About Cogent Associates

Susan Woelfel serves as the Managing Principal of Cogent Associates, and is responsible for providing the strategic direction and operational execution of the organization.  Her past involvement in ISO 9000, Malcolm Baldrige and Customer Maturity Models adds to her diverse set of skills in business leadership, customer satisfaction, customer relationship management and business consulting. She directs the model used today at Cogent that provides organizations with a systematic approach to research, analysis and reporting to provide direction of customer requirements and expectations.  For over 20 years, Susan has worked with a wide range of industries domestic and international to understand customer needs and drive change in customer focused businesses resulting in sustainable growth. 

She holds a degree in Business Administration from the College of St. Benedict / St. Johns University, Collegeville, Minnesota.  She is a member of the American Society of Quality and American Management Association.

Nick Allen is the founder of Cogent Associates, Inc. He continues to provide his vast experience in customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and quality programs to the organization.  Nick has 14 year’s experience in a number of executive roles in sales, marketing, customer satisfaction research, and training management.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Management and graduated with honors from Cardinal Stritch University. He is a member of both the American Society of Quality and American Management Association.

Steve Hoisington provides Cogent Associates with strategic and tactical research methodologies. As Vice President of Quality for the Controls Business of Johnson Controls, Inc., he is responsible for developing and deploying a worldwide quality and customer satisfaction strategy that includes elements for ISO 9000, agency registration, customer satisfaction surveys, quality measurement and reporting, and Six Sigma. Prior to joining Johnson Controls, Steve managed Quality and Customer Satisfaction at IBM. He has served as a Baldrige examiner for 9 years, is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, and recently coauthored a book entitled: Customer Centered Six Sigma.

Steve received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Winona State University. He is member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, American Society for Quality, and serves as the chair on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Forward (Quality) Award.

Dr. Sam Huang’s statistical expertise in customer satisfaction research provides Cogent Associates with survey construction and sampling methodologies that yield statistically reliable data. He has been involved in designing and analyzing customer satisfaction surveys and managing customer satisfaction programs since 1990. He is best known for groundbreaking customer satisfaction research resulting in the Customer View Model to understand customer wants and needs, which became a cornerstone of Corporate Quality Management Systems. He invented the Five-Step Analysis Process to identify and prioritize customer satisfaction issues.

To address the impact of customer satisfaction on corporate bottom line, Dr. Huang expanded his research to include customer purchase behavior. The Loyalty Model includes a classification of customers into most loyal, at-risk, and dormant categories and procedures to identify critical factors to improve corporate revenue. Results of the model have been used for direct sales, target marketing and lead generation teams.

Dr. Huang holds a Ph.D. Degree in Statistics from the University of Minnesota.