Customer Experience Magazine is profiling the top 10 Professionals and Influencers from our Top 50 CX Stars list.
Here we look at Number 2 in each category. Nick Macfarlane of Sky is today’s featured Professional, and our Influencer is Ian Golding.
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Head of Customer Experience at Sky Spain
Nick McFarlane has been living and breathing Customer Experience since 2005 when he joined Renault UK as a Senior Customer Relations Manager, and has since cultivated his skills in CX roles at household brands Vodafone and Sky.
Reading-based Nick joined Sky in 2011 as a Senior Customer Experience Manager for their Broadband & Talk division before going on to develop the end-to-end CX roadmap in the vital role of Customer Journey Programme Manager.
He is now Head of Customer Experience for Sky Spain, and helped design the journey for Spanish customers in what was Sky’s first ever organic launch in a new country.
It’s a changing world for the pillars of traditional media, and the behemoths such as Sky have a need for laser-focussed customer insight as it adapts to new landscapes. Looking at the last two decades alone, significant changes have included a boom in digital subscribers, and the launch of services including Sky Broadband.
Dramatic evolving of services requires the skilful handling of customers, and Sky continues to be in good hands with Nick as he brings his leadership and drive to Sky’s newest market in Spain. There he has helped build an enterprise-wide CX function that gathers insight from across all touchpoints and turns it into tangible benefits.
His success with leading CX in Spain is also inspiring Sky as it look towards other overseas markets.
Nick says: “For me, great Customer Experience is all about creating a human connection and keeping it simple.”
Nick is a devotee of the contact centre, and believes it to be the nucleus of any firm’s Customer Experience delivery. In recent years he has begun preaching his vision with a busy schedule of keynote speaking engagements, from Europe to Australia, where he presents his Five Rules for Great CX to eager audiences.
If you have even the slightest grasp of what it means to be customer-centric, then Ian Golding should need no introduction. Without doubt the UK’s number one Customer Experience consultant, Ian’s influence has grown exponentially in recent years as he coaches the CX stars of the future not just in the UK, but across the world.
His CX Masterclass, in both the UK and the UAE, is responsible for revamping the CX strategies for countless firms, from bigger brands to budding start-ups, and through his Customer Experience Consultancy is setting the gold standard for other firms in the ever-growing consultancy realm to match.
Ian was the first person in the world to be authorised by the Customer Experience Professionals Association to teach the CCXP accreditation, and it is estimated that he has mentored up to a quarter of all of the world’s qualified CCXPs to date.
With his coaching in such high demand, the CX world knew it was a matter of time before Ian entered the book market, and his 2018 debut work, Customer What?: The honest and practical guide to customer experience has since become the key text for not just budding CX professionals, but any business owner with a desire for success in an era when the customer is calling the shots.
So who inspires a man cited as the inspiration for so many CX professionals in the UK and further afield?
Kingpins including Jeff Bezos and Satya Nadella are recognised by Ian for their pioneering work in transforming the relationship between customer and brand, but Ian admits his biggest inspiration in CX is simply the enthusiastic members of the CX community that he meets and inspires himself, on his global mission to supercharge Customer Experience.
Ian says: “Creating an emotional link with customers demonstrates the ability to identify the ‘WOW moments’ in the customer journey – the compelling brand proposition that leaves customers in no doubt as to why they keep coming back – and telling all their friends to do the same.”
One thing we can be sure of in 2020 is that Customer Experience will continue to shape the modern business landscape, while Ian himself will continue to shape our understanding of Customer Experience.
Click here for profiles of our Number 3 Professionals and Influencers.