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ICMI's Top 50 Thought Leaders of 2017

It’s that time again! Time to recognize the shining lights in the contact center industry. We continue to feel incredibly grateful for the thought leaders who help educate, inspire, and motivate other customer service professionals.

For four years now, ICMI has compiled a list of the top 50 thought leaders to follow on Twitter. In keeping with this now time-honored tradition, we asked members of our community to nominate their favorite thought leaders for the 2017 list. We've tallied the votes, and we’re excited to unveil the new class of honorees!

ICMI Top 50 Thought Leaders 2017

This year we received a record number of votes, and we used these criteria to narrow down and rank the selections:

•    The number of nominations received

•    The number of followers on Twitter

•    The frequency, regularity, and relevancy of tweets

Thank you to everyone who cast votes, or helped spread the word; and congratulations to everyone who made the top 50! We feel fortunate to be a part of such an esteemed community of professionals!

If you’re not already, we highly encourage you to find each of these thought leaders on Twitter and follow them. Wondering why these pros were nominated for the recognition? This year we’ve included comments from the voting process. Enjoy!

1.    Marsha Collier | @MarshaCollier

“Marsha literally wrote the book on online customer service. She's one of the original hosts of the weekly #CustServ chat, leading the community for eight years this December.”

2.    Shep Hyken | @Hyken

“Shep never fails to amaze. I love how he's always inspiring us to do the same.”

3.    Jim Rembach | @beyondmorale

“Jim is thought-provoking and challenges me to think. I love his Fast Leader podcast!”

4.    Peter Gregg | @pfgregg

“He publishes great call center content, engages heavily in chats, and is definitely an expert in this field.”

5.    Jeremy Watkin | @jtwatkin

“Jeremy is very knowledgeable on customer experience related topics. He is very down to earth and is always willing to share his knowledge about customer experience. He is always curious to learn how technologies like AI will impact CX.  I think he has all the traits of a top ICMI Thought leader of the year!”

6.    Al Hopper | @AlHopper_

“He is always open to helping others, and is very active during #icmichat and the #custserv chat as a co-host.”

7.    Russel Lolacher | @RussLoL

“Russel Lolacher is one of my favorite customer experience experts to follow. He is constantly posting great information about social customer care.”

8.    Ben Motteram | @CXPert

“He posts great articles that help organizations do a better job of serving their customers. His blog has great tips for contact center leaders, and frontline agents.”

9.    Sean Hawkins | @SeanBHawkins

“Sean is SO motivating! You can definitely tell he's all about coaching and guiding teams. He seems like the type of manager everyone wants to work for.”

10.    Jenny Dempsey | @JennySueDempsey

“Jenny has excellent written content and is a great customer service resource. I appreciate her ICMI conference and tweet chat involvement very much. As a bonus, she’s also one of the most genuinely nice people you’ll ever encounter.”

11.    Mike Aoki | @mikeaoki

“Mike Aoki is an incredible champion of the contact center industry and has published many insightful articles on transformative leadership, navigating change and customer service excellence. He is a trusted advisor and someone who’s consistently engaging on social media.”

12.    Nate Brown | @CustomerIsFirst

“Nate not only wears the best clothes, but he's damn serious about customer service. He is creative, funny and serious at the same time. I appreciate his leadership on gamification, customer effort, and more. Plus, his beard rocks!”

13.    Leslie O’Flahavan | @LeslieO

“Leslie is the BEST customer service writing expert in this industry. She has great tweets, amazing Lynda courses, and is a big part of the ICMI community (both online and off).”

14.    Jeff Toister | @toister

“Jeff shares such great insight into the world of customer service, and he continues to guide others through his books and Lynda training. He’s not afraid to push you out of your comfort zone and challenge traditional ways of thinking. Plus, he's just an all-around great guy!”

15.    Erica Marois | @ericamarois

“Erica does a fantastic job cultivating the ICMI community on Twitter and beyond. She shares great tweets and content. She's engaging and inclusive on #ICMIChat and on Twitter in general. She instantly makes you feel like a welcome part of this community.”

16.    Justin Robbins | @justinmrobbins

“Justin shares fantastic content on Twitter and beyond. He's a true pillar of the ICMI community. He also wears some pretty awesome bow ties.”

17.    Patrick Russell | @Patrick_SaaS

“Patrick regularly posts content relevant to the contact center industry and stays involved throughout the year within the #ICMIchat community. No one can beat his gif game ;-)”

18.    Steve DiGioia | @SteveDiGioia

“He is just all-around excellent! He’s a good trainer, mentor, and is inspiring in all his lessons. Steve helps makes customer experience management fun by sharing examples of his life experiences.”

19.    Debi Mongan | @debimongan

“Mindfulness needs to be more consistent in our stressful call centers. Debi works hard and shares ways to make this possible. She’s fun, too!”

20.    Evan Watson | @evenwatson

“Evan brings comedy and improv to the table to help train customer service agents, which is a great addition to this industry. Given his background in theater, it's also no surprise that he has a witty approach to tweeting.”

21.    Jeremy Hyde | @JeremyHyde_

“Jeremy is legit. When you're receiving advice from a call center manager, you know it's based on experience that you can trust.”

22.    Sheri Kendall-duPont | @sherikendall

“Sheri isn't just a contact center trainer. She does an incredible job of inspiring customer service professionals to do their very best work.”

23.    Doug Sandler | @djdoug

“Doug is smart, experienced, and shares practical advice."

24.    Anna Sabryan | @annasabryan

“Anna is an active part of the online customer service community. She's helpful, kind, and always ahead of the trends. I can’t imagine a #cctr thought leaders list without her name on it.”

25.    Bill Quiseng | @billquiseng

“Bill is always tweeting valuable resources. He shares a variety of his own expertise as well as thought leadership from other experts. And he's engaging!”

26.    Chip Bell | @ChipRBell

“I'm a huge fan of Chip's books and his blog! He's down to earth, and his advice is practical!”

27.    Annette Franz | @annettefranz

“If you've been in this business for a while, you probably know of Annette. If not, you need to know her!”

28.    Jeanne Bliss | @jeannebliss

“Jeanne is a legend. Her book has been a huge help to our team.”

29.    Pat Perdue |@PatPerdue

“Pat Perdue is the host of the Customer Experience Podcast, a program that explores the world of customer experience. I enjoy the insight he shares.”

30.    Roy Atkinson | @royatkinson

“No one knows more about service management than Roy. He's a host of the #custserv chat, which I enjoy.”

31.    Adam Toporek |@adamtoporek

“Adam is a go-to source of customer experience inspiration. Love his book!”

32.    Blake Morgan | @BlakeMichelleM

“Blake isn't one of those 'thought leaders' who just retweets other people. She regularly shares original content on social media. I like her style--she's direct and keeps it real. Your CEO should be following her, too. “

33.    Susan Hash | @susanhash

“Susan Hash is the editor of Contact Center Pipeline magazine. She also writes - and Tweets - about great customer service. Her stories cover cutting-edge developments in the contact center world.”

34.    Colin Taylor |@colinsataylor

“Colin has been playing in the contact center arena for 35+ years. He frequently publishes articles about contact centers and customer experience.”

35.    Brad Cleveland | @bradcleveland

“He wrote the Bible for contact center management. Love his videos and articles. Must follow!”

36.    Debbie Szumylo |@DebbieSzumylo

“She shares great customer service articles, tips, and advice. Plus, her #FF pics always put a smile on my face!”

37.    Trica Morris | @TriciaEMorris

“Tricia relates customer service and the customer experience to data-driven decision making and digital transformation. Her approach helps contact centers prove their ROI.”

38.    Neal Topf | @NealTopf

“Neal puts a strong focus on the customer experience and shares ways for others to think about the experience their company is providing.”

39.    Scott Ontiveroz | @scottontiveroz

“Scott continues to be an active member of #ICMIchat, and posts regularly about technology and social media in a way that is insightful for contact center leaders.”

40.    Bob Furniss | @bobfurniss

“Bob is an inspiration. I've followed his blog posts for years and attended many of his ICMI conference sessions. He's the real deal! Not only is he a top contact center expert, but he's also a good guy.”

41.    Teresa Allen | @teresaallen

“Teresa is a constant curator of customer service research. She also shares innovative techniques and common sense, personal insights into service excellence.”

42.    Paul Stockford |@PaulStockford

“I like Paul's tweets about customer experience; especially his tips on CX technology. His Contact Center Pipeline articles also provide excellent ideas to improve customer service.”

43.    John Cockerill | @JohnCockerill

“John has been in this industry for many years. He has spoken at many customer experience/contact center conferences.”

44.    Kaye Chapman | @kayejchapman

“Kaye is very committed to great customer service, and she writes some great articles.”

45.    Lauren Lombard | @laurenlomb

“Lauren recently started joining #ICMIchat, and she shares the BEST ideas. I’ve enjoyed learning from her approach to training and leadership.”

46.    Katherine Thompson | @KTinnovate

“Katherine Thompson is one of the leading experts in the emerging topic of contact center social engineering. Her Tweets are more important than ever! “

47.    Kate Nasser | @katenasser

"Kate's #PeopleSkills chat is very relevant to the contact center community."

48.    Jace Hills | @ITSM_Jace

“Jace is new to the #CustServ and #ICMIChat environment but offers great insight and contributions.”

49.    Heather Arthur | @HeatherArthur1

“Heather Arthur tweets and frequently speaks on customer experience. She also walks the walk, as VP of Customer Care Operations at Canada's largest telecom company.”

50.    Bill Gessert | @BillGessert

“Bill is a legend in this space and is a definite thought leader. He engages very well on social media and has done a lot to promote customer service as a profession.”