Technology has become part of the backbone of any business, whether you’re a small mom and pop operation or a large multinational. Even if you’re a technophobe and your core business has nothing to do with technology, you’re going to need it to ensure your customers get the best experience.
And if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em: this is how you can use tech to improve the customer journey.
How to Improve Your Customer's Experience with Technology and Data
With the right plan, you have nothing to fear about using customer data and automated technology to make a great customer experience. Here are three areas to consider, along with examples of what makes a memorable experience.
Exchange Customer Data for an Enhanced Customer Experience
Yes, people are increasingly worried about handing over their personal data to businesses online. This has led to many companies shying away from attempting to use customer data for an enhanced experience.
But reports show that customers are still very willing to part with their information if they believe it will enhance their experience with your business. The reason we can easily create a personalized customer journey is Big Data:
● Behavioral trends.
You can ‘follow’ your customers to see what they like, ensuring they always get what they’re looking for. Example: think about how Netflix always seems to know exactly what type of shows you’d like to watch and serves them up accordingly. Now you can feel a little less guilty about that Netflix binge session.
● Customers can Geek Out.
Companies aren’t usually nefarious with your data, they often want it to present it back to you. Example: FitBit gathers your every move so that you can geek out on it, exploring your sleeping habits, exercise routine, and your heart health.
● Use AI to see and predict patterns.
Customer data can often look like a big soup of spaghetti mess. However, AI can make sense of this data to find patterns the human brain would never be able to see.
Leverage Custom Software
SaaS (Software as a Service) has completely transformed the way we do business. Instead of having to install memory-hogging software solutions on our computers, we can use SaaS solutions online. This gives several benefits:
Allows you to use your software anywhere and on any computer. Most SaaS solutions are even mobile and tablet-friendly. This helps you to interact with customers and record relevant details over the phone while away from the office and gives your staff the opportunity to handle customer queries off-site.
Saas companies work around the clock to ensure their software is secure and near-impregnable. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s safer to work with SaaS solutions than anything you can do locally.
This is particularly enticing for SMBs. SaaS is cheaper, period. If you want to work using locally-installed software, you’ll need to fork out for expensive software licences, an IT team, as well as additional backup and security solutions.
● Built for your business.
This is what really knocks it out of the park when it comes to improving the customer journey. SaaS has also given software development companies the opportunity to build customer service automation solutions catering to specific business types. For example, if you’re a restaurant, a service like Design My Night allows for booking management and seamless integration with your website.
It goes even more niche: there are even SaaS solutions for dental practices and other specialties, for example! SaaS ensures customers get a custom experience, rather than a clunky square-peg-in-a-round-hole solution.
‘Be Everywhere’ Customer Support
The days of handling customer support queries between 9-5 are long gone. And to avoid a reputation for poor customer service, you’re going to have to do better than an email or a phone call. Customers now expect to be able to contact you in the way that suits them, not the other way around. Amazon can get away with a hidden-from-view contact form, but unless you’re the leading online retailer on the planet, you’re going to need to up your game with the ‘be everywhere’ strategy:
● Social media channels.
Companies such as KLM are doing things right by answering queries on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and more. They even send your boarding pass to your Messenger account if you want to.
● Guided contact forms.
You can avoid receiving emails asking the same questions over and over again by giving your customers a guided experience. They’ll type a keyword or their question, and your website will go through the FAQ first. If the answer isn’t there, your customer can still send you a run-of-the-mill email.
Chatbots are great, as they can be operated using AI when you’re away from your computer. Customers will still get a sophisticated exchange, with chatbots improving all the time. Most queries are easily answerable without you having to do a thing. And if they get stuck, you or your employees can still come to the rescue.
Conclusion – How to Improve Your Customer Experience
Your customer experience management will get easier when you use technology and customer data wisely.
Your clients trust you with their data. Use it to give them an awesome customer experience, whether its physical or virtual. Leverage SaaS software to automatically manage your growing customer database, marketing, email, communication, inventory and almost anything you can imagine. Lastly, be ready to communicate with your customers wherever they are, whether it's social media, your website, or your store.
Our guest author Tanya Mayer is a blogger from Brisbane, Australia. She writes on various topics and contributes to many blogs and websites, with a focus on small business and marketing.