25 Customer Service Experts, Blogs and Influencers to Track in 2011

Updated: October 25, 2010

Experts

Sydney Biddle Barrows: Once known infamously as the Mayflower Madam, Barrows has parlayed her expertise in escort services into a successful career as a professional speaker, business consultant and customer satisfaction expert. Barrows is also the author of Uncensored Sales Strategies, which she co-authored with marketing expert Dan Kennedy.

Eric Fraterman: Owner of Customer Focus Consulting, Fraterman helps clients step out from the pack and gain a competitive edge in today's crowded marketplace. He brings to the table more than 25 years of international work experience, first in advertising and marketing, and then fourteen years in management consultation.

Colin Shaw: You may recognize Shaw from his appearances on CNN and the BBC. Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, a customer experience consultancy, Shaw is also the author of a number of best-selling books including, Building Great Customer Experiences, Revolutionize Your Customer Experience, The DNA of Customer Experience: How Emotions Drive Value, and most recently, Customer Experience: Future Trends & Insights.

W. H. "Hank" Brigman: Brigman doesn't just bolster customer satisfaction; he measures it. He co-founded the customer experience management research consultancy Touchpoint Metrics, and invented its process for inventorying, mapping, evaluating and improving individual customer interactions.

Norma Huibregtse: Known by her clients as ‘The Loyalty Lady,' Huibregtse is the creator of the customer experience program called Turn Your Customer Experience into Cash with the Customer S.M.A.R.T.S. System. She is also the founder of Captivated Customers, a resource for customer experience strategies for small business owners in the service industry.

B. Joseph Pine: When he's not busy penning articles for the likes of Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal and Chief Executive, Pine writes award-winning books that attempt to get at the heart of customer relationship management. These include The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage, Markets of One: Creating Customer-Unique Value through Mass Customization, Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition, and Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want.

Esteban Kolsky: A customer relationship strategist, Kolsky has presented in over 15 countries, keynoted at hundreds of conferences and events, and hosted webinars and podcasts over the last fifteen years.

Donna Fluss: Boasting more than 20 years' experience in customer relationship management, Fluss is the principal of DMG Consulting, a firm specializing in customer-focused business strategy, operations and technology for clients such as PeopleSoft, Nortel Networks, Real Networks, Stride Rite, Nice and Roadway Express. Prior to launching DMG Consulting, Fluss was a research director in the CRM practice area at Gartner, where she consulted with more than 3,000 clients and published more than 125 research reports.

Megan Burns: A senior analyst at Forrester Research, Burns focuses on how companies can transform corporate culture to be more customer-centric and deliver differentiated customer experiences to the marketplace. A stickler for details, her research focuses on proving the business value and ROI of customer experience improvements, measuring customer experience, and prioritizing customer experience projects.

Michael Maoz: A Gartner analyst, Maoz has his eye on the future of customer service and next-generation technologies. He is the research leader for both the customer service and support strategies area and customer-centric Web strategies. His areas of expertise include software as a service (SaaS), CRM strategies, multichannel contact center applications, social CRM/communities and field service management.

Shep Hyken: The author of Moments of Magic, The Loyal Customer and the Wall Street Journal best-seller, The Cult of the Customer, Hyken is the creator of The Customer Focus program which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.

Ken Varga: Varga has built 35 successful, profitable businesses - not bad for a 38-year career. He's also the author of over 300 information products, including the book, How to Get Customers to Call, Buy and Beg for More! All of his works are based on his experiences of developing hundreds of thousands of customers through expert marketing.

Blogs

Customers Rock!: A friendly and personal approach to exploring the customer experience courtesy of Becky Carroll, head of strategic consultancy Petra Consulting Group and a long-time customer advocate.

Customer Bliss: As the customer leadership executive for five large U.S. market leaders, Jeanne Bliss shares her tips and tricks for helping companies put their customers on their strategic agenda, redirect priorities, and create transformational changes to their brands' customer loyalty.

Customer Experience Matters: Whether highlighting customer experience competencies or peddling industry reports, this blog, overseen by consulting firm Temkin Group, shows businesses how to increase customer loyalty by becoming more customer-centric.

The Forrester Blog: A bevy of Forrester analysts chime in on the current state - and future - of customer experience management. The best part: plenty of real-life examples -both good and bad - of how Fortune 100 companies today are tackling customer satisfaction.

Captivated Customers: An approachable, first-person take on customer satisfaction. Norma Huibregtse, creator of the customer experience program called Turn Your Customer Experience into Cash with the Customer S.M.A.R.T.S. System, offers plenty of tips and easy-to-follow advice.

Customer Service Tips & Perspectives: Eric Fraterman, owner of Customer Focus Consulting, shares his thoughts on the importance of customer touchpoints and how they can help you gain a competitive edge.

The Social Customer: The consultancy Social Media Today tackles the world of social media for the express purpose of helping businesses bolster customer satisfaction in the digital age.

Ken Varga's Blog: Varga offers tips and tricks on how to attract more clients, build a database, network, and manage priorities with easy-to-read and entertaining entries.

Influencers

Leonardo Inghilleri: Co-author of Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization, Inghilleri is a recognized expert in the service and hospitality industry and a well-known speaker in the area of organizational effectiveness, service excellence, business innovation, process management and human resources practices.

Joseph Michelli: Michelli doesn't just understand customer experience. He writes about businesses that are pioneers in the field. His book, The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary, regularly achieved bestseller status on the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek Magazine, and USA Today lists.

Martha Rogers: A customer service visionary, Rogers is an adjunct professor at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and is the co-director of the Teradata Center for Customer Relationship Management at Duke. With Don Peppers, Rogers also has co-authored six best-selling books including Enterprise One to One and Managing Customer Relationships.

Shaun Smith: A pioneer in the customer experience movement, Smith is the founder of the consultancy Smith+co and has helped reshape people's perception of customer experience from a tactical issue to a strategic imperative.

Lou Carbone: A leader in the experience management revolution for over two decades, Carbone is the author of Clued In, How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again & Again, a best-selling book now in its seventh printing, and widely considered a must read for anyone hoping to understand the importance of customer relations.

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