CXpert Talks: Former RBS Customer Experience Consultant Ian Golding

Lauren Burgess  |  September 10, 2018

Lauren Burgess  |  September 10, 2018


This series is aimed at breaking down some of the mystery around managing, improving and measuring customer experiences at every digital touchpoint. Every day we hear the message that having a great digital experience is key for generating sales and increasing customer loyalty, but rarely do we get actionable advice for creating them.

Each interview is packed full of essential tips for digital teams looking to connect with their customers through meaningful experiences. Participants have been selected for their extensive backgrounds in the industry and the unique insights that they’re able to contribute as a result.


In the first installment of the series, Ian Golding, certified CX professional, international keynote speaker and author of Customer What? The Honest and Practical Guide to Customer Experience, shares his insights into modern digital experiences, the challenges facing enterprises in this area and how to effectively create and monitor digital experience improvement initiatives.

Ian Golding photo

Golding has more than 20 years experience working in business improvement, including 17 years spent at a variety of enterprises including The Royal Bank of Scotland and GE. He is a noted customer experience author and speaker and has appeared at events all over the world.

In 2012, he became an independent CX consultant and is currently working with several global banks developing their CX strategies and leadership capabilities.


5 things you’ll take away from this interview

  1. Why automation is key in the future of digital experiences
  2. How digital experiences can be used to educate customers
  3. What enterprises need to do to compete in a changing marketplace
  4. The importance of managing the customer journey (and why it’s a never-ending battle…)
  5. Three essential ways to judge your own digital experiences

1. What do you think are the key elements of a truly brilliant digital experience?

A truly brilliant digital experience is one that does not just meet the basic needs and expectations of customers, but actually goes a step further in enabling customers to do things that make their experience even better than they could ever have imagined.

It is difficult, although not impossible, for humans to anticipate the needs and wants of customers – if digital technology is able to ‘automate’ anticipation – then we are truly moving into a new world for customer engagement.

I envisage a world where a digital experience ‘educates’ customers – not for the benefit of the business – but the benefit of the customer.

I envisage a world where a digital experience ‘educates’ customers – not for the benefit of the business – but the benefit of the customer. For example, if a customer places an item in their basket, but there are better value options, or options that could be delivered quicker, digital technology should be used to bring that to the customers attention before they complete their purchase.


2. What do you think are the biggest CX challenges facing enterprises this year?

Whether it be in the digital world or the traditional ‘bricks and mortar’, all organisations are faced with continuing challenges around the following:

  • Sustaining a long term focus on CX
  • Changing the mindset from product and ‘balance sheet’ focus to genuine customer focus (doing the right thing for the customer)
  • Collaboration – the inability to break down silos and work together... to deliver CX together…
  • Acknowledgement that the world has changed – traditional industries need to radically transform their business models or risk dying altogether


3. How do you identify opportunities for improving digital experiences?

The key to the successful implementation of the digital experience is through the management of the customer journey. Not just mapping the journey, but measuring it, identifying priorities for improvement, delivering improvement – and then doing it all over again…. and again... and again… forever!

The customer journey and the management of it MUST be embedded into the way an organisation works – mapping the journey is NOT a one off exercise.


4. How do you judge the success of digital experience improvement projects?

In my opinion, it is threefold:

  • A demonstrable improvement in customer perception (whether it be through NPS, CSat, Customer Effort, or all three) (Voice of the Customer)
  • A demonstrable improvement in operational capability – i.e. timeliness and cost (Voice of the Process)
  • A demonstrable improvement in commercial performance – retention and revenue (Voice of the Business)

However, I also argue that we must seek the opinion of our employees – understanding if they think the experience is improving is critical (Voice of the Employee).


A big thanks to Ian for sharing his thoughts with us! If you would like to keep up with his latest thinking, be sure to follow his blog. Keep an eye out for the next installment of our interview series.


Lauren Burgess

Written on September 10, 2018 by:

Lauren Burgess

Lauren is a Digital Marketing Executive at Decibel.


Stay up to date with all the latest in online customer experience with Decibel's newsletter