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Research highlights power of human connection in tech sector
Wed, 27th Mar 2024

In the high tech world of AI and automation, new research from Gamma, a leading provider of unified communications as a service (UCaaS), suggests that the human connection still reigns supreme. This substantiates recent decisions by top global tech companies, including Google, Amazon, and Meta, alongside Dell as the most recent, to move back to office working.

Gamma's study shows a clear correlation between strong in-person relationships and success in the tech industry. Over half (51%) of tech respondents have indicated that difficulty with internal communications was an obstacle in developing strong relationships with colleagues. Meanwhile, 57% feel their relationships with colleagues have suffered since the onset of the pandemic. This mist of uncertainty has also clouded customer relationships, with 58% of respondents contending that client relationships faded due to staff turnover. In contrast, 77% of respondents agreed that strong rapport trumps price and product capabilities. This shows that, even in a highly technical landscape, trust, and connection are paramount to securing clients and partners.

The research offers a valued perception for tech companies aiming to enhance their relationships with their customers, partners, and employees, positioning themselves for lasting success. Gamma's study shows a direct association between deep professional relationships and commercial success; businesses that have reported growth in the past year outperformed on key fronts including the resolution of issues effectively, maintaining good personal relationships with clients, and providing valuable advice to clients.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of leaders in growing businesses felt they had strong relationships with clients, with another 64% expressing the same for colleagues. This contrasts with business leaders in companies experiencing declining revenues, where just 61% and 52% reported strong relationships with clients and colleagues respectively. Reportedly, these businesses could improve customer relations by encouraging more client feedback (48%) and focusing more on customer service over profit (37%).

The culture within a company was also tied to its success, with businesses reporting growth more likely to have a strong workplace culture than those with declining profit. Three-quarters of business leaders believe that strong relationships with colleagues are crucial to success. Andrew Belshaw, CEO at Gamma, comments: “Successful businesses thrive when their communications have genuine human connections, leading to meaningful customer experiences. Our research clearly shows that success is closely tied to investing in strategies that build trust and confidence among colleagues and customers."

Meanwhile, Dr Charlotte Armitage, a business psychologist, highlights the significance of healthy business relationships from a psychological standpoint. She explains that good relationships formed on trust allow businesses to retain employees and customers. "To maintain our own psychological and physical safety in the world, we choose to interact with those that we feel safe and secure around," she states.

Upon consideration of the research findings, Gamma has presented a measure called Return on Relationships (RoR), to aid businesses to assess the vitality of their relationships and how to optimise this value. According to Dr Armitage, building trust is crucial in any relationship, and businesses should prioritise trust to maximise their RoR. This requires safety, stability, and predictability, which, once established, provide a solid foundation for trust.