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Interview with Adrian Swinscoe

by | Mar 9, 2021 | Interviews,

Adrian Swinscoe

Adrian Swinscoe

Customer Service and Experience Advisor at Punk CX

Key Topics:Customer Service, Customer Experience and Employee Experience

Described as an experimental CX thought leader and visionary, Adrian Swinscoe is a best-selling author, Forbes contributor, speaker, investor, advisor and aspirant CX Punk.

He has been growing and helping develop customer-focused large and small businesses for over 25 years now.

His clients have included Sky, NowTV, Apple, ING, KFC, Philips, Cancer Research UK, Talk Talk, Gazprom, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Olympus, Harper Collins, Microsoft, Pearson and Costa Coffee to name but a few.

Adrian is a frequent writer, podcaster and speaker on all things related to customer service and experience.

He has published three books on customer service and experience issues including the best selling How to Wow: 68 Effortless Ways to Make Every Customer Experience Amazing (Pearson, 2016) and more recently the innovative and exciting Punk CX (2019).

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

I originally trained as an economist, working across the Middle East, but decided I didn’t want to pursue the PhD route and got my MBA instead. My career took me down the path of understanding how processes in an organization can produce outcomes which no-one designing the process intended – the way a lot of poor customer experiences happen. When I decided to go independent, my interests naturally drew me towards working with companies on this problem – getting under the bonnet and looking at how these outcomes that no-one wants are happening despite the best of intentions. Starting to document everything I was seeing by blogging seemed like a natural way to get my thoughts down and hopefully share the benefits of my experience. 

What topic areas are you most passionate about?

My driving passion is helping to create, develop and grow businesses that take care of their customers in the best way possible and create the great teams that are required to do that. It can take an outsider coming in, declaring a blame-free zone and taking the time to really understand the issue to get to the bottom of it, but it’s really satisfying when you can make a lasting change. People tend to be very solutions-focused these days, but I think taking time to better understand the problem yields the best results.  

Which influencers influence you within those key topics?

Too many to list. Some have an established online presence while others don’t. Many, if not all, of the guests that I have had on my podcast over the last 10 years. I’ve currently conducted in excess of 370 different interviews over the last 10 years. My podcast started in Jan 2011.

Outside of key topics, who else influences you?

Artists, journalists, scientists, poets, musicians, social commentators, friends… influences are eclectic and many.

How would you describe your offline influence?

I work with clients in three distinct but often connected ways: 

  1. In an advisory capacity where they engage me to help them address or solve a specific service or experience related problem. That could be on a project-by-project basis or an ongoing (retained) basis 
  2. In capacity building and/or the facilitation of decision-making/planning. This is primarily done through one-off or a series of workshops but could involve some one-to-one coaching work 
  3. Speaking and writing. I’m a regular keynote speaker, roundtable participant and webinar presenter/host at industry conferences and corporate events around the world on customer service, customer experience and what it takes to really deliver a standout experience in today’s ultra-competitive world. In my talks I share how to do that by combining research, trends, best practice, a bit of myth-busting and quite a bit of storytelling. I’ve been privileged to be able to speak at leading industry conferences, customer events, in-company events, and senior leadership gatherings. I am also often commissioned to write whitepapers and opinion pieces. This often accompany a speaking engagement but do not have to and are often commissioned separately. 

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

Podcasts, webinars, whitepapers, speaking opportunities, product innovation and video interviews but will depend on the project, the desired outcomes and level of commitment. Some of the best brand collaborations have started out as a one-off (e.g. I spoke at their conference) and have evolved into long-term partnerships with ongoing value to both parties. I like to think of the relationship as a whole, not just the piece of content or campaign. 

What brands have you worked with?

I’ve enjoyed working with brands big and small, which has helped me build on my expertise. Heres a partial client list: 1800Contacts, Apple, Bibby, Calabrio, Cancer Research, Consumers International, Costa Coffee, Crown Commercial Service, CTAM, Diesel, EIU, Freshworks, FT, GB Met College, Harper Collins, ING, ITV, KFC, NewVoiceMedia, NowTV, Olympus, Openmarket, Pearson, Pega, Shell, Spire Healthcare, Talkdesk, TalkTalk, TUI, University of Brighton, Vonage, plus lots of smaller brands, fast growing tech companies and SMEs. 

Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience?

I’m always interested in building relationships with companies if their work aligns with my interests and expertise. As part of that, I would be keen to create content, be it a blog post, a video or a product review, as well as share it on social platforms. I am always happy to speak at events, webinars or podcasts with a view to getting embedded in that company’s journey. 

What are your passions outside of work?

Cycling, rock climbing, music, writing, our allotment.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?