79% say human interaction key to digital experience

cartoon robots
Consumers are still counting on humans, not technology solutions, for customer service. (iStock)

Despite how far technological advances have come in the way of customer service, 61% of consumers say human interaction, not digital, keeps them loyal. According to a new study from Calabrio, less than half, 45%, of those surveyed said that brand loyalty is driven by competitive prices.

And yes, many consumers are turning to digital channels to get help from a retailer, but 74% said they are more loyal to a company if they can speak to someone. In fact, nearly 80% think interaction with a human instead of a chatbot is an important part of the customer experience.

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Still, consumers believe in new technology, and 54% do not think the investment is a waste of money for retailers. And of this 54%, about half believe that it's a waste of money because speaking with a person is always preferable for resolving issues. So much so that 43% of all respondents in the survey would consider switching to a competitor if speaking to a customer service rep was not an option.

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