Posted by Holly Carberry

Artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots have revolutionised communication for business, with incredible benefits for streamlining any process that uses language – from customer support to content creation and even coding. However, in the face of this new wave of AI-powered communication, here at Evolution we think the value and importance of face-to-face interaction is greater than ever.

With so many cost- and time-saving opportunities, it’s easy to foresee businesses adopting AI wherever possible. While we welcome the benefits that AI will bring – we’ve found it very useful in planning our online content – we also think that it’s absolutely essential that businesses don’t forget about the value of human interaction in building trust, getting the most out of negotiations and thinking creatively.

Really good face-to-face communication should go hand-in-hand with AI’s many useful tools, offering businesses the chance to streamline their processes and save time, but also to maintain the trust of their customers, team, and stakeholders in a way that only human interaction can achieve.

Here’s why in-person, face-to-face communication is a more important than ever – and a great partner to AI tools.

  • Building Trust and Rapport

Effective business relationships are built on trust and rapport. Face-to-face communication allows individuals to establish a genuine connection by utilising non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. These elements foster trust and strengthen interpersonal bonds, enabling colleagues, clients, and partners to engage in open and transparent collaboration. While AI and ChatGPT provide efficient responses, they lack the ability to build authentic rapport that drives successful business interactions. As of now, there’s no way that AI can replace the natural skill we humans have for building rapport.

  • Enhanced Negotiation and Persuasion

Negotiations and persuasion play a vital role in business deals and partnerships. Face-to-face meetings provide an environment where professionals can gauge reactions, adapt their strategies in real-time, and leverage persuasive techniques effectively. Reading subtle cues, responding to objections, and adjusting negotiation tactics based on visual and auditory cues are advantages that humans possess in face-to-face interactions. AI and ChatGPT, though capable of processing information swiftly, may struggle to navigate the complexity of negotiations and adapt their approach accordingly.

  • Effective Collaboration and Innovation

Businesses thrive on collaboration and innovation, and humans are great at it. Face-to-face interactions foster a fertile environment for brainstorming sessions, creative problem-solving and collaboration. In-person meetings allow team members to bounce ideas off one another, build upon collective expertise, and inspire innovative thinking. The dynamic energy, immediate feedback, and the ability to explore tangents in real-time drive creativity and lead to solutions that AI alone just isn’t capable of generating.

  • Customer Engagement and Satisfaction

In the realm of customer service and support, face-to-face interactions hold immense value. Personalised attention, empathetic listening, and a human touch contribute to enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty. Face-to-face meetings provide an opportunity to understand customers’ needs, address concerns promptly, and build lasting relationships. While AI and chat GPT can automate certain customer interactions, the human element in communication adds a level of emotional connection and understanding that is crucial for exceptional customer experiences. At the end of the day, we’re hard-wired to trust faces, and AI will never be able to fully replace that.

  • Cultural Sensitivity and Global Business

In a global business landscape, cultural sensitivity and understanding are critical in building lasting relationships. Face-to-face contact allows professionals to navigate cultural nuances, communicate effectively across cultural barriers, and build relationships based on mutual respect. Direct interaction fosters cultural intelligence, expands global business networks, and facilitates smoother international negotiations. AI and ChatGPT, while proficient in translation, may struggle to capture the intricacies of cross-cultural dynamics and adapt accordingly.

We are really excited about the benefits for business that AI presents – but as experts in communication who have been working with organisations for almost 25 years, we’ve seen first-hand the value that real face-to-face interaction has. We urge businesses to embrace all the value that AI has to offer, but not to forget the importance of human communication. Artificial intelligence is an incredible tool – but so is our ability to communicate, build relationships, and engineer interactions to achieve great outcomes.

If you’d like support for your team when it comes to great communication, whether that’s internal communication, negotiating, purchasing and procurement, public speaking or just getting the most out of every interaction, get in touch to talk about how Evolution can help.