SOCAP International


Past Events


Meeting Date and Location:  September 12, 2019 at SafetyCall International

Topic:  Shifting Skills: What AI and Automation Mean for Customer Experience(CX)

Jason Dichter discussed "What Artificial (AI) and Automation Mean for Customer Experience (CX). During this presentation, the following topics/questions were explored. 

What is/are AI/NLP/Machine Learning/Bots in plain English?
What does AI mean for human workers? Is AI going to replace me or my reps at our jobs?
How to identify opportunities for AI and what are the tools available?
What can AI do today and what does it struggle with today?
Who is using AI successfully today?
How do you measure results?

Jason is the Executive Director of Business Development at Augment selling Artificial Intelligence solutions into the contact center. Before joining Augment, Jason was the Executive Director of Sales with Wilke Global, (now Astute Solutions) the leading provider of omni channel customer engagement software.

Before that, Jason served as Director of Sales at TARGUS info, which was later acquired by Neustar, the leaders in understanding who or what is on the other end of every consumer interaction and transaction. Currently the Director of Membership on the New York SOCAP chapter, Jason has also had various roles on the board of the Philadelphia SOCAP chapter for many years. He has been a speaker at various SOCAP local & national chapter events and industry user groups since 2002.

Meeting Date and Location:  June 20, 2019 at Radisson Blu MOA

Topic:  CX vs Customer Service - 10 Key Difference

A truly customer-focused organization doesn’t begin or end in your call center – or even your customer-facing employees. It requires transformational change in the way virtually everyone in your organization operates. In this session, we’ll highlight 10 ways CX differs from customer service, and what your organization needs to do to close the gap between being good at CX and being good at customer service

Michael Chandler, an accomplished leader and entrepreneur, has worked in, built and led successful organizations and businesses in the domains of Innovation, Service Design, Business Transformation and Customer Experience.

Since late 2017, Mike has lead an independent practice, Alpha Leonis Consulting, where he is retained as a fractional leader and advisor in the domains of customer experience, innovation and digital business transformation for a number of Fortune 100 and mid-market companies throughout the nation in Agriculture, Life Sciences and Employer Benefits.


Meeting Date and Location:  December 5, 2018 at Land O'Lakes 

Topic:     Trends in Customer Experience & Technology

How do we prepare and leverage technology in the contact center to ensure a great customer experience? Join us at the SOCAP Minnesota Chapter meeting to get information on:

  • Customer experience strategy and technology trends in the contact center.
  • Chat Bots and Artificial Intelligence technology.
  • The difference between hype and reality with new technologies.

Following the presentation by Brandon Knight, enjoy a 30-minute tour of the 
Land O'Lakes Test Kitchens and Consumer Affairs department.

Speaker:  Brandon is a 27-year cloud, telecom and contact center industry veteran. He is Founder and President of the consulting company Exceptional Contact Centers and is also an Intelisys Sales Partner. Prior to his tenure with Exceptional Contact Centers, Knight served multiple leadership roles with Novation Companies, including UC Cloud Provider Corvisa Cloud. He has also held management roles with Humana, Inc., Healthesystems, Inc., The Travelers Companies, Inc., and Sprint PCS.

Meeting Date and Location: September 27, 2018  at Better Business Bureau

Topic:  BBB Trust Talks:Trust and the Customer Experience

Aided by the speed of technology and social media, customer experiences can make or break a business. Today’s companies, therefore, must be customer-centric, employee-focused and innovative as well as environmentally and socially conscious. With extensive research into what builds respect, trust and loyalty between companies and their customers, the findings from BBB’s research study, 5 Gestures of Trust, suggest that consumers who report positive experiences and loyalty with companies tend to describe them as: Honest, Transparent, Proactive, Humble and Equitable.

The BBB Future of Business Series offers a unique opportunity to discuss the importance of how and why businesses create corporate cultures that leverage consumer trust in a changing, disruptive and innovative business environment.

Connected like never before - for both consumers and businesses - trust matters. Trust brings us together to accomplish incredible things that make our lives, our businesses and ultimately our world better.

Meeting Date and Location: August 8, 2018 at Safety Call

Topic: Customer Care Agent Performance Management & Career Progression

Performance Management 
The team is hired, trained and happy in their environment. Now, it’s time now to see how they measure up and coach for performance. A great quote we recently heard: “You have to inspect what you expect, because people respect what you inspect.” We will cover coaching methods, scorecards and how to make the time to accomplish our goals. 

Career Progression 
Coaching for performance can be a natural segue way into discussing the future aspiration of the agent. What is the typical career path within a contact center? What skills are necessary to move from agent to manager, or how do we set them up to succeed elsewhere in the company?

Panel presenters include:  Carolyn Kidder, Sr. Franchise Relationship Manager, International Dairy Queen; Kelly Sioris, Director Operations, Safety Call.
Speaker: Stephanie Eslinger , Business Development Executive, Sykes.

Meeting Date and Location
: June 13, 2018 at The Toro Company

Topic:  Agent Hiring & Training Best Practice, Tips and Group Discussion

Talent Acquisition – All the hats that a contact center agent must wear can make it difficult to find the right person for your company. This session will cover defining the job description, tools to assist with hiring, interview assessment and the cultural differences by location/generation. 

Training - We will discuss training methods for in-house and remote agent for phone, chat, etc. Bring your training plan to share at round table discussions.

Speaker Matt Rudi from The Toro Company will be sharing insights on their hiring and training practices.

Meeting Date and Location:     April 26, 2018 at General Mills

Topic: How to Move Your Contact Center into 2018 -  Tips on Multi and Omni Channel

We will discuss:

  • How your customers prefer to interact with you
  • What channels you should consider
  • How you promote or “hide” customer contact methods
  • Handling inbound, outbound voice, chat, SMS, Social, FB Messenger, etc.
  • How do you manage your staff differently when you add channels

Brian Schalk, Senior Operations Manager Global Consumer Relations for General Mills will share insights on how they handle social contacts globally with a smaller team footprint.

Meeting Date and Location:         Feb 22, 2018 at Aveda Corporation

Topic: Do You Have the Right Technology for Your Contact Center?

As Customer Care professionals we use numerous applications in order to function in our jobs and in our contact centers. Join us as we explore some interesting innovations, technology, tools and tips to make the most of your contact center operation.

This presentation will touch on the broad areas of:

  • CRM
  • Ticketing Systems
  • Integrations
  • Customized Routing
  • Leading Edge Innovations such as AI/Chatbots

Would you like to know not only the tools and technology used by your peers, but what they consider to be the pros and cons associated with them? How do you know when it’s time to make an investment in a new technology? What are some of the steps to consider when evaluating new tools or technology partners?
Tour of the Aveda Customer Service department.


Meeting Date and Location:         Feb 9, 2017 at Gallup office

Topic:                     Strength-based Leadership Summit

Research shows that the best opportunity for people to grow and develop, and net the greatest return on investment, is to identify the ways in which they most naturally think, feel, and behave, and then build on those talents to create strengths. People who know how to use their greatest talents everyday create individual, team, and organizational engagement, and success. You can expect to leave this interactive session with:

  • A greater understanding of your own Top 5 dominant talents
  • A mutual awareness of individual talents within your group
  • Insights into Gallup’s extensive and on-going research on how organizations and teams can become highly effective and efficient by intentionally developing the strengths of its people
  • New approaches and strategies for improved employee engagement, decision making and addressing your specific business needs


Meeting Date and Location:         May 19, 2017 at Toro Company

Topic: Incorporating Actionable Business Intelligence into a LEAN Problem Solving Environment

Insight on data collection by Carrie Plack, Sr. Director, Ameriprise Financial along with round table discussions.  This presentation will showcase Ameriprise’s journey to implement data collection into our case management system and to collaborate with partners across multiple lines of business to produce issue reporting. The data is converted into actionable business intelligence and used by business owners to continuously improve their processes.

Meeting Date and Location:         August 23, 2017 


Tour US Bank Stadium.  Along with viewing the following areas of the stadium (the Vikings Locker Room, Legacy Ship, Stadium Art Collection, premium clubs and suites, field area, interview rooms and the Thomson Reuters Press Level), our private tour will be given by Guest Relations who will be discussing their preparation for the upcoming Super Bowl.

Meeting Date and Location:         Nov 9, 2017 at Better Business Bureau

Topic: Webinar Listening Party and Round Table Discussion – Implementing an Effective Quality Management Process

Curious about how Quality Management can have a positive impact on your business?  Learn from UW Valley Medical Center in this case study webinar on implementing an Effective Quality Management Process.

Learn from their success as we discuss:

  • Basic building blocks of the quality management process and why they are important
  • Capabilities required to support an effective quality management process
  • Background on Valley Medical and why they decided to invest in quality management
  • What their next steps are as their quality management process matures


Meeting Date and Location:         July 14, 2016 at Avtex

Topic:  Confused about Journey Mapping?  Not sure where to begin?  Join us for:  A Practical “How-To” Approach to Improving Your Customer Engagement

A solid understanding of your customer and their journey with your organization must be the foundation of your Customer Experience strategy.

Meeting Date and Location:         May 20, 2016 at Land O'Lakes

Topic: Networking: Value, Approach, Opportunities of networking both in and out of peer groups

We all know how important networking is; we may not know the best ways to go about it.  This interactive event will focus on:

  • Networking overview and resources.
  • Value of networking.
  • Current networking trends.
  • How to effectively network based on desired outcomes

The meeting was presented by Andrea Pollari who is the founder of Key Search and Consulting, a firm that focuses on assisting organizations with talent acquisition, organizational effectiveness and retention through Executive Search, Consulting and Coaching.  The company’s goal is to provide full service and consulting services in order to create high performing, focused and engaged teams.

Meeting Date and Location:         July 14, 2016 at MOA

Topic: MN Chapter Networking Happy Hour

The SOCAP MN Chapter invites you to a social gathering to practice your networking skills and connect with other Consumer Affairs professionals.  Enjoy a fun and relaxing time. There is no need to have attended the last meeting on networking! Here are some notes from our last meeting to inspire you:   

Definition of networking: To interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts
One of many benefits:
 Increases your confidence and raises your profile
Our challenge: 
Connect with someone new each week. 

Meeting Date and Location:         Sept 29, 2016 at Aveda Institute

Topic:  Manager or Leader?

The objective is to provide members with a fresh perspective of leadership as well as practices that will develop stronger leadership competencies.

  • Identify the difference between managing and leading as well as the skills and attributes of best in class leadership.
  • Leadership motivations.
  • What is Emotional Intelligence and why it matters.
  • Effective leadership in the world today.
  • Key takeaways to become more effective.

This meeting was also presented by Andrea Pollari who is the founder of Key Search and Consulting.


  • IMG_20180222_103435941
  • Star Awards
  • GM tour
  • GM tour 2
  • Toro