Calling all Online Retailers! Recent Study Demonstrates the Power of Human Touch

  February 5, 2014       Martin Taylor

We all know from the figures and from our own shopping habits that online retailing has become the norm and clearly, given the ability to shop around from your own sofa, it is set to continue due to the convenience and competitiveness. Here is another blog by our contact centre consultant – Martin Taylor discussing this topic.

Technology can’t just support the sales process but it can slicken it for the benefit of the customer and retailer. In addition, technology can provide innovative solutions or events that can wow the customer.

However, do these innovative interventions stay long in the memory and take your customer from a mere customer to a brand evangelist?
It strikes me that a brand without a human face has to be really clever to breed evangelists and let’s face it, evangelists these days can really carry a brand forward through social media.

Supporting my theory, a recent study has demonstrated that ‘moments of truth’ in terms of service received – the moments that really get you evangelising are more likely to involve a face to face or human to human interaction than one just involving helpful, innovative technology. Let me expand…

So, the first time we were able to draw cash from a machine built into a wall, we were wowed but it very quickly became part of the routine of daily life (unless you have children, then it becomes at least twice a day…) and it’s never been a USP or – to my knowledge – gained any bank a new customer or a customer that goes on to spend more as a result.

The study gave a lovely example of when the author of the study’s mother received great customer service inside a retailer that both she and the author perceived as service ‘plus’ – something that massively exceeded the customer expectation. Was it purely based on the human element? Probably not. The employee may have been empowered to help but still had to rely – no doubt – on their processes, technology and cultural environment. However, it resulted in an evangelist. The question is; can technology alone produce the same powerful result? The study suggested – no, it can’t. Technology only moments of truth don’t appear to resonate in the same way and therefore become distant memories before any value can be communicated.

So, up steps your contact centre – the one place where you can not only deliver human ‘wow’ service, you can design it, train and instil it and manage it in a controllable environment.

Don’t ignore the power of human contact – embrace it, leverage it and make service your USP – this delivers a win win…

If you are a retailer and want to learn how you can truly ‘wow’ your customers through multiple shopping channels,  join us at our retail briefing on 27th March in London. Further information on our Salesforce Retail Event here.