home Customer Experience, Digital Prioritising empathy and human experience in a world built on technology – Interview with David Stone

Prioritising empathy and human experience in a world built on technology – Interview with David Stone

It’s easy to get caught up in the efficiency and automation that technology offers. But what about the human element? How do we ensure that empathy and a positive human experience remain central to our interactions, even when technology plays a prominent role?

Mark Atterby, Editor of CXFocus, interviews David Stone, VP of Growth for Concentrix, on how to manage this balance while maintaining our focus on the big picture.  

Mark Atterby (MA): Can you please provide a background to your career and an explanation of your role at Concentrix

David Stone (DS): For over 25 years, I’ve been passionate about customer experience (CX). It all began in contact centres, way back when! However, my true focus evolved into leading and driving sales transformation within the CX space.

This journey has been incredible. I’ve partnered with large enterprises, budding startups, and pretty much all the leading CX vendors. This diverse experience has allowed me to collaborate with organisations of all sizes, from small businesses to industry giants.

Throughout my career, I’ve championed both customer and employee experience. I’ve helped small companies make a big impact and also played a part in some of the largest CX transformations in our region.

Currently, as VP of Growth at Concentrix, I lead the sales, marketing, and partnering functions across our consulting, digital, and outsourcing businesses. My role is all about understanding the evolving experience management challenges organisations face. Together with my team, we identify the technologies, best practice, and processes that can address these challenges and propel them forward.

In short, I’m a customer experience veteran with a passion for growth, helping businesses excel in today’s dynamic landscape.

MA: Over your career, what has been the most important lesson you learned about leveraging technology to optimise the customer experience?

DS: Early on in my career, I learned a valuable lesson: people matter. Witnessing the direct impact on individuals when things went wrong instilled in me the importance of understanding all the moving parts within an organisation.

This understanding fuelled my journey as an independent consultant and now drives me at at Concentrix. Often, I see companies with great technology – a powerful tool from a good vendor, used by a committed team. Yet, they haven’t taken the time to define the desired business outcomes.

Crucially, these outcomes must include customer and employee experience. For any organisation, these elements are fundamental to success. In the public sector, they directly impact service delivery. For commercial enterprises, they affect the bottom line.

MA: What advice do you offer organisations to get their strategy right?

DS: My message? Be crystal clear on the upstream strategic goals and benefits. When these benefits aren’t considered, misalignment occurs. It’s like driving without a destination!

The biggest mistake I see is a lack of clear business objectives. Developing a holistic strategy that prioritises both customer and employee experience across all channels is crucial. Otherwise, even the best CRM strategy remains pointless if it’s not integrated with digital and voice channels.

Focus on the big picture, connect the dots, and prioritise human experience – that’s the path to achieving your business goals.

MA: How do you, in your role, help people achieve the right balance between technology and human connection

DS: It all starts with thorough research a deep understanding of a client and their industry. Before even entering a conversation, we dive deep into the client’s industry and their specific challenges. This goes beyond the immediate problem at hand.

While a client might approach us for CCaaS implementation, our consultants see the bigger picture. They ask questions about brand experience, competition, and emerging technologies. This allows us to:

  • Expand Engagement: We move beyond just the technology teams and engage various departments within the client’s organisation.
  • Drive Business Outcomes: By focusing on the bigger picture, we can tailor solutions that drive tangible business results.
  • Enhance Brand Experience: We consider the impact on both customer and employee experience, creating a more cohesive brand image.

I believe in challenging assumptions. While technology is important, we advocate for a broader business conversation. This collaborative approach leads to more effective solutions.

Join David for a thought-provoking webinar on Tech vs. Touch: When Should Humans Intervene? 27 June @11 am AEST. Register now and gain valuable insights for optimising your customer experience.

Mark Atterby

Mark Atterby has 18 years media, publishing and content marketing experience.