The inaugural International Customer Experience Awards is taking place this November 15 in the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam.

The gala event will reward the world’s most customer-centric businesses and organisations, that will be judged by an expert panel of key global CX industry figures.

Among these judges are the 2018 International Customer Experience Awards Ambassadors, each representing his or her country at what will be the planet’s biggest ever celebration of CX. In a new series, CXM World is publishing exclusive interviews with – and opinion articles from – the Ambassadors, as the event approaches.

For more information on entering the awards, click here.

Ambassador: Ian Golding

Country: United Kingdom

Occupation: Global CX specialist and Certified CX Professional. Founder of the Customer Experience Consultancy

Hi Ian, tell us a little about your professional background, and what drew you towards the concept of Customer Experience

I started my career in process improvement. I had the honour of working for General Electric (GE) when it was still led by Jack Welch.

I attended a Six Sigma training course and the rest is history! I always say to people that GE changed my working life. It was the first time I heard the words ‘customer centricity’. It was also the first time I was exposed to tools and methodologies which made it possible to continually get better at doing the right things for customers.

I knew that being part of a ‘movement’ that would make customer centricity a reality was ultimately going to be my vocation.

You’re a judge at the 2018 International Customer Experience Awards; what do you hope to see among finalists’ presentations?

I am very fortunate to have worked with organisations in 38 countries around the world. I know that Customer Experience is evolving differently, and I would love to be surprised and humbled by CX innovation and focus from parts of the world which we may least expect!

What aspects of Customer Experience are popular in the United Kingdom?

Everyone is talking about Customer Experience and customer centricity. Differentiation on CX as opposed to product or service is definitely in-vogue.

However, the most significant focus of all – in the UK and beyond – is on digital. However, my experience is showing me that while many may think they are introducing digital technology for the benefit of the customer, most are actually introducing technology to save money.

What aspects of Customer Experience could be improved in your home country?

That’s easy – the answer has to be leadership development in understanding the competencies and capabilities required to be sustainably customer-centric. Too many people think they know what Customer Experience, but the problem is that many understand the logic behind it, but not the actual science.

What, in your opinion, does the future hold for Customer Experience?

Right now, I believe that Customer Experiewnce will continue to grow in focus, but very slowly – as it has been over the last 15 years.

Until or unless those who run organisations understand that CX is a science – one that requires long-term focus – we will continue to see organisations delivering random experiences that may or may not meet the needs and expectations of customers.

The consequence of this is that by the time these leaders realise how important Customer Experience actually is, many of their businesses will have ceased to exist!

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