We are living in a world that is becoming ever more digital. But when it comes to customer service, consumers still want the choice of human interaction.
This is according to recent research produced by Accenture, “Digital Disconnect in Customer Engagement. The high price of obsession. Has digital reached its tipping point?”
In it the report’s authors highlight the need for a balanced approach when it comes to providing sales and service.
For some companies, the resolute focus on exploiting digital channels has led to them losing sight of their customers, and what they really want out of a service experience.
The Preference For Human Interaction
People are social beings who need and value contact with other humans. Being deprived of this has serious mental and health consequences.
The report admits that It would be going too far to say that those who only shop using digital channels are socially isolated. However in the context of buying a product or service, it is safe to assume human contact enhances this experience.
In many sales and service situations consumers actually prefer the opportunity to deal with a real person to help solve an issue for them.
The findings highlighted that:
- 58% prefer dealing with a person to get a quick answer to a question.
- 73% want their service issue resolved by a person.
- 73% prefer to seek out a human for advice.
Capitalising on Connection
The ability to offer a more personalised shopping experience can actually boost profits. Over a third (36%) of customers are willing to pay a premium for this type of service. (Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Research, 2015)
“In the retail sector, multi-channel customers are responsible for 3.2 times the sales and 2.6 times the margin of store-only customers.” (Accenture Customer Vision 2015)
Often shoppers may come into a store with only a vague idea of what they want.
How do you offer help in this situation?
To start with, a highly trained sales assistant is able to build a good rapport. By asking the right types of questions, they can offer useful advice on what would be the best fit.
In-person, or over the phone situations allow for easier cross-selling, or up-selling to a more appropriate solution.
The figures speak for themselves on this point. 45% of consumers will be up-sold when dealing with a person, compared to just 18% through a digital channel. (Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Research, 2015)
The main conclusion to draw from this is, your customers still want the option of human interaction when buying from you.
It makes good business sense as working in this way can actually boost your profits.
We’d love to hear about the positive customer service experiences you have delivered.
Reply in the comments below to let everyone know how brilliant you are at what you do.