screen-capture-13Guest article by Janet Wagner

The Center for Excellence in Service (CES) is a group of faculty thought leaders who focus their research and education on best practices in customer service. Located in the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, the CES was founded in 2002 by Executive Director Roland Rust. csm_roland-rust_e3a2effe41Its mission is to create and disseminate new knowledge of best practices in service, and to educate the next generation of leaders in service marketing and management.

The CES promotes service research in two major ways. First, its signature event, the renowned Frontiers in Service Conference, is a global platform for the presentation of new knowledge on service, including service marketing, management, operations, and information technology. “Frontiers,” as the conference is known, is international in scope, and is hosted by a different institution every year. In addition to locations in the U.S., conferences have been held in a variety of European and Asian countries. This year, Frontiers will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The conference will be hosted by the Center for Service Innovation (CSI) at the Norwegian School of Economics, in Bergen, Norway. Frontiers is attended annually by over 200 service scholars and managers, representing more than twenty different countries.


Anders Gustafsson accepts JSR Best Paper award, on behalf of his team, from Kay Lemon

The CES also promotes service research by sponsoring the Journal of Service Research (JSR), one of the world’s most respected scholarly business publications. Founded by Roland Rust, JSR is in its eighteenth year of publication, with 6,600 subscribers. Its most recent Thomson Reuters ranking is #23 out of 115 journals ranked, and its impact factor is 2.484. JSR publishes cutting edge scholarship on a full complement of service-related topics.

The target market for executive education programs offered by the CES is professional service firms. Foremost among these programs are the Professional Services Leadership Initiative (PSLI), and the Leadership Advancement Program sponsored by the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS U).

IMC module

JLL team explains its IMC strategy to other executives

The PSLI is an exciting new executive development program for high-performing mid-level marketers   Corporate partners in the program are global professional service firms, including Randstad, JLL, TRowePrice, and PwC. A unique feature of the PSLI is that it is cross-sector. Partner firms are from non-competing industries, allowing participating managers to freely exchange ideas on best practices and strategies that work.

2013 class

The graduates of Cohort 3

SMPS U is the Leadership Advancement Program of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS). SMPS is a membership group of over 6,000 business development, marketing, and brand managers from small and medium-sized architecture, engineering, and construction firms. The curriculum includes modules on service marketing strategy, financial management fundamentals, service innovation, service research, customer-centric marketing, and leadership.  Modules are highly interactive, including discussions of case studies and best practices from inside and outside the AEC industries. The SMPS curriculum also includes action learning projects (ALPs), which are team-based projects that encourage participants to apply concepts learned in class to address marketing challenges they face at their firms.

For more information on the CES, please contact Dr. Janet Wagner, Director:

WagnerJanetJanet Wagner
Associate Professor of Marketing
Director, Center for Excellence in Service 
Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland