Great customer experience happens by design, not by accident.

Let us help your company design and deliver

a great customer experience.

We are experts in the field of service design and strategy, and are available for speaking engagements and consulting.

Through speeches, executive briefings, and workshops, we can bring ideas that help you transform your customer’s experience and power your business forward. We’ll show your group how The Five Principles of Service Design identified in Woo, Wow, and Win can deliver on your value proposition by connecting your strategy to the real-life experience of your customer

Drawing on deep research and examples from industries as diverse as airlines and brokerages, hospitals and hospitality, consulting and construction, we show how to apply the principles of service design in ways that uniquely fit your strategy. And because customers are as much a part of your business as your employees are, we demonstrate how to enlist customers as collaborators in your success, and use service design to set their expectations—and meet them in every interaction, in every channel, every time.

How we can help you:

  • Energizing keynotes that show how to make dramatic gains in customer experience.
  • Seminars and webinars that probe deeply into the principles and practical impact of service design
  • Tools and exercises that reveal your Value Proposition Archetype, so you can design your business to find and serve the customer that’s right for you
  • Workshops that create a Customer Experience Report Card for you and your competitors, then devise projects that will woo, wow, and win customers.

Sample Topics

Design Secrets of Master Service Innovators: What You Can Learn from the “Wizards of Ahhs”
The rules and best practices of innovation come from models developed for products—even the means of measuring success. Learn about the new science of innovation in services, and how your company can apply it to develop and deploy new experiences for customers.
Why the Customer Isn’t Always Right: Finding the Right Customer for You
“The customer is always right” isn’t a strategy, but rather a comedy of manners born of shopkeeping etiquette in the first part of the twentieth century that has been played out (and overplayed) since. Strategic customer-centricity starts by understanding whom you want to serve then designing the experience and organization that will attract them, delight them, and keep them.
Discover Your Service Archetype: Designing and Delivering Winning Customer Experiences
What’s the essence of your value proposition? Is your company a Trendsetter? A Bargain? A Classic? A Specialist? Understanding who you are is an essential step in designing experiences that delight customers and please shareholders. We’ll show you how to discover your service design archetype and put it to use.
The Customer’s Knowledge Journey: It’s not enough to know your customer. You can serve them better if you leverage what customers know about you.
You can learn a lot from your customers — if you pay attention. We’ll help you identify opportunities for growing what we call “customer capital” and putting it to work for you and your customers.
Managing Customer Expectations in the Age of Automation, the Gig Economy, and the Internet of Things
Customers — people — are the end users of your services, and their expectations, especially around personalization, are increasingly heightened. Learn how to ensure you’re still keeping the human element in your service — regardless of who (or what) is delivering it.

Past Engagements


Bank on Purpose (Austin, TX)

CEO Club of Boston (Boston, MA)

Game Thinking Conference (Berlin, Germany)

Talk about Wow!  Tom and Patricia brought a message to KM World that was full of energy, acumen, and importance. They showed how service design can transform a company’s knowledge activities into a powerful way to improve customer experience.  Our audience went away with pithy quotes, new ideas and lots of excitement for their future plans! Jane Dysart

Conference Chair, KMWorld

Tom and Patricia spoke at our supplier diversity executive education program. They were engaging and made it easy for the executives to participate. Their insights on service design were impactful. The discussions gave our executives material to take back to their companies and apply immediately. James Hill

Associate Professor, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business


American Marketing Assn. (Cincinnati, OH)

Aquarion Water Company (Bridgeport, CT)

BuzzFeed (New York, NY)

DeSantis Breindel (New York, NY):  Webinar – Find Your Wow: Bring Your B2B Brand to Life

DeVries Global (New York, NY):  Service Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight

Institute for Innovation in Large Organizations (New York, NY; Columbus, OH; Seattle, WA)

Intercorp Innovation Festival (Lima, Peru)

KM World (Washington, D.C.)

National Minority Supplier Development Council (Chicago, IL):  Using Service Design to Create Stronger Partnerships

Professional Services Growth Alliance Spring Roundtable (New York, NY)

Thought Leaders in Business (New York, NY)

Weber Shandwick (New York, NY)

Woo, Wow, and Win: A Discussion with Tom Stewart, Patricia O’Connell, and Continuum’s Toby Bottorf (Boston, MA)


Association of Management Consulting Firms (Boca Raton, FL):  Small Consulting Firms Leadership Retreat

Our senior management team read and discussed Woo, Wow and Win, then invited the authors in for a workshop. Our goal was to decipher pathways in getting to superlative service delivery, and Patricia O’Connell and Tom Stewart were both delightful and effective in challenging the team to look at new and innovative ways of getting there. Their presence made the book come alive, both literally and figuratively, and we now have a bona fide to accomplish this objective. We got a great return on our investment. Charles V. Firlotte

President and CEO, Aquarion Water

Contact Us


To inquire about speaking opportunities with Patricia and Tom, contact Stern Strategy Group.

Phone: (908) 276-4344  or by email at


To inquire about consulting, email us at

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Download A Free Excerpt


Sign up to read our Five Principles of Service Design, along with the introduction to our book, Woo, Wow, and Win!

You'll also receive occassional emails announcing new articles and resources.

Please check your email box for the download link