Episode released on: 31. May 2021
CX Goalkeeper with Faran Niaz – S1E24 is about outstanding experiences in Dubai, the center of excellence – Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper
The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Faran Niaz
LinkedIn Headline: Customer Experience Practitioner & Consultant | Top 100 Global CX Thought Leader 2021 | Helping Companies Enhance CX to Maximize ROI & 7 STAR Ratings | CEO & Founder – CX FUTURE | Int’l CX Awards Judge | Keynote Speaker
Faran Niaz brilliantly explains the development from hospitality to happiness and then to customers experience in Dubai and United Arab Emirates. A symphony of outstanding experiences.
• In Dubai and in the United Arab Emirates, CX is driven by the government.
• The priority is happiness and focus on people (tourists and citizens) needs.
• All is so smooth as there is an immense respect and love for the government.
• There is a clear focus on continuously improving experiences. Expectations are extremely high – overdeliver is a must.
• A star model (as the well known for hotels) was developed for other industries (e.g., for government offices, restaurants, malls, …) too.
• Employees are trained to give you moments. It is a matter of fact, that Dubai creates benchmarks for other countries
• A positive competition, the passion and the curiosity of people ensure that there is a run to get always better and better
• It is all about the mindset: you get recognized for the good work. People are proud of being the best and getting to the best.
- Would you like to live in the Happiness Street? Do you have a minister of happiness in your company, in your government?
His book suggestion:
• The ultimate question 2.0, Fred Reichheld
• Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh
Faran’s golden nugget:
Become a good leader, be proud of the achievement of your teams. Highlight your people, and nurture them. Share your experience, by sharing you learn, and others will learn too. It is our duty to give as much as we can.
Become a good leader, be proud of the achievement of your teams. Highlight your people, and nurture them. Share your experience, by sharing you learn, and others will learn too. It is our duty to give as much as we can. @farann on the CX Goalkeeper PodcastTweet
#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast
Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a great pleasure to have Faran Niaz with me. Hi Faran!
Faran Niaz 0:08
Hi How are you? My pleasure to be here. Good evening. Good afternoon, everyone. Good morning, wherever you are.
Gregorio Uglioni 0:14
Thank you very much Faran, it’s really a great pleasure to have with me for this CX goalkeepers smart discussion, you are in Dubai. But before we start discussing about all the experience that we can ever we could have in Dubai, I think it’s the best way is to start the short introduction, I think in the CX word, everybody knows you. But perhaps there are two or three people there that don’t know you, and therefore it would be great to get a short introduction from your side.
Faran Niaz 0:43
First of all, I would like to thank you for this opportunity. I think you’re you’re you become a phenomenon as a CX goalkeeper is, is a very well known. And I think it’s my honor to be on this on this, I would call it a show. So for me, it would be. Hello, everyone. My name is Faran and I originally am from Pakistan. I started my career with Citibank out, you know, 2025 years ago. And that’s how much my career in customer experiences always passionate about people serving customers. And I was first 11 years with Citibank, I worked in many parts of the world, including three years in Russia. So I was stationed in Moscow as the head of customer experience. At that point of time, it used to be customer service. So I’ve seen the transition from customer service to customer experience. I was then brought into UAE, about 15 years ago, joined one of the large banks here mushrik, which is also a big name. You know, I worked with the entire call center and what many channels and then I was headhunted by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. I was with them for 10 years. And very proudly, as everybody know, I think I’ve told this story multiple times, very proudly, that I brought this thing from 23rd position to number one bank and customer experience in UAE in four years time period. And we stayed there for seven consecutive years, which is to date. So even if today you go on, on the website of the auction website, you will see Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank as the number one bank. So I feel very proud, along with the team that I had with of Islamic Bank,
Gregorio Uglioni 2:20
I am honored to have you on this show. Because as you are saying you have a really a great experience, a great career, and and also now what you’re doing for the CX community, it’s outstanding, I was able to follow you on several discussion webinars. And I think what you are bringing to the CX community, it’s outstanding, and I am really keen to start a discussion.
Faran Niaz 2:47
One more thing before I because recently, I’ve started my own consultancy, by the name of CX future. So I thought with the experience that I have, maybe I would be better off like helping organizations and you know, others, help them with customer experience improving the customer experience. I will leave my details at the end and if somebody’s interested in.
Gregorio Uglioni 3:09
Sure. And I will talk farewell to them in the show notes. I think for quite a lot of people, it will be a pleasure to have a chat with you or discussion with you. Because at the end, we came also in contact like that. We shared some thoughts we met sometimes. And now I said, let’s have a discussion. And now we are
Faran Niaz 3:28
Gregorio Uglioni 3:29
Thank you very much. I think the best way to start it’s really only saying Dubai, it’s really the place where all the outstanding experiences take place. We you mentioned also in the preparation of this discussion about a new rating model, the seven star rating model. And perhaps I think with you it’s really it will be really interesting to if you could share your own experience that you had with companies. And perhaps you can start with with the best experience that that you are that you had in Dubai?
Faran Niaz 4:04
Sure. I think one thing I always say in many of my conversations, I’m very proud and very privileged to be in a part of the world where customer experience is driven by the government. And here, the comment is so clear about what customer explained how customer experience needs to be that they’re very, very serious. And I’ll give you some examples. Maybe some of them have previously heard it from me as well. One fine evening, we read a tweet from the leader of this great country, and by Sheikh Mohammed designer, Sheikh Mohammed. He has a habit of going and sitting in places and experiencing different kinds of places himself. So he went to one of the government offices. This was the by post and he sat in the queue took a cue number and he sat and waited for his turn. This is the owner of the leader of the country. So After 10 15 20 minutes, and he’s sent a tweet, and I say, this is not the service that this country was meant to be, these people are not from here. I don’t own them. This is not the service that we have the whole country moved. Next day, it goes to Ministry of Interior says, I want you to do a full survey. And after three to one months, I want to publish the top five, government offices of UAE 10, the bottom five. And guess what happens? You open the newspaper, right in front of the newspaper, the front page, there is a list of the names of the top five, and the list of the bottom five, and why they are good, and why they are titled full, transparent, full list, the the top organizations are this late, they were rewarded, they got promotions. In the bottom ones, the top management lost the jokes. Simple as that, as that’s clear. Digital transformation techniques, customer experience, everything here is driven. Very quickly, if I may tell you, this is the only country probably where there is a Minister of Happiness. There’s only country where there are roads, when you go on the street, you see happiness street, there is a happiness area, there are happiness. And all the government offices are called happiness centers. They’re not called offices, but happiness centers. And you mentioned the seven star. They said, why if a hotel can have a rating, and customers had the choice of making a choice of reading, going on the websites and saying, I want to stay in a five star hotel, you know, you choose five star, why can’t I choose High Five Star center. So you go and search for five, South Central and you go there. Now, if you go around UAE, from Dubai, you will see blanks already outside the government offices, where you will see three stars or four stars and five stars and the criteria. I’m very privileged. From the banking side from the financial world, I was very deeply part of this canister this whole initiative before the corona hit. And it was stalled. But I think it’s gonna start again, and they will gradually move it into a different parts of sectors as well.
Gregorio Uglioni 7:21
Thank you for Faran, for the introduction. And I think what you mentioned, a leader of a country goes to an office and experience like all the other people, what happens, I think this is an outstanding example of leadership and trying to leave what the life that older peoples are leaving, as you mentioned, you already mentioned that the Minister of Happiness coming back to this topic, Could you perhaps share a bit of ideas? What is the role of Minister of Happiness?
Faran Niaz 7:55
I think it’s revolves around the priority is the people. They want to ensure the variable customer good, they get excellent experience. The idea is not just to put a plank outside, it relates to an I’ve been, you know, be curious about as customer experience professionals, we’re curious. So I wanted to go into a five rated or a seven rated, I believe there is only one that I saw, which has six, six rating, you go inside, it’s a one stop shop, everything is Pitch Perfect, I went inside, and you feel as if you are in a five star hotel, everything is taken care of the people, the processes, everything is so smooth, anything I walked into a three star center as well. And I realized that there are some things missing and you can you know, you can relate what the Minister of Happiness, the role is to highlight the position of UAE as the leader of experience throughout the world, not just you. So they have open lines with the people. So as a as a resident of UAE, I have the exposure for I have the possibility to talk to the government and and register my grievances. I can write on on my good experiences, I can talk about my bad experiences. And they immediately work on it. Not only it’s a forum where they work on people grievances, or whatever it happens. They’re innovative. So they have a sector where the minister has a has a team where they would go around talking to people trying to figure out what’s happening in the world. What is the new thing that’s happening in customer experience? You he needs to help first. That is why there’s so many technologies that this country has, which the other countries are now still, you know, looking for. I can go into the details, but I think you know, we’ll have short time. But the purpose of ministry is to ensure just like any other ministry, make sure that the people of this country are happiness and by the way, you can see it from the happiness meeting, which is published globally. As you can see, the UAE rating is very, very high. And every year it’s increasing. I’m not wrong. It’s amongst the top 25. Now.
Gregorio Uglioni 10:08
And and I think that was my short experience also in Dubai, it was an outstanding experience. And as you mentioned, I think 1 topic that I think it’s, it’s also relevant, even if Dubai is the leading country, it even that they are looking outside and trying to benchmark themselves against what it’s even better. I think for quite a lot of topics, it’s not possible to benchmark because let’s say you are already the best, perhaps we have some experience that you add, that you can share in order to really explain this care, caring about people attention to details.
Faran Niaz 10:48
I think I would go slightly step above. It’s not just they’re following benchmarks globally. But I think that creating benchmarks, the way they have handled COVID I feel so privileged that I’m part of the world where I can go out, I can do whatever I want. Yesterday, I was in the summer watching a movie, I’ve been to do theater, watching Oprah, I can go on the beach, I can be in a hotel, I can be in a park, I can do what my life is normally, when rest of the world is struggling. Even if I don’t want to go into the numbers, the numbers are so controlled. But for me, this pandemic is this. That’s it. But the beauty about this part of the world is when the government says everybody wears a mask, believe me, brother, you will not find a single person who does not wear it. Everyone follows it because they love it, because they respect. And that’s how we’ve been able to control it. There are a lot of examples I can give you. And probably the best way to do it to look at is maybe if you start looking at what Dubai offers. It’s a pure it’s becoming one of the hub. As far as tourism is concerned. The only seven star hotel in the world is not just a seven star. It’s it’s a wonder of the world. And I’ve had the privilege of going there multiple times. The biggest waterparks the fastest roller coaster in the world, the biggest aquarium, largest mall in the world, the tallest building, of course in the world. It’s it’s bigger and better and largest now we have a Dubai which is probably much larger than the London Eye itself as well. So it’s the experiences. It’s not about what Gus one day I was studying with one of my friends and we were standing and say, we looked around 180 degrees and say, this is iconic. This is iconic. Here’s another iconic thing, here’s another iconic, everything is iconic. It’s not just the structures, but when you walk into and jokingly we always talk amongst our friends to buy actually spoils you know the the living standards that mashallah provides you and the kind of luxury that it provides you. I must not drive a car when I can afford it, which probably I can’t afford that call the hotel, I can simply say it without you know, hurting anybody’s feeling of three star hotel here is probably better than a five star hotel in some part of the world. And the pro star hotel or so you will have the luxury I mean, the space that the luxury the attention to detail is that’s why it brings people back. It brings the care and attention that it gives you. I shared with you I think I shot shoot the pictures. I was again, very proud. I was one of the passengers on this all COVID all vaccinated flight that went when there’s a few days ago, it went around UAE and I wrote it on my LinkedIn profile. I’m trying to lower. So we were in the air for three hours. And the experience was unbelievable. I mean, right now, when you go through the immigration, there is no passport, there is no ID you just go through is through your retina. The system just reads your eye. You stand there for a second and you go through what experiences are you talking about what level of experience? You know, this is in line with L airlines itself? Amazing. I mean, I’ve flown many airlines and anybody who’s flown at the heart or Emirates itself. What a phenomenal experience and somebody was saying a lot of issues obviously, you know, there are two different experience you get when you’re all playing on board. What an amazing experience. You get at the HUD announced few few maybe right before COVID The first way you have a cabin where you can sleep, there was a bed. I mean, ever thought about a bed inside an aeroplane. I was talking about the seven star hotel, when you go there, everything’s so beautiful. It’s like gold plated and luxurious in the views is split stick. And people are taken care of.
If I have any issue, it’s immediately I remember when I was working for the last the bank with of Islamic Bank, I got a call I was I was at in the evening, I was at home. And the CEO called he said follow on, I’m in a plane, right. But I mean, coming back from London, I want you to immediately go and find out who does the training of Emirates airline, I want my big people to be trained on hospitality. Because I love it the way they’re taking care of me. He said, I asked for something, I got not only got this, but I got something else as well. And that listening to me at the end, I actually went to, you know, Emirates Training Institute. And I got my people trained through there. So, so replicated. It’s just so many stories that I can tell you which are which create experiences, people are trained to give you moments. There are moments that you so when you visit somewhere when you go somewhere, it’s it leaves a mark of experience, not it’s not about the money. It’s not about the luxury. It’s about the hospitality. It’s about how the country takes takes care of you. And it’s how you go back smiling. And I have seen people crying on the output somewhere else they would have been, can I help you something wrong, you lost your passport, I don’t want to go my passport, my resigned, I have to go back. But I’ll be back soon. This place attracts you.
Gregorio Uglioni 16:55
And I think what you’re saying I can confirm that because that was also my personal experience. It was only a few days, but it was our honeymoon. And and in every restaurant where we went to, they asked us in advance. Why are you here. And everybody was caring about creating a special moment because it was our honeymoon. And they wanted exactly as you said, not only create an experience, but create a moment that I can remember for life. And it was really an outstanding setup. And I think this is also based on on the mindset. It’s really a planning, but this is really a mindset that all the people, the government, the government, but all the industry also around that are creating that. In order to be the best in offering these these experiences.
Faran Niaz 17:47
I’ll tell you one, one of the reasons why it has when you know that you will be recognized for the good work. It’s not just that you’re doing some good work, and it goes. And I always say customer experience. People are the unsung heroes. You do so many amazing things. I started my career in the call center, I used to take calls for a while as well. And I I’ve been in the front end as well. So I’m really proud that I’ve gone through different ranks. And I’ve seen when I become the call center manager, I had so much respect for these people. For example, you taking 100 calls a day to take 99 Great calls one bad call, and it becomes an issue. This is how tough this job is. You see 100 Customers front end you smile you give them great experience, one angry customer one bad experience and you’re questioned here. You do do a good job. You recognize the government recognizes you there are multiple awards here that multiple ceremonies have they recognize that people people feel proud. I, you know, I’m I’m very proudly judged off. Customer experience multiple forms, you know, I would like to call this, which awards international gave me very recently, one of the jobs was done maximum number of hours. I don’t know words and a lot of parts of the word depression that I see when it’s in Gulf region. They fight for it, because they want to show to their compatriots. I’ve achieved something for them. It’s not an award. It’s more of fronting. They like to show this is where they want to show off. And I’ve done a great job and helping people are great and serving people. My organization serves people better than you know, one of the reason why a lot of people asked me how did you improve from 23 to number one. It’s not an easy thing to add 30 Plus banks, you are at the bottom out of 27 banks and we very quickly one thing that I I read the psychology of the people of this part of the world and this is why you need to understand the culture. And I realized that they like to compete positively amongst each other. So the branches who were very good, I was complimenting them and the ones who were at the When I sat with them, I said, Listen, I want you to be at the top, would you like to be amongst your name to be highlighted amongst the ones who are, and they say, we are, we will do anything to be, you know, amongst them. So that passion to do something and to create us is remarkable.
Gregorio Uglioni 20:19
But I think from what you’re saying, it’s extremely important. And it’s, it’s a key mindset. Because at the end, in the morning, when I wake up, it’s not that I say, I don’t want to do anything. If I wake up in the morning, I am happy I am here, I want to create value added, I want to create something, and therefore I give my best. And I think in your region, what your experience, it’s even one step further. Because you want to create this experience, because there is this positive competition to show to the others that you can do that. And then everybody’s improving at the same time.
Faran Niaz 20:58
Absolutely. Yeah, and I tell you, but there is different sides to it. When there is this kind of competition and customer experience becomes such a. Well, I said that I’ve seen the transition, I tell you the different stages of customer experience that I saw in customer experience, the recent, it’s about five, six years old, only, it’s a new baby. So customer service used to be part of it. But when I came to this part of the world, the first word I used to hear was hospitality. So they don’t use it, they never used to call it customer service. They used to call it hospitality. And then from hospitality, it became happiness. And from happiness, it became customer experience. And I remember looking at the mentality of the organization’s. So one day, my CEO calls me and says, What is this word, customer experience? I’m hearing it. What is it? So that’s why I introduced when I introduced the customer experience, NPS and everything. And he was sitting with me and he said, I want you to tell me, who do you think is the best in customer experience in the world right now. So off my head, I said, I think Disney is very good. And guess what? Next week, he sent me to Disney, I was in Disney. And I got my certification from Mickey Mouse. I mean, I have a certificate from Mickey Mouse as well. I did my course. And then from there, I went to Zappos. For me that process is amazing. And Tony, I met Tony as well, was a great leader. And I learned so much so many traits of that. But what I’m trying to tell you what was new in the world, this part of the world was curious. They wanted to but the point that I wanted to make one, it’s this kind of competition, the expectations go high. So now look at the other side, which is the customer site, the expectation of the customer is twofold. So you need to overdeliver not on par, but you need to over deliver. So expectations. Something which probably would be one factor for ordinary customer that’s why people get oh, when they come here for us to people who live in this part of the world. It’s not because our expectations are are higher.
Gregorio Uglioni 23:16
And I think this is exactly the point that at the end nowadays it’s you’re not comparing a restaurant with a restaurant but you’re comparing a restaurant with Zappos, Disney and these top companies in customer experience. And therefore it’s also difficult to improve and what you’re saying it’s always to overachieve what what are the expectation, I think one of the most important colleagues in customer experience ship I can say in creating amazing experiences and this is always a bit more than normal and then average and at the end in Dubai, the average is so high that it difficult to go one step further.
Faran Niaz 24:01
I also tell you one thing as I said before, this country is step ahead. So whatever happens in the world is here. So digitalization or transformation is a huge thing here. But you know what the beauty and which is I’m a big advocate of of, I am not in the favor of 100% digitalization of any, because the human touch is so important. And that’s what I like about this part of the world that you go you find the best technology in the world. Very soon you will see cars which are driverless you will see taxis which will go which are going to be in the air by the way, they’re already ready. So the helicopter taxis are already ready, which will be you know, human contact contactless, but at the same time, the human the empathy, the sympathy the the people touch is so because this is the culture and that’s what I what I love. There are still like when I came new, I don’t know. I’m just going back to my initial day. is what fascinated me when I came to wall I’ve been in so many parts of the world, why this culture is so different. I used to be super surprised that I used to see a lot of people coming to the branches, customer, old customers, they sitting, you know what, how they bring their food and the newspaper. They sit, they feel the data at home, not in an organization, they feel that they belong to the organization. And during this time period, I observed this, they’re chatting with everyone they know everyone by name, everybody knows every customer, they’re sitting every now and that they’re drinking their coffee, half an hour, he’s reading his newspaper, he’ll get up we’ll go to the contract to do something is work, he’ll come back start chatting to the branch manager. I have never seen this kind of cohesion, this kind of friendliness and this kind of in any part of the world. And this is why I’m a big advocate that technology along with human factor is so important. Three days ago, as I told you, I went for I was going with my friend for for movie. And I was very full of everything, I’d like to have a good experience. And when I say thank God, there is a human being obvious, obviously, it was a great digital experience. I got my ticket online, and you have this QR code. But there is a guy who wants to read your QR code. So there is still a human being not a robot. So when he read the QR code, and he said, oops, we have a problem. I said, What happened, he said this ticket is for tomorrow. For him by mistake. I bought a ticket for the day later, no problem. Give me one minute, just please just give me a second went on the computer here. So new ticket, please go and enjoy. That’s the beauty of a human being. This is why humans are so important. And I was giving this example to somebody and I think I don’t know if I this related or not. I’m very passionate about the human part. No matter if you order your food on and this is what COVID did. You know COVID has changed our lives. And by the way, I’ll talk about the experience on the corporate side as well. That you order your food, for example, order, but in the end, but it’s the guy who you know, comes on that scooter or on this vehicle on time with your one pizza or your sandwich or burger or whatever you want it. And when the bell rings, and he gives you that that’s the moment those are the moments those are human being. Now, in this part of the world also, the experience changed a little bit because of the COVID. Obviously, I’m not going to go into the digital part of the world but more practical part of it. Dynamics changed from more perks and what the product offers me rather than how safe it is and what kind of environment it offers me. And I’ll give you the example why am I quoting it. Before it the heart or Emirates used to boost we have the best cables we have the maximum number of movies or entertainment entertainment is best in the world. We are the biggest cabins. Now they say we have the safest plane is the cleanest one. All our our cabin crew is 100% vaccinated, this is the now the selling selling point. And this is where this part of the world takes a lead. And this is what because why? Because the customers expect it. There’s an expectation, because majority of the people here and you know, like other parts of the world here, there is a very high profile, there is a high number of high profile customers. The high profile customer and it’s a part of the world where you behave, you can see that there is a competition amongst people as well, you know who has a word tenant and and that’s why the expectations are accordingly and they expect
Gregorio Uglioni 29:00
I think what you what you’re saying it’s extremely important and coming back to to the human part of the experience. This is still key because the machine is not able to replicate, as you said, the empathy or also understanding of Iran as the wrong ticket. I change that so that they can enjoy the movie this evening with with his friends, and he doesn’t need to wait for tomorrow to to watch the movie. And I think this is this is really key. And it will take quite a lot of time until a machine can or will be able to replicate this human interaction. And then and I fully agree with that. Perhaps also speaking about human relationship, what I’m always saying is that we are not in the b2b business or b2c, but we are in a human to human and entities is all the time I’m to get a bit more about yourself foreign. And therefore I would ask, as you said, you were, you know, 10 times or more times judge at the International in the end customer experience awards, you are really the animated a worldwide about your skills around customer experience, how can you ensure to have a proper life work balance?
Faran Niaz 30:25
If you would have asked me this question a year ago, I would have had a different answer. But now because of the COVID life, there are a lot of negative but there are a lot of positives that this this pandemic brought. I think it brought people closer, it brought families together, people who were spending majority of the time outside fathers, husbands, brothers, mothers, you know, sisters, now the spending time is there are odd, I mean, I’m scared, my door might open and somebody might walk in. And that can happen. And it happened to many of people, but at least the families that maybe the kid will start crying and you will who care if your kid is sleeping, you never know might might wake up because of something we might have to say. But that’s the beauty of this world. So we’ve come closer however, I tell you, I was talking to the CEO of a bank in Pakistan, is it for all I realized one thing, why was I traveling every day, stuck in traffic for hours. When I can do everything, I get up on time, I said, I do everything. If I need to sign some particular document, this the CEO who’s talking, somebody brings those papers, I signed them, I’m fine. I’m just thinking maybe even if this pandemic goes away, I think this will become my norm. Look at what happened to the call centers, concentrate environment is very difficult. Now remote call centers, all the accesses are there. So people can now take calls at the luxury of wherever they are. The same is the case with other people, there are some jobs where there it’s necessary, there are some jobs, which people can now do from from home. So work life balance has automatically taken it’s, it’s I don’t know when inshallah when this pandemic ends, my estimate is and I feel this balance will remain. I’m sure. Tell me yourself, if I may ask you this question. Do you spend more time with your family now than you used to before?
Gregorio Uglioni 32:28
Faran Niaz 32:31
And we have become more closer. I mean, I have done all my work. If I may take the name, zoom, I can talk to my entire team, I can motivate them through to this. I can do. But I do miss you know, obviously you miss that a lot of other things. But at the same time, you realize that a lot of things can be done remotely and work life balance is, to me is now taking taking shape. And I think the balance is pretty much doing well.
Gregorio Uglioni 33:03
And what you’re saying I can confirm that because quite a lot of people are speaking about the new normal. But first we need to understand what is normal because afterwards, it we don’t know what what really normal will be. As you’re saying we see that working from home. It’s really working well. Remote qualified,
Faran Niaz 33:21
financial. Imagine that if I have a large team, and I realize that I can give them accesses. It’s not there is no compliance issues there. So the accesses, I can Why do I need to have expensive, you know, premises, and all the equipment. Organizations can save a lot of money and have things we talking about digital I mean, I’m so fascinated by this AI world, the augmented augmented technology. I’m a big fan of virtual reality. I actually went into one shop where it goes virtual reality where you can walk inside the shop and you can feel those things. And there is a video going on. Maybe I’ll share it with you. There is a restaurant where it’s an augmented technology. The menu is a 3d menu that appears on your on your you can actually see the real burger or your menu with flaming caught flames coming out of it and smoke coming out of it is as the real as it can get. Now sitting in my in my home, I might before I used to just go online and I used to choose a hotel based on the reduce. No, I can walk through the rooms. Virtually I can choose which room I want which view which view I want. I can sit in a car I can open the door without actually being in the car. I can open the door sit in the car, look around at the interior and I can feel when the car is technology has really really moved to the front. And that would that would probably be the next door
Gregorio Uglioni 35:00
I think so. And as we are speaking about experiences, technology’s only a mean to create new new experiences and, and therefore fully agree with you, perhaps then the next question, and I see quite a lot of books behind you. And also this question, is there a book that you would suggest to the audience that you say, this is a book that I really liked, or that helped you in your career?
Faran Niaz 35:27
I have read quite a few, quite a few books. I like to read the books, which are more closer to the truth. And one of the books I think everybody has read Freud wretched, which is the big question and the NPS came out. And that’s where I read the book, which Tony also also wrote, and I would recommend that one, I can come up with the name. And this is the Zappos, Zappos story. It gives you a lot of insight into into your three. Now, I’m very keen on reading the books, which are my colleagues, right? I mean, I’m very proud that I’m part of this facility, which is called the customer experience facility. And recently, there was the third customer experience book published. So I will recommend those and you have a chapter there as
Gregorio Uglioni 36:16
well, if I’m not wrong, Yes, correct. You know, I’m
Faran Niaz 36:19
very proud tonight, the quality audit, I think it’s on the way, I will hold it in my hand, and I would, I would read that, and I think I find not wrong, Inshallah, I will, I will be featured in the next one. Next one as well. When you talk about the books instead of, you know, I can give names and there are a lot of names that people people, I love to talk about something else have a concept of a book that I want to write, you know, this is something which is missing, in my, I wish I can write a book of my experiences of my day to day which people can meet in illustration. So you read it as a comic book, for example, the experience that I have different experiences, I will create a comic book so people can read it as an illustration, and watch it. But not, you know, I’ve always been, I want to create something which is unique and which is different. So hopefully one day I will be able to offer this to the public.
Gregorio Uglioni 37:20
I also and I would I will be the first buyer of your book, because you are explaining such a great example you have so many so many experiences that you can share. And
Faran Niaz 37:32
I have a habit whenever I go somewhere and I experience something I write it down immediately. Do we have time I can give you a couple of very good experiences. Sure. People will, will learn from this and good and bad experiences. But I give you a good. So I went to this restaurant with my friend. And I invited her for for a drink. So we went to this restaurant and we already it’s a busy restaurant just like TGIF TGIF, this here. It’s called Chili’s. So I don’t have a problem taking the name to Chili’s is very famous, but it’s just like TGIF and you can order it. So you want to be nice dish. And then I said what would you like to think she said I want to try something new, goes through and looks at a drink, which looks beautiful blue color. Never I’ve seen this kind of a collared shirt. I will order this. Let’s see how this anyways, she ordered two concepts. And she said I don’t like and put it on the site. Who didn’t say anything? Would you believe the guy who was waiting us? He came and said, Man, I’m observing you’re not drinking it? What happened? To know do we find we know the ones who complain? said no. Why are you not drinking it? You don’t like it? She said yes. It’s very bitter. You know, I would like something more sweet. It’s a no problem. Go to the menu. Tell me which one do you like? So he chose about any product. And when the bill came, they did not charge us for any trick. Now this is a guy who’s waiting so many. This is a busy place. It’s not a five star hotel I’m talking about. It’s not a top line. I’m talking about a place where so many it’s a crowded place. But look at this guy, this is an experience. These are the kinds of things that leave a mark on you. Look at his empowerment, look how he he took care of at the same time. You know, we have all different kinds of experience. And so I I can write a lot of things. I have hundreds of these experiences that I always mow down. I was in a hotel and there were kids with us. Pretty expensive. So we took a staycation. Very fivestar. I prefer great, lovely view excellent stuff. No the kid we ever had a family. So one of the kids said that. I want to go to the slides. The slides are there is a special kind of slides which are in the sea so people can go and jump and it’s a jumping kind of thing. So the place was There was a certain price for it. So the mom came running to me one of the moms and said, You know, I’m very inclusive. Everything is fine. She said, You know what? This guy refused to let my son go to the slide. So the way he said he said, that slides are 120 drums. I have only 100 I do not have 20 said, No, I will not go unless you give me 20. So listen, I’m staying here, please charge it to, to my room said no, I need cash. Say listen, my son is here, I’m staying here, let him go. I’ll bring this 20 said no, if you don’t give it to me right now, I will lose my job, I don’t want to be without my manager would be very angry. And people are so satisfied. What an amazing place, everything was so good. And this one experience where the person did not want to go in buy the book, there is a policy. And I just want to follow it. Listen, see what’s how much you can do what you can do for the people. So they’re always good and bad experience at the same place as well, you can have experience.
Gregorio Uglioni 41:05
At now I also learning a lot. And I understand why, for example, Ian Doyle, Golding is inviting you to his master class, because you have so many good examples to explain what it’s better and what it’s not so good. And also why I’m making this example of following the policy or empowerment, you
Faran Niaz 41:28
took my secrets. But I said that I’m gonna write an illustration book of examples. That’s exactly what those examples would be. Because every illustration would actually tell a story and say, what went right, and what went wrong? And what could have been done better. So that’s my work. So now the secret is, what my whole plan of the book, thank
Gregorio Uglioni 41:45
you. For and if somebody would like to contact you, they could for additional questions, what is the best way to connect with you?
Faran Niaz 41:54
I am I’m very approachable. I mean, I come from a Citibank background where we believed in open door policy. And anybody could have walked into our and we love this. I absolutely, I really respected him for this culture. And I brought this culture everywhere and people loved it. And especially I went to some organization where it was there was a closed door policy, and I’m one of them, where the door is open. And everybody could walk in have a good discussion. It really, really works and brings people people across a very simple formula budget. So I have my LinkedIn so I can I can get my LinkedIn. And that’s where I’m always I’m on WhatsApp. Anybody who wants to WhatsApp me. I’m very, very fond of WhatsApp, WhatsApp as well. My mobile is there. I’m on Twitter as well. I’m on Instagram as well. By the way, one more thing that I want to add. If somebody wants to talk to me about some other stuff, look behind me, you can see Lego. So I’m a big fan of Lego, I just completed my Lamborghini, which is outside. So I completed my big Lamborghini. So I am a award winning photographer as well. I was rated I was nominated as the I was awarded the best photographer a few in 2010. I was in the newspapers and I my work has been exhibited in Italy and Thailand and some other places, places as well. So if people want to connect me for photography, I’d be very, very happy. So what I do is you have all my links, I would appreciate if you could, you know, just put them at the end maybe? Sure, that’d be the link of my, my, my website has been for my CX future.
Gregorio Uglioni 43:35
I know if I phrase that correctly, but this is your expectation and it will be my duty to provide all the information.
Faran Niaz 43:42
Thank you for this. you’re doing me a favor.
Gregorio Uglioni 43:46
Thank you. And the very last question for us. It’s your golden nugget. It’s something that we discussed or something new that you would share with the audience.
Faran Niaz 43:57
What would that be?
Gregorio Uglioni 43:58
Faran Niaz 44:01
I, I believe if you want to manager, for me a very important part of what I’ve learned in this journey. You can be a best worker, you can be an amazing you know, expert of your field. But if you’re not a good leader, become a good leader become a person who is proud of the achievement of their team. Somebody would ask me for on what is your success of an organization? I would say my success is the organization winning the awards, not me. Not anyone, highlight your people. I’ll give you an example. One team leader just team leader that I chose in in Citibank today is the retail head of Citibank. In one of the countries identify people, nurture them, if you have some quality if you have some Experience, give it to people share it, by sharing, you learn, I learn my experiences by sharing with others, by giving your experiences if you have, I think it’s our duty. So my my request for everyone, all these experts, CX experts, give as much as you can to the new ones. And I’m very proud. And I’m very happy that lots of new entrants into customer experience, they contact me and say, we just want to, you know, learn from your experience, what you how you’ve, so I love sharing my stories, and I sit with them and I share my maybe in the future, they will be able to explain something. So there is no nugget is just a request, if with all the experience that people have, please share with it make sure that people aren’t probably won’t become.
Gregorio Uglioni 45:48
That’s perfect, and I will join your request. And at the end, the only thing that I can say nice to thank you very much for on it was a great pleasure to have you on my show. Thank you.
Faran Niaz 45:59
Your show is amazing. And I I waited to be to be there. So I’m finally this is an achievement for me as well.
Gregorio Uglioni 46:07
Thank you very much. And also to the audience. Thank you very much. It was a pleasure. And I hope that you enjoyed this discussion as much as I did
Faran Niaz 46:15
questions please feel free. And I’ll just write to me, or we can have discussion even if something that we’ve not discussed any other topic related to it covers customer experience. I’ll be very happy to answer.
Gregorio Uglioni 46:25
Sure. Thank you very much.
Faran Niaz 46:27
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