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Volkswagen took another step to plug any holes in its quality-control loop by appointing a VP of Customer Experience. The new position is being filled by Mark Barnes, who moves over from his role as COO and head of sales for VW of America. The point is to create a "a systemic approach to better manage the entire customer experience within VW," in the words of VWoA head Jonathan Browning.
Don't expect to get Barnes on the phone if your Jetta acts up – his task is figure out how to support customers in every way they might interact with the brand, which can run from dealer training to loyalty programs.
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VW Creates Customer Experience Organization

Herndon, VA -- Volkswagen of America (VWoA) today announced senior management changes focused on improving customer experience performance across the company.

Mark Barnes, 52, current head of sales for the company, is appointed to the position of Vice President, Volkswagen Customer Experience. In this newly created role, Mark will determine and implement strategies and initiatives to support the customer experience in all business activities. This includes the integration and alignment of each customer interaction at both the dealership and VWoA corporate levels.

"We know we need a systemic approach to better manage the entire customer experience within VW," said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America and VWoA. "Now that we've put actions in place to address the customer voice in the product development process, and built a strong Quality organization, this is the next step in improving the foundation of our business."

The Volkswagen Academy, Customer Care, Customer Experience and the CRM/Loyalty functions will report to Barnes.

"Mark has done an outstanding job of building momentum in the sales organization, and throughout the dealer network," said Browning. "His enthusiasm and passion for building loyalty among our customers is well known across the company. Combine that with the depth of his relationship with dealers, and he is the perfect person to lead this new team."

Frank Trivieri, 48, will head all sales operations within the company. Trivieri comes to VW from General Motors of Canada, Ltd where he was most recently General Director, Sales.

In this role, Trivieri will have responsibility for leading and developing the dealer network and continuing the strong sales momentum currently seen at the company. This role directs the activities of the U.S. regions, sales planning and strategy, network operations, retail programs and fleet and remarketing.

"I am looking forward to Frank joining the Volkswagen team," said Browning. "His experience, enthusiasm and personality will help him settle into his new role very quickly."

Trivieri's automotive experience spans more than 25 years including various positions in sales, marketing and customer support in both Canada and Australia. He earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Both of these positions will report to Browning, and are effective August 15.


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  • 22 Comments
      rllama
      • 3 Years Ago
      So... he's in charge of registering a bunch of usernames on autoblog and arguing with, and downvoting and commenters who say something bad about VW, so that VW owners will feel good about there cars, right?
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      He'll quit within 6 months and join another manufacturer because it was a job he 'couldn't refuse'.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      He won't be smiling much longer.
      bobmarley
      • 3 Years Ago
      He should have a direct line to quality control and R&D
      Danny Eckel
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funny because just dropped off my piece of **** 06 volkwagen passat v6 for what looks like a costly engine repair at 80,000 miles
      JaredN
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good luck to him. He'll need it, because much of VW's quality problems are due to design issues that originate in Germany, and VW in Germany has never listened to VW of America. The rest of the problem is the US dealerships and as independent companies, VW of America has a limited ability to force them to shape up their service departments.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      VP of Customer experience will do less to improve quality than simply hiring, oh I don't know, a VP of Quality.
        bhtooefr
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        To be fair, a lot of VW's apparent quality issues are because their dealers suck at actually fixing the problems that do occur. (But, I'm guessing that this means that VWoA will now screw over its customers CONSISTENTLY, rather than inconsistently.)
          JaredN
          • 3 Years Ago
          @bhtooefr
          If the cars didn't break in the first place, then the dealers wouldn't have a chance to screw them up. My 2000 GTI GLX was in the dealership 11 times in the first 12 months. My snore-mobile '03 Toyota was in the dealership twice in the first 12 months for scheduled maintenance. Even if my VW dealer service department had been competent (and they clearly weren't), I still would have been pissed off.
      rmkensington
      • 3 Years Ago
      They really need to fix their horrible dealerships too. The one here in Tulsa Ok is probably the worst dealer I have ever been to.
      stclair5211
      • 3 Years Ago
      One new job created!!! In your face cons! Go Obama!!!
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      This guy wouldn't need a job if VW made reliable cars.
      Josh Schneider
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh, it's Don Draper! http://www.thecheapchick.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/032709_hamm_400x4001.jpg
      Josh Schneider
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh, it's Don Draper! http://www.thecheapchick.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/032709_hamm_400x4001.jpg
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