Coveo’s Expansion in Europe: Q and A with Account Executive Heather MacDonald

With Impact Europe just around the corner, we caught up with Heather MacDonald, one of our account executives managing our European expansion. She has been with Coveo since 2017 and played a critical role in our expansion in the region. 

To find out more about Impact Europe, go to https://impact.coveo.com/impact-europe/. While the event is invite only, you can register your interest on the website.

Q: What trends are you seeing in the European market?

Companies are really waking up to the fact that their knowledge is a mission-critical resource. As the older generation of workers moves on, it’s become absolutely essential to make sure that the “tribal knowledge” they have is retained in the organisation. Plus, when you don’t know what your colleagues are working on, you can’t collaborate effectively and build on each other’s work. This is particularly true in knowledge-heavy industries, such as the sciences and pharmaceutical industries. 

On the commerce side, there have been a number of recent developments that are causing some panic. A few very large retailers have collapsed in the last 24 months, with the widely held reasoning being that they couldn’t transition to a digital economy. Ecommerce has rapidly taken over the world and if you’re late, you’re done. You just can’t survive on brick and mortar alone anymore.

For the retailers that did transition their business models and customer experiences for ecommerce, we’re also seeing them realise that the same revolutionary approach to digital transformation needs to be applied to their customer service and support organisation. Customers today expect more from customer service experiences. They expect robust self-service options and knowledgeable agents as a minimum, not a “nice to have.” Not having these is going to hurt your brand and we’re seeing some panic in the marketplace because of this.

Q: What trends are you seeing for AI?

AI is huge here and everyone wants to get involved, but there’s hesitation. 

Some industries don’t want to have data in the cloud, which is necessary for AI to work. We’re seeing some conflict between the IT team and the business teams that need AI to achieve their goals. We’re seeing a huge uptick in demand as companies recognise that we are moving to, as our CEO Louis Tetu likes to say, an “AI-takes-all economy.” It’s going to be a major transformation and organisations just have to find a way to make it work. 

Q: This year’s Impact Europe theme is “Powering Individualisation with AI.” Why did the team choose this theme?

Across every industry in Europe, we’re seeing organisations recognise that batch segmentation just doesn’t cut it anymore. Customers and prospects are complex and fit into different “personas” at different times.

For example, I fit into different travel personas. I’m a mother looking for a family vacation, a wife looking for a romantic weekend away and a business traveler looking for an efficient trip. It frustrates me when I need to “reintroduce” myself and my motives to my travel vendors. Yes, last week, I wanted to see recommendations for family friendly restaurants, but that means nothing to me when I am booking a quick business trip to Amsterdam. Customers are multi-faceted, and the experiences provided to them needs to speak to that.

With AI, it’s possible and now, there’s a lot of excitement around. We are expanding quite rapidly in the European market because of this realisation. There’s a strong demand here, not only for AI that has a real impact on your business goals, but also for experiences that meet customers’ expectations without bankrupting the company.

Q: Why is this the year for Impact Europe?

As our customers are seeing the possibilities with AI, they’re asking to learn from each other. We saw a tremendous demand for local events after doing some initial outreach for our main event, Coveo Impact. Our customers are hungry to do more and expand their use of Coveo across their digital channels. It really feels like we’re on the precipice of a revolution, and our customers are leading the way. It’s exciting – and there’s never been a better moment to bring our community together.

Interested in learning more? Check out the Coveo Impact Europe website. Register your interest to attend and speak with Heather in person!

About Rachel Schultz

Rachel Schultz is the Content Marketing Manager at Coveo. She blends her background in journalism seamlessly with her B2B marketing expertise and obsession with data to create compelling content for the Coveo community. When she’s not working, you’ll find her reading (strictly non-fiction), hanging out with her puppy or taking in all NYC has to offer with her husband.

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