customer experience education

Jeannie and Adam welcome Dr. Thomas Hollmann to tackle the customer experience education gap between academia and real-world business.


About Dr. Hollmann

Dr. Thomas Hollmann is a Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing and the Executive Director of the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University. Thomas’ work experience spans four countries and over 10 years in Fortune 100 companies, including Black & Decker, Xerox, and as an executive at Sun Life Financial. His research interests include Services Science, with a focus on B2B, service analytics, and Relationship Marketing, with a particular interest in relationship outcomes.

His research has appeared in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing and several leading marketing and services conferences. He has received research grants and awards. Thomas has consulted with a range of Fortune 500 firms and he received awards for his teaching at Arizona State University and at NC State. Thomas earned a Ph.D. in Marketing from Arizona State University.

Connect with Dr. Hollmann

Decoding Customer Experience Education for today’s business landscape

Customer experience is now a critical focus in business today, so leaders have much to learn about. We learn from conferences, colleagues, webinars, blog posts, podcasts (a-hem!) and many other places. But what about academics? Most of us who have been in business for a number of years will tell you Customer Experience wasn’t much a part of our higher education, if at all.

So, as we now have both feet in the Age of the Customer, what has academics done to adapt to this profound shift in focus around what it takes to be successful? Sadly, not much. And customers are not going to wait for your customer experience education to catch up.

“Industry is struggling with and looking at totally different topics than the ones that we do when we go to academic conferences.”

-Dr. Thomas Hollmann
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But there’s hope – not just for today’s business leaders, but for the next generation of business students, and new recruits you are training today! Dr. Thomas Hollmann, Executive Director of the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University, is here not only to teach us how the education system is adapting to this great shift, but what leaders can do in the meantime and in the future.

“Customer Success is very old. So why is it a new topic?”

-Dr. Thomas Hollmann
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In this enlightening interview, Dr. Hollmann:

  • Brings us up to speed with the current state of customer experience education
  • Identifies the gaps between traditional business education and customer-focused practices
  • Outlines traditional business tools and disciplines you can use to fill these gaps
  • Shares expert advice on how to approach customer experience education for the future

It may be a while before the academic industries embed customer experience disciplines into the curriculum, so it’s critical to fill the gaps for yourself, your employees, and even your executive team. Listen in to learn how!

Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • What is the role of higher education in the world of customer experience today? More importantly, is customer experience represented well? [5:00]
  • As customer expectations change around the ideal experience, so do those of students. How are educational organizations adapting and competing? [7:40]
  • Who is teaching customer experience these days? Dr. Hollmann discusses different professional backgrounds plus the powerful tools they use for understanding customers. [9:56]
  • What is a good service culture, and how do the best organizations achieve theirs? [12:50]
  • Customer Success dovetails into service and customer experience in many industries, so how can organizations use it as a framework? [16:20]
  • But what do leaders need to do in the future to compete on Customer Experience? Dr. Hollmann answers this burning question then outlines a few tools and key questions to ask. [20:00]

Listen To This Episode


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Welcome from Creating a Positive Customer Experience by Jeannie Walters

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