No one wants to deliver bad service – and no one wants to endure it. Through design and culture, Frances Frei is helping organizations and their leaders excel at service.
Harvard Business School’s UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management, Frei focuses her research and teaching on helping executives compete on excellence by designing, managing and scaling exceptional service organizations. Her ideas continue to shape the strategies of some of the world’s most competitive companies and influence leaders on the frontlines of building the global economy. She co-authored the best-selling book, “Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012).
A highly sought speaker and advisor, Frei brings a level of wisdom and authenticity to conversation that compels audiences to action. Her core beliefs – including the idea that organizations must dare to be deliberately bad in strategic areas in order to thrive in others – permanently change the way business leaders think about competition and the company/customer relationship. Frei, who describes her deepest calling as helping leaders to remove the “pebbles” that can grow into major obstacles, is celebrated for her ability to engage audiences and give organizations the insight and tools to dramatically improve performance.
She is also a legend in MBA and executive education classrooms. Widely recognized for her dynamic teaching style, Frei has been honored with the prestigious Harvard Business School Student Association Faculty Award for teaching excellence several times. She designed and led the school’s required FIELD course, an immersive and experiential learning model, and her course on service management is among the most popular offerings in the school’s recent history. In her role as Senior Associate Dean, Director of Faculty Planning and Recruiting, Frei is now working to unleash a new generation of global thought leaders.
Frei’s passion for transforming organizations comes from more than 20 years studying, teaching and consulting with leaders to build outstanding service firms. She has published countless articles on leadership, strategy and service design in Harvard Business Review (HBR), Management Science and other top-tier business journals, including the classic article, “The Four Things a Service Business Must Get Right” (HBR, 2008) and her groundbreaking article, “Stop Holding Yourself Back” (HBR, 2011). She has also published dozens of case studies across a variety of industries – financial services, government, retail, software, telecommunications, and travel and leisure.
Frei received her Ph.D. in operations and information management from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. She holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.