While the world has never needed more empathy than today, too often technology is used by businesses as a substitute and a barrier to real human connection. We’ve all experienced dumb chatbots, automated scripts and poor employee interactions that dehumanizes customer interactions.
Empathy is a powerful construct for a better world and a better business. It’s not a synonym for nice. Empathy is about respect and treating people in the context of their unique situation in a highly personalized way. They predict empathy is the next frontier in technology. This book is aimed at sparking an industry-wide conversation about how exponential technologies like, AI and cloud can enable a more empathetic world.
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About the Author
Tony Bates has led multiple billion dollar companies with a simple ethos of “know your customers”. Tony Bates, CEO of Genesys, leads the company’s strategy, direction and operations in more than 100 countries, overseeing a global team of more than 5,000 employees. With decades of experience steering B2B and B2C companies through major market transitions and rapid scaling, he is a passionate technologist at heart. Beginning his career in network operations and internet infrastructure, Tony taught himself to code on his daily train commute. Swiftly gaining the business acumen, he advanced into trusted executive roles at some of the world’s most respected global SaaS companies. Tony led Cisco’s Service Provider business and then grew its Enterprise and Commercial division to over $20B in annual revenue and he served as Skype’s CEO, expanding the business to over 170M connected users. When Microsoft acquired Skype Tony, as president, was responsible for unified communications and then served as EVP of business development and developers. In addition, Tony is on the board of directors at VMWare and eBay.
AUTHOR BIO - About Dr. Natalie Petouhoff
Dr. Natalie Petouhoff joined Genesys after years of being a strategic executive advisor and leading Industry Analyst at Forrester and Constellation, CX VP at Salesforce, a PWC strategic management consultant, Chief Digital/Social Officer and ROI expert at Weber Shandwick, a digital transformation lecturer at UCLA, with humble beginnings as a product engineer at General Motors and Hughes Electrics. Her experience in many different aspects of the corporate world has given her practical wisdom to use technology to scale excellence and engage all levels of employees in transforming corporate
Table of Contents
Introduction: Starting an Industry Conversation: How Technology Enables a More Empathetic World 1
Chapter 1 Technology: Evolution, Experiences, and Empathy 13
Chapter 2 The Fifth Industrial Revolution: Personalization 45
Chapter 3 History Foreshadows CX Problems 75
Chapter 4 The Business Case for CX/EX 99
Chapter 5 The Tech We Use Matters: From Linear to Exponential Technologies 123
Chapter 6 Experiences Drive Good and Bad Profits 141
Chapter 7 Improving Employee Experiences 161
Chapter 8 Experiences as a Service: The Great Differentiator 181
Chapter 9 Experiences as a Service for Customers and Employees 199
Chapter 10 Reimagining the Future of Work 227
Chapter 11 Leading Change: It's Not Business As Usual 255
Chapter 12 The Empathy Transformation 281
Closing Remarks Igniting a Customer and Employee Respect Movement 301
About the Authors 312
What People are Saying About This
Technology executives call for a new way of doing business that reframes success in terms of providing positive experiences.
In this debut business book, Bates, the chairman and CEO of software company Genesys, and Petouhoff, a senior customer experience strategist and business consultant at the same firm, argue that 21st-century businesses need to undergo a fundamental shift. Instead of focusing solely on the metrics that appeal to investors and analysts, they assert, they should convert to a customer- and employee-centric model of measuring and evaluating performance. The book places its new business framework in the context of the latest technological developments, while positing that only the businesses that create positive customer and employee experiences will be able to take advantage of opportunities for major, exponential growth. Bates and Petouhoff make a case that this focus has a positive impact on the bottom line, although they also note that holistic metrics are necessary to get an accurate understanding of its results. They also explain how to achieve the shift, often using technology that employs artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze customer interactions on a massive scale. They discuss the importance of building diverse teams and employing processes that incorporate and respond to employees’ feedback. The book cites examples of specific companies, such as mattress firm Casper and coffee giant Starbucks, which have both succeeded in creating customer experiences that go beyond mere transactions with positive financial results.
The book provides a skillfully written call for a reevaluation of the definition of business success. Its frequent acronyms are kept in check by straightforward prose (“It’s impossible to deliver exceptional experiences and build trust, inspire loyalty, or deliver the brand’s promise when relying on ineffective or outdated tools”), making it easy to follow its core arguments. Bates is also a former top executive at Cisco Systems and Skype, and the text is shaped by both authors’ extensive experiences in the tech industry. The book does an excellent job of building on existing management research, which it cites, and reframes it in the context of empathy. Historical asides, such a quick tangent about how the technology behind early telephone exchanges evolved to make customer service hotlines possible, add moments of lighthearted interest while also supporting the book’s thesis. Infographics and callout boxes also make for effective presentation, highlighting key points in multiple formats. The target audience is primarily senior corporate leaders who are in positions to make structural changes, but much of the information will be useful, if not as directly applicable, to those in more junior positions. The book makes brief mention of privacy and data protection issues but generally takes a positive approach to technological developments. Readers may wish for more specific detail about how to ignite an industrywide shift away from short-term cost metrics, but on the whole, it makes a solid argument and helpful advice for placing customers and employees at the core of strategy decisions.
A thoughtful work for corporate leaders that offers an intriguing shift in business philosophy.