Women In Business

4 Ways technology can improve your customer experience

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Customer experience (cx) means more today than ever before.  In fact, 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience. The fact that competition is increasing and customers are demanding more personalized services have business of all sizes racing to own the customer experience.

Yet, providing a memorable customer experience has always been expensive or time consuming.  Even if salespeople used customer relationship management (CRM) software to track emails, calls, meetings and deals they still had to manually reach out to each contact individually and with personalized messages.

Fortunately, new technologies are proving better customer services, support and ultimate a better customer experience.  While some of these technologies are new and emerging, like chatbots and artificial intelligence, other older forms of technology, such as email, are being used in new and innovate ways due to automotive technologies.

Why small businesses should focus on CX

According to Genesys, there are three main reasons businesses invest in customer experience.  First, a top quality CX will keep existing customers from going elsewhere and spending time and money with competitors. Acquiring a new customer is expensive, so it should be a top priority to build a CX that gets them to stay. Second, the CX of a product or service can improve satisfaction with current customers.  If they enjoy using your product, they are more likely to do #3- buy more services or signup for more expensive services or product. Improving CX can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line, both getting more customers and better customers.

How does technology help customers feel important?

In this age of social media, text messaging, and live chat, CRM is only part of the equation.

Back in 2012, 86% of people were willing to pay more for better CX. That’s almost 10 years ago; imagine what the answer to the same question will be today. (Hint: It’s definitely not less.)

In today’s world, the customer is in control. There are lots of choices available to them via multiple avenues. If your company’s customer experience is subpar, they won’t be coming back anytime soon.

The following four ways describe specifically how technology impacts CX.

1. Customer experience includes using data to provide the latest information

A lot can happen over the course of a day. Employees can call in sick. Appointments can get canceled or rescheduled. Traffic can back up for hours in one direction. Communicating these changes to the client in a helpful and urgent way can dramatically improve the customer experience.

For some businesses two-way text messaging can be a convenient option to let your customers know what’s going on. When using text messaging, it is vital to keep customers in the loop and communicate time-sensitive information.  Not only will the proactive testing help them understand what to expect, it also means that they won’t be calling your office wondering if you’ve forgotten about them.

For other businesses, emails may be a way to provide information such as order delays or future office closures. Emails are usually better if the information isn’t time-sensitive and is further in the future as people check their email at various times during the day.

Technology such as email schedulers and mass SMS senders can make this job much easier than sending out individual notes.  Integrate your dispatch and scheduling systems with both and explore how automation can open up a more effective communication system.

2. Technology facilitates introductions

One hurdle for all online businesses is building a personal, one-on-one relationship with the customer. When more interaction happens via a website or even the phone, it can be easy to forget a human being is on the other side.  Technology can help facilitate a person, and human introduction through smart integrations.  For example, a company can text bios and photos of techs before they arrive at a customer’s house.  The automation will build trust prior to the service call as customers appreciate knowing who to look for before opening the door. If done correctly, the customer will also remember that you cared about their security and have a better CX.

3. Remind customers of upcoming appointments

Automated appointment reminders and confirmations make sure everyone’s on the same page and create a better customer experience. Technology can be used to send a text message automatically to each scheduled appointment.  By connecting a scheduling software with a messaging system, these texts can be sent a day in advance and then again the day of automatically.

Using this technology can be a huge help to the client and to the organization.  Early messages give customers time to rearrange their day to be available or respond to reschedule.  By automating appointment reminders and providing several touch points the customer will be more likely to keep the scheduled time, the organization will have less no-shows and save money sending out employees.

4. Customer experience requires an omni-channel solution

One of the largest benefits of technology can be the fact that organizations can then provide omni-channel support and marketing.   By using tech to track the customer and pull information about the customer, every member of the team can have an understanding of the client, their history with the company and any issues they have had.  Then, no matter how the customer reaches out – whether it is via live chat, social media, email, or telephone, they can provide helpful and actionable information.

Additionally, marketers can use this information to create omni-channel campaigns that drive additional signups, or purchases.  By understanding their behavior and preferences, technology can provide a strategy to upsell and further engage key clients.

Wrapping it up

Treating every customer like they’re your only customer is the best CX a company can deliver. And, the great news is that technology makes it easy.  While technology around email and text messages are helpful now, new technology like chatbots and AI will be used by companies in the future. By using software to keep up with all the ways customers want to be served, you’ll create the most memorable experience they’ve ever had and ultimate create a better bottom line for your business.

About Matt Shealy

Matt Shealy is President of www.chamberofcommerce.com

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