Your sales team will probably tell you that in-person (or on the phone) sales are better while, at the same time, e-commerce sales show impressive results. But you don’t have to decide between going analogue or converting to digital, customers still want both interactions, according to McKinsey research.
Stage of the journey
At different stages of the buyer journey, people want more or less human contact. During the research phase more, then in the evaluation and consideration phases, there is more need for digital tools, for example, comparison tools or online calculators. During the digital phases, it’s useful to have human support. Then during the later phases, after-sales functions like renewal, cross-selling and upselling, most customers prefer digital interactions again. Giving customers the right amount of human or digital attention at every stage is key to keeping them happy.
Human and digital synergy
Chatbots and other tools can be used for initial contact, but be ready for humans to step in where necessary. Having technology that knows when it’s necessary for this to happen. When this happens, remember that customers will not want to start again from the beginning, so you should integrate your system to inform customer support staff of the questions that the customer asked up until that point. On the flip side, customers could also start by talking to a member of your sales team and go onto a digital interaction if they would like. Finding the right balance is key so that customers can continue their journey with interactions that are most desirable for them and for your employees.
Customers value quick responses
Whether customers want the human touch or digital, fast responses are prized. Companies need to be ready for customer enquiries with knowledgeable consultants. Being prepared on the digital side is also important, for instance, offering web chat to connect customers with experts. Companies can pre-empt or expedite enquiries with their FAQ and product pages.
Having all the relevant information available on your website and offering web chat tools for technical advice will make customers happy. Similarly, companies must make the purchasing experience easy for customers, even if they are using resellers, or want to change the order in some way, with functions for shortcuts and repeat buying. After closing sales, your FAQ pages can again come into play or you can consider using bots to direct customers to the right answers on your website.
A delicate balance
When it comes to human versus digital sales, it’s a delicate balance. Although people want the human touch, they also want a great digital experience. It depends on factors including the stage of the buyer journey or the tastes of individual customers. Fortunately for companies today, there are many tools available and you can find out exactly what works for you so that you can ensure you have customers who are happy with their experience and keep coming back for more.
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