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Humanize the Customer Experience

How to Stay Connected in a Remote Economy

Shep Hyken interviews Rowan Trollope, CEO of Five9. They discuss strategies for adapting to a remote workforce and ways to humanize a digital customer experience.

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Top Takeaways:

  • A web- or cloud-based interface is an excellent option for working from home, as it allows users access to everything they need without being tied to one specific device or location.
  • One of the downsides to working remotely is the lack of human interaction and creative in-person collaboration. Communication technology (such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack) can help combat this.
  • The biggest mistake companies make when converting to a remote workforce is attempting to recreate the in-office environment. Companies must be flexible and embrace the differences—and benefits—working remotely provides.
  • Asynchronous work is a huge benefit of working from home. For this to work, managers must trust their employees to do their job and focus on the things that matter. If they do, often employees will come up with more innovative solutions to get their work done.
  • Humanize the remote working experience. Without “water cooler conversations,” we should encourage people to share information and details from their lives with their team. This will help teams stay connected while being physically distant.
  • Businesses need to find a way to connect and communicate authentically and empathetically with their customers without a physical presence. Video and voice channels are ideal—but other options may be more feasible or efficient.
  • The use of emojis is a great way to humanize a digital interaction. Emojis—and even animated GIFs or memes—soften the tone of text and add empathy.
  • Flexibility between channels of communication is imperative. Consumers want to be able to switch seamlessly between channels without having to start over.
  • The customer experience starts with the employee experience, and the employee experience starts with leadership. Treat your employees with empathy, authenticity and vulnerability, and they will treat customers better and create a better outcome for your business.


“In the customer service world, the experience that you deliver to your customers is going to start with how you treat your teams—how you treat your own employees. Having compassion for your employees and being authentic with those employees is what’s defining brands right now.”

“Increasingly, customers expect and will do business with the companies that give them the best customer service experience, not necessarily the best product.”

“A lot of working from home comes down to manager trust. If the manager can trust employees to do their jobs and focus on the things that matter, often those employees are going to figure out new and more innovative ways to get their work done.”


Rowan Trollope is CEO of Five9, a leading provider of cloud contact center software for the enterprise. He is a recognized Silicon Valley leader with a depth of experience in software solutions and cloud innovation.

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 does the employee experience affect the customer experience?
  2. How can I help my team stay connected while working remotely?
  3. What do customers want when communicating with a company?
  4. How can technology improve my customer experience?
  5. Should I use emojis in business emails?

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