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The key to customer loyalty in the digital age? The human touch

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Technology adoption is imperative to maintaining a competitive edge, but many companies rely too heavily on technology without understanding how it’s impacting the customer experience.

According to a  new study, Are You Listening? The Truth About What Customers Want in a Digital World, human nature and the meaningful experiences that organizations create with customers drive digital behaviour and loyalty.

Commissioned by Calabrio, a leading provider of customer engagement and analytics software, the study surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in the US and UK to explore what motivates customer behaviour in an increasingly digital world.

Not surprisingly, the majority (61%) of respondents make purchasing decisions based on the quality of the product or service. The emotional connection and trust that businesses build with customers comes in secondahead of price—because customers say they want to be heard. Seventy-four percent admit they are more loyal to a company if they can talk to a person—versus a machine—when they need assistance.

Although email, chatbots and other new communications technology offers increased convenience, 58% of customers still believe that picking up the phone and talking to a representative is the way to get the best and most efficient service. When those agents are well-trained, knowledgeable and empathetic, they have the power to turn every interaction into a positive, relevant experience that creates an emotional connection to the company.

“Innovation is key for businesses to stay competitive, but to build a lasting connection, new technology must meet customers where they are,” says Tom Goodmanson, president and CEO at Calabrio. “Given the growing volumes of customer interactions in today’s contact centres, companies have a tremendous opportunity to tap into customer preferences, needs and wants by capturing and analysing interactions across service channels—phone, chat, email, social, etc. Those valuable insights drive the customer journey, and ultimately, brand loyalty.”

For companies to earn customer loyalty, they must listen and act to deliver experiences that customers want by finding the right balance of technology and the human touch. Customers want to be heard, and they want to create an emotional connection with brands, to whit 48% of customers are more loyal if they get a hold of a company quickly and easily, 74% are more loyal if they can speak to someone and 60% feel like their voices are heard when they speak to a live person

Download the full report Are You Listening? The Truth About What Customers Want in a Digital World.

Image: Fotolia

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