Customer Service
track speakers

The conference runs from 7:00 am to 4:45 pm.

After the Opening Keynote, Networking Break and Strategic Briefings, the Customer Service Track offers an exceptional group of speakers:

10:20–10:25 am
Roger Paulson

Track Introduction

Roger Paulson
Practice Director, UWEBC

10:25–11:00 am
Esteban Kolsky ThinkJar

Digitally Optimizing Customer Service

Esteban Kolsky
Principal and Founder, thinkJar

The digital transformation that has taken over the enterprise has not spared customer service. In a recent survey, more than two-thirds of thinkJar's respondents said they are drawing their budgets for improvements and new projects from digital transformation initiatives. Alas, these same people were confused as to how digital transformation is bound to affect customer service.

This presentation will explain both the path forward for a digitally optimized customer service operation, and how the new tools and technologies thinkJar is seeing emerge are going to deliver a completely different model of customer service. AI, chatbots, machine learning, Internet of Things and others are going to have a fundamental impact in customer service: it will cease to exist. Come see how and what will replace it.

About Esteban »

Esteban Kolsky is the Principal and Founder of thinkJar, an advisory and research think tank focused on customer strategies. He has over 28 years of experience in customer service and CRM consulting, research and advisory services. Before founding and running thinkJar six years ago, Esteban spent eight years at Gartner, focused on customer service and CRM research. While there, he coined the terms enterprise feedback management and customer interaction hub. In addition, he researched and wrote on the social networking topics that led to today’s revolution and assisted Fortune 500 and Global 2,000 organizations in all aspects of their customer strategies and deployments.

Esteban is currently advising vendors and organizations on how to transform their organizations in our new interconnected, collaborative and social worlds to create better value via customer interactions.

11:05–11:40 am
Crystal Collier Electronic Arts

Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Customer Experience

Crystal Collier
Head of Strategy, Programs and Insights, Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (EA) strives to make themselves known for taking care of players. In EA's Worldwide Customer Experience (WWCE) organization (or EA Help as they’re known online and on social media) players help players — whenever, wherever and however they are needed. WWCE is transforming from a traditional service desk to a digital service desk of the future. One of these major transformations is automation using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the player and employee experience.

Like many organizations, EA is challenged with how to scale their business while keeping operational costs relatively flat. By using AI, they have taken a step toward proactively solving their players’ problems, which is beneficial as digital interactions become more intuitive.

In addition to learning about how EA is using AI, technology selection criteria and elements of the business case, this presentation will share several lessons learned during their pilots, including details of operational optimizations and insights from customer and employee research — as well as a framework for evaluating AI opportunities that you can apply in your organization.

Crystal Collier is sponsored by EDCi.

About Crystal »

Crystal Collier is a pioneer in increasing engagement to enhance a company’s customer experience (CX). Her 20-year career has been devoted to CX transformations by understanding behaviors and improving the interaction between employees and customers in a variety of industries, including interactive entertainment, insurance, automotive, cable TV, internet and multilevel marketing. Crystal leads strategy, programs and insights for Electronic Arts Worldwide Customer Experience. She is the former CEO of CX Solutions (previously TARP Worldwide) and former Vice President of Member Communications at Aol.

Crystal is passionate about using technology and data to help organizations understand what matters and develop strategies to strengthen customer relationships and increase the bottom line. She is a featured speaker on CX strategy and practice, most recently at the Consero CX Leaders Forum.

11:45 am–12:20 pm
Peter Slease Gartner

Resolution Redefined — Optimizing Channels for Customer “Jobs to Be Done”

Peter Slease
Vice President, Gartner

The goal of customer service is simple: to resolve problems and improve service quality. But in recent years, the notion of problem resolution has been significantly redefined — what it means, how customers seek it and service organization’s role in enabling it. As of 2017, two-thirds of customers use some kind of self-service as their primary method of getting help with a problem. Still, customers using the internet to solve issues themselves is nothing new. Only 10 percent of customers use the phone as their contact channel of choice for service — and that’s been true for years. What’s different is how customers are approaching service and how your organization should approach enabling a better service experience.

In this talk, Peter will explain the concept of customer “jobs to be done” and how customers utilize different combinations of channels depending on the jobs they seek to accomplish. He’ll teach us what the common channel clusters are, what customers are trying to do in each of them and how to re-imagine your strategy accordingly.

“Jobs to be Done” is a framework created by Bob Moesta, The Rewired Group.

About Peter »

Peter Slease is a Vice President, Team Manager at Gartner. Peter leads a team of advisors who work with hundreds of senior executives and management teams around the globe on a wide variety of topics, including customer loyalty, multi-channel strategy and execution, measuring customer service experience and talent management.

Since joining the firm in 2007, Peter has provided significant guidance on customer contact and experience research that has been published in many forms. He is a principal contributor to "The Effortless Experience" and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, such as ICMI Contact Center Expo & Conference.

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.

Prior to his time at Gartner, Peter managed a customer service organization in the financial services industry for close to a decade. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Portland. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife and three children.

2:10-2:45 pm
Regan Heckethorn Allegiant Travel

Preparing for Takeoff:  How Allegiant Air Transformed Its Hiring Strategy to Stimulate a Culture of Service Excellence

Regan Heckethorn
Director of Customer Care, Allegiant Travel Company

Contact center employees directly reflect a company and are instrumental in the success of its brand.  In this talk, Regan will explain how Allegiant launched its customer experience culture by focusing on the care center associate recruiting and selection process. No longer seen as a “fill a seat” task, recruiting is now approached with a “fill the future” mentality. Taking the time to identify passion, desire, drive and heart in the first interaction with a candidate is vital to planting the seed for a successful long-term company-employee relationship.

Learn how Allegiant’s candidate interview sessions mix behavioral, conversational and personality trait profiling in a winning combination.  Not only do candidates and employees find the experience unique and memorable, but the hiring methodology has proven to improve the achievement of customer experience goals and to foster a culture of service aligned with the brand.

 About Regan »

Currently the Director of Customer Care for Allegiant Travel Company, Regan Heckethorn has been a hands-on leader in the evolution of customer experience and operations in the hospitality, medical, banking and airline industries. For a little over three decades in Las Vegas, Nevada, she has held leadership roles for Fortune 500 companies, such as Wynn Resorts, SITEL and Capital One.

Regan has a proven track record of forging strong professional relationships and building “startup” teams for hotel openings such as Wynn Las Vegas, Encore, Encore Macau, Cosmopolitan and SLS Las Vegas. In her professional experience, she leads with the philosophy that your culture is defined by your people, and she continues to coach and lead others that the value of the “heart” can make or break your business.

2:50–3:25 pm
Michael Pace The Pace of Service

Foundations of a World-class
E-Commerce Customer Service Experience

Michael Pace
Principal, The Pace of Service

Charged with building the gold standard of luxury customer experience for David Yurman in less than six months from scratch, The Pace of Service leveraged the six common traits of the world’s best customer experiences and a framework called the Cathedral Strategy to deliver the number one rated e-commerce experience by month two of production.

In this presentation, you will learn the six traits of a world-class customer service experience, an industry-agnostic strategy to build one, and specific examples of how the application of the ideas and practices described led to an award winning experience that consistently outpaces Zappos, L.L. Bean and Amazon.

About Michael »

Michael Pace wakes up each day envisioning how he can inspire companies to create environments, journeys and actions that help make their customers more successful. He believes wildly successful companies start with successful customers and associates. Through strong values, discipline and sharp customer focus, Michael builds experiences resulting in worldwide leading customer experience scoring, Net Promoter Scores, customer satisfaction and company profitability. He has shared his skills and competencies across a variety of industries, including by not limited to, financial services, luxury retail and marketing technology, and has led all to award-winning success.


The Customer Service Track is sponsored by:



Steering Committee members provide guidance on track content, topic suggestions and speaker selection. Thank you to the 2018 Customer Service Track Steering Committee:

Victoria AliaVictoria Alia
Director, North America Customer Care
Rockwell Automation

Scott ChristensenScott Christensen
Director, Contact Center
Mason Companies

Mike ZmudaMike Zmuda
Director, Customer Care Center

Roger PaulsonRoger Paulson
Managing Practice Director and Customer Service Practice Director


Download the UWEBC Annual Conference app for all of the details you need to know to prepare for the day, including personalizing your own agenda with the track sessions that you don't want to miss.

The Day At a Glance

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

7:00-8:00 am Registration and Networking
8:00-9:30 am Opening Session and Keynote featuring Rich Karlgaard
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
12:20-1:20 pm Lunch & Table Topics
1:30-2:05 pm Networking Break & Strategic Briefings
(Strategic Briefings are from 1:30-1:55 pm)
2:05-3:25 pm Track Sessions in Lecture Hall
3:35-4:35 pm Closing Keynote featuring Noelle Pikus Pace
4:35-4:45 pm Raffle and Conference closes

Sponsors Banner
American Family Insurance logo

CUNA Mutual Group
EDCi  logo


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Engineering Professional Development

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