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Q&A with Adrian Swinscoe: “Customers are your number 1 priority? Prove it or keep quiet”

Customer service4 MIN READAug 29, 2023



Adrian Swinscoe
brings a punk rock attitude to customer experience, injecting energy and excitement into his work. He is a rebel with a cause, challenging businesses to think differently and to break the rules to be more remarkable.

He has worked with a wide range of companies, from small startups to large multinational corporations.

What one invention would make your work life easier?

I could name some things that are quite hard but I am not sure that I would want to invent something to take that difficulty away as that could possible destroy what it is that I gain from doing that sort of ‘work’.

If there were no holds barred, what change would you make to customer service?

I would stop the empty rhetoric around our people are our most important asset and our customers are our number one priority. Prove it or keep quiet. As a first step, I’d start by making all contact centres value centres.

If AI is going to change the customer service industry monumentally, who do you think stands to benefit most, and why?

It’s difficult to say who (customers, employees, businesses, tech vendors, investors etc) will benefit most as much of that will depend on the brand in question, their positioning, strategy, how they decide to leverage AI and what outcomes they deliver.

What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when nurturing a team?

Remember it’s not about you. It’s about them and helping them be the best versions of themselves.

What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned recently?

Not a recent lesson but an enduring one. The latin root of the word education is ‘educare’, which translates roughly as…. “to bring the light the light out from within.” Most ‘education’ OR training, for that matter, doesn’t do that. It’s dominated by process and the acquisition of certificates and grades and letters etc that doesn’t often help anyone deliver what matters.

Which living person do you most admire?

The lollipop guy ‘Tam’ that works at the end of our street shepherding school kids across the road before the beginning of school and at the end of every school day. His friendliness and welcoming demeanour is a joy to behold and he is smiley and pleased to see everyone whatever the weather. Unfortunately, he is off right now having a hip replacement but we are looking forward to seeing him back in action again very soon.

Which book, podcast, or newsletter are you enjoying right now?

I’m loving The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow.

What part of your day do you look forward to most?

The start as I get to continue to do work that I like with people that I like.

What’s your most memorable experience as a customer?

I don’t really have one. But, the ones that are thoughtful, proactive and make things easy tend to stand out for me.

Who is your favorite cat?

This might be heresy for a company that has a logo that features a cat but I am not a huge fan of cats. But, if you pressed me for an answer I would name two cats:
1. Top Cat as he features in a piece of art that I have from a Columbian street artist called Toxicómano, and
2. Black Panther, a ‘big’ cat but a cat nevertheless.

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