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Connecticut Hudson Valley

Elevating the Customer Service Experience

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Please join us as we kick off our Fall programming season with a deep dive into one of the most important, most talked about and often most under-performing areas in luxury marketing – customer service.

With all the noise and clutter in the luxury market today, it is difficult to simply sell a product or service based on traditional marketing alone. Customers are no longer enthralled nor motivated to purchase just by a particular product or service’s benefits. Now more than ever, customer service defines brand experiences.

Customer service is consistently recognized by all customer segments as the differentiating value that drives purchase decisions and brand loyalty. In order to meet or presumably exceed customer service needs and wants, there needs to be a great appreciation of experience for the customer at every touch point, whether it's digitally, a phone call or in person.

The evening’s event will be divided into three parts as we explore and try to push the envelop a bit, challenging participants to rethink customer service.

Milton Pedraza will start the evening by summarizing key points from the previous day’s CEO Discussion Luncheon that will focus on elevating and developing customer service as a critical value and part of a company’s culture and performance metrics from the CEO’s vantage point.


The second part of the event will encompass an interactive discussion with an experiential component developed by Privatus, a leading concierge home health services provider, to help luxury marketers gain the skills to better understand and appreciate the needs and feelings of the consumer with a special focus on all important Baby Boomers and older consumers segments. These consumers totaled 111 million and accounted for the largest and fastest growing segment of the population with annual spending of $3.2 trillion or over 50 percent of all consumer expenditures according to the 2013 US Census Report. Against this backdrop, participants will gain new “listening” and “anticipating” skills vital to the delivery of exceptional customer “conversations” and service experiences.

Finally, participants will help to co-create a list of best customer services practices.

Milton Pedraza, Founder and CEO

Over the past 12 years, Milton has established the Luxury Institute as the most trusted global luxury research provider, and the proven high performance luxury client relationships consulting firm. Known globally as the foremost resource for affluent and wealthy consumer insights and client experience best practices, the Luxury Institute has served over 1000 global luxury goods and services brands across dozens of luxury goods and services categories.

Milton advises and coaches luxury CEOs and serves on the Boards of top-tier luxury and premium brands, and luxury startups. He is sought after worldwide for his practical, innovative and humanistic insights and recommendations on luxury and is the most quoted global luxury industry expert in leading media and publications.
Milton is also an authority on CRM Technology, Analytics and Big Data. Prior to founding the Luxury Institute, his successful career at Fortune 100 companies included executive roles at Altria, PepsiCo, Colgate, Citigroup and Wyndham Worldwide.

Milton was born in Colombia, raised in the United States, has lived in several countries, conducted business in over 100 countries, and speaks several languages.

Candy Costas, Executive Vice President

Pat Kenny, Client Services Liason  

Privatus is a boutique nursing company that enables clients to maintain their lifestyles as they face health and/or aging challenges. Founded in 2005 in Boston, MA, their unique focus on the customer experience has led to tremendous growth and recent expansion into the tri-state area. Whether in the home, in the hospital, or while traveling for business or pleasure, their mission is to support personal preferences and transform challenging situations into stress free days of everyday life.

Candy Costas, RN, is Executive Vice President and one of the partners of Privatus. She has played a key role in the development of the business and in the details of services provided. With over 35 years of experience in healthcare, she is known for her compassion, integrity, and vast knowledge of the realities associated with the challenges of aging. Her expertise is most specifically focused on educating families in crisis on options of care and alternative resources. In her spare time, Candy is the author of Ginger-bred, a fashion blog focused on embracing standout style and strong opinions - regardless of age.

Pat Kenny is an expert in issues of aging. As a liaison with Privatus with a Bachelor of Science in Gerontology, she works directly with clients to gain an understanding of their unique challenges and helps to fashion a solution that fosters dignity and reaching life goals. Earlier in her career she worked as a social worker in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She attributes her passion for issues later in life to the resilience and strength of spirit, which she witnesses day to day with the elderly during the past 30 years.