Customer relations are at the heart of any business. Are you doing everything you can to strengthen relationships and build loyalty with your customers? Advances in technology have led to innovative and powerful new ways to delight your customers at every step in their purchasing journey, leading to greater success for you and your bottom line.
Consumers today expect highly personalized and responsive service. Gone are the days when a quality product practically sold itself. Today, you need to target your marketing efforts in ways that resonate with your ideal customer without resorting to high-pressure sales tactics. Take a look at some of the ways tech can help you build stronger customer relationships.
CENTRALIZE CUSTOMER INFORMATION & PUT IT TO WORK
One of the most powerful tools you can use happens to be one that your customers will most likely not even be aware of. Investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) system allows you to consolidate all your customer information in one place and then harness the program’s robust analytical abilities to guide critical business decisions.
By finding and utilizing the CRM for small business that best suits your needs, you can catapult your customer service efforts ahead of your competitors. These tools not only help you deepen and strengthen customer relations, but they can also tackle many of the more mundane and repetitive record-keeping tasks, freeing you to focus on the more exciting and profitable aspects of your business.
USE TECH TO STAY OPEN AROUND THE CLOCK
Increasingly, consumers expect an immediate response to their inquiries, no matter the time of day. While brick-and-mortar stores may still physically lock their doors at a certain time, there really is no such thing as “outside of business hours” anymore. Fortunately, technology can stand in the gap here, allowing business to continue without you having to stay awake 24 hours a day.
Your website is critically important in providing this type of round-the-clock support to customers. Beyond ensuring it is attractive, informative, and easy to navigate, consider taking it to the next level with the addition of a customer service bot. Unlike humans, bots can be “on” around the clock, responding immediately to customers. They can provide answers to routine questions and escalate more complex inquiries to the attention of a customer service rep.
Another cutting-edge website addition to consider is augmented reality to boost sales as well as the customer experience. This emerging technology has great potential for customizing the shopping journey. It allows customers to experience products virtually, examine their features, learn how to use them, and even try them on before making a purchase.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
While it’s not a new tech advancement, social media will play an increasingly important role for businesses as they work to improve customer relationships. People tend to trust the opinions of others over the marketing content of a company, so ensuring that your business has a stellar reputation online is key. One dissatisfied customer on a mission can wreak havoc with a single post that goes viral.
Word of mouth has always been one of the best forms of advertising. Still, in today’s world of instantaneous communication via social media, you’ll need to have an effective strategy for responding immediately to both positive and negative feedback. Some key points to keep in mind as you develop your procedure are to make sure you respond quickly, professionally, and respectfully. Never argue with a customer but instead ask for suggestions on how the situation can be resolved to their satisfaction.
Operating a small business in an ever-evolving marketplace presents both challenges and rewards. Keeping an eye on the advances in technology that improve customer relationships and implementing the ones that fit your needs is one of the best ways to stay on top. Using technology strategically not only provides a better experience for your customers but can also streamline your efforts, save money, and boost your profitability.