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This conference was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA at Red Hat Headquarters. 53 people attended, including a high percentage of Directors and Vice Presidents of Support and Customer Success/Experience organizations. Many of these presenters came from ASP’s Member’s Advisory Board. Sponsors included Coveo, Salesforce, and Service Strategies. The theme for this conference was Transforming Support and the topics were largely taken from ASP’s 2017 report on The Changing Expectations of Support. This report concluded that support organizations were undergoing rapid and significant changes in expectations from users.
In the Association of Support Professionals 2017 report on the changing expectations of support, Al Hahn highlighted how Millennial behavior was changing the way we must think about delivering service and support. Millennials, born in the connected world, viewed our messy and siloed offerings – our disconnectedness – as barriers to trade to be avoided. The idea of having to call someone to resolve a problem or answer a question, once considered the gold standard of support for which many of us still charge, clashes with their idea of suitable support. Having to identify themselves, explain their issue multiple times, or interact with multiple departments is intolerable to Millennials.
When we held our conference at Red Hat in Raleigh this March, the buzz in the room was around a new generation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). So much so that we felt compelled to research and write this report. We will be the first to admit that it is not as definitive as we would like. That’s because the new generation of AI tools are still evolving very rapidly and any attempt to report definitively at this point would be doomed before it started. We still believe that this report will be helpful, but our own standards won’t allow us to say that it is anything more than an interim report of a fast-moving target.