Keeping the Human Touch Alive
Updated: Apr 4
Connect with your customers and personalize your relationship.
A company's human touch indicates they are functioning with intentional purpose, focusing on details and acting authentically, all of which creates a personal connection for their clients and customers.
Human Touch: Intention, Effort, and Authenticity
Why is human connection important to business situations, transactions, or interactions? According to author Adam Waytz in his Harvard Business Review article “When Customers Want to See the Human Behind the Product,” there are three primary ways human connection has importance to consumers: Intention, effort, and authenticity.
“One consequence of the digital age and the push toward mass production is that demand for handmade products has increased,” explains Waytz, “the handmade touch seems to create the perception of something special.” Customers enjoy feeling like other humans are part of their experiences versus thinking they were generated by an algorithm or an automated process. “Sensing human intention at the root of the interaction is critical because people tend to equate intentionality with purpose and meaning,” Waytz adds.
According to Commbox.com,
75% of consumers cite they love a brand because of helpful customer service. A well-functioning customer service team that builds a rapport with customers can significantly impact brand loyalty and sales.
90% of consumers stay loyal to brands that share their values. Consumers are now more conscious than ever of brands' social and political practices. Of course, this has the potential to work for you or against you, but most of the time, it’s a good thing. According to an Accenture Strategy study, most people choose companies that take a stand on important social, environmental, political, and cultural issues. For example, over 60% of respondents said they gravitate towards companies committed to improving the environment. Don’t be afraid to let your customers know where you stand.
So how does one emphasize the human touch in business? Here are three tangible examples of how to get personal when interacting with consumers:
1. Unexpected Delight: Add charm where there was none before or expected. A handshake, a hi-five, or a joke goes a long way to humanizing the interactions with your customers.
2. Optimize Your Employee's Time: Free up staff by automating repetitive tasks. Then use that person to engage your visitors in a friendly, helpful manner.
3. Get Personal (with names): Learn guests' faces, and remember their names. Ask them about their family, hobbies, work, etc. Follow up with a personal email saying how much you enjoyed seeing them.
These are just three ways one can incorporate a human aspect into everyday experiences for consumers, creating a courteous, friendly, and, most importantly, authentic relationship.
“Positive human interactions release oxytocin – the hormone that creates bonds,” stated the MCH Global Trend Report. “Pepper them throughout your live experience to leave your visitors feeling good… Build real-world places with a human touch that feel great to be in. A smile glimmers in the selfie era. A warm welcome cheers you. And a deep conversation lingers. These experiences all serve to wow people.”
Given the importance that people associate with human contact, companies can profit by making the human touch more visible in producing and delivering their goods and services. Even in an increasingly human-less age, with driverless cars and automated robotic warehouses, human interactions still matter for consumers.
Human Touch Quotes
“You are dealing with emotional customers and not analytical bots.”
― Pooja Agnihotri, 17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail: Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure
“The greatest technology in the world hasn’t replaced the ultimate relationship-building tool between a customer and a business; the human touch.” – Shep Hyken
“The key to set realistic customer expectations and then not to just meet them but to EXCEED them, preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.” – Richard Branson
“Your smile is your logo. Your personality is your business card. How you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.” – Jay Danzie
“You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied.” – Jerry Fritz
“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Douglas Adams
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Photo credit: Getty/PeopleImages