In the ever-evolving business landscape, two concepts have gained significant traction: customer-centricity and human-centricity. While they share similarities in focusing on the needs and experiences of individuals, they differ in scope and context. Customer-centricity focuses on understanding and meeting customers’ needs to provide high-quality products or services, while human-centricity broadens the lens to consider all human interactions, including employees, partners, and society at large.
But is there more to these two perspectives than business? Today, Chris Hood is joined by Gary Garth, Founder and CEO at elev8.io, and Michaell Magrutsche, A creative awareness educator, to discuss the benefits and challenges of a human-centric world.
Customer-centricity is a business-oriented approach primarily revolving around understanding and fulfilling customers’ needs. It’s a strategy that aligns the development, production, and delivery of products or services with the current and future needs of a select group of customers to maximize their long-term financial value to the company.
Customer-centric companies place their customers at the forefront of all their decisions, strategies, and actions. Their ultimate goal is to create a positive customer experience before and after a sale, driving repeat business, customer loyalty, and profits. For instance, according to research conducted by Deloitte, customer-centric companies were found to be 60% more profitable compared to companies not focused on the customer.
“Whether it’s net promoter score or customer satisfaction service, or whatever tool you deploy to measure satisfaction level, if done properly, if done effectively, and you also have the right processes, then that can tremendously fuel the expansion of growth per account.” – Gary Garth
Furthermore, Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Customer” report revealed that 80% of customers believed the company’s experience is as crucial as its products or services. Additionally, a study by PwC found that 73% of all people consider customer experience an essential factor in their purchasing decisions. These statistics highlight the increasing significance of customer-centricity in modern business strategy.
However, the concept of human-centricity broadens this perspective. It transcends the commercial relationship between a company and its customers, considering the needs and experiences of all humans involved. This includes employees, partners, stakeholders, and society at large. Human-centricity is about building policies, systems, products, or services prioritizing human well-being, values, and capabilities. It’s about recognizing that businesses operate within a broader societal framework and have responsibilities beyond customer satisfaction.
A Gallup study found that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share. This statistic underlines the significance of focusing not only on customers but also on the well-being of employees.
Likewise, a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) report revealed that companies investing in employee experience are four times more profitable than those that don’t. In a human-centric approach, businesses recognize that their success is inextricably linked to their workforce’s health, satisfaction, and overall well-being.
While customer-centricity focuses on optimizing the customer’s experience to generate profit and loyalty, human-centricity broadens the scope to consider all human interactions, including employees, partners, and society. These two concepts, although distinct, should not be mutually exclusive. Instead, they should be viewed as complementary strategies that, when combined, can lead to more sustainable and responsible business practices. By recognizing the value of all human connections in business, companies can create an environment that fosters growth, profitability, societal impact, and sustainable development.
Hey, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Customer Centricity focuses on understanding and meeting customer’s needs to provide high quality products and services. While human centricity broadens the lens to consider all human interactions, including employees, partners, and our society. According to research by Deloitte customer-centric companies, were 60% more profitable compared to companies not focused on the customer. Regarding human centricity. A Gallup study found that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147%. But is there more to these two perspectives than business? Today I am joined by Gary Garth, founder and CEO at elev8.io and Michaell Magrutsche, a creative awareness educator to discuss the benefits and challenges of a human-centric world. To support the show, visit ChrisHood.com/show. Subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform. Follow us on social media, or you can email me directly. [email protected]. I’m Chris Hood, and let’s get connected.
Voice Over (01:12):
Connecting access. Granted, it’s the Chris Hoods digital show where global business and technology leaders meet to discuss strategy, innovation, and digital acceleration. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Your digital evolution starts. Now, here’s your host, Chris Hood.
Chris Hood (01:44):
So great to have both of you joining us today. Gary, would you mind sharing a little bit about yourself?
Gary Garth (01:49):
Thank you so much for having me, Chris. I am serial entrepreneur. I’ve started and exited six companies. I’m also a part-time angel investor, I would say nowadays, and I am an author of the serial hundred Million Sales Blueprint, just was published back in January. And the goals Grid and Greatness Planner reside in Meine, Colombia. I’ve been living here for two years. It’s intended to be the Silicon Valley of Latin America, so that’s why I decided to move here. But I’m originally from Denmark in Europe that spent the last 10, 15 years in stateside and in Latin America.
Chris Hood (02:23):
Awesome. And Michael,
Michaell Magrutsche (02:25):
I’m everything contrary to Gary. I am I have absolutely no education. I’m extremely neurodiverse. I have written, also, I’ve written seven books, but Fafa published I can’t read my own books. I have to listen to them. I am not system relevant. And when I was system relevant, because I worked with Robert Evans, who did The Godfather, I co-produced with him. I’m a C D r Commi Commissioner. I, I suffered totally. I I couldn’t, I couldn’t because I had to be system relevant. Yeah. I, I do everything human centric because that’s the way I could, that’s the only way I could, I, I couldn’t do system centric. I had to repeat grades in school. And I have well, sister interested about it. Yeah. And through that, and I’m art saved my life, always art creation. It always saved my life. And that also gave me all the education I needed, all the wisdom I have, all the human centricity I have.
Chris Hood (03:29):
Great, well, welcome both of you. Let’s get right into that. We mentioned human centricity. That’s gonna be the topic of today’s conversation, but I think what’s interesting is you both probably have a completely different perspective of what this really is. So I’m curious to hear each of your perspectives, whether that’s human centricity or customer centricity from an art world or from a business world. Let’s start, Gary, tell us a little bit more from your perspective. What is customer centricity?
Gary Garth (03:59):
For me, it’s one of my core principles. It’s one of the values of the, the company that I recently deployed, elev8.io. I think it all comes putting customers first. And what does that mean in detail? That can be a very vague concept that people say, yeah, we are, we are customer centric. For me it means understanding starts with understanding your customers at its core. So, you know, so you, you understand if you’re b2b, it’s all the firmographics, demographics, even psychographics, right? You know, what, what, what keeps them up at night? What challenges them? How can you help them overcome those problems, and how can you help them with solutions? And then furthermore, it, it’s, it’s at, you know, once you know prospects become customers, it’s from an account management standpoint, account executive, it’s, you know, how do you establish processes and solutions backed up with, you know, even automation that makes sure that, you know, service is always excellent.
That this, you know ev all challenges always addressed. Expectations are, are managed properly right out the gate. Goals are always defined. And there’s a clear pathway, a clear roadmap to like, how does this relationship work? That for me is customer centricity at its core. And when done right, as I put in my book you know, there’s a, a series of different tools, right? Whether it’s net promoter score or customer satisfaction service, or whatever tool you deploy to, to measure satisfaction level, if done properly, if done effectively, and you also have the right processes, then that can tremendously fuel the, the expansion of, of of growth per account or average revenue per account, or same store growth. There’s a lot of terminology around that. But I, I’ve seen firsthand, I worked very closely with Google’s channel sales teams, Microsoft’s channel sales teams deployed channel sales programs for, for with over 200 resellers. So I know I’ve seen firsthand when customer centricity is, is really embodied and deployed and at the level, so processes is, is deployed throughout the organization, and it’s, you know, you really incorporated in the values. I mean, it’s not something that actually people care about. Then the revenue impact can be astonishing. So that, for me, long story short, is customers, Tracy,
Michaell Magrutsche (06:35):
A hundred percent. I, I agree with Gary on, in the systemic way, that’s what we are limitless human, that we, we can talk to each other. I work in hospitality my whole life because to, to afford to be an artist. And I, I just wrote an article about mistakes. I don’t see mistakes. I don’t see mistakes. It’s about how you humanly handle mistakes, not from a systemic way, but to, for example, a little system like a, a restaurant. You handle it not by having strict rules and regulations, because that, because we have 8 billion people that are all different. So there is no normal, there’s no normal human being. Every experience is different. And we have all the superpower in us to gauge. I said to you before the, the, the gauging of six senses that we, we have all the to deal with other people. I did over 200 interviews all over the world. Boom. I come in, talk and leave. I don’t know you, and we talk about deepest things. I don’t need to have steps. The people say, well, how many steps you have? I said, I have no steps. I have awareness. You are aware. You listened to this podcast three times. You gotta be aware. You have all the tools you need. I trust that you can add to those seeds that we seed in here. That’s my philosophy.
Chris Hood (08:01):
You know, what’s really interesting in there is you talk about a couple of things. One, that we all make mistakes. I think from a business perspective, we’re constantly learning and we have to learn about our customers and be able to improve upon that to meet their individual needs. You also talked about how in some cases, people are more aware of what those needs are. And Gary, I’m sure you’ve seen this as you start talking with different types of customers, some get it really quickly, others don’t. Some sales have one process, others have a completely different process. And you have to navigate that human experience to be able to develop these winning customer service capabilities you’re talking about
Gary Garth (08:49):
When you’re talking custom centricity. For me, that’s very business related. I just firsthand human-centric is, is definitely important. Like I, you’re preaching to the choir, right? I mean, that’s why I created the goals. Grit and Greatness planner. I created this product for entrepreneurs and high achievers, because just like the expression, like, you know, achievement without fulfillment is the ultimate failure. I’m not, it’s not my quote, unfortunately, it’s Tony Robbins. But for me, I saw firsthand, I worked with a lot of top executives, very successful people, entrepreneurs, 7, 8, 9 figure companies, essentially experienced burnout, you know, then they’re not fulfilled. But I’ve also scaled service operations and I’ve worked in sales and marketing and customer service for that matter the last 25 years. And so, you know, sometimes, you know, what really moves the needle is that intuitiveness as, as, as, as you refer to, as understanding your, your, your customer.
And well, I, I devote a whole chapter in my book to that, like, according, like the six principles of persuasion, you know, understanding, we’re all driven by emotions, right? What you want to attain, the, the, the fear avoiding pain attaining pleasure, right? That’s driving all the decisions, essentially. So as a sales representative, as a customer service agent, the better you can tap into that, the more you can influence the decision making process. And yes, sometimes prospects doesn’t necessarily know what they need, but I will say that’s what’s part of the company being a, what I consider myself a solutions architect, is uncovering what is actually the needed elements in order to, for them to attain their goals. Like, that’s why in the plan phase, we have a whole goal section is to tie that up with your underlying why, your purpose, what are, what’s your long-term goals, whether that’s a company and individuals, more or less the same, the thought process is the same, and that’s where it becomes very human-centric. But when you wanna scale something up, it’s kind of hard to create a human-centric process map for how to handle hundreds, thousands of customer inquiries, right? That’s where you need systems in place is my point.
Michaell Magrutsche (10:59):
You can’t lean into the uncomfortableness that you have to be intuitive all the time. Versus it’s not an absolute rules for 8 billion people where everybody has different fingerprints, irises and DNA rules are guidelines. They can never be absolutes. And so we, we, but we so systemic that we, when you give me five steps, I’m gonna try to follow those steps, even though my feeling says something completely different, you know, and the steps might be the best steps and in the general, the right things, but they’re not absolutes. And we see because systems see rules as absolutes. And, and so we become, we are very adaptive, we are nature, we adapt to each other, and we adapt to systems. And I think we have fa we have lost ourselves, which you see that all these systems are crumbling right now because we adapt to our habitat and our habitats are not systems.
Even though we are born in hospital, we are baptized, we are school, this all system, we get married, it’s all a system, but we have lost ourselves because we are limitless. And then we, we, we limit ourselves. We taking a muff and living our lives through and try to fulfill, you know, getting, you know, the system says it should be sunny every day. If it’s not sunny, we sell you a Ferrari, a pill, or a face job. You get all that, you’re great. The Ferrari feels great for a month or so, but then it becomes a, a banged up fear to something, you know, it’s just, it, it’s not the feeling, the emotional feeling. And you are in the emotions too. It, it’s a very short lift in systems, the fulfillment factor where I live a life that is continuously fulfilled and don’t have the system because I don’t wanna get lost in it either.
Chris Hood (12:43):
I think what’s interesting is that as we grow in technology and as more of these products and services are maintaining our lives, we are becoming more reliant on the technology itself or the satisfactions that we’re getting from those systems you’re talking about, as opposed to being fully aware of our own personal humanity and awareness. I mean, we see that in being introduced with ai. We’re removing the humanity from the operational and daily methods that we go through. But how do we bring this back down into the human characteristics that Michael is talking about?
Gary Garth (13:31):
You’re preaching to the choir, guys. I’m, I’m all about it. That, again, that’s why I launched the goals grid and greatness plan. Like when I say systems and, and steps and so forth, I, I, I think we all can agree on the significance of, of habits, small habits, habit building, et cetera. So that for me is like a mini system. My morning routine, my evening routine. That’s why I put a whole section to it. In, in, in the plan, all high achievers have, whether it’s the 5:00 AM club methodology or whatever they do as the first step, if you have a set of behaviors that you follow systematically in the morning, you will just prime yourself for a better day. That’s just, that’s just proven. That’s fact factual. So from my end, as I put, as one of the first exercises I, I say, okay, list three things I put in my planner every morning.
That’s my very first thing. I get my coffee for a glass of water first. Then I sit down and then I said, write three things that I’m grateful for, right? I couldn’t open up today’s planner, and I could say, okay here’s what I put today. And I would say, okay, I am grateful that I have Belinda, my daughter here living with me today. And my second is my good health talents and opportunities I’m blessed with, and the credible life I’m blessed with here and, and, and the opportunities I’m facing. Then the second, third question I ask, what would make today great? Not, I killed this, this, this meeting, or I crush that, or I land that proposal, like x YC revenue, but it’s more like, okay, make sure that I, I leave office at five, six, burn, go to the gym.
I have an ice cream with my daughter at the end of the day that I call my whatever. It makes small little things that at the end will mean more, right? So I, I’m all about that. I just think it’s, it’s a blend of different, different exercises and putting some systems behind it is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s all about understanding your fulfillment. Like I, I’ve, I’m a big fan of coaching, for instance, I, I’ve had coaching the last 15 years I was a platinum member, coach was, was Tony Robbins 85,000 program. I flew to every single event. I am a soccer for personal development. I read every single book that exists, and it’s like, like, he puts it better than what May is like these, you know, six drivers of human, of human nature, right? The certainty, uncertainty, significance, love and connection.
But what really drives you is giving and growing as an individual. That’s the, that’s the spiritual element. So for me, for me, everything I do is centered around that, and that’s what drives my motivation. It’s like, okay, how can I make an impact? Do I feel like I’m growing? Am I motivated every day to get up and get out of bed and make an impact? And do I get reward by helping other people at the same time helping myself? That to me, is, is what drives it. So I completely see, hear where you’re coming from in terms of the fulfillment element and so, so forth. I just believe that creating systems, having a framework, leveraging certain tools, standing on the shoulders of giants of other people who have already proven what works and works better well, and, and, you know, putting, making a, a habit of, like you said, you like to read listen to books. I, I, I’m a soccer myself. I, I try to read a book one once a week, every two weeks. I read a lot of biographies. So that’s the best way to understand. So creating system to do in all those different small micro habits really can excel not only your performance, but also your fulfillment.
Michaell Magrutsche (16:49):
I, this is not about right around, we are all at the same, I think we all three on the same level about the human potential, right? We, we, we we’ll focus on the human potential and that the system, even though we use the system like Gary, you use the system perfectly to get to the, to your own human potential, right? But it is still a system potential be, it’s not the human potential, it’s, it’s to, to be. And system is limited. We, we agree. Systems are limited in the systems to become, you know, I I I, I consider Elon Musk or, or Jeff Bezos, or even you, and, you know, as system navigators, it’s like a chess player, but I don’t wanna be a master chess player in the system. I can go and say, I feel gratitude. But if, you know, gratitude is somebody else gratitude.
When I feel gratitude, I feel gratitude to myself that I created that I’m not feeling, oh, I’m grateful that I can talk to you. Yes, that is the feeling in the moment that I can talk to you, boast. You guys are my reflection. I’m your reflection. We, we are part of each other. Otherwise, we wouldn’t even be together. We think we are in control of everything. We are not. And I’m coming from the self-motivation, dude, know yourself that you are one of 8 billion a unique, if that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, you are one unique person of 8 billion people. I mean, it doesn’t get better than that,
Chris Hood (18:21):
But I think some of these systems that you’re referring to could also be interpreted as tools. So let’s just narrow down the three of us are together, talking, having a very interesting and stimulating conversation. There is a couple of different ways that we could look at this. We could have all gotten together in person and had a cup of coffee and had this same conversation, but because of our diverse perspectives and locations, we probably would have never have met because of, of 8 billion people around us. But the tool has allowed us to come together to have a conversation, and the listeners are potentially growing, and they have had the opportunity to hear this unique perspective and conversation because of the systems and tools that are available to them. So on some level, we have to accept that these tools and these systems that are in place are allowing us to explore humanity in a way that we would never have been able to if we didn’t have the same tools. Right?
Michaell Magrutsche (19:29):
Hundred percent. A hundred percent. I always say, if you use AI as a tool and not as you know, writing new resumes for you, then or new emails, because we don’t have the time to, to see the emails. Now, what do you think would happen with AI when they make it so that you cannot even determine humanly if they come from a real person, because they take all the triggers of a real person and put that in. We have more, more and more, more bigger, better, and the, the, the money that the people can make or the, the profit is getting in, generally always less so. So in, I know when I grew up, people made 30 grand, 40 grand, a million. I hear it all the time, friends, relatives and stuff. Now you hear, oh, I did this app and I made 2 cents on this and 2 cents on that.
So it’s a lack. It’s a lack. We work on, and it moves the, and the financial principle problem is it moves that to to one site. The more money you have, the more money you will attract to less money. You have the less money. I mean, 40% of humans work working boom. Humans work, work for $5 50 a day to live for $5 50 a day. So why is that? Okay, why is that okay? Why are 350 million people dying in, in the war? There is not a tool, that’s not a tool that is a submitting to a a, a puppet. We created. You know, how often do you get into your stress, you know, with, with all this stuff, you know, there’s a day I don’t wanna wake up and, and, and do certain things, but the next night, I’m, I’m working through the night.
That’s more natural than, you know, being just disciplined. I, I’m very disciplined because I’m, if I’m not disciplined, it’s over. I’m neurodiverse, I’m all over. So I have to be disciplined. But there is days where I feel not today, or I’m gonna go for a walk or I go for a swim or something that it, it, it’s just, even though I know because you never have enough, since the system works on the li, like if I say to Gary, Gary, okay, all your thing with your daughter and everybody just cut you off and say, they’re, they’re busy today. Don’t you have enough work to do for your system, ? It will ever, you’ll never have enough work to do in a system. You, you, you can always do it.
Gary Garth (21:57):
For me, I just find that coming out of, for me, work is just not of work necessarily if it’s purpose driven, right? So I made a lot of money when I was not Jeff Bass or El Musk, like you referred to that way, but I’m, I was a millionaire, but I was 23 years old because of a company I started back in Denmark. And I learned the hard way that that’s not fulfillment. And you know, by any means, and I made a lot of money in my last agency, we catered to all industries, and the biggest vertical was personal injury lawyers. And I was like, what the heck am I doing here helping this, these, right? So so I, I learned that’s not, you know, getting all the, the nominations and, and making the money that that’s not fulfillment. I was burned out, depressed, almost borderline.
And like what, especially you start thinking, what, what’s the next step? Right? And I was fortunate enough to sell, sell my shares in the company and cash out and didn’t really have to figure out what, what I wanted to do next. So I also found out that living at the beach, not doing anything is not fulfillment either, right? That, that, that dream that. So I spent a whole year where I traveled , right? Amid right with Covid going on like to Peru, and spent two months in the jungle doing ayahuasca on a spiritual journey. I went to Africa, did a Boga in Jamaica doing psilocybin. I just trying to expand my consciousness and figure out like all these questions, like, what the hell am I here for? What am I supposed to do? Because I’m not happy hustling, just trying to make money.
I’m not ha ha happy just sitting on the beach. But I was like, okay. Again, going back to those six drivers, emotional drivers in terms of growing and giving, that’s what juices me up. So I think it’s an individual thing, like what work is not necessarily something negative. It’s more about like, if it’s not, if it’s a project, which for me is more like projects and achievement is more related to like, okay, the next steps on the impact. Yes, that juices me. There’s always, there’s always a finish line keeps moving and you can always improve and so forth. But that just jacks me up. It’s not because I’m living outta lack, it’s just I feel like, hey, I’m living off these small little rewards, these small little celebrations, these small little feedback loops in terms of how we help. So my current agency, for instance, we work with addiction, treatment center industry and mental healthcare.
Cuz that’s very dear to me. And I, I know the statistics, right? I mean, 20 million plus addicts in US alone, one out of three Americans has experienced mental health issues because of everything you’re referring to, right? Because of the social media driven and notification constant occurring because of all of that, because of living outta lack. So for me, my purpose is how, how can I help a lot of these people outta suffering? So it’s not work necessarily it’s not about just cashing in. I always say in any business, I’m involved in any investment I’m proud of. Like I always say, number one thing is profitability, sustainability. Because without that, we can’t reinvest in growth. We can’t make a large impact, we can’t expand. So as long as it’s used in a good way, I think it’s positive. I’m not saying capitalism and Wall Street and all that is good. By no means that whole system is, let’s not get into that. But my my point is just about the work and systems, and if it’s with the right intention, then it could be very good.
Chris Hood (25:20):
Let’s put together one or two quick lessons learned. If each of you could share something that you have learned or that you would like to share with the listeners in terms of human centricity or customer centricity and how they could apply that to their lives or business. Michael, let’s start with you.
Michaell Magrutsche (25:40):
Systems are good. I’m not against system at all. I just think we need to update the systems to make, make a human centric, not system centric. Yeah. I think also the consciousness is coming through and I see us as 8 billion valves. Valves where the consciousness comes in, like air, it just came and, and it, and it manifests with Chris helping people and make it customer-centric, you know, which is human customer-centric is human-centric in systems, right? We wanna serve because make a system can also be profit centric. So you are human centric in systems, which is, so this is where the consciousness comes through you. And then it comes through me being on the other side, opposite side. Yeah. But the common denominator is humanity. So I think we are 8 billion valves that co that blow in this air of consciousness in our reality. And then we see the feedback and, and see what’s happening. And while there’s war, there’s still that energy that needs to be dispersed while there is famine and all this other stuff. Mm-Hmm. that needs to be, yes. But still we
Gary Garth (26:48):
Need to be, well, my, my 2 cents on that, or or key takeaway would be whether it’s an organization, whether, whether you’re an employee and you’re trying to engage your team or whether it’s at an individual level, I think, you know, it has to be both customer-centric and, and, and human-centric. That’s where the true success. I I, I obviously work a lot with companies and implement systems and, and teach them how to skill things, et cetera, but there’s always a human element to it because without that in the equation you will fail. You will fail undoubtedly. So I, I would even say that’s almost my specialization because when I work with a lot of companies, it becomes mechanical. It becomes almost inhuman. It’s like they are horrible at just relating to the customer building report or, or just understanding what’s really important. It’s just, it’s just, they’re just a number. They’re just a kpi. And you know, I’m saying first and foremost, we gotta either scratch a commission system so they’re not just focusing on, am I closing this deal or not, or we gotta redesign it or we gotta truly train them. Something has to be done because the sys no system in the world can fix that. So I agree. But I think it’s about putting those two things together and in every single part. In every single, that’s where true success comes.
Chris Hood (28:10):
Well, thank you both. I appreciate your time. It has been a fabulous and most interesting conversation and I appreciate both of your perspectives.
Gary Garth (28:18):
Likewise, gentlemen. It was true. Pleasure.
Michaell Magrutsche (28:20):
Yeah. Thank you guys.
Chris Hood (28:22):
And of course, thanks to all of you who are listening. If you like what you heard, please subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform and leave a review. Your feedback helps us improve and grow. And if you have any questions, comments, or ideas for the show, you can connect with us throughout social media and online @ChrisHoodShow. And please share this episode with your friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else looking to grow their business and start their own digital evolution. Until next week, take care and stay connected.