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Closing the Empathy Gap in CX

How to Balance Technology with the Human-to-Human Customer Connection

Shep Hyken interviews Andy MacMillan, CEO of UserTesting. They discuss strategies for building a customer-centric culture by balancing empathy and human connection with digitization and technology.

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Top Takeaways:

  • Many companies will do “functional testing” to make sure their products work, but leave out “user testing” to ensure that their customers are having a good experience with their product.
  • Brands must remember that they not only sell products and services, but experiences. As much time and effort should be put into making sure the experience is a good one.
  • Companies build brand loyalty, not technology loyalty. Whether your touchpoints are digital or in person, there must be a personal element of the brand at each one.
  • Though technologies have changed and improved, customer service and experience have remained the same. Nothing has really changed. Customers still want a quick and easy resolution to their problem—and companies want to make their customers happy and get them to come back.
  • You can’t have a customer-centric culture without putting actual customers at the center of your business. Do not replace customers with data or technology, or your company will suffer in the long run.
  • Listen to what your customers are telling you about their experiences with you, your products and your services. They will tell you where friction is and what they want.
  • Every employee at every level of the organization should come into contact with the customer and listen to their feedback. This will foster empathy and create a more customer-focused culture. Leadership must model this.


“If you want to have a customer-centric business model, you have to have a customer at the center of that business model. Technology does not replace that. Data is great, but it is in no way a way to replace actually building empathy with your customer.”

“Know what your brand identity is, not just as you perceive it but as your customers perceive it.”

“None of us, as customers, want to be treated like a number. Yet how many companies do all their customer work by treating everyone like numbers? If you want to break out of that cycle, go talk to some actual customers.”


Andy MacMillan is the CEO of UserTesting and a former product executive at Oracle and Salesforce with 20 years of enterprise SaaS experience. He helps companies become more customer-centric.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How can I build a more customer-focused culture?
  2. What role does empathy have in the customer experience?
  3. How can I balance digital and in-person experiences?
  4. Why is customer feedback important and how can I utilize it?
  5. How can I create a more convenient customer experience?

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