With the customer experience (CX) revolution on the rise, it’s no longer enough to simply provide good service and products. You must also make it easier for customers to communicate with you, understand their needs and resolve issues as they arise.
Customers in this day and age want a new kind of experience when it comes to interacting with companies. Not only do they expect more, but they’re demanding it — with their dollars. Companies that can promise an easier customer experience using technology stand to benefit the most from these technological advances.
Whether you’re a retailer, restaurant or service provider, your customers expect you to exceed their expectations. In fact, studies show that happy customers are nearly 2x more likely to come back to you again, and twice as likely to recommend you to others.
Here are five ways you can do the same and take full advantage of an improved customer experience.
1. Artificial Intelligence/Chat Bots for Better Customer Experience
Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly popular as a tool for improving customer experience in the form of chatbots. The key to the success of chatbots is building natural language into the software, allowing the bot to understand the customer’s language. Once a bot is able to understand a customer’s message, the next step is creating the appropriate response, using artificial intelligence technology to help the bot recognize and respond to various messages.
Chatbots can be used as both a customer support system and a sales system. They can be a tool to engage with your customers and provide them with answers to questions that you can’t answer. In the same way chatbots can be used to increase customer satisfaction and decrease customer complaints, they can also be used to increase sales.
If you’ve ever contacted a large corporation, you know that they have a range of available ways to communicate with you including phone, email, and chat. Chatbots have become popular because they can answer customer questions without needing an actual live representative to take the time to answer questions. With artificial intelligence and chatbots, you can have customer questions answered quickly and easily.
2. Automation (Including Automated Telephone Directories)
When it comes to productivity, automation is the key. In order to tackle the most important tasks on a daily basis, you’ll need to have some of your tasks automated, especially when it comes to customer interactions with your company.
When a customer calls your business phone number, they’re expecting a certain level of professionalism. And what better way to show your professionalism than by using automation (i.e., putting certain tasks on autopilot) while you continue to run your business. Automated phone directories can help your customers reach the department or person they’re looking for without wasting too much time.
Automation can also be applied to payments and other actions customers can complete on their own. Be sure to clearly define protocols for your customers and employees that send customers to the employees they need most within your company. Some optional features include:
- Phone number forwarding and extensions
- Voicemail to text/email
- Customized Greetings
- Caller ID
3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems Boost Customer Experience
These days, most companies know that having a strong customer relationship management system (CRM) is essential to increasing customer satisfaction. A CRM system is essentially a database where all contact information and relevant details pertaining to a customer are stored. There is software that allows businesses to manage these details and help businesses reach customers better. Some CRM systems are built into the backend of a website, and some are standalone applications.
Customer relationship management has the capacity to help you better understand your customers and their behavior. No longer is it just a database of names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Now CRM systems can tell you complex information such as keeping customer data updated in real-time so that anytime someone makes a note in a customer’s account, anyone accessing the system can immediately see it.
A great CRM system allows you to see customer history (including their communication history), continuously improve your sales methods, accurately predict your sales, keep customers engaged, solve customer issues faster and personalize the customer experience.
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) will drastically change the landscape of how people do business and interact with businesses. The IoT can help improve the customer experience by giving companies insights into more specific details about products and how customers are using them.
For instance, inserting technology into everyday products can help companies gently remind consumers how much longer the product will last and even go so far as to remind the customer to replenish the item soon. Technology has already been added to various everyday items like refrigerators — some have the technology to tell you how much of a certain food you have left.
Smart refrigerators come with a range of features, including food management (using your voice to add items to your shopping list and see inside your fridge from anywhere via three built-in cameras). Putting IoT technology into other devices could significantly improve your customer’s experience. IoT technology can also help you manage promotional campaigns across multiple social media platforms and improved productivity, efficiency, and growth prospects.
5. Big Data Analytics
Big data analytics allows companies to assess large amounts of data in order to determine hidden patterns, correlations, and other insights. Before this, companies relied on basic analytics (which were numbers in a spreadsheet) to determine trends and insights. These days, however, big data analytics has usurped old methods of collecting data and it’s improving all the time. Big data analytics can help you reduce costs, gauge customer needs and satisfaction, and deliver new products and services based on a personalized customer profile or buyer persona. It can also provide precise answers to complex problems to help you discover new growth opportunities.
Now that you know how powerful technology can tremendously improve your customer experience, you can determine which type of technology most benefits your business based on your specific business needs. Using methods like the ones named above, you can transform your customer experience in various aspects of your business. Combined, these methods offer an infallible customer support system that will change the way customers think about and interact with you and your company.