The pandemic has drastically changed consumer behavior and how customers interact with brands. Lower customer loyalty, higher preference for online shopping, and the rise of social commerce are pushing many businesses to ensure their competitive edge by improving customer experience.
NielsenIQ shows that since COVID-19, 67% of consumers have changed how they shop, with online shopping becoming more popular. Social commerce has also increased, making up 3.4% of all eCommerce sales when the pandemic started. Consumer loyalty has also decreased. More than 80% of consumers said they had chosen a different brand than usual for various reasons.
What do all these mean to businesses like you? If you can’t cope with these changes, you will miss out on many income-generating opportunities and lose customers by the day.
But in a world with varying health protocols, industries cautiously trying to re-open, and COVID-19 still looming over everyone, how can businesses adapt to the changing needs of their market and still provide exceptional service?
The key is to incorporate customer experience technology into your consumer journey seamlessly.
Today, you’ll find out how technology significantly improves the customer experience in a post-pandemic world. You will also learn to incorporate technology into your existing business processes and which technologies you can use based on your needs, resources, and goals.
Why is Technology Important When Providing Customer Service?
Technology bridges the interaction gap between businesses and customers, especially when people can’t go out of their houses to visit stores and offices. Furthermore, it helps improve customer experience without adding undue strain to your resources.
Since the pandemic, consumers have relied heavily on technology to meet their needs — from grocery shopping and online research to requesting service support and setting up virtual medical consultations.
Because everyone has turned online for most of their needs, having the right technology lets you adapt quickly to your customers’ needs. As a result, you can continue offering positive experiences, even if you’re not interacting with your customers face to face, and keep them loyal to your brand.
How does Technology Improve Customer Experience?
Having a single point of contact is not enough to meet your customer’s demands. Otherwise, this channel could be bogged down, affecting your service quality. Technology allows you to offer multiple channel solutions and helps you integrate all of these channels into a seamless experience for your customers.
For instance, a customer abandons their cart on your website. You send an automated email regarding their abandoned cart. They decide to go back to your website but need to chat with someone about your products. After the live chat, they check out and visit your social media page to see the latest about your brand.
As they wait for their purchase to arrive, they send a DM (direct message) to your Facebook page to ask about their order. Your chatbot replies and lets them know a customer service agent will get back to them asap. When an agent returns their message, they provide the correct information, and your customer is satisfied.
In your back office, your customer service team can conveniently pull up the correct information about the customer and their latest activities with your brand or on your website because you have a reliable customer management system. Your CS agents are well informed and equipped with the correct information to provide to your customer promptly — empowering your agents and satisfying your customers.
Imagine if you don’t have the right technology. You would have lost your customer the moment they abandoned their cart. The morale of your CS team suffers when they can’t provide the support your customers need, and ultimately, your revenue decreases.
Technology also helps build customer relationships and improve brand awareness. Gone are when customers could only interact with your brand in your office or store. Now, customers can engage with you long before or after they’ve purchased from you. You could control how they experience your brand at different points in their customer journey.
When you are present in venues where your customers are, you have a higher chance of being seen and chosen over your competition. Just as you need to get to know your customers, they also need to learn more about your brand before doing business with you. Having an active social media presence and
Technology also allows you to personalize the service you provide to your customers. When you do this, the quality experience they have with you improves, which helps make them loyal to your brand.
A great example would be customizing the messages you send to them. Let’s say a customer signs up for your newsletter or purchases from your website. You get their relevant information, including their birthday. You schedule an automated birthday message on your email marketing software that they will receive on their special day. In addition, you track what they’ve purchased from you and send newsletter content relevant to their likes and shopping habits.
Now that you understand the importance of technology in customer experience, it’s time to find out which technologies you could use for your business.
Top 6 Technologies That Can Help Enhance Customer Experience
1. Analytics Tools and Software
Need to learn more about your customers? You could analyze big data and assess customer behavior with the right tools. Then, turn them into actionable information. Furthermore, you’d be able to create a complete picture of your ideal customer, allowing you to provide the perfect experience for them.
2. Chatbots and Other Automated Messaging Applications
Automated messaging and chatbots let your brand offer 24/7 support. Furthermore, it saves your customers time as they can automatically receive answers to frequently asked questions. You could also create an automatic callback feature on your hotline so your customers won’t have to wait for a long time when there’s a surge in call volume in your hotline.
3. Omnichannel CS and Cloud Services
One of the best ways to improve customer service is to offer an omnichannel experience. This customer experience technology provides different options for your customers to engage with you, such as offering online support, phone support, and in-store support. The key to omnichannel technology is to provide customers with a seamless experience from in-store to online and vice versa.
4. Augmented and Virtual Reality
AR and VR are popular among the younger market because it is fun to use. With the right approach, however, you could use this for many purposes. For instance, if you’re selling fashion items, you could use VR or AR to allow customers to “wear” your products to see how they look.
Selling appliances and furniture pieces? Use AR or VR to let your customers see what your products would look like in their homes or personal spaces.
5. Voice Capabilities
Give your hotline a tech makeover by adding voice capabilities. This would be especially beneficial for customers trying to reach you on the road or doing something else.
6. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology has become very popular that in 2024, the market could reach $20 billion. Contrary to popular perception, blockchain isn’t just for cryptocurrency. Other industries, including healthcare and real estate, have also started using it.
Regarding customer experience, blockchain can help secure consumer data and facilitate intelligent contracts. These factors could help boost trust among your customers. Additionally, Blockchain helps improve customer loyalty as transactions can easily be verified. Research shows that 62% of customers prefer a transparent product.
There are a lot of things you could do to improve the customer experience. But before getting started, it’s important to know what kind of experience you want to offer them. From there, you could choose which customer experience technology you should use to achieve your objectives.
How Can Inspiro Help?
Are you ready to do business in a post-pandemic world? Inspiro offers services that focus on helping companies to engage better with their customers while staying competitive in the market. Whether you need customer experience, technology, skills, or an additional workforce, Inspiro can help you craft unique experiences that align with your brand values and business goals.
Learn more about customer experience technology and how it can help your business. Contact us for more information.