Ian Golding is a certified customer experience professional, customer experience specialist, and certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He advises leading companies on customer experience strategy, measurement, improvement, and employee advocacy techniques and solutions. Golding is the CEO and founder of the Customer Experience Consultancy Ltd, a public relations and communications company based in Chester, UK.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in North London in the UK. I had a very good, loving childhood, growing up alongside my older brother Mark. Going to University shaped my life – without question. As a shy, rather reserved child and teenager, leaving home allowed me to start understanding my true self.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

Listen to your heart – not just your head….. or what your parents tell you to do! I wanted to go into hotel management. My dad ‘ordered’ me not to. I should not have listened to him!!

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

I have a very big aversion to people calling themselves ‘experts’. My profession is extremely broad – we should never stop learning. Humility is vital in maintaining integrity.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I have been made redundant twice during my career. The feeling of ‘not being wanted’ is one that is difficult to deal with at the time. However, over time, you realise that many things in life are not personal – it is just business. Things also happen for a reason – and I have come to learn over time that as one door closes, another opens!!

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Honesty, sincerity, and authenticity!! Be real – do what you say and do not chase money. If you do the right things for the right reasons, you will prevail.

What is your morning routine?

It is not for everyone!! Monday to Thursday I wake up at 4 am!! I am at my desk by 4:15 am and then back home by 6:30 pm!!! That is why I do not work on Fridays – Friday to Sunday is family, dog, and me time!!! 

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Running!! I started running in 2007 and have not stopped since. I have now completed 28 half marathons, 4 marathons, and various mountain challenges!!! Running has become a part of my life.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

This is not my forte actually!! I often overload myself as I find it difficult to say ‘no’. Good diary management is the answer – and having the ability to stop things that are unnecessary to give you more time to focus on the things that really matter

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – a classic novel, it really resonated with me as a teenager growing up and has stuck with m ever since

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

I have two favorite quotes – both business-related:

  1. “People trust us with their dreams, you can make them real” – source unknown.
  2. “100% of the customers are people. 100% of employees are people – if you do not understand people, you do not understand business” – Simon Sinek

I love both of these – they really resonate with me and the work I do in influencing people and organizations to become more customer-focused.