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What is customer experience: CX Mini Masterclass – E14

The inaugural episode of Julia’s CX Mini Masterclass series tackles a question that goes straight to the heart of CX: What is customer experience? This topic can feel vague and the concept is often misconstrued, so CX expert and show host Julia Ahlfeldt cuts through the jargon to provide clarity. What's in a name? As it turns out, quite a lot. The term “customer experience” is the basis for an important area of business strategy and an emerging field of work. As such, creating clarity around...

Data, insights and B2B customer experience: interview with Andrew Swan – E13

Andrew Swan, Senior Business Intelligence Executive at top global law firm, White & Case, shares insight on B2B customer experience and the role of data in managing client relationships. Julia and Andrew discuss the intersection between data and team culture, and how to keep the marketing team from getting too "creepy" with their info gathering. Julia shares some exciting news about the podcast. B2B vs. B2C customer experience Customer experience is the next competitive battlefield. By now,...


Next gen employee engagement strategy: interview with CXO Jason Bradshaw – E12

Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia, Jason Bradshaw, speaks about how the company's employee engagement strategy has improved customer experiences. Jason asks show host Julia about her views on some of the CX profession's most burning questions. Together, they unpack a truly horrible car buying experience to determine what went wrong. Next generation employee engagement strategy This episode was a bit different. A few months ago, the Chief Customer Officer of Volkswagen Australia...


Yuppiechef, a customer experience leader: interview with CEO Andrew Smith – E11

CEO of Yuppiechef, Andrew Smith, shares his perspective on customer empathy, the future of retail, and integrating CX as a secret ingredient for differentiation. The South African retailer, Yuppiechef, is truly a customer experience leader, and host Julia guides us through a conversation about how this company's success has been fueled by customer experience. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Smith, CEO and co-founder of Yuppiechef. Now 12 years old, the Yuppiechef brand is...


A global community for CX professionals: interview with Diane Magers CXPA – E10

Diane Magers, CXPA president and CEO, shares her insight on CX industry trends and the evolving professional field. Learn about the CX career development resources that are available for global CX practitioners as Diane and Julia discuss the role of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) in growing the profession. Customer experience is a relatively new profession. Some larger businesses have established a CX team, but others have just one or two dedicated resources - and...


Keeping customer experience simple: interview with Capitec Bank – E09 Part 2

Shaun Ray, the head of CX at Capitec Bank, enlightens us on how this up-and-coming banking brand has achieved market leadership by focusing on simplicity. Julia and Shaun discuss Capitec as a case study in CX excellence, and Shaun shares his views on future CX trends in the financial services industry. In part one of my interview with Capitec Bank’s team, I spoke with Charl Nel and Shaun Ray about the bank’s customer-centric strategy and how they use social media to understand customers....


The art of customer listening: interview with Capitec Bank – E09 Part 1

I recently interviewed Charl Nel and Shaun Ray from Capitec Bank, one of the Big 5 banks here in South Africa. Charl is the Head of Communications and Shaun manages its CX. Firstly, for those who are not familiar with Capitec, it is truly a major success story for a South African Bank. Now 18 years old, Capitec’s primary vision was, and still is, to simplify banking for customers at a time when the financial services industry was renowned for its complexity and lack of transparency. How did...


An honest and practical guide to customer experience: interview with Ian Golding – E08

CX Thought leader and author, Ian Golding, shares his perspective on why customer experience matters, and why CX needs an advocate within the business, even if there isn't a formalized CX role. Julia and Ian review the four tenets of CX from his recently-published book and explore the importance of getting investor buy-in for CX. Ian explains how he is continually inspired by the CX practitioners he works with, and shares his own personal customer experience horror story on a recent flight....


When a voice is the face of customer experience: interview with Marianthi Dickie – E07

In today’s world, so many of our consumer interactions happen remotely. As banking, retail and other experiences have moved into the digital realm, their support functions have gradually transitioned out of the physical store or branch, and into the contact center. These changes mean that verbal interactions are playing a more important role in shaping consumer’s relationships with brands, and so we need to understand how verbal interactions influence the customer experience. When you...


Solving 99 customer problems: interview with Multichoice SA – E06

This episode of Decoding the Customer explores how Multichoice, Africa’s largest satellite TV provider, ignited CX transformation through customer-centric culture change. It started when their CX team brought in several angry customers to give the executives a reality check, and then culminated with a campaign to rally the entire organization around 99 customer journey problems that just needed to be fixed. In our interview, Clint Payne and Landile Chauke, from the Multichoice CX team share...


The role of compassion in customer experience: interview with Laura Jack – E05

Understanding the perspectives of others and making decisions within this context is the foundation good customer experience. Customer compassion is key to developing engaging customer experiences, and rallying teams around a common customer-centric goal. Laura Jack is an expert on the topic of compassion, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with her about how embracing and enabling compassion can improve CX. Laura Jack is a counselor, coach and author of the bestselling...


Executive champion for the customer mandate: interview with Michelle Beetar, Chief Customer Officer at Cell C

In 2016, the South African telecommunication firm, Cell C, hired Michelle Beetar as their first Chief Customer Officer. A year into her new role, I had an opportunity to speak with Michelle about her experience, progress to-date, what she's learned, and her tips for others stepping into senior CX leadership roles. Michelle has been striking the balance between driving incremental improvements to the journey, and rallying the entire organization around a unified CX strategic vision. She...


CX excellence in action: Interview with Airbnb’s Desirree Madison-Biggs – E03

Airbnb customer experience is truly something different. The brand is one of my favorite examples of customer-centric disruption. They've gotten it right, and the proof is in the pudding. Airbnb has doubled in size every year since 2014, and taken the travel industry by storm - all without owning a single property. What is their secret to success? In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Desirree Madison-Biggs, their head of CX Design and Improvement Programs. In addition to...


Innovation, disruption and staying relevant in the Age of the Customer: interview with Roger Norton – E02

In August 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with Roger Norton about fintech disruption and the future of the financial services sector. Roger is the CEO of Playlogix, co-founder of the Lead Iterator, and author of the book: Start Here: A quick guide to building tech startups. He's passionate about technology, and its potential to change Africa. He focuses on startups as a vehicle for innovation and has built over 40 tech products in 4 years at Playlogix. Roger has also collaborated with...


Driving patient-centric change: insights from Mediclinic SA – E01

Kevin Seaman, Patient Experience Manager at Mediclinic South Africa, shares the catalysts for their patient-centric change journey, what it takes to engage ~17,000 employees, and his tips for success. Decoding the Customer is a customer experience podcast created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is an author, speaker and business advisor. Originally from the USA, she is now one of Southern Africa's foremost experts in customer experience management. For more information about...