Conference Speakers


Martin Hill-Wilson, Founder, Brainfood Consulting

Martin is a customer engagement and post silo business strategist. He is also an author, international keynote speaker and chair.  Working under his own brand, Brainfood Consulting, he delivers a range of master classes and interventions.  Current topics include empowered service cultures, omni-channel design, automation and self service, proactive service models, mobile and social customer service.  All targeted at delivering disruptive service innovation.  Martin is also a founding member of Beyond Silos – a group of specialist practitioners offering design and delivery service for embedding customer hubs – next generation customer engagement.

Rodney Assock, Operational Services Director, LV=

Rodney is the Operational Services Director for General Insurance  at LV= and is responsible for a range of services provided across the insurance contact centre including planning, business performance, operational change, training, business standards, customer relations and insight.  With over 20 years experience in service and operational roles in frontline delivery, operational services and senior management, he’s always been focused on what he loves most and that’s putting the customer and people at the heart of the business.


Darron Burness

Darron Burness, Teleworking Operations Manager, The AA

Darron has worked at the Automobile Association for 25 years this year, working with a remote workforce therefore is nothing new.
In July 2015 following a short spell working in India, looking particularly at business improvements on a new joint venture with TVS, Darron was asked to manage the AA’s remote ‘Teleworking’ team.
Next year sees 20 years of The AA’s remote call centre ‘Teleworking’, which was created following the closure of its Leeds call centre. With the average length of service running at 13 and a half years, staff love the flexibility the role brings.
With no previous call centre experience, however a vast knowledge of the business and excellent networking skills, Darron and his team have delivered a reduction in AHT of over 30 seconds and increased customer satisfaction along with a quality score.
25 years of working in a fast paced Emergency breakdown environment, Darron has always been focused on a ‘one team’ ethos, listening to frontline staff and management team to deliver exceptional customer experience time after time.

James Leech, Head of Digital, Technology and Innovation, Sainsburys Argos Customer Management Centres
I’m 33 years young, married to Lindsay, with 3 children Alfie, Lexie and Emily. I have worked for Argos all of my career. After University (I studied Management Science and Computer Science) I worked my way up through the various management positions in stores, and then became an area manager. After briefly running a region for Argos I moved into Head Office and I became responsible for the development of customer service within stores. Whilst doing this role I became involved in creating the current strategic road map for Argos, specifically around multi-channel customer service, and this then led to me moving into Argos, Homebase and Habitat contact centres. I’ve performed various roles with the contact centre including heading up Argos contact centres.  My current role is a more specialised strategic role accountable for developing the groups digital customer service channels and services, as well as enhancing contact centre technology and leading our innovation programme .
Outside of work I love football, formula 1 and table tennis; I’m manager of a Saturday football team and have started a youth development programme for the same club on a Sunday. I also love taking my family abroad on caravan holidays and nothing relaxes me more than cooking on a Friday night with a glass of red in my hand!!