Great customer service technology is a hugely important aspect of any company’s continued success. Your customers are, in many ways, the life’s blood of your business. You want to treat them in the best way possible in order to gain their trust and loyalty. Customer service, public relations, and all that is where you can really make or break those human connections.
You can alienate people or you can intrigue and help them. While the importance of in person, face to face customer service can’t be denied, there’s another option as well. Since many purchases are made online (and many services ordered/scheduled online) these days, it’s important to think about customer service technologies. There are plenty of innovative technologies that will allow you to provide potential clientele with excellent customer service.
As a business owner, you may find these six customer service technology ideas useful:
1. A business website
A website is one of the most obvious customer service technology ideas. If your business doesn’t have a website that you can list on business cards, direct people to, etc., then your company is really out of the loop. But another thing that you have to consider is making sure that your website is actually useful and professional. Take the time, money, and effort to create a website that really reflects your company and its values.
You don’t want something slapped together by someone with no eye for graphic design. Instead, you need a sleek website that has all the information your customers could ever need in an easy-to-read, intuitive format/design.
2. Customer service chatbots
Have you ever gone to a company’s website and had a cheery little chatbot pop up, asking you if you have any questions that it can answer? Chances are that you have, since this particular customer service technology is quite popular.
Chatbots can be put in place to answer common questions your customers (regular and potential) might have about your company and the work that you do/products you offer. Chatbots can also be programmed to be a sort of ‘middleman’ between the customer and a real person.
Customer service chatbots can collect relevant data from the customer so that once a real person takes over the problem, that person already knows the important details and can get right down to fixing the problem, without asking a lot of preliminary questions. This saves time! (Which, as we all know, is money in the business world.)
Another great chatbot feature that you can utilize is that of having ‘someone’ on standby for your customers, no matter the hour. Your official office hours might just be from nine to five, but a chatbot can provide a support system for customers, no matter what time of day (or night) it is.
3. An email list
Having an email list is another customer service technology you can utilize now. It can be a great marketing tool for your company. Create a sign-up form on your website (if there isn’t one already) and then focus on developing a solid list of subscribers. One good way to do this is to offer some sort of useful freebie that can only be accessed by signing up for your email list.
Ebooks, checklists, step by step instructions, notifications of subscriber-exclusive discounts, etc. are all great freebies to offer. Once you have someone’s email, don’t spam them with updates and requests for their business! Instead, send them thoughtful updates and the occasional discount on a semi-regular basis.
4. A business app
There are hundreds of thousands of apps out there today…and for good reason! Apps are a great way to reach people. While you should definitely have your company’s website optimized for mobile viewing, it might also be a good idea to create an app specifically for your business. Send your customers updates, deals, and more with push notifications. Just make sure your app is solid and well built; glitchy apps are not a way to endear customers to your company.
5. Social media presence
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all great ways to interact with potential customers. While you should always keep your business’s social media accounts polished and professional, you can also use them as an opportunity to have a little fun and be more relaxed with your clientele.
Ask a QOTD (question of the day) to encourage participation, post funny memes, and don’t push your products in people’s faces 24/7! Of course, you do need to market and advertise, but try to do so in a non-intrusive, more natural way.
6. Customer service surveys
Having a short survey for your customers to fill out after they buy your product or enlist your services (or have an issue resolved through customer service) is a good idea. Keep the survey short and simple and you’ll get useful feedback from actual customers.
As an added incentive, you could have a prize drawing every month for all those who complete the survey. (Something like a ten dollar gift card to a popular coffee shop.)