Customers Needs a Human Touch in Digital Marketing


World is moving towards digitalization. We cannot now think of perfection in day to day life without use of device. India is also moving fast toward digitalization. Govt. of India has also launched digital India campaign to digitalize all services to provide ease of doing business and also access of fast internet pan India. Govt. is taking this initiative, the reason behind is favorable demographics of India in term of what is being seen as ‘India’s demographic dividend’. India is most favorable destination to world’s largest youth population. More than 50% of India’s current population is below the age of 25 and over 65% below the age of 35.With the mean age of population at 27, hence India is one of the youngest nations in the world means buffer of Generation-Y customers .This generation is well educated, techno savvy with nature of taking risk and use innovative ideas. They all are future real customers. Their expectations are different. They want fast life and also expect traditional human touch in customer service.

Changing Scenario

In our country presently people are moving fast toward use of internet and mobile. Presently in India there are 950 millions approx mobile users. In India banking is fastest moving segment in digitalization. There are approximately 47Cr bank accounts holders and out of that approximately 6Cr accounts are operated through net banking and expected to reach at 23.3 crore in 2020,as analyzed growth  in online transaction is improved from 23% to 31% p.a. Mobile transaction has registered growth 4 times in last two years. Report sourced from RBI and Boston Consultancy Group presented in “Digital and Beyond” conference of FIBANK2016 Mumbai. In the 2015-16 Rs1745 cr banking transactions happened and out of that 31% transacted through digital mode. Report reflects 475 corporate are of the view that in the coming five years digital banking transaction will be increased to three times.

Traditionally people are in habit of branch banking where bankers were offering service with human touch and also using interpersonal relation. It was easy for banker to show personal touch, personal banking, face to face banking and get feedback of satisfaction from customer but because of changing scenario of digitalization, amazing advances have been seen in technologies that helps digital marketers to do more than ever before and parallel, it is a challenge before bankers how to pass human touch in digital banking. For successful digital marketing, sustainable growth in business and long lasting satisfactory customer service, human touch plays important role. Humanized marketing focus on establishing sincere relationships with customers and building the trust that can only come from person to person communication.

Customer analytics and tools

Customer analytics uncover the human factor there is need to apply customer intelligence to humanize marketing. More attention should go into personalized communication with customers that work well for a particular channel of engagement. Personalization can only be effective with accurate, update information on products, services and other relevant information passed on to customers in real time. Marketers to address each customer more relevantly and personally for essentially building 360* view of customers. There is need of human to human marketing arises from conversations through telephone exchanges, messages, live web chats, social media posts, or other communication modes like mobile apps. Digital marketers to afford comfort to customer in communication by providing clearly display links to all communications capabilities such as live customer service, social media sites, forums, emails or in app chats. Adept orchestration of all channel communication with customer strategies and supporting technologies will ensure human touch.

To pass on human touch in digital communication always remembers first listen to customers. While giving solution to customers feel of empathy plays an important role, asking right questions to understand need and wants. A digital marketer has to make sure that someone is always available to listen and connect on every channel. Digital marketers may pass on feel to customer that company really cares their customers by focus on following points.

  • Responsive action should be taken as quickly as possible
  • Improve and streamline operational issues
  • Implement customer suggestions and showcase customer requests
  • Send most relevant information and solutions
  • Inspire customers to new product experience and service
Buyer Journey and Mindset evaluation

Technology can help for achieving genuine human touch in digital marketing. Customer data analytics is to be prepared and suitable channel to be used. As shown in above chart, in a phased manner customer mindset and buyer journey to be followed by covering three stages as awareness, consideration and close. A technology only helps when digital marketing strategy is designed caring following points.

  • Customer centric focus-not company centric
  • Customer journey driven-not sales cycle oriented
  • Multi channel , engaging and interactive-not robotic

Digital marketers should concentrate on high quality of communication contents and keep in mind that these contents are not for marketing of ‘company brand’ but it is about the ‘customers’. Apply customer lessons learned to produce humanized contents-talk to customers in their language with real understanding.

Role of Call Centre

In banking call centre can play effective role to give feel of human touch to customer on digital media. First listen and understand properly problem/requirement of customer and then politely adequate reply with complete solution in customer understandable language to be given, with saying thanks for calling to call centre. Banks may offer separate-separate call centre toll free numbers for each segment service like IT issues, accounts, loans. We can take the example of Income tax department. They are offering two toll free numbers one for normal helpdesk query and second for refund rectification. Author is  having feel good experience of toll free numbers with IT department for filing revised IT return, where concerned person helped at every step again and again,  where the problem arisen.

Winning Mantra

Generally banks focus on ‘USP’ unique selling points of product to promote their marketing. Banks should also concentrate ‘ESP’ in addition to USP to promote human touch in digital marketing.

E-Ease   (Focus on feel of comfort to customer in dealing, documents and delivery)

S-Speed (Fix and follow turnaround time (TAT) at all levels)

P-Price (Officer Products at competitive price)

Most of banks are also member of BCSBI (Banking code and standard board of India) and they are morally bind to offer certain level of standard service to their customers without discrimination. Banks should offer good and fair banking with continuous cordial relation and high operating standards. Moreover now these moral duties have been transformed to customer rights like:

  • Right to Fair Treatment
  • Right to Transparency, Fair and  Honest Dealing
  • Right to Grievance Redress and  Compensation
  • Right to Suitability
  • Right to Privacy

Fair treatment given with human touch will achieve the poll of ‘customer delight’, which is the mantra of long lasting relation with customer and sustainable growth. One of PSU bank tag line is ‘Rishto ki JamaPunjee’ building asset of relations with human touch is like a ‘khajana’ which is to be used for sustainable growth of organization. While dealing with customers, always keep in mind that ‘customer is king’ or ‘customer is God’ because without customers we can’t think existence of banking and for retention of customer human touch plays key role.

“ Human touch is like a fruit tree which gives bundle of sweet fruits regularly for years”.

Human touch is step towards initiating customer loyalty for life time. Never miss the chance, always try to pass on human feeling even if we are dealing the customers through devices or any channel.



About the author

Sushil Kumar Sood
Chief Manager
Union Bank of India

Author is Senior faculty in Union Bank of India, Staff Training Centre at Gurgaon. He has got about 39 years of experience in various facts of banking. He is post graduate in commerce (M.Com) CAIIB and various other diploma and certifications.




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