Interface Technical Services Manager Chris Brandenburg has not followed the traditional path into the manufacturing and engineering world. Growing up and finishing high school in Illinois, Chris worked a job in retail for a number of years. Looking for a way out of retail, Chris engaged with a family friend who worked for manufacturer that built hydraulic lifts called, Advanced Lifts. Chris was offered a job at Advanced Lifts and spent a few years helping to build these products.
This was Chris’s first foray into the manufacturing world, and while he enjoyed the industry, he quickly realized that he had a greater passion for working with people rather than actually building the machines. This is when he began to explore a career in front-end customer service.
Advanced Lifts offered him a job in a customer support role where he would be helping people troubleshoot their hydraulic lifts. With his years of experience building the product he was able to handle the technical aspect of the job, while the customer support aspect came naturally.
After nine years with Advanced Lifts and more than enough harsh Illinois winters, Chris realized it was time for a change. In 2011, he moved to Arizona on whim and got a job at Shutterfly working in customer service. Over his seven years with Shutterfly, he quickly moved up the ranks and became a customer service supervisor managing a team of more than 30 people.
Chris valued his time at Shutterfly because it helped him learn how to work with and help people of all different backgrounds. During the company’s incredibly busy holiday season, it was Chris’s job to hire more than 150 people for various roles within the company. He says that he became adept at understanding people and figuring out where they would excel in certain customer service positions.
In 2018, Chris embarked on a new journey in an industry he had little experience in at the time, force measurement. Chris was intrigued by the opportunity to join Interface because he would have the opportunity to build a customer service department from the ground up. Prior to Chris joining, Interface employees from various departments shared the role of customer service without an official department.
Chris has since helped to build a high-functioning and compassionate team of customer service professionals dedicated solely to improving the Interface customer experience. He’s also done this while balancing a few different roles simultaneously with customer services duties. He worked for a time as an application engineer, and currently leads customer service for the calibration services department. He is often praised by his colleagues as a a go-to resource to get it done. He is valued for his teamwork and willingness to do whatever it takes.
Chris says that it has been an honor to take on such a critical role in expanding Interface’s customer service function and enjoys the responsibility in helping the company continue to grow and improve every day. However, his favorite thing about working at Interface, as other have also mentioned in this series, is working with the talented people at Interface. Not only are they a kind and hardworking team, so many individuals here have been with the company for a long time and have a wealth of knowledge to share. The ability to leverage this source of insight makes his job working through customer service challenges much easier. It has also helped him develop an expertise in an industry that just two years ago he knew little about and know is an incredible resource to help others.
When Chris isn’t tackling customer service requests, he can be found at home with his fiancé and stepdaughter watching movies or catching an NFL game. Chris is a self-described nerd who loves Marvel and Star Wars movies. His football allegiances lie in his home state of Illinois with the Bears, as well as appreciating the work of the greatest dynasty in NFL history, the New England Patriots.
Authors note: the point on the New England Patriots can be debated, but as a Pats fan myself I stand by it. And Chris did describe himself as a Patriots fan – the author did not fabricate this point!