Technology is governing our lives in ways we never thought imaginable. From cars that can take the wheel for you or even make suspension tweaks via a wireless update to phones that can live stream high-definition video to anyone in the world who wants to tune in, the possibilities are endless.
When it comes to your small business, technology can be a great way to help solve problems and make the customer experience as stellar as it possibly could be. Here are four reasons technology can transform your customer experience.
1. Technology’s Just Cool
This might seem a little simplistic, but new tech is just cool. NFC has been out for awhile, but I still feel like I’m in the future whenever I walk into a corner store and pay for something by tapping my phone instead of taking out my wallet. Awareness and use of Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay is climbing, and having that sticker up in your window can make the difference between someone walking in your door and going down the street to a competitor’s store.
People like novelty, and technology provides that. It makes your business feel up-to-date and relevant, but it’s also important to make sure that it’s actually an improvement on what’s already in place. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
2. Technology Can Make Customers Stick Around
Studies generally show that only around 30% of people who walk in the door actually make a purchase. While that may be standard for a small business, you can also look at it this way: 70% of the people who come by are just waiting to be converted. The longer someone sticks around and spends time in your business, the more likely it is that conversion will happen.
One of the biggest ways to get customers to stay with you is to offer free WiFi. Customers crave connectivity, and at this point, it’s taken as a given that if someone is going to spend time in your business, they’ll want to hop on your WiFi. A Small Business Trends report shows that as many as 62% of businesses noticed customers spending more time on their premises when WiFi access was offered.
You can also set up your WiFi to redirect straight to your company’s website when a user connects. This drives increased traffic to your website, which creates additional inbound links to your site that will help bump your rank within search engine results. You can also offer customers a quick and easy way to jump on your mailing list, building your marketing and giving you access to your customers and potential customers long after they leave your store.
3. Technology Can Improve Your Life
Adopting new technology to improve the customer experience can also be about making your own life easier. AI and automation keep things running smoothly on your end and also make for better interactions for your customers. One of the quickest and easiest ways to take advantage of this is with a chatbot.
You can build a chatbot right now, for free, with no coding required. You might think a messaging app seems like a weird place to go to reach more customers, but the fact is that WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger were globally the most-downloaded apps of 2016. One of the first rules of digital marketing is to go where your customers already spend their time, and increasingly, that’s on messaging apps.
Chatbots excel at fielding routine questions that would normally eat up small amounts of your team’s time throughout the day. While it’s not a big deal to answer a phone call and tell someone your hours or whether or not you have something in stock, those minutes eventually add up. A chatbot has that information and, unlike you, isn’t limited to talking to only one person at a time.
Again, chatbots have that “cool” factor that adds a little something to the way your business makes customers feel. While ultimately it’s mostly just a different UI for things they can do on your website, the conversational nature of a chatbot gives the interaction a much more personal feeling that can be contagious.
4. Slow Loading Kills Conversion
When you’re thinking about ways to incorporate technology into your business, don’t forget about the basics: a fast connection and great hosting. For your digital presence, you need to keep in mind that slow loading absolutely kills conversion. According to this great Kissmetrics infographic, 40% of online shoppers will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load, and even a one-second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16%.
Make sure your hosting is set up to make your pages lightning fast, and also check on your optimizations. Page loading is about a lot more than just your server, so take a look at what you can do to make things snappier. Your customers will thank you for it.
What You Can Do Right Now
Technology is driving a lot of changes today, and it can make a big difference in your customer experience. Implementing new tech can help you get a lot more done, and also provide that “wow” factor that can really make your customer experience special. If you’re thinking about how you can use technology to make a difference for your customers, here are some tips to help you out:
- People love to use new technology because it makes them feel cool, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- Figure out ways to use technology to keep customers in your business, like offering free public WiFi.
- Technology that solves problems for you, like chatbots, can also improve your customer experience.
- Technology isn’t just about new tech; it’s also about making sure what you’re already using works better.
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