The Human Touch in Customer Experience

By Dimitrius Oliveira, CEO of Atento

 

Organizations around the world are on a technology-driven transformation journey. Amid this movement, a trend emerges that elevates the human role to a central level: the harmony between technology and human touch. After all, the goal of a technology-driven transformation is to enhance human capabilities.

Incredible things can happen when humans and machines work together. Machine learning algorithms, for example, can examine huge data sets to produce insights, but human intelligence and sensitivity are needed to interpret them, use them to propose strategies, and apply them successfully.

Mastering this intersection is crucial in businesses that involve customer relationships. The high demand for personalization, quick and contextual service was one of the biggest drivers for technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and business intelligence to become so much a part of our daily lives.

Data shows that about 60% of consumers believe companies should use the information they collect about them to personalize experiences (Zendesk CX Trends Report 2023), with 86% of B2B customers expecting companies to be well-informed about them during interactions (Gartner).

But it’s essential to remember that at the center of each algorithm, data point, and technological solution is the customer, a human being with emotions, expectations, and aspirations. According to a survey by PwC conducted in 2022, for example, only 3% of American consumers wanted a fully automated experience, and 64% believed businesses had lost touch with the lack of human elements in interactions.

In 2023, a survey by Human8 highlighted that 51% of North Americans preferred an efficient experience over a friendly human interaction, but the absence of human support as an option in service would be a relationship breaker. In more “sensitive” sectors, such as healthcare, for example, the survey revealed that 77% of consumers preferred human representatives over automated support, even if it means longer wait times.

Therefore, creating a healthy balance between these two requirements is the best direction to ensure a satisfactory relationship journey. The data reveals that we like technologies when they deliver real benefits, such as smoother and faster experiences. Technologies should bring conveniences and enable the creation of more engaging, personalized, and contextual experiences.

In the end, transformations that successfully combine the best of technology with the best of people produce a harmonious synergy that stimulates creativity and advancement. And when this work also considers the diversity and plurality of people, the path becomes even more successful.

Customers are a mix of people, with a variety of religion, race, gender, social status, and other personal characteristics and experiences. Therefore, the more diverse the team, the better the communication, understanding of the problem, and empathy during the handling. At Atento, diversity is one of the great pillars we invest in, promoting inclusion and development of employees of all ages, genders, races, among other aspects that make us such a plural company. This approach not only improves customer satisfaction but also builds deeper and more lasting relationships.

 

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