As any small business owner knows, the customer is king. Creating and constantly improving a great customer experience is the key to steady business growth, especially for small businesses looking to scale. Technology is the practical answer to smoothing processes and improving efficiency and delivering enhanced service levels without having to charge uncompetitive prices
Customers are attracted to Superior Service
What attracts customers in the first place is superior service. Customers want to be valued when they choose to use your company’s products and services. What makes them stay is when they see they are getting good value for their time and resources.
When time and attention is drawn away from implementing the benefits appropriately selected technology can offer to improve the customer experience it can contribute to the downfall of a small business.
There are probably hundreds of companies in competition with your own, and it is increasingly harder to compete. Investing in good technological upgrades can help to proffer a needed boost in different areas of your business, from reception to storage, and, most importantly, sales.
How to Use Technology to Improve Customer Experience in a Small Business
● Automate emails to customers
● Build a strong web presence
● Use the Cloud
● Manage data electronically
● Create a mobile app
● Leverage social media
● Create a more intimate channel of contact
Automate Emails to Customers
Email is a simple yet effective way to reach out to customers, keeping in constant touch with them, manage issues and complaints and to maintain new leads. It is also a useful way for small businesses to keep tabs on your customer base as it grows. Some services are highly productive for automating interaction and communication with clients via email. The important thing is to discover one or a couple that is well suited to the needs of your company and provides the best customer experience. Examples of such services include big names like Gmail and Microsoft Outlook or other equally effective services like HubSpot and Marketo
Build a Strong Web Presence
A web presence is more important than ever before for both online businesses and brick and mortar companies. Make a great first impression with a value-rich website that provides solutions to customers’ questions and their wants and needs. Customers tend to look online and browse through a site first before they make a decision on whether or not to patronise a business. Make such a decision easy for them by providing useful information on every page of your website. A strong presence can be achieved through a detailed “About Page” and “FAQ Page”.
Make sure you smooth the experience by keeping your code clean, plugins light and by getting a good web host with servers in the country/region where your visitors are. This will ensure that that visitors don’t abandon your site out of frustration before they get a chance to absorb your offering. Website visitors are extremely impatient, and won’t wait for a low loading page unless they have a very good reason to do so.
Use the Cloud
Cloud storage technology and cloud hosting have made information sharing, managing an online presence, and work processes much easier. Your clients want you available as much as possible, and having documents on the cloud and processes there too, like with our cloud-based application, will make you super efficient while you commute, use time waiting for a meeting, or work from home. If you use cloud hosting, from a company like Umbrellar Cloud or UKFast, you won’t have to worry about site uptime, site monitoring and site security. Such services take all the time out of the server management process, leaving you to concentrate on your core activities.
Businesses that are not using the cloud as an integral part of their business these days are at a distinct disadvantage.
Manage Data Electronically
Managing data is easier when relevant technology is applied. Customer experience is improved when you can appropriately match each customer with the data they provide to create fantastic services tailored to their specific preferences. Making use of high-tech customer intelligence and web analytics platforms as a small business gives you an edge over the competition when it comes to satisfying a client with an unforgettably pleasant experience. Two examples of platforms that can provide your business with this advantage are Kissmetrics and ClearStory Data
Build a Mobile App
Mobile apps provide interesting ways for customers to interact with businesses and vice-versa. Small businesses can achieve omnipresent status through mobile apps. Your availability as a source of particular products and services is a form of heightening customer experience in itself. Your current customers and potential customers use smartphones and tablets, so you can reach out and connect with them no matter where they are. An app will also afford you the chance to send customers information concerning any changes or upgrades to your services.
Leverage Social Media
Active social media for a small business is useful to keep you within easy reach of your customers, and also to keep open channels of communication with them where you can collect relevant information about their interests and suggestions. Different social media channels exist, and with supporting tools, you can employ to aim excellent customer experiences towards your users. A critical aspect of improving customer experience is by communicating with your customers at the right time, right place, and through the right means. You can achieve this by using social media.
Create a More Intimate Channel of Contact
The more customer-intimate or customer-centric your company is, the greater the chance you are providing your customers with a high-quality customer experience. A more intimate channel of communication between you and your customers will result in strong, long-term relationships. So if you haven’t done this already, now is the time to begin to transform or transition into a small business with a big focus on valuing your customers.
Using technology to improve the customer experience for your small business can be as simple as closing the gap between your clients and your business. Some handy software is available to ease this process. They include Interakt, Kayako, Freshdesk, and Crisp. These can be integrated into your website design to add value and improve your customer journey.
These are simple ways to use technology to enhance customer experience for your small business. They improve your company’s value to customers and create informal channels to reach out and interact with customers, both existing and potential.