- The majority of people, nearly 90%, prefer talking to a live person when seeking customer assistance, even if phone menus are efficient, according to a new survey from Clutch. The survey also found that most people end up talking with a person after attempts to navigate phone menus; 72% frequently or always do so.
- Irrelevant options frustrated nearly 70% of survey respondents, while 67% were frustrated by phone menus due to an inability to fully describe their issue. A lack of human interaction annoyed 43% of the 500 people surveyed.
- Phone menus are increasingly common, according to the study. To bypass them, another 70% admit they press zero and 65% say they say operator or agent to talk to a human being. The study suggests that businesses limit the amount of options in phone menus as much as possible to reduce customer frustration.
Consumers have long complained that business has lost the human touch; a 2018 PwC survey showed that three-quarters of respondents wanted more, not less, human interaction. While some managers say that robots and automatic processes perform better than humans, according to a MindEdge and Skye Learning survey, consumers may not always be pleased with the result. Notably, the top skills separating humans from machines in that survey include creative thinking, communication and complex problem solving.
In an increasingly tech-driven world, HR leaders must balance tech demands with a human element and ensure training is a key part of any talent plan. Front-facing employees, in person or on the phone, represent a company's brand with every interaction and can be brand ambassadors for the business or be instrumental in its failure.
The current talent market makes finding people with outstanding customer care skills even more difficult than in years past; in turn, many companies are upping their benefits to attract workers and keep them representing the company in the best light. Others are striving to upskill staffers to meet consumer demands for quality care. Companies may need to get comfortable enabling a collaboration between tech and humans to satisfy market demand for services.