- Despite consumers' dependency on technology in most aspects of their lives, two thirds feel companies are losing the human touch in customer service, according to a new PwC survey. And 75% said they want more, not less, human interaction. Results from the poll, Experience is Everything, conclude that in the age of artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, Internet of Things (IoT), bitcoin and Big Data, companies need to do more to balance technology with customer service.
- Companies must must find a way to create an experience that blends consumer demand for tech with their strong desire for authentic, personal interaction, said David Clarke, PwC principal and experience consulting leader, in a statement. "They don’t need to look far, though – employees hold the key to creating and sustaining great interactions with consumers.”
- According to 71% of the consumers surveyed, employees significantly impact their experience. At the same time, however, only 44% of consumers think employees understand their needs. And experiences that would make customers take their business elsewhere include unfriendly service (60%) and employees' lack of knowledge (46%).
Consumers love their smartphones, but they still want the human touch in their buying experiences. For that reason, retail employers are retraining their workers to focus on customer-service and engagement. Some have even noted that as tasks like stocking shelves become automated, employees will have more time to focus on customers.
The survey results make it clear, however, that better development of employees is necessary. Luckily, employees are more likely to stay with an employer that focuses on skill development. And a number of retailers have started to implement new development programs, including those that prepare workers for skilled jobs.