SOCAP International

SOCAP Blog

  • SOCAP International Executive Gains Prestigious Recognition

    Posted on: 02/21/2013

    SOCAP International President and CEO Matthew R. D'Uva, CAE was one of five association executives to be named to the 2012 ASAE Class of Fellows.  This recognition comes from the Center for Association Leadership at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the nation's leading membership organization for association executives.  ASAE is composed of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations.

    February 25, 2013
    For more information, contact:
    Marjorie Bynum, VP, Education and Communication
    marjorie@socap.org

    Alexandria, VA-SOCAP International President and CEO Matthew R. D'Uva, CAE was one of five association executives to be named to the 2012 ASAE Class of Fellows.  This recognition comes from the Center for Association Leadership at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the nation's leading membership organization for association executives.  ASAE is composed of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations.

    "We are extremely proud to have a talented professional like Matthew D'Uva lead our organization," said SOCAP Board Chair Linnea Johnson, director of consumer services at Unilever.  "This recognition is well deserved, and I know that the entire SOCAP Board of Directors as well as our membership can appreciate what it means to have such an accomplished trade association executive at our helm."

    "The ASAE Fellows program is an honorary recognition bestowed upon less than one percent of ASAE's membership representing the best of the association community. The 2012 Class of Fellows is made up of committed association leaders, and it is my pleasure to welcome them to the Fellows community," said Stacy Tetschner, CEO, National Speakers Association and chair of ASAE's Fellows Selection Committee.

    Since the Class of Fellows program was established in 1986, 234 association industry professionals have received this prestigious recognition.  To be so named, fellows candidates must be endorsed by a peer; provide an in-depth application describing the individual’s innovation, leadership, and commitment to the profession; undergo an interview with a member of the selection committee; and be selected from among a group of highly qualified candidates.

    About SOCAP

    Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia and formed in 1973, SOCAP is composed of over 2,000 best-in-class customer care executives and professionals from over 100 brand name companies throughout the U.S. and Canada.  SOCAP is a member-driven organization committed to promoting customer care and engagement as competitive advantages.  SOCAP members include vice presidents, directors, and managers of customer care and consumer affairs as well as hundreds of business partners, individuals representing the solution provider community.  SOCAP member benefits include education and training, peer-to-peer networking, relationship building, partnership programs, conferences and seminars, news and information, research, and more.

    Visit SOCAP on the web at www.socap.org.

  • SOCAP International Issues Big Data White Paper

    Posted on: 02/21/2013

    A new white paper produced by SOCAP International, the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals, explores Big Data as a challenge and an opportunity for customer care professionals. The white paper is written to help SOCAP members–customer care executives at leading brand name companies–identify the issues, see the possibilities and parse the options in advancing a game changing Big Data agenda.

    ALEXANDRIA, Va.,-A new white paper produced by SOCAP International, the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals, explores Big Data as a challenge and an opportunity for customer care professionals. The white paper is written to help SOCAP members–customer care executives at leading brand name companies–identify the issues, see the possibilities and parse the options in advancing a game changing Big Data agenda.

    Big Data supports several key functions from a customer care perspective, including customer service and support, assessment of customer satisfaction and quality, amplification of the voice of the customer within the enterprise, operational exception spotting and trouble shooting and trend analysis. The increasing use of sophisticated data analytics tools by business users is also helping companies gain new insights into customer expectations, attitudes and behaviors.

    “The Big Data discussion is exciting and will continue to make a huge mark in businesses. That said, Big Data is both a reality of the present and a wave of the future in customer care,” said SOCAP President and CEO Matthew D’Uva. “Our goal in developing this white paper is to help our members better understand the potential of Big Data, to see new opportunities for its effective use and to better communicate its relevance for customer care within the enterprise.”

    D’Uva said the white paper is one of many activities SOCAP will be undertaking to educate its members about Big Data, including webcasts, conference sessions and additional white papers. A copy of the new white paper is available at http://bit.ly/SOCAPBigData.

    About SOCAP

    Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia and formed in 1973, SOCAP is composed of over 2,000 best-in-class customer care executives and professionals from over 100 brand name companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. SOCAP is a member-driven organization committed to promoting customer care and engagement as competitive advantages. SOCAP members include vice presidents, directors, and managers of customer care and consumer affairs as well as hundreds of business partners, individuals representing the solution provider community. SOCAP member benefits include education and training, peer-to-peer networking, relationship building, partnership programs, conferences and seminars, news and information, research, and more.

    Visit SOCAP on the web at www.socap.org.

    Marjorie Bynum, VP, Education and Communication(703) 910-2473 marjorie@socap.org

  • Join us on Thursday's Big Data Webinar!

    Posted on: 02/19/2013

    No one knows exactly who invented the compass, although the Chinese get credit for beginning to use magnetized rocks in 200 B.C. not only for predicting the future but also for determining direction.  These magnetized rocks, or lodestones, were the breakthrough innovation of their day.  Now fast-forward over 2000 years and we have something called Big Data.  It may not be the lodestone, but it's also not too much of a stretch to call this emerging phenomenon a mother lode of innovation for 21st century businesses.One just beginning to be explored.

     

    SOCAP is committed to helping its members step up to the Big Data challenge and seize the Big Data opportunity.  On Thursday at 2 pm ET, we will conduct a webinar, Big Data and Customer Care, featuring ConAgra Foods and solution provider Clarabridge.   Learn more and register for the webinar here.  We will also release our first white paper on the topic, one in a series designed to show how Big Data is making a big difference for customer care care executives in all industry sectors of the SOCAP membership.

    What is the challenge and opportunity?

    The phrase "Big Data" refers to:

    • The use of data drawn from enterprise information systems, third party data stores and social media;
    • Data created by both people interacting and machines interconnecting;
    • Data that exist in formats that are easily processed in their existing structure or data that are unstructured, requiring additional analysis and manipulation in order to be processed;
    • Data representing huge volumes, measured in terabytes, petabytes, and exabytes–units of measure that outstrip the ability of traditional database management systems.

     

    At a minimum, Big Data should be a strategy embraced by business to help define, enhance and leverage the customer experience.  Smart companies are using this technology to marshal data as a resource and to give front line customer care professionals all the information they need for decision-making that puts the customer first.  This type of business thinking breeds greater consumer satisfaction and loyalty over the long run.

    While this outcome alone could help companies dramatically transform their market presence, the potential of Big Data goes far beyond optimizing sales and support.  Smart companies are using Big Data to:

    • Capture the voice of the customer and share it with marketing, research, strategic planning, product development, operations, quality assurance, and other business units with a need to know;
    • Assess business performance, to flag exceptions and to take corrective action before small issues become big issues;
    • Monitor vast amounts of data in social media, not just to address consumer concerns and complaints or to protect brand reputation, but also to spot trends, assess the competition and to identify new business opportunities;
    • Visualize data in ways far beyond bar charts and trend lines, supporting new understandings and insights;
    • Predict market and consumer directions using powerful statistical algorithms for analysis, giving organizations an unprecedented ability to see around corners.

     

    With so much capability at stake, is it any wonder that more companies are beginning to chart their future using Big Data as the multi-dimensional compass?  Because so much of Big Data overlaps with customer care, I am convinced that those customer care executives willing to build effective partnerships around analyzing and understanding the power of Big Data and the technology needed to leverage results can also expect to step up into new leadership roles within the enterprise.

    In past years, we have witnessed customer care change from being a cost of doing business to a source of strategic business advantage.  With Big Data, customer care stands poised to become the well-spring of business itself.  We must rise to this challenge.  So I hope you will join us on this week's webinar.

  • Using mySOCAP for Professional Success

    Posted on: 02/12/2013

    SOCAP is all about networking with others you know from conferences and chapter meetings, but mySOCAP also allows for networking with new people that you don't know but who have similar interests and concerns. This expands the networking opportunities that I have at national conferences. Just register and check it out. It is a great resource.

    By Leslie Summer
    Manager, Product Integrity, General Mills, Inc.

    I jumped on the band wagon right away when mySOCAP was opened up to me, because, in my mind, it is a more private place to have a conversation with other SOCAP members without an outside organization running reports on what we are discussing.  SOCAP is all about networking with others you know from conferences and chapter meetings, but mySOCAP also allows for networking with new people that you don't know but who have similar interests and concerns.  This expands the networking opportunities that I have at national conferences.  Just register and check it out.  It is a great resource.

    mySOCAP complements local chapter meetings by allowing you to share resources between meetings.  It is a much easier way to touch base with each other, than trying to wade through all the corporate emails we receive every day.  It is also the best place to store all the materials and documents you need for a chapter or committee meeting.  After my year as President of the Minnesota Chapter, I had to remember to pass along all the minutes and other documentation to my successor.  Now I can just keep them on mySOCAP electronically.  This makes the corporate IT people happy because I am not using up computer space for documents and emails.

    There are some amazing groups to join.  There are articles and conversations that trigger something that might be going on in your career.  If there isn't a group for your interests, then you can create the group yourself.  At this time, we have a data analysis and reporting group, a running group and a golf group (just to name a few).  So you can set up a group for anything that you are interested in - even areas outside of customer care.

    I opted into a daily digest and have already found two articles to pass along to a new person who will be joining our team to deal with data analytics and reporting.  I also send these resources to others in my organization.  I check the latest updates each day for new contacts.  I think about what I can learn from them, and I connect with them.  It builds my community and helps me build my knowledgebase and career.

    For those who like competition there is a fun feature called the Leader Board or Your Reputation which allows you to earn points for everything you do.  It is just a fun little extra.

    Now the event calendars make it easier to see what is going on at both the local and national level.  For instance, if I am traveling to Georgia, I might just hop into one of their local events while I am in town.  mySOCAP opens up more avenues to see what others are doing and gives me the option of joining in.

    The community surveys area is great.  Anyone can put up a survey and find out how others are resolving an issue they are facing.  You find out what others are planning to do, what are their resources, etc.   I always try to participate in the surveys if I can.

    I like the pictures that are included.  It is a great way to connect faces with names.  I recently grew my hair and I want people to know my new look, so I put up a new picture.  I plan to use mySOCAP before the Symposium as a think-ahead tool to make sure I connect with certain people at the Symposium and I want to make sure I recognize them and they recognize me.

    So mySOCAP is my one-stop shop to address all of my SOCAP related needs, to build knowledge to enhance my career, to find resources for the team at my organization and to increase my networking.   Since it is just for SOCAP members, I feel confident in the privacy of it.  I encourage everyone to participate.  Set up a profile, connect and pretty soon you'll be pulled in just like I am.


    Leslie Summer is a Product Integrity Manager with General Mills (GM).  In this role and with over 25 years of experience at the company, Leslie leads four teams providing support to General Mills’ Consumer Services, including bringing resolution to out-of-court settlement for product liability claims, training and supporting the contact centers’ role in delighting General Mills’ consumers, providing detailed analysis and reporting of consumer preferences and issues, plus monitoring and analyzing social media data.

    Passionate about helping others, over the years Leslie has volunteered for organizations and communities across the United States (i.e. Habitat for Humanity, community missions in Mississippi, Simpson Housing, Special Olympics, and Second Harvest).  She also proudly serves the Better Business Bureau of MN and ND by serving as a Director At-Large on their Board of Directors.

  • SOCAP International Elects New Board Officers and Directors

    Posted on: 01/10/2013

    The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP International) announced today the new members of its 2013 Board of Directors.

    January 10, 2013

    For more information, contact:
    Marjorie Bynum, VP, Education and Communication
    marjorie@socap.org

    Alexandria, VA- The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP International) announced today the new members of its 2013 Board of Directors.
    The 2013 Board Officers whose terms are effective January 1 are:
    • Chair of the BoardLinnea Johnson, Director, Consumer Services, Unilever
    • Chair-Elect - Kim McMiller, Associate Director, Consumer Relations, Kraft Foods
    • Past Chairman - Cheryl Duwve, Vice President, Customer Support, Roche Diagnostics
    • Treasurer - Marie Shubin, Director, Global Consumer Relations, E&J Gallo Winery
    • Secretary - Celine Dumais, Vice President, L'Oreal USA
    In addition, SOCAP welcomes five new directors and a special advisor to its Board:
    • Michael Boudreau, Manager, Workforce & Information Management, Eli Lilly & Company – Director
    • Jeanne Jones, Director, Consumer Affairs, ConAgra Foods – Director
    • Matt Sanders, Assistant Director of Operations, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts – Director
    • Thomas Siebert, Senior Director of Customer Service, Expedia – Director
    • Chris Wallace, Vice President of Sales, 24-7 Intouch – Director
    • Melanie Neumann, Leavitt Partners - Special Advisor to the Board

    "I am honored to work with such an outstanding group of business leaders on the SOCAP Board of Directors," said SOCAP's new Board Chair, Linnea Johnson of Unilever. "Our Board members bring a powerful blend of industry experience, customer care expertise and strategic vision to the organization, which will enable SOCAP to continue to offer effective solutions and professional resources to our members as well as increase our overall membership."

    The Board Officers were approved at SOCAP's Annual Business Meeting during the Association's 2012 Annual Conference in San Diego, California.

    "The talent represented on the SOCAP Board ensures that the organization is well positioned to lead and advance the important role of customer care in successful business strategy," said Matthew D'Uva, SOCAP's President & CEO. "The Board's leadership will allow SOCAP to have a critical voice in supporting consumers, improving interactions and advancing product innovation."

    The new Board members will join these current members of the SOCAP Board:

    • Lorraine Avery, Senior Vice President & Director of Customer Services, Associated Bank
    • Michael Biondo, Vice President, Customer Operations, Clear Channel Radio
    • Frank Eliason, Senior Vice President, Social Media, Citibank
    • Patrice Fehl, Senior Manager, Consumer Relations, The Hershey Company
    • Mark Hamilton, Vice President, Business Development, Inktel Direct
    • Helen Horsham-Bertels, Director, Consumer Affairs, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
    • Chris Irving, Assistant Vice President, Consumer, Government & Legal Affairs, Publishers Clearing House
    • Rosemary O'Malley, Manager, Consumer Affairs, Ford Motor Company
    • Iasha Rivers, Director, External Affairs, Macy's/Federated Department Stores
    • Jason Rosser, Manager, eCommerce Contact Center Operations & Consumer Services, Abercrombie & Fitch

    About SOCAP

    Founded in 1973, SOCAP International represents a thriving global profession of best-in-class customer care experts across all industries. SOCAP is a member-driven organization committed to promoting customer care and customer engagement as a competitive advantage in business. The Association's members include vice presidents, directors, managers and supervisors of customer care and consumer affairs from top Fortune/Forbes 1000 companies as well as hundreds of business partner organizations.

    SOCAP provides the educational tools and professional resources to help its members to drive business transformation within their companies. Additionally, SOCAP's exclusive network gives members access to thousands of customer care experts across the globe.  Visit www.socap.org for complete SOCAP information.