Tag Archives: human touch

Balancing Artificial Intelligence with the Human Touch

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

As AI and ChatGPT-type technologies grow in capability and ease of use and become more cost-effective, more and more companies are making their way to the digital experience. Still, the best companies know better than to switch to 100% digital.

I had a chance to interview Nicole Kyle, managing director and co-founder of CMP Research (Customer Management Practice), for Amazing Business Radio. Kyle’s team provides research and advisory services for the contact center industry and conducts some of the most critical research on the topic of self-service and digital customer service. I first met Kyle at CCW, the largest contact center conference in the industry. I’ve summarized seven of her key observations below, followed by my commentary:

  1. The Amazon Effect has trained customers to expect a level of service that’s not always in line with what companies and brands can provide. This is exactly what’s happening with customer expectations. They no longer compare you just to your direct competitors but to the best experience they’ve had from any company. Amazon and other rockstar brands focused on CX (customer experience) have set the bar higher for all companies in all industries.
  2. People’s acceptance and eventual normalization of digital experiences accelerated during the pandemic, and they have become a way of life for many customers. The pandemic forced customers to accept self-service. For example, many customers never went online to buy groceries, vehicles or other items that were traditionally shopped for in person. Once customers got used to it, as the pandemic became history, many never returned to the “old way” of doing business. At a minimum, many customers expect a choice between the two.
  3. Customers have new priorities and are placing a premium on their time. Seventy-two percent of customers say they want to spend less time interacting with customer service. They want to be self-sufficient in managing typical customer service issues. In other words, they want self-service options that will get them answers to their questions efficiently and in a timely manner. Our CX research differs and is less than half of that 72% number. When I asked Kyle about the discrepancy, she responded, “Customers who have a poor self-service experience are less likely to return to self-service. While there is an increase in preference, you’re not seeing the adoption because some companies aren’t offering the type of self-service experience the customer wants.”
  4. The digital dexterity of society is improving! That phrase is a great way to describe self-service adoption, specifically how customers view chatbots or other ChatGPT-type technologies. Kyle explained, “Digital experiences became normalized during the pandemic, and digital tools, such as generative AI, are now starting to help people in their daily lives, making them more digitally capable.” That translates into customers’ higher acceptance and desire for digital support and CX.
  5. Many customers can tell the difference between talking to an AI chatbot and a live chat with a human agent due to their ability to access technology and the quality of the chatbot. However, customers are still willing to use the tools if the results are good. When it comes to AI interacting with customers via text or voice, don’t get hung up on how lifelike (or not) the experience is as long as it gets your customers what they want quickly and efficiently.
  6. The No. 1 driver of satisfaction (according to 78% of customers surveyed) in a self-service experience is personalization. Personalization is more important than ever in customer service and CX. So, how do you personalize digital support? The “machine” must not only be capable of delivering the correct answers and solutions, but it must also recognize the existing customer, remember issues the customer had in the past, make suggestions that are specific to the customer and provide other customized, personalized approaches to the experience.
  7. With increased investments in self-service and generative AI, 60% of executives say they will reduce the number of frontline customer-facing jobs. But, the good news is that jobs will be created for employees to monitor performance, track data and more. I’m holding firm in my predictions over the past two years that while there may be some job disruption, the frontline customer support agent job will not be eliminated. To Kyle’s point, there will be job opportunities related to the contact center, even if they are not on the front line.

Self-service and automation are a balancing act. The companies that have gone “all in” and eliminated human-to-human customer support have had pushback from customers. Companies that have not adopted newer technologies are frustrating many customers who want and expect self-service solutions. While it may differ from one company to the next, the balance is critical, but smart leaders will find the balance and continue to adapt to the ever-changing expectations of their customers.

Image Credits: Unsplash
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com

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How to Address Resistance to Change with a Human Touch

How to Address Resistance to Change with a Human Touch

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

Change is a constant in today’s fast-paced business environment. Organizations strive to stay competitive, adopting new technologies, altering business models, and enhancing processes. Yet, one of the greatest challenges they face is not the change itself, but the resistance to it. Fear of the unknown, disrupted routines, and potential loss of status or job security are all factors that can cause individuals to push back against change. However, by approaching change with a human touch, organizations can ease this resistance and create a smoother transition.

The Human Touch in Change Management

Embracing the human touch means recognizing the emotions, concerns, and motivations of individuals involved in the change. Effective change management involves empathy, communication, inclusive planning, and continuous support. Here are five key strategies to incorporate the human touch into change management:

1. Empathetic Communication: Understand and address the fears, insecurities, and queries of employees. Transparent and honest communication helps in building trust.

2. Inclusive Planning: Involve employees in the planning process to gain their insights and foster ownership.

3. Continuous Support: Offer training, emotional support, and resources needed to adapt to new changes.

4. Recognize and Reward: Acknowledge the efforts and contributions of employees during the change process.

5. Monitor and Adjust: Continuously measure the impact of change and be ready to make adjustments based on feedback.

Case Study 1: XYZ Corporation’s Digital Transformation


XYZ Corporation, a mid-sized insurance company, decided to overhaul its customer service operations by integrating a new digital platform. This change promised to streamline processes and improve customer satisfaction. However, employees were apprehensive about the new technology and concerned about job security.


1. Empathetic Communication: The leadership team held town hall meetings to openly discuss the changes and address employee concerns. They provided a clear vision of how the new platform would benefit both the company and its employees.

2. Inclusive Planning: Employees from various departments were formed into cross-functional teams to give input on the platform’s development and implementation. This inclusiveness highlighted the value of their expertise and insights.

3. Continuous Support: A comprehensive training program was rolled out, with both in-person training sessions and online resources. Additionally, a support team was established to help employees navigate the new system.

4. Recognize and Reward: Employees who mastered the new platform and helped others were publicly recognized and rewarded during company meetings.

5. Monitor and Adjust: Feedback was continually sought through surveys and focus groups, and the implementation plan was adjusted based on this feedback.


These strategies significantly lowered resistance to the change. Employees felt valued and supported, leading to a successful and smooth transition. The company’s customer service ratings improved, and employee satisfaction remained high.

Case Study 2: ABC Industries’ Shift to Remote Work


ABC Industries, a manufacturing firm, was forced to transition to remote work due to an unexpected crisis. The move was sudden, and many employees, especially those used to hands-on work, were resistant to the change.


1. Empathetic Communication: Management ensured regular, transparent communication about the reasons for the change and its expected duration. They listened to employee concerns through virtual town halls and one-on-one calls.

2. Inclusive Planning: Employees were involved in developing remote work policies. Their input shaped guidelines on work hours, virtual meetings, and performance metrics.

3. Continuous Support: The company provided necessary technological tools, virtual training on new systems, and access to resources such as internet allowances and ergonomic home office setups.

4. Recognize and Reward: They established a virtual recognition program to celebrate employees’ achievements and adaptability during the transition.

5. Monitor and Adjust: The management regularly reviewed the remote work setup and made adjustments based on employee feedback, such as flexible working hours to accommodate different home situations.


Through these efforts, ABC Industries saw a significant reduction in resistance. Employees appreciated the support and flexibility offered, which helped in maintaining productivity and morale. The company found that remote work could be an effective model, leading to long-term policy changes.


Addressing resistance to change is, fundamentally, about addressing human concerns. By embracing empathetic communication, involving employees in planning, providing continuous support, recognizing efforts, and adjusting plans based on feedback, organizations can foster a climate of trust and cooperation. These strategies not only help in overcoming resistance but also lead to more successful and sustainable change initiatives.

In today’s dynamic environment, the human touch in change management is not an option; it’s a necessity. It’s time for organizations to go beyond processes and systems and truly focus on the people who make change possible. By doing so, they not only ensure the success of their change initiatives but also pave the way for a more engaged, satisfied, and resilient workforce.

SPECIAL BONUS: The very best change planners use a visual, collaborative approach to create their deliverables. A methodology and tools like those in Change Planning Toolkit™ can empower anyone to become great change planners themselves.

Image credit: Unsplash

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