The Institute for Service Leadership is an independent knowledge institute. The Institute is founded with the purpose of gaining more insight into the question how European service companies can achieve a leading position in their markets by providing excellent service. The ISL operates as a thinktank, a research organisation and as an academy for service management.

The Institute provides information, does research and develops training programs for a broad audience. Among its clients are managers of European 500+ organizations. The Institute also provides information for the media and the general public. The Institute has two separate business units: ISL Research en ISL Academy.

The Institute is academically independent and not linked to any commercial, political, social or religious movement. As an independent platform the Institute is the ideal location for conferences with as a primary goal stimulating the debate about service leadership.


The research activities of the ISL focus on three specific area’s: service environment (people), technology (online and offline) and customer experience. Research will also focus on the interaction between those area’s.

More specific research is directed towards the effects of a number of environmental cues on customer experience and customer behavior. We specifically want to do in-depth fundamental research into:
* the influence of employee characteristics and employee behavior (facial expression, tone of voice, attitude)
* the influence of words and images in communicating wit a customer (marketing, communication, advertising, customer service);
* the influence of technology (CRM, IVR, voice recognition, internet, mobile devices);
* the influence of colour, music, infotainment and architecture;
* the (im)possibilities of subliminal priming in a service environment;


Service Leadership Course
If your organization has the ambition to become a Service Leader in your own market place, we can recommend you our in-company Service Leadership Course. The Service Leadership Course consists of eight working conferences of 2,5 days each. Every working conference another professor shares the most important developments and insights of his specific working field with participants of the course. Participants have to translate this knowledge into their own practical situation. Download brochure in English. Download brochure in Dutch.

Lecture Series The Psychology of the Customer
Another activity of the ISL Academy is the organization of a serie of nine lectures about the psychology of the customer. During these lectures nine different professors in marketing and consumer psychology share their insights and knowledge about a certain area. Purpose of the lecture series is to gain more insight in how thoughts and feelings of consumers about an organization or a product develop and what an organization can do to influence these processes. In the lecture series we will also address the (im)possibilities of neuromarketing. Download brochure in English. Download brochure in Dutch.

Lecture Series Customer Experience Strategies
Another activity of the ISL Academy is the organization of a serie of eight lectures about customer experience. Every lecture starts at 16.00 PM and ends at 19.00 PM. This lecture serie consists of three theoretical lectures, given by professors in customer experience. Beside the theoretical background participants are presented five cases of Dutch companies and their customer expeience strategies (AEGON, Transavia, Oogziekenhuis, De Efteling, Triodos Bank). Download brochure in Dutch.

For more information about the activities of our academy, please contact info@serviceleadership.nl.

Challenge 2020

The Service Leadership Challenge 2020 is an initiative of the Institute for Service Leadership. The common ambition of organizations participating in the Challenge 2020 is to become service leader in their own market by gaining insight in the knowledge domain of service leadership and by implementing innovative service concepts that are developed as a result of research activities.
The way to get to service leadership is by investing in research and innovation in service. Research projects are initiated by the ISL and organizations participating in the ISL. The research projects are executed by the ISL and supervised by associated universities.

Every last phase of a research project consists of a period of developing innovative service concepts that can be implemented by participating organizations. This will include more proof-of-concept, piloting and demonstration. Research has to be scientifically sound, but results have to be applicable for government practice.

Interested in participating in the Challenge 2020? Download our brochure.


Invitational Conference on Service Leadership
Every year the ISL will organize an invitational conference on Service Leadership. The conference will be held in different capital cities of the European Community. The conference is organized for service leaders in business, science and politics. The conference is meant as a meeting place and platform to discuss progress in research, discuss research results and exchange ideas and insights about how to get service level to a level that exceeds service level of non-European competitors. Speakers on the conference are the researchers, professors and strategic management of companies that are involved in the Challenge 2020.


Dr. H.G. Pol, managing director, independent consultant, founder of The Customer Connection

Supervisory Board
Drs. Jan Post, independent consultant, member of several supervisory boards, ambassador University of Amsterdam;
Mrs. L. Voerman, partner Stoa Organisatieadviseurs
Professor Teun Hardjono, Professor of Quality process and innovation, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
Professor Frank Go, Professor of Event and Tourism Marketing, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
Professor Ad Pruyn, Professor Consumer Psychology, University Twente

Academic Board
Professor Ko de Ruyter, Professor Marketing, University Maastricht
Professor Jos van Hillegersberg, Head of the Department Information Systems and Change Management, University Twente
Professor Ale Smidts, Professor of Marketing Research, Erasmus University
Professor Daniël Wigboldus, Professor of Social Psychology, Radboud University Nijmegen


Visiting adress

The Institute for Service Leadership is located in the Onze Lieve Vrouwe ter Eem Klooster aan de Daam Fockemalaan 22 in Amersfoort. For a route description please click here.

Postal address
P.O. Box 1544
3800 BM Amersfoort
The Netherlands