Today’s customers are more cynical than ever when it comes to the intentions of big business. How do we create experiences for these customers that feel truly genuine? To Maria Moraes Robinson and Simon Robinson, the answer lies in a fusion of Western and Eastern thinking that acknowledges at its core the human need for connection on a deep level. Their latest book, Customer Experiences with Soul, presents a unique collision of the business-driven and the existential mind, providing a guide for applying the three levels of the authors’ trademark ‘holonomic’ approach to customer experience design.
Creating authenticity requires us to overcome some common barriers, including the tendency to value ‘thinking’ over ‘feeling’ and the focus on ego-centric patterns. The authors borrow from several psychological theories to guide the reader through the process of overcoming barriers. They explore how we can examine our personal relationships through the lens of archetypes, recognize ‘knotworks,’ and reflect on different elements of consciousness. By using various reflections to bring our sensing, feeling, intuition and thinking into balance, we create authenticity, and can then examine customer experience tools and techniques through a deeper understanding of the factors that underlie them.
The middle level of the holonomic approach guides us to consider five principles that underlie the tools and techniques that we use to create a customer experience: purpose, methods, relationships, meaning and human values. By considering these principles, we can begin to understand why tools and techniques may work in some situations and not in others. We can also examine which of these five principles need to be operating in order for a tool to be successful. Interviews with thought leaders and case studies of authentic companies provide context for each of these five principles.
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A deeper dive into the principle of human values next examines the five human values of peace, truth, love, righteousness and non-violence, and offers guidance on how to introduce these values into organizations through dialogue. When these five human values are truly embodied by an organization, then the brand-customer relationship is solidified.
The authors ground the full holonomic approach by describing a journey through the holonomic circle that they took with a client, and by relating an in-depth interview with an inspiring Brazilian business leader whose life and work embody holonomic living.
Overall, this unique approach leaves the reader with the profound message that authentic relationships with customers are mirrored in an authentic relationship with the self.