Your customers are the most important part of your business. Think about it, without customers, you’d have no business. Customers are the lifeline to your business, which is why the Customer Experience (CX) you provide needs to be outstanding. There’s no denying the world of business is competitive, so if you can stand out with excellent CX, you’ll not only satisfy and retain customers, you’ll also be able to continue to grow your business. So, how do you provide a good customer experience? Chances are you already wear almost all the hats in your business, and constantly feel pulled in every direction. And now, here I am telling you to add another focus into the mix. Trust me when I say, providing excellent customer experience doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to take up all of your precious time. That’s what technology is for. The right tech will do the hard work for you, you just need to know what to invest in. That’s why I’ve put together this blog to highlight some of the best tech for helping improve the operations of your small business and more importantly, the customer experience you provide.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a piece of technology you need to get onboard with, if you haven’t already. Perhaps the most powerful thing about AI is it helps humans provide proactive and actionable responses to customers quickly. Customer satisfaction research shows time and time again the faster you respond to a query, the higher customer satisfaction will be. In fact, according to Forrester Research, 77% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service. AI helps you avoid wasting a customer’s time, while also providing quick service and resolution to customers.
An example of customer-centric AI is chatbots. Chatbots are like virtual assistants who help fulfil a customer’s needs in an instant. They’re simple to set up and can provide support via website, instant messaging, SMS or even voice. Because chatbots can respond almost instantly, customer queries are handled more efficiently, which improves the overall customer experience. Chatbots are a game-changer for your customer support efforts. Especially when 69% of consumers prefer to use chatbots because they deliver quick answers to simple questions. Also the fact that 82% of consumers claim instant responses to their questions are very important when contacting brands.
Feedback is vital to providing a good customer experience. Without knowing where you’re going right or wrong, there’s no way of telling if customers are happy or unhappy with your products or products. That’s why it’s essential to give customers a way to provide feedback, and to actually listen and action the feedback. However, it’s easy for feedback to get lost, especially if customers are offering feedback on social media, where you might be getting several queries or comments on any given day. To stay on top of these comments manually and action the feedback can be overwhelming. AI tools, however, can help solve this issue by performing text and sentiment analysis to transform qualitative feedback into quantitative insights you can then action. AI-enabled tools, for example, can tag feedback based on specific issues, providing your data in real-time which will help you understand where you’re going right, and where you could improve.
A Scalable CRM System
If you’re going to invest in just one piece of technology, I’d advise choosing a scalable CRM system. For example, HubSpot's CRM has everything you need to organise, track, and build better relationships with leads and customers. And, it’s fully customisable and scalable – meaning as your business grows, and needs for different types of tech grows, HubSpot’s platform will grow with you. From managing existing customer relations to handling new enquiries efficiently a CRM system like HubSpot is vital for improving your small business’ operations and ultimately your overall customer experience.
A Tech & CX Case Study
Terry Johnson started his career in insurance, before switching to sales and then once again being lured back to the world of insurance. A decade later, Terry had the opportunity to work for himself, founding Keyman Financial Services and connecting with most of his existing clientele who followed him to his new company.
Terry’s business is almost totally online and remote, which allows him to work with clients across Australia. How does he keep connected with clients no matter where they live? A robust CRM (customer relationship management) system, which automates numerous client touchpoints, keeping clients happy and connected.
Terry invested in an automation system that provides a repeatable process for working with each and every client. While the investment was large, Terry said it’s integral to him staying on top of all his client relationships, and helps him maintain a client-centric approach.
He said: “One of the coolest things about the automation process is that we don’t forget to do things, even right up until policy completion.” At the end of the client onboarding process, for instance, the system places an automatic order with one of Terry’s suppliers, who prepares a gift basket and personalised card and sends them to the new client.
Terry said automation helps his company get “the one-percenters done,” things that make the client experience exceptional, such as thanking referral partners, contacting clients during their claims to reassure them of the engagement and maintaining contact with a client base, no matter its size.