Making a personal impact and providing a sense of connection is a customer experience worth creating.

Technological innovation has all of us business owners in a flurry as we madly race to keep up with the next shiny new automation tool. The excitement that technology such as robotics, automation and artificial intelligence creates has us enthralled as we hear promises of potential increases in staff productivity, customer engagement and speed/ease of delivery to customers.

However, let’s put our ‘customer hat’ on and think about what we value in a procurement experience. Hands up who values a genuine interaction with an authentic human being?


How good does it feel to get your coffee in the morning from the Barista who knows your name as well as your poison?

What about the feeling you get when you enter a restaurant or café, or a retail shop and you are greeted by a huge warm smile and a welcoming hello? These are the social interactions that provide us with a sense of connection. And as humans, we are wired for this connection, it’s in our DNA.


I recently visited David Jones during the EOFY sales. Enthusiastically, I skipped straight to the designer level as this is the only time of year I can afford to tempt myself in this section.

So, feeling galvanised, I start to flick through the racks of beautiful dresses at Ginger & Smart. The sales assistant approaches me straight away and offers her help. She has already sized me up and immediately suggests some styles for me. I love them.

So I go to the change room to try them on. The sales assistant is attentive but not pushy. Once I have the first dress on, I pull the curtain back to reveal. She is waiting for me. The first thing she does is adjust the dress sash. “You will need to wear this sash much higher on your waist – the predetermined belt loops are too low to be flattering on your figure.”

She then asks me what type of bra I am wearing.

“A blue one,” I reply.

A small wry smile, but straight back to business. “This type of bra will not do you any favours in this dress,” she warns.

“You will need a bra that shapes you this way to ensure that the neckline flatters your decolletage.”


Her next question was, “What shoes are you planning to wear with this dress?”

Before I can reply.

“A red patent shoe with a fabulous red lipstick,” she suggests triumphantly.

Yes! What a winning suggestion. I would never have thought about that combination actually.

The dress was significantly reduced, and there was another one in my size and a different colour. So, I tried this one on to.

Once again, the sales assistant dotingly adjusted suggested the sash, reiterated her point about the bra and suggested a shoe colour to match this colour.

I left with both dresses, a huge dose of gratification, a great sense of gratitude and a serious bout of excitement about how I would feel wearing these dresses in the future.


On the train trip home, I wondered how my experience would have been different if I purchased these dresses online. I realised how valuable an experienced sales person with the right customer service skills could add to a customer experience.

Her attention had provided me with confidence and assurance about how to wear this dress with aplomb. I felt valued and appreciated. I enjoyed her company, and I was so appreciative of her suggestions. All of these emotions were at the time completely subconscious. But I was so chuffed with the experience I told at least five other girlfriends about the fabulous experience I’d just had, sending them all to the Ginger & Smart section in David Jones.

The value that a person can add to a customer experience may not be immediately measurable with data or analytics. It’s going to create emotive experiences that some customers won’t really even be able to articulate or identify.

I think we would be short-sighted to discount how important the role of a human being is in creating a positive customer experience.


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