Summary of When Digital Becomes Human

The Transformation of Customer Relationships

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When Digital Becomes Human book summary
As the consumer experience becomes increasingly digital, human contact will be your company’s most valuable offering.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


Steven Van Belleghem, a marketing professor and managing partner of the research agency InSites, examines how the increasing digitalization of commerce affects consumers’ interactions with the companies that serve them. To research his ideas and learn the importance of human connection in a digital world, he undertook extensive research on consumer attitudes and customer relations in two global polls – one of 2,750 people and one with 3,507 respondents. He also embarked on “inspiration tours” of Silicon Valley companies known as innovative trendsetters. Van Belleghem’s insights are not deep or groundbreaking, but he builds his thesis on one strong finding: Companies can’t bypass the digital trend, but no matter how much digital magic they offer their customers, nothing can replace the value of human interaction. Despite some repetition, getAbstract recommends his take on the future of e-commerce to customer service professionals, marketers and anyone seeking insights on the business world to come.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why digital businesses need human contact with their customers,
  • What four outcomes are possible when customer relations become digital,
  • Why your firm needs to bond with its customers and
  • How to use the power of the crowd to engage your consumers.


Who Shapes What?
Technology shapes people, their interactions and their overall society more than people shape technology. People are “just the extras, the minor actors in the drama that will allow technology to become what it must.” They’re mere facilitators on technology’s predetermined...
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About the Author

Marketing professor and managing partner of the research agency InSites, Steven Van Bellegham is a frequent conference speaker. He wrote The Conversation Company and The Conversation Manager.

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