Customer Engagement: Why Talking to a Human Being Still Matters

With a rising number of businesses having little more than a physical address for their virtual office and an entirely online operation, 1:1 moments between customers and employees could seem outdated. But, in truth, people still overwhelmingly prefer human-to-human contact, especially when trying to handle an issue.

Studies show that customers much prefer talking with humans when they have questions, complaints or an issue that needs resolving. In fact, one survey of Australian consumers found that people still really want to talk to people, not a machine, when they have important needs from a brand. James Walford, director of the company that commissioned the study, explained that their “results show that many people still prefer to speak to a real person straight away. So it’s important that businesses […]do not overlook the value of the human touch.”

With this in mind, here are a few reasons why customer engagement and human interactions matter for your customers.

They Want an Answer Now

Have you ever called up a business expecting to talk to someone but instead got stuck waiting to plug numbers into a menu? You have to wait and listen to each option, and in your heart you still know that you are likely to get transferred the second you actually talked to someone.

Now, imagine if that machine was your only option. You had to contend with its limited pick-lists, and you could never know for sure if you are going to get the response you want after you submit your inputs.

What people want instead is to dial a number and hear “How can I help you?” If they reach out to a business online through chat or email, they expect the same human touch. We have grown accustomed to human hospitality, and we know that talking to the right person can get us the results we want without waiting.

We Expect a Human Touch

Anyone who has worked in the food service or hospitality industry knows that people like to ask questions they could easily answer themselves. “What time do you guys close?” they ask, standing right next to the sign with your hours printed on it.

In truth, this type of interaction is less about being lazy and more about our innate trust in other human beings. We know they are the “gatekeepers of information” and that the can have an actual conversation with a human. In fact, a sign leaves many questions unanswered. When do you take your last order? Can I call you at 8, or does it take a while for the front office to be up?

Deeper levels of nuance and context are required, and we know that interacting with another human can give us the information we need.

It Helps Reduce the Impact of Bad Customer Experiences

In situations where a customer has an issue they are upset or angry over, they generally want a reaction from the company they feel wronged them. Whether that’s a simple apology or a more genuine display of contrition, they want that reaction. People like this will never feel satisfied even if their issue is resolved by a non-human. They want that apology — from a person, not a robot — and they need it to feel closure.

Get the Human Touch and Improve Customer Engagement With Virtual Office Services

Whether you need someone to answer phones or respond quickly to customer messages online, our business support services can give your customers the human touch they crave. Call us at 585-465-5060 or email us at to start setting up your virtual office experience, and give your customers the human element they deserve.