The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 1 month ago

197. The Increasing Value of Human-To-Human Moments w/ Ethan Beute


The human experience is becoming increasingly more valuable.  

As we move forward in time, human-to-human interactions are going to become more rare and therefore more valuable.  

I’m Ethan Beute , Chief Evangelist at BombBomb , host of The Customer Experience Podcast , and recently coauthor of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Human-Centered Communication , together with Stephen Pacinelli . Listen in today to learn about why human-to-human moments triumph over commoditization and how to balance the tech touch with the human touch. 

In this episode, I contextualize and share a short passage from a 90-minute interview with me, Steve, and Mathew Sweezey , marketing futurist at Salesforce, during our research for Human-Centered Communication.  

Here are some thoughts from the episode:

  • Why the power of human-to-human moments increases as we get more digital
  • The proportion of rarity and value in human moments
  • Why humans are differentiators in sales and CX
  • How video messages beat the competition for attention
  • What Mat Sweezey’s take is on noise, pollution, and trust  

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts , Spotify , or Google Podcasts , and find more episodes on our blog. 

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The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, 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. We are designed to empathize. It's part of our essential nature, but in developed economies we live in an environment that has become hostile to empathy. We hunger for it. We can't get it from computers, because that's not what it is. It evolved in us as human to human interaction. The opportunity for us to offer genuine empathy in an empathy starved world is thus a chance to be truly valuable, to supply something that everyone wants and needs and isn't getting enough of. That's part of why employers are becoming so desperate... find it in employees, and we can do it and virtually any role that involves human interactions. Those words come from Jeff Colvin, senior editor at large for fortune, in his two thousand and sixteen book. Humans are underrated. What high achievers know that brilliant machines never will. I highly recommend Jeff's book and I use those words often when I'm teaching or presenting on digital communication, can action and conversion. My name is Ethan be chief evangelist at Bombomb, coauthor of two books, Re Humanize Your Business in the Wall Street Journal Best Seller Human Centered Communication, and host of the customer experience podcast. Over the past three years here on the PODCAST, I've been exploring the power of human to human moments as we get more and more digital. It's a constant theme through all of our conversations here. How to balance the tech touch and the human touch, how to balance our need for efficiency and effectiveness, how... create consistent, meaningful and memorable experiences by balancing what machines do best and what people do best. What's intuitively true, and what's become clear across nearly two hundred episodes, is that human to human moments play an important role in every business model, even if there are more common or less common in yours. Whether for empathy, connection, clarity or understanding, these moments and interactions play a valuable role both in employee experience and customer experience, but they're under threat employee experience and customer experience are getting more digital and more virtual. The personal touches often deemed expensive and unscalable. There are cheap and automated substitutes, some are getting intelligent and, yes, some are completely appropriate. But human to human moments can bring significant value and as they get more rare they get...

...more valuable. In this episode I'll take a quick dive into this theme and Bring Two time podcast guest Matthew sweezy into the conversation. Matthew is a marketing futurist. He's director of market strategy at sales force. He's a partner in the sales force futures lab and cofounder of the Sales Force Web three studio. So stick around for some of Matthews insights on the value of human to human moments in commoditized markets. And, as always, there's more to see, there's more to learn at Bombombcomla podcast. If you check out episode one hundred and ninety seven, you'll see a video clip from Matthew, you'll get a link to humans are underrated and other resources relevant to this episode and I welcome your feedback. Please email me Ethan etch an at Bombombcom that's just the word bomb twice. Ethan at Bombombcom, or you can reach out to me on Linkedin. Again, my name is Ethan, but my last name is spelled beute, so hit me up on Linkedin. I welcome your feedback on this...

...episode or any other, and with that, let's dive in. You're not one in a million, you're one of a kind. You are differentiated. You are a differentiator. No matter your role, title or position, you add unique value and a truly differentiated experience. And if you're in a roll that's heavily customer facing or even have the employee facing then that effect is even stronger. But here are a few hard truths about today's environment. We're doing more selling and more serving digitally, virtually and online today than we were even a year ago, and in the years ahead will only be doing that more, and I mean selling and serving in the broadest sense possible. All of us are selling and serving throughout our day, in throughout our week, and again, we'll be doing more of that digitally in the future, not less.

Employee experience and customer experience are becoming more digital, more virtual and more mediated, and these digital environments that were operating in our noisy and polluted you reminded of this every time you hit your inbox or check out your linkedin DM's or return to slack. It's in all of your social feeds. There's noise, which is simply volume, and then there's pollution, which is confusing, frustrating, sometimes misleading and dangerous. Is this from who it says it's from? Is this link safe to click? Is this attachment legitimate or will it install malware? And this noise and pollution impact, of course, our attention, but also our trust. It makes it harder to build and especially fragile in a digital posture. In addition, most of our digital communication is visually an emotionally impoverished. It doesn't give humans what they really need and want.

We benefit in so many ways communicating eye to eye, facetoface. That's why we need video calls and video meetings, and that's why we need video messages. But so often we in trust our most important and valuable messages to faceless, typed out text. The Messenger is so often missing from the message. But the Messenger carries so much of the meaning and, at a higher level, the human touch is so often missing from the experience overall. But the experience is the point of competition, both on the employee experience and customer experience sides. Were competing for the best team members and we're competing for valuable customers all of the time. Our market is competitive and perhaps even commoditized. So if each of us is part of the differentiation, we need to find ways to be more present, even when we're forced to be virtual. Now, of course we don't necessarily want human interaction for every question or every transaction with...

...every company, but we all want to feel seen, heard, understood, appreciated and valued, and that's something that humans are best at. That calls back to Jeff Colvin's quote off the top. So we must find spots for human to human moments. The earlier in the relationship we do it, the better. The more it persists, as the relationship deepens, the more valuable it gets. For another voice in another mind on this topic, here's Matthew sweezy again. He's a marketing futurist with sales force. This is a short passage from his ninety minute interview with me and Steve Passinali. Steve is my longtime friend and team member. He's our chief marketing officer at bombomb. He is my boss and he is my coauthor on two books. This clip comes from the interview that Informs Chapter Five of human centered communication, noise pollution and trust, which features Matthew sweezy. So here are a few words from Matthew...

...on this. I mean, I don't. I think the Natural Progression of all industry thins towards come come otitization. Right, the more players you have, the more sophisticated everything tends to go towards commoditization. By that's that's just what happens in the natural market place. So I think you could say that all things can towards that. Are All business is currently commodities? No, not all businesses are currently commodities. We consider things when we have multiple options, as a commodity. Right, we may say that, you know, this software market is commontized because there's, you know, ten or twenty vendors, when really that's just a lot of options. True commodity would mean that every one of those things is the exact same. Right, potatoes, that's a commodity. You will potat that anywhere outside of Idaho. It's a potato, right, only different from an Idaho potato is they have a brand trademark on Idaho potatoes, but an IDO potato right. But, like you know, just because I've got a video form, you've got a video platform them... plowerm doesn't necessarily mean it's commodifized by the strict economic sense. But I think we could also easily say that. You know, they all tend towards commodity because the value obtained is all very similar, and so I think if you went with that as like, the value that you would be able to obtain in an advance market places almost the same. The method of how you would extract that value would be different, that the value would be the same. I think you could say that in a market place. But yeah, everything tends towards becoming a commodity over time. Can you see the use of video as some form of an antidote to that effect, to the degree that it affects the experience and therefore I maybe feel differently about your commodity, product or service? Well, yeah, He Hu going back in that statement from Mark Shafer. The most human business within right. So it doesn't matter your market, if it's a commodity or not. Being more human than less human is always a better thing. So if a medium can be utilized that allows... to create a better human experience or a more human experience, that then become the competitive differentiation. So I you know, just being human. That's a funny thing. Is just like we're moving from time when humanity is rare. Right, like human to human interaction. They're going to be rare. So you know those human to human interactions will increase in value to a point. Yes, yeah, to the point of people experience it in an assigned and value to it, which the human to human experience, I don't think is going to lose value. Never will, but it only increases in value. Human to human interaction only increases in value. In your market. People can get approximately the same value for approximately the same price. It has elements of commodity in that environment. Customer experience is your differentiator and people play an outsize role in that experience, especially when a person is critical and core to...

...the product or service delivery itself. They become the experience. I'm thinking of industries like real estate or mortgage or insurance or financial advisory. If you've heard a few episodes of the podcast, you know that I ask everyone to define customer experience right off the top, and I've asked that question nearly two hundred times to all kinds of leaders and experts. And you can break it apart into the mechanical aspects, all the various touch points in the pieces that we create and how we sequence them and make them available, how we track how people interact with them and how that affects the journey going forward. There are all those mechanical aspects, but there's also this human side and the essence of customer experiences. More on that human side, when you look at where all of the responses converge and diverge, it becomes clear that the essence of customer experience is in how we make people feel. What is the emotional resonance that's...

...left after they interact with some of these touch points, especially those human to human touch points? Human to human moments are more powerful in terms of emotional connection and emotional resonance. The value of those moments will only increase. So I encourage you to evaluate, reflect and invest today. I hope you enjoyed this short episode. If you want others like it, I highly recommend episode one hundred and seventy six features our commodities. Feelings are differentiators. Episode one hundred and fifty five with Dr Roland Rust on the feeling economy. Episode one hundred and thirty one with Mark Shaffer, who matthew sweezy referenced in that Clip, about restoring the human voice to marketing and, as I mentioned, Matthew sweezy's been kind enough to join US twice on this podcast, episode sixty and episode one hundred and fifty one. I'll link all of those up in the...

...right up for this episode, episode one hundred and ninety seven. It's all at Bombombcom podcast. Again, I welcome your feedback and I appreciate you listening. The digital, virtual and online spaces where we work every day are noisier and more polluted than ever, and the problem is only getting worse. At risk or relationships and revenue, joint bombombs Steve Passanelli and Ethan viewed, along with eleven other experts in sale, marketing, customer experience, emotional intelligence, leadership and other disciplines to learn a new way to break through the noise and pollution human centered communication. A new book out now on Fast Company press. Learn more by visiting Bombombcom book or search human centered communication wherever you buy books. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your...

...customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcasts.

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