Episode 50 CX Insider celebrates its 50th episode! Valentina, Greg, Adam, Simon and Antonio sit together and reflect on the most entertaining episodes they have recorded. From the very first episode, the podcast has been through a massive transformation. They take the listeners behind the scenes and talk about how the concept of podcasting started and gradually evolved.
How the idea was born.
It is common to hear the phrase “the greatest ideas come after a couple of beers”, and for CX Insider it was partially true! Back in 2019, when the podcast started, B2B podcasting was booming and, as Simon mentioned, more and more people, him included, were engaging with podcasts in their free time. In the meanwhile, they found themselves having interesting and original conversations even outside of working hours that were worth sharing with the world. The final decision was then made one evening after work, encouraged by a couple of pints.
How the podcast evolved over time.
By listening to the first and last episode of the CX Insider, it is evident how many changes were made to offer a continuously improved content. From the technical changes, like the host and the name, the podcast changed shape and tone, with each episode turning into an insightful story from the guests.
Alongside this transformation, even the podcast’s purpose evolved. The team moved from wanting to share inspiring conversations to aiming to create a strong community of people, who found value in the exchange of information and stories around customer experience.
The team's favourite episodes.
Now that CX Insider has reached 50 episodes it is challenging for the team to choose which ones they like the most. The most recent ones are very high on the list as everyone was committed to delivering improved content every week.
Check out our top 4 episodes’ list that Greg, Adam, Simon and Antonio put together:
- EP 48 – You Can’t Make This Sh*p Up, with Paul Rutter
Centred around the delivery of perfect CX as the starting point, and interesting stories from the cruise industry.
- EP 47 – Who Comes First, the Employee or the Customer? With Salman Sharif
Answers this critical question, related to “the chicken or the egg” mind game.
- EP 34 – Neuromarketing: the new way to enhance customer experience, with Terry Wu
Shows the impact that marketing has on customers and how brands can use neuromarketing to improve CX.
- EP 32 – Damien Davis on mental health and working remote
Came out during lockdown and it is still very relevant as more companies decided to keep working remotely.
Written by Alessia Trabucco
Full episode transcript
Valentina: What are your favourite episodes in the podcast? I can't hear you, Greg. I think you're on mute.
Adam: Come on, guys, it's episode 50, we should be up to scratch with the tech.
Greg: Yeah, sorry, I always be myself. Even after 50 50 episodes, I still haven't learned how to commute
Valentina: Into today's special fiftieth episode I am joined by my colleagues and co-host Greg Simon, Adam and Antonio. And together, we're going to look back and talk about how this podcast originally started. We will talk about our favourite episodes, what you can expect in the future, and tell you insights we've never shared with our listeners before. So stay tuned, because in this episode, you will find out what's been happening behind the scenes. It has been over a year since the very first episode was published in 2019, B2B podcasting was booming, everybody was jumping on the bandwagon and it was an experiment worth doing. Back then, nobody at ACF Technologies thought that one day we would be recording our fiftieth episode. Yet here we are. So how was the idea born? In my country, they say that the greatest ideas are created over a couple of years and maybe that's why we have the largest consumption of beer per capita in the world.
Simon: I can't quite remember. I know the idea formulated over a beer somewhere, but for me I think it's ideal for when I started running actually, because when I was running, I kind of would listen to music to start with. And that got quite boring and repetitive. So in order to take my mind off of the fact that I was running because I usually stop very easily, I convinced myself to stop. I'd have to listen to an interesting podcast and it developed from there. The more podcasts I listen to, the more I realize that actually there's a lot of value here. So I start moving towards work related ones or interest related podcasts. And it's sort of spurred the idea that I kind of thought maybe initially we had a lot to talk about that probably narcissistic. You know, I want to do a podcast because everyone should listen to me and then. Yeah, sort of kind of grew from there.
Adam: Like what you're saying. Simon will cap it because you have a poor taste in music
Simon: And a narcissistic edge to me. Yeah, I think I know everything. Yeah. Yeah. And then it was over a very great, great I think we realized actually there's a lot of value in it as long as we had more people to just many more interesting people and come away from that.
Greg: Definitely. And what's interesting is that although that's where we started, we very quickly realized that although we thought we had a lot of conversations happening internally, that we we were adamant that the world wanted to hear. We very quickly realized that the conversations had to go beyond ACF. And for the reason that there is obviously a big wide world of knowledge and experience out there of people who specialize in customer experience in all forms. And if we weren't capitalizing on that sheer number of people that we were, we were basically not doing our audience justice. And I think that was quite evident because our first guest came on Episode 10. So quite quickly, we either run out of track in terms of our internal conversations, but I think we also realized quite quickly that we needed external input to really make sure that we're delivering the most value and entertainment for our audience.
Simon: I think that's when we realized, wasn't it, that we're sitting there, especially the first I think after the first session, I kind of realized that we're saying that I think we were talking about bank branches, weren't we, and future of banking. And you kind of realized actually that the target audience that we're looking for no way more than us. So that was I kind of maybe we need some specialists on, you know.
Adam: Guys, you hid it really well, because I only started with ACF in October and you had the studio set up. You had a bright orange fridge freezer in there at the back wall down like New York and all the mics. I would have done it for ages. So you hid that quite well.
Valentina: Ironically enough, I've never got a chance to record anything in our studio as I joined the company in the middle of the pandemic. Yeah, many things have changed since the first episode was published. The host, the name, the brand, the format and the purpose of the podcast itself as well.
Greg: I think it can expect to maybe that initial reason of wanting to to capture valuable conversations that we were having often at the end of the day, perhaps after meetings, you're having a beer and you're talking about ideas here and ideas there. And we think in these would be great conversations for external customers to hear. And then naturally, the idea moved on to being one where we think, you know, there's a lot more ideas out there. Let's bring on guests and let's start to record those conversations with people that are working in customer experience focused roles within organizations, events, companies and in all different forms. And then I think more recently, over the last I'd say, 12 months, we really have made that progressive shift to wanting to build a community and the community idea is really now very much at the centre of everything, I think, for the podcast and really brings its meaning, which is it's about collecting and sharing ideas or the best ideas we can find to do with customer experience in all industries, not just like banking or retail, but all industries. We have people on from from the property industry, from the cruise line industry. So we're really starting to broaden our spectrum. And what we're realizing is that everyone's experiences and ideas are just as valuable as everyone else's. And that's what I think the magic or the centre now of this community that we're building. And in it goes without saying, I guess it goes way beyond us as an organization, as ACF Technologies is almost completely separated now from us as an organization. And it's also separated from the people that we speak to, like our guests, our customers, anyone that comes on the podcast, it's not about them or their organization either, which is quite nice. It's about the collective ideas that we bring and discuss. And then hopefully people that listen can then take them away and potentially implement them in their own organizations.
Valentina: It wouldn't be a special episode if we didn't share some behind the scenes insights. In the last seven months of being the producer of CX Insider, I managed to lose hours of editing because my laptop stopped working, I recorded episodes on an ironing board on the floor with a blanket over my head to isolate a background noise. You know, when you work from home, external factors force you to get creative. Luckily, I learned a lot from my colleagues who were experienced by the time I joined the company. For them, the learning journey was much more difficult.
Greg: Well, it's interesting how we've been quite harsh on our first series of episodes, especially knowing that we actually recorded at least 20 episodes before we actually published our first one. And the reason for that is because we we simply wanted to get started with podcasting and we thought the best place to start would be to actually to interview lots and lots of employees across ACF and then put those external. But we basically took a lot more courage than we thought to actually post that first episode. But it's interesting that we did at least 20 episodes before we actually published our first one. And even on that first episode that Simon and Adam have both talked about, I actually know that we cancelled and recorded that one at least three times. So what you're seeing there is definitely not the actual first episode of the podcast, which is interesting. I don't know whether it's a good or a bad thing, especially since that's not that great. And then I guess another story that comes to mind is that when we recorded our first episode when in the lockdown, and so we all at home and we're recording it completely remotely, we actually recorded a whole episode and then completely lost that whole episode just because we are such rookies and we didn't know how to use the online recording software that we're using right now. And, you know, I sort of know how to use it, I don't know how to unmute myself, but the idea is that we lost a whole hour's worth of recording at the start of lockdown and so far, touch wood. We haven't made that mistake again because that's quite costly. So there's a couple of ideas. I don't know if anyone else has got any funny stories about recordings and stuff like that.
Adam: Yeah, there is one other thing actually that they almost certainly won't know. And if they listen very carefully, they will actually hear it. My dog is called Chewie. He is the first and probably the only dog to feature on an episode of the podcast. I'm not sure what episode it actually is, but we'll have to take that out as a little part of there. But you never know what the space might have. More pets on the ticket. Now we've got video.
Valentina: The episode Adam is talking about is episode number six called Is The Retail Experience Changing? And everybody, this is Chewie. Throughout the last year and a half, we've had guests from various industries, backgrounds and countries. Naturally, there are some episodes that stand out. So let's go back in time and remember some of the most interesting moments that you could hear in the podcast.
Greg: To me, it's hard actually to pick favourite episodes because I do genuinely think with every episode we get a little bit better. So it's hard to not always pick the latest episode. In particular, more recently, we've really transformed the way that we tell the stories of the episodes, that recording. So it's getting really exciting from that perspective. A couple that jump out to me that I think have quite a lot of, I guess meaning, but I just were really fun episodes as well, was when lockdown first happened. It was actually really interesting to record Episode 16 and where we're talking about how people can stay healthy whilst in lockdown. And that was with Jess Rega, who is like a personal trainer.
Jess: TRX, trainers, minivans, resistance bands, are gonna be your best friend.
Greg: And that was really Eye-Opening to us because we went from being a podcast that we thought was solely only ever going to talk about customer experience or actually saying, actually, we can use this platform to maybe now help our listeners in a different way if we can. And bringing on a personal trainer to share ideas about how to stay healthy whilst in lockdown was something different that I maybe didn't expect to come about in the podcast. So that was that was interesting. And then during the whole pandemic lockdown, we did a couple of episodes, a particular one with with Stuart from Newcastle Building Society, where he was really open and honest about what he foresaw for his organisation, is the route that they were going to take to try and navigate covid-19, although the you know, no one really knew what was going to happen.
Stuart: Everybody in the video definitely placed a telephone call. I think I I can't remember the last time I did a telephone call. We can clearly see now that people are using video every day. So video for banking services and for advice is really probably an important thing to provide today.
Greg: It turns out actually he was really accurate in terms of how they would respond. And also he was able to share an incredible set of stories about his staff and how they had been truly amazing throughout the whole covid lockdown. So that was really interesting to see. And then I guess following on through the episodes, there was there's an amazing episode with Howard Brown.
Howard: My first passion was, was music. But at the same time, I always wanted to work in a bank. And so I kind of got side-tracked, really. I mean, I sort of went off and went off to college and studied music for three years. And then I played with a few bands in the Midlands where I'm from, Birmingham Bosk and all that kind of thing, and realised I needed to get a proper job.
Greg: That was just so much fun because the guys got not only great insights and knowledge about the banking industry and there was a lot of value in that episode, but it was just so much fun to record it. And then I guess my final one that jumps to mind is in Episode 32, we talked about mental health with Damien Davis. And that was a really interesting episode, again, because it linked back to Episode 16 previously with Jess Rega, where we were trying to capture a conversation that we had picked up with one of our guests about how you can continue to support your own mental health. And again, bringing that to the podcast or something that was quite special.
Simon: Yeah, my favourite ones are the latest ones, I think it's the case with every podcast I listen to as well. I like listening to the most up to date kind of way of recording them and layout and, you know, structure, and I think the one that we've got is is really good. The other thing that I love about them is I deliberately don't check to see what guest we have. I love the fact that every week it's someone completely different, like Greg said, someone like Jess from that perspective or the most recent one from, you know, from the cruise line. It's just endless anything and everything and everything in the middle. So I kind of just like the random approach. So I'm going to stick with my least favourite would be the first one and my most favourite would be the most recent. Definitely.
Adam: I kind of mirror a little bit what Simon just said. I do think of anything we've got better as time has gone on of the most recent ones. I do actually love the most recent one. I think the one with Paul Rudd. Brilliant. I think that no one's listens that listen to it. The guy's great.
Paul: Imagine going out on stage to talk to a group of people and they actually are naked.
Adam: I don’t know what it is about American accents, but they seem to work for audio. They say they say we've got brilliant accents and that voice could sell anything. But I think it's a way round. They just need to work. Maybe it's because after all, TV's American, I'm not sure. But he's brilliant. He's good. I thought Brian Cale three episodes ago, he was really cool guy. Very honest, very up front. Just I thought he was just such a good fun guy.
Brian: I had to interact with my bank, Wells Fargo, a couple of weeks ago, and the only way to do so, I had to call and I was so pissed. Why couldn't I have a live chat or a button in my app to just do what I needed? I needed to cancel a quick transaction. It's super easy. So companies need to move away from phones as soon as possible. And we need to start talking to consumers and training them on how to be empowered and how to use digital tools.
Adam: You are really worth a listen of the older ones, Terry Woo, your marketing, I thought was a brilliant guest.
Terry: The question I want to ask people is the last time you bought anything at Amazon, did you make that decision yourself? Or did Amazon make that decision before you went to Amazon?
Adam: And then older ones know the one that Greg said Carly liked it, one which was on working from home. We had a series about three or four from working from home at the beginning of covid-19, and they want everything. They were staying fit. We had a personal trainer, which we had you know, we spoke a lot about mental health and everything that we pretty much touched on is kind of come to fruition. So it's a shame we didn't buy lottery tickets and stuff at times without good at guessing stuff. But yeah, a right mixture. Worse ones, without a doubt. The first few, I think the worst ones where it was just us thinking that we would be interesting talking about software and queues and stuff. Let's be honest guys, knowing what to talk about cuz no one likes standing there, let alone talk about them, I think it just got better and I think it's going to get better and better as time goes on.
Simon: Why couldn't you tell us that back then?
Adam: I had only just started at the job. I thought I'd get in trouble.
Antonio: Ok, I think that all the episodes are very good because we have the idea that we can see the different approach that is perhaps regarding customer experience. But basically, I remember the last episode from Salman Sharif because I think that the concept that they tried to transmit this very area for me is a more important scene in in customer experience than say that who come first, the employees or the customer?
Salman: The whole point, especially for employee experience existing, is that it's there to serve a better customer experience. So the premise is that if you're a happy employee, like the famous quote from Richard Branson regarding Virgin Atlantic in particular is if you're a happy employee, you look after your employees first, customers second, and happy employees would deliver better experiences.
Antonio: And I think this is basically the concept of the customer experience because independent that are good will be the strategy that we can to implement in the customer experience if we don't have the employees compromised with the strategic is so complicated. So I think the concept of this, the Oscars and especially I remember because I think is one of the ideas that I think is more important in customer experience is the balance between the customer centric and the employees that provide the services.
Valentina: So here we are. We remembered the funniest and most interesting episodes, we shared with you what it was like when we started the podcast and how the concept evolved throughout the time. The question is, where are we heading now and what can you expect in the next 50 episodes? As Greg mentioned, our vision is to continue building the CX community where people share their knowledge and ideas. It's not about promotion. It's not about who has a better personal brand. It's about building collective knowledge. The most interesting and entertaining conversations are those in which people disagree and make you think, especially now, when the pandemic is almost over, things are unpredictable. It is important you find a source of valuable information which might help you make better decisions. So if there are any topics or even single questions you would like to get an answer for. Contact me on LinkedIn or email and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you think you have an interesting story to tell, who knows? You might be the next guest on our podcast. Definitely. Let us know what you think as we are happy for every opinion. And I will see you next week.