5 Reasons Humanized Customer Experiences Still Matter

In our digital age, many brands strive to enhance the customer experience through technology. Automated service, omnichannel strategy, and time saving options like callbacks and IVR menus have all made modern customer service more efficient and appealing than it has been in the past. Yet, with all these advances, one might question what role humans play in these experiences, both today and in the years to come. While technology is critical to the future of customer experience, perhaps the human touch is critical as well? Here are five reasons why humanized customer experiences are essential to delivering optimum service overall for sustained customer loyalty.

The importance of human factor in customer service

The human factor is extremely important when it comes to customer service. People expect a personalized experience and a human touch when they reach out for support. Human agents are able to empathize with customers and understand their needs, which can lead to a more satisfying resolution for everyone involved. Additionally, human agents are able to pick up on subtleties that an AI-based system might miss, such as frustration, urgency or happiness in a customer’s voice, and adjust their approach accordingly. They are also able to use their intuition and problem-solving skills in real-time, which is often essential in complicated or unique situations. Companies that prioritize the human element in their customer service are likely to see improved customer satisfaction, higher retention rates and better overall business results.

1. When technology fails, humans step in.

No brand wants to think of their technology as failing their customers, but it can happen in many ways. A brand website may be down, or a channel may be overwhelmed or poorly staffed and thus unresponsive to a customer. When technology becomes an obstacle to a customer’s need, the customer typically reaches out for human support. An American Express Survey found that 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration over not being able to speak with a real person. Humanized customer experience therefore plays a key role in reassuring customers that their problem can be solved. Customers should always have the option to speak to a skilled agent when they wish to, and brands need to properly train and staff agents across all channels.

2. Customers ask for the personal touch.

Simply put, customers seek humanized customer experiences. According to Help Scout, the most requested improvement in customer service is better human service. This need for more empathetic, personalized service also translates to the sales process. As a McKinsey study found, 70% of purchasing experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. Such statistics show that customers want to be valued and treated as individuals, and brands that deliver on this point are most likely to win their loyalty.

3. Social media engagement is all about the human touch.

Savvy brands know that social media has taken the customer service sphere by storm. These days, it’s not only important to respond to customers on social media, but to engage with them for greater loyalty and brand improvements. Such engagement is anything but automated, as the very nature of social media is personal and conversational. Brands need to take a proactive approach on social media by launching marketing campaigns that include customer input, recognizing customers who may serve as brand advocates, and keeping the conversation alive with customers who seek support on such channels.

4. Human exchange is vital to sales.

Customers may be satisfied enough with a promotional coupon sent by email, but truly meeting their needs and meeting sales potential depends on savvy sales agents. When brands pinpoint their target audience and reach out to these customers in a respectful, efficient way (periodically and on a preferred channel, for example), customers are likely to buy more and, specifically, buy what they actually want. A sales agent who is well acquainted with a customer’s purchase history may make meaningful upselling and cross-selling gestures, for example. Therefore, while a customer does not want to be harassed with endless offers, timely and meaningful personalized offers often present a win-win situation for customers and brands alike.

5. Great customer experiences begin with human exchanges and feedback.

Technology might be the medium for delivering great service, but the service itself relies on human skills and thoughtful feedback. CRM software and omnichannel strategy mean little without skilled and motivated agents behind them. Brands cannot improve products or services without honest human opinions about strengths and weaknesses, given by both customers and employees. An essential part of humanized customer experience is therefore recognizing the importance of thoughtful human reflection on what makes a brand successful. After considering employee and customer feedback and empowering agents with the skills and confidence to do their best, brands can deliver great customer experiences. Humanized customer experiences are vital to brand growth and sustained customer loyalty. While digital service makes life easier for customers, no technology can replace the much-needed support, empathy, and intelligence that humans can offer in customer experience and beyond.

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