CUSTOMER SERVICE track speakers

The conference runs from 7:30 am to 4:40 pm.

After the Opening Keynote, Networking Break and Strategic Briefings, the Customer Service Track, which takes place in the Lecture Hall, offers an exceptional group of speakers:

10:20–10:25 am
Roger Paulson

Track Introduction

Roger Paulson

10:25–11:00 am
Brad Cleveland ICMI

Thriving in an Always-On World

Brad Cleveland
Senior Adviser, Author, ICMI

Customer expectations are evolving rapidly, fueled by mobile, social and other technologies. And, service improvements from any organization are raising the bar for everybody. So, what are the secrets behind today’s most successful customer service operations? How do they survive and thrive in an always-changing, always-on world?

Brad Cleveland has delivered consulting and training to more than 70 percent of the organizations currently ranked top of their sectors for customer satisfaction. So we asked: What does it take to thrive in an always-on world? If you could make three recommendations to our attendees this year, what would they be?

About Brad »

Brad Cleveland is known globally as one of today’s foremost experts in customer strategy and management. He has worked across 45 states and in over 60 countries, and his clients have included many service leaders — American Express, Apple, Coca-Cola, USAA, HP and others. His books and articles have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, and other publications, as well as on CNBC, BBC, Fox, ABC, and National Public Radio.

One of the initial partners and former President and CEO of the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), Brad grew the firm into a global industry leader that is now part of London-based United Business Media. In May 2012, he received ICMI’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement award. Today, he is a sought-after consultant and a popular speaker. Brad lives in Sun Valley, Idaho with his wife Kirsten and their daughter Grace.

11:05-11:40 am
Kathleen Peterson PowerHouse Consulting

Backstage at the Customer Experience

Kathleen Peterson
Chief Vision Officer, PowerHouse Consulting

The customer experience is a top business strategy in today's competitive marketplace. That experience has many of the same components found in theatre. We want our staff who interact with our customers to "perform" in a way that attracts and retains customers. This is not a new or novel perspective; Shakespeare wrote more than 400 years ago that "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." For those in the customer experience business, these words certainly ring true.

In this session, Kathleen poses questions that inspire onstage and backstage players to act in the interest of the customer experience. Participants will learn new ways to view the demanding tasks associated with putting on the show every day and to take a new tack on an old task and produce different, stronger outcomes. We’ll take the show on the road — the road to the executive level where alignment must be reached in order to deliver on the customer experience strategy.

 About Kathleen »

Kathleen Peterson is an internationally acclaimed contact center and strategic management expert and recognized industry leader. She has emerged as one of the most sought-after experts and consulting partners in the field of customer experience and works with the world's top customer-focused companies. Kathleen is the Founder and Chief Vision Officer of PowerHouse Consulting. With more than 30 years in the contact center industry, Kathleen leads strategic initiatives with client senior management across industries to assess business processes and improve organizational practices.

Kathleen is the author of Backstage at the Customer Experience … Musings for Contact Center Leaders as well as many stirring articles and papers published widely in the most prestigious industry journals in the U.S. and abroad. Kathleen's Rants and Raves are published monthly in the Call Center Times online newsletter. Kathleen is also a regular contributor to Contact Center Pipeline, a monthly instructional journal focused on the needs and challenges of the contact center industry.

11:45 am–12:20 pm
Jeff Rumburg MetricNet

From Cost Center to Value Center —
Maximizing the ROI of Customer Care

Jeff Rumburg
Managing Partner, MetricNet

Most organizations treat customer care as a mere cost center — a necessary cost of doing business. But an increasing number of progressive companies have turned that paradigm upside down, and now manage customer care as a value center. Those who operate under the value-centric model of customer care actually create and sustain measurable economic value for the enterprise.

The simple fact is this, for many organizations customer care represents an untapped opportunity to differentiate its products and services from the competition. When managed as a value center, customer care can drive loyalty, positive word-of-mouth referrals, repeat business and growing market share.

In this session, Jeff Rumburg will present case studies and benchmarking data to support the business model of customer care as a value center. Audience members will learn what it takes to make the transformation from cost center to value center, how to measure the ROI of customer care, and how to create a sustainable competitive advantage based on customer care.

About Jeff »

Jeff Rumburg is Co-founder and Managing Partner of MetricNet, LLC. He received the 2014 Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the IT service and support industry. He authored a best-selling book on benchmarking, and has been retained as a customer service expert by more than half of the FORTUNE 500, including companies such as American Express, Hewlett Packard and Southwest Airlines.

Prior to co-founding MetricNet, Jeff was president and founder of The Verity Group, an international management consulting firm specializing in benchmarking and competitive analysis. Jeff has also held several executive positions at META Group and Gartner.

Jeff’s education includes an MBA from the Harvard Business School, an M.S. magna cum laude in operations research from Stanford University, and a B.S. magna cum laude in mechanical engineering. He is author of A Hands-On Guide to Competitive Benchmarking: The Path to Continuous Quality and Productivity Improvement, and has taught graduate-level engineering and business courses.

1:35–2:10 pm
Peter Slease CEB

Reducing Customer Uncertainty in a Multichannel Environment

Peter Slease
Principal Advisor, CEB

The promise of omnichannel solutions can be difficult to realize and very costly unless organizations focus on the key components that customers require. Our research has uncovered the key features of omnichannel that have the biggest impact on customer outcomes. Additionally, service leaders can use the guidance provided in this study to employ them without a full-scale omnichannel implementation.

About Peter »

Peter Slease is a Principal Advisor with Washington, DC-based CEB and its Customer Service practice. For almost 10 years, he has guided customer service and support leaders on a wide variety of topics, including customer loyalty, self-service, coaching and quality. Peter’s diverse and extensive experience in the industry has been shared with leaders around the globe, and his close partnership with organizations has measurable impact on both the company and the customer service experience. Before joining CEB, Peter managed a customer service organization in the financial services industry.

2:15–2:50 pm
Joe Langer

Making It Effortless

Joe Langer
Director, Global Planning and Support, Schneider

Customer service associates have the greatest opportunity to create loyal customers. Loyal customers repurchase and grow products and services with your organization. Customers want each interaction to be quick and easy. They want it effortless. Joe will share how Schneider is transforming their customer contact centers to focus on reducing customer effort. Using a few simple principles, customer service associates and leaders are finding ways to create an experience that keeps customers coming back. Leveraging concepts from the Corporate Executive Board’s The Effortless Experience book, this session focuses on a practical approach to creating an effortless culture.

About Joe »

Joe Langer has served as the Director of Global Planning and Support for Schneider since 2010. In this role, he leads teams focused on customer service initiatives, sales support, enterprise business intelligence and continuous improvement. During his 16 years at Schneider, Joe has contributed as a new business implementation manager, technology transformation team member, and director of commercial marketing. Prior to joining Schneider, he led the sales and marketing team of a national cheese company and was general manager of a software development company.

Joe holds an associate degree in computer science from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and a master’s in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Joe is sponsored by EDCi.


The Customer Service Track is sponsored by:



Steering Committee members provide guidance on track content, topic suggestions and speaker selection. Thank you to the 2017 Customer Service Track Steering Committee:

Victoria AliaVictoria Alia
Director, North America Customer Care
Rockwell Automation

Scott ChristensenScott Christensen
Director, Contact Center
Mason Companies

Tim JohnstonTim Johnston
Director, Care Center Operations
American Family Insurance

Mike ZmudaMike Zmuda
Director, Customer Care Center

Roger PaulsonRoger Paulson
Managing Practice Director and Customer Service Practice Director

The Day At a Glance

Your day at the Business Best Practices & Emerging Technologies Conference is packed with content:

7:30-8:30 am Registration and Networking
8:30-9:30 am Opening Keynote featuring T.K.Rengarajan
9:30-10:20 am Networking Break & Strategic Briefings
(Strategic Briefings are from 9:45 to 10:10 am)
10:20 am -12:20 pm Track Sessions in Lecture Hall
12:20-1:30 pm Lunch & Table Topics
1:30-2:50 pm Track Sessions in Lecture Hall
2:50-3:40 pm Networking Break & Strategic Briefings
(Strategic Briefings are from 3:05 to 3:30 pm)
3:40-4:40 pm Closing Keynote featuring Carey Lohrenz
4:40-4:45 pm Raffle and Conference closes

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Mediasite by Sonic Foundry

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University of Wisconsin-Madison

Arts Institute

Center for Professional
and Executive Development

Engineering Professional Development

Kohl's Center for Retailing

Office of Corporate Relations

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