The foundations of CX with Ian Golding – E27 REPLAY

Episode released: June 21, 2021

CX Goalkeeper with Ian Golding – S1E27 is about boosting CX professionals' motivation Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had a smart discussion with Ian Golding

LinkedIn Headline: Global Customer Experience Specialist and Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP)

My learnings:

  • CX is a science but not rocket science: Is not difficult to understand – corporates are overcomplicating what they are doing.
  • Only 2% of the participants to Ian’s courses are from the C-Suite. Why? They don’t care or CX is not enough important, or they already know enough.
  • However, senior leaders from Amazon attended one of Ian’s courses as they never stop to learn.
  • The most important competency is measurement. It is a fact-based methodology. By measuring, it is possible to improve experience. It implies financial results can be improved for a sustainable growth.
  • The CX team is not responsible for CX alone. EVERYONE in the company is responsible.
  • The CX teams should develop capabilities, competencies, setting directions and holding the mirror. All these tasks should be performed in collaboration with business.
  • The 7th CX core competency is the role of CX professionals. It is not really defined in the CXPA framework. However, it helps CX practitioners developing resilience, courage, strengths and persistence to keep going.
  • The future of CX is the marriage between Customer Experience and Employee Experience.

His book suggestion:

  • Outside In, Kerry Bodine & Harley Manning, Josh Bernoff
  • Customer Journey Playbook, Jerry Angrave

Ian’s Contact Details:

Ian’s Golden Nugget:

If you are worried about anything that you’re doing, you’re worried about? How is it going to be received? Is it the right thing to do? Am I going to get told off? Do I need to get permission? My mantra has always been if you’re doing the right thing for the right reason, you’ve got nothing to lose. You know, Don’t overanalyze. You know, if you know, this is totally without politics, you’re not doing it for you to massage your ego. If it’s the right thing for the company, the right reason, just do it, do it, because it will never get done otherwise. If you ask permission to do things, you will get very often a negative response because people don’t understand enough to give you permission. So if you know it’s for the right reason, do it.

“If you ask permission to do things, you will get very often a negative response because people don’t understand enough to give you permission. So if you know it’s for the right reason, do it.” @ijgolding on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

Thank you, Ian Golding!

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxpa #ccxp


Gregorio Uglioni 0:00
Ladies and gentleman, Welcome to the next smart discussion today with a special guests. Really a CX Hero, Ian Golding is with me. Hi, Ian!

Ian Golding 0:05
Hi, Greg. You’re always so kind to me. But I’m not sure anyone’s ever called me their hero, but I’ll take it. I’ll take it. Thank you so much.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:09
I was not sure about hero or pope. And then I said, Okay, let’s try this one.

Ian Golding 0:11
I don’t know if smoke will come off when I finally pass away, but you never know.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:13
No, thank you very much. And it’s really great to have you here. I know your your schedule is extremely busy. And you find time also to have such chats. And I’m really thankful. Perhaps for the people who don’t know you, could you please introduce yourself?

Ian Golding 0:54
Well, Greg, it’s so kind of you to invite me. First of all, we’ve known each other for a very long time, I can’t even remember when we first met each other. But it’s such a pleasure to be able to talk with you, but so everyone else can hear the conversation. As you know, I am a customer experience specialist. That’s the way I describe myself very pedantically. And quite insistently. Because whilst I get called all sorts of things, my belief has always been that I’m not an expert. I’m someone who never wants to stop learning with the stuff this stuff and so that that’s very important to me. My background is actually in financial services, I started in banking, I spent the worst six months of my life in outsourcing. I then moved into food service, and then eventually into one line retail. So I’ve got quite a long background in the corporate world, before I then moved independent, in February 2012, so nine years ago, and my life has just been mad ever since. So prior to the pandemic, as you know, I spent half of my life on an aeroplane and half of my life somewhere around the world, helping lots of different organizations to not just understand the theory of customer experience, but how to practically apply it. And I do consider myself to be incredibly lucky to have been to the places I’ve been and seen the things I see. And it’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about sharing knowledge, because people want knowledge, they need knowledge. And I’m very, very open to people having as much as they can. So they can make this happen themselves.

Gregorio Uglioni 2:45
As you’re saying, You’re extremely lucky that you can share that. But for me, it was a great honor to participate to one of your master classes, because it was really, let’s say, the ignition of really this passion about customer experience, how you do that, how you’re transmitting your values and the relevance of customer experience. It’s really outstanding. And I really enjoyed also that how you explained how you’re part of the career that you worked at GE impacted your customer, your view on customer experience? Could you please elaborate a bit on that?

Ian Golding 3:18
Yeah, 100%. I am, I was very fortunate, again, I believe, to have been able to work at GE when Jack Welch was still CEO, which gives away my age. But GE, to those who don’t know, used to be one of the largest organizations in the world, and one of the most customer centric in the world. And so when I joined GE in the 90s, it was just transformative for me because they were so sophisticated. They were so clever. They were so open and honest about what they were trying to do. And I’ve not seen that anywhere else. And they were also very transparent. You know, everyone knew who the leaders were, and everyone talked to each other, and the communication was amazing. But the I think something that also had a lasting effect on me is that they were very, very focused on developing their people. In fact, when I was at GE, there was a saying that GE was the best organization in the world at training other organizations, future business leaders, because they invested so much in you as a person. And I very confidently say it changed my working life. You know that that is what unleashed the monster that people see today because, you know, Jack Welch’s mantra at the time was that, you know, we do the right thing for the customer, we make more money. It’s not complicated. And it was where I was introduced into the world of process improvement and Lean Six Sigma and it just all made so much sense to me. And I think that’s the The key what what I realized is that if you are fortunate enough to work in an organization that is led by someone like Jack Welch, you know, you realize how businesses can be run. Unfortunately, more often than not, that isn’t what we see. But it allowed me to see the art of the possible. And from that moment on, it has been my my either stated or unstated mission to help organizations understand how they can turn this essence of wanting to be customer centric into a practical reality.

Gregorio Uglioni 5:38
And I think you define customer experience as as a science, and you developed also this concept. And perhaps could you please explain why you think that it’s a science?

Ian Golding 5:51
Well, let me tell you the story. And I, not many people know this, but I think it’s important to, to give the credit to the person that inspired me to call it that. And I was in South Africa a few years ago. And I’ve done a lot of work across Africa, including South Africa. And I was delivering one of my master classes for a financial services organization. And it’s quite a big group, I think about 28 people around the table. They’re all lovely people very nice. And there was one lady in the meeting who was very smartly dressed, immaculately dressed. And she was incredibly nice and polite, but didn’t really say very much throughout the two days. And as I was closing the session, this lady stood up and said, Can I just pause a second? Because I’d like to say something. Okay, well, you know, if I’d done something wrong, and she said, I wasn’t completely honest with you when the session started, but I’m actually a member of our executive leadership team. And, you know, I wanted to come here, because customer experience is my passion. But, you know, what you’ve made me realize is that, and what I didn’t realize before is that customer experience really is a science. And behind that science is a heart. You know, and, and as soon as she said, it was one of those moments where you think, blimey, you know what, but she’s right, because the reason she said it is that it allowed her to understand that we’re sitting behind this our skills and competencies and capabilities. And actually, we don’t know what they are, we think we know what they are, but we don’t. And when you hear it all coming together, that’s when you realize that this is actually a scientific approach to transforming and managing a business. And that’s where it came from. And that the interesting thing, she is actually a very humble lady. So she allowed me to use that quote, In my book, which I have, but she asked me to never reveal her name. So I’ve always stayed true to that. I’ve never revealed her actual name, but she’s a brilliant lady. And it’s her. That really is the reason why now call it a science.

Gregorio Uglioni 8:05
Now, we know the secret, and it’s great. And I think in one of the last discussion that I followed, I followed you, you mentioned something that I think it’s really key for all six practitioners. And it’s about Yes, CX is a science, but it’s not rocket science. And my question would be, if it’s not rocket science, why are we where we are and not where we should be?

Ian Golding 8:33
Well, that’s the million dollar question. You know, and as you know, because you’ve heard me speak so many times, I’m very sincere in what I say. customer experience is something that is not difficult to understand. Now, there are certain competencies that are technical. And so there is a greater depth of knowledge that’s required. But in essence, it’s not difficult to understand. And the simpler you can make it, the more practical it becomes. I think, fundamentally, the problem is that corporate organizations over many, many years have radically overcomplicated what they do. And some of that is to do with a lack of thinking. And so rather than redesigning processes, they just add an add an add, and, you know, it ends up with such a complex web, that, you know, people can’t see the wood for the trees anymore. But part of it is also a a human stroke political issue. Because one of the problems I think, as a human race, is that if you’re busy, that’s good. You know, that means that I needed and so some people actually that they’re quite happy with the complexity because I’ve got lots to do, which means I needed which means I’ve got Our job. Now, they might not overtly say it. But I think that there is a large element of that. And so when you talk to people about simplification, that they get it, but actually, in reality, they don’t really want it to happen. They think they want it to happen, but they don’t. And this actually translates into customer experience change, because we see so little change, because we’re ultimately when push comes to shove, you know, now, we will stay as we are, you know, so I think there are a number of issues, but that the irony is that the simpler you keep your approach to customer experience, the more effective it is. But the irony is, is that keeping it simple is very difficult in complex organizations.

Gregorio Uglioni 10:46
And I fully agree, because at the end, it’s always if I if my daily schedule is full, then I am doing something important, I am working. And I there is not really time. So think about simplification. And when you start speaking about simplification, there is 200 priorities. No, we need to do that we need to announce the product units. And this is extremely difficult.

Ian Golding 11:11
And let me be honest with you, I’m just as guilty, you know, but it’s it you use the word that is a word I use over and over and over again. And that word is think, you know that the problem is, is that I think we’ve evolved into a world where we don’t think because we don’t give ourselves time to think. And you know, when you look at corporate organizations, you know, you want to get a meeting with a senior leader, now know that they’re too busy, because they’ve got meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting. But they’re not thinking they’re just attending meetings. But you know, it always reminds me again, back to my G days, when we were very, very focused on doing a lot of time and motion studies. Because the amounts of non value added activity, day to day is so significant, that we needed to just identify it and stop doing it. And, you know, I’ve mentioned to a number of businesses over the years, you know, just just for a week, do a time and motion study, and you will realize just how much unnecessary work you’re doing. But you know, yeah, you’re writing and you’re writing, but they never do it.

Gregorio Uglioni 12:23
And I think this is really key because thinking need also quite a lot of energy. And therefore you need to have time to think about and to prepare for that. And I had a discussion with a former CEO. And he told me, the most important decision decisions were not to come during this board of director meetings, but outside of them during lunch, or when they walk after lunch, because they have time they had time to discuss, find ways to find solution for the companies. And therefore they were able then to decide, again, it’s not rocket science. Exactly. And, and, and back also to this timing components, what you’re saying, we are, we are all extremely busy, or we think that we are extremely busy. And also the C suite. It’s extremely busy. And what I think it’s really, really interesting. And I would like to hear again, what what you think about it. You mentioned you you’re doing your master classes. And in your trainings, if I understand well, or I remember, well, you said roughly 2% of the participants are from the C suite. And all the others are normal people like me, yes. What’s your view on that?

Ian Golding 13:36
It’s, I think, a very interesting fact. Because it is a fact. You know, more than 15,000 people in nine years, less than 2% of them representing the C suite. And it will always fascinate me. Now, I just finished a master class with a large multimedia company. And I had the CFO attend. And you know, when when when they introduce themselves almost like really big because I’m so surprised that the CFO is there. But you know, I have to make a real point about saying just how important that is. Now, what’s fascinating about this is that, as you’ve heard me say, why is that? You know, is it because they know all of this already? Is it because they don’t care? Or is it just because they don’t think it’s important enough to have the time to develop their knowledge. It’s a combination of all of those things. But what always will fascinate me is that among other things, I’m the course director for the Chartered Institute of marketing for customer experience. And that’s the only time where I will sometimes get very senior leaders from Amazon, attend my workshops. And what I’ve the reason I say it is that, you know, I always thought Why are you here? And they say well, because we never stop learning. You know what we need that there’s got to be something that we can do better. You know, there are always things we can do better. And I think that’s, that’s the answer really, it almost goes back to that point about, we don’t give our people time, you know, but if I come back again to what happened to me a G, A, G, you didn’t have a choice, you have to learn, you have to have a developmental plan. And it didn’t matter what role you were in, everyone had, you know, I probably in my four years at GE spent seven, eight months in the classroom, you know, and that’s gone. I think, largely in many organizations, it’s gone, because we don’t have time for all of that. But then we can’t complain when our organizations are lacking the ability and capability to advance and transform.

Gregorio Uglioni 15:46
And and I think this is this is also a really important topic. And this is this, this there is also this this joke that the CFO is speaking to the CEO, and is telling to him, Do you know how much we spend on education from our company? And the CEO say, yes, but think about people staying with us 10 years without additional education or further education, what will happen to us and to our development? And, and this is this is extremely important, and other topics that you are always mentioning, and it’s really relevant. It’s, I hope that I’m saying that in a proper way. It’s, you’re saying one of the most important competencies defined by the cxpa is measurement. Why is this?

Ian Golding 16:31
You know, I’ve said it for years, I said it when I was in a customer experience role in the organizations I worked in, and I will always say it, measurement is, in my opinion, the most important competency of all, because customer experience should be a fact based methodology, you know, ultimately, the intended desire of focusing on the customer experiences by improving the experience, improving the financial performance of the organization. That’s the point. You know, the point is that if we can better deliver our purpose, we can deliver a better experience to our customers, we will be more successful and grow sustainably. So if you’re going to be able to do that, you’ve got to have a clear understanding of what is it that you need to improve? What is it that will have the greatest impact on improving customer perception. And by doing that, you then improve financial performance. Now, the problem is that too many organizations, whether it be intentional or unintentional, have convinced themselves that this is about measuring things to get scores, you know, and the scores tell us that we’re doing a great job. But that’s not the point. You know, a score is an outcome of measuring. But the primary reason for measuring what you do is so you can understand what you need to focus on to get better not to navel gaze, not to massage egos, not to pay bonuses. And this, unfortunately, has gotten lost in the ether somewhere, you know, and it’s one of the reasons why I, as you know, preach about the need to not just map customer journeys, but to manage the customer journey of which measurement is a core part, because it’s measuring the journey that allows us to see where those opportunities are. And the biggest gap with measurement are the biggest issues is that firstly, the way businesses are measuring customer perception. So voc is unfortunately leading far too many to draw the wrong conclusion. And that’s because with this obsession for scores, many are measuring in a way that is not giving them a true representative understanding of their customer base. But the other issue is that just measuring voc only tells you the effect of what you’re doing. It doesn’t tell you what’s causing it. And if we want to try and improve customer perception, we’ve got to understand the relationship between what we do, and the way the customer feels about what we do. And unfortunately, that’s not happening. And so businesses measure lots of stuff that they measure what’s important to them, what they’re not measuring are the things that they do that enable the customer to interact with them, and the relationship between those two. And so this is why education is so important. Because all of that stuff exists. It’s all there. And most organizations have people that have the ability to use all of this but they’re just not doing it and that is because there is a lack of understanding

Gregorio Uglioni 20:00
I think I fully agree and taking the first point that you were mentioning about this number disfigures, instead of focusing on on the feedback, it’s you have a scorecard in it to check the numbers. And basically what I am also hearing in the market, it’s now that we need to save money, everybody needs to save get more efficient. The discussion start, oh, you have a good NPS rate? How many ft FTEs? Can we deduct in your contact center for the transactional NPS, and we decrease the score by let’s say, 10 points without impacting really our financial schools. And this is the really big, big issue. On the other side, perhaps, do you have some some suggestion what companies should do? Or could do I know, it’s only a short podcast? Not two hour mark? A few days masterclass. But what is possible to do to really focus on what the customer see?

Ian Golding 20:54
Yeah, it’s, it is a challenge. Because with that lack of understanding, the problem is that the decision as to what the primary metric should be, is often not the decision of the people driving the customer experience. And so, you know, when you go to a board of directors and say, you know, the way we’re measuring this wrong, you know, that they’re not going to thank you for saying that. And, you know, I was once invited into an organization, because the Head of Customer Experience knew that the way they were measuring it was wrong. But she couldn’t convince the board of directors. So she asked me to come and help her. But the thing is, they knew she was right. They just didn’t want to listen, they didn’t want to hear it, because that would impact their bonus. So, you know, this is this is a it’s a massive asset challenge. I believe that the important thing that customer experience professionals need to focus on. And this may be a segue to another question you might want to ask, ask me is that there are many situations like this, where we’re going to be very frustrated by the lack of understanding of leadership. And the danger is if we become too adversarial, and start arguing and start, you know, all it does is build up a very big wall between us and them. And we’re never going to win the argument. What we’ve got to try and do is let them massage their egos with vanity metrics. But what we’ve got to do is find other ways of getting the message across. So with something like net promoter, for example, what I will always encourage any organization that has this kind of issue is let them report the NPS score if they want to get their bonus, but why don’t you actually create a narrative around the proportion of detractors. So when you’re communicating, don’t communicate the score. talk only about detractors. What percentage of detractors Do you have? And why are they detractors, and just change the conversation? Because people will then listen to that, right? Well, how do we reduce the number of detractors, okay. And so, I think we’ve just got to pick our battles in the right way and having a battle in that situation, where it’s affecting remuneration, you’re going to lose, you know, and in my last full time role on the inside an online retailer, our primary measure was customer satisfaction. It wasn’t NPS. But every time a new leader came into the business, they would say to me, why are we measuring NBS? And I said, Well, we are or why are we not using the NPS score? And, you know, I would have to, I created a presentation, actually, that I would always roll out over and over again, to explain why we were doing what we were doing. But this is just normal. And it’s what unfortunately, we will face. But that’s why we’ve got to choose our battles wisely, and just change the narrative a little bit. So people focus on exactly what needs to be done, rather than worrying too much about the school.

Gregorio Uglioni 24:06
And I think this is one one great example. The other example that I can remember from from your master class was also the list of the 10 cx improvements, meaning you have the list of the 10. And then you can go through it clear, it’s difficult to prioritize them. But at the end, if you share also this list and this is often linked to the directors, then then it helps to

Ian Golding 24:29
100% and with any any focus on improvement, making sure that you have named who is accountable for that priority, who’s accountable for that improvement, that also radically changes people’s focus when they see their name next to it.

Gregorio Uglioni 24:46
Your accountability is extremely important. But before starting about speaking about accountability, perhaps also linked to this topic who owns customer experience in a company? You are doing the A example, again of the small team to three people in a company of 20,000 people, and it’s not possible that they are owner of the customer experience. What’s your view on that?

Ian Golding 25:10
So this is this is again, a question we all get asked very regularly. And the standard answer, which is also the textbook answer is that everyone is responsible for the customer experience. And that’s absolutely true. In terms of the practicality of managing the customer experience in an organization, there is no one way to do it. And it very much depends on the organization, the size, the scale, the culture, a number of factors. What I always say to people is that, in an ideal world, which we know doesn’t exist, I believe that the person or people who are driving the direction of the approach to customer experience should be independent of any function that has responsibility for the customer journey. So in other words, if the Head of Customer Experience reports into customer service, you know, they’re to a degree marking their own homework, you know, if you report into marketing, it’s the same, I believe that the person driving customer experience should be completely independent of all of that. However, it’s also important that what we’ve got to try and create is a situation where the business understands that just because customer experiences and our job title, it doesn’t mean that the customer experience is ours. And this, this is the the game that we’ve got to play. You know, ultimately, what we need to be doing is developing capability, developing competency, setting the direction and holding the mirror up, you know, that’s ideally what we should be doing. But we should be doing that in collaboration with the business, you know, we’re not there to point fingers, we’re not there to patronize people or shout at them, we’re there to help them, help them understand, well, these are the facts, this is what we need to do to address it. And this is how we can best approach it. So that’s the ideal world. But unfortunately, as we know, we don’t live in an ideal world. But But I think that the key message is, whatever environment anyone is in, making sure there is an understanding that the customer experience is not our responsibility. It’s everyone’s.

Gregorio Uglioni 27:39
And I think based on what you’re saying, you also defined the seventh competency of customer experience. And I think this is something that I would love if you share it.

Ian Golding 27:51
I so believe this now now, as you know, I’ve been on the inside and done it, you’ve been on the inside and done it. You know, we’ve earned the bruises, and the scratches and the scrapes that come with doing it. You know, being a customer experience professional, is really hard. You know, and it’s very different on the inside to being a consultant, you know, you and I have spent years pushing water uphill, you know, on the inside, because you’re there trying to drag people kicking and screaming. And, you know, the funny thing is, when you’re on the inside, even though it’s your job title, people don’t really want to listen to you, you know, when you’re a consultant, it’s different, because people ask you to come in and tell us how to do it in it, you know, and so suddenly, you’re different, but we’re not, we’re the same person. And a story that I may have told you that I tell a lot of people is that when I was head of customer experience in my retailer, I was struggling to convince my boss of something I can’t remember specifically what. And I was already quite good friends with Bruce Temkin by that point that one of the co founders of the cxpa. And so I emailed Bruce and said, Bruce, please help me. He’s just not listening to me. Will you help? And say, Bruce did what I do. He said, Yeah, of course, you’re just done. Let’s get on a call. And we’ll talk about it. And we had about 45 minutes on a web call with Bruce. And when Bruce said almost word for word, what I’d been saying for years, and at the end of the call, my boss turned around to me and said, Wow, that was amazing. And, you know, this is the reality, but that’s why I’ve said for years that yes, there are competencies that we need to have a good working knowledge of. And the cxpa has defined those that I believe sets the standard for the profession. But the seventh competency, which isn’t stated, but it’s the unstated competency is is that we need to have the courage, the resilience, the persistence, and the strength to keep going, whatever is thrown at us. This is, I believe, to be one of the most difficult professions in the world. Because we are often in an environment where people don’t want us to be there. They don’t want, I don’t want to thank us for doing this, they don’t want to change. And that’s why the best customer experience professionals in the world, they don’t do this for the money, you know that there are probably much more effective ways of getting money than being a customer experience professional. But we do this because we believe passionately, it’s the right thing to do. And as a result, we will keep going, you know, it doesn’t matter. We expect these things to be thrown at us. But we keep going. It’s why I believe that the customer experience community is a very special one. Because, you know, there are lots of us that we help each other, we talk to each other, we, you know, we will do whatever we can to support each other. And we don’t do that for financial reward, we do it because we know that that support is vital. Because very, very often it can feel as they were the only person people on earth to get it. And so I’d love for that sort of attitude and state of mind to be a seventh competency, but it’s the unwritten one that I will always refer to

Gregorio Uglioni 31:29
Perhaps at some point in time Ian’s competency.

Ian Golding 31:36
Or they might some people might say, it’s the mad-man competency. You know, I don’t know.

Gregorio Uglioni 31:43

It can be…I think customer were important are important and will be important. We all agree with that customer experience. It’s not a naif, but it’s something that was there a will, is there and will be there. What do you foresee in in customer experience, everybody’s speaking about technology, artificial intelligence, and so on. But at the end, we are always in a human to human business. What’s your view?

Ian Golding 32.09

Yeah, again, I’ve asked that question a lot. In fact, March last year, just before locked down, I was in Brazil, and journalist asked me, you know, what’s the future of customer experience isn’t going away? And you know, I will say exactly what you said, well, actually, it was always here, it will never go away, because it will always be. And what I said to her, and I still believe that to be the case is that the future of customer experience is actually in the past. And what I mean by that is that experiences going back to the beginning of commerce, were about human to human interaction. That’s what it was. And the experience is still about human to human interaction, that Danny differences that we now have such a wonderfully, unbelievably amazing advance in technology, that we’re able to make those interactions easier, faster, more accessible. And but the problem is that far too many have seen digital technology as a way of eliminating human interaction to save money, you know, but the reality is, what many are doing is making experiences worse as a result. And so I think what I identified two and a half, three years ago, is that there was an increasing recognition of the importance of the employee experience, it was starting to become much more prominent. Now I know you’ve judged the employee experience awards. So it’s not a new thing. But it’s sort of grown in prominence over the years. And the pandemic is, I think, accelerated that people realize that you know, what it is we send people home, we’ve got to look after our employees right now. But because if we don’t treat them, well, they’re not going to be able to deal with the customer. And so I think one of the positives of the pandemic is, yes, we’ve seen the power of technology. But I think it’s reminded us of the importance of human interaction by not being able to physically be with people. I think it has bought a little bit of humanity back again, you know, not everyone has noticed that not everyone has realized it. But I think even if only a small proportion, have realized that we’ve got to become a bit more human, a bit more empathetic, then that cannot be a bad thing. So I think the future is moving towards HX. So not just customer experience, but that marriage between customer experience and employee experience being much more closely monitored. But the reality is, Greg is that there is a very, very long way to go. You know, all of these organizations that have been talking about it for years, they don’t understand the science still at And so you know, I think you and I hopefully will be busy for a long time to come.

Gregorio Uglioni 35:05
Sure. And I think this is also our role, as you said of six professional. And it’s not a 100 meter sprint, but it’s a marathon. And we are ready, ready to go this marathon? Really, thank you very much. It was great to discuss the content. But now it’s time to learn about a bit more about the human side of eon. And perhaps you are everywhere you are you are at the awards, you do your masterclass, you wrote an outstanding book? And how can you ensure to have satisfactory work life balance or life work balance?

Ian Golding 35:39
What a question. Now, I know you’re recording this. So I need to be careful, just in case my wife watches it. But it’s a very good question. Because I, I’m not very good at managing my work life balance, if I’m totally honest with you, I am a very focused person. And I get to a degree slightly obsessed with certain things. And I realized during my GE days, I think that doing the right thing for the customer, wasn’t actually my job, it was just sort of who I was, it was my vocation. And I’ve been, again, quite lucky to sort of evolve it. So that is what it has become. But the problem is, when you’re driven by a passion, it can consume you. Prior to the pandemic, I was flying between 100 and 150 times a year, you know, I was everywhere and anywhere, apart from being at home, you know, my family would see me at the weekend, you know, sometimes they’d only see me on a Saturday. And, you know, you get to a point where it’s something has got to break. And part of the problem is that, again, related to some of the things we said, I want to help people, but you sometimes forget when you’re helping people that you mustn’t forget the people that are the most important. So, you know, ironically, this very strange year that we all for 15 months that we’ve been living in, has been a very big wake up call for me to do what I preach. And that is to just stop and think, you know, what, what am I trying to do here? And who am I doing it for? And why am I doing it? So I think, as I said, right at the very beginning, I don’t know everything I’m learning every day. And you know, what I’ve learned during this last 15 months is that I’ve been able to do exactly the same things that I do, but still see my family as well. And yes, circumstances made it this way. But I’m actually even busier than I was before. Because all I’ve done is replaced the traveling time with working time. So you know what, what it’s told me is that I can have the confidence to, you know, manage my schedule more effectively. So I don’t put the most important people in my life last. And that is what I was doing. And I think it’s why, interestingly, I’ve suffered with mental health issues during the last few years where I felt very down, I felt exhausted. People don’t see that, because I’m a very good actor, so people would know. But it’s been tough. And I think, you know, this has been one of those periods in our lives where not everyone is as lucky as me, you know, I’ve been lucky to carry on working, you know, I’m very lucky to have a family, and there are people in a far worse situation than me. And that’s why I do believe that we do have to look after each other. Not just our clients, but you know, our peers, our friends, because life is tough. It’s really difficult. And we must never forget that there’s a reason for doing this. And the reason is, so we can enjoy the kind of life that we want us and our families to have. And you know, if we’ve forgotten that, and we’re feeling tired or vulnerable or whatever, that’s the point to stop and reach out to someone because that there are people who will always have a very sympathetic ear will help you to just get sense of where you are and recalibrate. So you know that this pandemic I think, has been terrible in many ways. But in other ways, it’s been a very, very important period to get us to just rethink why do we do what we

Gregorio Uglioni 39:32
do it’s really an outstanding what what you’re saying and at the end, facing similar issues it’s to in Switzerland, this public holiday today, it’s late evening and I am doing podcasting instead for of being with my family. But for sure at the end it’s it’s a balance between family time working time, and if you are doing a job that you’re really passionate at, then it’s something that you are not really checking Oh, now I need to go in In exactly the discussion, and therefore, I can understand that the last few questions and then I leave you time for your family. And one question it’s that I always ask is, do you have a book that you say this is something I would suggest to the audience to have a look at to read? Because it’s really important. And for sure, beyond a few, I am seeing the customer what what book, it’s an outstanding book, I have it also with me, I wait, I’m really waiting for meeting you again, so that you can sign it.

Ian Golding 40:31
That’s, that’s without question. There are lots of books out there. And I’m actually a big advocate of books that are written in a way that it really helps people. Now, the book that is mentioned to me more than any other is outside in by Kerry Bodine, which I think he’s just it’s very well written. And it is always worth the read. But the most recent book that I had the pleasure of writing the foreword to it is a book written by a very good friend of mine and a peer of mine, the customer journey playbook. And the reason I like it is because it’s written again, for the right reason. And it’s really simple, really practical. The author is a one of the nicest human beings on earth Jerry Angrave. And I think if, if anyone is interested in journey mapping, and even wants to just validate the way they’re doing it that’s worth investing in.

Gregorio Uglioni 41:40
Thank you. And the second last question is, if somebody wants to contact you, what’s the best way?

Ian Golding 41:47
Well, some people would say, you can’t avoid me on LinkedIn. But you know, that’s, that’s not not not intentional. But you know, I’m always happy to have a chat with people. So if they want to reach out to me on LinkedIn, they can email me directly at Ian at IJ Or they can come to you, Greg, and you know, you can, you can point them in my direction. But you know, as you know, I will always say, you’re never alone, you know, and if you need anything, just reach out that this is the kind of community that will help you. And if you want me to answer a question, reach out to me. But they also need to remember that Gregorio is rather good at this as well. So they need to reach out and speak to you to

Gregorio Uglioni 42:32
that, thank you. Yeah, and this is, I think, what I really liked from the six community that we are helping each other, and new people can learn from experts, or specialists story like. And it’s clear, this is my worry. Last question. It’s the golden nugget. It’s something that we discussed or something new that he would like to share with the audience. This is Ian’s golden nugget.

Ian Golding 42:55
What a question. Ian’s golden nugget. I would say that, and I have said this many times to people that have worked for me on the inside. And I will now say it to consultants all around the world as well. Or anyone working in customer experience roles. If you are worried about anything that you’re doing, you’re worried about? How is it going to be received? Is it the right thing to do? Am I going to get told off? Do I need to get permission? My mantra has always been if you’re doing the right thing for the right reason, you’ve got nothing to lose. You know, Don’t overanalyze. You know, if you know, this is totally without politics, you’re not doing it for you to massage your ego. If it’s the right thing for the company, the right reason, just do it, do it, because it will never get done otherwise. If you ask permission to do things, you will get very often a negative response because people don’t understand enough to give you permission. So if you know it’s for the right reason, do it.

Gregorio Uglioni 44:15
Thank you very much. And I’m not commenting your gold nugget because it’s Ian’s golden nugget. However, afterwards, I will message my ego because one of my target of 2021 was interviewing you and now I did that.

Ian Golding 44:31
what Well May I have to say great, it’s it’s such a pleasure talking to you. Because, you know, we just have a I mean, we could talk all day, I’m sure. But I do want to compliment you because I think your interview style is brilliant. So I’ve really enjoyed it.

Gregorio Uglioni 44:47
Thank you very much. It was a it was also a great pleasure. And I hope that’s also for the audience. It was they had so much fun as I add because it’s always outstanding having a chat with you about customer experience, but I I know you’re also able to discuss about other topics, but it was an outstanding discussion. Thank you very much, Ian.

Ian Golding 45:07
It’s my pleasure. Thank you, Greg and enjoy your family now.

Gregorio Uglioni 45:11
Sure, that’s what I will do. And the last thing is thank you very much. Bye bye. Grazie mille, arrivederci.

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