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Interview with Andrew McFarland

by | Mar 26, 2021 | Interviews,

Andrew McFarland

Andrew McFarland

Chief Customer Officer at iGrafX

Key Topics:Voice of Customer Advocacy, Customer Experience, Focus and Execution
Location:United States

Andrew McFarland has more than 25 years’ experience in executive leadership, including significant roles in global public and private companies with revenues between $10M and $14B.

Known as an astute customer-centric executive, McFarland develops innovative business strategies and client-focused solutions in fast-paced environments to drive growth and improve margins. He is known for rapidly transforming business practices to decrease costs and optimize performance. A proven leader, McFarland develops employees, drives vision, and consistently exceeds goals. He has also garnered a reputation as a trusted advisor to investors and executive teams alike.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

My experience was shaped by early work in Operations (and data-driven results) which transitioned to what was then known as Customer Support. From there, the industry started to shift to Customer Experience and I was fortunate to be part of that.

What topic areas are you most passionate about?

  1. Striking a balance between customer-first and customer-centric. The former has the potential to misalign people and priorities. The latter takes a more holistic view of the business.
  2. Using a customer-centric approach to build long-term sustainable competitive advantage. Everyone in this field knows that differentiated customer experiences are valuable. They know equally well that achieving such advantages require strong executive focus and more than a short-term commitment.
  3. More recently, I’ve been focused on the linkage between the customer journey and all the enabling elements of people, process, and technology. Too often, companies buy a new software package and expect their problems to magically disappear.

Which influencers influence you within those key topics?

Luis Botero, Jeff Toister, Jeanne Bliss, Annette Franz, Tony Bodoh

Outside of key topics, who else influences you?

My work on the Bauer College of Business Advisory Board at the University of Houston with Carol Buehrens and JC Quintana​​ has helped shape my thinking. I’ve also been influenced by the writing of Joe Pine.

How would you describe your offline influence?

I do a fair amount of networking and informal consulting with people about to start a “customer” team at their company (what’s important to do and monitor) and those who are considering a career change into a customer-centric role (what’s rewarding and challenging about those roles).

What’s your best source of information for getting ahead of a story? What resource do you use to stay ahead of the trend?

I read a lot of articles from business schools like HBR, MIT Sloan, and Northwestern.

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

Podcasts and/or webinars.

Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience?

I would be happy to provide a quote for content or news article, participate podcast or a webinar, co-create long form content.

What are your passions outside of work?

NCAA Basketball, Sailing, Running, and Classical Choral music.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?