Is Customer Preference Still Important

negotiating a job offer
Is meeting the customers preferences important?

In an era with unlimited communication at our fingertips, the number of people that businesses can reach has never been higher and this is true of the insurance sector. Over the last decade the use of virtual assistants has become roaringly popular in business.

As stated by ProProfs Chat: It was estimated that by 2020, 85% of customer service interactions will be automated. What’s more, over 60% of US consumers prefer an automated self-service such as a website or mobile app for simple customer service tasks.

How do we strike a balance for customers service

In fact, it’s hard to find a national business that has actual humans answering the phones, or the call is answered by a call center overseas.  But could we be sacrificing portions of our market in the name of “efficiency”? Are we losing personal interactions and customer satisfaction to maximize business reach? Is there a way to strike a balance between mass communication and customer preferences when it comes to how we communicate?

When automated services, chat bots, and robots started gaining traction, the potential for business applications became apparent. The way technology develops directly affects how we communicate with one another. As an example, today, there are several ways to communicate. We can call each other on multiple devices, through various apps, just voice or with video, we can simply text, email, or direct message. With all these options available at our fingertips, what still emerges and should be considered is consumer preference. Personality, age, and gender may all play a factor in how an individual chooses to communicate with businesses. The question that businesses and the insurance industry as our focus need to consider is “does customer communication preference matter?”

Customer Service Influences Reviews

At the heart of every business, including in the insurance industry, lies the purpose for their existence: service to the customer. For example, before Google and Yelp, reviews were based on local reputations built on personal interactions. And the most successful local businesses knew that a personal touch and connection is something to invest in and protect. Then as businesses began to grow and spread all throughout the country, reputations were still very important to maintain. However, is the personal touch as relevant and important today? Do people still want to have that regular, personal business feel that revolves around relationships? Is there a way to accommodate customer preference as to how they wish to be communicated with?

Michele McGovern with Customer Experience Insight stated:

Customers like to chat with you and your chatbots, but what do they like more? 

Hands down, they want to talk to a person more than they want to deal with any form of artificial intelligence (AI), according to a new study from STARTEK.

I do believe there are ways to address the various customer preferences for contact and communication and still enhance your business.  Next month, we will look at some of those ways.  In the meantime, you may want to consider what preferences fit your customer’s tastes and desires. Call Jeff Nixon to discuss your ideas in more detail.