Looking around, there’s a ton of tech in every sphere. New technology has revolutionized the way we interact with each other. The vast array of digital channels at our disposal has made our communication, near or distant, all the same.
With sophisticated and impressive tech available now, customers can get everything they need with just a few clicks, almost everything. While it’s convenient, they still want and expect a personal experience. And that’s what our biggest conundrum is – a convenient experience or a personal experience?
Do we really need high-touch in a high-tech universe? Here are our two cents.
What is High-Tech?
Using the most advanced technology or a bunch of them wrapped up into a single stack is what high-tech is all about. High-tech service entails technology like artificial intelligence, automation, chatbots, etc.
In today’s market, customers can help themselves, right from onboarding to managing their accounts and transactions, all without the help of a service rep’s intervention. However, along with the accelerated pace at which technology is improving, customers demand a satisfying customer experience to match the high-quality product or service. That’s where high-touch steps in.
What is High-Touch?
Catering to the human or emotional sides of customers during business interactions is what high-touch is all about. It’s when you earnestly look at your customers as more than just business transactions.
For instance, back in the day, when you’d probably frequent a restaurant, the restaurant owner knew you, your preferences, your tastes, and just how you like your coffee. Didn’t you feel important? Didn’t you like that particular restaurant better than the others?
We’re sure that even with all the impressive technology that’s out there, the importance of the ‘feel-good factor’ isn’t lost on us.
The Battle Between High-Tech and High-Touch
The fact of the matter is that we’re suckers for new tech which brings about a certain level of convenience. No matter what time of the day it is, with high-tech, we’re capable of resolving many basic queries/issues ourselves in just a few clicks. It saves us time, energy, and the hassle of going through a long resolution process.
But when the trickier problems kick in, which a bot is obviously not capable of tackling, who do we turn to? Our first instinct is always to get in touch with an expert. We look for a conversation to state our thoughts explicitly, to be heard, be understood.
This begs the question – does it really have to be an ‘either-or’ situation?
When it comes to customer service, shouldn’t high-tech and high-touch just bury the hatchet and call it a day?
The Balancing Act
A biased inclination towards either high-tech or high-touch will never be fruitful. How about creating a balance where both avenues support each other equally?
Let’s take the example of the core components of the contemporary high-tech offerings – AI and chatbots. They don’t have to eliminate human reps in the name of case deflection. They can be used to provide answers to simple queries and for real-time conversations with customers, reps can use live chat software providing customers with a personalized, human experience.
Granted, you may have the state-of-the-art tech for customer service but would it make your customers stay for the long-term? For the loyalty, advocacy, and the referrals that you oh, so crave?
People, in general, crave conversation. Take social media, for instance. With more people using social media, conversational marketing is at an all-time high. The power of 1:1 conversation prevails, be it a B2C business or a B2B one.
Find the right mix of high-tech and high-touch for your customers. Analyze their behavioral pattern to determine what they lean towards more – high-tech or high-touch. Better yet, let them choose. Give them both the options and let them know that they’re in control of the kind of conversations they want with a brand.
In our digital world dominated by high-tech, we need high-touch. It’s easier on the eyes too, knowing that there’s still emotional authenticity out there. Our best bet is to offer high-touch service through high-tech channels. So, what route will you take? Personal or convenient? Or both?
Do you want to create the right mix of high-tech and high-touch? Let’s talk strategy!