Top 50 Customer Service Leaders – Best Customer Experience Influencers

customer service leaders

Thought leaders come in all shapes and sizes. In the age of the internet, it is difficult to keep tabs on which thought leaders are the real deal, and which ones are not. This is especially true in the customer service industry. Customer Experience (CX) has catapulted into one of the most important aspects of determining business success.

At Netomi, we deeply care about improving the customer experience. So much so, we built an AI tool to help automate the low touch, mundane tasks support teams are inundated with. We fully recognize and appreciate that there are multiple ways CX can and should be improved that don’t have anything to do with Artificial Intelligence. That’s why we feel compelled to introduce our readers to a larger scope of people who inspire a world of excellent customer experience.

Each of these thought leaders brings so much to the table, it was impossible to rank the list below in any other way besides in alphabetical order. We documented why we chose each of these customer service leaders in detail along with where to follow them on social media below.

Top 50 Customer Service Leaders and CX Influencers (Editor’s Choice):

  1. Adam Toporek
  2. Adrian Swinscoe
  3. Aimee Lucas
  4. Annette Franz
  5. Arie Goldshlager
  6. Augie Ray
  7. Barry Dalton
  8. Bill Quiseng
  9. Bob Thompson
  10. Bruce Temkin
  11. Chip Bell
  12. Colin Shaw
  13. Dan Gingiss
  14. David Avrin
  15. Denise Lee Yohn
  16. Dennis Wakabayashi
  17. Even Shumeyko
  18. Flavio Martins
  19. Frank Eliason
  20. Hilary George-Parkin
  21. Ian Golding
  22. Jay Baer
  23. Jeanne Bliss
  24. Jeff Toister
  25. Jeremy Watkin
  26. Jill Raff
  27. Jim Tincher
  28. Kate Nasser
  29. Kate Leggett
  30. Leslie O’Flahavan
  31. Lincoln Murphy
  32. Lynn Hunsaker
  33. Marsha Collier
  34. Martha Brooke
  35. Martin Hill-Wilson
  36. Matt Dixon
  37. Micah Solomon
  38. Mike Wittenstein
  39. Myra Golden
  40. Nate Brown
  41. Nick Mehta
  42. Puneet Mehta
  43. Richard Branson
  44. Ron Shevlin
  45. Seth Adler
  46. Shep Hyken
  47. Stacy Sherman
  48. Steve Curtin
  49. Steve DiGoia
  50. Teresa Allen

Adam Toporek

 

Profile photo of Adam ToporekAdam Toporek is an internationally-recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and frontline trainer who helps organizations get results by thinking differently about customer service. A third-generation entrepreneur with extensive experience in retail, wholesale, franchising, and small business, Adam understands the impact that customer experience can have on the bottom line.

As the author of Be Your Customer’s Hero, the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog, and the co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast, Adam regularly shares his customer experience and customer service insights with a global audience. He has appeared in over 150 media and is regularly cited as a top customer experience thought leader. In addition to his customer experience work, Adam is an angel investor with an interest in entrepreneurs who disrupt the status quo through innovation.

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Adrian Swinscoe

 

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Adrian helps organizations of all sizes deliver better customer service and customer experiences in two ways:

1) He acts as an advisor on specific service/experience/engagement issues on an ongoing basis or project-by-project basis and 2) he helps clients build internal team and leaders capabilities via mentoring, through whitepapers, keynotes, and masterclasses.

His clients range from large, publicly traded companies to leading professional service firms and fast-growth and established small businesses including Apple, Diesel, Freshworks, KFC, Pearson, Shell etc… plus lots of smaller brands and SMEs.

Adrian is also a best-selling author, Forbes contributor, blogger & podcaster, frequent conference speaker, panel participant, and Chari. His best-selling book in 2016 is called: How to Wow: 68 Effortless Ways to Make Every Customer Experience Amazing.

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Aimee Lucas

 

Aimee Lucas is an experience management researcher, advisor, trainer, and speaker. As part of Qualtrics’ XM Institute, she focuses her efforts on helping organizations optimize their experience management (XM) programs. She leads the XM Institute’s research into CX and EX best practices and the broader organizational capabilities required for building loyalty by improving customer and employee experiences. Aimee has over 20 years of experience improving service delivery and transforming CX through people development and process improvement initiatives. 

Her areas of expertise include market research, program management, marketing, instructional design, and training. Aimee joined Qualtrics when it acquired Temkin Group, a leading CX research and advisory firm. Prior to joining Temkin Group, she implemented the CX strategy and managed the Voice of the Customer program for Crowe Horwath LLP, one of the top 10 public accounting and consulting firms in the US. Aimee is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a degree in marketing management.

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Annette Franz

 

Profile photo of Annette Franz, CCXPAnnette Franz is the founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. She’s got more than 25 years of experience (both client-side and vendor side) helping companies understand their employees and customers and identify what drives retention, satisfaction, engagement, and the overall experience – so that employees, customers, and businesses reap the benefits and achieve their desired outcomes.

She recently wrote the book on customer understanding! She’s the author of Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of the Business)

Annette was named one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider and is regularly recognized by companies around the world as a top influencer in Customer Experience.

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Arie Goldshlager

 

Profile photo of Arie GoldshlagerArie is a Customer Insight, Customer Strategy, Customer Lifecycle Management, and Innovation Independent Consultant. Arie’s Customer Lifecycle Management work is focused on developing Customer Strategy and Improving the performance of: Customer Acquisition, Customer Onboarding, Customer Development, Customer Loyalty, and Customer Winback processes.

His Customer Insight work is focused on developing innovative segmentation, targeting, analysis, and measurement solutions. 

Arie’s key consulting clients included: Prodigy, Safeway, FedEx, USAA, Capital One, BT Wireless (O2), Samsung Card, LG Capital, and many more. Arie’s industry specialties include: Financial Services, Credit Card, Consumer Lending, Retail, Internet, Telecommunications, and other services companies.

His diversified experience includes significant client-side, consulting-side, and agency-side tenures. Arie is also an effective leader of call center performance improvement projects, and is particularly adept at balancing the company, customer, and frontline perspectives.

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Augie Ray

 

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Augie Ray is a Vice President Analyst covering customer experience (CX) for marketing and CX leaders. His coverage topics include the ROI of CX, CX strategy and governance, how CX leaders secure and retain sponsorship, the buy/own/advocate customer journey, voice of customer (VoC) and survey strategies, customer journey mapping, CX analytics and measurement, the role of social media and word of mouth (WOM) in CX, and persona development.

Mr. Ray helps CX and marketing leaders to launch and manage successful CX programs, gather and use voice of the customer (VoC) data more effectively, align CX metrics to the right leading indicators of success, and improve the use of customer journey maps and personas. He also offers guidance on the “customer experience pyramid,” which helps brands define the experiences that matter more and identify more powerful and innovative experiences.

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Barry Dalton

 

Profile photo of Barry DaltonBarry Dalton is a Customer Experience strategy and CX technology leader with accomplishments in designing and implementing strategy and technology architecture across Marketing, Sales & Service with a particular industry focus on Consumer Products, Pharmaceuticals, Retail, and Technology. After taking on various roles at Deloitte, Strategy, and GSK, he has been serving as the VP of Digital & Analytics Transformation at Genpact since May 2018.

He is currently focused on two areas:

  • The impact of the digital customer experience disruption, the next wave of emergent customer engagement channels, and the value of unstructured VOC data in understanding customer behavior and demand generation.
  • The upheaval that digital engagement and collaboration is having on business leadership and organizational communication.

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Bill Quiseng

 

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Bill is an award-winning speaker, blogger, and writer in the areas of customer service for front-line associates and leadership for managers.

Bill has over thirty years of luxury resort/club management experience. Presently the general manager of Marriott Vacation Club Pulse San Diego, he was the general manager of The Inn at Bay Harbor‐A Renaissance Golf Resort, MI, recognized as one of the World’s Best Hotels by Travel+Leisure magazine.

Bill’s personal achievements include receiving the Renaissance Hotels General Manager of the Year, Marriott International Leadership Excellence and Sales Excellence Awards, Petoskey Chamber of Commerce Mission Award, and the American Hotel & Motel Association Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism.

Bill has been recognized for his customer service and customer experience insight with the following accolades: Userlike 11 Gurus of Customer Service, Fonolo Top 10 Tweeters Talking About the Customer Experience, Future Care Today Top Ten Social Customer Service Influencers, and SAP Business Innovation Top 60 Customer Experience Influencers.

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Bob Thompson

 

Bob Thompson is an international authority on customer-centric business management who has researched and shaped leading industry trends since 1998. He is founder and CEO of CustomerThink Corporation, an independent research and publishing firm, and founder and editor-in-chief of CustomerThink.com, the world’s largest online community dedicated to helping business leaders develop and implement customer-centric business strategies.

An author, keynote speaker and international authority on business management trends, he has been a thought leader in customer-centricity since 1998. His new book Hooked on Customers (April 2014) reveals the five habits of leading customer-centric firms. Thompson is also co-author of The Blueprint to CRM Success and author of the groundbreaking report “Customer Experience Management: A Winning Business Strategy for a Flat World.”

Before starting his firm, Thompson worked in the IT industry for fifteen years. He held sales and technical leadership positions at IBM, where he advised companies on the strategic use of information technology to solve business problems and gain a competitive advantage.

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Bruce Temkin

 

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Bruce is widely viewed as a leading expert in how large organizations build differentiation with customer experience. During his 12 years with Forrester Research, Bruce led the company’s B2B, financial services, and customer experience practices. As a Vice President & Principal Analyst, he was the most-read analyst for 13 consecutive quarters and was one of the most highly demanded consultants and speakers in the industry. Bruce authored many of Forrester’s most popular research reports. He also led the creation and updating of many of Forrester’s customer experience evaluation methodologies and training workshops.

After leaving Forrester, Bruce founded the Temkin Group, a research and consulting firm. As the Managing Partner, he consulted for leading global companies, served as a keynote speaker at top industry events, researched customer experience trends, and authored Customer Experience Matters – one of the most popular blogs on customer experience. Temkin Group was acquired by Qualtrics in October 2018. The firm is a leading customer experience (CX) research, consulting, and training firm.

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Chip Bell

 

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Chip Bell is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and a prolific writer. His 23rd book, “Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles” was released in February 2017 and is an inspirational guide to providing remarkable service. It won a 2017 Best Book Award for business books after winning a silver medal from North American Book Awards. His newest book, Inside Your Customer’s Imagination, will be released in September 2020. 

Chip Bell is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and a prolific writer. His 23rd book, “Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles” was released in February 2017 and is an inspirational guide to providing remarkable service. It won a 2017 Best Book Award for business books after winning a silver medal from North American Book Awards. His newest book, Inside Your Customer’s Imagination, will be released in September 2020. 

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Colin Shaw

 

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He is Founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC who helps organizations grow by identifying hidden, unmet needs. Colin’s company, Beyond Philosophy LLC, helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($).They capitalize on this by improving customer experience to meet these needs thereby retaining and acquiring new customers across the market. The Financial Times selected his company, Beyond Philosophy LLC, as one of the best management consultancies

Colin is recognized by Linkedin as one of the ‘World’s Top 150 Business Influencers’. Brand Quarterly readers also voted him one of the ‘top 50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50’ for two years in a row. A Global Guru poll established him as one of the top ‘Customer Service Gurus’ in the world.

Colin has written seven bestselling books on Customer-driven growth. He is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast. Customer Experience Podcasts | CX Podcasts | Colin Shaw 

Colin is an accomplished keynote conference speaker who can inspire organizations to focus on their Customers. His followers can subscribe to his LinkedIn newsletter ‘Why we buy’.

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Dan Gingiss

 

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Dan’s 20-year career has consistently focused on delighting customers. He has held leadership positions at three Fortune 300 companies – McDonald’s, Discover and Humana – in customer experience, marketing, social media and customer service.

He is an international keynote speaker who believes that a remarkable customer experience is your best marketing. Dan doesn’t just talk about customer experience; his fast-paced, energetic presentation style creates an experience for the audience that they’ll surely remember. 

Dan is the author of the book, Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media, a host of the Experience This! Show podcast and a regular contributor to Forbes. He has been named one of the “Top 100 Digital Marketers of 2019” by both Brand24 and BuzzSumo and a “Top 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Follow” by TopRank. 

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David Avrin

 

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As one of the most in-demand Customer Experience Keynote Speakers and Consultants in the world today, David Avrin delivers profound wisdom to clients and audiences around the world. With a surprisingly relatable, conversational and very entertaining style, David delivers profoundly insightful and hard-hitting content to business audiences across a broad range of industries and categories.

His message and timely lessons on creating, delivering and promoting competitive advantages have been enthusiastically received by audiences across America and around the world.

A former CEO group leader, and executive coach with the world’s largest chief executive organization, David has worked with thousands of CEOs and business leaders on their business brand, customer experience, and competitive advantages.

David Avrin is the author of five books including the celebrated marketing books: It’s Not Who You Know It’s Who Knows You! and Visibility Marketing!,  His latest Customer Experience book: Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back) was singled out in Forbes as “One of the 7 Business Books Entrepreneurs Need to Read” and one of the “Top-Ten Business Books of 2019″

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Denise Lee Yohn

 

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Through her expertise and personal approach, Denise has become an in-demand keynote speaker inspiring business leaders around the world to build great brands and exceptional organizations. Her keynote presentations have captivated international audiences at conferences including TEDx, the Consumer Electronics Show, The Art of Marketing, among others, and at corporate events for Facebook, Lexus, NFL, and more.

Denise has written several books including the bestseller What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest. She is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes and has been a sought-after writer for publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Knowledge@Wharton, ChangeThis, Seeking Alpha, QSR Magazine, among others. 

Denise served as lead strategist at advertising agencies for Burger King, Land Rover, and Unilever and as the marketing leader and analyst for Jack in the Box restaurants and Spiegel catalogs. Denise went on to head Sony Electronic Inc.’s first-ever brand office, where she garnered major corporate awards as the vice president/general manager of brand and strategy. She has served clients as an independent consulting partner since 2004.

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Dennis Wakabayashi

 

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Dennis is an innovative Customer Experience evangelist with a deep understanding of consumer engagement, digital media, and reporting analytics.

As a well-known CX subject matter expert, he teaches CX for safaribooksonline.com / Orielly Media as well as CX Marketing classes at SMU. He regularly contributes topical posts on digital media and consumer experience for sites like brandwatch. Most recently, he was named one of Campaign US’ Digital 40 over 40.

Today Dennis and his team at Integer Group deliver integrated engagement programs that improve brand reputation and drive strategic integrated success for clients like FedEx Office, Wells Fargo, Starbucks, and See’s Candies.

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Evan Shumeyko

 

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Evan is currently focused on Client Experience Strategy for BNY Mellon by removing unnecessary complexity and processes to become more nimble and able to rethink how they help clients deliver and maximize value.

Previously, he founded Ogilvy & Mather’s strategy practice (sales enablement, service design and employee experience) charged with “making brands more human”. Evan has completed assignments for marquee clients such as American Express, Southwest Airlines, FM Global, IBM, Dupont, BlackRock, E*Trade, etc. He is an expert in transforming how employees work with customers through multiple digital marketing strategies. He empowers employees with actionable data and user interfaces to help increase customer engagement.

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Flavio Martins

 

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Flavio is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise SSL Certificate Management and PKI technology for security in the Internet of Things. DigiCert is trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations.

Flavio has a B.S. in Information Technology from Utah Valley University and M.S. in Technology Management from Denver University. His focus is on helping teams leverage technology with the special human factor to create exceptional and memorable customer experiences.

Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage and win customer loyalty. 

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Frank Eliason

 

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Frank Eliason is an American corporate executive and author. Referred to as “the most famous customer service manager in the US, possibly the world” by BusinessWeek, Eliason is best known for developing the use of social media in the practice of customer relations. 

He joined Comcast as executive support manager in 2007 during a period of high-profile public relations issues. In 2008, Eliason, as part of the team selected to address the issues, created the Twitter account @ComcastCares and began directly responding to customer complaints. Eliason, who interacted with more than 10,000 Comcast customers via Twitter, was the subject of significant press attention; he was featured in The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Wired, The Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications.

In July 2010, Eliason left Comcast to become the global director of social media at Citi. After receiving numerous recognitions in his role at Citi, Eliason was named Executive VP, US Digital, and Customer Experience for Zeno Group in October 2015. He serves on the BoD for the Council of  Better Business Bureaus and the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals.

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Hilary George-Parkin

 

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You won’t find Hilary on too many “Customer Service Thought Leaders” lists, but she has one of the most extensive articles on customer service you’ll find on the internet. Hilary is a New York City-based freelance journalist. She writes (mostly) about fashion, culture, retail, and technology for publications including Vox, Glamour, CNN, Racked, Refinery29, Fashionista, i-D, Vice News, Curbed, and TheAtlantic.com. She is also a regular contributor to Footwear News covering the retail industry. You can find those stories here.

Prior to going freelance, Hilary worked for Stylecaster, Lucky magazine (RIP), Styleite (ditto), and Harper’s Bazaar. She graduated from New York University and Columbia Journalism School, and she is originally from Toronto, Canada. If Hilary continues to write about customer service, we’ll continue to read.

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Ian Golding

 

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A highly influential freelance Customer Experience consultant, Ian advises leading companies on Customer Experience strategy, measurement, improvement and employee advocacy techniques and solutions. Ian has worked across multiple industries and has deployed Customer Experience tools and methodologies all over the world. An internationally renowned speaker and blogger on the subject of customer experience (ijgolding.com/blog), Ian also served on the inaugural board of Directors of the CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association).

In 2014, Ian officially became a Certified Customer Experience Professional. CCXP designation is for practitioners who want to be recognized for their expertise and skills while defining standards and best practices for the industry. It is the first global professional qualification for Customer Experience.

Ian is also Chairman of the judging panel at the UK Customer Experience Awards and the Gulf Customer Experience Awards and is an Advisor and featured columnist for CustomerThink.

Ian’s first book, ‘Customer What, the honest and practical guide to customer experience’ was published in April 2018.

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Jay Baer

 

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Jay Baer, CSP, CPAE has spent 25 years in digital marketing and customer experience, consulting for more than 700 companies during that period, including 34 of the FORTUNE 500. His current firm – Convince &Convert – provides word of mouth, digital marketing, and customer experience advice and counsel to some of the world’s most important brands.

His new book, Talk Triggers, is the complete guide to creating customers using strategic, operational differentiators that compel word of mouth. Talk Triggers is the instruction manual for making businesses grow with customer conversation.

Jay’s Convince & Convert blog was named the world’s #1 content marketing blog by the Content Marketing Institute and is visited by more than 250,000 marketers each month. Jay also hosts and produces the Social Pros podcast, which is downloaded 65,000 times monthly and was named 2015’s best marketing podcast by the Content Marketing Awards.

A fixture in social media, Jay has been named a top influencer of CMOs, B2B marketers, small business owners, and digital marketers. He’s also one of the world’s top Global Gurus in customer service and customer experience.

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Jeanne Bliss

 

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Jeanne Bliss guides the achievement of business growth through leadership bravery and elevated business practices. She is known globally for transforming businesses to earn customer-driven growth. A 5-time Chief Customer Officer and coach to over 20,000 leaders, her practices are field-tested and proven. Bliss’ 5-Competencies for customer-driven growth have been adopted around the world, and her 4 best selling books on customer experience and leadership are the guidebooks of the CX Profession. Jeanne Bliss has delivered over 1,500 transformative keynotes globally, has coached over 20,000 leaders on leading to elevate their company in the marketplace, with sustainable growth. Jeanne Bliss is the cofounder of the customer experience professionals association and is fondly known as the “godmother” of customer experience.

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Jeff Toister

 

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Jeff Toister is an author, consultant, and trainer who helps companies get their employees obsessed with customer service.

He is a best-selling author who has written three customer service books: The Service Culture Handbook, Getting Service Right, and Customer Service Tip of the Week. His Inside Customer Service blog has been recognized as a top customer service blog by Customer Contact Central, Credit Donkey, and Feedspot, which named the blog one of the Top 50 customer service blogs on the planet. Jeff helps clients develop customer-focused cultures. He has been recognized by multiple organizations as a customer service thought leader. Thousands of customer service professionals from around the world subscribe to Jeff’s Customer Service Tip of the Week email.

Jeff is a dynamic keynote speaker whose presentations are always highly interactive, practical, and engaging. Over 140,000 people have taken one of his video-based training courses on LinkedIn Learning, including Leading a Customer-Centric Culture, Customer Service Foundations, and Working with Upset Customers.

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Jeremy Watkin

 

Profile photo of Jeremy WatkinJeremy has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis.

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Jill Raff

 

Profile photo of Jill RaffJill Raff, founder and the driving force behind The Jill Raff Group, is a highly experienced CX Strategist (Customer Experience) and published author. For over 30 years, she has been delivering world-class customer service and experiences.

Jill developed her customer-first philosophy growing up in the “McDonald’s family.” In 1959, her family opened store #150 in Ocala, Florida. From age seven, while shadowing her father and working her way around every station in the restaurant, she experienced first-hand the results of founder Ray Kroc’s philosophy of QSC & V (Quality, Services, Cleanliness & Value). Jill was raised with a robust understanding of a strong work ethic and knowing what good customer service can ultimately do for a business.

Jill has made a name for herself by empowering businesses to create company cultures that deliver extraordinary customer experiences so that customers will become obsessed with doing business with them. This work has been led by the creation of her proprietary Inside-Out Framework™.

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Jim Tincher

 

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With a lifelong passion for customer experiences, Jim founded Heart of the Customer to help companies of all sizes increase customer engagement. Before launching the company, Jim led customer engagement initiatives at Best Buy, Gallup and UnitedHealth Group. In the process, he became an expert in using Voice of the Customer research to identify unmet needs, develop new products and improve customer service. His Heart of the Customer Customer Experience Model™ is a powerful tool designed with one simple goal: customer loyalty. Customers ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies use his maps to visualize their way to improved performance.

His fascination with customer experience led him to test himself by becoming a Certified Customer Experience Professional, only the second in the world to earn such a designation. Jim is a frequent keynote speaker, helping employees to engage customers through a personal connection. Jim teaches that true customer engagement only happens when you solve a problem and create a personal connection while doing so. He is a dynamic speaker, passionate about building a world-class customer experience that results in engaged customers who come back time and again.

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Kate Nasser

 

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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™ and founder/president CAS, Inc. is a former techie turned people skills guru who turns interaction obstacles into business success.

For 30 years Fortune 500 leaders have tapped Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™ to create dynamic inspirational leadership, high performance teamwork, and superior customer experiences. In all of her keynotes and workshops, Kate’s insights will teach you how to lead morale, engage employees like never before, and wow the customer with personal comfort.

Kate Nasser is also the founder/host of the long-running weekly Twitter Global People Skills Chat (hashtag #PeopleSkillsChat) every Sunday 10am Eastern Time. She is often quoted in industry journals on leading morale, employee engagement, customer experience, and teamwork. Kate was named to Huffington Posts’ Top 100 Customer Service Pros, to Simplr’s list of top customer experience superstars in 2018, and to ICMI’s Top 50 Customer Experience Thought Leaders of 2017.

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Kate Leggett

 

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Kate serves Application Development & Delivery Professionals. She is a leading expert on customer relationship management (CRM) and customer service strategies, maturity, benchmarking, governance, and ROI. She is an accomplished public speaker and frequently presents at industry events such as CRM Evolution. She has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, and industry publications such as CRM Magazine, KM World, and Destination CRM.

Kate has extensive industry experience, with more than 10 years of leadership at CRM and customer service software companies, where she held senior product marketing and product management roles. She is also a published author on customer service trends and best practices.

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Leslie O’Flahavan

 

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Leslie has delivered writing courses for support center staff, customer service agents, and social media managers, helping thousands of professionals hone their customer-focused writing skills. She helps support organizations train agents to write well in all service channels, measure the quality of their writing, and revise and maintain their entire library of canned answers. Leslie is the co-author of Clear, Correct, Concise E-Mail: A Writing Workbook for Customer Service Agents.

 


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Lincoln Murphy

 

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Lincoln Murphy is a Growth Consultant focused on customer-centric growth. For over a decade, he has helped hundreds of companies accelerate growth by optimizing the Customer Lifecycle, from customer acquisition to retention to account expansion and advocacy. 

He authored the Customer Success book for Wiley! He helps SaaS companies grow by taking full advantage of the SaaS business model and unique distribution methods this model allows. 

He has spoken at events and conferences around the world, from Poland to Brazil, and Ireland to Canada, including SaaS University, Freemium Summit, SIIA On-Demand, HostingCon, Pulse, RD Summit, Revenue Summit, #FlipMyFunnel, and TSIA’s TSW World.

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Lynn Hunsaker

 

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Lynn Hunsaker is Chief Customer Officer of ClearAction Continuum where she co-founded its flagship ClearAction Value Exchange as a 24×7 silo-bridging mentor for marketing, CS and CX roles. During 11 years at Applied Materials (semiconductor equipment manufacturer) and 3 years at Sonoco, Lynn’s roles included Director of Marketing & Business Development, Director of Marketing Communications, Head of Global Quality, Customer Satisfaction Improvement Manager, Strategic Information Manager and Voice of the Customer Manager.

Lynn has taught 20+ university courses at UC Berkeley Extension, San Jose State University, Mission College and UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Extension. As a CXPA Recognized Training Provider, her Customer Experience Excellence online course has benefited people in 50+ countries. For 5 years, Lynn led the world’s first global study of B2B CX practices. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Customer Experience Professionals Association and is past president of Silicon Valley American Marketing Association. Lynn is a top author on CustomerThink.com where she is one of five Hall of Fame award recipients. Lynn authored 3 handbooks available on Amazon Kindle, including Metrics You Can Manage for Success, Customer Experience Improvement Momentum, and Innovating Superior Customer Experience.

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Marsha Collier

 

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Marsha Collier is an author, radio personality, podcast host, and educator specializing in technology, Internet marketing, and E-commerce.

Before her online career began, Collier owned and operated her own marketing and advertising firm, The Collier Company, and won numerous awards including “Small Businessperson of the Year” accolades from several organizations.

In 2003, her book Starting an eBay Business For Dummies appeared on the BusinessWeek list of best-selling paperback business books. In December 2011, her book Ultimate Online Customer Service Guide: How to Connect with Your Customers to Sell More ranked #4 among “What Corporate America Is Reading.” By 2013, her book eBay For Dummies was one of the best sellers on the topic. As of 2016, with over 1 million copies of her books in print, she was the all-time best selling eBay author. She hosts the Computer and Technology Radio podcast with broadcaster Mark Cohen.

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Martha Brooke

 

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To apply a science-based approach to improving the customer experience, Martha Brooke founded Interaction Metrics in 2004. Martha is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) and holds a Blackbelt in Six Sigma. 

Martha brings objectivity and a sense of curiosity to a variety of Customer Listening methods. Working with her team of Analysts, she measures customer experience successes, gaps and friction points—and pinpoints the details of how to improve.

To spur critical thinking about customer feedback and customer service, Martha leads nationally recognized conference sessions and workshops. She also shares analysis of customer experience and surveys through her blog which is syndicated by CustomerThink and other portals.

Prior to Interaction Metrics, Martha worked for two dotcoms, Lucy.com and Food.com, and consulted for Nike and Adidas.

Some of the organizations where Martha Brooke has spoken include Project Management Institute (PMI), American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), HDI, The Score Conference, Customer Solutions Expo, American Marketing Association (AMA), and NICSA at the Harvard Club.

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Martin Hill-Wilson

 

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Martin Hill-Wilson, an independent consultant with a long-standing track record in customer engagement strategy and implementation.

He was involved in the very first wave of contact centre implementation during the 1980’s with the Merchants Group, one of the first BPOs and transformation consultancies. He ended up as CEO. He is a well known international keynote speaker, trainer, strategist and facilitator. He is also a busy chair for contact centre and customer engagement conferences.

Martin runs masterclasses and redesigns customer engagement for organizations under his Brainfood brand. He is also a global authority on social customer service and co-author of ‘Delivering Effective Social Customer Service’.

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Matt Dixon

 

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Matt Dixon is the Chief Product & Research Officer of the Austin-based AI venture, Tethr. Prior to his role with Tethr, he was the Global Head of Sales Force Effectiveness Solutions at Korn Ferry Hay Group and, before that, held numerous global leadership roles in research, product development and management for CEB, now Gartner. An accomplished business researcher and writer, Matt is known for his frame-breaking and provocative work in the areas of sales, customer service and customer experience. He is the author of three Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestsellers—The Challenger Sale, The Effortless Experience and The Challenger Customer­—and he is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review with more than 20 print and online articles to his credit. He is a sought-after speaker and advisor to management teams around world, having presented his findings and insights at a wide range of industry conferences as well as to hundreds of senior executive teams, including those of many Fortune 500 companies.

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Micah Solomon


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Micah Solomon is a customer service consultant, customer service speaker, keynote speaker, author, Senior Contributor to Forbes.com, customer experience consultant, and influencer on customer service, the customer experience, and corporate culture. He is the bestselling author of four books.

As a senior contributor to Forbes.com, Micah specializes in customer service, customer experience, company culture, and hospitality.

He is a best-selling author for three books: Exceptional Service: Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization, High-Tech, High Touch Customer Service, and Your Customer is the Star. His latest book is The Heart of Hospitality: Great Hotel and Restaurant Leaders Share Their Secrets.

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Mike Wittenstein

 

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Over three decades, Mike Wittenstein has successfully guided leaders and their teams through times of immense change. His robust story-driven process helps to bring clarity to ideas, commitment towards outcomes, and growth via strategic thinking. Mike has presented to countless audiences in 24 countries and 100+ cities around the world. Meeting planners, event organizers, and corporate trainers recognize him for his approachable, understandable, and positive presence in front of audiences, online, in videos, and with the press.

Mike’s results-driven approach has helped companies such as Chick-fil-A, Delta Airlines, Holiday Inn, IBM, the University of Phoenix, Piedmont Hospital, Transitions Optical, and hundreds of others. Together, Mike’s clients have created almost $2 billion in value by applying his ideas and proven process for the articulation, execution, and adoption of their strategies, and the design of stories and experiences.

Mike co-led Galileo, one of the world’s first digital agencies, then joined IBM Global Services in the role of eVisionary. Now the founder and managing partner at Storyminers, Mike shepherds mid-market companies to higher operating results and profitable exits using Storyminers’ unique combination of Story, Strategy, Experience Design, and Technology.

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Myra Golden

 

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Myra Golden is the founder of Myra Golden Seminars, LLC. She is a long time speaker and training partner to many Fortune 500 companies across the nation. She creates fun and engaging classes to teach her clients to give their customers the best possible experience.

Myra’s engaging approach to customer service training is loved by her clients. Many of her clients rave about her workshops.

Her impressive resume includes many of the world’s biggest companies, like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Walmart, Verizon Business, and many more…Before the start of Myra Golden Seminars—which came to be in 1999—Myra worked at Thrifty Car Rental as the Global Head of Consumer Affairs. Travel Agent Magazine hailed Myra a Top 100 Rising Star for leading her team to unprecedented customer recovery and customer loyalty in the hospitality industry.

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Nate Brown

 

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Nate Brown is a perpetual student of the world’s greatest experiences and the people who create them. Having spent the first decade of this career managing a complex technical support environment for Occupational Health and eLearning software, Nate transitioned to Customer Experience 2015. After authoring The CX Primer, Brown was dubbed the “CX Influencer of the Year” by CloudCherry in 2019, and a top CX thought leader by TruRating, Qminder, ProcedureFlow, LifeHelpNow, ICMI, and Exceeders. As a passion project, Nate recently created CX Accelerator, a first-class virtual community for Customer Experience professionals. Nate currently serves as the Chief Experience Officer for Officium Labs and can be found at a variety of conferences speaking and training on the CX topics he loves.

 

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Nick Mehta

 

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As the CEO of Gainsight, Nick is working with 700 “Gainsters” to create the customer success category that’s currently taking over the SaaS business model worldwide. Gainsight’s industry-leading platform, the Customer Cloud, helps businesses including Adobe, GE, Workday, and ADP to improve customer retention, accelerate expansion revenue, and increase client advocacy. 

Gainsight has been the main flag-bearer of the customer success movement, organizing a global network of events under the Pulse banner. In addition, Nick and his colleagues wrote two books on customer success; Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue, and The Customer Success Economy: Why Every Aspect of Your Business Model Needs A Paradigm Shift.

Under Nick’s leadership, Gainsight has built an award-winning company culture. In just this past year, Gainsight has been recognized with numerous best workplace awards, including “Best Company Culture in 2018,” and “Best Company Outlook in 2019” by Comparably, Inc.

Nick has been named one of the Top SaaS CEOs by the Software report three years in a row,  one of the Top CEOs of 2018 by Comparably, was a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

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Puneet Mehta

 

Puneet is CEO and Founder of Netomi, an artificial intelligence platform for conversational commerce. He spent much of his career as a tech executive on Wall Street, building predictive platforms to power large-scale trading systems. In 2010, he Co-Founded MyCityWay, an award-winning, context-aware urban mobility platform and in 2013 he Co-Founded MobileROI, a mobile marketing software.

Advertising Age named Puneet to the Creativity 50 list, honoring the most creative and innovative thinkers and doers. Business Insider magazine named Puneet to “The Silicon Alley 100: New York’s Coolest Tech People In 2010” and “35 Up-And-Coming Entrepreneurs You Need To Meet.” In his spare time, he rides and works on his vintage motorcycle, mixes music, studies minimalist industrial design and volunteers for two non-profits.

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Richard Branson

 

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Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is a British business magnate, investor, author and former philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group in the 1970s, which controls more than 400 companies in various fields.

Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age. His first business venture, at the age of 16, was a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. He opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records—later known as Virgin Megastores—in 1972. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he started Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. In 2004, he founded spaceflight corporation Virgin Galactic, based at Mojave Air and Space Port, noted for the SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane designed for space tourism.

In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for “services to entrepreneurship”] For his work in retail, music and transport (with interests in land, air, sea and space travel), his taste for adventure, and for his humanitarian work, he has become a prominent global figure. In 2007, he was placed in the Time 100 Most Influential People in The World list.

In June 2020, Forbes listed Branson’s estimated net worth at US$4.1 billion.

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Ron Shevlin

 

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Ron Shevlin is the Managing Director of Fintech Research at Cornerstone Advisors. Author of the Fintech Snark Tank on Forbes and the book Smarter Bank, Ron is ranked among the top fintech influencers globally and is a frequent keynote speaker at banking and fintech industry events (when there were still events).

 

 

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Shep Hyken

 

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Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession.

Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic®, The Loyal Customer, The Cult of the Customer, The Amazement Revolution, Amaze Every Customer Every Time, Be Amazing or Go Home and The Convenience Revolution. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus™, a customer service training program which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. (Now available as an online/web-based training program!) 

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Stacy Sherman

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Stacy is a Customer Experience Leader, Strategist, Practitioner, and Digital Marketer, known for humanizing business and differentiating brands beyond price.

Currently, Stacy works at Schindler Elevator Corporation as Director of Customer Experience and Employee Engagement. She is building and leading a talented CX team, implementing profitable programs, and partnering with 60 sales offices to deliver customer excellence.

Stacy’s journey to CX began in 2013 due to a fortuitous reorganization at Verizon. Her role expanded to increase customer satisfaction and brand advocacy by infusing customer and employee feedback in new product development, website design, marketing, and pricing strategies. Prior to that, she worked for 12+ years in sales and marketing at diverse companies and advertising agencies. As she gained expertise in CX best practices and methodologies, Stacy dedicated herself to combine her business expertise with a passion to provide real authentic experiences for customers and employees. 

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Steve Curtin

 

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Steve has 20 years of experience between hotel operations, sales and marketing, training and development, and customer service roles working for Marriott International, one of the premiere customer-focused companies in the world.

As the Area Director of Training for the New York City market, Steve organized the training efforts at more than a dozen area hotels to successfully coordinate corporate-wide training initiatives. While at the NY Marriott Marquis, Steve worked with a team of Marriott executives to implement training that resulted in dramatic increases in employee and customer satisfaction scores. One such initiative titled The Basics was adapted from the Ritz-Carlton Gold Standards in 1998 and branded by Marriott headquarters to become a company-wide initiative involving more than 3,000 hotels.

Since 1992, Steve has delivered interactive and engaging presentations on three continents, in six countries, and 26 states. Steve has delivered over 600 presentations to more than 20,000 people.

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Steve DiGoia

 

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With 20+ years in the hospitality industry and a lifetime of customer service experience, Steve DiGioia uses storytelling to share real-world tips and tactics to improve your customer service, increase employee morale and provide the experience your customers desire.

As a certified trainer, author & speaker, Steve has been recognized as a three-time “World’s Top 30 Customer Service Professional” by Global Gurus.org and a “Top 50 Customer Thought Leader” by ICMI. He is also a featured contributor to the leading hospitality and customer service websites. With a tagline of “Finding Ways to WOW Your Customer”, Steve continues his pursuit of excellence on his award-winning blog sharing his best strategies on customer service, management, and leadership.

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Teresa Allen


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​Teresa Allen, customer service speaker & customer service trainer, is owner of Common Sense Solutions, a national customer service training and consulting firm focused on bringing common sense customer service and customer experience solutions to business. Teresa has been presenting her highly acclaimed customer service keynote and customer service training programs across the US and abroad for over 25 years.

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Dylan Max

Head of Growth Marketing

Dylan is an expert at analyzing data, studying trends, and executing creative marketing strategies. His insights on people and technology interactions have been featured in publications like Beyond AI, Towards Data Science, CMSWire, and Forbes.

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