Today’s work environment is fueled by Teams or Slack, email communications, and Zoom meetings. As a result, technology has become the primary vehicle of communication.
However, has this high-tech approach to human interaction been problematic? For example, does technology deter lasting connections with colleagues and clients?
It may be. The key is integrating technology with a hands-on, personalized approach to business interaction to ensure that connections become meaningful, long-lasting relationships.
What is High Tech vs. High Touch?
In the 1980s, John Naisbitt wrote Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives. One of the trends was High Tech/High Touch, which pointed out that people must compensate for the lack of personal contact within the emerging technological or information-based society. He implied that individuals could stand out in a tech-savvy community if they are willing to embrace personal touch. He wrote human nature demands high touch.
High-touch refers to the human, emotional sides of business interactions. Close relationships with customers characterize it. As a business model, high-touch requires above-average interaction with customers. It prioritizes human interaction and human relationships, not efficiency or speed.
The ultimate question is – Can high tech further high touch?
High tech Cannot Replace High Touch
High tech has made us more knowledgeable, faster to respond, and available 24/7. High-tech offerings make customer journeys happen precisely when we want them to. They log on, serve themselves, and the transaction is complete. Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber are prime examples.
A text, email, or chatbot conversation cannot convey facial expression, tone, or overall message delivery. As a result, your customers and prospects might be more frustrated in the end.
With a higher value or more complicated customer journeys, research and advisory firm Celent found that customers often revert to high-touch assistance. For example, approximately 80% said they preferred assisted channels when rectifying errors, and around 70% preferred human help when obtaining answers to specific questions.
How effective can high tech and high touch help you reach and retain your customers?
Using High Tech to Further High Touch
Stitch Fix has taken the power of data gathering and combined it with a personal touch by using algorithms and big data to determine what a shopper is most likely to purchase.
High touch is achieved because the shopper fills out a personal style profile of what they like, how clothes should fit, and their price points for different clothing and accessories. Stitch Fix goes even further by assigning a personal stylist that the shopper can send requests to and who, in turn, includes a personal note along with each shipment sharing styling tips for the items.
People Ultimately Buy Outcomes
“Utilizing high touch lets you view the world through your customer’s eyes. It helps you stay focused on the source of your customer’s pain and allows you to offer clear solutions to eliminate that pain. It also allows them to feel comfortable letting you in and hearing and utilizing your solutions.
“We only get one chance at making an excellent first impression. But, when you include high touch into your business, supported by ongoing follow-up using high tech, you have separated yourself from the competition, retained your clients, developed new clients and gained a distinct advantage over your competitors.” – Timothy Dimoff
Want to Learn the Power of High Tech and High Touch?
Timothy Dimoff can help your organization understand the power of combining high tech and high touch. Call him at 330-730-3524 to schedule Tim’s Talk Are You High Tech or High Touch?
If you would like to read more about this subject, order a copy of The YOU in Business. Tim will sign it and ship it to you, or you can come by his office between the hours of 9 am-5 pm Monday through Friday to obtain the book. The cost is $20 plus shipping and handling.