5 Ways to Improve Customer Service Through Technology

Larry Alton
Indepedent Business Consultant
Freelance
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You’d think businesses wouldn’t need to be told that customer service is one of the most important parts of what they do. Without great customer service, both customer acquisition and retention becomes difficult - to say the least.

But many companies don’t spend the time or money to invest in their customer service departments, which is a crucial mistake. After all, 78 percent of customers bail on a transaction if they have a poor customer service experience.

In order to keep customer service fresh and accommodating, businesses must stay up to date and offer convenient services their customers can connect with. Implementing new technology, for example, is a great way to improve your customer service as a whole.

Technology can be an expensive investment, but if you keep it well protected and use it to its fullest capacity, it’s an investment you won’t soon regret. Technology can be the key to connecting with customers on a deeper level - here are five ways to do just that.

1. Appropriate Communication

Now that we have so many ways to contact customers, there’s really no excuse for businesses to have poor communication. The best thing about having so many forms of technology available is that you can connect with customers using their preferred communication methods.

For example, the older generation typically enjoys communicating through phone calls and email, while the younger generation prefers SMS messaging and apps. Interestingly, the majority of customers favor using live chat to communicate. Based on a 2013 study, 73 percent of customers prefer live chat over all other forms of communication, and technology makes that possible.

2. Empathy

Over the years, customer service studies have shown that the number one reason customers get frustrated with customer service reps is their lack of understanding. Consumers feel that representatives are uncaring and apathetic to their plights.

In reality, the representatives are simply doing their jobs by following the protocols set by their companies. Fortunately, thanks to the power of technology, companies can rewrite their policies in order to allow for greater empathy. They can encourage more human interaction on the phone, and set a precedent as a caring company through digital marketing, SMS messaging, social media, chat, and more.

3. Availability 

There’s really no such thing as 9 to 5 customer service anymore, and those who still operate in that time frame are likely falling behind. Businesses now have the capacity to be available anytime - whether through a late-night chat or social engagement - and those who want to stand out will utilize these services.

Organizations can also be available anywhere, anytime by utilizing all forms of communication, including email, forms, multiple social networks, chat boxes, 24-hour customer service, and SMS messaging. Giving customers the option to contact you whenever they want and however they want offers a freedom that customers value and can’t find with every business.

4. Self-Reliant Customers

A lot of people don’t like to ask for help, so teaching self-reliance through technology is an important part of great customer assistance. Now that consumers can access information through multiple avenues, the customer service lines are much shorter. Businesses with well-functioning websites can provide a wealth of knowledge for customers, including contact information, chat boxes, operating hours, store policies, and business descriptions.

This can also act as an authority in a certain niche, giving your brand more credibility. Through blog posts, webinars, podcasts, videos, and other sources of posted media, businesses can show customers how to help themselves. With the help of these information sources, 67 percent of customers are now able to find the answers to questions by themselves.

5. Social Media Connection

One of the greatest inventions technology has delivered for business-customer relations is social media. Thanks to this little gem, customers and businesses can now connect 24/7 - without being overbearing. Through sharing blog posts, webinars, infographics, how-to videos, and more, companies can connect with their customers in a way that customers prefer, without being too pushy. It allows customers to come to you, which is the best way to acquire and retain your customer base.

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