Inside the Quality-First Contact Center

50 Customer Experience Experts to Follow in 2017 (#CustServ)

As the new year kicks off, check out ICMI's new list of Top 50 Thought Leaders for 2017.


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As I've said in the blog articles "Hustle" and "Social Awareness" this year, it takes a lot of time and effort to do social media right. These people are doing it right, but they go a step further. They are thinking for themselves, not just repeating what everyone else is saying. We are celebrating that ICMI goes to the trouble of sorting wheat from chaff.

I'm proud to say that I've been involved in various panels and programs with a significant percentage of the Top 50.

These people are doing it right, but they go a step further. They are thinking for themselves, not just repeating what everyone else is saying.

This past year I was part of an ICMI panel discussion on First Contact Resolution along with Top 50 members, Justin Robbins, Group Content Director at HDI & ICMI; Jeff Toister of Toister Performance Solutions, Jeremy Watkin, Head of Quality for FCR; and Al Hopper, co-founder of Social Path Solutions.

I've made several presentations with Nate Brown, director of Customer Experience for UL EHS Sustainability. One time Nate even convinced me to dress up like one of the Mario Brothers for a presentation on gamification at the ICMI Contact Center Expo. Later on in the year, Nate and I got into a good discussion on the subject with Jeff Toister, who is not as big of a fan of gamification as Nate and I. Jeff and I both blogged about it.

When ICMI put together a group to discuss "hacks" for managing a better contact center, Nate and I both ran into travel delays that kept us from participating live. (Remember Hurricane Matthew?) But ICMI's community strategist, Erica Strother Marois, took our written suggestions and ran with them, along with live contributions from Jenny Dempsey, Customer Service Manager for DMV.org; and Sean Hawkins, manager of Support and Product, Framework Homeownership at Housing Partnership Network.

I'm on the Top 50 list too, in case you'd like to follow @nealtopf  and follow @callzilla.

Even though I've never had a business relationship with Jeremy Hyde, head of Vendor & Process Oversight at Ucare, we've discovered that we think very much alike when it comes to vendor management. He and I recorded a long discussion that I plan to present in several parts as 2017 gets under way.

As ICMI says about its list, "If you’re not doing so already, we highly encourage you to find each of these thought leaders on Twitter, and follow them for regular insight, advice, and customer service humor."

Oh, and (ahem), I'm on the Top 50 list too, in case you'd like to follow me. -Neal


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