I read a fascinating article by mycustomer.com focused on the investment costs of customer experience technology. Research has shown that this year a massive $508 billion will be spent on CX technologies, with the retail and financial sectors being the biggest spenders. This number is forecast to grow to $641 billion by 2022.

This level of spending is higher than the GDP than countries such as Austria or the UAE. I would question if this is the real invested in actual customer experience, mainly when the investment is categorised as hardware, software, services and telecoms.

As humans, one of the most meaningful ways we measure our lives is through our experiences. It would be interesting to understand how this level of investment is delivering memorable customer experiences that emotionally attach a customer to the brand.

Based on the current performance of the retail sector, and the detached view most people have towards financial institutions, maybe it is not money well spent.

Meaningful and rememberable experiences must be centred around humans. Technology plays a significant role in this process to create the right experience. However, it often feels like there is a race to remove humans from the customer experience journey and replace them with technology.

For the same investment costs, you could employ millions of people to bring back more human interaction to customer experience. People will always want to deal with people.

Experience is the product of the future. At CIRCLE4x, we use the term human-related brand experience. We focus experience around humans while considering the physical and digital elements. When combining these three elements, we can create memorable brand experiences, will be able to generate more profitability and loyalty. And with our HUMAN4x Index, we aim to make emotions measurable for the business environment and prepare the business community for the development of the RoEE, the return on Emotional Engagement.

There is no magic, one bullet, technology-based solution to experience. But by combining a balanced triangle of Physical, Digital and Human, you will achieve lasting and memorable outcomes for your customers.

Perhaps there needs to be a new categorisation of what customer experience is. I am not convinced that customer experience can be broken down to hardware, software, services and telecoms.