Let’s face it. The world has evolved and changed over the last several years, but even
more significantly over the last two years, largely due to the pandemic and the huge shift it brought to the employee and customer experience. The choices your business made in 2022, specifically around your customer experience, will impact and largely determine your success in the next decade.
The most obvious change we’ve witnessed is customers being pushed towards digital services and channels in unprecedented numbers, due to enduring lockdown situations, even people who would not normally use them.
Alongside this increase in consumer digital adoption, we’ve also seen a growing trend of automation in customer service too, by encouraging digital self-service rather than in-person service. 78% of service professionals say that customers have used self-service options more during the pandemic.
Where most of the focus in customer service is currently on digital and automated services, in reality most customers still expect human interaction at certain stages in their customer journey. According to a report from Epsilon, 80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when businesses provide a personalized experience.
Nearly 60% said they preferred an empathetic customer service experience over a speedy resolution. Empathy is becoming more and more important to a successful customer experience – which can only be provided by an actual person, not automated digital channels. To remedy this issue, your business must do more to put people at the heart of your business model to create a human touch approach.
Ways To Improve The “Human Touch” In Your Customer Experience
- Be Available
Your business must provide customers with options to be able to reach out to them. Technology certainly gives your business a significant opportunity to reach your customers in various ways in the digital world. However, some of your customers may prefer a more traditional communication channel, like speaking on the phone, because it allows them to speak to a real person. If a missed phone call happens, it’s important to return them promptly to ensure a positive experience.
Emails allow your business to connect and communicate with customers. It also allows a business to promote any upcoming sales. Typically, businesses should take no longer than 24 hours to respond to customers.
Social media is also a common method for interacting with your customers. It’s an excellent opportunity for connecting with people, answering questions and offering promotions. Prospective customers also can read reviews to gauge if they want to give a company their business.
- Monitor Your First Impressions
First impressions are essential when it comes to providing a good customer experience. A customer might define their entire experience with a business based on their first interaction with your business. If you want to retain your customers, a great way to do so is by creating trust. A good first impression will help to develop a strong sense of loyalty.
By accomplishing this, an organization can help ensure a repeat customer. A happy customer will then spread the word, which is free advertising that gives your business the ability to grow.
The best way you can create an excellent first impression is by hiring empathetic workers who have patience and know how to handle customers’ questions and concerns effectively and promptly. Another way to monitor first impressions is by getting feedback from your customers and let them decide if your methods are successful by the feedback you receive.
- Personalize Each Interaction
Customers want to have a personal relationship with a business they do business with. It’s important when communicating with customers to have real conversations and don’t offer scripted responses. Don’t forget to use their names. Always be empathetic to a situation or problem a customer may have and use positive language to uplift your customers and leave them with a lasting positive impression of your business.
For example, if a product has sold out instead of stating “It’s not in stock.”, you could phrase it like this, “While we don’t have this product at our location, it is available at another store. I can call them to save it for you or I can place an order and contact you once it arrives at our location if that is more convenient.”
- Relate To Customers
Empathy is important for good communication with your customers. Businesses that can relate to their customers can find ways to solve problems and provide a good customer experience. Customers need to believe that you care.
Solutions can take time and customers know that. They want a business to recognize their perspective. You can do that by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. For example, a customer who is unhappy with a product wants you to express an understanding of their level of frustration and offer solutions to remedy their concerns.
- Finish A Conversation In A Helpful Manner
Final impressions are as important as first impressions. Work can get hectic and your staff can be in a rush to finish a task, which can impact the experience for the customer who’s interacting with them.
It’s important to make sure that even if a resolution occurs, ask what else can happen to ensure that the conversation with the customer has concluded and that they leave happy and satisfied. For example, at the end of the conversation, ask if there is anything else they need help with, let them know they can reach out if there are any further questions. It’s also important to show gratitude and thank a customer for their business.
How You Can Improve The “Human Touch” With Customers
Your business can always enhance the “human touch” to ensure your customers are happy. Here are some steps for how you can improve the experience by:
- Give Your Employees Proper Training
The proper training can assist your customer service teams in being more effective in managing customer experience. Employees must be trained appropriately in business protocols with handling customer service. By providing your staff with the training to handle customer issues sensitively and effectively to personalize and enhance the customer experience, you can create a customer experience that more effectively meets the need for an understanding human touch. For example, I offer many businesses continuing training modules to help strengthen their employee’s customer experience skills.
- Make Quality and Attention To Detail A Top Priority
Your businesses need to generate a team of employees who are committed to providing a quality customer experience. Businesses should adopt quality in their core values and encourage their employees to believe in quality over quantity when supporting customer services.
A quality customer encounter is much more precious than trying to handle several customers in a timely matter. For example, if your business receives numerous calls at once, it’s important to handle each customer with a high level of excellence than trying to rush through a call.
- Engage With Your Customers And Employees
Engaging your customers through platforms like social media can help identify subjects within your business and start conversations around their experience. Your customers can share thoughts and questions on websites and social media. This also allows your customers to engage with your staff. Feedback allows a business the opportunity to connect and develop content that can inform its audience.
So, is investing in the “Human Touch” experience important? Absolutely! Think about what is currently missing from your “human touch’ experience. How can you bring it back? The answer could lie in-
- Expanding your touch point opportunities by allowing more in-person interactions
- Training your existing employees to provide better service
- Simply allowing your customers easier access to a human rather than limiting them to automated channels.
Considering all of the above will give you the answers you need to begin planning a more customer-centric and “human touch” approach to your customer experience. Now that would be “magical”! Need more help? Email John today for your FREE Strategy Session Call. Info@johnformica.com