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Why the human touch is critical to long-term growth

Tech alone will not deliver success – human factors are needed too, writes Warners’ Natalie Smith.

By Natalie Smith

Why the human touch is critical to long-term growth
Natalie Smith.

“The customer is always right,” or, to quote Harry Gordon Selfridge in full, “right or wrong: the customer is always right,” is something we are all familiar with in our business and personal lives. There are many interpretations of this these days, but what is certain is that understanding the customer, and their passions, and delivering on that understanding to grow engagement needs to be a top priority to create a sustainable business model.

The good news is that technological advances are allowing us to communicate in immeasurably more effective, targeted and personal ways with an ever-increasing understanding of the customer’s passions and preferences to the point that even personas can now be accurately predicted. This, in turn, gives us greater opportunities to enjoy a direct, longer-lasting and more rewarding relationship than ever before… but here’s the rub…

Those same technological advances that allow us to communicate more effectively also carry the risk of overreliance, especially when resources and their cost are constantly being re-evaluated. This can lead to an efficient but impersonal, generic and mechanical experience for the customer. Chatbots, AI-generated interactions and messages combined with inflexible preferences determined by our view of the market can lead to a stilted, frustrating and ultimately damaging customer experience. Add to this, concerns about data privacy and the ease at which ‘efficient communication’ can become ‘information overload’ then this can become a real challenge when consumer confidence is already at a low ebb… So, what can we do?

  • Quality over quantity: Building trust and loyalty is essential but not quick. Transparency and delivery of promises while maintaining a sensitive human touch establishes and communicates to your customers their place at the centre of your business and can turn a customer into an advocate.
  • Be different: The market is competitive, your customers have many choices, and the quality of your customer engagement can be a significant differentiator. Businesses that genuinely listen to customers and adapt will stand out while further building trust and loyalty.
  • The human touch: A customer experience with real people in your business can place it in the customer’s community – creating advocates, sharing positive experiences via word of mouth, social media and reviews.

Building reach, credibility, and sustainable growth

As well as anticipating and delivering what the customer wants, in the way they wish and will respond to, is vital. Technology can offer unparalleled insights and options that can’t be ignored – but a balance needs to be reached between automation, efficiency and convenience on the one hand and informing, entertaining, inspiring and creating trust and community on the other. Effectively combining the two to support each other is critical to a long-term, sustainable, engaged customer base.

About us

Warners Group Publications has been delivering an effective bespoke ‘Total Circulation’ service for over 35 years. We provide all services under one roof: newstrade distribution, subscription and membership management, digital marketing and print and recognise the importance and benefits of strategies that bring all of these channels together to maximise engagement, retention and profitability.

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