80% of people said they prefer to chat with a human being when doing business with a financial services brand. Brands in financial services should focus on providing best-in-class human interaction to go along with their digital marketing efforts. The best results occur when traditional and digital channels are mixed. 83% of consumers said they prefer dealing with human beings through digital channels to solve customer service issues. That is why chatbots, video conferencing, mobile apps, and online forums have gained popularity over the last five years.
Combining the personality of a human with the efficiency of digital channels will benefit your business by fostering stronger relationships with your customers, increasing brand loyalty.
In addition to the planned human touchpoints, you should always provide clients and prospects with contact information so they can get in touch with a real person. You should provide several channels through which a customer can contact you. Examples include:
- An email address, attached to a known person at your company.
- A phone number, with information as to who will answer the phone.
- An invitation to come down to your office, with office hours provided.
- An instant chat option to get in touch with an employee right now.
When is human interaction required?
When you are planning your digital strategies, you should plan to include what touchpoints will involve human interactions. Not every situation calls for an in-person conversation. In many cases, an automated email, a push notification or an automated phone call can do the trick.
So how do you know when to include planned human interaction in a touchpoint? One way you can make that decision is by looking at consumer data to find points of significant friction. Use data collected from your content management system (CMS), email campaigns and other sources to find parts of the customer’s journey that could use the human touch.
Is there a point where customers are tentative to continue on their buyer’s journey? That might be a point where a phone call will motivate action. Human interaction might help improve the efficiency of your buyer’s journey at points where people need that little extra push.
Can big data help my business?
Using data analytics to make smarter decisions has already benefitted companies across multiple industries.
According to McKinsey, retailers using big data can increase their operating margins by more than 60%. These are huge improvements to any bottom line, and these improvements are only going to get more significant over time. According to Walker Info, 60% of companies in 2013 placed a lot of emphasis on what customers have done in the past; by 2020, 83% will put their emphasis on what customers intend to do in the future. This shift in how brands are looking to put data to use means that they will have a more accurate picture of what will occur in the future.
In addition to the shift in how companies are using data, they are also looking to increase their capacity to analyze the data. Research shows 80% of data is “dark and untouched,” meaning it’s never actually used to make improvements or changes deemed necessary by the customer. As more data is analyzed, more insights can be found to improve your customer experience.
How can these improvements affect my business?
Adding more meaningful human interactions throughout your customer’s journey will increase the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts. Every business has unique clients with individual needs, but some sentiments are common across industries. 67% of consumers feel that service online and via mobile devices should be “faster, more intuitive and better able” to serve their needs.
The difficulty lies in choosing exactly how to weave human interactions throughout your customer journey. What touchpoints should be leveraged? How often should an employee make personal contact with their clients? How can you make people within your business more accessible to your customers? Those are the questions that need to be asked and answered by every business.
Remember, whatever you do, don’t eliminate human interaction in your business. A sprinkling of human touchpoints throughout your digital journey will lead to a better overall experience for your customer. Do you use big data to plan human touchpoints? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ.