Human CX

For us, CX or Customer Experience is one of our core passions. We have helped many organizations look at the customer journey to transform their customer experience delivery and success. While we look at many analytics, metrics, processes, and technologies, we always look at the human aspect of the equation. The basis of the customer journey and customer interaction at some point is a human and emotional connection. Automation is on the rise, technology is augmenting or automating a lot of our interactions but it is, and will always be a multiplier only. Customer experience is the sum of all interactions.

Today, a lot of the interactions are digital. From ride-hailing, food-delivery, e-commerce, or banking, many interactions are done with a user interacting primarily with a digital interface. This does not mean that humans are less important, they just got a lot more important. Let me illustrate by looking at many of our customer-journey maps for clients. We realized that brands with digital interfaces that had the best CX results are always those that are able to resonate emotionally with the user. These are through the use of excellent user-interface/user-experience (UI/UX) but also easy support and help when needed.

Let me share a personal story. Recently, I celebrated my wife’s birthday and my wedding anniversary. We celebrated at Four Seasons Resort on the island of Langkawi. As expected of any leading organization today, digital channels are available and it is easy to book, manage and arrange the entire stay – even almost half-a-year in advance.

The whole stay, along with the free upgrade to a private Beach Villa, the welcome champagne, cake, chocolates, kuih and other goodies was as perfect as can be. After a fantastic stay, on the flight back, I asked my son about what made the entire trip amazing. He said it was the people. Not the fantastic beach, the luxurious villa, the sumptuous food, or any other facility. It was the humans of Four Seasons Langkawi.

Every single staff made it a priority to know your name, to call you by name, and to do whatever it takes to deliver the best experience for you. The bellman driving you in a buggy, the waitstaff at breakfast making sure your cappuccino is right, or the towel attendant bringing you water and a plate for your snacks before you even think about requesting. You were never a stranger or even a hotel guest. You were their friends.

In a nutshell, that was the biggest impact on customer experience for my family than anything else. Obviously, there was a lot of investment in physical infrastructure, and facilities, but also digital transformation such as apps, digital channels, and more. It seems that the investment in their people, training, and process was able to create an emotional impact. This does not mean that digital or facilities are not important but, it does illustrate the fact that CX is very much people.

Post-pandemic, many CX practitioners are looking at TX or Total Experience which is the sum of both Employee Experience (EX) and Customer Experience (CX). It’s quite clear from above that Four Seasons must have done the EX part right in order to deliver the CX that is representative of the Four Seasons Brand.

So, don’t forget the humanity in your CX journey.