retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports on a new Accenture Strategy study suggesting that retailers that have decided to totally focus on technological solutions to consumer problems may have "overcorrected," and that "people want a balance of digital and human help, and when they don't get the combinations they seek, they leave."

According to the survey, "In the US, 83 percent of customers ... said they would rather deal with a person to solve a customer service issue than get digital help, while 77 percent said they would rather get advice on a product or service from a human."

The story goes on to say that "nearly half said they're willing to pay more for better service, and customers are more than twice as willing to agree to an upsell — buying more or higher-priced products and services — when a person is giving the pitch ... Online-only shoppers are actually less profitable than customers who also shop in stores because those using multiple methods tend to spend more."
KC's View:
I don't doubt these conclusions, though a preference for human customer service depends on humans who actually know how to deliver on the promise. I've always maintained that some of the best customer service I get is from Amazon ... it is always fast, always relevant. Sometimes it is digital, sometimes it is human. And I've always believed that Amazon does an excellent job of hiring the people who work its customer service lines.