One of the dominant themes that emerged at Convention is that delivering speedy service is no longer enough - the new challenge is meeting customer needs in real-time.

Presentations from six leading service organisations confirmed that the speed dial has gone into overdrive, forcing businesses to rethink service models.

We saw real-time feedback and instant sharing at Convention as delegates tweeted their views during presentations. It’s not just service that needs to be real time, so does customer feedback. We used an electronic voting system to get instant answers to our 20 big questions, deriving a new kind of real-time crowd wisdom.

That kind of approach is great for structured information but social media produces almost random customer comment on issues ranging from trivial to serious and it presents a new challenge for customer service operations.

Organisations need to be on top of all communication channels and to get things right real time rather than first time. Perhaps we need a new acronym, replacing First Call Resolution with RTR - Real Time Resolution?

We need to become agile, lean and smart in the way we operate to keep pace rather than be outpaced by customers. Agility will become the defining attribute of organisations that successfully adopt a new entrant mindset, instead of clinging to outmoded and inadequate legacy systems, processes and cultures.

Customers are channel agnostic - it is the issue that really matters. We need to focus on solving customer issues rather than trying to herd or cajole them into particular channels.

The way to winning and keeping customer trust and loyalty is to get really really good at solving customer issues - get this right and the brand will reap the rewards.

We were delighted to present CCA Excellence Awards this week to individuals and organisations that absolutely get this key point. To quote Andy Mends, Chairman of our Judges Panel, the awards went to people who don’t just do their job, but do a great job for their customers and the organisations they work for.

Our Gala Awards dinner was a brilliant night of well-earned recognition for inspiring customer service professionals. Click here to take a look at the winners photos on CCA website.

And thanks once more to everyone who so generously helped in raising funds for Children in Need - we raised £13,000 over two days - a great achievement that will make a real difference to the lives of young people across the UK. We’ll be thinking of those of you giving up your time today also to volunteer for Children in Need phone lines. Keep up the good work!