Cleveland Orchestra’s director of customer experience, hard at work behind the scenes

Posted on: January 30, 2019

“Clear, friendly cellphone announcements. Outgoing ushers. Orderly restroom and concession-stand lines,” writes Zachary Lewis in Sunday’s (1/27) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). “If you’ve noticed these or any other such niceties at Severance Hall of late … you’re witnessing the thoughtful work of Robert Phillips, the Cleveland Orchestra’s new director of customer experience. Hired in late 2017, Phillips already has instigated waves of change out front and behind the scenes…. Phillips studied bassoon performance at Indiana University.… A people person, he realized early on that his true calling … was in hospitality…. Ross Binnie, the orchestra’s chief brand officer, said the orchestra created the post Phillips now holds out of a conviction that when it comes to customer experience, there’s no such thing as a small matter…. Phillips can’t control what happens to a person before she steps foot in Severance Hall or Blossom Music Center. He can’t keep her from having a bad day at work … He can, however, do his best to make Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center inviting places where people want to spend time.” Says Phillips, “It’s not just what happens onstage. Everything we do has to be up to that same standard.”

Posted January 30, 2019

In photo: Severance Hall, home to the Cleveland Orchestra