What do you understand by human touch in marketing automation? “Many companies have forgotten they sell to actual people. Humans care about the entire experience, not just the marketing or sales or service. To really win in the modern age, you must solve for humans,” says Dharmesh Shah, CTO & Co-Founder, HubSpot.
The above quote truly establishes the fact that only with the help of human intervention in an automated marketing set up, can a customer experience satisfaction. Human touch in any aspect of marketing gives customers the assurance that they are in trusted hands. This corroborates that a customer is a real-human user, not a bot or program. A customer does not want to have an impersonal business deal.
A study conducted by the American Marketing Association showed that the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) jumped 27% in the previous year-and-half. While marketing automation can help you cut down on manual mundane chores and has numerous benefits, it also has a flipside to it. The moment customers realize they are interacting with chatbots or AI, their brand loyalty takes a blow. In such cases, customers at once opt for a customer care call to ensure that there is a human on the other side to hear them out. On the other hand, according to a global management consulting firm, 67% of organizations have fast-tracked their automation in the wake of Covid-19, owing to geographical challenges with the Work From Home (WFH) model.
A new survey of 15,000 consumers conducted internationally by Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC), revealed that two-thirds of consumers feel organisations lack the human element in customer experience and three-quarters of them demand more human interaction in the future, not less.
Explore 6 segments of marketing automation where human touch is key
Automation with the support of AI has only been able to come close to human intelligence. Leveraging technology is efficient, but relationship and building trust with a customer can only be achieved with the help of someone who understands and experiences human emotions. It is only when companies touch an emotional chord with their customers that they will be remembered for their service. This attachment can never be accomplished by marketing automation despite its high significance in today’s world.
With AI being put to use increasingly, its ability to store and identify private information to be able to intrude into a user’s privacy is high. As more AI applications get comprehensive and integrated, there is a high probability of users worrying about their privacy and data security.
Human skills, also commonly known as soft skills are only privy to humans as the name suggests. As the remote work set up is catching up worldwide, businesses now desperately feel the need to up their communication strategies. While emails, phone calls and messaging can be automated to a great extent, they need to be personalised by humans, to begin with. This can help businesses connect with customers at various touchpoints of a business lifecycle. According to the Future of Work 2021, Global Hiring Outlook, Monster, dependability, flexibility, problem-solving capacity and teamwork are skills that are majorly categorised under most-wanted human skills in organisations across the world.
Machines can never create anything new on their own. Creativity is a unique human characteristic and machines require humans to come up with ideas to be keyed into them. Creative tasks like communication (written or verbal), sales, product development and more are areas where human intelligence is a prerequisite.
There is no doubt that automation minimizes errors and accelerates productivity in the field of accounting, but we still need our number experts to perform certain accounting tasks for us. A survey conducted a few years ago by the Institute of Management Accountants showed that though two-third of respondents said automation would help them in financial processes, only 32% of accounting processes were automated. These were accounts payable, receivable/billing, bank reconciliation, reporting, and journal entry creation. Here, automation and human expertise go hand in hand.
Why are surveys conducted? In the business industry, surveys are conducted to understand the human subject and accordingly implement and execute automation or human knowledge to enhance an experience. Surveys cannot be possible without ideation by humans while they can be significantly automated. Only a human brain can identify a human problem in a business area and work towards solving it. Automation only comes next to it.
By any means, this does not mean that automation is less important. It is, however, vital to strike a balance between both by adopting a hybrid model where humans and automation can function in sync.