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International speaker on key business issues

Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith

travels from UK

Customer experience specialist helping organizations creating brand differentiation and long-term customer loyalty

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About Shaun

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Keynote speaker Shaun Smith is a customer experience specialist. He has taken the customer service field to new levels with his years of research, knowledge and experience. He helps organisations focus on more than customer service but also on strategic issues pertaining to customer experience. He is a highly sought after speaker and has helped some of the biggest brands in the world achieve long term customer loyalty and success.

Shaun Smith has helped broaden management attention from the narrow focus on customer service to the much wider and strategic issue of customer experience. He has developed some critical thinking and practice around this subject, helping international and local organisations create a compelling customer experience that results in brand differentiation and long-term customer loyalty.

Shaun has built up an impressive amount of practical experience with organisations throughout Europe, Asia Pacific and the US. He has worked with senior executive teams on key issues such as brand strategy and implementation, leadership, customer experience and organisational alignment. Additionally, 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 four popular and critically-acclaimed business books:

Uncommon Practice – people who deliver a great brand experience’, researched and written in partnership with Interbrand, examines those companies that create exceptional customer experiences.

Managing the Customer Experience – turning customers into advocates’ (co-authored with Joe Wheeler) reveals how leaders can build this kind of competitive advantage for their own organisations.

‘See, Feel, Think, Do – the power of instinct in business’ (co-authored with Andy Milligan) explores how highly successful business leaders and entrepreneurs use the power of instinct to achieve results.

“Bold – how to be brave in business and win” (also co-authored with Andy Milligan). Published by Kogan Page in April 2011, 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 was awarded the CMI ‘Business e-book of the year’ award for 2012.

In addition to those four books, Shaun is also contributing author to The Economist’s Brands and Branding and author of the Organisational Alignment Survey (OAS™) and the Customer Experience Management+™ survey (CEM+™) – research tools that give organisations the ability to evaluate and improve their customer experience and align their people with company values and strategy.

Shaun’s career began in the airline industry working with British Airways in a number of senior customer service and operations roles. He was named 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. Later on, Shaun 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.

In the 1990s, Shaun returned to the UK as Senior Vice-President of the Forum Corporation, when he ran Forum’s customer experience consulting practice.

Today, Shaun runs the highly regarded customer experience consultancy, Smith+co, which is firmly rooted in the ‘keep it simple’ ethos.  The consultancy has worked on initiatives focused on customer experience for many leading brands including Burberry, PayPal, O2, HSBC and IHG.

Shaun has appeared numerous  times on CNBC and CNN and is sought after to speak internationally on key business issuesHe 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). His approach is refreshingly straightforward, always pragmatic and at times, controversial.

See keynotes with Shaun Smith

    Keynote by Speaker Shaun Smith

    BOLD – How to be brave in business and win

    • As we emerge from the recession it is becoming evident that those brands that have stayed true to their purpose and focused on differentiation are those that are gaining and sustaining market share.
    • Find out the secrets of their success.
    • In this high-energy, engaging multi-media presentation Shaun will take you deep into the minds and thinking of the executives within these companies.
    • The difficult decisions they made in their relentless strive to differentiate, how they made these decisions, how they overcame the challenges and engaged their people in the process.
    • We will identify the key insights underlying these organisations’ success – principles that you can take away and apply to your business.
    • You will be inspired to develop new ideas to exceed your customer expectations; and the knowledge to translate these ideas into practical actions that will accelerate your organisation’s growth.


    Keynote by Speaker Shaun Smith

    Advocacy: customer experience that turns customers into advocates 

    • How do you create a customer experience that creates a level of customer satisfaction that is so strong that customers become your best advocates?


    Keynote by Speaker Shaun Smith

    The people factor: getting your employees to ‘live the brand’ 

    • How do you turn your brand values into brand behaviours?
    • How do you energize and engage your people to ’live your brand’ and translate these values into a differentiated customer experiencethat commands the loyalty of your most important customers?


    Keynote by Speaker Shaun Smith

    Uncommon practice: daring to be different. 

    • More than ever before, business success depends on standing out from the crowd and delivering authentic experiences that create customer advocacy.
    • What do leaders of great brands do differently from less successful companies?
    • How do they create both a compelling employee experience and customer experience that commands a high level of loyalty from each?


    Keynote by Speaker Shaun Smith

    See, feel, think, do: harnessing the power of instinct in business

    • How do entrepreneurs and leaders of highly successful companies use the power of instinct to develop new opportunities and avoid downturns?
    • How do you use instinct to turn poor customer experiences into new business innovations?

Interview with Shaun Smith

What are some of your most popular keynotes?
‘Bold- how to be brave in business and win’ and ‘Managing the customer experience- turning customers into advocates’.  As we are emerging from the recession many organisations are trying to differentiate themselves and grow their top-line through improving the customer experience and introducing innovative digital marketing techniques.

How do you work with clients when preparing for a keynote?

I usually follow these steps:

  • An initial briefing with the client where I seek to understand the context, key objectives, primary messages and relevant examples
  • A draft outline which I share with the client and get feedback on before refining
  • A detailed presentation that I share and get approved
  • I also like to sit in on earlier sessions to tune into the audience and the culture.

I am also very happy to record a short ‘teaser’ video that the client can use to promote the event.

Why is it important to be bold and different?
Because consumers have so much choice now that being bland and the same as your competitors is a recipe for decline.

How does humor factor into your keynotes?
I enjoy telling stories of interesting brands and customer experiences that the audience find amusing and can relate to.

What is the most amazing experience you have had as a speaker?
I was invited to give a key-note speech for a client during the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. So I spoke in the morning, went skiing in the afternoon and went to a film premiere that evening with the conference delegates which was tremendous fun.

See keynotes with Shaun Smith
Non-binding request for Shaun Smith

Send a simple request. You’ll get a quick reply with fees and availability

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Keynote topics with Shaun Smith