Using technology to improve the customer experience

When you consider how technology can be applied to enhance a customers experience, you immediately think of state-of-the-art CRM systems and other leading edge, often expensive systems.  The reality is that there are countless simple measures that can be taken to leverage existing or free technologies to improve your customers experience.

Don’t you hate it when…?

You call a bank, you are led through a series of instructions, you enter your credit card number… and when you finally speak to a real person their first sentence is: “Thanks for calling, can I have your card number?”.  It’s quite simple, if the institution has the technology to carry the card details through with the call then do it, if not then don’t waste the customers time.  One credit card company that does it right it Discovery Card – well done!

You call a company and receive the exact same call waiting music as every other company out there?  Did you know that most entry level PABX systems support a simple input from a computer to play your very own music?

You visit a company with a fantastic flatscreen TV in reception… and it’s switched off?  If you’ve invested in a TV such as this, keep it on & keep the content it shows interesting & relevant.

Ideas for enhancing the customer experience

Provide Choice. Let customers interact with your business in a way that suits them.  Does the customer prefer personal phone calls, email, text messages, or post?  Accommodate them!

Be Quick. When you have the customers attention, use it to maximum advantage.  If you are sending a marketing email, get the message across quickly & concisely.  Make the call to action easy and simple.  If your marketing email promotes a new product, make it clear to the customer how they can order it.  If you sent a promotional email, it doesn’t take much effort to personalize the email to the point where the call to action click (e.g.: Click Here to Order Yours Now) – doesn’t just take the customer to an order page, but it actually populates the order page with the Customers’ profile!

If you have technology – use it. As illustrated earlier – if you have a flatscreen TV, state-of-the-art PABX, or other enriching technologies in your business – use them!

Consider free/low cost technologies. Need a free CRM solution?  Try Sugar CRM.  Text Messaging presents an extremely low cost, non-intrusive method to interact in a personal manner with your customers.  Many self-service pay per use text messaging services are available online.

Simplify life for the customer

What defines good customer service?  Immediate, relevant responses to a customers’ requirements.  Make life simple for the customer and you have a winning recipe.  If the nature of your business allows you to provide online self-service functionality – do it.  Empower your customer to help themselves and drive your own back office costs down.  Embracing technology to deliver better customer service doesn’t equate to becoming inpersonal.  Maintain regular person to person interactions with key customers.  Log your interactions in your CRM system if you have one.  Make the customer feel special and identify their specific requirements.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    waynebc said,

    Another thing that irritates me that the banks and other institutions do is when you phone with a concern, explain your whole complicated story to a representative who after listening to your problem says “please wait, I will transfer you to a different department”, then when you get transferred the person you have just spoken to does not transfer your concern to the new consultant instead you get a new voice that says “what can I help you with”, so now you have to explain yourself all over again. This has even been known to happen more than once in a single telephone conversation.

    The discussion about people not using technology that is available can be quite a lengthy one. Some other devices that people do not use to their full potential may include the following:

    indicator,
    rear-view mirror,
    a second computer screen,
    the “enter” key, etc.

  2. 2

    Matan said,

    LOL , I’ll agree with you there “waynebc”.

    On the flip side of this conversation, people can sometimes be scared of using new technologies e.g. internet / cell phone banking. Provided that you bank offers you this service free or at reasonable rate, I say go for it! Internet banking has changed my life, managing my accounts with ease. Previously I had to go to the bank to transfer from one account to another, but not anymore! What makes me sad is I still see people planning trips to the bank like a weekend away! I certainly try encouraging people to venture “out”, from the comfort of your own home. Give yourself more time to enjoy life.

    Coupled with use of good technology is proper staff training, if the person on the other side knows what they are doing, it creates a pleasant experience for the client, and that’s what the client wants. There is a vast array of technologies out there, USE THEM, strive for efficiency!

  3. 3

    entelligence said,

    I think you hit an important point, Matan – companies using specific technologies have a responsibility to ensure that their own staff understand the technology and can support it properly!


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