Anyone who knows about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs would know that it is widely criticised for ignoring the value of human touch as a need. Even as we become increasingly digitised, human-centric experiences in dynamic services such as the relocation industry becomes even more important. This article explores the reasons for increasing human touch in customer interactions.
To offer help, companies rely on friendly chatbots and conversational artificial intelligence (AI). AI has transformed online customer interaction. It can assist companies by targeting relevant advertisements to customers and even providing customer service that anticipates post-purchase problems. Clearly, machine learning has become incredibly sophisticated.
Despite trying to replicate the human touch, it lacks the authentic customer experiences where an agent helps a customer. Consulting firm McKinsey defines the human touch as a company culture where employees value customers’ needs in every daily task. Another indicator is the visibility of empathy, flexibility and respect provided by the human touch. This is especially true for sectors with complex moving parts, such as the relocation industry.
Many administrative tasks must be settled to ensure a successful relocation. These include getting a visa, settling pet exports, finding an international school for children, home search and so on. Some tasks have a very specific timeline to follow. For instance, relocating a pet out of India requires an export certificate which is only valid for 10 days from the issuing date by the relevant authorities. The lack of a human touch to guide clients through relocating increases their stress. Thus having customer agents to assist customers helps create a positive impression of the company.
Importance Of The Human Touch
This shows that the value of the human touch cannot be ignored. Here are 5 reasons why we should humanise customer experiences:
1. Alleviate Stress Among Customers
When customers face a problem, they want their help agent to know their background, and past concerns. An expert can provide valuable advise by analysing past interactions to provide a solution. Active listening to the customer also lessens anxiety.
In a 2018 study on customer experience preferences, many customers still prefer the human touch for complex customer service engagements. Customers seek a personalised experience when stressed and making them repeatedly state personal information and problems while cycling them through various AI agents only increases their stress.
2. Increased Brand Effort And Authenticity
Authentic relationships between customer and brand is highly valued. It is the undefinable emotional response to a brand that can only be obtained by focusing on the human touch and relationship-building. According to Harvard Business Review, customers perceive that a product or service has more value when they see the human effort behind it.
When main customer interaction is scripted and automated, it is difficult to show customers the company’s efforts. This makes the brand unrelatable since the human touch is invisible. Brand experience, desired behaviors and core values must focus on rendering the human touch to be more visible. This is important, especially when providing complex services such as relocation. When clients are aware of the human effort behind the service, it makes the experience more authentic.
3. Gain Customers’ Trust
For a brand to gain customers’ trust, it is important to make them feel secure and valued. Research has shown that chatbots can only communicate at around 40 words per minute, whereas humans generally speak around 125-175 words per minute and can listen for up to 450 words per minute. This mismatch between humans and chatbots’ ability signals missing natural communication with artificial intelligence, reducing trust, as AI may not be able to fully pick up customers’ queries or concerns.
Additionally, AI support systems cannot recognise slang, sentence fragments, or other unscripted concerns. Unsurprisingly, a by Vonage revealed that 75% of customers rather solve support issues by speaking with a live agent. The incoherent replies of an AI system can increase their distrust with the brand. On the other hand, live agents can empathise with customers by going off-script to assure customers, increasing trust.
4. Increase Efficiency
While many believe that digitising customer support improves efficiency, this is not always true. Customers have different problem contexts and assigning a human expert to gauge their situation is the most efficient way to solve a problem.
For instance, explaining financial transactions can be delicate and requires the human touch. Financial Brand reports that 60% of banking customers have an unfavorable view of chatbots as they cannot answer their questions. Similarly, 57% of consumers in a Vonage survey preferred live agents to solve problems or handle their needs. This goes to show that many complex services such as those in the relocation industry will also require human agents to handle sensitive information instead of inefficiently rerouting through various AI interfaces.
5. Service Differentiator
The right technology provides a platform for trained human agents to increase joyful customer experiences. As technology usage for automation increases, the human touch becomes scarce. According to customer service expert Steven Van Bellgehem, the value for human agents will increase accordingly.
Therefore, meeting this need will differentiate the company. Being able to provide the human touch in dynamic industries such as financial services or relocation industries enables the business to continuously attract new customers, thereby expanding their customer database. It is no wonder that some of the best tech companies such as Apple Inc are known for their after-sales services, not led by technology, but their human experts.
How Moovaz Can Help
It is clear to see that the human touch is a valuable resource for companies when working with clients and other stakeholders.
As a relocation platform, Moovaz offers a plethora of relocation services for our clients. We understand that relocation can be a taxing and complex process. As such, we value human touch and strive hard to ensure that our clients get the necessary support required in their relocation journey.
Partner with us today and tap onto our expertise to better serve your clients so that they have a satisfactory relocation experience, without any manpower strain in training your employees.