Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Total Customer Experience Leaders Speaker Spotlight: David Blair of Rockwell Automation

In the weeks leading up to the 2011 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit we're going to be hearing from some of the speakers.

Today we have an interview with David Blair, Director, Customer Experience of Rockwell Automation. David will be chairing the 2011 event, which takes place Oct 3-5, 2011 in Phoenix, AZ. To learn more about the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, download the brochure here.

TCEL: Tell us about a project you are working on or recently completed that you are proud of?

DB: We’ve just completed a new event-based survey that allows us to get feedback on our PROJECT business. The survey is very different from our annual customer survey in that it focuses on the individual project – from proposal through design through start-up. The goal is to both ensure a successful project, and get actionable feedback on our performance.

TCEL: What do you think is the key to a successful Customer Experience program?

DB: Senior Management support. Improving customer experience can’t be done from the bottom up. Moving the needle takes hard work and real commitment. And that comes by senior management talking about customer experience, defining performance goals, linking performance to compensation, prioritizing customer experience expenditures, and taking a personal interest in improvement projects.

TCEL: What inspired you to get in the field? What keeps you motivated?

DB: Motivation is easy. In our company, the Customer Experience Office is not just the messenger for conveying customer feedback - we’re also responsible for driving improvements. So knowing the next customer survey is right around the corner, and I’ll be the one walking through results with the CEO, I’m constantly motivated to drive feedback into actions that will improve our Customer Experience scores. I got into the field primarily because it allowed me to leverage my diverse background (sales, marketing, quality, product development) and interpersonal skills to make some real differences.

TCEL: What is one thing you’re excited about for this year’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit?

DB: Meeting peers. In our field, we rarely get a chance to share our approaches, successes and failures with peers. Books and consultants are helpful, but there’s really no substitute for an in-depth understanding of how other companies approach customer experience. There’s no one right way, and the approaches vary widely. My goal is to gather ideas that will form the basis for a strategy that elevates our own program to the next level, and likewise I hope I can offer ideas to help others advance.

TCEL: What is one question you are looking to get answered at this year’s Summit?

DB: My question: How do you keep the vitality in your customer experience program? It strikes me that no matter how good the research is, and how well it’s presented, the enthusiasm naturally diminishes over time.

TCEL: What books or websites are you currently reading?

DB: At the risk of offending authors out there, I’ve found the number of good books around B2B customer experience to be very limited. So I welcome hearing what others have found. I’m currently reading a book called “Wired and Dangerous” by Chip Bell. The book is very helpful in understanding the impact of the internet and social media on service providers. But it goes beyond that to discuss the general psychology behind customer service loyalty. So far I’d definitely recommend it.

TCEL: Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us!

To hear more from and network with customer experience leaders, join us this October in Phoenix, AZ for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. Register for the event here. Please use priority code TCEL11BLOG when registering.

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