Ways technology creates a better customer experience
While there may still be a few holdouts, most businesses have picked up on the fact that technology can enhance operations and be a good cost-savings factor. They've also realized the many ways technology can create a better customer experience - in fact, many businesses can't function without various forms of tech these days.
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Years ago customer records, which included names, contact information, preferences and other valuable attributes to use in marketing had to be kept either in memory or by manually writing customer information down. While this is more personal, it's not exactly efficient, especially if the business is a large one and continues to grow. Not to mention the e-commerce factor eliminates the face from the name. Relying solely on memory and by writing down and filing information can be rather cumbersome and is not as practical as it was in years gone by.
Technology can help customize and create an optimal customer experience if planned strategically. Here are a few ways technology creates a better customer experience:
Speed is an obvious factor of a way technology enhances the customer experience. Through the use of computers and automation, customers can easily order products or services online, check themselves out at the register or sail through a traditional line because the checkout person is using automation to speed up the process.
In addition, customers can make inquiries either over the Internet or in-store, and the network can check on availability, backorders or other relevant order information. No longer do people have to spend a lot of time on the phone while someone manually checks an order or availability nor do they have to write letters and wait long periods of time to get an answer. Most inquiries can be satisfied instantaneously through using technology.
Personalization plays a strong role in optimizing a customer's experience and tech allows for high levels of personalization. Through targeted marketing efforts, customers are no longer as burdened with their mailbox full of junk mail because companies can save preferences and ensure only interesting ads or specials make it to the customer. Same goes for email.
In addition, businesses can now easily address customers by name and carry on a conversation while looking at a screen with all of their information to provide a higher degree of personalization. There are many less awkward moments of forgetting a customer's name or other relevant information.
Businesses that are run efficiently are likely to have customers that experience better transactions. Through the use of automation, the shopping and purchase process can move along with fewer errors, delays, not to mention better organization. Time equates to money and customers want a speedy experience these days.
There are customers that like a high level of engagement with a vendor, but then there are customers that really prefer to basically be left alone and not pestered by persistent salespeople or at the very least, hovered over.
Technology affords these customers the ability to do their inquiries from the comfort of their home, comparison shop and make purchases on their own timetable, not to feel pressured by salespeople or "buy now" pressure haggling. The Internet allows a good deal of shopping autonomy and this is important to many consumers.
Technology has had a strong impact on the customer service experience. Through automation, the customer has many more options and for the most part, has a much better customer service experience. While it is true that there are some drawbacks and negative experiences with customer service caused by technology, the biggest plus is that customers now have more options when they are looking to make a purchase.