Every organization has its own philosophies and methodologies for how best to establish customer relationships, but despite how companies get there, the end goal has always been the same: Treating people with care and respect to establish trust and improve their experience with your brand.
The pandemic has made this notion even more clear. In a time of complete uncertainty, customers simply want to connect with brands on a human level. In fact, recent research on consumer behavior shows that demand for human-to-human interaction in customer service environments is surging. Today, most consumers prefer human customer support over automated and self-service channels.
Yet, this human-first approach to customer service isn’t always easy or straightforward. In their path to improving customer relationships and service, many organizations end up “over automating.” The rationale being, if they can automatically answer more customer questions at the onset of a call or text or chat, they have staff focus on only the most serious of customer cases. The problem here is that rarely do customers see their issue as anything but serious.
That’s not to say that automation doesn’t have its place – like the checking of a balance or finding out when a bill is due. However, not even the smartest chatbots or self-service solutions can effectively and completely respond to 100% of customer needs, especially during a pandemic. Imagine trying to explain to a chatbot that you lost your job and can’t return to work because you need to take care of your kids?