Businesses all around the country forfeit about $60 billion a year in profit because of poor customer service experiences.

If you’re not prioritizing customer service, you’re telling your customers that their time and their effort doesn’t have value to you. In order to improve customer experiences, you need to go out of your way to engage with them.

Rather than wait for them to come to you, you need to already be where they are.

If you’re interested in the ways technology could improve customer services, check out these 5 tips.

1. Chat Bots

When your customers and clients are visiting your site on night and weekends, it might seem like a ghost town. If you don’t have a physical storefront or office location, your website might be the only interface customers and clients have for interacting with you. If there’s no one to tend the shop, so to speak, it would seem like you don’t care about their visit.

Having a chatbot allows you to make sure that your customer feels acknowledged as soon as they arrive on your site. The chatbot will be able to field a few questions or general concerns.

Connect it to some kind of intermediary service and you’ll be able to juggle anything that your customers throw at you.

While they may seem corny and generic, if you’re navigating something like an academic or legal site, you might be confused about very basic questions. A chatbot is there as a safety net for your visitors.

2. Answering Services

When you’re not available to answer calls, you’re missing out on high-impact connections with your customers and clients. If someone goes through the effort of calling a business for the first time, they want to know that they can speak to a human being. Calling a business and leaving a message seems impersonal and leaves the caller wondering whether that call will ever be answered.

Forwarding your calls to an answering service offers customers the ability to talk to a living person and feel cared about. That person on the other end can answer basic FAQs, handle simple scheduling tasks, or even troubleshoot common issues. While most people will call you for one of these three things, even those who don’t will be relieved to speak to a person.

Answering services can retain the customer base you worked so hard to get while showing new customers you’re a caring and considerate company. If you want to know more about what these services can do, click here to discover more.

3. Social Media

Social media is the best way to improve your customer experience in this interconnected era.

When people have feedback for a company, they often don’t hesitate to let them know. They’re often vocal and affirmative, voicing their opinion loudly and in your face.

Social media offers the ability for customers to connect with businesses directly. If you respond to both your critics and supporters equally, customers new and old will see you as a respectable presence online. Social media can bring out the worst in people as well as the best.

If you’re launching a new product soon, social media is the way to talk about it. You can improve your customer experiences by showing off what your new product is about and what it can do.

You can take feedback before you launch something and tweak it before it hits the streets.

4. Live Video

Live video is a great way to make your customers feel connected to your brand. Whether you’re showing off your products and services in real time or just showing people around your office, live video connects your audience.

Live video is great if you’re giving a presentation, make a new product launch, or speaking at an event or conference. While most people don’t watch a live video as it happens, many people will watch it after the fact.

Live video has a lot to offer and is a new playing ground for creative people in the industry of customer service.

5. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is the latest development in geolocation and interactivity. Ever since the popularity of Pokemon Go, everyone is waiting for the next big AR thing.

Augmented reality offers advertisers a way to target their audience down to a street corner. It also offers you the ability to offer a customer service experience that’s tightly targeted to the area your client is located in.

Augmented reality is still in its infancy but with so much excitement for seeing the world in a new way, AR is sure to be the next big thing in customer service. Another way to keep your customers happy is always having your products in stock with a good Inventory management software

6. Drone Delivery

The demands delivery from brands are getting more intense and more competitive. One of the things that’s becoming a bit of a war for limited space in customers’ hearts is whether or not you use drones. While drones have several negative connotations, they can also deliver goods quickly and efficiently without much overhead or use of resources.

Drone deliver allows you to send things on the same day, no matter the weather. You can zip through traffic and get across town in a matter of minutes when it might take you an hour.

Amazon has been testing out drone delivery for the last few years and several other retailers are starting to dabble. While it’s not an entirely new concept, the latest leaps in technology allow drones to handle relatively large weight loads.

Improve Customer Experiences by Being Sincere

One of the best ways to improve customer experiences at your company is to always be open, honest, and listening. While technology can go a long way in helping us to get things done quickly, we lose the human touch. It’s that sweet spot in the middle where we should strive to be.  

For more information on improving customer service with technology, check out these tech tips.

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4 Web Design Trends That Are Here To Stay

There are times when it seems like the internet is changing more rapidly than anyone can keep up with and as one trend fades another takes its place. Any business looking to stay ahead of the competition should keep up with the latest trends.

As the internet and online marketing become even more important for businesses, having a great site and utilizing the hottest trends can put you above the competition.

However, no matter how often they change, there is one common element to always keep in mind and that is the user. No matter what design trends you employ on your website, User Experience (UX) should always take front and center stage. With that in mind, the following design trends for 2016 are popular because they enhance the UX.

1. Responsive web design

For the past year and a half, there has been a huge amount of focus on responsive web design. In fact, this is so important to the UX that Google implemented new algorithms to ensure that web masters made the appropriate changes.

A responsive web site is one that conforms well to any screen of any size. Since more users are browsing the web and doing searches from mobile devices, the screens they will be looking at can be quite small.

If a website is not responsive there is no way for everything on a page to load which means that the user will not get the full benefit nor will they be able to navigate well. In fact, the experience is so degraded that Google will not even list sites that are not responsive in their mobile searches.

Related: The Most Hotly Contested Web Design Concepts of 2016

2. Social media integration

Few people on earth do not belong to a social site and because of this, businesses would do well to pay heed to social media integration as a must have web design trend. Not only can you lead visitors from your website to your Facebook page, for example, but you can invite your Facebook followers to visit your website.

The more followers you get on social media, the higher your chances will be to rank highly with Google and of course that means you should get much more organic traffic. Together with your marketing agency linked search terms can be added to your social pages to direct traffic to your website which will also add to your ranking with the search engines.

3. Minimalist design on landing pages

Once upon a time in website design, people tried to put everything on a landing page, sometimes overwhelming visitors. However, more and more sites now are focusing on a minimalist landing pages that focus more on a core product, rather than trying to sell everything to everyone.

It makes for an easier user experience, especially if they are coming directly from an ad for a product. You can have navigation to the rest of your site, but through using clean graphics and a minimalist design, you focus the attention of the potential customer.

4. Embedded videos

Another design element that Google just loves is embedded videos. This is most likely because of the fact that visitors to your site are more likely to stick around to watch videos than they would if you had none. Videos quickly go viral because people love video – it’s really just that simple.

When seeking increased amounts of traffic, you want to do well with the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and one of the most effective ways of ranking highly is to keep your bounce rate as low as possible. If videos will keep visitors on your page longer, then this is truly a web design trend to employ.

No matter what else you choose to do with the design of your website, these trends are a ‘must have’ if you want to develop a site that is more than competitive.

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