There are certain things in life that are indisputable. Money does not grow on trees, is just one example. The earth is round, is another. Additionally, it cannot be denied that we – that is you and I – in fact all people on the planet – are human beings. I know that often human beings behave in a way that puts our humanity in doubt, yet even though not all people share the same moral or ethical code, we are all humans nonetheless.

When I deliver Customer Experience ‘knowledge transfer’ sessions around the world, I regularly joke that all places of work have had a ‘magic vortex’ constructed at the front door – it is invisible to the naked eye. When we turn up to work in the morning, we are normal human beings…. yet when we walk through the ‘magic vortex’, we are mystically transformed into business machines – doing things to other human beings (our customers and each other), that we would never dream of doing to ourselves!!!

The irony of human beings continuously failing to recognise the fact that they should be delivering human experiences, is a stark one. It is also a reality that is becoming ever more significant in the fast moving, agile technology age that we human beings are now immersed in. Even as a self proclaimed technophobe, I cannot help but marvel at the wondrous things that are now possible – enabled by brilliant human beings and their ever increasing ability to use technology to make our lives easier; quicker; smarter; better.

We must never forget, that even though technology is moving at a remarkably rapid rate – it is the humble human being making it possible. I am confident to state, that I am more inspired by my fellow human beings than I am by the technology they create. Just this week, a fellow human being – who also happens to be a passionate Customer Experience Professional, has inspired me to write this post. Jacques Strydom believes, that when we are talking about the subject of Customer Experience, we must always start by remembering that we are Human first.

Jacques believes, that when considering humans in a business context, the experiences we have as humans – the human experience (HX) – is the result of all other experiences we have. If you want to consider this in a more mathematical sense, HX is a function of a number of other experiences:

(Human X) = f{CX, EX, LX, IX, VX, TX}

If you consider this in more depth, humanity and emotion is at the heart of everything we experience in our interaction with organisations:

  • We as Humans have fallen behind the Technology Development curve and we are in stress as a result
  • 80% of respondents in a global study demanded a personal touch in all digital channels
  • 79% want a human to be part of the connecting channels
  • The role of leaders (who are human beings) in establishing and role-modelling CX is a primary success factor
  • The top driver for CX is the level of interest shown by the employer in me as a person and individual.
  • The concept of immediate gratification: “The need for instant gratification is not new, but our expectation of ‘instant’ has become faster, and as a result, our patience is thinner”.
  • The centrality of emotions of customers in how they experience interactions with organisations and make decisions is crucial

HX is defined by the experiences we have as customers (CX) – not just with one particular organisation, but with all organisations we interact with. A consumer who is used to the simplicity and accessibility of Amazon, now expects the experience to be mirrored elsewhere. As an employee, we crave our experience (EX) to be as important to the business as the experience of our customers – the most customer centric businesses in the world recognise that the way you treat your own people, will have a direct effect on the way they treat your customers.

As human beings, we want to be led (LX) by other humans who understand the importance of people – of doing he right thing for the customer, the employee and the shareholder. We want to be motivated by; inspired by; taught by; supported by; guided by; mentored by; people who recognise the direct effect they have on my life experiences as a human.

Our human experiences are heavily affected by the experiences we have of innovation (IX) – new products; new services; new technology – all changing our lives and the lives of the customer for the better – at least that is what we hope. That is why the technology experience (TX) becomes ever more important and continues to gather pace – with technology, there seems to be no limit – advancement in technology will continue to be a defining factor on our HX.

Until Jacques shared his thoughts with me, I have not consciously thought about the world of business in this way. It is incredibly insightful and thought provoking. I love the concept – it makes so much sense. So the next time you talk to your business, your client, or your colleagues about Customer Experience, or Leadership, or Innovation, or Digital – think about the inextricable link between all of those things and the human being they are having a direct impact on. Everything we do in business and in life is about people – that is why I will always be very grateful to Jacques for bringing the Human Experience, or HX to life in this way.

My book, ‘Customer What? – the honest and practical guide to customer experience’ – is now available to purchase! You can do so on or If Amazon does not ship to your part of the world, please complete the form found here and I will arrange an alternative method to ship a book to you. Enjoy the read!!