Monday, April 23   |   10:45am - 12:00pm 

Track I - A Practical Guide to Understanding How Your Personal Value Can Help You Build a Successful Career in Consumer Relations
Sabrina Reid, Consumer Relations Senior Manager - Quaker, PepsiCo

This workshop will explore "doing the work" and discovering your personal value and how to utilize it to continue growing professionally, ultimately building a successful career in Consumer Relations.


  • The X factor: How self-awareness can help you discover your unique “super power” - This section will focus on "knowing thy self", doing the work, and learning how to look at yourself objectively so that you see how you're "showing up" in your organization.
  • Capability vs. Competencies in Consumer Relations - This section will focus on developing the right knowledge, skills, and attitude to be successful in Consumer Relations - key areas include: empathy, resiliency, problem solving, risk management, etc. We can also tap into how we actually learn and explore the 70/20/10 learning model.
  • How to stay in the driver seat of your career (OWN it) - This section will explore career diversification, how to have effective career conversations with your leadership team, and how best to stay relevant as you navigate your way through your career.

Track II - Expanding Horizons: Workforce Management in Multichannel Environment 
Todd Hixson, Director of Workforce Management, VIPdesk Connect 

Today’s customers expect communication channels to be what they want, when they want and how they want. Contact centers must evolve to include this “channel of choice” or leave customer’s expectations unfulfilled. The challenge is ensuring the right agent in the right channel at the right time—and in a cost-efficient environment. In not only small contact centers, but in arenas where a particular channel may have low volume, just how do you do it?

This session demonstrates applying industry best workforce management (WFM) practices in service to forecasting and planning successful service delivery as you move to multi-channel. Ensuring the whole team (not just WFM) collaborates to deliver next gen customer service is paramount to achieving results!


  • Tenants of building a long term WFM strategy are demonstrated with an eye on fiduciary stewardship. Maximizing resources through cross utilization without causing agent.
  • Techniques to create a forecast and production plan when no historical data even exists will be demonstrated and participants will apply such approaches to their own WFM methodology.
  • Participants will leave with a cornerstone of information to build a firm foundation needed for a true-multichannel blueprint.

Track III - Moving Your Voice of the Customer to the Next Level 
John Goodman, Vice Chairman, Customer Care Measurement and Consulting (CCMC);
Keith Harlow, Director of Retail Membership, NACS 

Most Voice of the Customer (VOC) processes are base solely in contacts and surveys, which tend to be presented separately. The most compelling VOC processes reinforce their recommendations with four items:

  1. Operations data and employee input that reinforce the survey findings
  2. An economic model which quantifies the cost of inaction on an issue (ideally monthly cost)
  3. Emotional examples, ideally case studies or recordings
  4. Formatting that works for multiple audiences

This workshop will provide a method for collecting, integrating , analyzing and reporting the data in a manner that is compelling to the CFO and CMO. An alliance with Quality or Continuous Improvement (CI) for both analysis and implementation of pilot test is critical. CX and Service executives bring a valuable asset to CI executives in that most are not fluent in how to convert customer sat into revenue implications. Learn how to work with front line staff to both collect real time granular data as well as show them that their input is impacting the Continuous Improvement process. Gain insights on how this approach was applied within NACS to achieve significant improvement in scores and record breaking attendance at key events.


  • How to create an economic and emotional imperative to act on the Voice of the Customer.  This includes revenue, margin, word of mouth and share of wallet as well as emotional dimensions which have been recently explored with Az State U's Center for Service Leadership.
  • How to collect, integrate and format the data to precipitate and guide immediate action by both executive and front line managers. Process and outcome metrics to track impact.
  • How to get the resources from Marketing and Finance to enhance the VOC process and move from a firefighting mode to a preventive mode - ideally taking control of website content.
Monday, April 23   |   1:30pm - 2:45pm

Track I - Writing that Resonates
Janet Arrowood, President, The Write Source

Learn proven, effective tools and techniques to make your writing highly effective, whether email, memos, RFPs, proposals, or internal documents. Topics include: Simplifying and clarifying your writing so it resonates with your audience; understanding and applying the principles of "plain English"; and planning and structuring materials before you write them. During the workshop, participants will also learn how to manage document length and contributors and avoid duplication and repetition (critical for RFPs, proposals, manuals, reports, and emails).


  • Identifying and writing to the "right" audience (hint--it's usually not you or your supervisor)
  • Development of a document "purpose statement": What am I writing, who is it for, and what do I want them to do/say
  • Creating a top-level document structure or talking points and using techniques from this workshop to organize the points and allocate word/page counts, ensuring the resulting document outline is usable as a management tool and a planning tool

Track II - Contact Center Coaching: You Talk the Talk Now Master Walking the Walk
Lisa Diehl, Consumer Advocacy Manager, Blue Diamond Growers;
Sally Cordova, Partner, Author and Lead Trainer, McKee Consulting

“We’ll Tell You What You’re Doing Wrong,” doesn’t work! Learn the “High Five" coaching method. 
This method connects:

  • Agents to the coach (and build their self-esteem)
  • Customer to the agent (makes the customer smart to have called)
  • Conversations with the Customer that brings on a Great Experience for all

This workshop is the missing link to skills and compliance coaching in the contact center. Through interactive demonstrations, learn to create an effective program with positive coaching methods.


  • All levels of coaches may attend. Everyone will learn a simple method of coaching in five steps. This method will encourage more "coaching” and will bring every attendee a life-lesson on communication.
  • Customer experience starts with the agent. Every coach will learn to manage the time for one-on-one coaching that produces satisfying results for the agent, company and coach.
  • Methods will be documented, and every attendee will receive a “High Five" coaching form so they will have the lesson to read and review before starting a new program back at the office.

Track III - Design Thinking to Drive Organizational Change
Shannon Finn-Connell, PhD, EmTeeGee Partners

Design Thinking is often defined as both an analytic and creative process that provides organizations and individuals with problem solving skills rooted in experimentation, collaboration, prototyping and creation. When faced with complex challenges, or a need to drive change, design thinking is a protocol utilized by contemporary organizations to develop innovative processes and solutions. The primary purpose of this Professional Development Workshop is to provide participants with an introduction to Design Thinking, discussing its application, characteristics and processes. Learn how you can be an innovation change leader and advisor, by leveraging problem-solving skills.


  • Position organizational change as a positive and powerful concept that can be enlightening, can open doors and can create opportunities for growth and evolution
  • Consider examples of how other people and organizations have utilized Design Thinking to create meaningful, innovative change
  • Apply methods of prototyping ‘models for change’ in your organization
  • Demonstrate ways in which one can lead with growth mindset by: (1) mobilizing a team behind a shared purpose; (2) building momentum through action; and, cultivating and sustaining the change over time

Tuesday, April 24   |   10:45am - 12:00pm 

Track I - No More “Nonpologies” - Learn to Apologize to Customers Like You Mean It
Leslie O'Flahavan, Principal, E-WRITE

As customer service professionals, we do our best to answer customers’ questions and solve their problems. But sometimes we simply can’t help or we have caused or contributed to their issues. That’s when a sincere apology is required. Too often, however, we rely on insincere, tired, trite phrases like “We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.” These “Sorry, Not Sorry” apologies do more harm than good, especially when we can’t fix the situation and the only thing we have to offer the customer is our understanding. 

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • Why insincere apologies increase contact volume, especially in email, chat and social media
  • How to recognize apology wording that does not sound sincere
  • How to avoid passive aggressive non-apologies when providing customer support
  • Which words to use if you want your apology to be heartfelt
  • How to apologize sincerely without opening yourself to greater liability or taking responsibility for problems you didn’t cause
  • How apologizing and empathizing are different
  • When to apologize to a customer and when to empathize

Track II - 7 Insights to Help Your Business Work Past the "Millennial Myth"
Christina Kilgore, Consumer Relations Associate Manager, Quaker Foods North America, PepsiCo;
Maria Burn, Consumer Relations Digital Analyst, PepsiCo

Learn to redefine, "Millennial," and gain best practices for making the work place better for all generations to work together successfully. "Millennial" is an abused term, misused to the point where it’s often mistaken for just another meaningless buzzword. Millennials have defining traits that are often over simplified, misinterpreted and just plain wrong, but equally important are the similarities between the generations. Using the suggested seven tips and tricks to keep everyone working harmoniously and engaged is important to the overall success of any company or team

Track III - Change Well: Proven Strategies for Leading Others to Become Change Resilient
Meloney Dosunmu, CEO, Precision Talent International (Member of Association for Talent Development)

Leading others through change successfully can be quite complex. Executives who demonstrate this critical competency distinguish themselves from their peers and  deliver increasing levels of value to their organization.

Given the rapid pace of change, demand continues to grow for leaders who are skilled at leading change initiatives successfully. According to research conducted by Kotter, Deloitte and others, the failure rate for change initiatives can range from 40% to 70%.

This highly interactive session, led by seasoned professionals who have been there, offers best practices and innovative approaches for driving change. Participants will walk away with tangible approaches, tools and techniques that they can put to use immediately to mobilize change in their organization. These tools will be offered in a comprehensive toolkit including 3 effective tools. The tools offered include a Personal Readiness Assessment, Resistance Indicator, and Tipsheet for Embedding Change into the Culture.

Participants will be fully immersed in the content with experiential activities, dialogue and other participant centered activities. Join your peers as we gain tools and insights, share best practices and become a part of the learning process.

Tuesday, April 24   |   1:30pm - 2:45pm

Track I - Understanding Where Data Comes From and What To Do With It
Peggy Lundquist, Director of Consumer Connections, Danone
Josh Wilke, Director of Marketing, Wilke Global

Consumer care professionals capture tremendous amounts of data in their CRM (even if your CRM is just an email inbox). We'll discuss how this data is captured and review some best practices in data entry/coding. This conversation is relevant regardless of the sophistication of your CRM. We'll talk about extracting this data for analysis.

This workshop will cover data sets in the aggregate. The data extraction from your CRM is just one that can be analyzed. There are other potential data sets across your organization - loyalty programs, sales/shipment data, customer orders, etc. All or parts of these data sets can be married with your CRM data to provide new and broader insights. Moreover, there are other data sets - U.S. census, demographics, Nielsen tracking, etc - that can be integrated into your analysis.

Finally, we'll provide some specific guidance on Excel including useful functions, shortcuts and other ideas on how to make excel easier (or at least less intimidating). We'll also briefly highlight Pivot tables.


  • Data collection/coding best practices: practical steps that will help improve your ability to understand and analyze your data, such as consistent coding, base-level entry, etc
  • Leveraging other data sources (whether internal or external): we'll review potential data sources within your organization and how to incorporate them in your analysis as well as publicly available data sources to enhance your analysis
  • Some great tips and tricks to use MS Excel more efficiently analyze your data. we'll review more advanced excel features/functions, and specifically review methods to merge/standardize your data.

Track II - Not If But When: Successful Crisis Management
Elizabeth Meunier, Consumer Experience Manager, Beech-Nut Nutrition

Brands should not be asking themselves if they will have to face a crisis but when. The way the public receives its news, the ease in sharing information and the consumer expectation of an instant response from a company have made it extremely important for brands to be ready to respond quickly and effectively to a crisis. This workshop will review the components of a successful crisis management plan including preparation, crisis identification, practice, execution and evaluation. The workshop will also touch on recent trends in crisis management that brands can incorporate into their own plans. Examples will be drawn from the PR crises that the baby food industry and Beech-Nut Nutrition faced in 2017 and their response tactics.


  • Criteria to evaluate your current crisis plan against.
  • Current crisis trends and emerging techniques to manage them.
  • The crises that the baby food industry faced in 2017, providing an early warning of possible things to come for other industries.

Track III - The Power of Moments: Leading Extraordinary Impact with Experiences
Salena Scardina, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, Sweetwater Sound

The new book, The Power of Moments written by Chip and Dan Heath, explores the concepts of moments and the impact on lives and of course, our customers. We'll discuss the principles in the book that aid us in creating moments in customer service that become legend and transform brands.  This workshop will arm you with practical ways you can reexamine your current customer engagement strategy to create these "moments" as the closest to the customer experience in the organization.


  • Understanding the four moments that create memories; elevation, insight, pride and connection.  Business case and stories from Sweetwater Sound on effective moment creation.
  • Practical exercises to look at the customer service communication and how to modify to create moments.
  • Create moments internally within the customer service department to improve engagement.
Tuesday, April 24   |   3:30pm - 5:00pm

Track I - Do Better Work
Max Yoder, Co-Founder & CEO, Lessonly
Jason Aydelott, Director of Learning & People Development, Premiere Response

Change at work is happening at a breakneck pace. Working and training are no longer discrete events—they happen simultaneously. Customer services teams must adapt to win in highly competitive environments, and they need a practical, time-tested approach to help them do it.

This workshop will share an analysis of how more than a million employees learn, practice, and perform at work; alongside interviews from customer support and experience leaders at companies like Amazon, Paypal, Hubspot, GE and LinkedIn. It’s time to reimagine team training—and do better work—together.


  • How to achieve goals by using uncomfortable situations
  • Why high-fidelity learning is destroying the workplace
  • How to use learning to cut your onboarding time by 50%
  • Why agents experience a 38% higher NPS score when learning is involved
Track II - Retaining Key Employees: Creating a Self-Motivating Work Environment
Thomas Hudgin, President, Wilmington Quality Associates

Inspired, driven and talented employees - it’s every company’s most important asset. Your top-performing employees will help your company survive the toughest economy. That’s why, now more than ever, it’s critical to ensure that you are taking the steps to hire the right people and retain these key employees for the short and long term. You cannot tell people to be motivated, but you can create a work environment that fosters self-motivation. This informative workshop shows you how to do just that. Examine the thought processes and emotions of key performers who stay versus those who move on to what they see as “greener pastures”. Get advice on hiring strategies and motivational techniques to build the loyalty necessary to ensure key employees stay and thrive.

Track III - Innovative Thinking, Cracking The Creativity Code!
Lon Safko, CEO, Innovative Thinking, LLC

Innovative Thinking and being more creative are a must in today’s competitive business climate. If you only maintain the status quo you will be left behind. Just knowing the tools isn’t enough. Communicating the way our parents did, doesn’t work anymore. You need new skills and a new mindset. Now, more than ever, it’s important to focus on innovation and creativity to differentiate yourself from your competition.

It’s time to exercise the largest muscle you have, your brain. Once you learn the formula, you will be thinking more creatively and innovatively than ever!


  • You will understand why you can’t see solutions right before your eyes.
  • Learn how you lost the creativity you had as a child and how to get it back.
  • You will see dozens of examples of creativity and innovation, which uses disruptive thinking.
  • You will exercise your most important muscle, your brain.

SOCAP's 2018 Professional Development Forum Cancellation Policy:
Refunds for cancellations must be made in writing (via email to to the SOCAP National Office. A processing fee of $250 will be charged on refunds received on or before April 2, 2018. No cancellations or refunds after April 2, 2018. Substitutions will be gladly accepted at no charge until April 2, 2018. A $175 fee will be charged on any substitutions made after April 2, 2018. Registration transfers to future meetings will not be accepted. Social finale registration transfers will not be accepted.

Photography Notice:
Be aware that by participating in SOCAP’s Professional Development Forum, you are automatically authorizing the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (hereinafter “SOCAP”) and its employees, agents and assigns to use your name, photograph, voice or other likeness for purposes related to the mission of SOCAP, including but not limited to publicity, marketing, websites, other electronic forms of media, and promotion of SOCAP and its various programs.