Think of the last time you had a phone call with your credit card company or perhaps your phone company –– how many hurdles did you have to jump through before you were finally transferred to a human being? Ask around and you will find that most people, if being honest, dread these automated phone calls because of the amount of time it takes to get through to a real person on the other line of the phone. Sometimes, those calls don’t even result in getting someone to talk to you at all which, let’s face it, can be extremely frustrating. The need and desire for human connection is not something that can be duplicated and fulfilled by an automated process. Although AI machines are designed to respond to human needs, they cannot foster emotional connections or relate to a human on a fundamental level of empathy. Therefore, they will never truly be able to replace humans.
“I am thankful that our people are indeed, people and not robots.” –– Candace Reinhart, CLFP, COO/CXO at CoreTech
What traits are unique to the human experience?
The ability to change your mind
This isn’t a knock at digital transformation. There is a lot of praise to go around for how much more efficient workloads have become and how much more optimized traditional day-to-day tasks are now. But, here’s the dilemma: AI can help your business, but like everything, there is a cost to pay and in this case it is at customer’s expense. As more tasks become automated like writing emails and booking appointments, human connection is on the outs.
“Progress is seldom simple; it comes with costs and casualties.” –– Nancy Gibbs, American Journalist
According to a report from Braze and Forrester, 57% of consumers say that human communication would increase their brand loyalty and 58% say human communication would increase their likelihood of spending money with a given brand. The report also shows the value in being able to relate to someone, suggesting that if people perceive a brand to be more human-like, they’re more than twice as likely to love the brand and 1.8 times more likely to recommend it.
In other words, being human is necessary to be successful. Who would have thought? Connecting with others is what establishes trust and produces sustainable business growth. So, where is the silver lining between embracing automation and prioritizing human connection? The sweet spot is found when new technology is implemented to support human interaction, to dive deeper into human relationships by building and investing in stronger connections.
There certainly is a seat at the executive table for digital transformation and automation. Without questions, AI benefits business and it can also complement the human experience, but it certainly cannot replace it. When looking at automation from a consumer perspective, there is nothing that could possibly replace the pure comfort and assurance that only a human can provide in a complex buying journey.
It’s undeniable that there is a demand for convenience and technology, but the demand is not without its limits. With all their flaws, the people are what we connect with. With all their errors, the people are the ones we care about. And with all their baggage, the people are the ones who will fight for our cause with us.
“If every business could remember to look FIRST to help the people, not themselves, then, the rest comes. The network comes. The business comes. The opportunity comes. Even the profit comes.” –– Candace Reinhart, CLFP, COO/CXO at CoreTech