Episode released on: 11. July 2022
Who is the CX Goalkeeper? with Dennis Wakabayashi – Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper
The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Dennis Wakabayashi
LinkedIn Headline: Global Voice of #CX | Connector of people and resources to transform business | Digital Marketing Instructor | Author | Industry MC and Keynote Speaker
- 00:00 Game Start
- 00:24 Dennis’ introduction
- 01:00 Dennis’ values
Dennis starts interviewing Greg – The CX Goalkeeper
- 02:30 My family
- 05:00 My passion for soccer
- 07:30 The role of the goalkeeper
- 10:15 The collaboration with guests & the related preparation
- 13:10 The investment & the related reward – celebrating the CX community
- 17:10 The 3 podcasts that really stand-out among the first 80 episodes
- 22:40 The highlights of my career
- 22:08 Dennis’ conclusion
- 30:00 Dennis’ contact details
- 31:22 Dennis’ Golden Nugget
… and much more
Dennis’s Contact Details:
His book suggestion:
- I Ching – 64 small life lessons
Guest’s Golden Nuggets:
- In my perspective in 2022 the algorithms and the math that we use to identify and continuously improve CX may not be the strongest tool in the toolbox. When we look at the experience of our customers, they’re equally if not more, sometimes impacted by the voices of other customers or people in their communities. And so for that reason, I believe that word of mouth and public relations will become the new secret weapon or the new best tool in the toolbox in 2023 to drive revenue and enhance CX as a discipline within major corporations and even smaller corporations
“I believe that word of mouth and public relations will become the new secret weapon or the new best tool in the toolbox in 2023 to drive revenue and enhance CX as a discipline” @CXCreator on the CX Goalkeeper PodcastTweet
#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast
Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, it’s really a big, big pleasure, because I have Dennis together with me. Hi, Dennis, how are you?
Dennis Wakabayashi 0:11
Hi, Greg. How are you, sir?
Gregorio Uglioni 0:13
Very well, I am really thrilled to start a discussion with you, Dennis. But before and as usual, I always ask my guests to introduce themselves, and therefore also in this case, please, Dennis, could you please introduce yourself?
Dennis Wakabayashi 0:26
Sure, Greg. I’m Dennis Wakabayashi. I am a CX enthusiast. I practiced CX for many years of my career. And now I’m more interested in the stories, the leaders, the innovators on the topic of CX. So I’ve been spending a lot of my time going coast to coast or even around the world, talking to leaders about customer experience, and finding out what’s the newest, what the newest trends are, or what the best insights are in the world of CX.
Gregorio Uglioni 0:59
Thank you very much for your introduction. And as usual, the next question is related to the values that drives you will life which are these values for you.
Dennis Wakabayashi 1:10
I, you know, I think empathy, collaboration. And I think those two things lead to growth, growth for brands, but growth for human beings, growth, for relationships, growth, with friendships, those my core
Gregorio Uglioni 1:24
values, empathy, and collaboration and growth. And I think these are also topics that we can discuss, as the main topic of this discussion of these interviews, because I have the great pleasure to Andover back to you to share with the audience which topic we are going to discuss tonight.
Dennis Wakabayashi 1:43
Greg, thank you. So when we originally got together to talk about this podcast, what I recognized is that you’ve spent so much time as a content creator, you’ve interviewed so many people, and I’m certain your audience would love to know more about you. And so rather than talk about me and my life, I just asked you, Hey, can I interview you on your podcast for your audience? And you said, Hey, let’s try it. So for your audience, today, I’ll be interviewing Greg, the CX goalkeeper, to learn more about his life, his experiences, and how those came together to position him in the world of customer experience. So with that, Greg, I want to just say, I don’t think many people know this about you. So why don’t you start out? Tell me about your family. I know you’re right there on the border between close to Italy and Switzerland. You tell me about your parents? What? Before you came into being tell us about your family background?
Gregorio Uglioni 2:48
Oh, that’s really an interesting question. And before I start speaking about my family, then it’s Thank you very much for what you are doing. Your suggestion. It’s really outstanding. And I am super happy to err view as a host on my podcast. This is something strange. But I learned that working together with you means to do strange things and really try to do all those other things. And therefore super happy to be here. Thank you very much for asking that. I grew up in in the southeastern part of Switzerland. It’s small continents, more region, the name is Ticino. And the place where I where I grew up, the name is Lacarno. It’s a small town, 10,000 people. And I grew up with my family. And I have a sister, she is nowadays also in Switzerland. She is a physician, and she lives not too far away from from where I’m living. And my mother still live in Ticino where where we grew up, and I really enjoyed having this family. I’m super happy to have such a family. I learned a lot. And it’s easy now to say that in afterwards, it’s always easier. But it was really outstanding. We were a normal family. We grew up with normal Diffic difficulties that we always had, and all the families but at the end, they extremey the important thing is we were always together, we were always trying to stay together. And my mother did everything to keep the family together, and to ensure that we had the opportunity to have the best possible future, me and my sister and therefore she did everything. She managed everything including the illness of my my father, in the best possible way in order to give us a better future.
Dennis Wakabayashi 4:42
You know, it makes me think that great customer experience as a business practice, listening to your story starts somewhere inside of us and you were born to do this. You know, as you grew as a young man, tell me about some of your experiences as a young child, at some point you got into soccer or football as a passion. Did that happen early on?
Gregorio Uglioni 5:09
Yes, that’s that’s, that’s really, that’s really interesting. Because when I was a child, this was all the only thing that I wanted to do. I didn’t want to go to school, I didn’t want to do anything, the only thing that I was thinking about is adding the ball and playing with with the ball. And it was really outstanding. And also, they’re thinking about starting with three or four, as a four years old boy, starting playing soccer or football for our European friends. It’s, it’s really interesting, because you need other people, you need to agree with other people, with four or five years old boys agreeing on the rules agreeing who is winning, who is not winning. And it was not always fair, because we had also some boys that were older or bigger that they decided the rules, but we were required to play. And then I started also to play an official team. And I always wanted to be a goalkeeper, and therefore I am also the CX goalkeeper. This is really an interesting story, having the opportunity to put two passions together. And this is what really I’m enjoying, I can share that I don’t have an issue to share that I am not earning money with this podcast. But I really like doing that because I can speak with great people like you, Dennis, and with older people that were on my show. And I can use and think about soccer. And it remember me all the good moments that I had as a child, with my family, with my friend thinking about how can I explain this, I can’t explain it, you know, then it’s at the end, everybody cooks with water. This is something that we say in Italian. And if I would start sharing the example of Amazon, Ritz Carlton, Disney, this is something that all the other people are doing, and perhaps they are doing that in a better way. And therefore I set for myself, I want to stand out, I want to explain the same thing, but from another point of view, so that we can provide to the people that perhaps are skeptical about customer experience and know the view on that. And now we are here I’m speaking with one of the most known guys in customer experience, it means it’s worked pretty well. You know
Dennis Wakabayashi 7:32
it sure has and Gregorio one of the things I’m not sure, excuse me, I’m not sure. everyone really knows this, but the goalkeeper is the most important player on the field. The goalkeeper is the captain, the goalkeeper directs where the other players are going. And when it all comes down to it, it’s one thing to score points. But it’s one an entirely another not to let the other team’s score. And when we think about customer experience, and customer lifetime value, the goalkeeper is the person who protects the revenue. And so I love your metaphor, because you’re both a student of the field. But you’re also in a position to work with other leaders around the world to help them score. And so I just think the metaphor works perfectly for you. When
Gregorio Uglioni 8:29
Greg, I can, I can confirm that. And I was also thinking about about that being the CX goalkeeper, you mentioned some characteristics, I’m not sure that it’s the most important player, but it’s one relevant and as all the other tabs on the field. But if we think about the goalkeeper, he has the opportunity to read to see the complete field to seeing the risks to seeing what what’s happening, and they can try to help and orchestrate everything that is happening on the field. And I think this is one extremely important role of customer experience professional. This is one example and the other one that I would like to share. It’s It’s It’s my story because when I was a child, I really didn’t like to read. And my mother tried to find any opportunity to get me to read the book. And therefore she she bought for me books about soccer because she said something that you are passionate about, start reading that and at one point in time it came home with one book about the goalkeeper and what’s the role of the goalkeeper. And in the introduction they were explaining that goalkeepers need also to be a bit mad. And I can think that it’s also with the role of ourselves six professional because we are really trying to do everything for the customer. Even if the board is saying we need to focus on the financials, even if the marketing is saying we need to focus on on these on it, we are met, and we continue trying to push for the right thing. It means for the benefit of the customer. And these are two examples that I often share when I’m speaking about the CX goalkeeper,
Dennis Wakabayashi 10:12
very great references. It makes me think of, you know, in life, we have two choice, we can either try to be right or we can try to win. And I think that when I listened to you talk about your collaborative style, your team play the strategy of a goalkeeper looking down the field, you are orchestrating over 100 different players in CX. Now how many podcast episodes have you done?
Gregorio Uglioni 10:40
Dennis Wakabayashi 10:42
80 almost almost 100 players. And what I wanted to call out on your show, is, all of us get a chance to be on different podcasts. But I don’t think we celebrate the podcaster enough, you mentioned you don’t this is not a sponsored show. You’re not selling the appearances of others for your own personal game gain. You really are investigating and sharing knowledge from the best CX leaders with everyone in the world. And I’m not sure people know how much work goes into what you do. Can you just share with us how much work goes into creating a podcasts when you do it for a person?
Gregorio Uglioni 11:28
Thank you. I think the beginning is even more difficult. Because now it’s easy to discuss with you to speak about you and think about myself but also a lot, a lot of other podcasts, English is not our mother tongue. And therefore it’s not so easy to start speaking in English and make it understandable for the audience. And at the beginning is extremely difficult because you don’t know how to enter this this podcast how to create them out to find people. And if nobody knows you, it’s difficult to get the big names on the podcast. And therefore you need to ask several people do you want to join? Can you join, please join. As you know, or as also, the audience knows every episode is roughly 30 minutes, but 30 minutes, it’s only the discussion you have to preparation. And if you want to ask smart questions, then you need you need to prepare, you need to read the books of the people on your podcast, you need to watch videos, you need to listen to other podcasts to find ways to do that. And the preparation is quite a lot. And then it’s the post production, it means you need to create an audio file that you need to upload you need to have nice video that you can share over YouTube. And then it starts with the advertising because it’s normal, the first podcast that you publish one people, two people listen to that my first podcast, my mother listened to that. And she was happy and she was 1 fan of myself. And and therefore it’s extremely difficult because you need to advertise that. And at the end, you are investing 2, 3, 4 hours for each episode to have good, good quality.
Dennis Wakabayashi 13:08
You know, you’ve invested several 100 hours over all of your podcasts, your time, your energy, you you’ve produced so many podcasts and promoted on social so much. And you’ve joined the conversation of so many of your guests in their feeds, you’re really a a huge asset to everyone in the community. And I just want to celebrate that for a moment. Went away year did you start doing your podcast,
Gregorio Uglioni 13:40
it’s roughly two years ago, now I’m publishing every week on Monday, in the morning, the audience or whoever wants to listen to that gets one one new episodes brand new, not a replay, as a lot a lot of other podcasts are doing to fill the spaces that don’t have. I want really to share every every week, something new. And for sure I’m trying to find different people not always the same guys, or same ladies. And therefore it’s also been an investment to find who you should invite to the podcast.
Dennis Wakabayashi 14:18
It’s a labor of love for you. You’re spending all of this time. Can you share with me some of the ways that the CX community has given back to you or do you get how do you monetize? How do you get rewarded for this time and I know you don’t want to be rewarded. I can tell that about you already. But you’re you do all of this work. Please tell me it’s coming back to you somehow.
Gregorio Uglioni 14:45
Yes, it’s coming back. And what it’s coming back it’s for me it’s first of all a master class. I don’t need to join a course because people like you and older really outstanding people on All around in the Sikh community and I’m really thankful to the Sikh community, join my podcast, yes, I need to prepare for that. But I am learning a lot. You know, if you prepare for the interview, you discuss together with one one thought leader and customer experience, you get so much out of it. And it’s it’s, it’s perhaps you think that it’s stupid what I’m saying. But also when you are preparing the audio file and you are preparing the video, and you need to write down and which minutes we discuss which topic, but you are so focused that you really listen to every word your partner is saying. And therefore I am learning a lot. And yes, for sure people are coming to me asking for advice or asking for some information. Or, for example, I have the opportunity to speak with with older people. And I think and this is also the demo that I have on my web. On my web page. I think we are in human to human environment and the networking, the connection are extremely important. I want to share one example, I had the pleasure to be co author of two books customer experience three and customer experience for and I’m still in contact with with the other co authors. I started in a new industry, I am working in a hospital. And I was able to ask a great network for advice. How should they take? Take a look customer experience in in Ospital? How is it possible to get some information? Das for example, Journey mething really works in in hospital for patient. And you know, a lot of people in the CX community knows about hospital, and healthcare. And they helped me and this is the rewards that I’m getting. No dentists, I’m not getting to getting money, but I am not looking for money. I’m really looking to grow together. One one great, great guy in Turkey told me it’s not always about to get money out of the cake. But it’s important to make the cake bigger, because then we can all profit out of it.
Dennis Wakabayashi 17:10
That that’s I think that really summarizes how I see you in the community. But now, because you’ve had over 80 podcasts, you’ve spoken to the best of the best. You’ve learned so much. And I can tell you were a good student. Can you share for us? I’d like to know, who were the the three stand out CXers that you interviewed over those 80? And what was it about each of them? Or what they said the knowledge that they shared that hit you to make it so important?
Gregorio Uglioni 17:49
I don’t know if the question implies something. First of all, I need to say the most important is with you Dennis… nom joke aside, it was a joke, but it really a pleasure what you are doing. And this is one question, the only question that you asked me in advance, and therefore I prepare for that. And I was really thinking when I was traveling with the train to the office and back from the office, what I’m going to answer because I don’t want to please some people or other people. And therefore I was thinking at the end. What are we always preaching as as customer experience. But really, really what is really important. The first thing is important important: our customer… for a podcast my customer is the audience and therefore the first first guest guest that I want to mention is the episode with most listeners. And these are number based.
Dennis Wakabayashi 18:45
Yes, yes, of course.
Gregorio Uglioni 18:47
And they’re I’m really thankful that Faran Niaz from Dubai was helping me with the podcast, and he had the most downloads throughout the last 80 episodes that we had together. And with him I did something different. It was not related to one specific topic. But what we did together, II shared his experiences as a CX professional, in different industry in one hotel with the flight company and he really shared what is issues were during this journey and what he did. This is the first one that I want to mention.
Dennis Wakabayashi 19:30
As you might know, I just got back from Dubai doing the CX coverage for the EXPO 2020 Dubai and you know those CX thinkers in Dubai are very progressive. I mean they are passionate and successful. They’re like see Dubai must be one of the CX capitals of the world so that that’s full surprising but that’s a good first pick who is the next person that just doubt in your mind?
Gregorio Uglioni 20:00
It’s, it’s, it’s again, I want to give back something to the audience. And I really tried for months to get her on my podcast. And at the end, it’s it’s it was worth it to try it and try it and try it. And this was also the podcast with the most feedback that I received. I received positive feedbacks. It’s Claude Silver, the chief heart Officer of VaynerMedia, we had an outstanding discussion about emotional intelligence, I think, sorry to say, she is the best in this field, and how she’s really caring about people it’s outstanding. Every word that she’s saying, it’s the right one, it was really announced outstanding discussion.
Dennis Wakabayashi 20:47
I love that because of course, when I post about this, I’m going to post those three podcasts so that people can find out sort of what the best of the best was. And I just want to say for your audience, because I know you’re a humble gentleman, and you tried to say it, but the answer this question, you, I know are passionate about all of your guests. This isn’t about which guests were better than the others. But these were things that stuck out to you. And I really love having your personal filter on it. So who was the third person with that podcast that sticks out in your mind?
Gregorio Uglioni 21:22
Let’s, let’s make say the last thing about Claude Silver?
Dennis Wakabayashi 21:25
Oh, yes, please do.
Gregorio Uglioni 21:26
This was really the only podcast where I was extremely nervous. I prepared for hours and hours. Because I think this great, outstanding opportunity, and I am so thankful with Claude, that she took time to speak together with me. I wanted really to ask the right question, not to speak too much to give her as much time as possible to speak because the audience can profit, will profit about this episode. This was really outstanding.
And then is the last one, it’s not an name. Because you know, what is the next the next episode that I want to mention, is the next one, because I really enjoy speaking with people. And it means that the next one that for me stand out, it’s really the next one that I’m going to record. It’s the next CX professional CX thought leader coming to to this podcast, without being paid and sharing his or her knowledge, about customer experience, about personal experiences. And therefore I’m really thankful in the CX community for joining this podcast.
Dennis Wakabayashi 22:37
You know, that’s, it’s very humble. And I think you’re right, the future what the future holds for all of us is so important. You’ve you’ve come a long way. We were we have just a little bit about a little amount of time. But I would love for your audience. Because you probably don’t get to talk about this quite enough. Can you just take us from from the time you were a young boy, your CX goalkeeper, now interested in soccer, football, and you’ve had a career. Give us the highlights of your career leading up to where you are today
Gregorio Uglioni 23:16
and Dennis I have this is not a job interview because I’m not prepared for that. Job interview now, really, for me extremely important, is first of all, as you said, as a young boy, everything that my mother, teach to me, this is really the basis. And if I am you and I have the opportunity to speak to you, I’m really thankful to my mother, giving me everything what she did. Every piece of energy she had she invested for us, for me and my sister, and it’s something that I want, I want to share. This is the first thing. The second thing is I had a summer job. That was my first job. I was working in a car garage. And also there I am really thankful to the owner of this car garage, I was working in the administration. And from from him I learned really a lot, being professional, being patient. And really, really, also be being passionate about what what I was doing. What about what he was doing. He gave to me really, nowadays I can say that really these three topics, being professional, being patient, and being passionate about what you’re doing. And therefore I would say thank you very much, Sergio. If you’re listening to this podcast, it’s it was really an outstanding thing. And I am I moved to Zurich to start this. I studied Business Informatics. It was extremely difficult because I learned German in the school. My mother tongue is Italian and then you are moving into a new town really big town Zurich, and you are studying in another language extremely difficult. I studied Business Informatics And then I started working at Accenture, Accenture. And it’s, I think one of the best possible school that I had. I learned a lot. I learned what it really means to work. And I’m really thankful for this four years working at Accenture because I learned so much this one was the best possible school to create and continue my career. After working for Accenture, I moved to a credit card issuer. And there I had really, I worked really with with great people, I had the opportunity to work together with our former CFO, Daniel, it was an outstanding learning from from you what what really means to work, what to delete out to deliver, and how to be smart while working. And I’m so thankful that you gave me such a such a big opportunity to grow within the company, together with the former CEO Marcel it was really outstanding to work together with you having the opportunity as a as a young guy to work with the C-suite was an outstanding opportunity. After what I moved into another department. And I was really then it really started back to the roots working in a contact center trying to transform that, together with with with my manager, Michael, and, and Dario to mention to two names, it was an outstanding journey, trying to transform, a contact center from a cost center into a value generating customer centric value center was an outstanding opportunity, I learned so much. And there, I really developed my passion for customer experience. And after these 10 years with this credit card issuer, I moved to this hospital, I am now leading the business transformation. And also there it’s outstanding to see people out they are motivated to do the right thing for the patient, to try to get them as quick as possible out of the bat in the most professional way. And we know our hospitals, healthcare is struggling with COVID and all the other issues that we have at the same time. The last thing that I want to mention few if a corporate job, as always, I add. And during the last few years, I started to create the six goalkeeper, everything what I’m doing, it’s my hobby, it’s I like to do that I really enjoy doing doing that. And there are quite a lot of people that really supported me, I don’t have enough time to mention all of them. But the one thing I want to say thank you very much Nils what for what you are doing for me, you are a great mentor, you are a great coach. And without your support. I it’s not it wouldn’t be possible to be here. And now I’m here together with you. And before we close this discussion, I’m really thankful that I had the opportunity to chat with you, Dennis, I know we are not finished. But I wanted to say that because you asked really great questions.
Dennis Wakabayashi 28:07
Thank you. I think it really does sum up what your audience needs to know about you. Born into a complex, diverse landscape of languages, of cultures, where your mother and father your family raised you and your sister with a high degree of empathy and nurturing with a desire to win. You spent a career that started on the front line with customers, learning how to be patient and engage in meaningful ways. And you carried that through your career over over many, many years, and now to be the CX goalkeeper on the field, looking at seeing the entire field filled with more than 80 different players. It just puts you in such a perfect spot in our community. And it’s been an honor for me to take this time to celebrate you for your audience. So for me and your audience, thank you for everything you’ve done, the hundreds and hundreds of hours that you put in just to see our community be better. It’s been an honor to be here. And I think that really sums up what I wanted to accomplish here today was to celebrate you and thank you. So with that said, Gregorio, I’ll hand it back over to you to wrap us up.
Gregorio Uglioni 29:29
Thank you very much. It’s great. And the last thing that I wanted to mention, thank you very much to you. And I want also to say thank you very much to my wife, and my son, my wife, Cristina and my son Edoardo, they are my life and they are giving me everyday energy company that positive energy to do everything what I am doing, and therefore Thank you very much. Now we are concluding this discussion. I take it back to us and as we had not so much time to learn about you.
I still do Want to close the game with three questions. The first one is, is there a book that you can mention, you could suggest to the audience that help you during your career or throughout your life.
Dennis Wakabayashi 30:12
I will say my mother gave me a very thin book of the I Ching, when she was before she passed away. And that book contains, I think, 64 different small life lessons. And whenever I feel like I need some wisdom to come from somewhere else, maybe from my mother who’s passed away, or when I need to share wisdom that I think is a little bit less biased. From my perspective, as a parent, when I need to share advice with my children, the I Ching has been a Northstar, for me to navigate my life.
Gregorio Uglioni 30:50
That’s super interesting. And I see and I feel how you are linked also, with your family, do this one value that we share together? The second question is an easy one. But I think you are doing really a great job in the customer experience community. And what you you are doing what you are creating, and the mindset that you are trying to share with the community outstanding. If somebody would like to connect with you what’s the best way?
Dennis Wakabayashi 31:18
Gregorio Uglioni 31:21
Thank you. And the last thing, it’s, then it’s golden nugget. It’s something that we discussed or something new that you would like to share with the audience.
Dennis Wakabayashi 31:31
I would like to share that, in my perspective and 2022 the algorithms and the math that we use to identify and improve, continuously improve CX may not be the strongest tool in the toolbox. And that when we look at the experience of our customers, they’re equally if not more, sometimes impacted by the voices of other customers or people in their communities. And so for that reason, I believe that word of mouth and public relations will become the new secret weapon or the new best tool in the toolbox in 2023 to drive revenue and enhance CX as a discipline within major corporations and even smaller corporations
Gregorio Uglioni 32:21
and their audience. We conclude with Dennis golden nugget. It was really a great discussion. Thank you very much, Dennis for your time.
Dennis Wakabayashi 32:32
Thank you, Gregorio. Good luck, and thanks for everything you do.
Gregorio Uglioni 32:36
Thank you very much. And I hope that the audience enjoyed this discussion together with Dennis, it was a big pleasure. And if you would like to share with us your feedback, please let us know because we really evaluate your feedback. Thank you very much. Bye bye.
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