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If you think that Human Interaction is being upstaged by digital solutions, think again. Recently a friend of ours saw a sign on a home and called the number on the sign.  She listened to a recording that sent her to an agent directory. The sign did not have the agent’s name or phone number on it, because the company does not allow agent riders.  

She tried to get connected to the receptionist (was not sure there was one) and gave up.  She was frustrated and vowed never to have any dealings with that company.  And all her friends heard about it like we did.

All of us have had what seemed as interminable moments on the phone getting through the maze of automated systems, just to speak to a human.  When we get to the human, we are even more frustrated because we learn that we need to speak to a supervisor to resolve our issues.  We are then placed on hold, and sometimes we are disconnected. 

Accenture, one of the leading management consultants firms, found in one of their studies that 52 percent of consumers switch due to poor customer service.  They estimated the cost to businesses at $1.6 trillion.  On the real estate scene, it is not unusual to find the voice mailbox full, or the example in our first paragraph.

This is due to the fact that most companies assume that digital-only customers are the most profitable, and customer service is an expensive service.  When they do have customer service, it is usually outsourced to other countries, which often creates more problems.  

Many of these customers (44%) resort to venting on social media channels about the poor service they received.  Sometimes, companies respond to the vent and make things right.  However, keep in mind that quite a bit of damage has been done by the venting. 

Accenture’s study found that 83% of those customers value human interaction and want more of it. They are less likely to switch companies when they have easy access to human interaction, as well as recommend the companies to friends and associates.

Digital solutions have made life easier when you stop and think about it, however we need to balance our reliance on it.  The be-all- and end-all is human interaction. Its value is precious. Institute that in your practice, and your clients will remember you and refer you.

This post is inspired our Internet provider.  Pictured above is the envelope our bill came in.  We are delighted with this change. Now when we have a question or problem with our service, we can actually speak to someone live.  It is so much easier than listening to fix it electronic instructions or going to their website.  It also takes less time.