Dave Carroll

Dave Carroll

Singer-Songwriter | Author of United Breaks Guitars

Musician Dave Carroll’s United Airlines flight had just landed when a fellow passenger looked out the aircraft’s window at the baggage handlers and exclaimed, “My god they’re throwing guitars out there!” When nine months of calls and emails to United failed to net Dave compensation for $1,200 of damage to his guitar, he took matters into his own hands and posted his song “United Breaks Guitars” to YouTube. Within days, the video had millions of views (it has since been seen by 150 million people worldwide), and caused a storm of bad PR for United, causing their stock to plunge and costing shareholders $180 million. In his insightful and entertaining presentations, Dave recounts his story while also delving into the importance of customer service, social media, branding, and the power of one voice to make a difference.

Dave has been featured in major news media around the world, including on The View, 20/20, CNN, the BBC, and in The LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal. He has testified (and sung) on Capitol Hill in Washington, and delivered keynotes at Columbia University’s Brite Conference, TEDx Hoboken, NewComm Forum, Mesh Conference, Atlantic Brand Confabulation, SXSW Interactive, and at many other significant customer service and corporate events. He is also the author of United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media.

Dave began his music career with his brother Don in the band Sons of Maxwell, and has been enjoying success as a solo artist for the since 2008.

Customer Experience

How would you react if you were a decision maker at one of the world’s most recognizable brands and millions of people around the world were sharing a single customer’s negative experience with their friends at alarming speed?  Dave Carroll’s United Breaks Guitars story has become the focus of attention around office water coolers everywhere, in global media outlets, Harvard text books and even The Pentagon.

In today’s socially connected environment no customer is statistically insignificant, and business must embrace the new reality that strives for one hundred percent satisfaction. A system with a goal of anything less is risking irrevocable brand challenges.

In this humorous and enlightening presentation, Dave describes his process in developing what Google has referred to as “one of the most important videos in our history.”  He also shares the global implications of this video in the areas of social media, branding and customer experience as a backdrop to a deeper message: that we are all fundamentally connected, that simple changes in your perspective can inject caring into your business, and that an organization founded upon ‘compassionate design’ makes for a happier, more productive, and more profitable environment.