Customer Experience and Technology
In a world where customers can get almost anything they want on-demand, customer experience has become the great differentiator between businesses that succeed and those that don’t. Customers crave human interaction, and delivering amazing customer experiences is a sure-fire way to earn that word-of-mouth buzz that leads to lasting growth.
As more and more companies focus on customer experience, you need to find a way to distinguish yourself from your competitors. More importantly, you should always be looking for new ways to create the most surprising, unique customer experience possible.
Here are 4 Ways Technology Can Help Create A Better Customer Experience
1. Remember What Your Customer Has Already Told You
Have you ever received a gift from a thoughtful friend based on something you told them off-hand months ago? It’s an incredible feeling because it shows they listened to you and spent time thinking about their gift. While you may have forgotten about the conversation, both remembered and got you something to show you they care.
The same thing can happen with a business. Customers tell us about their preferences all the time in ways that they often forget about. Your company’s job is to listen and remember. If you’re a hotel, for example, identify what they normally purchase from the mini-bar. How difficult would it be to make sure that the things they like are stocked in their fridge?
Tracking your customer’s preferences with a CRM can make a world of difference in creating remarkable, memorable experiences your customers will want to share with everyone they know. Remembering what they like and providing that experience again is a great way to get them talking.
2. Be Upfront About How You Get Your Information
There’s a line between thoughtful and creepy, and you don’t want to cross it. Make sure that you’re upfront about how you got your customer’s information and how you’re using it. Consider a note. “Because you enjoyed peanuts the last time you stayed with us, we’ve stocked them in your fridge again.” The message clarifies when you got that information. More importantly, it shows you care about making sure they have the best experience possible.
3. Take Advantage of the IoT
The Internet of Things can be a boon to those crafting memorable customer experiences because it affords many great opportunities for individualization. From food orders delivered directly to your seat in Fenway Park to personalized preferences traveling with you from hotel room to hotel room, IoT technology provides endless ways to customize your customer experience.
It’s tempting to think that IoT doesn’t have much to do with the day-to-day realities of running a small business, but nothing could be further from the truth. Even something as simple as accepting Apple and Google Pay from someone’s phone embraces the IoT. Leverage the technology customers already use, and you’ll positively contribute to the customer experience. These details remove friction from the interaction, which makes everything seem a bit more magical.
4. Integrating Your Website Into the Customer Experience
As a small business, it’s important to realize that the customer experience doesn’t just cover a customer buying your product, coming to your store, or having an interaction with someone on your team. Customer experience is bigger than that.
There are usually several touchpoints before these events occur and several after them, too. Who you are and what you stand for will come out in those interactions, and you need to be ready to stand behind it.
As you look for ways to integrate technology into your customer experience, it’s important to remember that, even in 2018, it all starts with your website. Your business needs a mobile-friendly experience that facilitates what your customer wants to do on your website.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Why are they visiting your website, and how can you make that as easy for them as possible? Think about everything you do from that outside perspective—it’s key if you want to create unique, memorable customer experiences that represent what you and your brand stand for.
What You Can Do Right Now
The internet continues to knock down barriers between you and your customers. It’s made it easier than ever for customers to research and purchase products or services before marketing ever comes into play. It is more important than ever for companies to differentiate themselves by providing excellent customer experience. Keep in mind these strategies for using technology to improve those experiences:
- Use a CRM platform to remember what a customer has already told you about themselves, and use that information.
- Be upfront about how you got the information you’re using.
- Take advantage of the IoT to provide an individualized experience.
- Step into your customer’s shoes and maximize your website’s usability.
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