If you are reading this, you are almost certainly someone who enjoys reading a good blog. At least I hope that the blog posts you have been reading have been good! It is exactly 1 year since I penned my opening blog post. I started putting my thoughts out in to the ether as a result of advice given to me by a customer experience guru. If you have not come across Mike Wittenstein, I strongly advise you to look him up. Mike runs a company called Storyminers (http://storyminers.mikewittenstein.com/our_approach/index.htm) – he has taught me a lot in my time as a customer experience specialist.
In May 2012, Mike suggested that I might want to start writing a blog – it is therefore his fault that I sit in front of my laptop just over a year later writing my 64th blog post. It was one of the greatest pieces of advice I have ever been given. It has been a great pleasure writing about the subject I feel so passionate about. I genuinely look forward to writing my weekly blog post. Often, as now, I write them at silly times of the day – today, I am in a McDonalds just outside of Worcester – it is 06:15. Some may think I am mad. You are probably not wrong. To me though, I am doing something that gives me a great deal of pleasure. If even a small proportion of the people who come across my blog feel the same way, then all the better.
To ‘celebrate’ my first year as a blogger, I thought I would post a reminder of my TOP 5 most viewed blog posts. The fact they are the most viewed, suggests that they have been the most popular – maybe you can tell me what you think:
1. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ – it does not matter what you look like, a customer is a customer – 11th February 2013
My most viewed blog post to date was one that was written by a friend of mine. The story of Helen Kewell and her experience with Sainsburys was one that touched many people. It is a story that everyone can associate with, and one that made many think twice about the way all customers are treated. This was also a blog post that led to a direct response from Sainsburys CEO – Justin King. Like all of my blog posts, I write them to be insightful and constructive. If the organisation that is the subject of the article can take appropriate action as a result, then it just makes my blogging all the more worthwhile. I will always be grateful to Helen for being so brave in sharing her story. If anyone reading this would like to feature in a guest post, please let me know.
Justin King’s response can be viewed here – http://ijgolding.com/2013/02/25/dont-judge-a-book-by-its-cover-justin-kings-response/
2. STRATEGY – MEASUREMENT – PEOPLE: a simple framework for managing customer experience – 26th March 2013
I do not like to get too theoretical with my blog posts. However, In March 2013, I decided to create a post that shared my approach to managing and improving the customer experience. In sharing the customer experience framework that is central to the way I operate, I generated a huge amount of interest from all over the globe. The framework that I choose to use is not exclusive to me. There are so many frameworks that exist, I just wanted to demonstrate that creating a framework for any organisation does not need to be complicated. I have used the framework in a variety of organisations, industries and sectors – I know it works. If you have not had a look, I encourage you to do so and assess the state of your own organisation against it.
You can read the post here – http://ijgolding.com/2013/03/26/strategy-measurement-people-a-simple-framework-for-managing-customer-experience/
3. 18 hours – how a loaf of bread helped improve the customer experience – 28th May 2013
Like everything in life, the more you do something, the better you get at doing it (most of the time!!). When I started to write my most recent blog post, I knew that it would be of interest to a great many people. I am often asked how I come up with ideas for my blog posts – especially when I write one on a weekly basis. The truth is that the process is often very impulsive. The idea sometimes just comes to me – and as soon as it does, I just have to write it down. That is what happened last week when I had a ‘bad’ experience in my local Morrisons. What started as a bad experience ended up as an amazingly positive one – one that I had to share with as many people as possible. That is one of the joys of blogging. As long as people are interested in the things I am talking about, it is wonderful to be able to share experiences with people from across the world. The story of my loaf of bread, and the action that Morrisons took is a brilliant example of the new world of ‘social service’ – again, it is a must read…..but I would say that! This is already my third most viewed blog post after just one week – given time, it may make it to number 1.
You can read the post here – http://ijgolding.com/2013/05/28/18-hours-how-a-loaf-of-bread-helped-improve-the-customer-experience/
4. £2,160 a night!!! What can we learn from Claridges? – 11th December 2012
If you are lucky enough, you may have had the pleasure of staying the night at Claridges in London. Even if you have not stayed there, you might have had the good fortune of enjoying afternoon tea there. If you have not had the joy of either, I suggest that you convince someone with enough money to treat you! Last year, the BBC aired a documentary series on the iconic hotel. It was brilliant viewing. Apart from providing good TV entertainment, for customer experience connoisseurs, the programme demonstrated what all organisations could learn from businesses like Claridges. Attention to detail, consistency, innovation, training, memories are all words that can be associated with one of the most famous hotels in the world – but they are also words that could be associated with any business. The programme had such a strong effect on me that I decided to treat Mrs Golding to afternoon tea on her 40th birthday. Can you guess what happened? It went wrong!! Not to worry though, the way Claridges dealt with the problem once again highlighted how well they manage the customer experience.
You can read the post here – http://ijgolding.com/2012/12/11/2160-a-night-what-can-we-learn-from-claridges/
You can read about our afternoon tea ‘problem’ here – http://ijgolding.com/2013/01/28/can-i-offer-you-a-complimentary-glass-of-champagne-sir-now-that-is-how-to-recover-a-customer-experience/
5. Attitude, Passion and Pride – do your people have it?
It is fantastic to see that the fifth most popular post in my first year is one of my very first. The story of ‘Arriva Trains Man’, who I later discovered was called Andrew Tyson captured the imagination of many. The post focussed on the importance of employee engagement. Every organisation needs people like Andrew – they cannot survive without passionate, proud people like him. It is regrettable that every day I hear stories of employees being taken for granted. It is so important to care for the most important asset any organisation has – doing so will ensure that what ever your business does, it will be far more likely to deliver a customer journey that meets or exceeds customer expectation. Andrew was understandably delighted to read a blog post written about him – I only hope that his employers recognise the value he brings as well.
You can read the post here – http://ijgolding.com/2012/06/25/attitude-passion-and-pride-do-your-people-have-it-27/
Just because these are the top 5, does not mean that the other blog posts are of little value. I have enjoyed so much positive feedback over the last twelve months, that I would love to provide a reminder of them all!! Whilst I continue to enjoy writing them, and people continue to enjoy reading them, I will continue to write about the customer experience. We are all consumers. We all experience interactions with organisations on a daily basis. Sometimes these interactions are good, sometimes they are not so good. My job is to help those that recognise that they can be better – that they can deliver better experiences for their customers or clients. It is wonderful to see more and more businesses putting customers at the heart of everything they do. Despite this, there is a very long way to go before the customer experience is genuinely a priority for the majority of organisations across the world.
Thank you for reading, commenting and supporting my blog over the last twelve months – your support for the next twelve will be just as important!!