The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 155 · 5 months ago

155. How Artificial Intelligence is Driving the Feeling Economy w/ Dr. Roland Rust

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In the feeling economy, interpersonal relationships drive the success of organizations. Feelings have always been important, of course, but today they are even more important than they’ve ever been before. 

In this episode, I interview Dr. Roland Rust, Distinguished University Professor at Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland and coauthor of The Feeling Economy, about the three econ omies and why the feeling economy is the most human.

Roland and I talked about:

- What the role of emotions is in business today

- How the three economies are evolving towards feeling

- What our relationship to AI is and what it could become

- What causes prevalence of feeling industries today, especially sales

- Why rationalization is one of the greatest benefits of the feeling economy

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The AI and the human are ateam, and the best way for managers to think about it is their teammates. It's not like one is a tool for the other. It's their teammates. That that requires a little bit of a shift of thinking. The singlemost important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experiencefor your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internalalignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte.Ironically, as artificial intelligence is becoming more able to think, human intelligence isd emphasizing thinking in favor of feeling and interpersonal relationships. The result is afeeling economy. This important and powerful idea is a quote from a book thatI highly recommend and that we'll be talking about today on the show. Thisbook is called the feeling economy, how artificial intelligence is creating the era ofempathy, and it's Co authored by Mingui Wang and today's guest. Our guestis a distinguished university professor, the Chair and marketing and founder and Executive Directorof the Center for Excellence in service at the Robert H Smith School of businessat the University of Maryland. He's Co authored several other books on service MarkGetting Customer lifetime value and related topics. He's earned dozens of awards for thesebooks and for his published articles. He's also consulted with Microsoft, Sony,Eli, Lilly, American Airlines, Fedex and NASA, among many other worldclass organizations. Roland rust, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thanks verymuch, even happy to be here. Yeah, I'm really excited about it. I actually learned about your book from a friend of mine, in aformer podcast guest, Dan Hill, who interviewed Ning on his podcast and he'llZ eq spotlight. I immediately after listening to that interview, immediately bought thebook, read it and I felt like I needed have you on this show. So glad to have you and we're going to start where we always start, which is customer experience. When I say customer experience, Roland, whatdoes that mean to you? Customer experience means everything that happens to the customerduring a session with the company or the organization. So everything that happens reallyis part of the customer experience and often when we call that the the momentsof truth, because they're there, the The Times in which the company orthe organization really has the opportunity to make its reputation with that customer. Yeah, I love it. It's in what a challenge to manage everything that happensand this moments of truth, moments that matter. I've also heard it asmoments of magic or moments of misery. You know that these moments are key, I guess, in terms of starting to get a handle on the experience. From your perspective, I mean you've been studying and teaching essentially around avariety of marketing and service topics for years. From your perspective, like this risein the use of the language and practice of customer experience, you feellike it's new language for longstanding principles and practices. Or are we onto somethingactually truly new right now, or are we somewhere in the middle? Well, I really see it as a continuation. There are people talking about a lotof these topics even in s and the sort of buzzword customer experience becamepopular in recent years, but basically it's a lot of the same things thatwe've been doing for a long time. It's just that everybody is recognizing thatthe customer is very important, the customer experience is very important, because otherwiseyou turned the customers away. Yeah, another just another question before we diveinto the feeling economy. Do you think...

...some of this pressure is driven bythe mass movement towards subscription models? It seems like, you know, somethings were meant to be sold by subscription. I feel like some things evolved tobe that way, and now we can even get things like tshirts andunderpants on subscription. Like do you feel like I do that? And orwhy? Why not? That the subscription model is driving a greater degree ofcustomer centricity and therefore putting a greater priority on moments that matter, moments oftruth, etc. Yeah, I think the big thing is that companies realizedthat relationships or the key, and that means you want to have a continuingcontact with that customer and actually you want to get continuing payments from the customer. That's a lot of word this comes from. So that, of coursemeans you have to keep the customer. That means you have to satisfy thecustomer and if you don't do those things, then you're not going to have arelationship. You can have a transaction and everybody knows that that's not sogood because once the transactions over, the customers gone right and with increasing CACand decreasing margins, transactions in a lot of cases, simply, I meanin a lot of subscription models, the initial transactions aren't even profitable, andhence the need for relationship really good. So the feeling kind of before weactually dive in, dive in, I want to a say a couple thingsabout it and then be asked about a broader view from your perspective. So, folks listening in, the book is called the feeling economy. I heardabout it, immediately, bought it, read it. I highly recommend it. It is highly approachable. It is built from years of research that youhad done and that your coauthor had done, and you lean down other people's researchas well, and it's a privilege of posting the show I can reada book like that feel like it's relevant to the folks who listen to theshow and let me know that they're listening in the kinds of things that they'reinterested in. And so now I can die deeper and learn more about itmyself and then, of course, as a benefit to listeners into you,I can share the book with other people too. So might my question foryou, before we dive into some more of the specifics of it, istalk about the role of feelings, emotions emotional intelligence in the context of businessin general, like what are the broad changes that you've seen to the degreethat you've surveyed the scene over over decades, and where are we today with regardto these things? In like, I feel like I guess I'm qualifyingthe question. Now. It feels like a couple of decades ago you justdidn't talk about emotions in business and we just didn't view it that way.In fact, you would actively try to avoid or suppress emotions creeping into ourwork. But I feel like that's gone away, both internally within a businessand certainly with relationships with customers. Are Comfort talking about these things the waythat they matter, like what are you seeing like from a trends perspective aroundeat, feelings, emotions and emotional intelligence? Well, the feelings and emotional intelligenceor much more important for people in business now. That sounds like astrange thing to say, you might say, well, haven't feelings always been important? Sure they have, but that hasn't been what people were doing.So, for example, if you go back twenty years, call a customerservice line on the telephone, you get a person and probably you have avery routine issue with them and they deal with that routine issue and then somebodyelse calls it has routine issue in this happens over and over again, andso what business has done over the period of time is that they tried toreplace that with automation, and the latest and greatest of form of automation isartificial intelligence. So basically all these easy things are being done by machines andthe hard things, which are basically dealing with people, are left to people. And so you have the the issue of trying to relate to that individualhas a non routine problem, and so the company really needs to focus onthe emotional side because that's what drives in...

...her personal relationships really good. Andthat kind of tease up where I want to start with the book. Ihave a couple key frameworks. One are the three phases of the economy,physical economy, thinking economy, feeling economy. So we'll probably start there. Andthen move into AI operating at three different levels, and it kind ofmaps to that mechanical Ai, thinking ai and feeling Ai. So you reallykind of previewed it. But for give folks like the broader context of,you know, the feeling economy as it as an emergent economy. We're notthere yet for reasons that I'm sure will talk about to the course of thenext, you know, several minutes. But break down the three phases ofthe economy and kind of the characteristics of them. Sure, the first oneis the the physical economy, and that was where you have a lot ofmining and farming and, to some degree, physical labor of various kinds. So, for example, if you look at a car factory in early nineteenhundreds, basically everybody was making everything by hand. But then what started tohappen in the early nineteen hundreds? So you started to have automation come in, and usually it was things like the assembly line. And as automation camein, then that made a lot of those manufacturing jobs and farming jobs andmining jobs go away because they weren't needed anymore. Those people who are physicalworkers typically are big and strong. Typically they were men. You know,the physical economy was very patriarchal time because men dominated the economy. But thenas automation came in, that kind of even the playing field because now youdidn't need to be big and strong. And who was out there that didn't, that wasn't necessarily as big and as strong? Was a lot of womenout there, and so the women started to really pick up a lot ofability to, for example, lead organizations. You saw a lot of women whobecame the heads of countries. That was basically unknown except for Queens.So anyway, with monarchies you had some some queens who were in charge,but basically the countries for the most part had mail leaders. So, anyway, the physical economy went away, women started to become much more capable inthe thinking economy, because they're just as good at thinking as men are.But now what you have is a second shift. You have a shift fromthe thinking economy to the feeling economy. It's already underway. It's not totallythere yet, but it's already under way. We can show it through data andin the feeling economy what we believe is that women actually have the edge. Not only will live evened, it up, they will have the edgebecause women have a stronger capability for empathy and that is going to be whatreally wins the day in a situation where you have all the interpersonal relationships drivingthe successive organizations. So that of course parallels. Like the reason that we'removing from the thinking economy to the feeling economy is that AI has entered thepicture and it's gotten very, very good beyond rote automation to doing a lotof these thinking tasks. So break down those three types of AI, mechanicalAi, thinking ai and feeling ai and kind of tie that back into theshift in the from thinking to feeling economy. Sure. Well, the physical aiis it's what you see in a lot of car factories, you know. You these have machines are putting putting cars together. It's usually used forvery repetitive tasks. Now what we're seeing is thinking ai come in. So, for example, IBM's Watson is a thinking Ai. You've seen it whenin jeopardy, you've seen it when chess games. It can beat the bestgoal players in the world. So thinking...

...ai is getting pretty good. Thethinking as is not totally good yet because it kind of has some problems withintuition and it is pretty good with analytics. A deep learning ai is better andbetter at handling analytics, but the intuition, the intuitive parts, reallydemand what we call a general intelligence, and general intelligence is is something thatevery human finds pretty easy but machines find very hard. So anyway, that'sthe thinking intelligence. That's what's driving people into feeling because people need to dothe feeling part that computers can't handle very well. But what's going on nowis we have a lot of progress in research on feeling Ai. So,for example, to really be successful and feeling Ai, you have to dotwo things. You have to recognize emotion in people appropriately and then you haveto respond appropriately to that emotion, and both of those things are active areasof research. So, for example, there's a lot of work on facialexpressions to try to figure out what people's emotions are from facial expressions. Anotherarea of active research is chatbots, where you have they a computer listening tosomebody's voice and trying to figure out what kind of emotions they're having. Sothat is very far along but not completely there, and that's what we anticipatewill be happening really for the next thirty years or so is that the feelingai is going to take a while to get good, because one of thereasons why general intelligence is easier for humans than it is for computers is thatthe number of a neural synapses that we have in our brains as greatly greaterthan any deep learning ai that exists right now. That means what we justoverwhelm the AI with, with our ability to handle just simple thinking that anybaby can do. But computers are trying to learn, and often what theway they're learning is they actually watch babies, they see what babies do and thenthey say, okay, how can we emulate that? So, forexample, one type of Aidu seeing now is these artificial dogs, and therethere are companies that make these artificial dogs and they're actually having them copy thebehavior of small animals and babies, because they know that it can't be avery, very complicated thing that is being thought of here, or people,babies wouldn't be able to do it. So they need to figure out howto how to work that, and that is that is advancing. But again, you know, we're talking in twenty, thirty years, probably before that's that'sreally really good. For that period of time, humans are going tohave the edge and feeling. Yeah, and what an interesting thing to thinkabout. And there is some, you know, some forecasting in the bookabout what it means when the machines can feel as well as humans and orwhether it's whether it's possible. Certainly we're making stride. So I want toread another quote from the book and Dig one layer deeper into this kind ofthinking versus feeling piece so that people can really understand the consequences, specifically forthe work that they're doing as sales professionals and marketers, customer service and customersuccess professionals, leaders and managers, etc. So here's the quote. In thefeeling economy, the most prized skills are likely to be empathy, emotionalintelligence, communication and interpersonal relationships. And so again, thinking ai right nowis taking over functions, and I'm quoting here too, from a string ofactivities. Thinking eyes is increasingly taking over processing, analyzing and interpreting information,planning, prioritizing work, making decisions and...

...solving problems. On the other hand, what Ai doesn't do nearly as well is, and I'm quoting here,to judgment, creativity, intuition, emotion, empathy and people skills. So whatthis kind of casts is a threat that in a way, to stemstem backgrounds and stem activities. And you also cite a Google study of theirown HR data about the most important skills in their jobs. you think ofGoogle, is this very progressive engineering based, or at least you know that wasthere their core strength that get out of the gate, certainly when youthink of them as a very technical and stem oriented organization. And yet theirmost important skills aren't the hardcore analytic skills anymore either. So can you talkabout that dynamic a little bit? Yeah, I'm sure that really surprised Google whenthey found that out. But yeah, we're seeing that really, really everywhereand it's for the exactly the reasons that I've been talking about. Ifcomputers can do the the analytical stuff and people get pushed into jobs that requirea lot more people skills, and typically this is people skills we're talking about. And you were talking about stem. I'm a stem guy, you know. I was five Beta Kapa and mathematics as an undergraduate. Yeah, I'mdefinitely stem, but even I, using my stem skills, can figure outthe stem skills are going to be less important. Yeah, it's really interesting. What, how aware do you feel like we are culturally or institutionally andhigher education? Like, when I read this it was very it took somerelief in it because I was also Phi Beta Kappa, but not in mathematics. It's still that's the right thing for today. Over right is it isjust because of what I default it too. But like, how aware do youthink we are around this, you know, again, broader culturally ormore formally inside institutions and systems? I don't think we're aware of it atall. I mean I think the there are a lot of companies out thereis saying j you know, these emotional skills and people skills are pretty important. We but, but we think they've always been important. You know,that's what the older people will say. Well, this stuff is always beenimportant, and of course that's true, but what we're saying is that it'seven more important than it's ever been before. It's substantially more important than it's everbeen before, because that's all that we have left to dominate. Yeah, it's interesting too. I guess it becomes, instead of enabling us todo our thinking jobs, more effectively to have good soft skills. To jobbecomes soft skills. And Oh, by the way, we may need tocomplement the machines that are doing most of the thinking, so we need tobe able to do a little bit of that too. I like to thinkof his teams. You know, the the AI and the the human area team, and the best way for managers to think about it is theirteammates. It's not like one is a tool for the other. It's theirteammates that that requires a little bit of a shift of thinking. Yeah,absolutely. It doesn't means a slight shift in language, but a dramatic shiftin how we're actually thinking about an executing the work and for folks are listeningfor one of the okay, what does this mean for me and my job? I want to allay some fears and then get your feedback on the rolling. So you listed the top ten feeling industries and I'm only going to namefour of them specific to the folks, types of folks that listen to theshow, coming in at number two with sales and related so congratulation sales people, as long as you're leading into empathy and some of these other soft skillsyour strengths will continue to be needed as far as this forecast is concerned.Number four was management, because that involves a lot of people, which arethe most unpredictable and challenging aspect of most of our work, as you've alreadysaid. Number six was education and training. I think that's a key part ofa lot of roles, especially on the onboarding, implementation, Customer SuccessAccount Management Side, but certainly across the entire customer life cycle. We needto educate, train and gage, etc. And then, finally, business andfinancial operations also made the list.

So, although this might feel threateningto some people listening, I took some comfort in seeing this list in general. Some of the other ones, by the way, we're in healthcare,community and social service and some of these other more direct human to human jobs. But I'll read a couple quotes and then just let you react to thatlist or anything else here, however you prefer. Here's one quote service jobs, emphasizing those soft skills will be booming, for example marketers. Here's another quote. We predict that the service labor market polarization will shift from the bimodaldistribution of unskilled versus skilled to a new bimodal distribution of skilled thinking versus skilledfeeling. I love that idea. It's really part offul. I never wasreally comfortable with this idea of unskilled labor. I think it undervalues people. Butat some level, you know, these processes did dehumanize and undervalue peopleand they were essentially humans were left to just do the jobs that machines couldn'tquite finish off, whether it's, you know, dexterity and motor skills orsomething else. Find Motor skills but dumb. As far as this bimodal distribution andsome of the jobs that you see being critical, or aspects of jazzbeing critical in the feeling economy like, what are some what are some thoughtsyou have around these? Well, one thought I would have is a littlebit of an optimistic thought. You know, pretty much every technical expert that Italked to makes the point that when we have these previous shifts of theeconomy, what happened was people, yes, they had to leave those other jobs. For example, they weren't coal miners anymore, they weren't, youknow, assembly line workers anymore. But the point that these people make isthat at the same time there are a lot of new jobs created, butthe new jobs are of a different type, you know. So, for example, if you're a coal miner in West Virginia, you're not going tostay in West Virginia and mine coal. That's not what you're going to do. You might go to New York City and be a service person. Itwould be a little bit different. You might have to have a different kindof job and in fact typically the kind of job is for people oriented.And you know, the original shift was from physical to thinking and now we'removing from thinking to feeling and the people who are comfortable in the thinking economy, the Geeks and nerds for example, are making it maybe going to haveto think about how to expand their skill set. They're going to either neednew training, and that's one thing they think is going to be very important, is continuing education for people who are now kind of misplaced in the economy. The thinking workers are going to need to develop better people skills and that'sgoing to be a big, big part of what happens in continuing education.Key language that I really enjoyed. You call this the major benefit of andthe primary economic output of the feeling economy. The word is relationalization. It blendspersonalization, yeah, economic benefit, and relationship another economic benefit, butof the feeling intelligence. So personalization is thinking intelligence, relationship is feeling intelligence, and he blended those together. How to do arrive at that language andmaybe break that apart a little bit more? Way This came together as I donea lot of work over the years and customer relationships and relationship marketing,but then also have done a lot of work in personalization. One of thethings that technology does is it creates the opportunity for much closer relationships with customers. That's one of the reasons the service economy is expanding is that you havethese closer relationships with customers, and so technology really drives that. It reallymakes it happen that you're personalizing more and more. And you know, alot of personalization today happens through technology. For example, a lot of thestuff that's happening online, you know the the various services that appear online.Most of those are really trying to be...

...automatic. They're trying not to havea human involved. It's cheaper that way, and so that's what what happens.You end up even with personalization, even with technology, but but thekind of personalization that is going to be important for human workers in the feelingeconomy is the kind of personalization that comes from a direct personal relationship, andthat's what we're talking about. That's relationalization. It's really good. I've used thelanguage of what is personalized is not always personal and people can feel thedifference and I like how how structured this is and it kind of validates somethingI felt into it if we before and would talk about but didn't have quitethe structure around it that you do. Another quote from the book just toput a button on that. A more advanced type of personalization that requires Longitudinal, unstructured emotional data as the input. That's what relationalization is. In thisgoes back to, you know, the divide you drew is that machines stillaren't quite as good at reading emotions reacting appropriate it Lee in the context throughmultimodal data. It's just really hard for machines to do. And so thisis personalization, but with this personal relationship layer tow it really smart. Anyother key ideas? I mean we already touched on the gender implications the booktouches on and we addressed it a little bit implications for education, the likelihoodof increasing income inequality. Actually go here. Maybe the potential for AI to becomemore enemy than friend. I think a lot of people are scared,a lot of people are excited. They don't know what to make of it. We don't know if true fully developed artificial intelligence that can feel approximately aswell as humans do, if that even means it means something like do youhave any thoughts about the potential for ai to become more enemy than friend?Is it? What is the potential for it to have its own motivations orintent beyond, you know, partnership with humans in in serving other humans?Well, to be very honest, I don't have a very optimistic view aboutthat. In the long term, we don't have to worry about it toomuch for about thirty years, but at some point the AI is going toget better than us at everything, and when that happens you have to askyourself why would a I want us around? What we what can we do forai they can't do for itself, and that becomes a pretty scary prospect. Now there are some futurists out there. For example, records file the guywho came up with the concept of the singularity, which is when thecomputers get smarter than us. I mean, he was really of the opinion thatthis is okay, because what's going to happen is we're all going tobecome cyborgs. We're going to be part AI and part human and therefore we'regoing to be bigger and better and more capable than we've ever been before andeverything will be great. My view is, why would a I want the humanpart? You know, if the human part isn't as good as whatthe a I could do for itself, then why dos a I need us? I think that's a concern. Now we're used to the idea that wecontrol ai and we can. We we program the AI. Therefore we're totallyin control the I think that's totally wrong. I think there is a lot ofcomplexity in the world that we don't control. I even think of theInternet as being an intelligence of itself, which is maybe a little bit ofan unusual way to think about it, but just think about all the connections. I mean, if you take a look at what's happening in AI,the the deep learning ai is all about emergence. It's about emergent abilities thatcome from very simple interactions between neurons, and that is that is something thatthat is really on the way. I...

...mean deep learning is a thousand timesyour million times better than was twenty years ago. Wow. Yeah, Ifeel like if we think we're going to be in control of it, we'remore talking about automation than intelligence, right, is it? Is that too simplea way to put it? Like, if we think we can control theboundaries and given Structus, I feel like we're essentially just writing complex automation. Intelligence is this thing that has an emergence to it. Yeah, that'sright. And Deep Learning, which tends to be more of a thinking sortof machine, we can't really even figure out what it's doing. It's basicallya black box. The way, nobody can explain what a deep learning aioutput means. Why, I had occurred. You don't have the ability to explainthat. It's essentially a black box. So one of the areas of currentresearch is to try to find ways to explain it. The fly wheeleffect that you've described in this book of the more machines think, the lesshumans have to think, the more businesses lean into feeling, the more customersrespond to feeling. Therefore, the more businesses lean into feeling, this kindof like this whole thing is in motion, as you already said, the feelingeconomy is emerging. For listeners and for the lay person who's not nearlyas deep into this as you are, what are a couple like key milestonesalong the way over the next year or five years or ten years? Whatare a few key aislestones that will remind someone? Oh, yeah, we'rein this major shift right now and it feels like it's, you know,closer than it was before. Like what are how will we affirm that we'reon the path? And I know that you already have data that already validatesthat we are on the path. But like, again, for the layperson, what are some observable milestones? Maybe? Well, I'd like tofirst even just go back in time, because there are things that happened thatpeople didn't recognize that we're very profound. So, for example, the thesmartphone and the smartphone was invented. I mean that is basically an Ai forconsumers, if you want to think about it that way. I mean,if you want to find out something, what are you going to do?Are you going to go to the library? And look something up. No,you're going to go to your smartphone and you'll find or you'll ask Siriand you know about it in five seconds. You know what the answer is.So that that was something that people didn't realize was a I didn't yourealize it, and then they didn't realize what it was doing to them,because what it does to them is it dumbs them down. All those thingsthat used to have to do yourself, now you can go to the smartphonefor it, and so what's left? Well, a whole bunch of interactingwith people. That's what facebook and friends are all about. You know,you have the ability to interact with people better because you have this technological capability. So any other key ideas that we didn't touch on here that you thinkare important for people to know about this work in particular, I could Icould keep talking to you, by the way. I had several questions aboutyour previous work, specifically on customer lifetime value, but we don't have timefor that today. Anything we didn't drive by the you think is important forpeople to understand. Well, I think I didn't fully answer your question aboutlooking into the future. Oh yeah, exactly. Maybe I should do thatplease. But I think clearly what we're going to be seeing is, firstof all, the AI taking over more and more and more and more theanalytics. Right now, already we have ai that's doing things like financial management. You know, that is that is already there. Is already happening now. Maybe it's not as good as the best human financial managers, but wecan see this better than it was and it's not very difficult to see thatin the not so distant future all the...

...financial managers going to be Ai,you know. So when we see that sort of things start to happen,then we realize that things are really different, that in fact people are going tohave to find something else to do. You know well, and again,to your point before, become partners, because you know someone might play anintermediary role to represent what's happening, to the degree that obviously our financesare very emotional to us, as much as we like to think it's allrational. The machine is doing the managing and maybe a human is representing whatthe machine is doing or the results that are happening to the other human whois who is in the service side. You just brought up something really,really important which is the collaborative functioning of humans in AI, because a lotof human customers are kind of uncomfortable having an I told them what to do. They don't like that that much. So, for example, there wasthis study that was done by one professor on chat bots where if he toldpeople it was a Chatbot, then they didn't like the advice. If theydidn't tell people that it was a chatbot and it still was a Chatbot,then you like the advice. So often what you end up with is asituation where you have to have a human in the in the link somewhere tomake the customer feel better. When I was at a conference, had oneperson come up who was working in the financial services industry and he said,you know, I don't really do that technical stuff anymore that I used todo. I used to do all these equations and do all these calculations.I don't do any of that anymore. I the AI does that. I'ma handholder. I want to reassure people when the market goes down. That'sthe task now it's much more a people job and we see that across theboard. You take a look at any job, and we did. Welooked at basically hundreds of different kinds of jobs and on average, the feeling, the importance of feeling for humans on the in those jobs is increasing dramaticand that's that's where our predictions come from, that basically feeling is going to bemore important than thinking very quickly. Well, ten to fifteen years that'sgoing to be the case and it's already moving in that direction very strongly.Really good, really important. Again, the structures in the book, theshifts between the economies, the types of intelligence. There's another framework in therewith five types of intelligence, I including intuitive, which you mentioned, andhow why that's challenging for machines to do right now, but it's getting increasinglybetter. Again, the book is the feeling economy, how artificial intelligence iscreating the era of empathy. If you enjoyed this conversation with Rowland, Iwant to remind you that I learned about the book from my friend Dan Hill, who hosts that Dan Hills eq spotlight. Dan has been a guest on thisshow before. He is also a collaborator on a new book we've gotout called human centered communication, a business case against digital pollution. If youwant to learn how to express more empathy, lean into the more human characteristics,even when you're stuck in these digital, virtual and online environments, whether it'sthrough video messages or live video calls. Education presentation. We included Dan andten other experts in that. You can learn more at Bombombcom book,and we're currently in a summer series where we're in viewing all of those folksagain, and you can see them all at Bombombcom podcast. When you're thereyou can see video clips from this episode and every other one. We doshort write ups. We have full searchable audio there. That's all at Bombombcompodcast. Roland, we started where we always start, which is customer experience, and we're going to end where we always end, which is a coupleopportunities for you. The first is to think or mention someone who's had apositive impact on your life or career, and the second is to give anod or a mention to a company or...

...brand that you personally appreciate for theexperience that they deliver for you as a customer. Oh, that's that's thoseare very interesting questions. Well, for the first one, I think Ihave to mention my wife. My wife is make way Wang, the COauthor on this book. Cool know that. Yes, yes, so we havethe world's most longdistance marriage. I think she'd lives in Taiwan about halfthe time, and so it's pretty pretty long distance, but she's of course, had a tremendous impact. She's a information systems professors. She really knowsabout all this stuff, and so we we actually started working together, Ithink, before we got romantically involved, but that was that's the person Iwould like to recognize the most. Then, as far as a company that Ireally appreciate in terms of that's that's a lot harder, because there area lot of a lot of companies that don't do that all that well.Yet what companies are doing wrong is that they're thinking of Ai as a costreduction method and they shouldn't be thinking about it that way. They should bethinking about it as a way to provide better service for customers, in otherwords, delight the customer with your ai rather than just not anyway. Ithink there's this tremendous opportunity to have a I make service better, not justcheaper, and that's often forgotten by companies. Really Important Reminder for folks and itis interesting and it this goes back to this idea that we're in thislong slow movement and shift and trend. I think automation was definitely plugged inprimarily to reduce cost, because the customer doesn't necessarily benefit from the automation excelitself, except to the degree that that cost is passed forward, whereas intelligenceseems much more dynamic and has so much more potential to enhance the customer experience. Right, exactly. So, in other words, we are going tohave better customer experiences, but a lot of it is going to be providedby machine. Right, all right. For folks who enjoy this conversation,how can they follow up with you learn more, maybe about some this bookand other books that you've written, or anything else where would you direct peopleto learn more? Well, this book is available on Amazon and if theywant to know more about me or my writings, they can google my name, Roland Rush, and I'll pop up super and of course we drop linksinto those blog post I mentioned. They're all at Bombombcom podcast. He isRoland Rust, I am Ethan be. Thank you so much for listening andRoland, thank you again for a sharing your research with us in this conversationin the book and throughout your career, really appreciate what you're doing. Thanksvery much. Even clear communication, human connection, higher conversion. These arejust some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up theofficial book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customerexperience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most importantthing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for yourcustomers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in yourfavorite podcast player or visit Bombombcom podcasts.

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