5 Facts Contact Centers Don’t Know About Customers
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5 Facts Contact Centers Don’t Know About Customers

Date Aired: October 15, 2015

Presenters: Pete Slease, Sarah E. McElwee, Justin Robbins, Madelyn Gengelbach, Erica Strother Marois


Watch the webinar video below.

Newly released ICMI research uncovers a disconnect between customer expectations and contact center priorities. Is your contact center focused on what matters most? Join us as we share five facts your contact center doesn’t know about customers.

Leading a contact center is more complex than it’s ever been. Traditional methodologies, metrics, and mindsets are under scrutiny as business leaders examine their relevance to the modern customer.  New channels have emerged, technology has evolved, and customer expectations have shifted. Most customer service professionals realize this, but how should the contact center react to the changing landscape?

The dynamics of this “new normal” present an incredible opportunity for contact centers to provide stellar customer experiences. The true challenge lies in understanding what customers really want and expect from service interactions.

A few things you will learn during this webinar:

  • The contrast between what customers find important and what contact center leaders perceive as important to customers
  • Key customer expectations to consider when determining contact center priorities
  • The technology necessary for delivering seamless service
  • How contact centers today can excel at providing omnichannel service

Join us for this interactive and informative webinar—complete with audience polls, case studies, best practices and live Q&A.


Pete Slease

Senior Director, CEB

Pete is a Senior Director with the Customer Contact Leadership Council of the Corporate Executive Board. In his role, Pete provides support to member executives identifying and applying insight to address their most critical customer-facing challenges. Pete provides advice for executives across a number of critical decision areas, including: strategy, planning, talent management, issue resolution, loyalty and channel management.

Pete joined the CEB in 2007 after spending nine years in a financial services contact center, ultimately leading the commercial & retail centers.

Pete received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Teaching from the University of Portland. Pete lives in Wilmington, Delaware.

Sarah McElwee, ICMI webinar

Sarah E. McElwee

Vice President – Client Operations, KBM Group

Sarah joined KBM Group in February of 2011 and has 25 years of experience in call center operations including 4 years in data fulfillment and strategic sourcing. She is responsible for the strategic leadership of the BPO call center, data entry and fulfillment center as well as account leadership for two key KBMG clients.    Prior to KBMG, she started her career as a credit management trainee with Sears and helped to launch one of the first consolidated national credit call centers in Dayton, Ohio.  With the launch of the Discover Card in 1988, Sarah moved to the Merchant Services division, leading the call center teams supporting the business owners that accepted the Discover Card in their place of business.  She continued with Discover Card, relocating to Salt Lake City and then Chicago, where she serviced Discover customers in both customer service needs as well as in the outbound Collections division.  In 1999, she joined America Online as the General Manager for their 700 seat call center in Ogden, Utah supporting AOL members in sales, retention and technical support.  Just prior to joining KBM Group, Sarah was the Vice President of Customer Service and Call Centers with H&R Block out of Kansas City where she was instrumental in establishing operational improvements and key performance metrics, driving improved customer service and satisfaction.  From 2007 to 2010, she led the Northwest Division, supporting 1200 company and franchise owned retail outlets in eleven western states, driving innovative hiring strategies, talent management and revenue growth while improving margins through operational improvements.

Justin Robbins

Community Director, ICMI

Justin Robbins is a contact center and talent development expert with over a decade of experience leading customer service organizations. He got his start in contact centers as a teenager doing cold-call outbound sales for newspaper subscriptions. Since then, he's moved from agent to senior leader, worked in and with inbound and outbound centers ranging in size from 5 to 2500+, and gained experience in a number of industries including hospitality, technology, manufacturing, and education. Most recently, Justin developed the training and professional certification programs for the International Customer Management Institute and has personally trained thousands of individuals around the globe on contact center best practices.

As ICMI’s Community Manager, he leads their research programs, content direction, and the ICMI Global Contact Center Awards Program judging process. His infectious enthusiasm for the customer service industry has led him to be a writer, social enthusiast, and sought-after speaker on topics such as employee engagement, key performance indicators, and motivational business leadership.

You can reach Justin on-line at: www.twitter.com/justinmrobbins | www.linkedin.com/in/justinmrobbins | jrobbins@icmi.com

Madelyn Gengelbach

Vice President, Strategic Marketing, inContact

In her role as VP of Strategic Marketing at inContact, Madelyn is responsible for market intelligence, demand generation, channel development, product positioning and messaging. Prior to joining inContact, Madelyn worked for Fortune 50 firms to small startups, including Sprint, Hallmark Cards, and H&R Block. During that time she’s worked in Marketing, Product, Sales, and Operations. Madelyn has worked in and managed teams in blended call centers at Hallmark and Sprint.

Erica Strother headshot

Erica Strother Marois

Community Specialist, ICMI

Erica Strother Marois is the Community Strategist at ICMI. With a background in marketing, public relations, and social media, she brings more than six years of community management experience to ICMI. Erica manages ICMI’s robust network of community contributors – 500 strong! She also hosts ICMI’s weekly tweet chats that feature dynamic, interactive discussions with thought leaders and innovators in our community. Erica produces our webinars and many other content initiatives like Contact Center Insider, our weekly newsletter. She also partners with vendors in the community to nuance their viewpoint on important topics. Lastly, Erica employs her creative viewpoint on community engagement at ICMI events – working with attendees to enhance their event experience and bring the ‘fun’ to attending an industry event. Erica is a connector of people – in any medium – and the contact center community is lucky to have her on their side!

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Does your contact center have a policy regarding allowing agents who wish to apply for internal company positions outside the contact center?

No, we don’t have a formal policy
Yes, agents must work in the contact center for at least 1 year before applying for other positions
Yes, agents must work in the contact center for at least 6 months before applying for other positions
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