Why Human Touch Is So Important to the Customer Experience

Today’s leading brands all understand the value of customer experience (CX). In case you aren’t familiar, customer experience is a collection of different experiences your average customer has with your brand, resulting in a series of impressions and mental images of the nature of your brand. Good advertising, positive customer service experiences, excellent products, and ongoing communication can all strengthen your customer experience – ultimately resulting in more loyal customers and more revenue for your organization.

But one of the most crucial elements of customer experience is something in increasingly short supply: the human touch. But what role does human touch play in customer experience, and how can you use it appropriately?

What Is Human Touch in Customer Experience?

We’re not talking about handshakes or hugs here; in the context of customer experience, human touch is about personal human interactions, even if they occur through a digital medium like email or video chat.

According to Bondai, the ideal customer experience solution combines advanced technology with the human touch, giving you the widest range of capabilities and the best possible reach, all while building your personal relationships.

In a relentless effort to make more money, leading brands are turning to AI-based solutions like chatbots to automate as much customer interaction as possible. Companies are incentivized to let customers find answers on their own, talk to machines, and leverage algorithms to resolve their questions and disputes. 

And on some level, this strategy can work; sophisticated technologies can often resolve issues faster than human beings, and they’re definitely cheaper. Over time, this can save a company money – but it can also damage the overall customer experience.

The Value of Human Touch

So why is human touch so important?

There are several reasons:

  •         Appealing to luddites and the non-tech-savvy. Chatbots and interactive FAQ pages can be designed and developed in a way that makes them easy to use, convenient, and accessible for the majority of the population. But there will always be a demographic segment of luddites and people who aren’t tech-savvy – who may be reluctant or unwilling to use these high-tech tools. Many people will always prefer to talk to a human instead of navigating complex online tools, and the human touch will definitely appeal to them.
  •         Feeling seen and heard. Human beings do a much better job of making customers feel like they’ve been seen and heard. Nobody is watching a customer’s activity as they click through dozens of written online pages; by contrast, a live customer service agent can nod, smile, and provide affirmations that the customer is being heard. You’ve likely had an experience like this in your own life; you might have complained to a customer service agent, and they might have repeated your own problem back to you, verifying their understanding. Didn’t that feel good? Human beings love to be validated.
  •         Getting exposure to personality. Too many modern companies are fixated on the idea of presenting a consistent brand image to the public. This can be valuable, and it definitely pays to have a brand identity in place. However, most people have more memorable and interesting experiences when they’re interacting with someone who has a unique personality. Instituting more human touches can make your entire brand seem more human, and therefore, more relatable.
  •         Guaranteeing resolution. Let’s say a customer navigates your FAQ pages and finds a tutorial meant to help them resolve a problem. They read it, then close the page. Did this person get the answer they were looking for? Or did they simply bail when they realized they’d reached a dead-end and that online content couldn’t help them? Adding human touch to your customer service strategy can practically guarantee resolution; through conversations and follow-ups, your agents can make sure that every issue eventually gets resolved (rather than sitting back and hoping for the best).
  •         Building a true relationship. People don’t build relationships with objects or machines or even brands. They build relationships with other people. And when you have more people working for you, interacting with your customers, your customers are going to feel a much stronger attachment to your organization.
  •         Differentiating from the competition. With so many companies adopting chatbots and other forms of customer experience automation, providing a human touch is a clean way to distinguish yourself from the competition. Your company will stand out as one of only a few willing to provide genuine human experiences.

This doesn’t mean that 100 percent of your customer-brand interactions have to be driven by human beings. But it does mean you should work to integrate more human touches into your customer experience strategy. Doing so can temporarily increase your expenses, but you’ll be rewarded with much higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Rylie Holt