Shaun Smith: Biography highlights
Shaun Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on customer experience and brand leadership.
Full biography of Shaun Smith
Shaun Smith’s background
He’s a consultant, author and speaker who believes passionately that customer experience should be a central strategy, not a short-term tactic. His influence has changed the way business leaders think about customers and in particular how they can achieve brand differentiation and long-term customer loyalty through the customer experience.
Shaun has been a key catalyst in expanding management attention from the narrow focus on customer service to the much wider and strategic issue of customer experience. He has developed some of the latest thinking and practice around this subject, helping organisations worldwide create a compelling customer experience that achieves brand differentiation and customer loyalty.
Over the last 30 years, he has built up a wealth of practical experience with organisations throughout Europe, Asia Pacific and the US, working with senior executive teams on key issues such as brand strategy and implementation, leadership, customer experience and organisational alignment. Shaun has worked within a diverse range of sectors, including both business-to-business and business-to-consumer organisations. These include retail, telecoms, travel, leisure, professional and financial services, technology, automotive, manufacturing and the public sector.
He is co-author of five critically-acclaimed business books:
‘Uncommon Practice – people who deliver a great brand experience’, researched and written with Interbrand, examines those brands that create exceptional customer experiences.
‘Managing the Customer Experience – turning customers into advocates’ (co-authored with Joe Wheeler) reveals how leaders can build this competitive advantage for their own brands.
‘See, Feel, Think, Do – the power of instinct in business’ (co-authored with Andy Milligan) explores how highly successful business leaders use the power of instinct to achieve results.
‘BOLD – how to be brave in business and win’ (co-authored with Andy Milligan). The book tells the story of 14 brands that are transforming their markets through innovating the experience they provide to their customers and their employees. The book (awarded the CMI Business e-book of the year) is accompanied by an app which allows readers to compare their own organisations with the BOLD brands featured.
Shaun’s new book, ‘On Purpose – Delivering a branded customer experience people love’ (also co-authored with Andy Milligan) will be published in November 2015. This book is aimed at leaders who want ideas, insights and practical approaches to define and deliver their brand purpose in a world which is disruptive and digitalised, where customers are increasingly demanding consistency across multiple channels and where consumers are favouring brands they admire for what they stand for, not just what they sell.
Shaun is also contributing author to The Economist’s Brands and Branding and author of the Employee Experience Survey and the Customer Experience Management+™ survey – research tools that enable organisations to evaluate and improve their customer experience and align their people with company values and strategy.
Shaun began his career in the airline industry working with British Airways in a number of senior customer service and operations roles. He became Head of Customer Service, Sales and Marketing Training worldwide for British Airways at the time the airline was becoming privatised in the mid-1980s and was one of four senior managers on the Steering Group that managed the highly regarded ‘Putting People First’ initiative. He later moved to Hong Kong as Managing Director of Cathay Performa Consulting (a subsidiary of The Swire Group) where he led a team, consulting with major organisations throughout Asia in the area of service strategy.
Whilst working in Hong Kong, Shaun was appointed as Group Advisor to Inchcape Group, consulting to over 30 business units covering marketing services, retailing, shipping services and motor distribution to help them move from competing on price and product to competing on customer service. Over the next five years he was responsible for designing and leading deployment worldwide, working closely with the individual BU Managing Directors and their teams.
Shaun returned to the UK in the late 1990s as Senior Vice-President of the Forum Corporation, when he ran Forum’s customer experience consulting practice. In 2001 Shaun founded the highly regarded customer experience consultancy, Smith+Co, which is firmly rooted in the ‘keep it simple’ ethos. Smith+Co has worked on customer experience initiatives for leading brands like Burberry, Premier Inn, PayPal, O2, Westpac, Symantec, Best Western, Waterstones and IHG.
Shaun has featured a number of times on CNBC and CNN and is sought after to speak internationally on key business issues. He has chaired and moderated events for a number of leading brands. He is a Fellow of the Professional Speakers Association and a Member of the Global Speakers Federation. Shaun was recently presented with the PSAE (Professional Speaking Award of Excellence). He has also appeared a number of times at the prestigious London Business Forum. His approach is refreshingly simple, authoritative and always stimulating.
Watch Shaun in action
“I have worked with many consultants, but Smith+co are unquestionably the best“
BP European Fleet Services
“Shaun made a real difference to our conference in Cologne and the discussions we were able to have there. His insights were very thought-provoking and all the more powerful because of the time and trouble he took to make them relevant to us and to our business. It was impressive for us to see the effort he invested in getting to know us in order to ensure that his messages landed appropriately. His commitment is much appreciated. We are on a journey of discovery and he helped us on our way.”
Meeting Industry Association
“Thought-provoking and extremely helpful; it has already changed my thinking! The feedback on your presentation has been exceptional.”
“We engaged Shaun to present at our Annual Executive Forum. He was so effective that we signed him as spokesperson for several thought leadership webinars and client breakfasts.”
“I had many of our key executive clients say they thoroughly enjoyed your speech and didn’t even realize how fast the morning flew by”
“Many thanks for Shaun’s terrific presentation to our customers; he made them think. He was a huge hit and such a great climax to our event. Great job!”
“Everyone was buzzing afterwards. We’re really very grateful for the time you took to prepare and inspire our delegates.”
“Pitched perfectly, and quite awe-inspiring“
“Shauns contribution to our conference was fantastic. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed his sessions and found them extremely value-adding. The overall conference feedback has been overwhelming, both from delegates and senior management. Shauns effort to tailor his sessions in line with our overall conference objectives and agenda was greatly appreciated. I am someone with high expectations but Shaun definitely exceeded them.”
“Shaun worked with us to effectively integrate corporate best practice from major brands with our strategy, bringing our plans to life in such a way that he kept the audience engaged and reinforced key messages. Audience feedback was excellent; clear, passionate, fantastic. It really made me think.”
“The audience reaction was overwhelming. I think the greatest testimony to Shaun’s presentation is in the scorecard: never before have we had a speaker whose rating has consistently gone off the end of the grid.”
“Thank you for your fabulous session at Oxford. Your session perfectly complemented the week”
“Shaun Smith offered some great insight into creating a world class customer experience.”
“This was a great webinar that forces you to think. Shaun’s premise that too many of us “manage by numbers” instead of “leading from the gut” is supported by intriguing stories and case studies. Worth every minute.”
Shaun's speaking topics
On Purpose - delivering a branded customer experience people love
Eight practices define the essence of being On Purpose. They describe the actions and behaviour of some of the most innovative brands around today. Shaun's On Purpose workshops and speeches are designed to take executive teams through the principles, case studies and apply the learning in a highly interactive way to your own organisation.
Enabling and inspiring your people to deliver the experience
Developing a holistic strategy aligning product, process and people.
The bold practices
The bold practices used by innovative companies to differentiate their brand, and how they overcome the challenges and engage their people. Draws on stories and examples that resonate with your audience and inspire new thinking.
Practical roadmaps for implementing and measuring the experience
What works, what doesn't and the pitfalls to look out for.
Delivering your customer experience across multiple channels
How do you deliver a consistent and differentiated experience across multiple channels, Covers the role of social media and digital marketing, and the evolution of the Contact Centre to Experience Centre.