How many times have you heard someone complain about a particular company’s customer service? How often have you been dissatisfied with a customer service experience you’ve had with a retailer or other business with which you’ve interacted? How frustrated do you feel when you reach out to a customer service rep or department and get no satisfaction?
Poor customer service is one of the key complaints individuals have these days about companies large and small. And that’s too bad for those companies! The quality of customer service can truly impact a customer’s interaction with a certain brand, enhancing it when it’s exemplary and damaging it when the experience is less than satisfactory. With the presence of the internet, customers have more options than ever when it comes to purchasing goods or services, so a bad customer service experience can easily mean death to just about any business.
However, businesses that understand and have learned how to use new technologies in customer service can put themselves at a true advantage. By tapping into that link between IT and customer service, great strides can be made and bottom lines increased.
Using technology to improve customer service
So many technologies are available that can help businesses improve the quality of their customer service experience. A recent article in the magazine Inc. suggests that companies focus on the following technologies in order to make strides in their customer service department.
- Data management and analytics – Your customers preferences matter, so by managing and analyzing data you can better draw conclusions about your customers’ behaviors. Good analysis techniques can also help you improve your knowledge of your ad campaigns, budget and more. In addition, with data analytics technology, you’ll know when things have to change because you’ll always be collecting and analyzing new data.
- Insight-driven marketing – Because you are constantly gaining insights into your business from the customer data you’ve collected, your target marketing can be more precise AND more effective. You’ll gain an advantage over your competitors and improve customer acquisition and retention. All of that means a better financial performance, too.
- Self-service optimization – Customers want to interact with your business 24/7. If they’re up surfing the internet at 2 a.m., they want to be able to order those protein shakes or schedule that appointment with an electrician. Hence, you need to use technology to find new ways for customers or clients to participate in your business at THEIR convenience.
- Making your workforce effective – It’s important to teach your staff and employees how to best use the technology tools you’ve given them to deliver better service. It’s also essential that companies offer extensive training in this technology so that they are using it to its full effectiveness.
Keeping customers informed
Of course, keeping your customers up-to-date on everything you’re doing is a huge part of the job of the IT department or the IT firm you’ve hired. While many of these things might seem basic by now, there are many businesses that still lack in these departments. To improve your customer service, consider these.
- Website FAQ pages – It truly is essential to have a great FAQ page where your customers can seek answers to their questions and perhaps even ask their own questions as well. Your IT person as well as your site builder can assist you in putting together an FAQ page that works the way it should without being cumbersome and difficult to navigate.
- Solid email services – Email should be used as a way to improve customer service, and if your company is on top of it by providing quick and complete answers to emails sent by customers, you’ll likely hold on to them and they may return to your site (or to your brick-and-mortar location) to make a purchase.
- Unified communications – Ask your IT company how to manage communications from customers so that you’ll know, for example, that the same customer who sent four emails also called and left a voicemail asking the same question. You’ve likely heard the phrase “the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing”. Well, you don’t want that to be the case and technology can assist you in making sure it’s not.
Remember, good customer service is all about giving customers what they want and need, no matter when they want it. Ask our IT experts at Stillwater how you can use technology to serve your customers and to reach your business goals as well. For more information on our services, call us at 604-899-1105 and check out our full list of services.