The Human Touch
Life In A Push Button Society
The Human Touch – Life & Business In A Push Button Society
Do you miss the Human Touch?
And I am pretty sure you will know what I mean and not necessarily in a physical sense of that term.
All of our lives, globally, have been turned upside down with the ongoing pandemic situation which has touched our lives and businesses in many ways.
Society was already steaming ahead with technological and digital solutions in efforts to turbo boost life and business….The Push Button Society.
Well I have to say, being a bit of a techno geek myself, my online business involvements mean I have bought into the technological advancements in order to take the strain of multi-tasking (I am after all only a man 😀 ).
Technology means we can respond instantly, deliver automatically and manage a diverse range of tasks.
But….are we missing something?
A global pandemic has highlighted to most that they should consider further involvement socially and businesswise with internet based solutions. Thousands of businesses, of all sizes, have fallen by the wayside because either their customers could no longer be served face to face, their workforce became victims of isolation or both.
COVID-19 and its various offshoot nasties is, most likely, something that will send ongoing ripples of unrest for many years to come….so people need to “pivot”…change the way they live and work.
So our near future will, no doubt, be filled with more drives to automate, digitise, streamline and shift business as much onto the internet as possible.
Will we miss anything?
Well, I am pretty sure during the peaks of COVID you have all experienced human distancing, not just the 2 metre rules, but lack of social contact with friends, family, work colleagues.
Yes, people have acclimatised to working from home and socialising in small “bubble” groups and curtailing their dreams of flying off to their favourite holiday destinations.
Difficult times for social animals.
So…what about The Human Touch?
We have, as a global entity, gradually lost The Human Touch, even before the first casualties of the coronavirus were even identified. Major brands took for granted that what ever product or service they sold would always be consumed by the majority of society, purely because they are a recognised brand.
Consumers have been migrating from the brands for some years now, in a search for “something similar” but perhaps produced locally, maybe with a better eco rating and actually even if it cost a little more!
COVID has of course fed into this migration, out of necessity, due to isolation, consumers have tried to source locally or increased their use of ecommerce. In the first quarter of 2020 the use of ecommerce went up by 4.8%……the interesting thing there is that whilst it was already an increasing method of shopping, previous to covid it had only increased in preference by 4.8% across the previous 5 years in total.
There being an inevitable shift to online transactions, closure of a percentage of shopping experiences and banks going more and more browser or app based, we will lose a great deal of what generations have know as “The Human Touch”.
You have, most likely, experienced the Artificial Intelligent message bots when trying to contact an online service….and that largely they are not often able to answer your questions. A large percentage of us still want to feel there is a REAL person at the other end reading our query and attempting to solve our situation.
“Virtual hugs may sound weird, but are actually good for you precisely because they are so hilarious – and laughter is the perfect stress-release,” she said. “When you next have a video call with friends or family, make time to hug yourself to them, and they back to you.” Psychotherapist Lucy Beresford wrote in Huffpost.
I have seen in marketing circles that the message “bot” is being used to both answer queries and upsell on a service……you don’t have to see too many of these to recognise the tell tale signs…“this aint a real person”.
Will we get used to this impersonal approach to life and business?
Like anything, we will tolerate for so long and in certain situations, but consumers are “turning off” to automation in their retail and services requirements….possibly looking for small startup enterprises that offer them a real response.
Lack of human socialisation as a causal factor of the global pandemic has made the essence of that a more valuable asset to people.
There is a saying in the marketing world, one as relevant now, if not more so than before the COVID Age, is that:
“People buy from PEOPLE they, KNOW, LIKE and TRUST”
I know from first hand, interacting with other online business people, even if I feel their service or product stacks up to be good, if they communicate with bots that cant answer an enquiry or send cold emails auto respond based on my IP address (in a lame effort to seem human like in knowing the area I live in)…..I look elsewhere.
There are many business people in my address book that I know if I contact them, they may NOT respond instantly, it may be a day later, but it is actually a human being that responds to my communication…..knowing, liking and trusting people doesn’t happen at the “push of a button” it takes time and communication to see that they are people just like you and I, have ups and downs, successes and failures, partners, friends and families and similarly believe in….
“The Human Touch”
Until next time.