Although “I’ll send a strongly worded letter!” still stands and many customers will indeed do just that, technology has made certain communication models redundant, while it has empowered others to flourish. Chances are, we’ll send a strongly worded email over a letter and we’ll even send a quick Facebook message to a business to ask for a product instead of sending that email.
So, depending on the purpose of each interaction, customers have a wide variety of communication modes to choose from, all of which have a unique goal. Thanks to advanced tech solutions, multifunctional software solutions, and greater personalization, customers now have increased expectations from brands in terms of response times, quality of interaction, and overall satisfaction.
How exactly does technology change customer communications? Let’s dive right into that topic and list a few key changes tech has brought to the realm of customer service and your entire communication strategy.
Customers appreciate businesses that don’t wait for too long to help or answer. In fact, we have become very impatient and we like the benefit of immediate gratification that is enabled through all of these various forms of communication. That said, technology allows your business to be available 24/7 and to help customers feel valued and heard no matter the time of day.
Through chatbots, messaging platforms on social media, and automated email, your response time and your availability become one of the main reasons customers go back to your brand for more.
Boosting closeness through video
Many companies fear that adding more tech-based solutions will only prevent them from connecting with their customers and clients. In reality, people now enjoy the convenience of digital communication, and with the ability to video chat and receive voice messages, customers can indeed be special enough.
For example, you can work with international clients scattered everywhere across the globe and still build a worthy bond with the help of video-based meetings. On the other hand, since video conferencing is not a common practice for e-commerce customers, voice messages are a great alternative. It helps customer service agents give their response a personal touch since the tone of voice and wording can help build a closer connection to the customer they are trying to help and to whose query they are responding.
Social media profiles are free for users, thus making them superb for customer communication. However, as a business, you need to find affordable, yet all-encompassing communication systems to be available for your customers without breaking the bank. This is where cost-effective VoIP solutions step in to provide a number of features for a well-balanced price for your business.
Voice over internet protocol allows you to make and receive calls online, thus removing the need to pay that separate phone bill. Add to that, the built-in features and tools for remote work, video conferencing, all the way to call analytics all contribute to the affordability of such a solution, which will ultimately protect your financial future.
Personalized and automated emails
One would assume that automation strips your interactions of any personal touch when the opposite is actually true. You can combine these two features within your newsletter campaigns and email notifications when you use a range of email automation tools that are customizable.
You can go beyond using your customer’s first name alone. You can ask customer-specific questions, make customer-specific offers and discounts, send birthday-related messages, and the like. That level of personalization can still be automated, allowing you more time to tackle more vital assignments.
AI-driven chatbots to the rescue
Having more customer queries than you can process in a timely manner? Technology has another smart solution for just such occasions – AI-driven chatbots on your website to provide information to customers whose questions are within the chatbot’s grasp.
Since most online buyers need some sort of assistance, whether it’s choosing the right size for the item they want to buy or finding the detailed instructions on its use, your chatbot can handle most of such straightforward queries.
Geotargeting for smart text alerts
When you have a physical store in addition to your online platform, you can actually utilize technology to enhance your in-store business, too. By using the perks of geotargeting paired with text alerts, you can notify your customers whenever they are in the vicinity of one of your stores, and some of their favorite products might be on sale.
How does this work? When the location-tracking feature is on, a smartphone behaves like a beacon, so the brands that have that specific customer’s contact information can use that data to provide a deeply personalized service.
Social media as a pitstop for support
The vast majority of the population spends at least a few hours every day on social media, be it Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter. Thanks to smartphones, as well as practically omnipresent Wi-Fi, your customers check out your ads and your social posts on their phones when they’re on the go, in addition to the time they spend scrolling down their newsfeed at home.
What they do is reach out directly via those built-in messaging apps to ask a quick question instead of visiting your website or checking out your FAQ section. It’s then up to your customer support agents to be quick and respond in a timely manner, which they can easily do when they have alerts and notifications set up. Precisely because of tech tools and software applications, you are able to empower this level of communication with your customers.
As you can see, technology is far from a reason for us to dehumanize communication or keep us at a distance – it helps us connect on an abundance of new levels, accommodating the needs of each individual using these channels.
Better customer service helps your business boost customer experience as a whole and allows you to learn about customer preferences to improve your brand over the long term. Using all of these and other tech tools to support those goals will improve your reputation in the eyes of your customers and allow you to inspire loyalty.
Guest Post: About the Author
Lauren is a digital marketing specialist and business consultant from Melbourne. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Lauren writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and she’s one of the authors behind Bizzmark Blog.