HFS Core Team

Melissa O'Brien

Research Vice President, Customer Engagement, Retail and Travel Strategies

Melissa O'Brien is Research Vice President, Customer Engagement, Retail and Travel Strategies at HFS Research. Melissa leads HFS’ research initiatives for digital front office services, including customer engagement operations, digital marketing, cognitive agents and CX design and consulting, focusing on the trends and change agents that are driving customer experience across the enterprise. In addition, her industry research focuses on key dynamics within retail, CPG, travel and hospitality, with regards to customer-centric strategies, intelligent operations and service delivery.


Melissa brings over 13 years of both hands-on industry and analyst experience to her role at HFS. She previously led IDC’s Worldwide Customer Experience Management Services program, including in depth analysis of evolving contact center business process delivery and consumer communication trends. Prior to IDC, Melissa held various roles in the contact center BPO industry, including new client implementation, program design, and training development and delivery for contact centers in Manila and Cebu, Philippines.  Melissa  has led plenary sessions at HFS FORA, NASSCOM, IDC Directions, and various other service provider and industry events.


Melissa graduated with honors from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in English and Communication, and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She is a Boston area native who enjoys traveling, kickboxing, and spending time outdoors with her husband and coonhound.