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Love is a VerbEmbedding Connection
in our ‘Digital First’ World


As we emerge from the pandemic, consumers and employees are looking to reconnect, as indeed is society as a whole. The values around vulnerability, honesty, transparency, trust, empathy and connection are all strong driving forces for brand relevance today, and ones we need to reflect to our customers and prospects.

We speak a lot about Customer Lifetime Value, Brand Loyalty or the Customer/Employee Experience, but we have to start asking ourselves some hard questions relating to how we intend to build relationships deep enough to deliver.

In our new ‘digital first’ world (where most product/service interactions start digitally), it can all get very transactional. While digital convenience continues to accelerate (get everything you need in one-click, one-swipe, instantly) it can be very two-dimensional, and often lacks any depth, empathy or connection. 


This speech takes the psychology of human relationship and maps it on to the customer experience. How can we expect customer lifetime value or brand loyalty unless we put the effort into building and maintaining a relationship? Brands claim to have Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, but what they actually have are Customer DATA Management (CDM) systems. Data doesn’t build relationships, actions do. Love is a Verb; it is something you show. 


This customer experience keynote takes 10 of the key attributes necessary for successful human relationships and maps them on to our customer interactions.

We look at love & commitment, quality time together, intimacy, trust & honesty, effective communication, conflict resolution, acts of kindness & gift giving, personal responsibility, personal space, and humour. Applying these and activating them as love languages builds deeper, authentic relationships. 


Love is a Verb is designed as a speech to inspire and engage, to entertain and to challenge how we think about the nature of relationship and connection. It has been sculpted to tug at the heart-strings of an audience, to connect with them personally as well as professionally.


If we are serious about deepening our customer and employee relationships, we have to invest in emotional intelligence. It starts here.

5 key learnings from this talk


For everything digital offers us, it also erodes potential depth of human connection and relationship which are key to building relationships.


Relationships are built over time and with significant effort. Brands need to re-think their KPIs and prioritise long-term relationship over short-term ‘satisfaction’ or NPS scores.


The 10 key components of healthy happy human relationships can easily be activated along a customer journey and employee experience. This is about the humanisation of experience, regardless of technology.
Love languages are how we express and communicate that we care. In personal relationships we understand this, but in customer experience we seem to abandon the things that feel right in favour of profit or ease. Learn to live your love languages as a brand.

If we are serious about trust, connection and authenticity (which are all strong key customer and societal values today) we need to embed them in how we do business. We need to make customers ‘feel’ something, that is how loyalty and trust are built. Emotional engagement is critical.

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“Such a powerful way to look at customer interactions”
“I think I learned more there personally than I ever have at a business conference before!”

“That was one of the most enjoyable customer experience keynotes I’ve ever listened to”

“Fantastic @KenHughesIE. I’m all loved up”
“Humanisation of our Digital World. @KenHughesIE just blowing minds”
“I love this guy even just for his red trousers!”



Our members loved Ken’s new speech. It was so actionable for the call centre industry and really brought everyone so much closer to the human side of CX.


I could listen to this guy all day. As always
an amazing insight into customers and the
essence of CX relationships.

Love is a Verb was such a powerful way of conveying the importance of relationship in our digital world. As always, Ken was engaging, insightful and entertaining.
Ken’s new speech on relationships simply blew the audience away at our event. It is rare to find a story-teller with such great content but also so entertaining. The delegates loved it. It is why we invite him back year-after-year.

If we want to build brand loyalty and customer lifetime value, then we have to show similar commitment to our customers. Love is a Verb, not a concept.

- Ken Hughes -