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Understanding Customers’ Values in a Digital Age

How AI and Human Partnership Can Create a Better Customer Experience

Shep Hyken interviews Geoff Webb, the Vice President of Products at PROS. They discuss how automation can eliminate friction and create a better buying and selling experience for customers in a new digital age.

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Top Takeaways:

  • There must be a balance between artificial intelligence (AI) and human connection. As with any new technology, there always needs to be a human fallback.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a massive shift in both business and consumer buying preferences and habits. Many companies were unprepared to make the shift to e-commerce, self-service and other digital channels.
  • Think of AI instead as IA, or intelligent assistant. Have it support an employee (versus a customer) so they have faster access to the right information. This helps them work more efficiently to support the customer, which results in a better customer experience.
  • The role of the salesperson is shifting to that of an expert. Consumers (in both B2B and B2C) expect to be able to turn to sales reps for information and answers.
  • When a consumer knows they can rely on a sales rep or vendor for the fastest, most accurate information, it can drive customer loyalty. Customers will continue to come back because they know they can rely on that company to give them what they need.
  • In B2B buying, the stakes are incredibly high. Any friction or errors within this sales process could have long-lasting repercussions, costing you not only millions of dollars but even the customer.
  • Omnichannel solutions can help eliminate friction for both customers and employees. The channels must be easy to use and seamless to switch between.
  • Companies need to talk to their customers on a much deeper level to understand their new wants, needs and values in reaction to a rapidly changing world. They must also find new ways to create that personalized experience.


“Bringing together the analytic power of AI and the context and empathy power of a human being can deliver an incredibly personalized, really effective, fast selling process.”

“The concept of omnichannel, of moving between channels seamlessly and very easily, is what really transforms the sales process.”

“Friction in the sales process is something that will eventually drive even a good customer away. Nobody wants that.”

“If you can give your customer exactly the right thing they need because you truly know them, they often don’t mind paying a little more for that. Creating that level of personalization in every instance has huge value. Businesses need to ask themselves how to make that happen.”


Geoff Webb is the Vice President of Products at PROS, where he works with technology, marketing and go-to-market teams. He has over 25 years of experience in the technology industry in addition to sales and marketing management.

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 balance AI with human connection?
  2. How can AI support human employees?
  3. How can I connect with my customers during a pandemic?
  4. How do I create a more personalized customer experience?
  5. How can I use technology to improve my customer service?

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