Earning Customer Loyalty in a Digital World Means Finding the Right Balance of Technology and Human Touch
It’s no secret that companies are implementing new technologies to streamline processes and operate more efficiently. Now more than ever, customers are interacting with artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in the form of chatbots, virtual assistants and more.
While these solutions offer customers quick and convenient service options, the question remains: are they a viable substitute for human employees?
We know the critical role that agents play in solving customer problems and creating connections that ultimately build loyalty. So we wanted to understand the consumer perspective and what motivates them along the customer journey.
We recently surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in the U.S. and U.K. to explore what motivates customer behavior in an increasingly digital world. The survey found that contact center agents continue to be a vital part of any organization, and it’s all because of human nature.
Human nature is how we think, feel and act. While 61 percent of customers said that a great product or service is the best way to earn their loyalty, beyond that, customer purchasing decisions are driven by emotion. They want to be heard, and they want to know that a company cares about their business—which means they reach for the phone when they need help. And who better to answer than a team of highly-trained, empathetic contact center agents?
While it’s critical that companies continue to implement technology to maintain a competitive edge, and email, chatbots and other new communications technology offers increased convenience, it’s important that they don’t abandon the phone. A whopping 74 percent of customers say they are more loyal if they can speak to someone, and 58 percent of customers believe that picking up the phone and talking to a person will get them the best and most efficient service.
When it comes to creating emotional connections, the phone still reigns supreme. Those daily conversations with customers are not only important for building rapport, they are a rich source of data that gets straight to the heart of customer wants and needs. When companies use that information to drive customer acquisition and retention strategies, they’ll deliver relevant, meaningful experiences that keep customers coming back.
We know the value of maintaining that human connection with customers, and nothing can do that quite like the contact center. To learn more about what customers want in a digital world and how to empower agents to deliver an experience that drives brand loyalty, read the full report.