The Precious Value of Human Interaction VS Digital Solutions

Services for Real Estate Pros with Napa Consultants

If you think that Human Interaction is being upstaged by digital solutions, think again. Recently a friend of ours saw a sign on a home and called the number on the sign.  She listened to a recording that sent her to an agent directory. The sign did not have the agent’s name or phone number on it, because the company does not allow agent riders.  


She tried to get connected to the receptionist (was not sure there was one) and gave up.  She was frustrated and vowed never to have any dealings with that company.  And all her friends heard about it like we did.


All of us have had what seemed as interminable moments on the phone getting through the maze of automated systems, just to speak to a human.  When we get to the human, we are even more frustrated because we learn that we need to speak to a supervisor to resolve our issues.  We are then placed on hold, and sometimes we are disconnected. 


Accenture, one of the leading management consultants firms, found in one of their studies that 52 percent of consumers switch due to poor customer service.  They estimated the cost to businesses at $1.6 trillion.  On the real estate scene, it is not unusual to find the voice mailbox full, or the example in our first paragraph.


This is due to the fact that most companies assume that digital-only customers are the most profitable, and customer service is an expensive service.  When they do have customer service, it is usually outsourced to other countries, which often creates more problems.  


Many of these customers (44%) resort to venting on social media channels about the poor service they received.  Sometimes, companies respond to the vent and make things right.  However, keep in mind that quite a bit of damage has been done by the venting. 


Accenture’s study found that 83% of those customers value human interaction and want more of it. They are less likely to switch companies when they have easy access to human interaction, as well as recommend the companies to friends and associates.


Digital solutions have made life easier when you stop and think about it, however we need to balance our reliance on it.  The be-all- and end-all is human interaction, its value is precious.  Institute that in your real estate practice and your clients will remember you and refer you. 


This post is inspired our Internet provider.  Pictured above is the envelope our bill came in.  We are delighted with this change that when we have a question or problem with our service, we can actually speak to someone live.  It is so much easier than listening to fix it electronic instructions or going to their website.  It also takes less time.  

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Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-




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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Roy Kelley 08/15/2018 01:00 AM
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Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Ron and Alexandra Seigel  It is very frustrating when you have to push buttons to have to talk to a real person and then perhaps have to spell their name on the phome ..give me human contact PLEASE

May 15, 2018 10:07 AM #1
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I hope more people have experiences like that and vow to never do business with a company like that.

May 15, 2018 10:10 AM #2
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I HATE the digital systems that make us wait through 10 messages before we can click a button to get info. Crazy bad first impression.

May 15, 2018 10:11 AM #3
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

There are certain digital solutions that work and take a little of the load off human interaction, but real estate is not one area it works well if questions need to be answered.. 

May 15, 2018 11:11 AM #4
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Alliance Real Estate - Minot - Minot, ND
Bob Timm, Broker Associate, Alliance Real Estate

Ron and Alexandra Seigel to me the worst is the cell phone and the cable companies. The best.. American Express for sure.

May 15, 2018 12:26 PM #5
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hello Alexandra and Ron - just give me the answer/ information and give it to me NOW. . . yeah --- been there as well.

May 15, 2018 12:28 PM #6
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hello Ron and Alexandra Seigel, I can not tell you how much I dislike automated systems, most of the time, I just hang up. I know I am not a patient person and would never put my clients through that.

May 15, 2018 12:59 PM #7
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I'm not fond of digital systems.  Especially, when it comes to robo-calls to my do-not-call-listed landline.  There is one which is very annoying that I get several times a week.  It begins, "This is not a solicitation call. . ." And, then it goes about the business of trying to sell me solar panels.  I like that they provide an option to press 2 to be removed from their list.  I hate that it does no good and the calls continue.

May 15, 2018 01:58 PM #8
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Ron and Alexandra- I do like some digital stuff in my life but when it comes to customer service, I want actual and real customer service.  Some websites do have a "Live Chat' with a customer service person and I don't mind that. 

May 15, 2018 05:30 PM #9
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

We can get a real person on the line. I can with my cell phone company too and love that part about their service.

May 15, 2018 08:29 PM #10
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

I have done some online chats, and that can be OK depending. But I prefer to talk to someone, and no I do not want to go to your website to review the Help section with all the tips on how to solve my problem.

While many like to text and email, there is still the keen interest in having access to a live person who can assist, and fairly quickly. True in our business and in general! And providing that access is a competitive advantage.


May 15, 2018 08:42 PM #11
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Jeff Dowler, CRS We agree with you on the online chat.  However, just to get to a person via phone takes about 6 steps, and I think for some it will be easier to chat on line.  Like you, I would rather talk to someone.  We have two credit cards we like, because, they are there to answer you right off the bat...They answer the phone!  A

May 15, 2018 09:16 PM #12
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Alexandra.

I just hate those automated phone calls. I crave human interaction. 

May 16, 2018 01:46 AM #13
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Good morning Alexandra and Ron, my Mom was just telling me how frustrated she was with their cable company because she can never talk to someone. I feel the same way, give you human interaction!

May 16, 2018 05:40 AM #14
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Many real estate agents have some work to do.

52 percent of consumers switch due to poor customer service. 

May 16, 2018 06:08 AM #15
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

I spent another hour of my life on the phone with AT&T yesterday because my bill continues to spiral.  Poor customer service.  And apparently, I am in their "Loyalty program".  Hate to see what kind of service they give regular customers. 

May 16, 2018 06:25 AM #16
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi there. This is a great conversation - and add me to the list of folks who want to discuss things with a human being. If you're in business, have someone answer your phone if you can't, a human, or make sure you return calls quickly. We need to respect other people's timelines - and time. 

May 16, 2018 08:00 AM #17
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

The digital "customer service" I find to be time consuming and mostly frustrating.

I think some companies purposely make it difficult to connect to a live person.

Some have an online chat, but I find that explaining my situation takes much longer than if talking live.

I would not run my business with digital "customer service."

May 16, 2018 09:10 AM #18
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