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7 Tips for Balancing Digital and Human Interactions

Take these steps to add the human touch to your customers’ digital customer experiences.

If your organization is keeping up with customer demands, you probably already offer omnichannel communication options and other digital customer service interactions.

But are you balancing your customers’ digital and human interactions for a better overall customer experience? If not, you’re missing out on ways to humanize the digital experience.

The initial exposure that potential customers have with your brand is often digital as they learn about your company’s products and services, according to “2023 Global Consumer Trends,” a global consumer report from Qualtrics XM Institute.

Qualtrics surveyed more than 33,000 consumers across 29 countries on what businesses must do to win their loyalty.

Customers may first come across your brand’s website, offering your organization opportunities to cross-sell or upsell, present personalized offers and promote new products and campaigns via their social media feeds, says the report. While those marketing techniques may be effective, they don’t offer human interaction, however.

“When there’s no human interaction at all, you need to find ways to make the experience feel more human,” says the Qualtrics report.

Digital vs. human interaction: Which do consumers prefer?

Quatrics data shows that consumers prefer to interact via different channels, depending on the complexity of the necessary task. Here’s a rundown of a few consumer preferences:

Getting tech support

  • Human: 72 percent
  • Self-service: 28 percent

Resolving billing issues

  • Human: 72 percent
  • Self-service: 28 percent

Find the status on an order

  • Human: 43 percent
  • Self-service: 57 percent

“Equipping your organization with the tools to be able to understand each customer’s intent, their channel preference, and then seamlessly routing them down the right journey is essential in being able to meet their needs,” says the report.

7 tips for humanizing the digital experience

There are seven key elements in any person-to-person interaction that make them human, and those same elements can be applied to your digital experiences to make them more human, says the Qualtrics report.

Here are seven elements recommended by Qualtrics to humanize the digital experience for greater customer satisfaction:

  1. Intent decoding: Anticipate the customer’s intent
  2. Contextual framing: Personalize the customer experience based on your understanding of that customer, their needs and intent
  3. Empathetic agility: Understand customers’ emotions along the customer journey and make any necessary changes
  4. Supportive feedback: Reassure customers that they’re on the right track for achieving their goal
  5. Basic manners: Follow basic design principles and societal norms
  6. Self-awareness: Ensure that the digital experiences provided are truly representative of your brand
  7. Emotional reflection: Apply what you’ve learned about customers’ digital habits and preferences to future interactions