Whisper it quietly, but sometimes there’s no substitute for the human touch.
In a world where technological advancements continue to drive productivity, growth, and profitability, it’s often easy for businesses to default to automation and artificial intelligence in order to deliver the experience they think their customers crave.
This technology can be transformational, of course. However, to gain a competitive advantage, a seamless transition between, say, chatbot to live chat, or email to real agent, has to be a part of the whole.
It’s about those often-intangible elements to a satisfying customer interaction, such as empathy, tone, and a deep appreciation of nuanced challenges and how to resolve them.
All enterprises must do is partner with a communications provider that understands the issues at play, and which can provide the solutions and the strategy to ensure everything is covered.
“In today’s digital-first world, businesses are increasingly focused on providing exceptional Customer Experience (CX) in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors,” says Tom Martin, CEO at the industry-leading provider of guided customer experience solutions Glance.
“The abundance of digital tools and channels has transformed the way customers interact with businesses. Chatbots, automated emails, and self-service portals have made it convenient for customers to find information and complete routine tasks. While that digital-first approach has brought numerous benefits, it’s crucial not to overlook the significance of human interaction in delivering an outstanding customer experience (CX). In short, there are moments when a more personal – and literally human – approach is needed.”
Good examples of those moments are during high-value transactions or when customers encounter complex issues that cannot be resolved automatically or via a website or portal. The trick is to recognize those pivotal moments as they occur – or better still to anticipate them in advance – and to be able to transition seamlessly from an automated response to a human one. Executed effectively, it’s an effortless fusion of science and art that delivers a high-quality engagement.
“Understanding the best way to engage with customers at various touchpoints is key to optimizing CX,” says Martin.
“Customers expect a truly personalized experience. For example, merely putting their first name in an email isn’t going to cut it. Personalization has gone well beyond that and now encompasses the entire customer experience. By analyzing customer data and behavior, and by having a deep understanding of the customer journey, companies can provide support on the right channel, with the right information, and at the right time.”
Anticipation plays a crucial role. Being proactive and reaching out to customers before they even realize they need help can leave a lasting positive impression. This personalized and human-centric approach builds trust and loyalty, driving customer retention and advocacy.
“Acquiring new customers requires more time and money than growing an existing customer base, so customer retention should be a huge focus for businesses committed to long-term growth,” says Martin.
“Customers’ demands are higher than ever, and they have choices. It only takes a few seconds to feel stuck or dissatisfied with a communication experience, and a few more seconds for them to start researching a competitor brand. The human connection is still the difference-maker. Developing and adopting an organization-wide digital experience strategy across multiple touchpoints that inserts the human being is probably the most composable and impactful strategy that businesses can have.”
Indeed, that combination of cutting-edge technology with genuine human connection allows businesses to create a far more memorable and lasting impression on their customers than a purely automated conversation ever can. No matter how smart, technology should never replace the empathy, understanding, and problem-solving abilities that only human interaction can provide.
“While we embrace the digital-first approach, we must not forget the profound impact of human interaction in shaping exceptional CX,” says Martin.
“Recognizing when and how to engage customers on a personal level is key to meeting their needs and expectations effectively. Integrating a human-centric approach into the digital experience is essential for fostering stronger customer relationships and long-term business success.”
To learn more about how Glance can help leverage the power of human-led customer service and communication solutions, listen to this podcast with Tom and Shep Hyken.