Technology has fundamentally changed the way people go about their day-to-day lives. Smartphones have put a world of information at our fingertips — nearly 60 percent of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. Social media has altered the way people stay in touch with friends and family, form relationships, and engage with the world. Fitness trackers have reshaped the motivation and rewards associated with exercising and staying in shape. For businesses, technology has enabled even bigger benefits: faster collaboration, seamless communication, easy remote work capabilities, and improved customer service and experience.
According to research conducted by Temkin Group, companies with global revenue above $1 billion can increase that revenue by an average of $700 million within three years just by investing in the customer experience. Even for SMBs whose revenues don’t approach this height, the basic idea still applies: an excellent customer experience leads to customer loyalty and good word-of-mouth which in turn trigger growth and prosperity.
How can your business harness advancements in technology to improve the customer experience? Here are four useful tools to help you do just that.
- The Right Customer Service Platform: Perhaps the most significant benefit of customer service platforms is that they allow employers to engage with their customers through any channel: phone, email, live chat, text message, social media, and more. The result is a more seamless customer service model that lets customers choose the kind of customer experience they want to have. Zendesk is one of the go-to software platforms that businesses use to build customer service touchpoints. The platform is technically a suite of different programs that enable businesses to do several things — Zendesk Guide, for instance, makes it easy to build a knowledge base of articles, tutorials, videos, and other resources for self-service. Zendesk Chat and Zendesk Talk help you to run your company’s live chat and messaging systems and your call center.
- The Right Website Feedback Channel: Your website is a crucial part of the customer experience. Unfortunately, it can be extremely challenging to know how your customers are interacting with the site and whether they are satisfied with its design, layout, information, and other factors. Looking at heatmaps that illustrate how your customers engage your website can help you to separate the popular or effective elements of the site from the parts that aren’t working. Platforms like HotJar let you track cursor movement, clicks, scrolling, downloads, and other insights so that you can understand the customer experience on your website and take steps to improve it.
- The Right Reputation Trackers: Online reviews of your products or services are not just indications of the customer experience that you are offering: they are also valuable pieces of content that can make or break your branding, PR, word-of-mouth, and reputation. Monitoring online reviews of your business or the things you sell is a must, but doing so is not always a convenient process or even an effective use of time. Reputation and review tracking programs can solve the problem by letting you track 100-plus review sites from a single dashboard. If you get a negative review through any of the sites on your dashboard, you get a notification. You can then respond to the review and take steps to quickly salvage that customer’s experience.
- The Right Collaboration Software: Most businesses use Adobe tools for creating, reading, editing, signing, or otherwise interacting with PDF files. PDF applications factor into the customer experience by impacting how your team collaborates with clients through contracts, paperwork, advertising, printing, graphic design, or writing projects. Adobe’s standard PDF platforms bring a range of pain points with them: they aren’t intuitive, they don’t offer a rich array of PDF editing capabilities, and they aren’t secure enough for documents that contain sensitive consumer information. Alternate PDF options can streamline the process of passing PDF edits back and forth. You can make life easier for employees with such programs, but their benefits are even most profoundly felt in the area of customer experience. By making things a little bit easier and more intuitive, upgraded document management software can make a big difference for customer interactions. The right PDF software will also feature several other benefits — such as improved virus protection and the preservation of legacy drafts — that SMBs and their customers will appreciate.
These technologies provide ample opportunities for businesses to change the way they interact with customers. From being more responsive to customer criticisms to communicating with customers in the way that works best for them, each of these tools has the potential to transform your company’s customer experience for the better.