In recent years, customers have shown they’re increasingly interested in using technology to interact with businesses, and COVID-19 has only made this more important. Gone are the days where we need to speak to customers face-to-face to make a sale – now people are willing, and often even prefer, to make their purchases over the internet.
One of the biggest shifts in technology is the way that customers interact with and buy from brands. No longer limited to the 9–5, people want to shop on their own time. So, the easier and quicker you can help them buy, the more likely they are to go through with the sale – studies have shown that more than ever, good customer service is the key thing that will keep customers coming back. As a business owner you can’t be ready on the phone lines round the clock, so instead it’s time to lean into technology and let it do some of the work for you.
While it can seem overwhelming, adding technology systems to your business website and processes is easier than you think. For a little bit of work upfront, most of these tools will make your life much easier in the long run, helping you avoid repetitive or tedious tasks and letting you and your staff focus on the things that deserve your energy.
Here are some of the things you can implement to achieve greater customer satisfaction:
- Answer questions before they need to ask them. It might not be what you think of when it comes to technology, but to use your digital presence effectively, you need to have the right information on your website or social media pages. This can be as simple as adding an FAQ page to your website, checking you’ve filled out your business hours and contact details, or adding in a search bar. If you still find yourself being asked the same questions again and again, check that the answer is somewhere that makes sense and is easy to find.
- Give them a self-serve option. Adding a contact or booking form to your website can save your customers time and make everyone’s lives easier. While it can be a little more complicated, many website platforms will have built-in options to walk you through the set up. Setting up an online store also lets you reach a wider range of customers and let them shop in their own time. Square is a great, affordable option for small businesses starting out, or if you’re a bit more confident in your tech skills, try setting up a shop directly on your website.
- Chat to them real-time. Rather than picking up the phone or logging into their emails, customers often like being able to get in touch through messenger platforms for a quick answer. Facebook and Instagram’s chat functions let you talk directly to your customers through your business page, just like you would to your friends, and lets you deal with queries on the fly without having to boot up a computer. Facebook business pages also track your average response time, so your customers can see how long before they can expect a reply and figure out the best way to get in touch with you.
- Use video in your business. Many of us have become experts at Zoom and video calls over the last few years, and it’s a handy option to have for longer meetings or consultations. People want to know who they’re doing business with, and video is a great way to replicate that face-to-face touch with clients who you can’t meet in person.
- Forbes Technology Council, January 29, 2020, “Leveraging tech to improve customer experience: 11 smart techniques”. Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/01/29/leveraging-tech-to-improve-customer-experience-11-smart-techniques/#492ecfb424b8
- Michael Redbord, May 13, 2020, “14 ways technology will affect the future of customer service”, Hubspot, https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-service-technology
- August 27, 2019, “Improve customer experience with intelligent technology”, Smart Insights, https://www.smartinsights.com/user-experience/customer-experience-management-cxm/improve-customer-experience-intelligent-technology/
- Chandrima Samanta, April 29, 2020, “7 technologies that can enhance customer experience”, Martechcube, https://www.martechcube.com/7-technologies-that-can-enhance-customer-experience/
- Hassan Mansoor, October 14, 2017, “6 ways technology impacts customer thinking, behaviour, and experience”, Customer Think, https://customerthink.com/6-ways-technology-impacts-customer-thinking-behavior-and-experience/