David VanAmburg

Managing Director of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (U-M) in Ann Arbor. ACSI is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of goods and services from companies and government agencies. It is the only uniform, cross-industry measure that links customer satisfaction to a company’s financial performance. VanAmburg joined ACSI in 1998 and was named director for ACSI’s federal government satisfaction study in 1999 before being promoted to managing director of the ACSI as a whole in 2001. Most recently, VanAmburg has been named managing director of ACSI’s sister Index in the UK, NCSI-UK, and also co-manages the Brazilian Customer Satisfaction Index. He has lectured extensively both at U-M and abroad on topics related to customer satisfaction, quality, customer loyalty, and shareholder value and coauthored The American Customer Satisfaction Index at Ten Years, ACSI 1994-2004: A Summary of Findings: Implications for the Economy, Stock Returns and Management. VanAmburg received his bachelor’s degree in public policy and history from Michigan State University and a master’s in history from U-M.

WHERE BORN: “Lansing.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My grandmother. She had me reading everything from Shakespeare to the Gettysburg Address before I started school. She pushed in a positive way to soak up everything I could and she was great that way.”

LAST BOOK READ:The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien to my son.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Compassionate, helpful, creative.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “Customer satisfaction measurement and market research have generally exciting, challenging times ahead. Traditional survey methods are increasingly difficult – telephone, mail, etc. We’re seeing opportunities with new kinds of technology – mobile phones, big data on the Internet. It’s exciting but these methods pose challenges of their own. We’ll continue to find ways to generate data that’s reliable to help business leaders improve the customer experience in a world where people don’t like to take surveys anymore.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My iPad; it’s a toy to be sure but it has become an indispensable one.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Home with my amazing wife and two crazy munchkins.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Music – I play drums, keyboard, and guitar.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “A really good Cuban sandwich, tapas, and pasta, but it has to have Bolognese sauce.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I’m fluent in Latin. It’s a legacy of my former life at U of M in ancient history.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As someone family, friends, and colleagues could always rely on, if not to solve every problem, at least to do whatever possible to make life better, and as a caring and empathetic father and husband.”