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January 2015 News, Changing Gear: Rise to the Customer Challenge



Conference theme and agenda launched

January 2015





Happy New Year! We hope you had a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas and are ready to join us in taking up our 2015 challenge on behalf of all our customers and employees.

I have three important items to share with you at the start of the year: our new conference and annual best practice theme, our fantastic conference agenda published today and a reminder to sign up for our best practice challenges starting this month.

On behalf of the whole Forum team, I wish you a successful and inspirational 2015 and hope to see most of you at, what I hope you will agree, will be a fantastic programme of learning and development opportunities.

Warm regards,

Steve Woosey,
Chief Executive,
The Forum



In this edition

* Conference theme announced

* Create your own personal agenda

*Sign up for our Best Practice Challenges

* Latest Jobs


Training Highlights

27th - 29th January
Advanced Certificate in Customer Contact Planning and Management

18th - 19th February
Real-Time Master Class

3rd-4th March
Advanced Planning Techniques

5th March
Planning Insights

Click here to review full calendar.


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Contact Us

As champions of best practice and professional development in customer contact, The Forum's aim is to raise standards in Customer Operations.

Contact us to find out more.
+44 (0)333 123 59 60


Changing Gear: Rise to the Customer Challenge

Changing Gear, the 2015 theme that will underpin our annual membership programme, is about being ready to rise to the customer challenge. Leveraging advantage is fundamental in business, but do we think about all the ways this can be achieved? How often are we are asked to speed up, do more with less or deliver a result that has never been achieved before in our customer operations? Sporting heroes offer great models for peak performance; alongside this, exploring how we re-engineer can offer entirely new insights on our capacity and performance.

Equally important, in a customer-focused business or service, are the twin challenges of long term, sustainable improvement and responsiveness to a fast-changing market. Here, we need to learn when to slow down and pay a different quality of attention, during particularly challenging parts of the journey, to contain risk or increase power and control. This is true for how we plan our own professional development as well as the end-to-end customer journey in an omni-channel world.

A vital part of our community’s year, Customer Strategy and Planning brings together members from our four communities of continuous improvement, to celebrate achievement, learn from the top performers, share best practice and move the boundaries of what ‘good looks like’. I do hope that you will join us at the Newcastle Marriott Hotel Gosforth Park on the 27th and 28th April.

Create your own personal conference agenda

The conference agenda is organised so that you can create a personal schedule, taking the opportunity to address specific business imperatives and make a real difference when you and your colleagues get back to your workplace.

Described by many regulars as the most valuable learning event in their annual calendar, an exciting new feature this year is the free HOW-TO training, which offers ‘bite-sized’ tips and techniques.Some sessions address communication or professional skills, some provide help on getting started in a specific area of work, all are practical in focus.

Add, to this, inspiring keynote speakers, case studies from the Innovation Awards shortlist, specialist workshops and loads of opportunities for discussion and networking. This is a great way to gain practical insight that you can take back and apply in your organisation.

Take a look at the full agenda and find out more about the key ingredients for successful innovation, learn from what has driven improvement in other organisations and identify the next steps that can deliver both personal and operational success.

Sign up now for our Best Practice Challenges

As you will already have heard, three challenges form the heart of our Best Practice Programme for members, to help you make a tangible difference in your organisation. Take the chance to engage with our latest best practice materials and develop best-in-class methods for your organisation during these year-long programmes. Starting this month, I encourage you to register immediately to ensure these are scheduled in your personal diary.

The Productivity Journey Challenge 2015

In some organisations as much as 60% of the salary costs are taken up with unproductive time and yet our focus is on planning and managing the workload. With a greater understanding of our shrinkage needs from holidays and absence through to meetings, training, 1-2-1’s and the all-important “other” we can not only ensure we employ the right number of people but that we manage the plan more effectively on the day. Regional workshops start from 21st January.

Read the full details. Sign up by emailing Phil Anderson.

The Insight Challenge 2015

Identify what good data you require for your operations, be it hard numbers from a system, verbatim from a customer or econometric indicators from the web, and learn how to best use this information, triangulating real insight and adding significant value to all aspects of our day to day operations. Regional workshops start from 4th February.

Read the full details. Sign up emailing Colin Whelan.

The Quality Challenge 2015

Join this year’s quality challenge and explore deeper the ways in which a re-designed operational framework for QA can balance freedom, compliance, learning and improvement, setting colleagues free to focus on customer experience and engagement. Regional workshops start from 29th January.

Read the full details. Sign up by emailing Chris Rainsforth.

Latest Jobs

For more details on these and a wider range of available positions, look online.

  • Service Delivery Analyst @Co-operative General Insurance, Manchester, £21-£26.2K
  • Forecast & Planning Manager @Ageas, Bournemouth, £35-42K
  • Dialler Analyst @ The Co-operative Banking Group, Plymouth
  • Forecast Analyst @Co-operative General Insurance, Manchester, circa £26.2K
  • Resource Planning Manager, East London, £40-£45K + Benefits
  • Resource Planning Manager, East Midlands, £40-£45K + Benefits
  • Customer Strategy Manager, National, Up to £60k + Car
  • Resource Planning Analyst, Buckinghamshire, Up to 26k
  • Senior Vendor Manager, Lisbon (Portugal), 55k Pro Rata 6 Months FTC. + Benefits


For more details on these and a wider range of available positions, look online.

Douglas Jackson






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