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Having fun, writing about the stuff I like

Keeping it Human

Oscar Foulkes June 25, 2018 Adventures of Re- No comments
Some companies or brands – surprisingly few – do a particularly good job of delighting their customers. The rest cover the spectrum from “acceptable”, to outright frustrating or angering them.

My view is that the humanness of customers is one of the most neglected aspects of running any business. In fact, the humanness of employees is more likely to be given priority than that of customers.

While many of our drivers might be basic, our species is complex. No wonder that investment specialist Piet Viljoen (and my Cape Epic partner) refers to the “messiness” of business once one gets into the day-to-day operations. One can understand why some businesses make a point of slimming down their offering to the simplest possible in the hope of limiting the range of ‘people issues’ that they have to deal with.

Thanks to the work of people like Richard Thaler, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2017, we know that behavioural economics is of greater practical application than classical economic theory.

This is, indeed, fuzzy territory at times, which might partly explain why the human experience of products and services gets praised when done well, but that there doesn’t seem to be an appreciation of this as being a risk factor.

When bad experiences get blasted onto social media, companies can be very reactive. However, this is not the same as proactively seeking out the things that could trip one up in the future.

I should point out that some of these things are often extremely subtle, and wouldn’t necessarily be flagged by market research. As Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has demonstrated in his book Everybody Lies, people’s responses to surveys need to be taken with a pinch of salt. And, customers don’t outright tell you when you are not changing your offering as the market changes. They just spend their money elsewhere.

So, after a three-month process of working through a bunch of things, I give you

Hx: Human Experience

The primary offering, an Hx Audit, is “an assessment of the risks associated with the experiences that people have with – or in – your business. Barely noticeable, often intangible factors can have a major impact. Find them while you’re still able to take action to fix them.”

Following from this is the development and implementation of solutions to whatever problems have been identified.

Whatever one’s position on this issue, we can all do with more humanness in our daily lives, whether we are customers or employees. And it’s essential for good business.

Website, logo and other marketing collateral for Hx: Human Experience to follow.


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