If you’ve got your own business, you’ll know by now the importance of maintaining relationships with your customers. You may feel it’s a challenge to devote time to each customer as your client base increases as your company grows, yet you still need to effectively communicate and respond to all their needs.
You are not alone. Every business struggles with this dilemma. Luckily, technology most likely has a solution to help re-connect you with your clients.
Here are some tips on using technology to improve customer/client relationships.
Upgrade Your Phone System
There’s a perception that phones are no longer trendy. Many small businesses think the only way to reduce costs is to spend as little as possible on phone systems, forgetting that a good system is essential to their business. There are so many options: Multi-channel phone systems, call/contact centre technology, mobile and tablet video conferencing, VoIP… there’s definitely something that suits your needs and fits your budget.
To get the best advice about what system would work for your business, it’s best to speak with a company that specialises in small business phone systems, such as Com2.
Use Technology To Enhance The Customer Experience
Many companies make the common mistake of using technology or software, to try to create a NEW customer experience, rather than enhance or improve an existing one. Often, the focus is on the technology instead of making the customer’s experience better.
First, you need to define what your ‘customer experience’ is (this is a lot harder than it sounds!) then identify the tools and/or software you need to make it better. Don’t fall into the common trap of moulding your strategy around the latest technological fad.
Utilise The Best Tools Available
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are a great way to manage all communications and data involving your customers. A CRM will enable you to analyse your customers so you can target them more precisely in your marketing campaigns. This will save you time and money and improve your results. If you don’t have a CRM system in place, you are about a decade behind… Literally stuck in the 1990′s.
I doubt you can survive the remainder of this decade without a CRM. Sorry, but that’s the way of the world – innovate or perish. There is no excuse – CRM systems are affordable and web-based, so technologically easy to implement.
Make Your Website Interactive
There are many ways to create interactivity on your website. One option is to have online survey tools to solicit input and feedback that can help you enhance your customer experience. You can send e-newsletters, provide feedback forms and keep your list of FAQs current with audio and video explanations.
Use Social Media
Everyone’s going social these days, so why don’t you? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are all free (unless you wish to pay to advertise through them), accessible and widely relied upon by the majority of the population. If you have a consumer client base it would be unwise not to use them. With social media you can easily keep people up to date and inform them of new products, recent achievements and upcoming events. Many businesses also use these networks as a base for promotions or competitions that keep their customers coming back for more.
Customers expect a high level of service. By staying current and utilising these various technologies, you’ll be able to personalise your service to each customer, thus creating a meaningful relationship that will keep them loyal on a long term basis.