High Touch Business Model – How Does It Work?

The role of companies in identifying user needs and catering to them is significant. Most companies analyze their customers to develop expectations for their behavior.

Through this, the companies adapt their products and services to serve customers better. Sometimes, however, companies may not go with a similar approach.

Some companies tend to be more hands-on with the approach. Therefore, these companies may use the high touch business model to interact with customers.

What is the High Touch business model?

Companies that use a high touch business model interact with their customers more closely. The customers also place trust and partners with companies. In most cases, companies have employees whose job is to interact with these customers.

These employees act as a liaison between the company and its customers. Through this business model, companies can provide more personal attention and services to customers.

In business, the notion of trust between companies and customers is crucial. For some companies, using their own methods to identify customer needs and cater to them may work. However, in some other industries, companies need to be closer to their customers. In these cases, both parties must have a mutually trustful relationship.

The high touch business model is prevalent in the service industry. Usually, services such as real estate, accounting, legal, wealth management, etc., require customers to be closer to the service providers. In some cases, such as the pharmaceutical industry, the interaction between customers and companies is also crucial for success.

How does the High Touch business model work?

The high touch business model goes against most modern business models. In this model, companies do not rely on modern analytical techniques to assess customers’ needs.

Instead, these companies get involved in the process and try to analyze their customers closely. These companies deal or interact with human beings through a specific channel, such as a dedicated employee or department.

As mentioned, the high touch business model works best in industries or businesses where being close to customers is crucial. While it may sometimes be time-consuming, companies trust their customers and partners with them.

Modern businesses, especially those that rely on the internet, have decreased human interaction. It has provided various successful business models while also reducing the high touch business model’s popularity.

Due to modern techniques, most companies have forgotten the high touch business model. However, some companies are beginning to realize its importance.

Therefore, these companies are shifting to a high touch business model to serve their customers better. Through this approach, some companies have obtained a competitive edge over others in their industries.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the High Touch business model?

The high touch business model has several advantages because it allows for human interaction. However, it may also come with some disadvantages. Some of its advantages and disadvantages are below.


The high touch business model allows companies to provide customized products or services to customers. In the service industry, delivering a unique and customized service to each customer is crucial.

Similarly, interacting with customers and identifying their needs beforehand allows companies to provide better services.

The high touch business model promotes customer loyalty. Customers that receive customized products or services are likely to repeat their transactions with companies. In the absence of the high touch approach, customers may feel left out. However, this business model is more compensative of customers.

The high touch business model is also a way for companies to gain a competitive advantage. Most companies rely on modern methods to identify customer needs.

However, companies that use the high touch business model can obtain a competitive advantage through serving their customers better.

Customers are also more likely to appreciate a high touch business model. It is because customers feel more involved in the process and can get their customized products or services. It can, therefore, result in higher revenues and profits for companies.


The high touch business model can introduce various complexities in companies’ operations. These complexities can, in turn, increase the costs and time required to interact with customers. Since the business model is more hands-on with customers, companies need to make more effort. Therefore, it can be costly as compared to modern options.

For companies that offer generic products or services, the high touch business model is futile. It is because the business model focuses on customized products instead. When the product or service to all customers is homogenous, there is no need for this business model.


Top accounting firms, such as KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and EY, use a high touch business model. These companies render customized and unique services to each customer.

Therefore, these companies must provide customers in the process of providing these services. The input received from customers can help these companies significantly improve their products.


The high touch business model gives rise to trust between companies and customers and develops their partnership.

With this business model, companies take an action-oriented approach to serving customers. Therefore, the high touch business model works best in industries where customers receive customized products or services.