the sessions, an expo hall with resources and Ada products to experiment with, and the opportunity to network with other participants
  • An exclusive lounge for Ada clients
  • And, of course, big prizes to be won. But more on that later.

Participants were guided through a day of passionate discussion on the potential of ACX, the success brands have achieved already, and what the future of CX holds. If you missed out this year, don’t sweat it. We’ve got the day’s highlights below.

Welcome to ACX-PO

The day begins with ACX-PO’s crowd warmer, Ada CEO Mike Muchison. Mike kicks off the day with a brief breakdown of what everyone can expect, how to make the most of the conference’s unique virtual features, and gives away the first prize: a Yeti Summer Prize Pack. Congrats, Karen from GoFundMe! 

To set the stage, Mike introduces a key message — or the “why we’re here” at ACX-PO: 

By this point, participants are on the edge of their seats to learn how they can be “less of a bank, and more of a coffee shop” — you’ll have to watch the clip above to get what we’re talking about here. In summary, CX demands a paradigm shift. More high value interactions equals better business, and ACX is the path to achieve this. 

Outlining the benefits of ACX — and the consequences for those who have yet to embrace it—Mike describes how ACX diversifies across the customer journey, past brand interactions to how brands can manage CX and the value this brings. 

Ah, finally, the unification of support, marketing, sales, and product to work together in the name of CX, and the growth potential is boundless. 

Introducing, ACX

For participants looking for the ins and outs of ACX, their first stop is a discussion with Ada’s Holly Vaughan and Vanessa Piacente, moderated by Ashton Williams. All three are experts working in the field at Ada. 

Holly and Vanessa give us the full low down on everything you need to know about adding automation to your CX strategy — from where brands can start, to what a project looks like on the inside, to how your ACX team can evolve into a department in its own right.

The session defines a common Ada phrase, to “choose your humans wisely” by equipping your team with the right people to do the job. For those who are thinking about pitching an ACX function at their organization, Holly and Vanessa give some insider advice.

According to Forbes, 83% of executives say AI is a strategic priority for their business. But without a practical approach to this and implementation and governance in place, the results of AI will eventually fall flat. 

To help guide participants on how they can use AI effectively, Arwin Chan and Ksenia Lesko take participants through the best practices for launching ACX. 

For those who are sold on the benefits of ACX and proactively adapting to the digital shift in consumerism, there are still questions at bay. One we are asked most often is how to foster trust in this space. 

Ada’s SVP of Marketing, Ruth Zive is joined by 8x8’s VP of Technical Services and Support, Nir Galpaz, the SVP of Loblaw Digital, Lauren Steinberg, and Altima Telecom’s Chief Customer and Innovation Officer and VP, George Alifragis to share the risks and challenges companies are up against in a post-COVID digital world, and how they continue build relationships with their teams and customers.

Across the board, one thing is for sure: a great digital experience is consistent, accessible, and authentic. Learn which brands have gained the trust of the expert panel, and why.

Taking ACX to the Next Level

The hyper personalization of your CX strategy is how you take your ACX one step further—or as Ada’s Elan Keshen and Forrester’s VP and Principal Analyst Kate Leggett would say it, to build a CX framework that is out of this world!

For Elan and Kate, analyst professionals at the top of their game, the power of automation is driven by the post-pandemic stats:

  • A 40%+ increase in digital customer interactions
  • 71% of consumers spending more time online
  • 60% of brand interactions going digital

But your CX approach should be informed by more than just the numbers — it always comes back to the customer. The world has been upended by the pandemic, and people are strained from the effect COVID-19 has had on their personal and work life, their health, and the health of their loved ones.

This is the key to personalization: applying empathy and infusing this into brand interactions and the overall customer journey. Elan and Kate outline how best to approach this and with customers' best interests in mind. See how this is done in practice.

Throughout the day, we got to see ACX through the eyes of Ada customers. We learned how Mailchimp and Qapital are unifying their CX across the entire customer journey; how SurveyMonkey aligned stakeholders with their ACX vision; and the results of Ada in action, from WISMO (where is my order?) solutions, to marketing capabilities, to applying ACX to social messaging apps to stay ahead of the competition.  

ACX in Action

We love hearing stories of success, but what’s even more insightful, is how our clients are taking ACX success to move the needle. 

For Mailchimp, their strategy was implemented pre-pandemic. At first, as Sarah Ricketts, Senior Manager of Software Operations and Business Insights, explains, it was merely a means to an end: provide insight on FAQs and automate accordingly. 

Now, the integrated marketing platform is exploring the potential of ACX to build out flows and qualify potential leads with Ada Engage, Ada’s personalized marketing chatbot.

Watch Sarah Ricketts and Qapital’s VP of Customer Experience and Business Development Nimrod Barnea discuss how their partnership with Ada changed the internal mindset of what automation can do and the key successes they’ve had so far. 

Cryptobroker LiteBit has been using Ada’s platform for almost four years. They’re making the most of Ada’s functionality to not only automate simple inquiries, but to align their marketing, sales, and support teams to provide best-in-class CX across the customer journey.

Learn how Ada helped LiteBit manage almost overnight growth in 20 languages, and how their automation has evolved over time.

Another big stop for ACX-PO was a discussion with Michael Streitberger, the Head of Strategic Partnerships at Convey. In partnership with Ada, Convey has been able to help big name clients like Indigo to streamline delivery management for ecommerce brands. With Ada X Convey, Indigo achieved $150,000 in projected savings through their automated chatbot integration by catering to new customer buying habits and helping customers self-serve on WISMO inquiries. 

For ecommerce, Michael notes WISMO as the biggest drag on the customer support team. Learn how automation is changing the game in the clip below.

The Future of ACX

The potential of ACX was a big theme at every turn of ACX-PO, and many tuned in to find out exactly where it’s headed. Again, it starts with the customer. And where are your customers today? On social media.

To discuss how automation can play a role in social messaging and conversational commerce, Ada’s Director of Partnerships Ben Namachi moderates a discussion with the Director of Solutions at Ada, Anuj Arora, and Facebook’s Products Partnership Manager for Messenger and Instagram, Jesse Garcia.

Jesse wows us with some off-the-charts stats — 63% of customers prefer to message a business directly over call or email. Messenger meets customers in the channel of their choice, with over 1.3 billion users, making business personal and convenient.

Learn why automation is a much needed first line of defence for customer communication in social messaging apps and how Ada can help.

Of course, these are just some of the incredible moments shared during the first ever ACX-PO. For the full experience, you can watch recordings on demand

Big shout out to the people who made the day a great success: our participants, clients, and featured speakers, Shark Tank’s Daymond John and Peloton’s Ally Love. Speaking of Peloton, congrats to the lucky winner of a Peloton bike, Marilyn from Usio!

We can’t wait to see you next year!

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Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is a scuba-diving, animal-loving journalist turned content marketer. In her career, she’s covered stories on development, written profiles on notable philanthropists, and interviewed celebrities with a passion for giving back. When she’s not producing content for Ada, Sarah’s likely fawning over her dog somewhere in the woods.

More info about Sarah Fox: LinkedIn

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