Monday, April 1, 2013

Looking at Leaders: Thomas Feeney, Safelite AutoGlass

In anticipation of his upcoming keynote address on Driving Good Profits by Building a Customer-Centric Culture, Thomas Feeney, President & CEO, Safelite AutoGlass, sent us these insights below:

Thomas' Story

I began at Safelite AutoGlass®, which is the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement, services 25 years ago and have served in a number of roles ranging from operations to sales. When I was named president and CEO in 2008, I recognized the company had great potential for growth.

To seize the opportunity to become the only true national auto glass brand in the industry, I worked with other senior leaders to introduce a new vision for Safelite® supported by two core principles: People First and Customer Delight.

No matter what is happening in my day, I will always take a call from an employee or a customer.

On Customer-Centric Culture

During the Total Customer Experience Leaders’ Summit, guests will learn a little bit about the journey Safelite has embarked upon to become a customer-centric journey. Are we 100% where we want to be? Not yet. Were there growing pains along the way? You bet.

Our hope is that by sharing our leadership and communications efforts to evolve our company, others will learn how to make a vision a reality.

I’ll talk about how we’re moving from good to great… how the Net Promoter Score has been a key driver in our change, and how important PEOPLE are to the customer experience.


The customer experience has always been important to me. What keeps me inspired are the thousands of letters we receive each year from customers praising our technicians, our customer service representatives, and our store managers for providing a customer experience that went above and beyond.

I contact each of those technicians, CSRs, and managers and personally thank them for representing Safelite® and our vision. Hearing their stories inspires me to keep moving in the direction we are.

The Future of Customer Experience

The use of better data analytics will help us improve the customer experience. For example, in late 2012, Safelite® added the Customer Effort Score to our Service Recovery survey to better understand what it’s like to be in the customer shoes. Are we easy to work with or not so easy? This new question sounds simple but it help Safelite® understand if future customer programs really add value and if they are appreciated by our customers.

We are also focused on learning more from the data customers provide to Safelite® and are developing analytical models that tell us what makes a measurable difference in the customers experience and what drives that result. Is quality priority #1? Speed of service? Friendliness? Reliability? The more we learn from the information the customer has already provided us, the better Safelite® and the customer experience will be.

Both of these are initiatives under Safelite’s next cultural transformation, which involves moving from our “People First” principle to “People Powered,” and also continuing our journey to be customer-driven.

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