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Oklahoma State University

About the Center

The Center for Customer Interface Excellence is housed within the Department of Marketing in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. The Center was originally put in motion by Josh Wiener, Chair of the Department of Marketing, when he recognized similarities and potential synergies among the research and teaching interests of several members of the department. Although these scholars approach the subject matter from different directions, each of them focuses on marketing employees at the boundaries of the organization and has been doing so for over a decade. Karen Flaherty, for example, has been studying personal selling and sales management issues; Todd Arnold’s focus has been on retail management and retail employees; and Tom Brown has been studying services marketing and services employees. The contexts may be different, but the central focus is the same: The point of connection, or interface, between an organization’s frontline (sales, service, retail) employees and its customers.

The Center for Customer Interface Excellence was designed with three primary objectives in mind:

  • To provide specialized education for students interested in careers in retailing, personal selling, or services marketing
  • To enable industry partners to provide input into the training process and to connect with some of the best prospective recruits
  • To provide a connecting point for scholars who study issues relevant to customer-employee interaction and the host of influences on these interactions

The Center for Customer Interface Excellence adheres strongly to the Department of Marketing Vision Statement: We value research, teaching, and service with real world implications for business and society; we seek to solve important marketing problems.